We’ve all done it; you know, peeping Rumi Neely’s blog, Fashion Toast, or coveting the blogging skills of The Blonde Salad’s Chiara Ferragni. When it comes to having a fashion blog, what will take you from a behind the scenes blogging hopeful, to a successful blogging fashionista?
Building the Blog
There can be many misconceptions regarding blogging. The first is that you simply sign up for a blogging platform, and you’re a blogger. Wrong! My eyes were truly opened to the world of blogging when I read this tweet: “When you’re a blogger you also need to be a photographer, stylist, graphic designer, coder, writer, model & marketing guru.” Jessie Stoelwinder of THE VELVET BOW was not exaggerating. There are many things to think about before creating the next big fashion blog, and what better place to start than the ground up?
Find your Niche
There are millions of fashion oriented blogs, so what is it that gives a certain appeal to those who have been so successful in this industry? It isn’t because of their die-hard love for fashion and self proclaimed “fashionista” title. The fashion bloggers claiming the top spots are those who have a particular angle that is different from the rest of the blogging community.
Take Jane Aldridge from the blog Sea of Shoes, for example. She recognized her love for shoes, and channeled that into a blog that has taken the fashion world by storm. In other words, find your voice and stick to it. Take the time to really pinpoint where your strong suit is, and expand on that! You can’t go wrong when you’re blogging about something you know.
Choosing a Platform
So you’ve recognized your talent and composed a killer name, now what? Well, my fellow bloggers, it’s now time to decide what site you’ll use as your blogging platform. First, you’ll have to weigh the options. For the purpose of this guide, I’ve chosen to compare two great systems: Blogger and WordPress .
Comparing the Competitors
Blogger and WordPress, each are free of cost (until you get into sponsoring Ads), and are relatively easy to use. When it comes time to choosing your platform, you must first decide what features are important to you (much like apartment hunting). Do you want a user-friendly system where the commenting system is built in and monetizing through ads is possible without paying a monthly fee? Blogger is probably the right path for you. If you’re looking for something more along the lines of an extremely customizable site with thousands of plugins, you may consider WordPress instead. Keep in mind, however, there is one downfall. WordPress does not allow ads or sponsorship on unpaid blogs.
A Marketing Maniac
You now have an angle, a blogging platform, and a few good posts. What comes next? Well, now is the time to find some dedicated readers. When your blog first goes live, chances are you’ll have all of three readers: you, and your parents. Don’t get discouraged! Even the big dogs started out as pups.
Facebook and Twitter weren’t just created to express your deepest feelings in the form of emotional song lyrics (we’ve all fallen victim to it). These social networks are the perfect place to get the word out about your newest venture. You’ll find that each network has a different angle (there’s that niche again!) and a different audience. Signing up for Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube are all great ideas. Warning: as much as your loyal social media followers love you, they don’t want to see repeat posts from one site to another. Instead, change up posts from one social media site to another, to avoid a loss of followers. In my opinion, Twitter is great for letting your followers know about new posts, as well as posting snippets of important information regarding the theme of your blog (is there something interesting happening in the news that has to do with your blogs angle? ReTweet!). Signing up for networks such as Chictopia is a great resource to connect with fellow bloggers, and participate in different forum conversations.
Comment, Comment, Comment!
You’ve heard it before, and you’ll most likely hear it again. The primary way of attracting traffic to your blog is to create a conversation (that is the point of a blog!). Commenting on other sites is a great way to get to know others in your field, learn what’s going on in fashion, and allow people to notice your blog. As tempting as the “cool post, check out my blog,” comments may be, please refrain. Instead, post genuine comments that show you’re interested in what that blogger may be saying!
For those of you who skipped to the bottom to see the wrap up (don’t lie, we’ve all done it), there are just a few main points to remember. First, you’ve got to pick a platform that is right for you . Weigh the pros and cons, in the long run it will make all the difference. Next, it’s necessary to find your voice, and stick to it! Those bloggers who many look up to are good at what they do because of the fact that they stay true to their niche. Finally, you’ve started the blog, now start connecting! As much as I’d like to say I don’t spend hours on Facebook and Twitter, that wouldn’t be exactly true. Make the most of your tweeting skills to create a conversation, and send traffic to your new endeavor. You’ve got the resources, so grab your camera, a latte, and start blogging!
Image via Warren Lee