Blogging is a great outlet for expressing your love of fashion and a way to share your personal view of the fashion world. At the same time, it’s an opportunity to hone your writing skills and develop your own blogging style, which will develop and change over time, just as your fashion sense will change.
Where can it lead? Some successful bloggers have built a career out of blogging, even snagging writing gigs with major fashion pubs, or building a self-contained business through their blog.1 If you have a fashion career in mind, an established blog with a following can be a great advantage on your resume when you’re trying to stand out among a crowd of applicants at a fashion recruitment company in NYC.
Here are some key tips and tricks to help you find a foothold in the fashion blogosphere.
What’s Your Niche?
Fashion is a big subject, so narrow down the focus to give your blog a clear identity. This allows you to target an audience that is attracted to your theme. It also helps you go more in depth on some topics, and establish yourself as an expert, more likely to be noticed by top fashion search firms in NYC. Here are some fashion niches to consider:
- Vintage – The vintage trend seems here to stay, but it is constantly being reinvented and adapted to other trends. Make your site about very high-end vintage for those who collect iconic pieces by big name designers from the past, or target the many budding designers who start out repurposing everyday vintage pieces to create their own new looks, and feature examples. Shoppers on a budget love to frequent vintage and consignment shops for bargains on all kinds of styles that they mix and match, creating their own unique looks.
- Top designers – The obvious choice for most bloggers is to hit on the hot looks coming out of today’s most popular top designers. You’ll never run out of ideas, and you have at least four seasonal changes to follow with each of your faves, plus all the mini-seasons in between, driven by today’s fast fashion market. The challenge here will be how to differentiate yourself in the overcrowded field of similar sites.
- Choose by age group – This is another way of saying “know your audience.” Fashion trends spread across the age spectrum today, but there are clear differences between teen shoppers and over-forty-somethings. Write and post to your audience, as long as you stay true to yourself. Authenticity is essential, as readers will quickly spot a pretender and click out.
- Invent your own niche – The highest-rated bloggers are often those who do the best job of bringing their own unique style to life, sharing their personality and viewpoint in a way that no one else can copy (but all your readers can imitate). 2
Build a Good Foundation
There’s no telling where your blog can take you, although you may have very specific goals in mind and feel confident about how to reach them. In any case, you’ll smooth the path and maybe get there faster if you build a firm foundation at the start. This means choosing a blog name that is unique and which resonates with your target audience. The name is going to be your brand, so try to make it one that will last over time and through unexpected changes in the future. Brainstorm with friends, colleagues, mentors, and family. Use your own host so that your domain name is clear and identifiable. Ideally, this means avoiding free hosting sites that tag their name onto yours.
If this sounds too advanced, or you are working on a shoestring budget—or zero budget—then start by posting on free sites and “borrowing” their vast audiences to build your reputation. Among the most popular are Tumblr and Blogger, which offer a great mix of themes, apps, and tools for easy layout. Best of all, you’ll potentially be seen by thousands of interested fashion followers.
You have the fashion eye, so you understand instinctively how external looks can convey meaning. Well, apply the same principles to your blog and give it a look that allows your content to shine through. In other words, make it look appealing without getting in the way of the information.
Now that you’ve set up your blog, and established a style and rhythm all your own, you need to take steps to become more visible. Otherwise, you’re basically talking to yourself. If you have a network of friends, make sure they are hooked into your blog. Build on your network by posting on all your social sites, and staying active on Google+ and others. It’s best to set a regular schedule of posts, and keep to the same time of day and days of the week.
Keep building your mailing list and send regularly scheduled communications to them with news and information about special posts or events. Make a personal connection with your followers by revealing who you are—even how you look. Tell your story, what inspires you to blog, and what you love about fashion. Include your photo and update it often.
As a fashion blogger, you need to learn all you can about making, finding, and posting great images, so polish up your photography skills and always have a camera with you to capture “seen on the street” fashion ideas. Content is king across the Internet, and visual content is most important of all. Two of the most popular social media sites for fashion lovers are Pinterest and Instagram. Learn about the market segments they attract and see if they match up with your intended audience (hint: probably). If you learn a few tips for standing out on one or both sites, you’ll be astounded at the speed with which your blog audience grows.
Think of Pinterest as a visual bookmark for your favorite likes and finds across the web. Post some delicious-looking fashion shots to earn pins and repins for your blog. Embed text in your image with a brief description, so visitors will know what it is immediately. You can quickly see what’s working by going to http://pinterest.com/source/use your url here/ to pull up the images people have pinned from your site. You have a wealth of information that will guide you to create additional posts with similar content. If you’re running low on ideas for blog posts or images, check in with the Pinterest Popular link to learn what’s trending for more inspiration. Self-pinning is an accepted practice among bloggers and is almost expected. If you want to build respect and trust among pinners, don’t be all about your own stuff. Be generous about repinning other people’s fun or interesting pins, and apply this same spirit in everything you do.3
Instagram is another popular outlet for building your blog’s brand and expanding its audience. Post your best images and take advantage of the site’s filters to make them even better. Use hashtags that you’ve placed on other sites and add them to your Instagram posts. Come up with new strategies for using Instagram, like teasing a new monthly feature you’re planning to add to your blog, or sharing your top fashion pick of the week. Are you blogging about celebrity fashion? Place a “coming next” tip on Instagram, especially during the heavy red carpet awards season. Make sure that you get the traffic bump you’re hoping for by adding a clickable link in your bio (the only option for linking on Instagram).4