So, you’re a fashionista with a passion for writing and sharing trendy pieces with others. You’ve scrolled past your favorite fashion bloggers’ posts for months now, and finally decided to take the plunge: you want to create your own fashion blog. In a highly saturated market like blogging, it can feel intimidating to put yourself out there. Whether your motivation is to share your favorite styles with an appreciative audience or purely an income-driven side hustle, read through these guided steps to help take your passion project to the next level:
1. Determine Your Ideal Audience
Before you begin writing, sit down with a pen and paper and imagine the type of person that you are trying to reach with your posts—what do they look like? How old are they? What are their interests? All of these factors will help determine the tone and style of your posts, as well as the overall brand that you create for yourself. Perhaps you’re envisioning an audience of sophisticated, upper-class women in their 40’s. Why promote a sale at TJMaxx to an audience who probably does the majority of their shopping at Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and other high-end stores? Once you have identified your target audience, the appropriate tones and styles will flow naturally through your writing.
2. Mastery of the English Language
This might seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re trying to break into the fashion blogging industry, you’ll need to craft a series of daily or bi-weekly blog posts. Although your primary audience might only be skimming your posts to check out the photos and sales, it’s still crucial to be mindful of proper spelling and grammar. This conscientiousness helps to establish trust with your audience, and furthermore lends authority to your personal brand. For example, why should your followers trust your recommendation to buy a $250 chenille sweater (that you ultimately make commission off of) if you can’t properly spell chenille? Always, always, always proofread before you publish a post.
3. Be Authentic
Individuality and authenticity are what help you stand out, as well as gain traction in the community. One blogger might be known for her trendy athleisure looks while another has a sizeable following for her affordable formalwear finds—but what can you bring to the table that will set your blog apart? Maybe you’re a sleuth for sales, and a reliable source within your friend group to find the hottest items at the best price. Share that! Perhaps you do the majority of the shopping for your outdoorsy husband, so you know the best places for comfortable yet durable menswear—share that, too! By focusing on the topics that you feel most confident and knowledgeable in, you will naturally draw in an authentic following of like-minded individuals.
4. Engagement, Engagement, Engagement
In order to get your name (and therefore your posts) out there, you need to start interacting heavily with other members of the fashion blogging community—whether that be by sharing your favorite bloggers’ posts on Facebook, commenting on their pictures on Instagram, or sending them a direct message to establish an initial connection. Once you begin consistently interacting with others in the community, they will likely return the favor by engaging with your posts. Important reminder: try to respond back to every comment or message you receive. Someone has taken time out of their day to reach out to you—even just sending a “like” in acknowledgement of their comment does not go unnoticed.
5. Be Patient
Success, and moreover large blog followings, do not come overnight. Like any relationship, followers must be built up over time through a series of interactions and engagement (think: likes, comments, shares). Buying followers is always an option but this will reflect poorly on your authenticity as a blogger, and does not gain you legitimate exposure as “ghost followers” will not interact with your posts.
6. Get Sponsorships
If monetizing your blog is the end goal, sponsorships are a must. Fashion bloggers receive a small commission from each purchase made through their affiliated website links and/or discount codes. Once you’ve reached a certain level of popularity, brands will often reach out to you to promote their products as an influencer. However, while you’re still growing a following, you may need to try forging these relationships on your own. Reach out to brands you know and love to see if they are interested in doing an exchange of services (eg: they send you a cute jumpsuit and you provide them with free advertising and promotion via your blog). If you don’t absolutely love the product, pass on it—it’s not worth sacrificing the trust of your followers by endorsing merchandise you do not actually like or use.
7. Be Prepared to Take a Lot of Photos
This might seem obvious, but it’s important to include photos with each blog post that showcase the piece, product or accessory that you’re promoting. If you don’t have an #InstagramHusband, you might want to consider investing in helpful tools, such as a tripod. More advanced bloggers often work with professional photographers, especially for sponsored posts, to ensure the content is high-quality and up to brand standards. However, don’t think that all of your photos have to be professionally shot—a majority of bloggers find the most engagement on their smartphone photos, as they give off a more relatable, “real life” vibe.
8. Connect with Other Bloggers
The fashion blogging industry is built around community, so why not befriend those that know it best? Aside from trading insider tips and knowledge, you can run some of your ideas by a seasoned vet before sharing them with the larger public.
While taking the initial steps to launch your own venture can feel intimidating, following a guided process can make the journey seem less daunting. Once you embrace these eight tips, you’ll feel empowered to dust off your Louboutin heels, snap a photo, and hit “publish” on that first blog post.
Delaney Roberts – Writer