Fashion may be your passion, but passion alone is not enough to make you a good fashion blogger with a loyal and growing following. Whether you aspire to be the next Chiara Ferragni or your goal is to make a hobby make money for you, there are nine crucial things you need to start doing now to become a better blogger.
1. Choose your niche
As many blogs come and go, it's hard to know how many fashion and lifestyle blogs there are online, but it's been estimated by Technorati Inc. that roughly 10% of upwards 30 million tracked blogs are fashion related. That's a lot of competition!
The key to standing out in the crowd is to concentrate your efforts by choosing your niche. It's not enough to blog about athleisure style-- zero in and focus on stylish comfort-wear for busy, athletic moms if you are an active mother. If you are a food and drink blogger, choose a niche that really interests you, like a particular regional cuisine or cooking style. You know what excites you most, so explore, develop, and expand this into your niche so you can begin to own your corner of the blogosphere.
2. Know your voice
It's not always what you have to say, but how you say it that matters. Are you upbeat and cheerful? A straight-shooter? Descriptive and poetic? Take some time to assess your personality and how you best express yourself to know your own voice.
Look at some of your writing for patterns, and decide which manner of expression best suits you and lets your personality shine through in your blog posts. When you know your voice, you can better express yourself to your audience and keep them connected to you. Make yourself heard, and keep your voice consistent.
"Personality, for me, is the strongest statement."
-Chiara Ferragni, "The Blonde Salad"
3. Have a good-looking logo
Nike. Coca-Cola. Apple. When you read those words, the images they evoked were most likely their logos. A picture says a thousand words, so your logo should convey who you are and what your blog is all about at a glance.
Now that you know your voice, think about how you can express it in one simple image. Your logo should be prominent on your blog, in your email signature, on your social media profiles, and on business cards to hand out when you network and connect with others. Choose a good-looking, professional-looking logo that will tell and remind people who you are and what you're all about.
Don't know how to begin designing your logo yourself? Don't have the funds for the help of a professional designer? There are great resources online, like Fiverr, which offer logo design services to fit your budget. (BFrow Tip: Be sure to get high resolution, the vector file, revisions included, and ownership of your logo if you hire a designer from any service to create your logo.)
4. Use professional images
What you write on your blog is important, of course, but if your images don't look high quality, your readers won't consider you as high quality.
The impact and importance of professional images on your blog can't be stressed enough. The fashion and lifestyle industries are about the visuals, and your blog can't skimp on that. But don't fret if you don't have the resources to have a professional photographer at your disposal to do shoots of you for your style blog or to stage pictures for your interior design one. With practice and patience, you can create professional-level images yourself. (Bookmark the BFrow Blog for an upcoming post that will teach you how.)
The point is that you can have a better blog when you make the effort to pay attention to lighting, composition, and quality in professional-looking images in your posts (not to mention what's in the background of your selfies). Don't let blurry, pixilated, or too-dark images detract your readers and turn them away.
5. Keep a posting schedule
Consistency is key.
You're putting so much work into developing your blog and building yourself up as a blogger, and you want a return on your investment. Your blog can't grow effectively without returning visitors, and you need to give them fresh content to return to.
Create and keep a posting schedule of about two posts each week. Test the popularity of your posts that are published on certain days of the week, and consistently post on those days. Your readers will come to look forward to the days when your new posts are up on your blog.
Keeping a posting schedule sets order to your work, creates anticipation for your readers, shows your dedication, sometimes forces you to stretch your creativity, and is proof of your professionalism.
6. Maintain your profiles on social media accounts
Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. Snapchat. LinkedIn. YouTube. With so many social media platforms, it can be daunting to be active on them with all of the other work you must do to have a successful blog. Yet, without an active social presence, you risk being lost amongst your competition, and you are missing the opportunity to market yourself as a fashion or lifestyle blogger. In this case, "everyone else is doing it," so you should, too.
Don't overwhelm yourself and set yourself up for stress or failure. Pick the 2 most relevant social media platforms for your niche (e.g., a Facebook page and Twitter account for a Fabulous Food Trucks blog) and commit to having an active presence.
Post daily (make it easier with tools like HootSuite, Buffer, DrumUp, TweetFavy), and update your accounts regularly, too-- highlight your new look in an updated profile picture, change content information when necessary, and rotate cover photos by season or events.
7. Have a branded email
We all have that one friend (let's call her Sue), who still uses her email address from high school, and she uses it for everyone to contact her-- family, friends, even prospective employers. email@example.com was cute, memorable, and sufficient back then, but now that Sue has graduated from school and is graduating to a new phase in life with a career and a side-hustle, it's time for firstname.lastname@example.org to be used on her growing blog.
If you created your blog on a site like Wix, you can also get an email address that you can brand for a nominal fee. And if you choose to have a free email address, Google is the address of choice (who still uses AOL or Hotmail professionally?), and keep it simple and clear, like email@example.com.
8. Engage, engage, engage
When you grow and have a better blog, you'll have more readers. Aside from great content, the best way to retain all of those readers is to engage with them.
When people like, share, and comment on your work, show them your appreciation. Make RT a habit on Twitter. Reply to all of your posts' comments, even the ones you find negative (and kill 'em with kindness and professionalism). Ask for opinions, stories of shared experiences, give and get feedback.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
9. Network, network, network
Engagement is good for your blog followers; networking is good for your soul.
Despite the competition, bloggers are a part of a vast and supportive community. Networking not only provides more opportunities for your name and blog to get out there; it also provides you with the opportunity to connect with others you can learn from, collaborate with, and lean on.
Having an influential fashion blogger know your name is priceless in this business, so get out there and attend meetups, conventions, and industry events. Rub elbows, connect, and be sure to remember others' names, too.
"Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, marketing your uniqueness,
marketing what you stand for."
-Christine Comaford-Lynch, businesswoman and serial entrepreneur