Over the last few months, we've been interviewing some of the most fabulous girls in the blogging community for our Blogger Inspiration series. We've learned about their styles, as well as who they are and what they do, but so far, we haven't looked at what it takes to be a style blogger yourself.
Judging from your comments, many of you have already started your own style blogs, or have at least considered it. And for good reason - fashion blogging is growing so fast, and for the first time ever, bloggers are being noticed and taken seriously in the fashion industry. There's truly never been a better time to blog about your style.
Whether you already have a style blog or are considering starting one, this guide will teach you the basics of fashion blogging. Of course, there is no right or wrong way to blog - this guide is designed to give you a rundown of the fundamentals, and the best tips we've gathered from our fashion blogger friends. We hope you find it helpful and informative!
4 Reasons You Should Start a Style Blog
Blogging looks great on a resume.
Blogging can give you a head start if you want to work in certain industries (fashion, journalism, marketing, media, etc.) - it not only gives you relevant experience in your field, but it's also just a great way to show you can commit to something and follow through. With the growth of blogging in the fashion community, a style blog can give your resume a little boost above the rest.
It's a great way to document your style.
Blogging your outfits on a regular basis is a fantastic way to develop your style and get a feel for what looks good on you. It also forces you to make more of an effort - knowing you have to photograph your outfit a few times a week will encourage you to really look at everything you own and make new combinations. Your blog can also act as a personal style journal that you can look back through when you can't remember which shoes you wore with that dress.
You'll be part of a great community.
While there can be lots of negativity in the blogging world, most of the style bloggers you'll meet will be lovely people. The good ones are all very encouraging and excited to meet other girls in the same boat. Many bloggers even arrange meet-ups or swaps in their area so you can make a bunch of new friends.
At the end of the day, the best reason to blog is for the enjoyment. Whether you end up loving the challenge of getting dressed in something new and unique every day, taking pictures, or just having your voice heard, you'll likely find some aspect of blogging entertaining and fun.
Getting Started with Your Style Blog: The Basics
So you've decided you want to start a style blog. Awesome!! What's next? Here are a few steps to help get you started.
Read other blogs.
This is perhaps the best piece of advice anyone can give you: Read blogs in the area in which you want to write yourself.
While we don't encourage copying or imitating other blogs, reading as many blogs as you can will give you an idea of what you want your blog to be like, or how you want it to be different from the rest. Look at the way your favorite bloggers communicate with the reader; are they open about themselves and their lives? Do they focus just on clothes, or are there other topics? Is there mainly photography, or just a few pictures? These are all questions you need to consider for your own blog, too.
Find your niche.
Admittedly, many style blogs are depressingly similar, but the most successful ones are different from the rest. So think about it: What will make your blog stand out from the crowd? Copying someone else's blog idea is never going to lead to success, so it's best to find your own "niche", and stay true to your own perspective on style.
Finding your niche can be difficult, but it helps to think about what makes YOUR style different from everyone else's, and how your perspective is unique. For more on this, see our next tip.
Write about what interests you.
Passionate about shoes? Write a shoe blog. Love finding designer-inspired pieces for cheap? Focus on this. You can always tell the bloggers who are genuinely interested and engaged in what they write about, whether it's high fashion, or day-to-day aspects of their lives.
Some bloggers include lots of information about what they've been doing, kind of a personal diary, and this is a great way to engage your reader. Not your thing? It doesn't have to be! If you'd rather post images and a little description, go for it. If you'd rather write objectively, put aside the personal stuff and tell it like it is! There are no hard and fast rules, just do what you like!
Get involved in the blogging community.
Sites like Chictopia, Lookbook, Independent Fashion Bloggers and Weardrobe are great places to meet new bloggers and learn about blogging. Blogging is all about give and take - if you read lots of blogs and leave interesting, engaging comments on their posts, they might come visit your blog in return!
However, whatever you do, don't just leave “follow me and I'll follow you”, or "check out my blog!!" comments everywhere you go - this makes you look like a spammer and is the quickest way to annoy people and ensure your favorite bloggers probably won't visit your site. (More on this later.)
3 Characteristics of a Great Style Blog
While I said before that all blogs are different, and that's what makes them great, but there are a few characteristics most style blogs share that makes them great.
1. Clean, easy-to-navigate layout
Layouts can be tricky, especially if you're not tech-y, so it's best to stick to some of the default options at first. Just avoid anything too cluttered - confetti falling all over the screen and music playing are no-nos.
2. Regular updates
You don't have to update every day - few bloggers have time to do that - and of course you can take some time off every now and again, but try to update at least once a week and, most of all, be consistent. A few times a week at the start is usually enough to get your motivated.
3. Good quality photographs
The link between style blogging and photography is interesting - many style bloggers are also photographers. You don't have to invest in a fancy DSLR from the start, but a tripod and remote are great things to have if you're going to take your own pictures. Try to take photos in good lighting (a lot of bloggers take photos outside and take advantage of natural light) and don't over-edit them.
What the Bloggers Say...
In our Blogger Inspiration interviews, we asked each blogger what advice they would give to someone starting a blog. Here's what they said...
“Do it! It’s a great way to have a creative outlet and to be inspired/share inspiration. Also, don’t blog to get followers and always be yourself. I think people see huge bloggers like The Clothes Horse or Fashion Toast and they think that they can start a blog and it will just ‘get big’ on its own without effort, but the truth is that those bloggers spent years honing their blogs and bringing great content to their readers. And I think first and foremost they started blogging because it was fun and they loved it – they didn’t do it to become famous. Blogging to get followers or comments is missing the point.” - Elizabeth of Delightfully Tacky
“You have to be committed to whatever it is you are blogging about, because it is harder work than it looks. I myself am guilty of not posting as much as I would like, but blogging does suck up a lot of time. If you are passionate though, you will be okay.” - Georgina of Cupcake's Clothes
“As cliche as it sounds, be yourself! Most of the girls who try to be their favorite blogger or try to rip someone else off never make it… and never really have fun because they aren’t themselves! Take what makes you unique and showcase it on your blog – whatever it may be! Michigan, style and the corny adventures Brett and I take are my life… and who would have thought my readers would have liked to read about those things? I had no idea, but I went with it… and now I have something that is my own.”- Tieka of Selective Potential
“Write about what you love and create as much of your own content as possible. The best thing you can bring to a blog is your unique perspective so utilize that as much as possible by creatively expressing your point of view through words, images, videos; whatever works for you.” - Rebecca of The Clothes Horse
"Blogging takes a lot of time, so you have to love it. Try to have continuity in your posting schedule, interact with your readers, utilize social networking platforms (such as twitter, facebook, lookbook and others) and focus on your content. Also, join IFB (heartifb.com)!" - Keiko Lynn
Want More Advice?
There are countless guides to fashion blogging around the internet once you start looking. Independent Fashion Bloggers regularly posts blogging guides and a weekly list of links submitted by bloggers that have some great advice. Another great idea, even if you're already a blogging, is to check out the Indie Conference, written by Elizabeth of Delightfully Tacky and Tieka of Selective Potential, which has some great advice from two of our favorite bloggers.
Finally, bloggers themselves have written some great blogging guides. Check out: 10 Reasons Why I Unsubscribed From Your Blog, The Many Hats a Successful Blogger has to Wear, How to Make Your Style Blog Big, and one of our favorites, How to Become a Star Style Blogger.
What do you think? Would you consider starting a personal style blog of your own? Was this advice helpful? Let us know in the comments!