There was a time when the front row of top fashion shows were reserved for the likes of celebrity A-listers. More and more fashion designers and PR firms are filling the front row with influential bloggers and social media engagers. The face of the front row is changing for fashion weeks. I recently recieved a note through my about.me page wanting my “expert” advice on starting a fashion blog. I quickly responded back that I would hardly refer to myself as an “expert” in the medium of blogging, but I am someone with experience that I would be happy to share.
DON’T JUST JUMP IN THE POOL
When it comes to starting your blog, take your time to do the prep work. I am in the process of relaunching my personal blog at the end of April. The biggest lesson I have learned from the past is to make sure that I don’t slack in the prep work. The more you prepare, the more likely it is that your blog will be successful. Keep in mind that you not only need to know a lot about your area of interest, but also be familiar with the topics of Branding, Social Media, and BRANDING! (Yep. I mentioned it twice on purpose!)
While, logistically setting up a blog and publishing content is not overly complicated, remember that a blog is usually a labor of love. It takes a lot of time and effort to build, promote, and get a hang of what the hell you are doing. Don’t expect that your first post will generate hundreds of visitors. You will have to work hard to get and KEEP your readers. You have to be consistent AND original!
Personally, I started blogging when I couldn’t find quality content that I connected with. My ideal blog is a combination of Vice, Interview, Paper, and Nylog. All that in one spot? And I would be a happy camper!
FIND A FOREVER HOME
I started with setting up a Tumblr account. It was a great starting spot. HINT! HINT! I could quickly and easily post and comment on fashion related content I found around the web. Tumblr is one of the three main services that are great for starting your blog, the others being WordPress and Blogger. The best thing is that all of them are free and pretty easy to learn. Just make sure that you do your homework and love the service you choose. Ideally it will be the forever home of your blog. Your readers will not want to have to bounce all around the internet to find you.
Pattern’s blog is hosted by WordPress and my current personal blog is hosted by Blogger. The generic attributes to look for are: layout options, level of customization, media upload options, and ease of formatting posts. WordPress and Blogger both offer the options of registering a customizable domain name for your blog for a nominal fee. You can also purchase other attributes that you might want to add later to your blog.
Don’t rush into finding where your blog home is going to be. Think FOREVER HOME.
“FRANKIE SAYS RELAX”
If you have done all your prep work right, the rest is simple (not easy, but simple!). Relax and enjoy blogging. Just make sure you are being original and know what you are talking about. Being a blogger doesn’t make you an expert, but gives a medium to share perspective and opinion. Personally, I write about things that I would want to read. Pick a niche and stick with it. Don’t write about women’s formal wear one post and the next talk about men’s urban street trends. A reader wants to come to your blog because they know what you are going to talk about. And I can’t say this enough times: Don’t be generic! Create original content for your blog. There is an endless black hole of redcarpet/celebrity fashion commentary. If you’re passionate about that subject, figure out how you can do it in an original way.
Stay true to yourself. People want to read content that has personality. There have been times I have played it safe with a post and regretted that choice. I have talked to other bloggers who have people who disagree with their posts but still read every week because of the personality. A reader is a reader when you are competing for traffic to you blog.
Remember in the 90’s where that phrase was plastered on everything? The point is that while preparation is important, don’t use it as an excuse to put off starting your blog if that’s what you really want to do. There is only so much prep you can do. I say just go for it. Most valuable lessons you’ll learn will come through doing!
If you are really serious about starting your fashion/style blog, I recommend doing 4 things after you have read my post:
– Follow me on twitter @_Jeremiah_ and @Patternindy. Keep us posted on what’s happening on your blog! Engage with us! You will also want to find other fashion and style bloggers and editors to follow.
– Check out TentBlogger. John is a professional blogger and has a great archive of blog posts all geared toward the beginner blogger. You will also want to add Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) to your favorites or bookmarks. IFB is a good resource geared to fashion bloggers.
– Start drafting your first post. If you feel that you are great at writing but don’t know if you want to start your own blog, how about a test run? Pattern is always considering new contributors to our blog. You can find contributor guidelines here. It is a great opportunity to add to the fashion culture of Indianapolis and get some exposure for yourself!
– Save April 26 on your calendar because Style Blogger extraordinaire Jessica Quirk of What I Wore, will be our guest speaker at the Pattern meetup and will share a lot of information about how she found her niche, her voice and has a readership numbering in the tens of thousands. (Be sure to register at meetup.com to be the first to know when FREE registration opens for this event. The meetups are usually limited to 100 people so if you want in, don’t wait too long to register.)
*As a side note my advice is from my perspective and experience. Please feel free to leave your advice in the comments below or tweet us @Patternindy or send it to me directly @_Jeremiah_