How to Start a Fashion Blog
Blogging is a very productive past time. Not only does it help to get your name out there and build your credibility, but it also opens the flood gates for industry connections and for your styling capabilities to continuously evolve. While we’ve all seen at least one fashion blog, it can be intimidating when thinking of starting your own. In this post, I’ll walk you through how to start a fashion blog with an emphasis on starting small and keeping both the cost and time commitment as low as possible.
1. Deciding on a Platform
The two most popular blogging platforms are WordPress and Blogger. Both have their pros and cons, though WordPress generally requires a stronger understanding of HTML and CSS if you plan on customizing the appearance. If you’re an HTML rookie, you’ll likely prefer Blogger and its interactive template designer that does the bulk of the work for you. Blogger is owned by Google as well, so you get all the SEO benefits associated with that – bonus! While we do love WordPress (it’s what we use for The Blog), it can be a little overwhelming for the beginner blogger. If ever you should decide to start with one and switch to another, both offer ways to import your existing blog posts and content so don’t think you’re stuck with whatever you choose to start with.
2. Choosing a Name
When it comes to choosing your blog’s name, think carefully. If you to make it super easy for your visitors to check back in with you, you should purchase the domain name to match your blog’s name. So, if your blog is going to be called Kate’s Fashion Stories you should check to see if katesfashionstories.com is available. What you name your blog should relate to its content and speak to who you are and what you’re saying. So, if you choose a name like “My Shoe Addiction”, readers will expect the bulk of your posts to be about shoes. You can always change your blog’s name down the road, but it’s better to be consistent and choose a great one from the start to avoid confusing readers and losing any page rank you might have gained.
If you’re not the best writer, don’t worry. Blogs are more informal than a website and are meant to be more conversational than formal. You should always check your writing for spelling and grammar errors (just copy and paste it into a Word doc or Google Drive to use one of their spell checkers) but it won’t be the end of the world if you make a mistake once in a while. If you really don’t feel comfortable writing, that’s okay too. Many of the most followed blogs are more image-heavy than anything else. Just be sure your images speak for themselves!
If you do plan on writing, be sure to write on-topic and in your own voice. Don’t try to sound like someone you’re not, and be consistent in the tone and type of language you use. Your readers want to hear from you and learn about your unique perspective, so really try to stay true to your opinion and voice whenever possible. Also, try not to look to other blogs for inspiration too regularly as you might unintentionally end up copying something they’ve done – another blogging no no. While looking at other blogs can be great once in a while and provide you with photo and topic ideas, you should never rely on what someone else is doing for your own blog. It’s about showing off who you are, after all.
If you plan on showcasing your daily outfits, be sure to either have a tripod and remote or have someone to snap some photos for you. Even the camera on most smart phones will do the trick when you’re just starting out. There’s no need to go out and buy an expensive DSLR when you’re just starting! Try different poses, play some music to feel more comfortable, and have fun. If you’re having a good time and smiling, your personality will come through much more in your photos than if you feel unhappy or out-of-place. We love Chiara of The Blonde Salad because she always looks like she’s having such a good time and it definitely comes through in her photos.
A second option for a fashion blog is to share “street style” photos. This would mean heading out on the town and snapping photos of other people. Be sure to get their permission before snapping a photo. It’s also a great chance to let them know who you are and what you do, so it’s kind of a two-in-one. Get pictures of outfits, textures, colors, and fabrics that inspire you. If you need some ideas as to how you should shoot street style, check out Streetpeeper.com. We love their mix of styles and photo types!
Thirdly, you could do something like My Style Diaries and post regular outfit inspiration and how-to collages. This eliminates the need for personal style photos or a camera at all, for that matter! Using Photoshop, Pixlr.com, or Polyvore you can create eye-catching collages and link your readers to where they can find each piece or something similar. Blogging collages can help you show off your range and that you can work with different styles and body types, and is a good idea to throw in once in a while even if you plan on uploading primarily personal style photos.
5. Getting Social
Use the power of social media to your advantage and drive more traffic to your blog from Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ and more. Pinterest is one of the easiest social platforms to use for a blogger, since all you have to do is upload a picture and it automatically links back to the page from which you grabbed it – meaning your blog! Twitter is a fabulous tool for a blogger as well, as it lets you follow fashion news and connect with like-minded people. Maybe you’ll meet another local blogger and can meet up to do outfit photos together? Perhaps you’ll connect with a local shop that wants to send an item to you to feature on your blog? The possibilities are endless.
6. Have Fun
Lastly, have fun with your blog. Don’t take it too seriously, but do understand that some people manage to blog full time and make quite a successful living from it! Try not to restrict yourself to a rigid posting schedule, but make sure you are uploading consistently. So, if you can only post something new once a week, then stick with it. If you want, and can, to post every single day – go for it. It’s your blog and how you choose to run it is up to you at the end of the day. 🙂
If you have a fashion blog, please leave your link in a comment. We’d love to check it out!