So you want to be a fashion blogger?
Fashion blogs have been around since the dawn of online magazines, but instead of losing popularity, they’ve evolved over time into an industry in their own right – and have become much more sophisticated thanks largely to the technology available to WordPress users.
Whether you’re looking to indulge your passion for fashion, market your business, or generate an online revenue stream, having your own fashion blog can be a rewarding and lucrative endeavor. Here’s how to get started….
Why start a fashion blog?
There are many good reasons to start your own fashion or style blog: Not least because it’s a highly sought-after area of blogging, which means readers are actively looking for good content.
Also, unlike other industries and topics, the fashion industry offers a huge amount of scope. This means that you can make your blog stand out from the crowd by putting your own stamp on your content and making it all about you.
If you already work in the fashion industry or have your own fashion business, a blog can be a great way to promote yourself while giving readers some insight.
If you want to start a fashion blog just for the fun of it or to make an online income, the key to success is to choose a topic that really interests you so that your blog doesn’t get bogged down.
We’ve also written about how to start a lifestyle blog or a travel blog if that’s more your thing.
How to start a fashion blog
If you’re new to fashion blogging, WordPress gives you the advantage of being a highly customizable content management system that’s relatively easy to use. To get started, check out our tips and tutorials in previous blog posts.
Content is key
While good design and functionality are crucial to making a good first impression, any self-respecting fashion blogger will tell you that content is key when it comes to building an audience and keeping your readers coming back for more.
Good content is the lifeblood of a successful blog – but that doesn’t mean you need a master’s degree in creative writing or write thousands of words about style every other day to engage your audience.
Quite the opposite – good content can take many forms, and one of the great things about fashion blogs is that they lend themselves to including content that isn’t necessarily text.
Offering different types of content is a great way to keep your blog fresh and keep your readers excited…. And perhaps just as importantly, your own.
Written content is a great way to engage your readers and provide them with information, but it also has the added benefit of being good for SEO.
If you take care to include relevant and targeted keywords in your writing, you increase your chances of that content ranking well in organic search results. However, search engines recognize the difference between high-quality content and copy that has been stuffed with keywords, so always write for humans, not algorithms.
Fashion may be visual, but there’s still plenty you can write about to provide useful information to your audience.
You could report on a new trend, write a post about an up-and-coming designer, write a how-to post on styling, or share your thoughts on style icons and heroes. An editorial calendar is a great way to keep the momentum going and provide your readers with a steady stream of content.
Fashion is very visual, so no matter what niche your blog focuses on, you need to include lots of high-quality images to illustrate your topics and encourage reader engagement.
People are drawn to photos, and images can be a great way to break up sections of text. In fashion blogs, images can also serve as standalone content because they convey visual information immediately.
Whether you’re sharing your own images, stock images, or product images, use photo gallery plugins to display your images beautifully and responsively for maximum impact.
For SEO reasons, make sure you title and caption your images with relevant keywords. Make it easy for your readers to share your images on social media – especially Pinterest – and use social share plugins to grow your audience.
Videos are one of the most attractive content media (next to Google, YouTube is the most searched platform in the world). That’s why you’ll hardly find a successful fashion blogger who doesn’t use them in the age of social sharing.
Thanks to widely available and easy-to-use platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Vine, any fashion blogger with a smartphone can create video content to embed in their posts or share on their social accounts.
You can create videos on virtually any topic – from a post explaining right on camera why you think trend X is going to be big this summer, to a how-to tutorial on organizing your closet, to a funny stop-motion clip showing how to easily style a particular fashion piece.
Like images, videos are also considered “sticky content,” meaning they’re the content people are most likely to share with their social networks and friends. Make it easy for them by including share buttons on your pages and in your posts. YouTube clips also tend to rank well in organic search results, so you can build your audience with good video content on this platform.
How to follow trending topics … and catch the fashion zeitgeist
Fashion, by definition, is fleeting – which is why it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and topics as a fashion blogger.
Gone are the days when a fashionista could simply pick up the latest issue of Vogue to stay up to date…. So how does a modern stylist stay up to date on all things chic and avoid writing posts about trends that are just 10 minutes old?
BuzzFeed has a knack for picking up stories just before they go viral (or maybe they go viral because they appear on BuzzFeed), and their style section often features a wealth of fashionable content, top 10 lists, and news.
Want to stay ahead of the pack?
Check out BuzzFeed Trending to see what’s hot right now and the top posts of the week.
Google Trends is a bit different, showing the latest searches for your location (which you can edit via a handy dropdown menu).
On the cool and clean Google interface, you can choose to view 1 – 25 trending topics at a time, or see a more detailed breakdown of trending data.
NewsWhip is the team behind paid content discovery tool Spike. The news app is free and offers relevant trending content that you can filter by location.
The app also shows how many times a particular article has been shared on Facebook and Twitter, and offers the option to show only fashion-related trending content if you filter by topic in the left navigation.
Trend Hunter, the original trend-watching organization, is powered by a global network of 155,000 members and 3 million fans.
While they offer Pro Trends for businesses as a premium subscription, the Ideas section is free and can be filtered by topics like fashion, life, design and more.
Check out the suggested items – each item has stats on popularity, activity, demographics and more.
Twitter brought the idea of Trending Topics into the collective consciousness of the fashion blogosphere, and it remains one of the most popular sources for discovering topical content online.
When you’re logged in, Twitter can show you Trending Topics that the algorithm thinks are relevant to your brand. In Twitter Search, you’ll find the top trending topics listed at the bottom of the search bar. If you search for topics like fashion, you’ll find relevant top news stories, related articles, and search queries.
Trust your own instincts
Even though algorithms speed up the process of spotting trending topics, your own intuition is unbeatable when it comes to spotting trends that are relevant to your readers.
Continue to regularly browse the pages of your own favorite fashion resources and watch for recurring themes – especially if they seem to be shared and commented on frequently on social media.
Whether you bookmark and take time to browse, or set up a feed of your most popular sources to reach you in your inbox or app of choice, reading regularly will not only keep you in the loop, but will also make you a better writer.
Presentation is key
Fashion is all about imagination, style and aesthetics. That’s why it’s important for fashion bloggers to use a great design. After all, will new readers really take your advice seriously if your blog looks like a LiveJournal from the early 2000s? Or will they click the back button on their browser faster than you can say Louboutin?
You don’t have to spend vast sums to get a good-looking blog, but you should make sure that you present your content in an inviting way and that your site is easy to navigate. Form and function are equally important, but with WordPress’ free (and paid) plugins, you can easily spruce up your site.
With button plugins, links to related content and posts, and a responsive display of important secondary content in the sidebar, you can make sure your site is uncluttered and easy to navigate and explore.
Take a look at some of your favorite fashion blogs and pay attention to what design aspects appeal to you.
Do you like minimalism or lots of energy?
What design elements do you find distracting or unappealing?
Create a Pinterest board with examples you like so you can better plan the ideal presentation of your own blog. If you’re working with a web developer or theme customizer, they can give you expert advice on how to appeal to your target audience.
If you want to create a revenue stream with blogging, fashion blogging is a great choice – especially because of the great potential for affiliate income you can generate with a variety of popular fashion labels and online stores.
And once you have a steady readership, you can make even more money by selling ad space on your blog, writing paid sponsored posts, or partnering with brands for advertising.
For the basics on how to make money with your blog, check out our previous posts:
- Monetize your blog
- Monetize with blog ads
- Monetizing with affiliate links
- FAQs on monetization
If you’re primarily interested in generating revenue through fashion affiliates, there are some popular options for fashion affiliates:
If you want to leverage your readership and make money from brands, you need a sleek and reputable blog that attracts attention and aligns with the values of the brands you want to promote.
Don’t be afraid to contact brands directly to make them aware of your site, and let them know you’re available for sponsored posts and other forms of advertising. Be prepared to justify the value you have to offer, because every brand wants proof that their investment is worth it.
Advertising: build your audience
A fantastic fashion blog with great content is worth little if no one reads it. New readers coming to you through organic search results takes time. So if you want to start building your audience now, you need to put self-promotion on your priority list.
You can promote your fashion blog in a number of ways, but always keep your target audience in mind to make sure you’re reaching the right people. If you’re starting out, you can send a link to your friends and family and ask them to share it with you, or – if you’re in the fashion industry – promote your blog on your existing website and marketing materials to get the ball rolling.
Another good option is to buy affordable ad space on other relevant blogs that are already reaching the right people, or invest in Google Adwords if you know exactly the target audience and interests.
Social media is one of the most valuable advertising tools for bloggers and for two reasons.
The first reason is, of course, that you can promote your blog on social media for free, which is a great advantage for newbie bloggers with a small budget. The second big advantage of social media is that it gives you the opportunity to show engagement from the moment a potential reader sees your brand.
Social media is just that: it’s social. It’s about having conversations and sharing ideas, which is a great extension of blogging.
When you do that in an authentic way, you create a conversation that draws those people to your blog for more information and to continue the conversation – especially if you allow comments on your blog.
New social platforms are coming up all the time, but the big names are obvious. Having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and YouTube – which collectively have millions of users – is a great way to attract new people to your brand, build an engaged following and encourage social sharing so your readers share your content and promote your blog for you.
You don’t have to have a presence on every social platform if it doesn’t interest you – and an inactive presence can actually do your fashion blog brand more harm than good – but choose at least one or two platforms that you enjoy using and that are well-suited to the type of content you produce regularly.
Generating traffic for your fashion blog
You’ve started a beautifully designed fashion blog and filled it with great content… but when it comes to people finding you online, you’re at a bit of a loss. There’s little point in having a great blog if no one knows you exist. That’s why it’s important to generate traffic to build a solid following and make your site a success.
Wondering where all your potential fans are hiding? Here are five surefire places and means to find them, bring them to your site and turn them into real fans.
Inside the fashion community
Networks can play an important role in building a fan base. So find out which online communities best fit your needs and interests, and then join in!
Independent Fashion Bloggers is perhaps one of the most well-known and popular online communities for fashion bloggers. It provides a space to share experiences and resources, find other bloggers in your area, and promote your blog to the large IFB fan base.
Create your profile to be featured in the E-News Spotlight and submit your best posts to be included in the weekly Links a la Mode roundup.
Fans of Your Blogging Heroes
Guest posts and interviews are still an important tactic for fashion bloggers to increase traffic. So take advantage of the connections you’ve built in fashion bloggers’ online communities to invite contributions and offer original and relevant content.
Suggest guest posts to like-minded bloggers based on your area of expertise, or ask them if they’d like to give an interview for your blog on a specific topic (their tips for summer style/opening a fashion store on Etsy/their favorite online stores).
Guest posts and interviews can be beneficial for both fashion bloggers if you have a similar target market.
Make sure you both agree to link to each other and mention the use of images, etc.
The SM Junkies
Social media is now one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your fashion blog, so join the conversation and contribute something interesting and meaningful.
Get in the habit of posting your outfit of the day and your latest fashion finds on Instagram.
Create style boards and wish lists on Pinterest.
Discuss the merits of a good clutch bag on Twitter.
Create a video on YouTube showing how you upgrade a thrift store find, shop at a vintage store, or clean out your closet. You don’t have to be overly promotional.
Users will link to your page when they engage in conversation with you, so focus on real conversations and the traffic will follow.
You can also integrate your Instagram feed into your blog with these plugins.
Real life people
Yes, you can generate traffic for your fashion blog in real life too – especially if you attend local fashion events and get into the habit of socializing.
Potential fans and readers can be anywhere, such as the saleswoman you chatted with for 20 minutes on your last visit to the mall, or the woman you read Vogue next to on the train last week.
Print yourself a stack of business cards and keep them handy at all times.
That way, you’ll have something in hand to give people when you talk to them about your blog and encourage them to check out your content.
Keep up with the latest fashion hashtags and use them to make more relevant connections to your social feeds. Avoid overusing hashtags as this can come across as unprofessional. Instead, keyword your posts with two or three hashtags that are relevant to your content.
Popular fashion tags include #fashion, #shop, #streetstyle, #winterfashion, #summerfashion, #fashioninspo, #outfit, #ootd, #style, #tbt, #picoftheday and #instafashion. However, hashtag trends can change quickly, so it’s important to stay up to date so you don’t look outdated. You can check out websites like Taskant.com to see what tags are trending.
Inspiration and finding your fashion blog niche
No blogger is an island, so don’t be afraid to search the internet for inspiration and check out some of the current fashion blogs that are taking the world by storm. You can learn a lot by looking at the success of others, so browse and get inspired.
If you want to find your own style – and it’s in terms of writing, not clothes and accessories – you’ll need to consume a lot more than The Satorialist to feed your fashion blogging muse. Check out these 10 must-read blogs for inspiration and to see how the pros are building a niche and a following.
Christine Andrew discovered her love for fashion at a young age. With a degree in art and a minor in business, she founded Hello Fashion in December 2011 to showcase current trends in a fresh, inspiring way and communicate directly with “the everyday woman” while providing style inspiration and advice.
The Fashion Guitar
After working with several fashion blogs in her previous job, Charlotte realized she wanted to start her own blog – and so The Fashion Guitar was born. Today, she lives in New York and is a mom and blogger all in one. She writes about fashion, beauty, travel and personal style.
Harper & Harley
Fans of minimalism with an eye for monochromatic blacks, whites and grays love Harper & Harley – an Australian fashion and beauty blog written by Sara Donaldson.
The blogger regularly offers her readers inspiration for the perfect wardrobe essentials. The unique philosophy of relaxed chic has garnered international attention and led Sara to collaborate with leading brands such as Estée Lauder, YSL Beauté, Sephora, Tony Bianco, GHD, Gucci and Nike.
Prefer to approach style with a sense of humor? Then you should definitely put Leandra Medine’s Man Repeller on your fashion blog reading list.
The witty Leandra, who started her career with a blog called Boogers + Bagels, started her style guide after having a conversation with a friend while shopping about how “man-loathing” all the fashionable outfits she loves are.
Do you like lipstick, cats, vintage clothes and junk food? Then you’ll love the quirky posts of Carrie Harwood, who started blogging when LiveJournal was still around. Now WishWishWish is all about style, beauty and travel from the perspective of a country girl now living in London.
London-based freelance fashion stylist Alexandra Stedman shares thrifty tips and sage advice on finding bargains on the high street – for real people – on her blog The Frugality. For any bloggers who need a lesson in realism in an industry where maintaining appearances sometimes creates unrealistic expectations, her blog is definitely worth reading.
Are you looking for a great example of a fashion blog that breaks all the rules and dances to the beat of its own sense of style? Then check out the work of New York-based photographer Ari Seth Cohen. His blog Advanced Style contradicts the notion that fashion is only for the young, and is dedicated to “the style and stories of the silver-haired generation.”
What My Friend Wore
Fashion is not just for women, as the blog What My Boyfriend Wore by Sergio Ines shows. Originally started after his former girlfriend began documenting his outfits, the blog has since become a menswear sensation.
Rachel and Nicole
New York sisters Rachel and Nicole describe themselves as “not your typical blogosphere girls” and offer a quirky and youthful sense of fun and fashion adventure in their editorials.
Each offers a unique perspective on their style as they collaborate to create a cohesive and memorable reading experience. Rachel et Nicole shows how well collaboration can work when you find the right blogging partner.
Most fashion blogs are concerned with how to create an entire look by using different pieces of clothing – but style doesn’t always have to focus on the big picture. Sometimes it can even be useful to look at the details to learn more about a person’s personal style.
Such is the case with former jewelry designer Beanie Major’s blog, aptly named In Detail, which has become a go-to resource for fashionable jewelry lovers.
Remember, it’s one thing to be inspired by other fashion blogs, but it’s another to let your own blog become a carbon copy of what’s already out there. When you look at what’s already out there, think carefully about what you can bring to the table that other blogs can’t, what gap in the market you can fill, or what niche you could become a leader in.
To set yourself apart from all the other blogs, you need a unique selling point or selling proposition.
This could be that you’re targeting a very specific audience with your fashion (working moms, vegan teens), that your blog focuses exclusively on a certain fashion style (preppy, grunge, or corporate chic), or something completely different. Maybe casual wear for active dogs and their owners?
It’s worth remembering that the size of your potential audience depends on how precisely you narrow your niche. If you narrow down too much, you won’t be relevant to 98 percent of readers.
On the other hand, your uniqueness will make you the only source of useful information for the 2 percent of readers who are looking for exactly the kind of content you produce. Weigh your options carefully, but don’t let that stop you from the business of blogging. You can always adjust course later if you need to.