So you want to be a fashion blogger?
The one question above all others that I am most frequently asked, is how to become a fashion blogger. Whether that’s old school friends who fancy trying it out, or aspiring bloggers and YouTubers that watch my channel or follow on Instagram, I must receive hundreds of messages each week all asking for tips on how to start a blog, or how to up their game and become a successful fashion blogger.
Yes, it’s a competitive and crowded space but it’s also a booming industry, with 70% off brands now using influencers as part of their marketing strategy (according to Retail Drive, full article here) and this number is only set to grow as companies continue to get fantastic results and return on investment – this means there’s definitely opportunity for new and upcoming fashion bloggers, so don’t hesitate – if you’re passionate about fashion and content creation, there’s plenty of space for you. Done the right way, becoming a blogger allows you to be creative with your fashion, inspire others with your outfit choices, and perhaps one day even make a living from it.
The first tip and advice I give people, whether that’s replying to comments or when chatting to friends, it’s to just start. You can’t contemplate it for months on end – you’ve got to just go for it, start snapping your outfits on your iPhone, get yourself set up with a blogspot domain and start typing. I wish I’d started sooner (YouTube especially!) and of course the first step is to have your blog, start creating some imagery, and hit publish. My advice from the outset is that it is not as easy as it looks. There’s so much more to creating and maintaining a blog that there appears to be on the surface, and often I see people starting up their own blog and then a few weeks later it has become a forgotten past time project. A successful blog requires months and months of dedication and commitment – and yep, chances are you may not have hundreds or thousands of readers when you first get started, so having patience is key.
Find Your Point of Difference
When you’re just starting out, you need to figure out how you are different to the other bloggers out there already. What makes you stand out? The blogging industry doesn’t need another Fashion Mumblr or Zoella (lol not that we are regularly compared!!) so make the most of the fact that you have total creative freedom to come up with your own style, your own trends and your own blogging style.
Naturally you may be inspired by other bloggers and there are certainly blogging trends that you’ll want to be a part of too, but just because the other beauty bloggers are taking their flatlay photos on marble tables with pink peonies in the background, doesn’t mean you have to as well. Do it your way, create some fresh and exciting content – especially when you’re starting out, it’s your points of difference that will make you stand out from the crowd.
Focus on High Quality Content
Whether it’s on your instagram, YouTube or blog, if you’re producing amazing content, you’ll soon see the rewards. When you’ve got a great foundation, say six months to a year of beautiful imagery and well written posts, you’ll start to build a loyal audience, brands will start to notice, you may start to get some invitations to events etc, but first of all you need to have found your voice and your point of view so that your audience know what they’re following for.
I recommend clear and crisp imagery – you don’t need a photographer, many of my early stage blog photos were taken on a tripod during my lunch breaks (including this one, woah – throwback!) or by friends on days out like this one – my first ever OOTD post! (I paid them back in Coffees & Chocolates) and yes – your phone camera is most definitely good enough for those initial blog photos, and even for filming clips for YouTube videos too. Maintain a consistent posting schedule, and have clear photos that aren’t overly edited or filtered and let your content seek for itself!
The Importance of Instagram
Instagram is often a followers first point of contact with a blogger and it’s important to build your brand on the platform. Instagram is a quick and easy way to consume content, and while the blog is still very important, Instagram is a the best platform for showcasing imagery of your daily outfits. A lot of bloggers, myself included, notice that while traffic remains high on their blogs, the comments section sees less engagement because people are looking at, and discussing my pictures on Instagram. Interaction is done on Instagram, and then people will come over to your blog for more information, lies to buy etc.
This blog post I wrote over a year ago about upping your Instagram Fashion Game is still very relevant, all the tips I shared last year are still very true and accurate!
Pay Attention to your Analytics
This is one area that I can get a little obsessed with, but no matter how quickly your channels grow, you need to remember why you blog, and why people follow you. The most successful bloggers understand that there’s a great importance in tracking your analytics – this will help you to understand who you are talking to, where they shop, how much they’re spending, where they’re from, and what kind of content they like. Why not create questionnaires to find out more about your audience? But also use Instagram Insights, Google Analytics, and YouTube insights to ensure you know who you’re talking to.
Learn to Say No – from the word Go.
It’s important to remember that what’s right for you, is not necessarily what someone else is doing. Right from the start it’s important to consider your own personal brand, in a truthful and organic way. With this in mind it’s crucial to consider every brand opportunity that may come your way and consider if the brand is right for you. There are lots of apps out there now that allow you to start making an income as soon as you have a few thousand instagram followers, but my advice would be to be very selective as to which collaborations you accept.
Take the Love Island contestants for example. They’ve come out of the villa and suddenly their Instagram feeds are filled with adverts for diet shakes and teeth whitening toothpaste – yes they have earned a few hundred pounds for it, but their integrity and ‘influence’ is almost immediately discredited and when (and if) in the future they choose to endorse something that they genuinely believe them, their audience simply won’t believe their recommendations.
So yes, it may be tempting to earn a quick bit of extra cash by promoting that new cereal bar or whisky on your feed, but it may just be doing you more damage than good. The thing that separates people with a decent Instagram following to genuine ‘influencers’ is that the latter will be selective with what they promote, because there is nothing more important to us than trust from our followers. We recognise that our audience take our recommendations very seriously, so the minute we start promoting random products, that trust starts to get broken down.
As well as this, brands look at those kinds of random one off sponsored posts in a very negative light, you are potentially putting future long term collaborations or ambassadorships at risk by accepting one off sponsored posts. A close friend of mine works in PR for a luxury makeup brand and she said they have an absolute ruling to not work with influencers who create this kind of sponsored content on a regular basis.
I know, it’s very hard to turn down the cash and it seem easy to accept a few hundred pounds just for posting a photo, but if you’re in this for the long run, it’s just not worth damaging your integrity in the early stages.
Phew! That last point felt like a lecture but as you can tell, it’s something I feel pretty passionately about.
I would love to know if you have any more tips for becoming a successful fashion blogger, or anything else to add? Let me know in the comments below!
What I Wore
Jumper dress by Boss Orange
Boots by Chloe
Bag by Chloe
Ring by Monica Vinader
Necklace by Astrid & Miyu
Earrings by Topshop