Fashion-focused blogs have been around since the earliest online journals began to emerge, but rather than peter out in popularity over time they’ve evolved into an industry in their own right – and have become far more sophisticated – thanks largely to the technology available to WordPress users.
Whether you want to tap into your passion for fashion, cross promote your business or generate an online revenue stream, starting your own fashion blog – and developing an avid following of readers – is simple with our key tips.
Why Start a Fashion Blog?
There are tons of great reasons to launch your own fashion or style blog: not least because it’s a high-demand field of blogging, which means readers are actively seeking out great content. What’s more, unlike other more limiting industries and subjects, fashion offers a huge scope to explore, which means you can make your blog stand out from the pack but imbruing your content with your own unique spin and subject matter.
If you’re already working in the fashion industry, or have your own fashion-driven business, a blog can be a great way to promote yourself while offering an inside-scoop for readers.
If you want to start a fashion blog for the love of it, or to generate some online income, the key to success is ensuring the subject you choose is one that you’re genuinely interested in to keep your blogging momentum going.
We’ve also written about starting a lifestyle blog if that’s more your thing.
If you’re new to blogging, WordPress offers users the advantage of a highly customizable content management system that’s relatively easy to use. To get started, check out our tips and tutorials via past blog posts. In particular, be sure to read:
Premium Fashion Themes and Templates:
- Where to Find a Freelance WordPress Developer for Theme Customization
- Creating a Brief for Your WordPress Developer
- Affordable Design Options for Small Businesses
Content is Key
While great design and functionality are crucial in making a good first impression, any blogger worth their salt will testify to the adage that content is the key when it comes to building an audience and ensuring your readers return for more. Great content is the lifeblood of a successful blog – but that doesn’t mean you require a masters in creative writing or need to write thousand-word soliloquys on style every other day to keep your audience interested.
On the contrary – great content can come in many forms, and one of the great advantages of fashion blogs is that they lend themselves to the inclusion of content that isn’t necessarily copy-driven. Offering a feast of different types of content can be a great way to keep your blog fresh, and maintain the enthusiasm of your readers… and perhaps just as importantly, yourself.
Written content is a great means of engaging your readers and providing them with information, but it also has the added benefit of being great for SEO. When you’re mindful of incorporating relevant and targeted keywords throughout your copy, you help increase your chances of that content ranking well in organic search results. Search engines know the difference between quality content and copy that’s been keyword-stuffed, though, so always write for people, rather than algorithms.
Fashion may be visual, but there’s still tons you can write about to offer useful information to your audience. You might review a new trend, write a feature on an emerging designer, create a How To style post on styling, or share your thoughts on style icons and heroes. Creating an editorial calendar is a great way to sustain momentum and a steady stream of content flowing for your readers.
Fashion is highly visual, which means whatever niche your blog focuses on, you’ll need to incorporate a lot of high quality images to illustrate your topics and support audience engagement. People are drawn to photographs, and images can be a great way to break up chunks of copy. For fashion blogs images can also serve well as content in their own right, since they offer an immediacy of visual information.
Whether you’re sharing your own images, stock images, or product images, make use of photo gallery plugins to display your images beautifully and responsively for maximum impact. For SEO purposes, be sure to title and caption your images with relevant keywords, and make it easy for your readers to share your images across social media – particularly Pinterest – with social share plugin buttons to help grow your audience.
Video is one of the most engaging content mediums (in fact, aside from Google, YouTube is the world’s most widely searched platform) which is why you’ll be hard-pressed to find a successful fashion blogger not making use of it in our age of social sharing.
Thanks to widespread and easy to use platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and Vine, any blogger with a smartphone can create video content to embed into their posts, or share across their social accounts. And you can create video content about virtually anything – from a direct-to-camera piece on why you think Trend X is going to be big this summer, to a How-To tutorial on organizing your wardrobe, to a quirky stop-motion clip illustrating easy ways to style a particular fashion staple.
Like images, video is considered sticky content, meaning it’s the type of content that people are most likely to share with their social networks and friends. Make it easy for them by adding social sharing buttons to your pages and posts. YouTube clips also tend to rank well in organic search results, so creating great video content on this platform can really help you build your audience.
Presentation is Paramount
Fashion is all about fantasy, style and aesthetic appeal, so it’s vital for fashion bloggers to employ great design. After all – will new readers really take your advice seriously if your blog looks like an early 2000s LiveJournal throwback? Or will they hit the back button on their browser faster than you can say Louboutin?
You don’t need to spend megabucks to get a great-looking blog, but you should be mindful of presenting your content in an inviting way, and making your site easy to navigate. Form and function are equally important, but WordPress can make light work of whipping your site into shape with its readily available free (and premium) plugins.
Browse some of your favorite blogs, keeping in mind which aspects of design resonate with you. Do you like minimalism, or high energy? What design elements do you find jarring or unappealing? Create a Pinterest board of examples you like to make it easier to map out the ideal presentation of your own blog. If you’re working with a web developer or theme customizer, they’ll be able to provide expert advice on appealing to your target audience.
If your interest in blogging is to create an online revenue stream, fashion blogging is a great choice – chiefly due to the powerful potential for affiliate income that can be earned though the plethora of popular fashion labels and online stores. What’s more, once you gain a solid readership, you can earn more income by selling ad space on your blog, writing paid sponsored posts, or working with brands for promotion.
For the basics on earning money form your blog, check out our past posts:
If you’re most interested in generating revenue through fashion affiliates, some popular dedicated fashion options include:
If you’re looking to leverage your readership and make money working with brands, you’ll need a sleek and reputable blog that attracts attention, and aligns itself with the values of the brands you want to promote. Don’t be afraid to contact brands directly to get their eyes on your site, and let them know you’re available for sponsored posts and other forms of promotion. Be prepared to justify the value you have to offer, since any brand will want evidence that their investment will be worthwhile.
Promotion: Build Your Audience
There’s little value in having a fantastic fashion blog serving up great content if no one is reading it. New readers coming to you via organic search results can take time, so if you want to start building your audience now, you’ll need to add self-promotion to your list of priorities.
You can promote your blog in a number of ways, but always keep your target audience in mind to ensure you reach the right people. When you’re starting out, you might send a link to your friends and family and ask them to share the love, or – if you’re in the fashion industry – promote your blog across your existing website and marketing materials to get the ball rolling.
Purchasing affordable ad space on other relevant blogs – who are already reaching your right people – can be another good option, as can investing in Google Adwords if you’re specific about the demographic and interests you want to target.
Social media is one of the most valuable promotional tools for bloggers, and it’s great for two reasons. The first being, obviously, that you can promote your blog effectively on social media for free, which is a huge bonus for newbie bloggers on a budget. The second key benefit of social media is that it gives you an opportunity to create engagement from the moment a prospective reader lays their eyes on your brand.
Social media is just that: it’s social. It’s about creating conversations and sharing ideas, which is a great extension of blogging. Social platforms allow you to reach out to, connect with and engage your ideal readers without barriers, and when you do so in a way that’s genuine and authentic, you create a conversation that will draw those people to your blog for more information, and to keep the conversation going – particularly if you allow blog comments.
New social platforms are emerging all the time, but the big names are obvious. Being across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and YouTube – which collectively host millions of users – is a great way to get new eyes on your brand, cultivate an engaged following, and encourage social sharing, so your readers want to share your content to promote your blog for you. You needn’t have a presence on every social platform if it doesn’t interest you – and having an inactive presence can actually do your blog brand more harm than good – but choose at least one or two platforms that you enjoy using socially, and which lend themselves well to the kind of content you regularly produce.
Want to know more? Check out our post dedicated to Real Engagement on Social Media.
Inspiration and Finding Your Fashion Blog Niche
No blogger is an island, so don’t be afraid to do some inspiration seeking around the web and check out some of the current fashion blogs taking the world by storm. You can learn a lot by taking note of the success of others, so get browsing and be inspired.
20 of the most popular, unique and quirky fashion-focused blogs include, in alphabetical order:
- The Business of Fashion
- The Coveteur
- Cupcakes & Cashmere
- Fashion Bomb Daily
- Fashion Gone Rogue
- Garance Doré
- The Glamourai
- Independent Fashion Bloggers
- Into The Gloss
- Man Repeller
- The Satorialist
- What I Wore
Remember, it’s one thing to draw inspiration from other fashion blogs, but it’s another to let your own blog become a photocopy of what’s already out there. While looking at the existing offerings, think carefully about what you can bring to the table that other blogs can’t, what gap in the current market you can fill, or what niche you could become a leader in.
To set yourself apart from every other blog out there, you’ll need a point of difference or unique selling proposition. It could be that you target fashion towards a very specific audience (working mums, vegan teens), or your blog focuses solely on a certain style of fashion (preppy or grunge or corporate chic), or something else entirely. Leisurewear for active dogs and their owners, perhaps?
It pays to keep in mind that how specific you make your niche will significantly determine the size of your potential audience, but this can be both good and bad. Limit yourself too much and you won’t be relevant to 98 percent of readers. But, on the other hand, by being so unique you’ll be the sole source of useful information for the 2 percent of readers looking for exact the kind of content you’re producing. Weigh up your options carefully, but don’t’ let it get in the way of the business of blogging. You can always adjust course later if need be.
Have a question about fashion blogging that we haven’t covered here? Have another helpful tip or link to share? Be sure to share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.