So you want to be a fashion blogger? 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 – can be a rewarding and lucrative endeavor. Here’s how to do it…
- Getting Started with hosting, WordPress themes and plugins
- Getting your content right
- How to tracking trending topics
- Blog design and presentation
- Generating Revenue
- Promoting your blog
- Generating traffic for your fashion blog
- Fashion blog inspiration
- Fashion bloggers using social media
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.
If you’re new to fashion 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:
- The best premium fashion themes for WordPress
- 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 fashion 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 fashion 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.
How to follow trending topics…tapping into the fashion zeitgeist
Fashion, by definition, is fleeting – so it’s important as a fashion blogger to stay attuned to the latest trends and topics. Gone are the days when a fashionista could simply grab the latest print issue of Vogue and feel in the loop… so how does a modern style maven stay in informed on all that is chic, and avoid writing posts on trends that are so 10-minutes ago?
BuzzFeed has a knack for picking up on stories just before they go viral (or perhaps they go viral because they’re featured on BuzzFeed), and their style section often features a wealth of fashion-focused content, top 10 lists and news items. Want to stay ahead of the pack? Check BuzzFeed Trending to see what’s hot right now, and to view their top posts of the week.
Google Trends is a little different, in that it shows the latest hot and trending searches for your location (which you can edit via a handy drop-down). View via Google’s cool and uber-clean interface, where you can choose whether to view 1 – 25 trending topics at a time, or check out a more in-depth breakdown of trending data.
NewsWhip are the team behind paid content discovery tool Spike, but their News App is free to use – offering relevant trending content that you can filter by location. The app also displays the number of times a particular article has been shared on Facebook and Twitter, and offers the option to view only fashion-related trending content when you filter by Topic along the left-hand navigation.
The original trend-watching organization, Trend Hunter is fueled by a global network of 155,000 members and 3-million fans. While they offer Pro Trends for businesses on a premium subscription basis, their Ideas section is free to use, and can be filtered by topics such as fashion, life, design and more. Browse their suggested articles – each of which are accompanied by stats on popularity, activity, demographics and more.
Twitter was responsible for bringing the idea of trending topics into the collective consciousness of the fashion blogosphere, and remains one of the most popular resources for discovering trending content online. If you’re logged in, Twitter can show you trending topics its algorithm believes are relevant to your brand. Head to Twitter Search for the skinny on the top un-tailored trends, listed along the bottom of the search bar. Search topics – such as fashion – and you’ll find relevant top news, related articles and searches.
Trust Your Own Instincts
While algorithms speed up the process of discovering trending topics, you can’t beat your own intuition when it comes to picking up on trends that are most relevant to your readers. Continue to regularly browse the pages of your own favorite fashion resources, and take note of recurring topics and themes – especially if they seem to have a lot of social shares and user comments. Whether you bookmark them and set aside time to browse, or you create a feed from your best-loved sources to come to your inbox or app of choice, staying well-read will not only help keep you in the loop – it will also help you become a better writer.
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 fashion 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 fashion 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 fashion 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.
Generating traffic for your fashion blog
You’ve launched a beautifully-styled fashion blog and filled it with killer content… but when it comes to getting people to actually find you online, you’re a bit stuck. There’s little point in maintaining a brilliant blog if no-one knows you exist, so generating traffic is crucial to building a solid fan base and making your site a success.
Wondering where all of your would-be fans are hiding? Here are five sure-fire places and means of finding them, driving them to your site, and turning them into true fans.
Within the Fashion Community
Networking can play an important role in building up a fan base, so figure out which online communities are best suited to your needs and interests, and then involved! Independent Fashion Bloggers is perhaps one of the best-known and popular online communities for fashion bloggers – offering a space to share experiences and resources, find other bloggers in your area, and promote your blog out to the large IFB fan base. Build your profile to get yourself featured in the e-news spotlight, and submit your best posts for consideration to be included in the weekly Links a la Mode round-up.
Fans of your Blogging Heroes
Guest posts and interviews are still a relevant traffic-building tactic for fashion bloggers, so utilize the connections you’ve built in online fashion blogger communities to invite contributions and offer original and relevant content. Pitch guest posts based on your area of style-expertise to likeminded bloggers, or ask if they’d like to be interviewed about a particular subject (their tips for summer style/ launching a fashion shop on Etsy/ favorite online stores) for your blog. Guest posting and interviewing can be mutually beneficial for both fashion bloggers when you have a similar target market. Ensure both of you agree to link back to the other, and give credit on image use etc.
The SM Junkies
Social media is now one of the most effective means of driving traffic to your fashion blog, so join the conversation and contribute something interesting and meaningful. Get into the habit of posting your outfit of the day and recent fashion finds on Instagram. Build style boards and wishlists on Pinterest. Jump into the conversation on Twitter to discuss the merits of a good clutch bag. Create a video on YouTube demonstrating how to update a thrifted find, shop a vintage store, or organize your closet. You don’t need to be overly promotional. Users will link through to your site if they have a rad time chatting with you, so focus on real conversations and the traffic will follow.
The People IRL
Yes, you can generate traffic to your fashion blog In Real Life – especially if you attend local fashion events and get into the habit of networking. Potential fans and readers can be anywhere, including that sales assistant you spent 20 minutes chatting to during your last trip to the mall, or the woman browsing Vogue you sat next to on the train last week.
Have a bunch of business cards printed and keep these handy at all times. That way, when you strike up a conversation about your blog, you have something to give people to encourage them to check out your content.
Stay abreast of the latest fashion hashtags and use these to draw more relevant connections to your social feeds. Avoid overusing hashtags as this can look unprofessional – instead, tag your posts with two or three hashtags that are highly-relevant to your content.
Popular fashion-related tags include #fashion, #shop, #streetstyle, #winterfashion, #summerfashion, #fashioninspo, #outfit, #ootd, #style, #tbt, #picoftheday, and #instafashion, though hashtag trends can change rapidly so it’s important to stay up to date on trends to avoid looking dated. You can check sites such as Top-Hashtags.com to see which tags are currently trending.
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.
If you want to find your own unique style – in terms of writing, rather than garb and accessories – you’ll need to consume a whole 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 go about building a niche and a following.
Having discovered her love of fashion at a young age, and with a degree in Fine Arts and a minor in Business, Christine Andrew founded Hello Fashion in December 2011 as a way to showcase current trends in fresh, inspiring ways and to communicate directly with “the everyday woman” while offering style inspiration and advice along the way.
The Fashion Guitar
After working with several fashion blogs in her former job, Charlotte realized she wanted to launch her own – and thus, The Fashion Guitar was born. Now residing in New York and balancing fulltime blogging with being a mother, Charlotte writes about fashion, beauty, travel and personal style.
Harper & Harley
Fans of minimalism with an eye for monochromatic black, white and grey tones adore Harper & Harley – an Australian fashion and beauty blog penned by Sara Donaldson. Dedicated to offering readers regular inspiration on creating the perfect wardrobe of key essential pieces, this blog’s uniquely relaxed chic philosophy has garnered international attention and seen Sara work with leading brand such as Estée Lauder, YSL Beauté, Sephora, Tony Bianco, GHD, Gucci, and Nike.
Prefer to approach style with a sense of humor? Then Leandra Medine’s Man Repeller needs to be added to your fashion blog reading list. Having kicked off her career with a blog called Boogers + Bagels, fiercely funny Leandra launched her style guide following an irreverent conversation while shopping with a friend about how ‘man-repelling’ all the fashion-forward outfits they loved were.
Like lipstick, cats, vintage dresses and junk food? Then you’ll adore the quirky editorial stylings of Carrie Harwood, who began her blogging journey back when LiveJournal was a thing. WishWishWish now focuses on style, beauty and travel from the point of view of a country girl now living in London.
London-based freelance fashion stylist Alexandra Stedman offers thrifty tips and pearls of wisdom on finding high street bargains – for real people – via her blog, The Frugality. Certainly worth a read for any bloggers looking for a lesson in keeping it real in an industry where keeping up appearances can sometime create impractical expectations.
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? Check out the work of New York photographer Ari Seth Cohen – whose blog Advanced Style thumbs its nose at the idea that fashion is exclusively a young person’s game, and is dedicated to the “style and stories of the silver-haired set”.
What My Boyfriend Wore
Fashion isn’t just for the gals, as beautifully demonstrated by Sergio Ines’ blog, What My Boyfriend Wore. Originally launched after his former girlfriend began documenting his outfits, the blog has grown into a menswear style sensation.
Rachel et Nicole
Self-proclaimed to be “not your typical blogosphere girls”, New York sisters Rachel and Nicole offer a quirky and youthful sense of fun and fashion adventure through their editorials. Each offering a unique perspective on style while working together to create a cohesive and memorable reading experience, Rachel et Nicole shows how collaboration can work well when you find the right blogging partner in crime.
Most fashion blogs examine how to create an entire look through the use of various pieces – but style doesn’t always have to focus on the bigger picture. In fact, sometimes zooming in and looking at the finer details can reveal a lot more about a person’s personal style. Such is the case for former jewelry designer Beanie Major’s blog – aptly named In Detail – which has become the go-to for fashionable gem lovers.
Need more inspiration?
Here’s another 18 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
- 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.
Top 5 Fashion Bloggers Killing It on Social Media
If you want to be a top fashion blogger, you’re going to have to learn how to reach your audience on multiple platforms – and that means connecting with readers not only via your blog, but also in the social spaces they ‘live’, play and share online.
Building a following on social media can take time, but when you engage with your readers and fans in a genuine and meaningful way, you can increase your reach exponentially – and create brand ambassadors online who will contribute to the promotion of your brand and blog to their own networks.
Just getting started with social media and looking for inspiration? Check out the accounts of these top fashion bloggers who are using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube to drive engagement, reach their right people, and demonstrate their position as digital influencers.
The Blonde Salad: 7,391,688+ Total Followers
Italian-born fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni is one of the biggest names in the industry, with a social media following of more than 7 million. Having launched The Blonde Salad back in 2009, she now has the broadest reach of any individual fashion blogger and has collaborated with a number of influential brands. Chiara has been listed in the Forbes 2015 30 Under 30, employed by Guess as a model and spokesperson, appeared on the cover of the April 2015 Vogue España (making her the first fashion blogger to appear on any Vogue cover), and was selected as Pantene’s global ambassador in January 2016.
The Blonde Salad stats:
- Facebook: 1,203,804 likes on Facebook
- Instagram: 5.5m followers @chiaraferragni and 174K followers @theblondesalad
- Pinterest: 43.3K followers on Pinterest
- Twitter: 269K followers @ChiaraFerragni and 4,224 followers @TheBlondeSalad
- YouTube: 54,045 subscribers to The Blonde Salad
- Google+: 143,315 followers on Google+
Gary Pepper: 1,941,664 Total Followers
Sydney-based Nicole Warne first launched Gary Pepper as a vintage e-commerce site in 2009, and started blogging and modeling the clothes as a way to promote the website. By 2011, she had created was one of the largest online vintage retailers in Australia – but it wasn’t long until her ‘side project’ became the main event. Nicole shut down the e-commerce leg of Gary Pepper in 2012 to focus on her blog-driven business, and became the first digital influencer in the world to sign with IMG’s Talent Division. She was one of three bloggers to land Lucky’s February 2015 cover, and has also graced the cover of Elle Australia and Miss Vogue Australia. Nicole was signed as a Net-a-Porter.com Ambassador and founding member of their Style Council in 2015, and was announced as the new digital consultant for Qantas which saw her create a 5 part video series for their in-flight entertainment.
Gary Pepper stats:
- Facebook: 396,021 likes on Facebook
- Instagram: 1.5m followers @garypeppergirl
- Pinterest: 12.6k followers on Pinterest
- Twitter: 31k followers @garypeppergirl
- YouTube: 2,043 subscribers on YouTube
Atlantic Pacific: 1,035,457 Total Followers
Blair Eadie is the director of accessories at Tory Burch, and when she’s not developing products for the international fashion line she moonlights as one of the world’s most successful fashion bloggers with her wildly popular side project Atlantic Pacific. Famed for her effortless-chic style, she has amassed a following of more than a million fans across social media.
I was working at Gap Inc. in San Francisco as a Merchandiser, and more and more we were using street style and personal style blogs to influence our product lines and identify seasonal trends
Atlantic Pacific stats:
- Facebook: 161,757 likes on Facebook
- Instagram: 791k followers @blaireadiebee
- Pinterest: 30.5k followers on Pinterest
- Twitter: 52.2k followers @BlairEadieBEE
Girl with Curves: 501,044 Total Followers
Founded in 2011 by positive body image advocate Tanesha Awasthi, Girl with Curves is an award-winning fashion blog focusing on outfit inspiration, beauty tutorials, styling tips, and behind-the-scenes insights into Tanesha’s life as a wife, mother and fashion influencer. Working with brands in both straight and plus size spaces as stylist, model, consultant and creative director, Tanesha was awarded bloggies for Best Fashion or Beauty Weblog in 2013 and 2014 and now has a following of more than 500,000 fans.
Girl with Curves stats:
- Facebook: 252,401 likes on Facebook
- Instagram: 190k followers @taneshaawasthi
- Pinterest: 36.2k followers on Pinterest
- Twitter: 15.2k followers @TaneshaAwasthi
- YouTube: 7,243 subscribers on YouTube
GabiFresh: 502,652+ Total Followers
Gabi Gregg sparked an international movement to inspire plus-size women to wear bikinis with confidence, and has since appeared Good Morning America, The Today Show, Rip the Runway, Just Keke, and the MTV VMA’s, and been featured in Glamour, Teen Vogue, InStyle, The New York Times, Seventeen, Time Out New York and Cosmopolitan. Best known for her blog GabiFresh, which she started in 2008 after graduating college with an interest in fashion journalism, she has a following of more than 500,000 and has partnered with brands including Misguided, Nordstrom and Laura Mercier.
- Facebook: 140,251 likes on Facebook
- Instagram: 301k followers @gabifresh
- Pinterest: 10.6k followers on Pinterest
- Twitter: 45.1k followers @gabifresh
- YouTube: 5,701 subscribers on YouTube
*Follower numbers current and correct at time of posting
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.