When it comes to blogging, fashion is probably one of the most covered topics. It seems as though, every person with a slight interest in fashion, has a site. Girls down to age of 12 are blogging, and in some cases even becoming front row material sitting next to giants like Anna Wintour at the biggest fashion shows.
People search online for anything that they want to learn and fashion, style and beauty are some of the most searched for how-to guides according to a study from Google.
So what’s so great about being a fashion blogger? Other than the fact that you often get sent clothes and makeup for review and get invited to fun fashion events, blogging is a great way to get your foot into an industry that is so hard to get in that most give up half way through. So if you’re dreaming of making it in this industry, this is a great way to start!
So how is it exactly that you start a fashion site? Not only start but how do you differentiate yourself in the sea of fashion sites? How do you make your own stand out? This article will take you through the step-by-step process of creating a successful fashion site.
My own fashion blogging background
Like with everything else in life, in order to stand out from the crowd, you need to bring something special to the table. For many fashion bloggers, it’s their personality and style. In my case, it was the opposite. It was the fact that I brought general fashion advice to women of all ages – something not many fashion bloggers focus on.
With an academic background in communications and media, I combined my two greatest passions in the world into the work on my site. For me, blogging became a way to practice the theories I learned at university in order to drive traffic, which is today read by more than 50,000 monthly readers, and at the same time, nourish my love for all things fashion.
I credit the success of my fashion site to the fact that I blog about a topic I love, that I practice in my daily life, and have a deep knowledge on. This gives me blogging confidence and the will to keep going in the sometimes difficult day-to-day blogging.
Starting your own fashion site
The simplest part of the whole process of creating a successful fashion website is actually starting. WordPress, the most popular platform, is very intuitive, easy to use and start working with. It takes you about 5 minutes with no prior experience needed to start a website.
WordPress needs a domain name and a web server space to work. A domain name is the address people will type to access your site and a server space is where your content and files are hosted online. I recommend Bluehost for the easiest setup process. It is simple to use, offers a free domain name, an affordable hosting account with unlimited space and WordPress officially recommends it.
You just have to figure out what you want to name your domain name first and then you are ready for the starting process. Go for something catchy, but something that lets the reader know what your site is about. This will let your readers know that you’re serious about blogging, and not ’just another fashion blog’. These are the characteristics of a good domain name:
- Brief, simple, easy to spell, unique, catchy, easy to pronounce and memorable
- See this post for more advice on finding a domain name.
Got an idea for a great domain name? Click on the image below to get the process started:
For full step-by-step instruction on starting a site, take a look here.
Disclosure: I do earn a commission if you signup to Bluehost using my link at no additional cost to you. Please know that I only recommend products and services that I find helpful and useful. If you do choose to purchase through my affiliate link, thank you for your support!
Fashion Blogging 101
The world of fashion sites is competitive, the quality is high so an effective way to gain attention and make your voice heard is to diversify your content and establish your originality. When your fashion site has been setup these are some of the things you should be aware of and follow in order to achieve success with your blogging:
- Write about celebrity style – a lot of girls and women look up to the celebrities and dream of dressing like them and are looking to bloggers for advice.
- Use approachable clothing – Inspire people with your outfits (whether you’re wearing them or displaying them in sets like I am), but make sure that the clothes you use are fairly affordable, so your readers can identify with you.
- Write frequently and write good. Set aside a certain day of the week or time of day that you will dedicate to blogging and upload posts on a regular basis. I shoot for three a day but most bloggers shoot for four a week. Give people tips and tell them stories, while you do it.
- DIY projects are always a hit – women love being creative, so teach them how!
- Find the subject of your site and perhaps some complimentary subjects, stick to those and do not stray too far off topic. I personally chose fashion and all things artsy. Write posts about stuff that interests you and in a language that will keep your readers entertained!
- Don’t let your fashion site become one big advertisement – be picky when it comes to samples you’re sent for review. People get easily bored of looking at sponsored ads and articles.
- 100% original content – one huge mistake some fashion bloggers make is copy other bloggers’ work. That’s easy to spot and the readers will head on to the next fashion blogger in line!
- Just as with your personal appearance, presentation with your site is everything. Shanon from Kiss My Fashion says: “I have met bloggers that carry themselves well, then I go to their website and it is a jumbled mess. If you have to keep your site unpublished for a few extra days until you can figure out how to get your website to look the way you’d like, then do it! It’s better to maintain a classy website than to appear unorganized to some potential business partnerships or collaborations.”
- Be yourself. Of course everyone has their own unique style, so don’t try to copy anyone and don’t feel the need to go crazy. Do what feels right for you and play around with things, you will eventually find your own unique voice and can make statements with your photos. I’d like to think my readers continue coming back to the site because of my own personal perspective.
- Share your unique view on fashion with the world. Shanon says: “At first it can be challenging when trying to find your own signature ‘thing’ to capture at events or just surfing the web for interesting fashion news can take hours. There are a hundreds and hundreds of fashion bloggers out right now. So the same subject is being discussed over and over, right? But I try to change the theme and elaborate on things that other people may not. For example, when covering New York Fashion Week many bloggers will have images of every piece that hits the runway. I hunt for what the audience is wearing, capture some great photos, and then title it, “What to wear to New York Fashion Week” or “Trendy Handbags to Rock to a Fashion Show”.”
- Do videos. Video is a very popular content format in the fashion field. For example people love watching the “get ready with me” type of videos. Could you create some of these videos yourself? Such as walk your audience through your preparation for a night out or your preparation for a day at work? Two million hours of this type of videos was watched on YouTube in the first four months of 2015. Have a look at my complete getting started with YouTube guide.
- Promote your content as otherwise nobody will see it. Instagram and Pinterest are perfect social networks for fashion bloggers as they are based on visual content.
- Have fun! Shanon also says: “I use the information I find for my site as a tool to stay well informed in the fashion industry. I love getting dressed up for events and snapping pictures of fashionistas with my oversized camera. And never having to pay for fashion shows is definitely a perk! My number one advice though is to have fun!”
Taking great photos
Pictures are one of the most essential parts of fashion blogging. Ordinary girls are looking like photo models today thanks to great cameras and editing software. The key to creating amazing content and keeping your readers interested lies almost entirely in the photos. Much like you would see in the glossy pages of magazines, fashion sites are all about the creativity in the outfits and the strength of the photos.
Visually appealing and stimulating photos are important. A lot of readers don’t generally read the text, they only look at the photos first and that in itself tells me a lot. You need the photos to initially draw people in. When I browse other peoples fashion sites myself, if I am interested in the photos, it entices me to read the actual post, so the key definitely lies within the photos. How do you get visually appealing photos that can keep your readers entertained or create new loyal fans? Lorna Burford from Raindrops of Sapphire says:
When I say clarity, I’m talking about really crisp photos that are of a great quality. There is nothing worse than looking at really blurry photos where you can’t really see the outfit or the person behind the fuzz. The best way to achieve great photos, if you are serious about your fashion blogging, is investing in a great camera. If you are thinking about getting a new camera, I would definitely suggest getting a DLSR. Instead of buying a super expensive digital point and shoot camera, I would invest in an entry level DLSR. The quality in your photos will be so much better than anything a compact camera can produce. I also recommend using Photoshop to enhance the sharpness of the photos and shooting in raw format so you have the ability to change things more.
Who doesn’t love color? Color is so lively and it really catches your eye. I’m not saying you need to have an outfit filled with a rainbow of hues, but I’m saying pay attention to your shades. Using deep burgundies, yellows and purples for Autumn really works, especially if you enhance them in Photoshop to make them pop. For the Summer, neon pinks, yellows, greens and blues are always great options and are very eye catching. If you prefer to be a little more subtle with your outfits, then opt for a colorful and inventive background, perhaps one with gravity or colored walls, or use nature to your advantage, the backdrop of Autumn leaves creates a gorgeous scene or Summer flowers in full bloom.
Being creative is key to keeping things interesting. Using different locations, different backgrounds, different pieces in your looks, using props etc, keeping things varied and intriguing always makes the readers fascinated. I know when I see other peoples photos and they are creative with Photoshop or their locations, I’m always going back to see what they do next. Have fun and enjoy what you are doing because it will definitely come across in the photos and it’s a chance to really let go and do things you might not necessarily do in real everyday life. Go out in the rain and twirl around with an umbrella, sit on walls or stair cases, strike some interesting poses… but always be creative with your outfits as well. Some of the top fashion bloggers wear some wacky and inventive clothing, but it always comes out well in photos. Visually stimulating photos is exactly what you are looking for.
Befriend Other Fashionistas
As previously mentioned, there are a lot of fashion sites out there. Get to know your competition. Befriend the enemy, some would say. The thing is, the more blogger friends you have, the more you will learn from them. Some of the best friends I have today, I met through blogging! By socializing with them, leaving comments on their sites, writing guest posts and having guest posters on your site, you’ll gain more friends and readers. Fashion industry is a tough one to get into and be in.
Ever seen The Devil Wears Prada? But that’s not the case with the fashion blogging world I know. People are actually friendly, helpful and nice! So get out there and start mingling! Whatever you do stay focused on the goal. The readers may not start coming in masses right away, but persistence pays off.
Thanks to Milana Saric for contributing to this post.