If there’s even a tiny part of you that aims to become a fashion blogger—and not only become one, but remain a truly successful blogger—you know it’s a crowded, competitive space. Done right, it can be the ideal way to be creative with your fashion, inspire others with your looks, and maybe, just maybe, make a living from it. Of course, the best way to learn how to navigate it is simple: Go straight to the top bloggers themselves and find out how they did it. And that’s exactly what we did.
We sat down with Aimee Song, creator of the blog Song of Style; size-diverse bloggers extraordinaire and Premme founders Gabi Fresh and Nicolette Mason; and Raina Penchansky, the chief strategy officer of blogger management behemoth Digital Brand Architects, to pick their brains on the best way to climb the blogger ladder from unknown to unforgettable (and make millions).
Scroll down to get their seven top tips on becoming a successful fashion blogger.
“If you’re a blogger just starting out, I would start with asking yourself the question why,” Raina Penchansky says. “What’s your point of differentiation? There’s a great rule of thumb: No one needs another [fill in the blank]. Come up with a really compelling reason as to why you’re doing something.”
Aimee Song echoes the sentiment: “For new bloggers, it’s important to be different and stand out, rather than following what everybody else is doing or what is trendy that moment.”
“Remembering why you blog and why people follow you is the key,” Song says.
“Never lose sight of that, no matter how successful you become. The people who find the most success are the people who understand that there’s an element to this that is analytics-based,” Penchansky explains. “You have to really pay attention to the back-end of your business. Ask who your audience is. How do they engage with you? The people who find the most success are the people who understand their analytics—what does my audience want from me, and who am I talking to? Do they want to see me launch a collection, or do they want to see a book from me?”
“If you’re starting a blog today, you pretty much have to start with Instagram,” Penchansky states. “The fastest way to build your brand is Instagram.”
“Honestly, blogs are dying out because Instagram is taking their place,” Gabi Fresh adds. “Especially with style bloggers, our whole thing is photos, so if we have a platform to show our outfits, we’re going to use it. Thankfully, I still get high traffic to my site, but my comments are down because people are looking at and discussing my pictures on Instagram. The interaction is much more done on Instagram and Facebook these days.”
“Instagram became a great way to discover new blogs and fashion inspiration,” Song adds. “For me, it’s been yet another medium to engage with my audience.”
“Content is king. Regardless of what [social network] is most popular at the moment, if you’re producing amazing content, you’ll always have a platform," Penchansky advises. “When you first start your blog, stay focused on just creating amazing content for six months to a year. Brands will come crawling, invites will roll in, but first and foremost, figure out your point of view. That’s the most important thing.”
“There are a lot of steps involved in being successful, but the most important thing is just focusing on your content,” Gabi Fresh adds. “To take it to the next level, you need consistency [in terms of publishing regularly], and make sure you have clear photos. Your content will speak for itself.”
“Remember—what’s right for you isn’t necessarily what someone else is doing,” Penchansky says. “There is an element of risk-taking. Relationships with brands are a great vehicle for monetisation, but it’s also not so much about what brand am I going to be paid for, but how do I myself become a brand in a truthful and an organic way? It varies from person to person—there are going to be some people who have Target lines, some people who have single products they sell on their site; you have to know what works for you.”
“The thing to know is that you should really be discriminating about what is encompassed in your personal style and what you want to pursue professionally,” Nicolette Mason adds. “I think a lot of people make the mistake of doing everything and diluting their own vision and their own approach toward fashion. You have to learn to say no.”
“There are only so many ways to shoot a certain a photo, but if you have a personality and you showcase that personality, that’s the point of differentiation,” Penchansky says. “Don’t try to be something you think is what everyone wants you to be. Be genuine. It sounds like the most cliché thing because it truly is what resonates.”
“Always stay true to yourself and don’t chase money or fame,” Song adds. “That’s essential to long-lasting success in my mind. If you are doing what you love, money will follow.”
“It takes a village—at a certain point, you have to acknowledge that Rome wasn’t built in a day or by one person,” Penchansky says. “What will your team look like? You want people who come in and bring a different point of view—we only work with people if we add value.”
Next up: the biggest autumn/winter 2017 fashion trends you need to know about.