You’ve always had an interest in fashion. Your outfits are always on point, your friends call you and ask for advice on what to wear out on a date, and it even shows in your home decor. Weather you played dress up in your mother’s closet when you were young, or it’s a new found passion, you never actually took the leap to make it part of your career. I mean, the high-fashion magazines are extremely cut-throat anyways, plus you never really had those type of connections… although you still really do love fashion.
So what do you do?
Start a blog!
Just like that.
It’s actually a lot easier than you think. The internet has gifted us with the total freedom to be able to take our passions online, and with some work and time, we’re even able to monetize off them. No, you don’t need to know how to code to make a kick-ass website. You don’t even need a fancy photo shoot or top-notch marketing strategies. All you need is a wifi connection, a motive and a small investment (around $80 to $200 / year). Even if you don’t plan to monetize off it, writing about what you’re interested in is a form of expression, and at the same time an inspiration to others…
I mean, take a look at all the fashion blogs you look at! Plus, that small investment is something that you’d likely spend painting classes or kickboxing, or whatever other hobby you’re into. So – now that we’ve got that laid out, let’s get started.
- Find What Value You’ll Offer
You can have the best marketing in the world, but if your product sucks, you’re not going to monetize. This applies to anything being put out online – including your fashion blog. How do you create value in what you’re offering?
You put yourself in your viewers shoes and think, “what can I do to make their life easier?” Think to yourself, what inspires you? What’s your best take on ___ subject/trend and how can you share it in a way that is digestible for the readers?
Most of the time, people get caught up on how their site will look, or if people will want to read their posts. Chances are, if you think it would be helpful to them – it is. Besides, blogging is a form of expression, so why not express yourself in the way you think is hella cool, and see what happens.
Check out whatAimee Song does – her website is an artistic collection of specific posts that are super easy to resonate with most readers. She also shares a decent amount of her personality through the titles, theme and fashion itself. Plus, she offers beauty, lifestyle, travel, video, anime and holiday – talk about value.
Another great example is Chriselle Lim, she takes fashion blogging and relates it with being a mom, leaving you with a super personal feel of her whole blog. Including the super cute video of her jumping on a bed with her daughters. Her blog not only gives value to people looking to expand their fashion choices, but also super specific for moms. Not to mention she covers fashion, beauty and lifestyle in the most current ways. Check her out for some inspo!
2. Choose Your Platform and Customize
In the world of WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace, blogging is simple. With these platforms (plus a few more), you can get a blog up and running in a matter of hours. Simply choose your platform and get started. As a beginner, you want one that is easy to use and that has the ability to drag and drop your templates, so therefore it is easy to change to account for growth in the future.
Typically most sites will first prompt you with a choice to browse templates and select which one is best for you based on your type of website. Remember that typically fashion blogs include a lot of photos and a consistent layout (see step 5 for this) to showcase the fashions themselves. It is also important to keep your readers engaged, so creating visual appeal by using a combination of photos and text is key. Wendy Nguyen dose an amazing job showing off her style by creating a combination of space, photos and text. The interesting layout appeals to the eye, yet still has a minimalist look, which, of course is a winner in the world of fashion.
3. Secure Your Domain and Hosting
This step is the most mechanical part of the process, yet it’s the one that brings your site live. The platform you’re using was probably free up until this step. This is where you choose your plan, which will offer you your domain name and hosting for your website at x-amount of dollars per month or year.
The plan you choose should depend on 3 main things – the benefits of the plan, such as ad removal, videos, bookings, e-commerce storefront, etc. For example, if you’re a fashion consultant, make sure the benefits offer the option to make bookings online and accept payments. Things like these boost your credibility. (p.s. Nothing will kill your credibility other than opting in for a site that still promotes the platform’s ads, so make sure to choose a plan that doesn’t.)
Choosing a domain name will make your site your own. You can sift through a few options and check the availability on the platform, and generally you’ll have a choice between which suffix to use; .com, .ca, .store, etc. Generally, a good place to start is either your name, a twist off your name, something from your social media, or a unique name that relates to your blog. Danielle Bernstein of weworewhat.com uses a unique attention getting domain name and builds her brand under that name. As for hosting, typically the smartest and easiest what is to go with your platform as well (but of course, can be outsourced to an agency).
4. Optimize Plugins
Choosing your plugins is like adding the cherry on top of your website. In a nutshell, plugins help you connect other websites, or features to your site in a way that creates features that weren’t there otherwise.
For example, adding a plugin that allows you to showcase your Instagram feed on your site. This is a great plugin to use consider it allows you to post fresh content (once on Instagram), and it automatically is uploaded to your site, thus seamlessly creating consistency.
Some other great plugins to use are plugins that: promote social sharing and comments to your site, optimize your images (to make them look good on all devices), and of course the form plugin to capture leads for your mailing list (i.e. the contact and lead form).
Plus, if the platform doesn’t automatically track analytics, you may need to install a plugin for that, which is extremely beneficial for tracking growth. Julie Sariñana uses plugins to sync her Instagram feed on her site, plus optimizes the social links plugin to be offering it twice on her site.
5. Be Consistent
Looking at a website, it’s appealing for the eye to have a consistent feed, colors or imagery to make the overall page create a “feel.” Using brand colors, consistent shapes and tone of voice is how you accomplish this. Julia Engel uses brand colors, consistent photos and an overall compatible theme for her site:
Just like your social media presence, being consistent is an important part of blogging. Going back to the first point about value, consistent posting on relevant topics is key. Part of being consistent in your posting is always having fresh content. Since phone cameras are so good currently, you can get away with snapping some pictures and videos on your phone, and looking stylish doing it.