If you love fashion and love to share you opinions online, becoming a fashion blogger might be for you! This isn’t a decision to take lightly, since blogging is a lot of hard work. However, bloggers are making a real difference in the beauty and fashion industry. Bloggers like Afrobella, Leandra Medine, and Emily Schuman aren’t just changing the blogosphere; they’re changing the entire fashion industry.
Blogs come in two broad categories: those for fun and those for profit. In either case, you can start blogging today – yes within just a few hours – through WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, or another easy-to-use blogging platform. And for help getting started with writing your blog, I highly recommend this blog writing workshop with Tom Treanor.
Now, let’s take a look at what you need to do to make your blogging dreams into a reality. Here’s how to start a fashion blog:
Set Your Goals
Before you get started, what do you want to accomplish with your fashion blog? Here are some common goals bloggers have:
- To have fun writing about a topic I love
- To make money through ads and sponsorships
- To gain access to industry events
- To make a name for myself as a consultant or freelancer
- To spread my opinions to as many people as possible
- To help people learn about a product I’m selling
You might have more than one goal, and that’s okay. However, if you’re dead set against making money, don’t care about selling a product, etc. that will change how you go about building your audience. Remember, no matter what, a fashion blog is not a get-rich-quick scheme, no matter what anyone tells you. Most popular bloggers today wrote for months or even years before they made a single dime.
Choose Your Niche
A “niche” is a blog topic or category. For example, fashion is a niche. Other examples are food, parenting, or DIY. But the best blog out there define their niche even more so that they can target specific readers. For example, your niche might be plus-size fashion. Or your niche might be men’s fashion. Don’t limit yourself, but keep in mind that “fashion” is a big category. What are readers going to get when they come to your blog?
As you are choosing a niche, also choose a name for your blog and URL. You could make it simply your first and last name, but until you gain a following, people won’t know what they’re going to get be the name alone. Consider a name that reflects what you’re going to write about. For example, the blog “The Lingerie Addict” is about cute lingerie.
Domain Name, Hosting, and Platform
You can get started fashion blogging for free on WordPress.com, Blogger, or Tumblr, but if you truly want to build a massive following and make money with your blog, I recommend purchasing your own domain name and hosting. This doesn’t have to be expensive. Many hosting plans are available for less than $10 per month. Purchasing a domain name and hosting means that you can have yourname.com instead of yourname.wordpress.com, yourname.blogpost.com, or yourname.tumblr.com. It also means you have monetization options, since all free blog hosts limit how you can make money with a blog.
Whether you go for a free blog or pay for your own hosting, you don’t have to know anything about coding to get started. You just have to be able to follow simple directions. If you can type in a word processing program like Microsoft Word, you can blog. All you need to do is install a blogging platform as your content management system, and you can easily blog from the dashboard without knowing any coding.
I personally recommend WordPress as a blogging platform because I find it the easiest to use and there are most theme and plugin options (these control how your blog looks, what is displayed on your sidebar, social sharing buttons, etc.). This course on WordPress can help you get started. You can read more about the different blogging options here.
Install a theme based on your personal aesthetics and your niche, and then use plugins to add functions to your blog. I recommend giving people a way to share on social networks, as well as making sure your sidebar looks great. Plugins are an easy way to get your blog up to speed without having to code yourself.
What to Write
Posts are what make your blog tick. Whenever you update your blog with new, interested content, you will do so by creating a new post. You could write reviews of fashion shows and other events, opinions about the latest trends, promotions for pieces of clothing you love or deals going on right now, interviews with fashion designers, and more. What you post depends on your niche and your specific interests in the fashion world.
Also keep search engine optimization in mind when writing posts. SEO is basically the practice of allowing your blog posts to show up when someone searches for related topics on Google and other search engines. It’s an art, and people devote their entire careers to SEO. Check out this SEO training course to learn how to optimize your posts.
It’s impossible to build a successful fashion blog without participating in the fashion community. Get to know other fashion bloggers, especially those who are also relatively new to the blogging world. Join forums, Facebook groups, and other communities where people are talking about fashion. Of course, get active on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. Don’t just share your links; actually join conversations about topics that interest you so people begin to recognize you as an authority in the fashion world. Social media isn’t a waste of time for bloggers. It will help you build your brand.
Starting a blog is way more involved than we can cover completely in this article, but the good news is that if you want more information about any of the above-mentioned topics or want to learn how to take your blog to the next level, Udemy has a number of courses available. Specifically, check out this blogging success program, learn more about guest blogging with this course, and find out more about building your brand with social media here.