International fashion blogger Aimee Song was our Woman of Style & Power a few weeks ago. With more than 3.6 million followers on Instagram alone and a Fashion Career, most would only dream of, we had one question to ask: What is the winning formula to fashion blogging stardom? Below are some key requirements to get you onto a clear path of successful fashion blogging. Img via one
1. HAVE A CLEAR VISION OF WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU ARE HOPING TO COMMUNICATE AND WHO YOUR CUSTOMER IS
Being at the risk of pointing out the obvious, you need to have an in-depth understanding of why you wish to run a fashion blog. You can begin this process by analysing your true intentions behind the decision to launch a blog and knowing the type of person you are. This will not only aid you to remain authentic to yourself throughout your journey as a fashion blogger but it will also be part of the reason your audience will be able to relate to you when they visit your blog. The next step will be to gain an in-depth understanding of how you plan to communicate your vision to your customers so that they can get on the same page as you.
The best starting point would be to get to know your customer. Where they live, their lifestyle, what their favourite fashion brand is, how much money they earn, their age and gender. Are they affluent, middle class, working class? Do they have children, married, career-oriented?What questions do they may have in your area of expertise, and how can you, as a fashion blogger solve their problems or fill their knowledge gaps?Find out as much as you can and strive to be of complete service to them and their needs through the content you provide.>
Apply principles such as The Law of Reciprocity. Which simply states that when you give the best service, you receive the best results in return.Let your high standards be the driving force behind your success rather than the idea of making money. You can use sites such as Mintel to research this information. Alternatively, you can carry out an extensive market research using Youtube, Google, Instagram and other forms of social media.You need to know this information from day one, as it will have an influence on the direction you take as a blogger and what brands will accept to work with you, down your career journey.
Brands will only affiliate with you if you share a common customer. And if your image fits in with theirs.Knowing this type of customer information will also determine the quality of work [editorially, design-wise, level of content] you are expected to publish.
If your reader’s expectations are not being met and they are unable to relate to your work, then it’s likely that they will move on to better-suited blogs that meet their desire and provide a better connection.
“…the best starting point is in getting to know your customer. Where they live, their lifestyle, what their favourite fashion brand is, how much money they earn, their age and gender. Are they affluent, middle class, working class? Do they have children, married, career-oriented?“
2. REMEMBER THAT CONTENT IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET
Just as you would go into a shop and buy something, with your own money simply because you deem it valuable and worthy, your content needs to have the same effect on your readers. And if it doesn’t, no one will be buying.
Your readers, need to see the value in what you are publishing and be able to visualise how your information can be useful in their own lives.
This means relying on your understanding for your customer’s needs [mentioned above], gaining a clear view of the business you are performing in as a fashion blogger and analysing how your skillset can accommodate their requirements And, if there are any missing gaps in this equation, how do you plan to resolve these?
Do your research by using sites such as Ask the Public, Quora, Ubersuggest, Buzzsumo, Google Keyword Planner and even Amazon book reviews on your topic area, to discover the real questions your readers may have, any other information that may already have been published and to see what is trending.This will help you comprehend what your content should consist of.>
Always aspire to produce the very best work possible and use sources such as Grammerly.com to perfect the quality of your writing, before your readers, get to see it. These suggestions also relate to the quality of your pictures. Are they are high-resolution and in alignment with your written content?
And consider the value you aim to post on your social media feed. Is it filled with relevant and valuable content that your followers can appreciate?Are you offering a valuable experience through your engagement with the community or do you simply post and don’t care to listen?
It is little steps like this, that will make the hugest difference and help you create your own career prospects as a blogger.
“Give every man more in use value than you take from him in cash value“ – Wallace Wattles
Do Not Forget To Promote Your Content
What is the point of creating amazing content if no one is going to read it? From a very early stage, you will need to grasp the idea of effectively promoting your content, so that many people can be exposed to it. This point is explored further on strategizing. Creating a promotional strategy remains an important aspect of that.
1. Selling Value: Key Principles of Value-Based Selling
2. 700 Fashion Blog Post Ideas: Never Run Out of Ideas Again
3. Value-Added Selling: How to Sell More Profitably, Confidently and Professionally by Competing on Value, Not Price
3. FOCUS ON SHARPENING YOUR CRAFT
It is imperative to continually grow your skill-set and work hard on enhancing the ones you already have.
This will not only help accommodate the growing expectations of your readers, but it is also crucial in dealing with the ever-changing, fast-paced trends of the industry.
As such, strive to learn as much as you can in the area of your expertise. If you are a writer, practice your writing daily on a website such www.750words.com.>
If you are interested in photoshop, cinemagraphs or video editing, there are various free courses online such as
www.alison.com and www.skillshare.com that can help you give insight into the latest techniques to heighten the professionalism of your work.
Invest as much as you can in reading, attending conferences/seminars and on a whole, have a hunger for knowledge. As we all know, knowledge is power.
Simply because it is crucial. Have a clear understanding of how you wish your brand to be perceived, your aesthetics, the consistency of publishing your content [is it 5 days a week, once a month?]. How do you wish to present it – editorially and design-wise?
Do you have an editorial calendar panning out all your blog’s activities? How do you see yourself making money?When you think of social media, what platforms suit you and your audience best? What is your engagement strategy? What filters do you see yourself using on Instagram?How do you plan to gain exposure and promotion? Who in your immediate circle can help you?>
Do you need to learn about SEO or can someone help you?
What camera are you going to use for your photos and who will be taking them for you?These are all questions you should be thinking about and decisions you should be making.Don’t worry if you don’t have the full answers to start with or have experienced failed before. Not being able to answer these question, shouldn’t make you want to give up on your dream of building a successful dream. But, be mindful of them nevertheless as they will be determining factors to the level of success you can acquire
5.MONETISE YOUR BLOG
With growth, you will realise that many opportunities will present themselves to you and enable you to diversify the streams of income that you can implement in your business model.
Here, think carefully about your brand’s vision and where you hope to be in the future. With such insight, you will be able to make valuable decisions on what your next move should be and enhance your chances of maximising the amount of money you can make.
Many bloggers tend to branch out as consultants – where a brand pays you an initial fee for offering your expertise on a project.International bloggers such as Margaret Zhang of Shine By Three do this particularly well and offer services through writing, styling and photography.Ms.Zhang’s work can be seen in Elle magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Nylon, with her Instagram feed outlining her quality of work.>
Similar bloggers, such as Chiara Ferragni, founder of The Blonde Salad, have gone one step further and designed an international shoe line that is sold in department stores worldwide.With over 6.3 million followers on Instagram, Chiara Ferragni ranks in as one of the most successful fashion bloggers of our time.
So much so, that Harvard Business School has conveyed ‘The Blonde Salad’ into a case study for their MBA program. Such are great examples, of how far a career in fashion blogging can take you.Of course, dependant on where you are on your journey, presently – you might just be starting out – such scenarios might seem a bit unattainable.But it is important to remember that these blogs started from somewhere and because of the strategic decisions they made, they have now gained success.
Other ways to monetise
Although consulting, writing, styling and photography tend to be the most lucrative means of making money from fashion blogging. There are plenty of other ways to convert you blog into a profitable and sustainable business.
Signing up to affiliate marketing platforms such as Rewardstyle, Shopstyle, Darwin Affiliate Window and Viglink will enable you to earn commission from product links on your site. Its is best to keep in mind that, the more traffic you can get to your site, the higher the possibilities of earning money from this option are. Some websites such as Amazon may have an allocated affiliate area, inclusive of an email address you can contact. But it’s usually a case of putting an affiliate search on your favourite brand into google and the desired results will pop up.
You can also liaise directly with brands within your target audience, to offer advertising opportunities. Make sure you put together an impressive media kit detailing all your figures on social media followers, unique visitors to your site and your services, before approaching any potential advertisers.
Selling products such as your own courses, books, beauty products or clothing line is another great option of converting your readers into paying customers.
To gain inspiration on how to go about this option, look to Aimee Song founder of Song Of Style who is launching her first book in September. Titled “Capture your Style: Transform Your Instagram Images, Showcase Your Life, and Build the Ultimate Platform.”
Sara Donaldson of Harper and Harley has also recently launched her own online fashion store titled – The Undone. If you are looking for more traditional ways to make some money, you may consider incorporating Google Adsense into your site>
Modeling is another form of making money through your blog. A great example comes in the form of Kristina Bazan of Kayture who boasts 2.4 Instagram followers, recently launched a singing career and models for L’oreal.
If this is the path you wish to explore, there are various agencies such as Imagency, The Blogger Agency and Storm Management [to name just a few] that specialise in connecting fashion influencers to industry brands.
Below are some recommended books, that can offer more information into the ins and outs of making money through the art of blogging
1. How to Be a Successful Blogger (Cheat One TM)
2. Make Money The New Fashion Way 2.0: This Revolution Will Not Be Televised
3. The Million Dollar Blog By Natasha Courtenay-Smith
Knowing what price to put on your work, is particularly difficult and if you are just starting out, you may need to do a lot of it for free in order to build up your portfolio and following.
But, nevertheless, this is an important aspect of your business and one that you cannot afford to ignore.A simple technique to use when presented with any type of paying work is to determine how many hours it will take you to get the job done. How many social media followers and blog visitors you have, that will get to see then work. The higher the number, the more money you can charge
Take into account the numbers on your twitter impressions, google analytics, Instagram insights, conversions and utilise these to justify your final charge.Use online platforms such as Quickbooks and Waveapps to record your earnings in one place. It is also worth remembering that as soon as you begin to exchange your services for money, you are under legal obligation to register with HMRC for tax purposes. For Non-UK residents, please double check the legal requirements in your country for bloggers.
6. HAVE AN IDEA OF THE BLOGGING LAW WHERE YOU ARE
As a relatively new industry, there is still some ambiguity surrounding certain laws & regulations within the fashion blogging industry.
Nevertheless, it is extremely important to have some awareness of any ongoing developments with regards to laws that may have a direct impact on your blogging operations.
Depending on where you are based, a great place to gain insight, into the various responsibilities placed upon bloggers, with relation to consumer protection can be found on the Federal Trade Commission website.>
The agency outlines guidelines that oblige bloggers to disclose any affiliate marketing, product placements, sponsored content, marketing endorsements on their sites with efforts to eliminate any misleading information that may influence the customer’s purchasing power.
This may not apply to all, but it is still worth educating yourself on what the law states, where you live. Below is a recommended book, that can offer some information into the legalities of blogging.
Concreteloop.com Presents: Angel’s Laws of Blogging: What You Need to Know If You Want to Have a Successful and Profitable Blog
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