According to reports yesterday, it seems as though Condé Nast is trying to step all over Carine Roitfeld’s stilettos (so to speak) by discouraging photographers from working on her new fashion glossy, CR Fashion Book. Apparently Jonathan Newhouse, Condé Nast chairman, sent a correspondence to Mario Testino, Craig McDean, David Sims, and the Mert Alas and Marcis Piggott team to reiterate that they have exclusive contracts with Condé magazines only — and that even those photogs who are not under contractual obligation are “discouraged” from working with CR. While these reports have not been confirmed, it doesn’t out of character of Condé, especially considering that Carine leaving Vogue Paris seemed to do with the higher powers at Condé, causing her to branch out on her own. Roitfeld’s magazine is set to launch this Septemeber, giving her full control over a niche she has excelled in – though more than half the issue will feature long-form articles, the editorials will be of in-depth coverage that’s nearly impossible to find this age of “140 characters or less.” Truly, more a book as its name suggests.
And kudos to her! Isn’t she doing exactly what a lot of us are doing (or trying to do) in a way? Leaving your day job to pursue your niche fashion blog as a career?
Carine went from directing an over-arching major fashion magazine, and is now delving into a niche she loves on her own — so take a lesson from her and use these tips on solidifying your niche:
1. Find what you love. A job won’t feel like a job if you are exploring a topic you genuinely enjoy. Make a list of things you are interested in to get the ball rolling.
2. From that list, narrow down your options. Question each topic, and figure out an angle that isn’t (or is rarely) covered.
3. Build your voice. If you can’t find something that hasn’t been talked about before (or even if you have), your voice is what will define you from the masses within your niche.
4. Educate yourself. Become an expert in your niche — know all the people, places, and things that your readers will want to know. Interview people, ask questions, and dominate whatever it is you want to talk about.
5. Capitalize on your knowledge. Set yourself up as THE go-to blog for your field — or, in other words, show them what you got!
It’s easier said than done, but with focus you can figure out a direction for your blog that suits you.