Do you ever feel like the advice you get about “how to blog” is pulling you in too many different directions? Some sources tell you to focus on consistency. Some tell you to make sure your photography is outstanding. Some stress the importance of finely edited, well-written content.
We'll be the first to admit that IFB encourages all those qualities. It's important realize though: not everything you read or hear about blogging has to apply to you. The truth is, we all have to approach blogging in our own way. So what's the right way for you? Start by figuring out where you want end up. It sounds backwards, but knowing what you want to get out of your blog will help you hone in on your best skills and get the most joy and satisfaction out of your efforts.
As Jennine explained so wonderfully in her post about professional blogging, that's what we're all about at IFB. If your blog is a passion project, and you don't aspire to use it to advance your career (or create it), that's okay, and you need not read on. However, if you're working hard and dreaming big – pay attention and be deliberately passionate about your posts.
- If you aspire to be a professional fashion writer, whether in online or print, your blog should be a place for you to flex your fashion knowledge, evaluate trends and discuss industry news. You can do this in all sorts of creative ways that incorporate your personality and taste.
- Be sure to make the most of fashion's expansive lexicon (check out our Glossy Glossary for a start).
- Consider subscribing to an image service like Getty or Imaxtree to gain full access to the same images used by the press. If that's out of the question, be sure to always correctly cite the sources of your images.
- If photography is the driving feature of your blog, go ahead and invest in a DSLR. (See which cameras other bloggers are using.)
- Hit the streets of your neighborhood and city to shoot street style. Even if your images aren't all that great at first and you're photographing with a point-and-shoot, the more you practice the better you will get. Not only will your images improve, but your repertoire with your subjects will become more natural.
- Treat your blog like a portfolio: only show the best of the best.
- Show your range by photographing different subjects, shooting at different times of day and changing your angle.
Personal, Runway or Editorial Stylist
- As a stylist, you are your brand. Style yourself first and foremost: you are the walking, talking embodiment of your business. In this way, personal style posts are a great way to advertise yourself.
- To show your range, employ your friends & family as Guinea pigs. Document fashion make-overs, use them to model styling challenges and make sure these types of posts have their own landing page on your blog.
- As you become more confident and experienced, why not reach out to local boutiques and offer to style their windows, gratis (for free)? Use these experiences to build a portfolio of clients, and share these jobs on your blog.
- If you aim to make a career out of your blog, it's important to establish your professionalism as soon as possible.
- Disclosure: You should have a page dedicated to explaining to your readers how you handle gifts and sponsored content
- Editorial calendar: To be a professional blogger, you have to treat your blog like a job, which means establishing a routine. (You can download IFB's exclusive editorial calendar for a start!)
- Ad space sales: The easiest way to start earning revenue from your blog is through ad sales. You can start with something like Google Ad Sense, then consider joing an ad network or selling space to specific companies and retailers.
- Affiliate links: Another source of revenue from your blog and social media is through affiliate links. You can apply to join different programs such as Fashion Traffic and RewardStyle.
- build your networks
Social Media Pro
- A blog is a fantastic resume boost for anyone looking to break into the professional online world, no matter what specific career you're shooting for.
- Focus sharply on how you build your brand through your secondary platforms. Create a cohesive message throughout Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.
- With your posting: be consistent, a little daring, very communicative and responsive with those who reach out
- Don't focus too much on companies and brands; build friendships and relationships with bloggers and personalities as well.
- Check our our helpful guide to getting a job in social media as well.
What's your end game with your blog? Do you think of your professional potential when creating content?
[Image credit: Shutterstock]