Diary of a Failed Fashion Blogger: Part Two

diary of a failed bloggerHi everyone! Thanks for joining me for part two of the chronicles of my fashion blog, Stylenik (read my first entry here). To be honest, I almost forgot to write this because I’m vacationing in Greece at the moment for a wedding, and I just drank a large beer.

It's been an incredible trip, but I’ve been offline a lot and I worried that my numbers would tank. But it turns out that being offline can have a positive effect: Both my blog traffic (+3,000 pageviews) and my Instagram followers (+30) have increased. Opa!

I credit my (moderate but not insignificant) success over the past two weeks to three things:

1. An Instagram Intensive

First, just to be clear, I am getting paid for writing this article, but I don’t get commission or any other incentives for promoting IFB’s Instagram course. Here’s what I found while following it: it took me longer than expected to find 20 people each day with whom to interact, which is probably proof that you get what you give when it comes to social media (and plenty of other things). I admit that in my early days as an Instagram user, I experimented with buying followers and discovered that teens and party people on Ibiza don’t have much interest in my feed or me. Lesson learned.

Perusing hashtags (#boho, for example) and the followers of designers I love (Electric Feathers is a current obsession), turned up several feeds I wanted to follow. If nothing else, the exercise made my current feed more interesting.

It also increased my number of followers… by the second day I was up 10, although I almost immediately lost 5. I’m counting that as a natural and healthy readjustment as I curate my feed more closely with my interests. I started the experiment at 2,140 followers and ended it at 2170—that’s +30 followers and I’m not complaining.

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2. Get Out in the World

I’m not saying you have to travel to Greece to increase your followers and traffic. But I have found a strong correlation between occasions when I attend events or otherwise interact face-to-face with other humans, and increases in my numbers. When you meet someone in person and talk to them about what you do, they’re much more likely to actually care enough to look you up, follow and like. In addition to that, it makes your feed and your blog more dynamic. I have also found it makes me a happier human.

Before I left for vacation, I co-hosted the opening party for Makers Market’s first brick-and-mortar store in San Jose. That generated some interest in my blog among both attendees and vendors at the event, and it gave me a real-world thing to post about.

3. Exposure on High-Traffic Sites

In short, this column has helped my traffic numbers. Also, this post about wearing dresses over pants was picked up by Shutterbean, a popular photography and lifestyle site run by a fellow San Francisco mom. Sometimes it’s hard to tell where a big boost might come from, but it definitely helps to get your work featured on great websites, whether it’s their idea or yours.

4. Bikini Photos

I went there and I am not encouraging you to show skin, but this was an important PSA: Cute though it may be, do not buy a cotton crocheted bikini if you plan to actually swim in it. The photo got a good number of likes (for me) on Instagram, including one from @blackhawkplasticsurgery. Trying not to read too much into that.

Stay tuned for my next installment in two weeks, after which I should be finished with the IFB SEO program!

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About The Author

In addition to being editor at IFB, Kristen writes for Forbes, Eat, Sleep, Denim, and her own blog, Stylenik. Previously, she served as the San Francisco editor for Racked, covering the intersection of retail, fashion, and technology. She has written about everything from human cloning to luxury shopping for publications including Wired, Gizmodo, Refinery 29, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She lives in a '70s house in '70s clothes on the Northern California coast. 

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7 Responses

  1. Lisa

    Loved reading this post! I’m experimenting (sorta) with growing my IG feed naturally, and it’s been an interesting experiment! I’m considering becoming a IFB member 🙂

    Also I agree with point number 2! When I talk to people in day-to-day life, whenever I mention my blog, and they seem interested, I tell them the easiest way to follow along is to simply follow me on IG and spread the word. It works wonders!! And a great way to motivate yourself to meet and stay connected to people 😉

    Lisa
    http://www.theeverydayelevated.com

    Reply
  2. Fritz

    Hi Kristen,

    I’m glad to hear you had an awesome trip to Greece. I sometimes fear when I am inactive from blogging as well, but just like you I have learned that it can be a good thing. I’m glad to hear that you are receiving nice results from your blog traffic and Instagram. Looking forward to reading more from your articles.

    Reply