Just because it’s free, doesn’t make it garbage…

garbage

Originally uploaded by icanteachyouhowtodoit

Let's face it… there's not a whole lot of money in fashion blogging. At first anyway. You have to work hard, work smart and be in the know.

You also have to have nice looking content, good writing, and be persistent.

Unfortunately… the nice content can be a challenge if you want to make your blog original. There are lots of free resources out there if you take the time to learn about internet culture, programming and professional blogging. One concept I've only recently come across is open source. If you are running your blog on WordPress.org, you are probably aware of the amazing capabilities of this concept.

Open source is a set of principle around developing software, more specifically to us, it's code that's openly available. I find this topic really interesting, but for now… we can stick to the fact it's free software… it's free, but you can donate to the programmers if you like. I use WordPress and an open source template… the good part is it's free, and I can customize it. The bad part is, I'm the one who has to do all the work.

Finding good programs to use is another issue so here are some places to look:

Images: Blogs like Just JR and Miss Dior Couture make wonderful collages with found images. I don't know what software comes standard on you computer, but chances are, you may not have Photoshop. It's an essential tool for blogging. I used it for nearly every post. If you can't shell out the $1000 for a licence for CS2… try GIMP, it still has a bit of devlopment to do… but you can give it a try. I've seen the features, and it looks pretty extensive particularly for what we do as bloggers, so if you have a super old copy of Photoshop… you might want to give this a try.

Email: I don't know what kind of blogger doesn't need a good email program. I use gmail for all my accounts. I recently bought a domain name, and didn't want to have to pay for the extra hosting for the emails, so I used google apps. With that, you can have like 100 email addresses and it uses the gmail interface, so I didn't have to learn anything new. I've also heard that Mozilla Thunderbird is a great email application.

Hosting: If you are just starting out, and are intimidated by paying up front for hosting (many companies give a discount if you pay up front) going to NearlyFreeSpeech allows you to pay for what you use. A beginning blogger may not use too much space… so it's worth a dabble. As you learn what you need, you'll feel more comfortable about investing in your website. Again… I know I should have said this earlier, but it helps to have your own domain name. They aren't expensive… but after I had to move from Blogger to WordPress, it was a hastle to inform everyone… change all my feeds, etc… I lost traffic, and my new site doesn't have the same pagerank as my old one. But now I have way more traffic than before… pagerank… well.. that' will change too.

Templates: When I moved, it was because I couldn't find the right templates to with my old platform. WordPress has tons of open source templates it was just a matter of finding one I liked with a support forum that I gelled with. Once I got my site up and running the author of the code complimented on the work I did! It was really nice.

Tracking your blog: I used to use Technorati, but lately I've lost interest in them because I knew that there were links that weren't showing up. Google now has a blog search that you can Google your blog address and it will search the entire internet for every link that pops up. It also has an RSS feed option so it can also email you when someone links to you!


Image by icanteachyouhowtodoit

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14 Responses

  1. Dahlia

    The unfortunate thing about WordPress is that they don’t allow monetizing aka advertising on your blog unless you’re one of the top ranking blogs like techblog GigaOM.

    Otherwise WordPress is a dream come true, it’s too bad you can’t do anything about making money off of it.

    Reply
  2. jennine

    you might be thinking of wordpress.com, wordpress.org allows all kinds of advertising, as i have it on my blog, and it’s by no means a big one.

    Reply
  3. Dahlia

    Really?

    Ah but having WordPress.org means I need webhost and some knowledge of PHP (which I don’t). But thanks for letting me know, I might look into investing on a webhost in the near future.

    Reply
  4. jennine

    yep…
    that’s why i wrote about “nearly free speech”… practically free hosting.

    i’m just saying that if you’re serious about monetizing your blog, wordpress has lots of free themes that allow more flexibility in terms of avenues of income.

    as far as php is concerned, it’s a lot more intimidating if you think about it all at once, it’s fairly easy to figure out how to tweak if you have basic html skills. and all bloggers should have basic html knowledge, if they are going to get anywhere at all with their blogs.

    Reply
  5. MizzJ

    Great informative post! Thanks for the tips. I definitely agree that Google has some great free applications out there. Currently I’m using Google Analytics to track my blog statistics and find it easy to use and really detailed.

    Reply
  6. mudkipz

    Those are really great tips for people who have just entered the fashion blogging biz! Well, not just fashion, those are great tips for bloggers in general 🙂

    Reply
  7. katrina

    photoshop is great and essential. i bought my CS3 from school with a hefty student discount. i bought it for $200.00. if you’re a student, take advantage of your student discount!
    .-= katrina´s last blog ..Cute As a Macaroon =-.

    Reply