Top 5 Traffic Yielding Social Networks for Fashion Blogs

traffictreeImage by wwarby

Social networks take a lot of effort, they really do. In order to make them work for you, you really have to put  a lot energy into maintaining your profile, adding friends, commenting, etc… but if you got into blogging because you like to– blog, social networks can be a love/hate relationship. You love them because they do help your blog, you hate them because they take so much work, as a blogger you're probably a member of several and can actually be quite tedious.

So how do you cope? One of the ways I cope is by choosing my networks. I will set up a profile on most networks, but then I decide whether to maintain it by the the rewards I get from it. Whether it be fun, easy to use, or the big reason traffic.

Here are the top 5 traffic yielding networks for my blog (aside from IFB) The Coveted. I was actually quite shocked by the results…as I get traffic from all kinds of random places, looking at the social networks that gave me the most back really helps in deciding where to put the most effort in promoting my blog.

1. StumbleUpon

I use StumbleUpon quite regularly, in fact I ‘stumble every post' I post, and have a StumbleUpon in my toolbar so I can stumble other sites. Granted, I should stumble more, but generally I have been only stumbling random sites. (note to change habit) in fact, when I Google something and it's a stumbled page, I tend to give it more credibility. In just about every type of search. I know, I know there is a debate on whether or not to stumble your own site and posts, but it's pretty much been consistently the number one traffic yielding site for well over a year.

The Pros… if you have ‘Stumble This' plug-in on your posts or FireFox toolbar, stumbling is super easy to do. It's also one of the few link networks that really do well with fashion/fashion and shopping/vintage etc. As opposed to Digg or Mixx which are actually hard to use in comparison to StumbleUpon.
The Cons… I still haven't figured that out yet. (UPDATE: I have heard that you're not supposed to stumble every post from your blog, or you risk getting shut down. It hasn't happened to me… yet, but I don't want it happening to you)

2. Blog Lovin'

I am shocked by BlogLovin‘… Just shocked. Just last month, I noted that I didn't feel ‘loved' on Blog Lovin' I only had about one TENTH of the subscribers on BlogLovin' than I did by Feedburner.  Granted, BlogLovin' is prettier than Google Reader, and it gives you the feel of a website, and more so, when you are reading posts, it encourages more serendipity and exploring as you can see a blog's sidebars, and other linking options you just don't get in Google reader… you can also see YouTube videos, which for some reason has been getting bumpted off my reader lately, therefore missing a lot of your video blogs.

The Pros… Prettier than Google Reader, nice to use, yields more traffic, and low, low, low maintenance.
The Cons… if you subscribe to a lot of blogs (like I do) then it's going to be a real bitch to move them over to BlogLovin'.

3. Twitter

Just a few weeks ago we talked about how Twitter was making it's way to the essential blogger toolbox. Heck, even the meteorologists on CNN have twitter accounts… it's huge, and it's getting bigger. Facebook is even copying Twitter. It's spooky, and kinda cool. As I've been away this past week, I know I've been posting, but feeling guilty for not ‘tweeting as much'. That's sad. But apparently Twitter has payed off, as it's one of the top traffic yielding networks, and growing since I started.

The Pros… It's fun, I like it because it's quick and easy, and kind of like taking a break at the water cooler.
The Cons… I don't know about you, but Twitter takes a lot of work to be successful. I can't just post links to my blogs and that's that, it needs more engagement than that.

4. Facebook

Actually, I'm just as shocked that Facebook is #4 as BlogLovin' is #2. With all the talk about Facebook in the media, and all the stories that I hear about people spending all day on it (that's what I use Twitter for)… I don't think I'm really leveraging Facebook as much as I could. There is a lot of ways to promote your blog of Facebook, either from posting links on your profile, connecting Twitter and Facebook (I am a big proponent of that), setting up a Facebook Fan Page or Facebook Group. I know a lot of you promote posts on Facebook through the Facebook mail (though, I've become wary of joining groups for this reason…sorry, but it's true.. most of my Facebook mail is overwhelmingly group junk mail).  Then there is the whole Facebook Ads, which I'm considering doing as they are relatively cheap.

The Pros…. Everyone and thier mother is on Facebook these days.
The Cons… It can take a lot of work, and perhaps a PhD in String Theory to figure out how to set up a Facebook Fan page. I had to actually Google it because there was no way to find out directly on the site. Also, the serendipity rate is much lower than it was on Myspace, as you can”t view someone's profile unless you are a friend. Making it difficult for research and marketing.


You either love it or hate it. I personally feel like I'm too old to be on there, as I'm literally old enough to be the mother of more than half of the kids on their (I'm not kidding… not even teenage mum either) and I've always been a big fan of Wardrobe Remix but lately, has been yielding more traffic through the ‘looks' and also from the forums of all places. I've heard from other bloggers that is great in returning traffic to your blog, so I continue to use it, even as an old hag.

The Pros… for a what are you wearing site, the user-interface is quite easy, posting a look only takes a few minutes, and ‘hyping' looks is super easy too. Everyone on there seems to be beautiful and full of inspiration. Which is handy when I'm in a rut.
The Cons… it's very ageist (I've decided to hide my age as a result of some comments I've gotten on, and while everyone is beautiful it can be at times very homogeneous, which means if you don't have a look that will go well with the culture there, it probably won't get much attention. Luckily, it's relatively predictable, so I only really post ‘looks' I think will do well there.

So those are the 5 networks for my blog, for each blog you'll find different networks that will work for you based on your particular niche. One of the networks that has historically worked for me but didn't make it in the top 5 is Flickr, which works well for those who take a lot of photos. But I quite liked this list because it hit a number of types of networks, link network, RSS reader/blog network, microblogging site, mainstream social media network, and a fashion social network.

So which sites do you use to market your blog? Does the amount of traffic you get from networks factor into how much you use them? What other factors come to play when deciding on whether or not you use them?


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76 Responses

  1. Sandra @ DebutanteClothing

    I love StumbleUpon too. I am also using it as my own personal bookmarking tool for collecting vintage related links around the web to be used as a round up. I haven’t had much luck with Stumbling my own links though.

  2. What The Pros Do

    This is a really interesting post Jennine. It can be hard to know where to spend your time networking when there is a new social network poping up ever week so its helpful to hear your experience with these.

    I think it helps to concentrate your efforts of 1 or 2 sites and build your presence before joining yet another site. Networking online works best when you take the time to be an active member of the community so I think its important not to spreading yourself too thin and build up the number of networks contribute to slowly.

  3. Ashe Mischief

    “It can take a lot of work, and perhaps a PhD in String Theory to figure out how to set up a Facebook Fan page.”

    I LOL’ed, Jennine. I lol’ed. (Only because it’s so damned true.)

    I’m finding Facebook to be quite a successful means of driving traffic in, and I’ve been debating using it and Twitter to link to oldie but goodie posts. I find Stumble Upon to be a pain, in having to type up information, rate it, etc. in the process. I wish I could just click “I like it!” on my posts and have it be done.

  4. Retro Chick

    Brilliant post.

    I’m signed up for so many of these things it’s good to get an idea what other people have found useful!

    I have found that Twitter and Facebook have been great for my traffic too, Facebook even more so now that you can update the status on your Fan Page to send information to fans without clogging up their updates or messages. I tend to send direct messages no more than once a month when I have something specific to say, though I do know people who send a message everytime they write a new blog post!

    Another site I’ve found really good is blogcatalog. I think most months I get more traffic from there than any other site except Google and IFB.

  5. Pascal Grob

    I’ve never used StumbleUpon yet, so I might have to take a look at that. But I must say that is the traffic source #1 of my blog 🙂

  6. Tami - fête à fête

    I agree with you about Facebook. I used to think it was just me, but it’s hard to leverage off that unless you have a huge readership already. Twitter might be lots of work but it’s working for me so far.

  7. MissAmyShops

    i did stumble my own posts for a while & it sent loads of traffic to my blog. however, for some reason i can’t anymore. maybe i’m banned? ugh.

    also, i was doing squidoo for a long time but realized that i’d only gotten like 9 visits over the last year from it so gave it up. it was v. v. time consuming.

    the ones i do now, that seem to be most useful: flickr, mystylediary (few visitors, but my entire outfit history is there so i don’t want to leave LOL), twitter & facebook.

    thanks for the post jennine! great stuff!

  8. Patricia

    I got here because of your post in the problogger course. This is a terrific list post because it’s actually useful. I hanestly had not heard of some of these and certainly had no idea of the efficacy of any of them. I’m going to bookmark and come back to take notes.

    Great post!


  9. Eileen/DaisyFairbanks

    I’m curious as to how you’re able to gain traffic from bloglovin. It doesn’t seem to have any way to engage followers, other than adding the button to your blog.
    I agree about the rest, it takes time, maintenance and interaction, but followers do increase. I’m really enjoying twitter!

  10. dapper kid

    This article was so interesting for me. Out of all of these I only use Bloglovin so that people can subscribe easily, since I saw lots of other blogs were signing up at the same time to it.

    I use Stumble purely for the random stumble button, so that I can find interesting sites, which for the most part aren’t related to fashion. However, I have never thought of stumbling my own blog, which I may have to try!

    I feel like something of a dinosaur, in that I still have no idea what Twitter exactly is, or how it works?! And I have a facebook profile, but seeing as none of my friends actually know about my blog, I’ve never thought of using it as a platform for promotion.

    I think I’ll stick to just reading and commenting on other blogs for now, and maybe in the future, see about expanding my readership further?

  11. apricot tea.

    I completely agree about I’ve been trying to get my blog out there by posting my looks on, but it hasn’t really taken off. You are so right: is only for those who have that certain “look” (dare I say? hipster). It’s really frustrating too, because the looks that get the most hypes are usually not thrilling & very overrated (SOME not all).

    While it’s a great way to find certain inspiration — there are A LOT of amazing dressers that you can find on — I definitely wouldn’t recommend it as a tool to push your blog. Unless, of course, you’ve got that “look” … & I’m unsure of what that “look” consists of. All I know is… I don’t have it! (Which is peachy keen with me.)

  12. apricot tea.

    Also, about Stumble; be careful about stumbling your own blog. Stumble is VERY persnickety about this, & I’ve heard of a lot of people who have gotten “in trouble” for stumbling themselves & their own blog contents. (Don’t ask me how they got “in trouble”, but I do know that the stumbleupon crew keeps a close look at the activity going on there.) Just be careful.

  13. Jennine

    Wow, I did not know this about stumbleupon, I’ve been stumbling every post for over a year, and nothing bad has happened. I guess we should just work out some kind of stumble method or something? Who knows…

  14. ChloeHope

    Thanks for the great list! I will defo give some of those I’m not already on a go!

    Another good site I use is especially for the ‘what are you wearing’ type blogs 🙂

    How do you join

    • Citizen Rosebud

      lol! i like your help! and this post. I was noticing on lookbook how young everyone is. i guess you could say i taught dinosaurs how to dress, so dear me, not sure i should join the young and the restless.

      but it is a great looking site.

      facebook i like . alot. still trying to get the hang of twitter.

      stumbleon, i stumble on. i just don’t get it.
      .-= Citizen Rosebud´s last blog ..Etsy Find: Penny Dreadful’s Pretty-in-Pink =-.

  15. DesignerElla

    Hey, I’m about to feature this post on my new women’s blogging blog, but anyway. I have a question: How do *we* leverage Blog Lovin’? (Is there any way to promote?)


    I also want to warn against promoting every post on StumbleUpon, it’s actually not allowed and you could find yourself not able to stumble your site anymore. I’ll write more in the article. 🙂

  16. Abbey

    Definitely be careful with Stumble Upon, I know people who stumbled too many of their own stories that now they can only stumble stories from other sites.

    I just started using Twitter to post links to my stories. It really doesn’t drive too much traffic my way, but at least with them you can post as many links from your blog/website that you want.

    The way I look at Facebook & Twitter is that even if you’re not getting a lot of traffic from them, you’re still branding yourself. And it only takes a few minutes a day if you’re posting everyday, so it’s worth it.

    No can we talk about Social Networking etiquette as the next topic?

  17. Corrie

    I’m really surprised about Lookbook…I never got any traffic from it and deemed myself too old for it. The whole wannabe hipster look that runs rampant amongst the teens on there is just not my thing. I can get enough of it in my neighborhood.

    But hey, maybe if enough people over the age of 18 post looks there and hype each other, we can change it? Heh.

    I love Bloglovin’ and Twitter, though they occupy sooooo much of my time. I never used a reader before Bloglovin’ …it’s so simple!

    And I think I’ll check out StumbleUpon, currently unfamiliar with it.

  18. Trey

    I’ve got pretty much everything to get people to my blog. Twitter helps out a lot, but I hardly ever get new followers. One day I just clicked a whole bunch of random faces and “followed” them. It’s picked up since then, but I’m still following more than are following me.

    Here is a big hint out there for anyone. If you “feature” the website in any post, they usually get a hold of it. They are constantly combing the internet for any hype about their site, so when I included them in a post I did called something like “the best new websites of 2009”, an admin at lookbook found the post and hyped my blog on the links page. I got a lot of traffic from them for awhile.

    Joining is easy, but I rarely get traffic from my account. If you go to and in the right top corner there should be a sign up button, Chloe. Lookbook has a forum entitled POST YOUR BLOGS HERE you can check out:


  19. Swelle Denise

    Does anyone else worry about letting Twitter take over their life? I started recently and it seems that if I ‘get into it’ that may mean feeling that I have to be letting the world know what I’m doing and/or thinking all day, every day. And I’m not quite sure how much to put out there – where do you draw the line between the ‘real’ You and You, the blogger? I know it’s a personal thing but I’m curious what others think.

    Thanks for another useful post, Jennine! x

  20. Winnie

    Twitter- I use it fairly regularly but can go days without logging on…

    Bloglovin’- Doesn’t have a huge presence on my blog, the tabs there but few people choose to use it. I use igoogle reader myself, just because I follow so many blogs now. If I hadn’t been using google reader before then I would probably be using bloglovin’

    Lookbook- I occassionally browse through this for interesting outfits etc etc but haven’t posted anything myself just because I feel I don’t fit the category and I don’t post arty photos…

  21. Eyeliah

    I use twitter, bloglovin, lookbook and StumbleUpon (but not too much). I feel old on lookbook too, lol. But I really enjoy the site so I continue to use it. Twitter and Bloglovin have sent the most new people to my blog. I also get a lot of readers through Wardrobe Remix, so that would round out my top 5. 🙂

  22. SonjaCovets

    • Facebook – finding that that works really well. I only use it to connect with people who are friends. But I’ve gained a lot of regular readers that way who’ve been very supportive and interested in my posts. My posts have been a good source of stuff to chat about amongst us – a fun new way to bond with friends I’m only recently getting reacquainted with.
    • Twitter – have gotten lots of followers but I think I would do better if I spent more time twittering and interacting with other tweeters. I wish TweetDeck would behave better on my Mac. I like that I can actually easily keep track of people’s tweets and respond easily to replies. But it likes to freeze up. I hope the new version works better.
    • StumbleUpon – just started stumbling my blog posts. I hope they don’t get on my case. 🙂
    • The other two I’m not familiar with. Will have to check them out. Thanks for the tips!

  23. the clothing menu

    thank you for posting! very helpful. i’m new to the fashion blog world, so i didn’t know about stumbleupon and bloglovin, but just signed up! it is definitely a lot of work building traffic for a site, so thanks for the insights!

  24. Kylie ap Garth

    In addition to the sites you mention you can create your own free social networking and publishing fashion site on a site called Webjam []
    Unlike facebook the site is easy to set-up, edit & customise and there are even templates you can access for an even quicker start:
    You can access other members of the art community in the Arts channel too – providing the perfect space to market your site:

  25. erin lynne

    the only one of those things that i use is bloglovin’. i guess i’d rather promote my blog in other ways than half to deal with all those sites. i especially hate twitter. i feel old when i say this…but i really do not get it at all. i do not understand why people are comfortable sharing every boring/juicy detail of their day with random people. it’s just to stalker-ish for me.

  26. Crosby

    Twitter is my top referrer, apart from search traffic, and some days I get a fair amount from Facebook. Especially now that fan page updates show up in news feeds…

    I’ve never tried Stumble – like Ashe I get frustrated that I can’t just say “I like this” and move on. Someone tagged one of my posts on De.ic.ious about a year ago and even now I see traffic coming in from there occasionally, but nothing to jump up and down about. I’ve tried Kirtsy a bit, but never consistently.

    PS The new Fan Page set up is a bit wonky, but after updating several clients on it, I think I’ve figured it out! Jennine – let me know if I can be of service!

  27. Ondo Lady

    I use Twitter to announce my new blog post which is not really that effective but I guess gets me out there. I promote all new blog post on Digg It which is not bad and seems simplistic to use. I tried Stumble once and did not like it. I also add a link on my Facebook profile which works very nicely with the new format. I used to use Pretty Social but they have upped and gone AWOL. Shame as I used to get a fair bit of traffic from them. I still today wonder what happened to them. Oh yeah I don’t bother with Bloglovin anymore. The widget looks great but is frankly a waste of space.

  28. sarah

    i use bloglovin’ and twitter, but mainly because it’s preferred by my readers, not necessarily me. i decided to forget myspace and facebook a long time ago, because they are so overwhelmingly time consuming. i own 2 business and a blog, so there is no way to fit myspace or facebook in there!

    the feedback i have received indicates that the best way to drive traffic to your blog is to have continuously great content, including original photos. i think they key is getting someone to your blog once, and then counting on them to come back on their own based on their enjoyment of your content.

    what has worked the most for me is commenting on other blogs. blogging is a lot like making friends. if you follow others, and send them nice comments, it’s almost guaranteed that they will follow you and do the same!

  29. miggyfromPOUT

    Such a hot topic at the moment!

    It’s amazing how, just when you think you have joined every SN possible, someone tells you about another one! – I hadn’t actually heard about StumbleUpon before reading this post, so will certainly endeavor to check it out.

    Of course you will want to put most of your efforts into the sites that you’re getting rewards from but I always like to combine my online networking with non-cyber interaction… hence my networking events company.

    Networking is such a powerful tool, on so many levels!


  30. Tamia

    I’ve played around a bit with all of the above, save Lookbook. I’d like to, but I’m exhausted already. I just…I can’t join anything else.

    I haven’t had much luck with Bloglovin’ and rarely remember to Stumble my posts (I’ve only had a few visits from this), but my top external traffic drivers are Chictopia and TFS…when I post to them. The hard part is finding the time.

    I’ve also found that making friends locally is helpful. Though they’re not necessarily social networks, local social organizations are usually eager to showcase area “talent”, so I’ve received quite a bit of traffic from the blogs/websites of Cincy-area organizations.

  31. Free Karma

    I look at blogging as part of the new genre for business. You can take your business to new levels with a good blog.

  32. Ms Glitzy

    I have no follower from Bloglovin at all.
    I think most outfit network sites are useful besides Lookbook, you can try Chictopia and Modepass!

  33. Gabrielle

    Thanks for posting this. I love stumbleupon. And yes can be quite ageist. I’m not old but I would like to think as I age, fashion would still be as relevant to me as it is now.

    And thanks Jennine for putting up an invite to LookBook.

    Gabrielle’s last blog post..Fascism Still Prevalent In Italian Education System

  34. Elle

    I am so new to blogging that this post really helps a lot.
    I just have a facebook account for personal use though haven’t tried promoting there.
    Will definitely check out all the recommendations.

    Thank for this post!
    .-= Elle´s last blog ..9 Reasons why we need to over dress =-.

  35. Elle

    sorry for the typo, I mean “thanks for this post” 🙂
    .-= Elle´s last blog ..9 Reasons why we need to over dress =-.

  36. Geordae

    In my opinion, with any social network you use, it’s going to take time and patience especially if you’re new to the scene. It gets frustrating at times, because its time very consuming but, believe me if you give it your all the results will show.

    This was really helpful. I think I’m going to give Bloglovin a try.
    .-= Geordae´s last blog ..Hofstra University Student Denies Rape Claim =-.

  37. Rosanna

    Never used stumble upon but after hearing what you guys have to say about it, i’m considering using it.

    I do have an account on lookbook but i never posted anything…i really just use it to check out the different outfits of people.
    .-= Rosanna´s last blog ..Bring On The Fringe =-.

  38. Korloeni

    Big player have threat from niche social networks who specialize in particular user’s interests. Ofcourse people love to be part of network where they find friends who share similar interest. is a fashion network which is purely focuses on Fashion Models, Fashion Photographers, Agencies & Designers.

  39. diya

    very good tips! although I have to say… I understand string theory (as a chemical engineering student) and I STILL had a HUGE amount of trouble on setting up a fb fan page! my gosh and I’ve been using fb since 2006!!

    Also, thanks for the advice on stumbledupon… I didn’t know that one.
    .-= diya´s last blog ..spring time =-.

  40. Christy

    I currently just use Twitter & Facebook. Every now and then I’ll fire off a link to my blog in an LJ community and my page hits skyrocket when I do. I find Twitter overwhelming and don’t have the time to “chat” with people and read through every.single.tweet. I get frustrated with it since it seems like everyone is trying to self promote there vs. having quasi meaningful interactions.
    .-= Christy´s last blog ..Slow Southern News =-.

  41. Leanne

    My biggest all-time yielder was Twitter. Nothing to do with fashion, however; I twittered a link to my post when I ran into Adam Lambert in harajuku and was ABSOLUTELY ASTOUNDED with the response. On March 19th I got nearly 6,000 page views and 3,000 odd visitors. It dribbled for a few days after too. I did have pics I took of him and the brief few words we exchanged, but it was the fact it was a celebrity that triggered the response.

    I don’t use StumbleUpon etc so can’t comment. I get referrals from Google I guess from key words, but Facebook and Twitter remain my focus and where I get visits from, (as well as the blogs I visit and comment on). I must check out this Lookbook thang, even if I am virtually middle-aged…
    .-= Leanne´s last blog ..DIY post – Embellished Headband with EGL Crown motif =-.

  42. Macala Wright Lee

    Hey Everyone:

    Jennine is correct with the sites that she listed as yielding traffic. But I’m going to throw something else out there. Think about your BOUNCE and CONVERSION rates.

    While some sites yield quality, you also want quantity. If you don’t use StumbleUpon correctly, it send tons of traffic, but it doesn’t convert. You have to take the time to tag it correctly and write the description what it is. StumbleUpon is more time intensive than Delicious.

    If you have more business oriented content – like IFB does – make sure you’ve submitted a few posts to Delicious and Digg (don’t go nuts, just a little bit goes a long way).

    Also, bloggers might find that Glitt3r, Mixx and Kirtsy will yield some quality traffic. Again, it depend on the content, if it does show noticeable traffic, then ditch it. Bloggers have to experiment with their content and syndication. But generally, 45-90 days is all you need to guage something. If it doesn’t convert, ditch it. Have 3-5 outlets, it’s all you need.

    Flickr is great for photo bloggers or image heavy site. But again, how you tag a photo, how you describe it and the LINK TO THE WEBSITE in the DESCRIPTION are key.

    Work on building inbound links to your site also, those help your search rankings. Again, go for quality, NOT quantity, you’ll hurt yourself in the long run.

    Also, if your a fashion blogger, you’re not gonna get much out of DIGG, but you want to have a few posts indexed.

    And if you don’t know about BOUNCE and CONVERSION rates, you need to read up – Google Analytics has a great help base for you to understand these things.
    .-= Macala Wright Lee´s last blog ..The Average Woman Spends 3 Years of Her Shopping =-.

  43. Violet

    This is a great article. I am new to blogging and started profiles on some social networking sites. It is overwhelming and confusing, to say the least. I find Twitter to be really useful in driving traffic, but agree with you, I don’t leverage Facebook as much as I should. I have a fan page, and would rather comment or share something as my ‘fan page’ profile. Instead, it’s from my personal account, so my blog doesn’t get exposure unless they are friends or I suggest it to them, which is another step. (And perhaps there’s a way to do this, and I’m just in the dark!) I’ve questioned if placing an ad on Facebook hurts credibility or who really even looks at it? If anyone has any insight or luck with this, I’d love to know.
    .-= Violet´s last blog ..Shopping, Socializing, and Sweet Freebies? It’s Possible with Maison de Couture =-.

  44. Tia

    Thanks for this, I have faith that it will work. I am new to blogging and just recently set up my blog. And I needed some tips on how to get readers/viewers.
    Thank you again! 🙂

  45. Ivory Crush

    Im new to blogging and I must say your post is invaluable to someone like me! Thanks so much for the insight – there are so many social networking sights its hard to know where to start! x