How to Take Your Blog to The Next Level

This post is by Adrian Harris of Tall Dark Roast

 

Success as a blogger takes a profound amount of dedication, passion, and time. The most influential and style forward blogs are those who not only offer consistent, original content – but exclusive stories, interviews and images which set them apart from the growing number of sites begging for your readers attention. Ever wonder how exactly some blogs manage to rise the ranks and separate themselves from the rest? Whether a team of writers, or an army of one – here are a few tips for anyone looking to take their blog to the next level.

 

 

Always look for a new angle.

Everyone knows that original content is key. We like to talk about that a lot in the blogging world, but have you ever questioned what that really means? If 90 percent of your posts are simple re-writes of products or designers, whom you source through the ‘big boy' blogs, are you really being all that innovative?

 

Aim to research deeper into designs which fascinate you – and you will likely find creative and amazing contacts in the process. Industry types like photographers, stylists, advertising agencies and likely the brand's PR firm are all go-to people to start if you are starting from scratch. More times than not, these are very interesting people who have worked closely with brands and designers who although you may not have access to, can still offer a stellar, relevant and original piece for your site. Voila, suddenly you have some exclusive content, and it likely will keep rolling.

 

The effect this has is indisputable, because everyone wants to build press and gain a reputation. More than ever bloggers are being recognised for the power of our medium, and freelance creatives within this industry are, at least in my experience – very valuable for boosting your visibility and credibility online.

 

E-Mail, E-Mail, E-Mail

Maybe I have an unhealthy attachment to electronic mail, so be it. However this is no doubt going to be a very powerful tool where you will most likely request and receive your exclusives for your site. Be diligent about sending your own PR notes to agencies, designers, models and photographers – whoever you happen to have written about that given day. You would be surprised who will take the time to look at your site (StatCounter is a fabulous tool. Ed. note: so is Google Analytics) and although you may not get tons of responses to your notices, your diligence will be rewarded eventually.

 

Soon, press releases, invitations and more will likely be a regular event in your Inbox, and if you're doing something right, will continue in volume. Attend events, take original photos, and make sure to always send that photo link to your new (and highly valuable) PR contact the next day.

 

Keep your communication professional

While your blog may be chatty and fun, keeping your communication with regard to your blog, your best to be as professional as possible. Doing so can basically mean the difference between Reply or Delete, so be detail oriented when typing, and mention deadlines if applicable. Representing yourself as a brand, not as a fan, is always going to be in your best interest. Let there be no mistake that you are a member of the media, and you will no doubt be treated as such.

 

Early bird gets the worm

This one is for the hardcore. Anyone who starts a fashion blog, and starts sending and receiving emails to Paris, London and New York will soon realise that you could be up 24 hours a day to try and cater to everyone.

 

That said, being up early is still going to be a huge bonus in researching, writing and publishing content for your regional readers when they wake up at a dignified hour. Getting your posts out of the way, and press mail sent for the day can be a huge help with time management.

 

Don't be afraid to be creative

Most of all, trust your eye, and always strive to be better at what you are doing. At the end of the day, bloggers are creating a platform to showcase beautiful, interesting, desirable things – and as such we should continue to be innovative and push boundaries. By infusing personality into your blog, and continually reaching out and finding new, and nowhere-else-to-be-seen content, people will come back, and word will spread about what you are doing. Believe in what you are putting out, and make it original and unique, not a me too.

Image by tibchris

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43 Responses

  1. Sherry

    Thank you for the advice! I like the ending sentence, “make it original and unique, not a me too”. I think it’s important to stay true to yourself and what you believe in. your readers will notice and appreciate your honesty and you’ll have a lot more fun blogging! 🙂

    Reply
  2. Laura Connell

    Thank you for the tips. I can vouch for the fact that emailing your post to the subject can result in them posting your link and adding you to their mailing list.

    Reply
  3. FashionLifeCoach

    Absolutely great article, well written, understandable and worth the content. I agree, that blogposts do bore me, if I read the same stuff everywhere, especially now after the Fashion Weeks marathon.

    Reply
  4. Kate

    Really good ideas. I like the one about sending links of your posts to the actual person you are posting about. I think that’s essential for creating new contacts within the industry.

    Reply
  5. J. Inglett

    Great Article… I’ve watched him do most of it. He is doing a great job so far and has much more to come. xoxo

    Reply
  6. Jemappelle Kathe Elisabeth

    really great article, and as simple as it is I have never thought about the fact that most blogs just rewrite what the big blogs write about.. I will absolute keep that in mind in the future 🙂

    Reply
  7. Bella Q

    Fantastic article! I want to email this post to every single up and coming blogger I know. It’s pretty much common sense, but said so succinctly the message comes out loud and clear: professional, original blogging IS the new media.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  8. Natalia

    Great article! I’m a new blogger and there are so many fashion blogs out there that sometimes I wonder what can I do to stand out. Thanks for your ideas!

    Reply
  9. Melody Lesser

    Thanks for a great post. It’s informative and encouraging. My mantra had been “Content is King” but now, like Treacle wrote, I’m adopting “Be a Brand, not a Fan.” I do strive to achieve that “expert” voice in my posts, while still being conversational and engaging the reader. I also love your advice about emailing those we write about. I’ve seen a huge bump in my traffic when someone I’ve written about – who has a developed fan base – likes my post and retweets or otherwise promotes it. It’s definitely time-consuming, but very well worth it. Thanks again for some great advice!

    Reply
  10. Kate

    It’s good advice, but at the same time isn’t success about passion and originality? It seems those who lack those qualities don’t make it. I’m really trying to strive for something new with what I write, but still keep it familiar. I want my blog to have personality, but my personality is often like a walking Wikipedia an array of knowledge and terms that haven’t been used since the 1950’s so hmmm I really hope I can make something fun out of it and not be just another fashion blog, but at the same time it’s working great to keep track of things that I want to buy.

    Reply
  11. Stefano Wolf ( a feedback from an Italian fashion blogger)

    Thanks for a terrific well written post!
    I agree especially with the theme “originality”. I never rewrite posts, I dare my own ones with creativity and competence.
    This made the success of my blog even if it is monothematic it has many international followers. Maybe this also depends from the fact that Italian fashion is so important and, writing about Vintage and future trends as a sort of Vintage cool-hunter, made the difference, especially by those blog visitors who are designers that pick up a lot from Vintage fashion.
    You could ask me “How do you monetize your advise and hints you give to your readers”?
    I don’t know, so I’d better buy your book soon.
    I try my best to add English transcripts of my Italian text but I find your translate tool gorgeous!
    Greetings from Italy and thanks to let me know if you get Italian memberships, Stefano

    Reply
  12. Lady Cherry

    You cannot be shy about coming forward when talking to people you want to feature on your blog, or asking for freebies for giveaways (I have got a freebie running on one of my blogs at the moment). I have been suprised at how accomodating people can be if a. you are polite and b. there is something in it for them as well.

    Totally agree with the ‘me too’ comment. And about being an early bird – I have planned to blog about a new A/W winter line from Zara only to discover that a heavyweight blogger had beaten me to it by ONE day. That’l’ teach me.

    Reply
  13. Tonya

    I am new to blogging and discovered this article as I was browsing for resources. This quote has definitely opened my eyes to how I approach my post from now on

    “Believe in what you are putting out, and make it original and unique, not a me too”.

    Agreed.

    Reply
  14. Fur Doctor

    It is true, if you own a blog, you should try to keep it focused to your theme. But most importantly, be professional. Check your spelling and grammar – it helps.

    Cheers,

    Reply
  15. Kiki

    I am going to try the sending out more Emails to designers that I would like to feature on my blog. I will let you guys know if it increases my traffic.

    Reply
  16. modaadicta

    Great post!I live in a country where the trends on mode are mark by the companies of retail, then it is very difficult to create conscience on the value of the individuality.
    In this sense, the fashion blogs that appear even shyly have been important to allow that the people should express with regard to his relation with fashion.

    Reply
  17. Moda Epidemci

    This is very helpful advice. I’d love to take my blog to the next level but I have to say the biggest challenge I’m currently facing is lack of time. I work full time and try to take my blog to the next level at the same time. I am pretty sure I am not the only one struggling with the same challenges. I’m curious to see if there are out there really succesful bloggers that also work full time?

    Reply
  18. Cris

    I am finding it soo much trouble to me new with my blog because I need things like a better camera and a camcorder so that I can do first hand interviews with designers locally that I know and encounter. I am also reluctant to expand. I do not know what I am afraid of and sometimes gets discouraged when I don’t receive replies. But this post has helped boost my confidence for the most part! Thank you.

    Reply
  19. Huong

    great article and a great photo! my cousin (the girl in the picture) and I just went on this page and had to do a double take and its her:0) thanks for putting her picture!

    Reply