How will fashion blogs evolve in 2011?

One of they keys to longevity is evolution, stay relevant, stay fresh. If you've following the blogging scene for a while, you have probably already seen a clear evolution. When I first started reading blogs in 2001, they were called online diaries and for the most part weren't so pretty, ten years later, blogs compete with magazines for attention, producing quality content that one could get truly lost in.


While I couldn't have predicted how things would evolve in 2010, we tried… there have been some key developments in the industry that have changed how we operate.


The Rise of the Professional Blogger

While professional bloggers have always been around, Manolo Shoe Blog, Fashion Tribes, Second City Style, Bag Snob, etc. This year more than ever, bloggers have quit their jobs and gone on their own. Top tier bloggers like Susie Bubble quit Dazed Digital, Tavi got a publicist…but what is interesting is how many bloggers are able to find ways to make a living through their blog catering to their niche. Companies like ad network, Style Coalition and  blogger talent agency, Digital Brand Architects have really come on the scene this year finding ways to help mid-size bloggers monetize their sites. Fashion companies are paying attention to the influence of bloggers, we've only just begun.


Teaming up

Bloggers have to wear a lot of hats… editorial, business, technical. What became apparent this year is that great blogs don't happen on their own. Style Bytes in 2008 was the first blog I noticed that changed by having ‘the boyfriend' taking photos. The quality of content seemingly stepped up overnight, soon becoming the industry standard for beautiful outfit shots. No more photos in the mirror. I've even started collaborating with Ciao Chessa! for my outfit shots and Ashe Mischief to regularly contribute to IFB. While this is only one example, there are many functions that are very difficult for a single person to handle when a blog reaches a certain point. Whether it be handling the business, marketing, or content development more and more bloggers are teaming up with others to push their blogs to the next level.


What About Video?

Video is the future of blogging. Have you heard that before? Every year, I hear someone say, ‘This is going to be the year video blogging takes off.' While some ‘haul videos' reach views in the millions, and the birth of internet TV, Google TV and smart TVs… the New York Times says ‘Americans are now spending as much time on the internet as TV.‘ I don't own a TV, and I'm a blogger so I can't account for how the average American consumes media, but this year I went out of my way to watch a five minute Friskies commercial (now has almost a million views), and  a 20 minute making of the Old Spice commercial video, one thing became clear. Advertising is changing, it's going online, and we're seeking it out. What will it mean for bloggers? Perhaps the same thing as it did for traditional bloggers, content driven integrated sponsorships. What'll be interesting is to see if companies will invest in the internet the same way it invests in TV.


I don't think we'll see a clear ‘this is the year for video' year, but a steady evolution towards it. It's still difficult to produce and edit videos. The one haul video I did took 10 minutes to film and three hours to upload and tag, it only got 900 views. YouTube is still the main way to distribute videos. I think once people get into learning how to market their videos, the return will be greater and we'll see more bloggers use video in conjunction with their blogs.


Mobile Blogging

This is another area where, every year, someone says ‘this is going to be it for mobile blogging.' How that has transpired is by using Foursquare,  Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. Mobile blogging has not been able to replace sitting down at your computer and writing. And I don't think it will ever, the human brain still works at the same pace it always has, no device can change that… yet. The mobile conversation of course is different, and it will continue to evolve, though not in place of traditional blogging but in conjunction with it.


Twitter & Facebook

This morning I read an interesting, though not surprising post, Are Social Bookmarking Sites Dying? Where it stated that most bloggers across the board use just Facebook and Twitter to market their blogs. I held out with StumbleUpon after slowly giving up on a slew of networks I used to submit my posts to…and pretty much I just use Twitter, Facebook and IFB. What does this say about bloggers and what they want from networks? I think bloggers are simply putting their time in where their friends and readers are actively engaging in real time. Twitter and Facebook. It's going to be be very hard to pull bloggers away from this trend because we're all now so used to going to these spaces and getting immediate feedback, and whatever comes next is going to have to truly generate traffic for it's investment in time.



We now have an iPad in the house. I have to say that the experience of reading my blog in bed on the iPad was completely different from reading it in bed with my laptop. Maybe it was the orientation from wide screen to portrait.  Maybe it's touching the screen to scroll through. But with RSS apps like Reeder that lets you create your own magazine like reading experience the blogging experience is going to change, enabling bloggers to provide much more fluid content, also by integrating video content as readers are more leisurely consuming digital media.

I don't think the iPad will cause an overnight evolution for blogging and social media. But with other tablet devices expected to be unveiled next week at the Consumer Electronics Show, it does mean that this format isn't going away time soon and we'll probably see a shift in the way we interact with computers in the coming years because of it.


Where do you see blogging evolving in 2011? What plans are you making to evolve this year?


image by ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser




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40 Responses

  1. AsheMischief

    Ooof. This is such a hard post to answer.

    In many ways, I think blogging won’t change too much–just because so many bloggers will be struggling and running to catch up with what’s already in place (myself included).

    I do think we’ll see more blogging teaming up (I love team work!) and going professional… but in very inventive ways.

    I’m not sure that I think Twitter & FB will die just yet… mostly because I think the article is wrong if they think we only use it for promotion. It’s really communicative and allows us more interaction than comments do… it’d be interesting to see if there weren’t a way to make comments on the blogging platforms as dynamic as they are on Twitter…

    • Jennine Jacob

      Oh yeah, the article didn’t say Twitter and Facebook was dying, it said social bookmarking sites were dying… i just thought it was interesting because I used to use so many and now I just use Twitter/Facebook/IFB and that’s it. I think bloggers are going to be so much more selective of the networks they participate in… especialy ones where the reward is not so clear. We’ll see!

      But yes, teamwork! That’s my favorite!

  2. Lori

    I’m still so new to blogging that I am really, really far behind in what is going on now. I don’t know enough to even guess what is coming, but for me personally, I hope to get someone to read my blog in 2011. I love the team idea and hope to explore this aspect of blogging in 2011.

  3. Corrine/Frock & Roll

    What a thought-provoking post! Unfortunately I have no immediate answers other than to say that I’ve DEFINITELY noticed in the last six months how much more receptive and interested big companies are becoming in bloggers and blogging in general.

  4. Valeria

    I love your post (I fowardet it to my friends too).
    I can see some activity in Italy too: I hope market will be more liberal in 2011!

  5. natasha

    The video blogging is a scary thought for me. I can be a bit of a control freak and it is so much easier to weed out ugly pictures and to pick the ones I like and enhance them for beautiful content on my blog. Video is so NAKED and I am no film videographer. Plus, I hate the sound of my voice….ugghh I think I might be in trouble!

    Love the feature on other blogs though! It does give you more of a sense of the bloggers personality and is more captivating than a simple photo.

    • Jennine Jacob

      it’s true, video does provide more the personality of a blogger, i really enjoy seeing other bloggers talk and express themselves. but yeah, getting the footage down right is hard. and voice? i hate my voice, probably should start taking voice lessons!

  6. Cate Young

    i’m actually terrified of video blogging! i’ve always been better with the written word and i’m terribly awkward in front of a camera. i suppose the pressure isn’t on just yet, but i’ll be doing all i can to resist the switch.

    • Jennine Jacob

      i know what you mean, every time i make a video i get comments from people saying that they used to think i was smart until they heard me talk. woops!
      have to work on that!

      • Blah Blah Becky

        I can’t believe people actually said that to you! How mean!

        From hearing you in the Evolving Influence ticket competition video I think you have a lovely voice – it’s quite sing-song and girly but that does NOT mean you sound stupid, just feminine ^_^

  7. ladies salopettes

    I agree with the predicted evolution you describe in the post, Jennine. Personally, I’m trying to take my blog to the next level by removing clutter and monetizing (or attempting to monetize).

  8. lisa

    Hehe I still do the mirror outfit shots because there’s no one else to take my photos for me–everyone’s too busy. It’s funny because it’s such a rarity on blogs these days, I had one reader who met me face-to-face say that the mirror shots compiled into one collage had become my “signature.”

  9. Kristina

    Hey, very interesting thoughts! I’m definietly for a profesionalization. And I hope thaet in my country blogging will become more popular and influencing – especially fashion bloggers 😉

  10. eyeliah

    Thanks for provoking my thoughts, I’m reading all the blog studies now…. MY plans are not there unfortunately, I need to find a job and lose a few holiday pounds so when I get a post in too I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

  11. John Covington

    I love this Article. I’m new to blogging but I’m a Fashion Photographer and Graphic Designer. I wanted to publish my own fashion magazine but I was advised by a fellow designer to start online first. I’m not an excellent writer so I find friends to write for my fashion blog in exchange for promoting their blogs and twitter accounts. Team blogging is Great and it’s a good way to build up content for print. In 2011 I can see that this will be the slow decline of the print world. The iPad, Nook, Samsung Galaxy etc will take over very quickly. Marvel even has an app for downloadable comic books for 99cent. I also heard a rumor that The New York Times will stop printing News Papers in 2013 and issues will be downloadable. Twitter and Facebook is a good way to promote a blog but I don’t think Social Bookmarking Site will die out because it’s not easy to get a lot followers/friends starting out.

    • Jennine Jacob

      last week i picked up the nyt to read on the plane (they were giving it out for free) and was miffed that i already read all the articles on my iphone. so maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to stop printing paper!

  12. Milly

    Really interesting read Jennine. I think the rise of the pro-blogger will only continue due to the eagerness with which print jornalism has embraced bloggers in the past year because that type of attention will enhance any application with fashion credentials!

    I have also been spotting lots more bloggers being more specific about which labels & designers they are citing so I am thinking fashion blogs might advance to being brand ambassadors (which I imagine would be different to all the brand product placement infection that we see on so many blogs)!

    • Jennine Jacob

      I agree…though I’m hoping that doesn’t happen so much because I can’t help but to wonder how much that affects authenticity. Although it’s true that we all lean towards certain brands with our wardrobes… it’s a toss up really.

  13. MJ

    Professional Blogging is something that will definitely continue to be a big trend this year. More and more brands are reaching out to us bloggers because we are becoming the gateway to their consumers and we know how to socially engage with them many times a lot better than they can!

    I think teaming up is also going to become a big trend. You’re right that a blogger can’t pull everything off on their own and collaborating with other bloggers creates benefits both for you and the bloggers you work with!

  14. Vogue & Vintage

    Great post as always! With all things new and “trendy” you have to stay current and ahead of the game. I think we fashion bloggers are so HGIHLY creative there’s no telling what we can think of and turn this once “hobby” or “virtual diary” into something PHENOMENAL! Me personally I spent my Sunday reorganizing my blog, cleaning up unnecessary adds and sidebar information, and teaching and refreshing myself on html codes. I want to keep my site clutter free and informative. I just so happen to be in the middle of writing an “expansion” brain storm on my blog and thinking of ways to take this to the next level. Maybe it’s the New Year or the aligning of the Fashion Gods, but whatever it is I think change is always good, Growth is Excellent, and Reinventing is always Necessary.

  15. Alana

    It’s very interesting to read this article and see how the blog world is changing right along with the world of traditional journalism.

    I work at a newspaper, we’re still not advanced to the point of shooting videos etc, but in school it was hammered into us that social media tools i.e. twitter/facebook and shooting on multi-platforms ie photography video, audio is the way of the future, and there won’t be such a thing as just print journalism anymore.

    I think it makes complete sense that this would translate into the blog world – it will probably take a while to catch on, but once it does it’ll probably seem normal for everyone to shoot videos, blog from their smartphones and go through their blog reading on their iPads.

    I’m new to blogging, but I love all the possibilities that it presents. I think that change can be a really good thing! Even if it is kind of intimidating at first.

  16. Melody Lesser

    As I was reading your provocative headline, I thought “Video. We’ll be doing a lot more vlogging in 2011.” And then I saw your paragraph on the subject. Over the past few months, I’ve received a lot more mail with offers to embed video on my blog. I think my readers appreciate the ready access, especially to fashion shows.

    I, too, now limit promoting my posts to Twitter, Facebook and IFB. And, frankly, I was feeling rather horrible about that and thought I was being remiss – until I read your post and some of the comments. Interesting how so many of us are evolving in the same direction at the same time.

    I don’t like Mobile blogging for exactly the reasons you mention. It does not replace writing at my computer and designing an attractive, easy-to-read page. I do use Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook for IPhone – but only for conversation, as you say. Not for the hardcore stuff of creating posts.

    Is it my perception/imagination or does the field of fashion/beauty blogging seem to be exploding? I think that is something that will change in 2011. Fashion magazines, design houses, etc. are getting into fashion blogging and, I think that, as fashion blogging becomes more and more common among established companies, the “little guys” (of which I certainly am one) are going to have to scramble even more than before to find and maintain readers. This, of course, will make it even harder to monetize one’s blog – unless it’s from a “big guy.”

    And, you’re right. Fashion bloggers are so much more than writers and editors. We’re photographers, promoters, merchandisers, public relations experts, marketers, business developers, etc., etc. But we must love it. I know I do.

  17. Franca

    Thought provoking post! I am far too far removed from the cutting edge to make any sort of predictions (I joined twitter less than a week ago!), but video is definitely something I would like to explore more. Though I’m not sure it will become all encompassing, because a lot of people read blogs mainly at work and most employers block videos.

  18. Holly

    Blogging has become so influential lately. All the blogs I read on a daily basis help motivate me to bring my readers the best content possible. My goal for 2011 is to network my blog some more – social network, and offline networking such as business cards & simply spreading the word!!

  19. Bella

    Certainly not hoping for more videos, only cuz, as a reader, I get waaay too slowed down when I stop to watch —too much time is spent on these.
    I would like to see more variety and creativity in the types of fashion blogs.
    So many are the same type, and so many have no concrete identity or focus. Maybe some of these will wither away eventually but instead it seems more and more of these are popping up like gremlins.

  20. Laura Connell

    Jennine, I was so glad to hear you only use Facebook and Twitter because I do, too and was beginning to feel guilty for not learning how to use the others. I have dabbled with stumbleupon but feel somehow that my precious time is better used improving my twitter presence rather than spreading myself more thin. We shall see what the new year brings.

    I’m a one day at a time kinda gal so I don’t make predictions about the future. I’d like to be pleasantly surprised and do what I can to stay somewhat abreast the current trends.

  21. Kendra Bracken-Ferguson

    Thanks for including Digital Brand Architects!

    As the first online talent management agency solely dedicated to bloggers, we saw this as a game changing opportunity within the industry, to help define and create standards for how brands should be engaging bloggers. As with anything new, we expect there will be a learning curve and a period where brands will have to adapt to working with representation when it comes to partnering with bloggers. We believe this is the perfect time to launch such a venture and can’t wait for the opportunities to grow and expand our business in 2011!

  22. Angel

    I know that I want to focus on content and consistency, and I think a lot of bloggers will be choosing to do the same.

    I think the sponsored post phenomenon took over the web for a while and while I don’t think it will completely dissappear (we all need money) I think that brands will be competing for the right blogger and bloggers will be competing for the right brands maybe a bit more than they have been.

    I also think that fashion weeks will see a rise in professional bloggers attending and making valid comments rather than posing.

    Bloggers are beginning to realise that professionalism is definately needed.

    Anyway, I’m excited about this year in blogging.

  23. Basil Farano

    I think that 2011 will also be a year where bloggers will use new technologies to not only engage with their audience; through facebook, twitter or mobile, but also help bloggers find new ways to generate revenues other than advertising.
    Bloggers have become extremely important to the fashion community, and this will continue to grow.
    This will be the year of the extension of “imgae & personal representation” through social, as well as engagement.

  24. Michelle Christina of Tchaikovsky Darling

    I’m all about video progression! I love when I see bloggers who’ve created little “episodes” on their blog as another way to express their aesthetics and connect to the readers. It also impresses me when I see how professional and creative bloggers are getting with this medium.

    One of my progressive goals for the new year is definitely to incorporate videos I direct/edit myself into the mix.

  25. Alix McShane

    This has actually really helped me with my university dissertation – I am doing research on “Is fashion blogging journalism?”.
    In a way I prefer reading fashion blogs to magazine articles as they are more opinionated and can be updated as things happen via mobile phones, social networking etc, whereas magazines usually come out once a week or month.
    I would appreciate any fashion bloggers who could help me further with my research project by answering a few questions via email. Please contact [email protected]
    Thanks a lot,

  26. The Style Voyager

    I’m thinking about making videos. I went to journalism school so I can understand the video making and editing stuff, and they are way too demanding. I don’t think I want to put up some shitty video (quality and contect wise), so i’ll probably need a professional cameraman… But I think video blogging is great cox you’ll have youtube as another platform to promote your blog.

  27. Olivia

    Digital Brand Architects are sharks. Please don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    They are only interested in making money for themselves.

    The owner has a really bad reputation and many brands won’t work with her as a result.

    I’m really surprised the IFB is praising them in this post

  28. guccidiscounting

    Certainly not hoping for more videos, only cuz, as a reader, I get waaay too slowed down when I stop to watch —too much time is spent on these.