For this week's Pro Blogger Spotlight we're switching it up a little bit. Menswear blogging is a niche that we don't pay enough if any attention to over here at IFB. It's a very different market, with a very different style and obviously a very different audience. However, I think a lot can be learned from the menswear side of things, so I thought it would be interesting to get some perspective on it from one of it's most successful players.
Lawrence Schlossman, the author of Sartorially Inclined and How To Talk To Girls At Parties, has parlayed his quick wit and appreciation for well-designed clothes into a social media position at Park & Bond, as well as numerous guest pieces and features in virtually every online menswear platform you can think of. He has leveraged himself brilliantly through his talent, industry knowledge and that fact that he's just a kind, cool person. I asked Lawrence to share his thoughts on blogging and social media and I think you'll find his perspective to be interesting, honest, and hopefully a little enlightening.
Tell us a little about Sartorially Inclined and How To Talk To Girls At Parties?
Do you monotize either of your blogs?
To this day I have not monetized either and have no plans to do so.
What role does social media play in your blogging life?
It plays a huge part. From Twitter to Tumblr (which, in itself is probably the most social of all the blogging platforms), social media is the main vessel through which I make my voice heard. Without social media I doubt any new readers would find me and I doubt I would reach them. Facebook, however, plays no part. Outside of using that for personal reasons, it's pretty much nonexistent.
How Has Blogging Affected Your Career?
It has flat out made my career, or at least my recent career. Both of my professional menswear focused jobs would never have happened if not for blogging. That's how any reputation I have was made and that's how potential employers found out I even existed in the first place.
Do You See A Big Difference in Blogging Style Between menswear and womenswear?
There are hundreds of differences, but right off the bat, the menswear world is infinitely less crowded than womenswear. Menswear may be gaining more traction everyday, but the barrier of entry is still so low relative to everyone blogging about womenswear. Today, if you want be a voice in that community I feel like you need some sort of angle or gimmick to differentiate yourself from the crowd. That doesn't always make for the best blogging, but that's the nature of the game. With menswear, you could start from scratch tomorrow and assuming you know what you are talking about, have good taste (totally subjective, I know) and are honest; blogging success is not a crazy pipe dream. I will say that the idea of becoming a “professional” blogger is still a myth in menswear. The whole idea of blogging full time and making a living is alive and well in the womenswear scene, but menswear is still such a small market that I am not sure if we are ever going to see that – or, at least, not for a while.
What Advice Would You Give To Aspiring Bloggers?
Don't get wrapped up in all the perceived perks or glamor. Most of that is BS and in all likelihood will never happen to you simply because you are no longer an earlier adopter. That might sound harsh, but it's the cold, hard truth. Instead of getting wrapped up in all that nonsense, focus on perfecting your craft and linking up with people who have similar interests, fellow bloggers, peers and professionals. Along the way you may just befriend some influential people who will respect you and take an interest in what you are trying to build. Knowing how to properly use this network is key and if you eventually plan on being successful, this is what will drive your opportunities. I feel like so many bloggers today see “professional blogging” in bright lights like it's the end game or the finish line. If they instead thought of blogging as a means to begin a professional career, they not only would have their heads in the right place, but a much more fulfilling goal.
You can follow Lawrence on Twitter here.