If you do a Google search for “personal style blog,” you will be greeted with more than 55 million results. It's safe to say that our once niche community has grown into a full-on cultural sensation.
It's hard to believe, but IFB has been around for nearly five years, which means that so too, have many of our favorite fashion and style blogs. The landscape was very different then, before social media, before brand projects, before everyone had an iPhone.
Flash forward to today – with so much development and evolution in our world – and it's a totally new place. Bloggers getting started now are equipped with so many helpful tools and the experience of so many other bloggers to learn from. That being said, are new bloggers at an advantage or disadvantage?
To get a little perspective on what it's like to start a blog in this market, we chatted with the women behind two personal style blogs, The Marcy Stop and Honey & Silk, that have already garnered attention around the web, and have been around for less than a year each.
Creating High-Quality Content From Day One
Lauren and Micol started their joint-venture blog, The Marcy Stop, in January 2012. Both women had always thought about starting a blog, and they decided it would be the perfect outlet for their love for fashion as well as a chance for Micol to work on her professional photography skills.
Right away, both women understood how important it would be to come out of the gate with great, high-quality content. “From the start, we both knew that we wanted the photography to be top notch,” says Lauren.
Micol, who takes the photographs, cites Lauren's keen eye for fashion and specific style as a key component to their blog's appeal. “She's responsible for the amazing looks we shoot each day and it's what she's chosen to wear that determines how I shoot the outfit and the location we choose,” says Micol. “It's not either fashion or photography for us that we want to showcase; the two go hand in hand and in turn, complement each other.”
Both women are grateful for any exposure they get, and acknowledge that it isn't easy to stand out in such a saturated market. “While sometimes making our mark seems hopeless, we just try to stay true to our own voice and hope that people will continue to listen. There is a lot of noise out there; every one has a blog. But the great thing is, every one will always find a reader or two that their blog speaks to, and I think as long as your blog stays true to your voice, message and style – you can't go wrong.”
From Passion Project To Professional
Stephanie Liu created Honey & Silk in July of 2011, originally focusing more on food, and talking only about trends and shopping finds than her personal style. When she wanted to showcase a particular purchase, her first outfit post was born, and things snowballed from there. Taking inspiration from some of her favorite blogs like Gary Pepper and Atlantic-Pacific, she began regularly posting her looks.
Stephanie says the development of her blog has been an evolving process, but things really took off after she attended a blogger conference in May. She was able to network with brands, PR people and bloggers, and her blog was mentioned and featured in L.A. Weekly. After that she began working regularly with brands, her traffic nearly doubled, and she recently quit her real estate job to pursue her blog full-time.
“It was a very big descision, but im a very optimistic person. I'm passionate, and I want to do something more with my time – doing something I love, and I think I can make a living out of it.”
It's a big leap to pursue blogging full-time no matter how long you've been at it, but Stephanie feels confident that there's always room for a fresh perspective. “There are hundreds of blogs out there that are basically household names – but times are changing! There's room for new perspectives, and I think that if you really work hard enough to stand out – you can,” says Stephanie.
Engaging With The Community Is A Top Priority
About their audience, Micol says,”Reading our followers comments never gets old. Because as much as this blog is a passion project for Lauren and me, it wouldn't be nearly as much fun without our readers who have amazing blogs that in turn inspire us every day! Blogging is as much about creating content as it is about supporting our fellow fashion addicts so Lauren and I both do a lot of outreach to make sure they know that.”
Both The Marcy Stop girls and Stephanie cited social media as playing an integral roll in the growth of their blogs and finding a place in the community.
“I saw how important it was to keep in touch with the world on a regular basis,” says Stephanie. “Twitter is really important for that; it's the most direct and personal way to interact with readers, other bloggers and industry people.”
Do you think it's easier or more difficult to start a style blog right now? Are bloggers at an advantage when they're able to see what so many have done in the past? Share your thoughts in the comments.