They say that when you're at a dinner party, it's best to avoid the topics of money, religion and politics.We certainly don't think of IFB as some swanky dinner party where it's all eye-glares and polite comments about the weather – we like to get into the thick of it from time-to-time. We've touched briefly in religion and style blogging, and we definitely talk a lot about money.
But politics? Certainly, that's a topic we bloggers don't delve into much. I'll be the first to admit that politics are not my area of expertise, unless I'm exploring the idea of The New Politics of Blogging, that is.
No matter if you lean left or right, or what country you reside in or who you'll be voting for, there's actually a lot that we bloggers as a whole can learn from politicians. Are they all honest, good, people doing the right thing? Of course not. Are they employing major PR, marketing and credibility-establishing initiatives to drum up support, fundraising and votes? Absolutely.
Like a politician, a blogger is a public figure with a particular point of view, and in a way, you're up for reelection everyday. Looking at some of the ways that these politicians make a name for themselves, win elections and influence people can help you look at your blogging strategies in a new way.
4 Ways Fashion Bloggers Can Learn From Politicians
Appearances are everything.
Politicians know it's all about what the public sees. Who you are behind closed doors is exactly that – your success hinges only on what is available for general consumption, whether it's good or bad. For bloggers, the idea of your “appearance” is as much about the visual appeal of your site and your social media as it is about the persona you project through these channels.
Promote yourself with videos.
From viral campaign videos to sit down interviews, commercials and televised debates – politicians rely heavily on video to project an image of themselves. How they talk, what they wear, what they say – it's all carefully calculated to create a holistic image and promote their cause. While you don't need to take out an ad on public television to promote your blog, using video content to introduce yourself to a new audience and introduce your current audience to a new side of you can do wonders for your blog. Video is an extremely share-able medium that we believe will have more and more importance as the blogosphere continues to evolve.
Use facts not fluff.
One problem politicians run into when making their case to the public is relying on big promises, lofty goals and vague notions. These tactics can muster up emotional reactions from the people in the moment, but not the kind of support and respect that can be sustained. While bloggers aren't always reporting on hard news or tackling world issues – using tangible, credible information is how we create trust with readers and brands. Be honest about your analytics, and transparent with your sponsored content.
Stand your ground if you're brought into a debate.
Unlike the world of politics, bloggers are not usually placed toe-to-toe with each other, fighting for power and control. Our role is a fine balance between friendly competition to make a name for ourselves and creating a supportive community of like-minded individuals. However, both social media and our own sites give us a platform to state our opinions – and any time we do that, we're bound to run into someone who disagrees. A dissenter may try to provoke you, prove you wrong or just plain unnerve you – but stay true to your beliefs. Your audience and followers will respect your conviction.