Have you ever been afraid to start something – a new blog, a new project, or whatever? Or told yourself you'd start when you have _______ (fill in the blank)? I know I have. We're so good at putting things off because we don't have the latest thing (camera, phone, bag). We get paralyzed because we start comparing ourselves to others and think we can't be that good, and then we quit, before we even begin. I'm here to tell you that you don't need all the things you think you need to be a successful fashion blogger, the only thing that's important is that you are YOU. And that you start where you are, and use what you have.
Don't have a DSLR?
Use a point & shoot, or your phone. One of the very first outfit-of-the-day blogs was a girl taking pictures of her outfits in the mirror everyday and I'm pretty sure we all know how things have taken off since then. Back in the day (2004-2005) we just wanted to show what we were wearing – photo quality wasn't that important. Now so many style bloggers have their pictures taken by their husbands or boyfriends, with a DSLR, outside, in a beautiful setting, that in can seem very intimidating if you're stuck taking your outfit photos outside on your balcony with your point & shoot on a tripod using a timer (raises hand!).
The fact is, excellent quality photographs go a very long way towards making your blog appealing, pin-worthy, etc., but it's NOT THE ONLY THING that's important. If I had to wait for a perfect setting and for my husband (who works a million hours a week running his OWN company) to take my pictures, I'd never get any up, so I do the best with the resources I have, which has always served me well.
Can't afford Photoshop?
Use iPhoto, pixelmator, or gimp to crop and edit your photos & create graphics. I used to use Fireworks & Dreamweaver back when I was coding my website, but for many years, I've just used iPhoto to edit my photos & Pixelmator to create graphics. Since both of these work well for me, I've not seen a reason to change, but I may at some point in the future. Figure out what tools you need to do your best work on your blog and then use the most affordable one you can find right now. Aspire to upgrade when your blog becomes profitable, or you're ready to invest in a new resource, but you don't have to start out with the best, most expensive tool there is.
Don't have the skills or the money?
Start small and learn as you go. It's a million times easier to start a blog now than it was when I started, but I still see people get hung-up on “the little things” related to design & creating a blog, which brings them close to giving up. I happen to be the world's biggest self-hosted WordPress fan, but if Blogger appeals to you or having a WordPress.com blog is easier for you, then take that route. Don't let all the people preaching WordPress stop you before you start: you can move platforms later if you really want to, but at this moment, what's more important is to go with your instinct, and what is easiest for you to manage.
In the beginning, you don't have to have a customized theme, or pretty social media buttons, unless you already know how to do that. And I certainly wouldn't recommend paying $1,000 + to have someone design something for you right off the bat. Start creating content, play around yourself with css and your theme, read tutorials, copy ideas from other blogs and maybe you'll learn enough that you won't have to pay someone else to do it for you. If by the time your blog is profitable, you want to hire someone to re-do it for you, then definitely do it, but please don't get hung up on your blog's theme being PERFECT right from the start. I have talked to way too many bloggers who get stuck on the theme being perfect before creating content. I guarantee your readers aren't worried as much about how pretty the theme is as you are; they're focused on content. And anyway, with more and more people reading blogs on mobile (25% of my blog's visitors are via mobile) or in bloglovin', on Facebook, etc., they might not ever SEE your desktop theme.
Don't have business cards?
Make your own. I've seen lots of hand-made business cards in my time, and they're always more interesting than a lot of “over-designed” ones. Buy a stamp and business card printer paper, actually print photographs, cut them up, and put your information on the back. Use index cards to print your information on. You want the people you meet and interact with to remember YOU, and I guarantee a handmade business card created with passion will get the job done.
Unfortunately nowadays it seems as if to be a successful, popular fashion blogger you have to look like all the other successful, popular fashion bloggers. It's NOT TRUE, being you is what sets you apart and is what will ultimately make you successful.
Celebrate yourself, and don't be afraid to start where you are. Everyone has to start somewhere; perfection takes time. Focus on the big stuff: content, content, content, while constantly striving for improvement, and presenting everything you do with passion – it's contagious and will keep people coming back to your blog.
Have you done this? Worked your way up to having better tools once your blog became more successful? Or have you been afraid to start because you DON'T have the best tools?
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]