So You’re Not a Personal Style Blogger… Now What?

notstylebloggerI often see members of IFB say, “Well, I'm not a personal style blogger….this isn't useful for me,” or “Why do you always focus on personal style bloggers?”

When people think of fashion blogging, it's the personal style blogger who has carved a place in the public's mind.  From peacocking at Fashion Week to building brand relationships, it always seems to be about the personal style blogger (can I get a “Marsha, Marsha, MARSHA!” ?)

As Jennine's post on 126 Niche Fashion Blog Ideas shows, the personal style blogger is just a small, small fraction of what fashion blogging can talk about.

Why the focus on personal style bloggers?

This July I'll have been blogging for 6 years, and when I started I had no intention of being a personal style blogger.  It seems that many bloggers started out this way, and at some point we all begin incorporating personal style into our sites.

I'd argue that the rise of fashion bloggers began with personal style bloggers: Susie Bubble, Rumi Neely, BryanBoy.  The Flickr community Wardrobe_Remix (founded by Tricia Royal of Bits n' Bobbins) grew quickly, and people jumped onto the personal style train quickly.

Six years ago, it was normal to see personal style talked about in a cultural or social context; for those daily outfits to include a DIY of how to create ombre tights or talk about what the significance of the pieces we wear.  In short: personal style blogging was as much about the life of the person behind the site as it was about the clothes they wore.

Personal style bloggers found success because it's easy to relate to someone when you can see their face.  It's also easier to trust their opinions about fashion when you can see them putting their words and ideas into practice.  This is likely why so many bloggers (like myself) began to incorporate their outfits into their site.  It also became an essential part of growing an audience.

So while the public things of fashion bloggers and personal style bloggers as synonymous, one look at this vast community would show otherwise.   There's a whole wide world of bloggers out there who DON'T showcase their personal style, and that's okay.  In fact, it's great.

What do I do if I'm NOT a personal style blogger?

It's OK.  It really is, and if you look at the IFB roster of contributors, you'll recognize that there is an audience out there for your niche.  You CAN find success in fashion blogging, but it means approaching blogging from a slightly different position.

If you're not a personal style blogger you may find growing your site and finding your audience more challenging.  You may think that IFB posts aren't relevant to you.  This just means you need to work smarter — and differently– than those who share their outfits of the day.  Each post we share is relevant to you– it's just a matter of spending a few minutes to think about HOW to apply that information to your site in a way that is relevant and meaningful for your own topic.

Recognize you're in a position to establish yourself as an authority on a niche topic.  Crosby is the Girl Friday of fashion publicists and marketing.  Cora owns a leading site on lingerie, and you won't find anyone more faithful to Repetto and James Perse than Grechen.  Authority is harder to establish when all you share is your outfits each day, but if you write about additional topics, you'll have a much easier time doing so!

Without the “What I Wore” post, you can't use utilize communities like Lookbook or Chictopia to grow your traffic, but you can leverage SEO so your reviews of the new Cover Girl lipsticks bring in organic traffic or others can find your picks for 6 Teal Sandals for Summer.  Many personal style bloggers under-utilize SEO because they lack written content.  Make their weakness your strength.

Remember that while personal style bloggers may be the majority, that doesn't mean they have the greatest advantage.

Remember that while personal style bloggers may be the majority, that doesn't mean they have the greatest advantage.  It means that the market has reached a saturation point and that it requires hard work and more creativity to stand out against the crowd.  Your site, with all of it's unique coverage and content, positions itself to find itself its own audience.  It just may take a bit more work, outreach, and creative thinking to get the word out!

If you're NOT a personal style blogger, what have you found helps keep you competitive, building an audience, and creating new content–without feeling discouraged? 

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35 Responses

  1. Anastazja Oppenheim

    I’m surprised that anyone raised such concerns. I’m not a personal style blogger, but I find that about 9 out of 10 IFB posts are 100% relevant to what I do. Tips on SEO, social media, dealing with criticism, writing exciting titles etc are useful for every blogger, not just those who post their outfits!

  2. Soraya

    I find most of the IFB posts relevant, I am not a personal style blogger but write about the brands I love and get a lot of support from the designers and events I write about. I do not find it difficult to find topics to write on. I do notice a lot of people give me advice to blog about my personal style, but I write about Indian and Arabic fashion, I do not own 150 Indian gowns, living in the West I do not wear them on a daily basis either. I guess as fashion bloggers it is important to stick to your niche and there is enough to write about you just need to look outside your own wardrobe if you aren’t a personal style blogger 🙂

  3. Krystal

    I don’t consider myself a personal style blogger. But because my site is about eccentric fashion and dressing outside of the box, I did think I needed to show some of my personal style. To balance this duality, I only do personal style posts 3 days a week or less, the other days are other content articles and info from around the internet. I think I have a great advantage because I can use SEO in a more in depth way. There are a few plug-ins available now that help you SEO your photos but I get way more traffic from SEO on text. I also find that having actual articles instead of heavy visuals without text make for more interesting engagement with my readers. They have so much more to say than just ‘nice outfit!’ I also agree with Anastazja, I find 9 out of 10 articles on IFB very helpful. I actually have to do some digging around on here when I have a question about personal style or photos. I don’t think my closet is big enough for me to be a daily personal style blogger. But as a writer, I can honestly say that the personal style portion of my blog is not my favorite part, my favorite part is finding helpful information and making it digestible for my readers. This is a great post Ashe!

  4. Nasreen

    I’m a personal style blogger but there was a few weeks when I could not take outfit post photos but the posts on IFB still really helped even if you have to do a little extra work! It also feels good to challenge yourself and think harder and smarter 🙂

  5. MJ

    Thank you for this! I’m a beauty and fashion blogger and only incorporate outfit posts here and there. There is more than one way to write about fashion! I know fashion bloggers who have great sites and you don’t even know what they look like! (Beautifully Invisible, A Brit Greek, and Taxonomy of my Wardrobe come to mind!)

  6. Natalia Gutierrez

    I have been blogging for two years, and only started doing personal style a few months ago. It is interesting to see the reaction of people, but I’ve noticed I have less comments and people are less interested by these posts than the other content. Since my boyfriend takes my pictures and he works, it is difficult to prepare this type of posts, so I only do it about once a month so my face and style can still be shown (which in my opinion gives some credibility) but normally I work on more written posts like history of garments or sociological questions of fashion.

  7. Jennifer Rose

    We have found it a bit challenging with the style blogger craze, however we enjoy being creative and using SEO. The thing is. The style blogger bubble will bust, and only the top girls will be standing. I agree with this article, you must carve our your niche. We write on fashion, beauty, and tech. This provides us a unique perspective, and we’re offering helpful information. You have to stay true to yourself and remember people still love to read content! 🙂 – JR of

  8. Ayida

    Great post! I sometimes do feel like fashion blogging equals personal style blogging. But then again there are also a lot of personal style bloggers who are very succesful in being creative and/or informative with their outfit posts. I have a DIY fashion blog that I consider more a fashion blog than a crafts blog. I found my niche and I’m sticking to it 🙂 I guess my personal style is incorporated through the clothes I select as inspiration for my DIY project, the items I want to wear
    and am planning to make.
    I try to apply the articles on IFB to my blog as I see it and I’m always inspired by them!

  9. Shug Avery

    Such an interesting read !

    I am the first one to say I am not a personal style but still I incorporated to my blog outfit posts to show my readers how I applied fashion & style to my wardrobe. Nonetheless these kind of posts were my least favourite to do up until I decided to give them a twist.
    Since I don’t own a DSLR, you won’t see the quality of pictures like you can find on Style Scrapbook or other personal style blogs. To make for this default I decided to make outfit posts in which I’ll bring my readers with me visiting the city I am living in, Bologna. These posts are both visual and written and I have noticed that since then people pay more attention to them because I offer them my view of Italy and how I dress. So instead of getting the usual “nice outfit” comment I succeeded in creating a bond with my readers making them curious about the place I live in and unexpectedly make them more aware about my style.
    Another thing that worked for me was creating a serie of outfits inspired to my everyday life if I ever wear to go the Fashion Week. Though the quality of my pictures was kind of creepy, people reacted to them because it was realistic.

    It took me a while finding a satisfying compromise to create my outfit posts. I try posting them once a week but if I don’t do it, it is also fine by me since my readers happen to like the most more in depth content.
    I don’t have 1000 readers by day but the comments I received are precious because it shows that they took time to read my content and are people keen on reflecting with me, learning me things, exchanging their point of view with me. So I’d say that if you are not a personal style blogger, the best thing to do build an audience and to create new content is to make things look as a conversation AND above all express your thoughts the most honestly possible. Express when you didn’t like something, when you did like it or when you have mixed feekings and it will work for sure. In fashion people often forget that the most unique thing we own are our thoughts and the way we put them.

    Really a great read that I hope will help other fellow bloggers !

    Shug Avery of Incognito

  10. CynthiaCM

    I consider DelectablyChic! to be a “lifestyle” site, with a focus on style, food, events, travel, etc… I don’t get the traffic, opportunities or press that more personal style and beauty blogs get, but I get a lot of event invitations, either from people just “finding” me or if I reach out to them. I’d say that many of my fashion/style-related event coverage comes from me contacting PR – I really utilize to search for events that might be of interest to my readers. I also think sites like mine might be longer-lasting. While I don’t think I’m ever going to turn DelectablyChic! into a parenting site, I can review restaurants, arts/culture (dance, theatre, music, etc…) well into my later years without looking “off” or out-of-place that a 50-something “personal style” blogger might. When I DO write about fashion or beauty, I try to take a different approach. I find many blogs don’t bother, and are writing what people might want to hear (or what PR wants to hear). I have a rule: “if it sucks, it sucks.” And I will say that it sucks (though nicely – LOL!). And as a short girl, I WILL comment on whether a designer’s looks are petite friendly or not.

    I’ve noticed that because there is little “personal” connection, I don’t get nearly the number of comments that personal sites get. Any suggestions on how to change that? Or do people just prefer to comment on said sites?

  11. Diane Taha

    I’m trying to become more of a personal style blogger. I noticed I get more likes when I post pictures of what I wear. But I’ve only been blogging for two months. I’m trying to balance personal style blogging with beauty and blogging advice.

  12. Lauren // thepearshape

    I don’t consider myself a personal style blogger but a fit blogger for a very specific niche of women. I think what has helped me grow is sticking to that particular topic and allowing me readers to trust me on that topic. Straying outside too much to lifestyle or food is great for one-off “get to know me” posts but generally I stick to the topic of my blog, fashion for pearshaped women 🙂

    Lauren //

  13. Natalie Salinas

    I tried to post my outfits when I have the time to do it (which almost never happens) so the most of my post are related to advices about beauty or how to wear a piece of clothes, and I find that there’s a lot of material to write about.

  14. Kendall (EcoDesignGirl)

    Thanks for this great post + shout out to all of us who aren’t personal style bloggers 🙂

    My niche is promoting ethical + eco fashion and thankfully there’s so many inspiring designers and boutiques out there I’ve always got fresh and exciting things to share with my readers!

  15. Ghadir

    I started my blog during the Egyptian revolution of 2011 to promote my own designs on a platform where I could talk about my inspirations and how each piece really came about . As an Egyptian, I definitely feel as though I have an advantage in terms of location but also as an upcoming designer, I do see a vacuum in the blogger/designer community. I would be really interested in finding out more about other designer/bloggers and how they approach their blogs. Any related articles on designer/bloggers on IFB?

  16. debi c

    i personally started personal style blogging because of gabi gregg. i didn’t know bryanboy or susie bubble then.

  17. Laura

    I’m also surprised that anyone said that IFB posts weren’t useful… I’m a member for quite a time now and I’ve never found any post on IFB useless. This post is just another great one! I’m not a personal style blogger as well, because I don’t have the time / equipment to do so, but we can be successful as well 🙂 thanks for the post!


  18. Valentine

    Like mot of the others, I am not a personal style blogger even if I do very occasionally post some of my outfits (but mainly when I make my clothes myself) but I do find the majority of your articles relevant to what I do and very helpful! (Thank You)

  19. Lu Li

    I just came across IFB a couple days ago and I must say this is one of the most useful resources on blogging I have found on the web! Thank you so much for the great content!

    As for my blog, I have designed it as a style advice blog. My goal to help people making more out of their wardrobes by showing them that they can wear any piece of garment in 3 different ways.

    I am very new to the blogosphere, but I can easily see how fit to tips from IFB to my blog. Thanks again!

  20. Josie

    Thank you for this thoughtful post. I do think personal style blogs get more attention, but I also cringe at them from time to time. I try never to cringe at the material I post, and I rarely post personal photos. I think clothing affects everything we do, so there’s plenty to say about it without always posting photos of myself in outfits :-). Thanks again for considering this topic!

  21. Clever Little Buttons

    I am not a personal style blogger, but I have a niche that I have worked hard to carve out for myself. Personal style posts are relevant to all bloggers if you take what you need from the. For me, I blog about fashion and beauty, but also my take of the latest news and women’s confidence issues. I use SEO to bring in traffic and that works ok for me.

    Love Cass @ Cleverlittlebuttons

  22. Ellen

    Tomorrow it will be 7 years since my first post went live. Back then, fashion bloggers where rare and personal style bloggers very rare. But in the past 3 years it seems that everyone is a personal style blogger and there are specially loved by teenage readers who see them as celebrities. Even IFB seems to be mostly focused on these types of bloggers when making blog lists.

    Just do whatever you love and enjoy it. Turn it into a business and live from what you love. It doesn’t matter what your style is, there is an audience for everything.

  23. RunwayMonk

    When I started with my blog it was just me with all the ideas I had put into my blog, then I came to know about IFB, started following and reading it and though i never was a personal style blogger most of IFB articles seemed relevant (still are). In fact, I think most of the articles are more relevant for non-personal-style-blogger as it helps them in improving and pitching themselves well without personal style photos (which is a challenge). I am happy to read this article because I have always wondered if blog that are not personal style blog were even considered fashion blogs, except for really popular ones like Garance Dore.

  24. Elzita

    I am not a personal style blogger, and have never posted a ‘what I’m wearing today’ post. I have noticed however, that when I post photos of some of my friend’s outfits, my traffic increases drastically.

  25. Alexandrea J. (@Ajwilson412)

    I won’t lie that there are times that I wish that IFB focused more blatently on non personal stylist/fashion bloggers HOWEVER, most of the posts that you write are actually relevant no matter who is your audience. I’m a life coach and radio host and I am constantly needing to learn and understand how to connect with my audience, SEO to promote my blogs and shows, and much more and you guys constantly give me tips that I can’t find anywhere else. On top of the fact that I have made friends through this site whenever I comment or find people on twitter to follow because of you guys!
    Thank you so much for this post though and for realizing we are out there! I am glad that you took the time to acknowledge our presence and gave us tips on how to utilize IFB! This is why this site is awesome! 🙂

    Also one way that I have found to be very helpful in growing my blogs is by attending blog parties or blog hops. Google other bloggers who focus on areas that you’re interested in (for me it’s lifestyle, life coaching, and family life blogs since that’s what I focus on the most) and then see if anyone is hosting any weekly blog parties and then you can meet new people that way and find new followers! 🙂

  26. Melinda's Musings

    I’m not a personal style blogger, and I hardly ever blog about fashion (even though I work in the industry), and I find the majority of IFB’s posts very relative. I actually wish you guys would think of re-branding a little to gear yourself towards a wider audience.!

  27. Trenduri

    Since i am not a personal style blogger, SEO and social media keeps the blog competitive. I use text SEO. This means using proper keywords for each article – using the words in the title, in the content (bot not overrepeating them) and doing link building. Posting comments (like i do here) on blogs/sites that accept URL insertion is also good for the link building. But i would do this in a decent way – not just trying to put a comment like “nice article” or “this was useful” just to get my link there.

    For the image SEO, i would recommend to scale the images to a decent size (for optimising page speed – i keep my images at about 900px on the long edge, and under 100kb), using keywords in the image (jpeg) name and using alt attributes for the images.

    I hope this was helpful – for more info you can contact me via the contact page on my blog, (“trenduri” means “trends” in romanian)

    Good luck!

  28. Katy Reyes

    Bueno pues yo tampoco soy una blogg
    no es acerca de mi y mi colección privada, mi blog es acerca de mis lectoras y sus dudas de moda, pero aún y con todo los post de IFB me han ayudado mucho.

    Im not a personal style blogger, i write about using fashion as a tool to feel better and more secure about your image, i write about thrends and the body types who can use them and how, i talk about having a reconciliation with the woman in front of ur mirror, i dont talk about mu clothes or my last shopping trip, i like to talk about my readers’ s doubts, even tho IFB’s tips are amazing and really helpfull.

  29. Yna

    While I would like to move into personal style blogging to show off some of the outfits I wear, I just don’t have the time (or the proper camera) to capture my more fashionable moments. I like blogging about all kinds of fashion as well as different aspects of my lifestyle, and I’d like to think that I have an appreciative readership regardless of whether or not I post my OOTDs. Maybe soon I’ll begin to do so, but for now I’m exploring different niches and seeing what I like to write about the most.

  30. Tricia Royal

    hey, thanks for the shoutout!

    just want to clarify though, I was behind wardrobe_remix, not what I wore, but I totally understand the confusion. 🙂


  31. Jeanette

    I am so glad I found this post. I am not a personal style blogger, but I love fashion and like to inspire others with my fashion posts.
    I have read from other fashion bloggers that they don’t think that you can’t call yourself a fashion blogger without doing personal style outfits photos. But I really do not believe that, cause I personal think it is boring to see outfits posts day out and day in:) There is other ways to supply your passion for fashion in the blog.

  32. Richey

    I just started a blog its not about my personal style but more of others personal style and a coverage of new creativity of fashion, really appreciate this post gave me such a inspration to keep going despite not being a personal style blogger.