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?
[Image Credit: Shutterstock.com]