How I Would Start a Fashion Blog in 2013


Bloggers are no longer competing amongst other bloggers for readers attention, they're competing against magazines, industry professionals who branch out into digital, mega bloggers, start-ups, entrepreneurs and it doesn't stop there

A friend recently asked for advice on how to start a blog today. It sounded like a simple question, but when thinking about it, I realized that starting a blog today would be very different from how I started six years ago… heck, I started my first blog nine years ago! Ashley talked about how much harder blogging has become. It's tough these days to garner traction for your blog. Bloggers are no longer competing amongst other bloggers for readers attention, they're competing against magazines, industry professionals who branch out into digital, mega bloggers, start-ups, entrepreneurs and it doesn't stop there. There are a lot of opportunities in blogging, but with those opportunities there is a lot more competition.

But it's not impossible to succeed, blogging just needs to be approached differently.

Approach starting my blog like starting a business

I started my first fashion blog as a personal venture. It was great, but I found it uncomfortable to monetize my personal taste. Starting a blog, like any magazine, newspaper (digital or print) is a business. What is the mission? What is the niche? Who are the readers? What are the brand values? Is this a feasible topic for a profitable business? Is this blog scalable?  These all can evolve over time, but it's easier to monetize a blog that has always been treated as a business than transitioning a hobby to a business without freaking out hard-earned readers.

Have goals clearly outlined

What are the goals for this blog? Is it the start of a media empire, or just to pay the bills? Maybe it's to build a portfolio piece to get a job in social media or publishing. No matter what your goals are, having them clearly outlined in the beginning will give you a great place to start.

Have a plan

Having goals is one thing, achieving them takes planning. Plan out how you are going to achieve these goals. How many posts are you going to write? What are they going to look like? How are you going to promote them? Who are you going to promote them to? Outline as best you can as to how you are going to achieve your goals.

Create a keyword rich name for my blog and buy the URL

Clearly, I was not thinking ahead naming my personal style blog “The Coveted” which started as a street style blog until I realized I suck a street style and moved to personal style. Either way, it doesn't have keywords so if someone was to search for my blog, they would have to know the blog. Creating a keyword rich title for your blog allows people to find your blog through search. Purse Blog is a good example of a keyword rich blog. Of course many of the simple names are taken so we have to get creative, but none the less, I would encourage having keyword rich title and buy the URL.

Invest in professional looking branding

While you don't HAVE to spend money on your blog, I would advise people to treat their blog like they would a business. Business owners invest in branding, a magazine would invest in designers and writers, and a blog that starts today needs to look professional and updated. Invest in the brand by getting a beautiful theme, and logo design. Invest in the tools you'll need, cameras, video equipment, writers, developers,  everything you will need for a polished blog.

Create an editorial calendar

This probably goes with “planning” but creating your editorial calendar is important. What kind of features are you going to do? What kinds of themes are you going to have throughout the year. It doesn't have to be detailed to the minute. But a rough outline, bullets are fine, of what kind of content you want to create, and if your topic is feasible.

Start monetizing early

It's never too early to start with affiliate links. Maybe create a product like an e-book, or a podcast, a shop, a service whatever makes sense for your niche. When brand partnerships start to come in, you will have a wealth of examples of successful monetization efforts and you will know your worth. Plus, it lets your readers know from the beginning that the blog is your business and you are committed to delivering quality content.

Activate a community around my niche

Here I would advise bloggers to get in touch with other bloggers in their niche and meet up with whomever they can. It's so important to be part of the blogging community.

Develop relationships with PRs

Become an insider as quickly as you can. Those press releases will let you know ahead of time what is happening in your niche. Get in touch with the PRs for the brands you are interested in covering and ask to be put on their mailing lists. Eventually you will develop relationships with the PRs you like and who like your blog.

Promote the blog as though it were a business

This goes back to treating your blog as a business. Send out announcements to your contacts that your blog has launched. Have it listed in as many places as you can find. Heck, I've even made postcards for my blog and left them in cafes (which inevitably put me on the radar to be interviewed for a tech event). The sky is the limit, you can get creative as you like with promoting, but treat it like your business.

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42 Responses

  1. Asia Mays

    Great tactics to apply to an already existing blog, especially one that is re-branding, and or applying a new niche.

    Love this post.

  2. Candice

    I love this! I recently started blogging and just yesterday I decided to post my ootds on my blog because I’m always getting compliments on my outfits. I’m still not sure what my niche is because I post my thoughts as well as fashion so I’m still tying it together but I love the things you suggested.

  3. Hemal

    Well said. Truly blogs do compete with magazines, newspapers and even with online publishing houses. Imagine a blogger having to single handedly manage the content as well as the marketing of the blog which would ideally be the job of two separate teams for a content driven website!

  4. Soraya

    This is such great advice! I have been blogging for a while now, but I consider myself to be new and it is good to know where you want to go with your blog and have a vision. I do think it is good to find a niche to stand out in the crowd, but I experience it to be a challenge traffic wise. A niche does not attract everyone, so you need to make more effort to reach out to your target audience. Either way, I find this advice to be very helpful and the blogging experience has been great so far!

  5. TlvBirdie

    When I opened the article I haven’t thought I would find something interesting for already existing but yet not that much strong blog, but WOOOW I came up with several ideas while reading! Thanks!

  6. Simone

    It’s really hard to become a successful blogger nowadays. The competition level is high. However, it’s not an unattainable feat to become successful. I really needed to read this esp since I was thinking about taking my blog more seriously as a brand. These tips are very useful. Thank you Jennine for writing this. I will apply it for my blog.

  7. Jill

    Thanks for the article. Sometimes I forget what my blog is actually about, what are my goals etc. From time to time it is good to be reminded and restate your goals. I’m still not sure what I actually want to achieve with my blog.. And how to create more versatile posts.. I’m going to read more articles on IFB 😛

    x J. (

  8. The Redhead

    I couldn’t agree more! I am a new blogger and I found myself doing all that without thinking it as a strategy, it was necessary. I don’t have my own url yet but I have set a goal about it. I am in very good terms with the pr people of the organisers of the fashion week in my country and got to participate in backstage events for a few selected bloggers. I see that the competition is vast and it is really hard to stand out given that everyone does pretty much the same things. Blogging can be overwhelming sometimes, but if you set goals that are realistic and work hard it can be an awesome experience.

  9. Paige

    I’m beginning to wonder if I should re-brand my blog. I’ve been blogging a little over a year and my follower count and comment engagement is still low. I leave comments on other sites, and sometimes they return the favor. Most people message me basically to do “follow for follows” and I don’t do it. I want followers to genuinely like my blog. I would like y’all to critique my blog, and inbox me your thoughts.


  10. Katrina

    While these pointers give a good head start to people who plan to start a blog this year, I disagree with two things. First, ‘Invest in professional looking branding’ is not a way to start. No one start anything professional or ready. Even if you have all the equipment in the world, it won’t go far unless you have talent and taste. Advising beginners to start with professional equipment will only stress them and contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a professional looking blog to begin with.

    This is the reason why the fashion community is not the same it was a few years ago – everyone is running and moving forward that it somehow lost it’s authenticity. Second, ‘Start monetizing early’ is also a similar misleading thought. Unless people are aiming to own a business blog from the beginning, then going for the monetizing factor is not necessary.

    Since IFB is very influential for new fashion bloggers, I only wanted to point that the professional way is not the only way to go.

  11. Kim Thomas

    I’m in the process of changing my blog a bit so that it can be more for business as opposed to hobby and these are all great tips. Luckily, I did most starting out 3 years ago and have really seen my blog grow but I’m ready for that next level. It’s a springboard for other things and I can’t wait for the day that I can run it as a business 100% of the time!

  12. Shern Lyn

    This is a great post! And while as a new fashion blogger, I am delighted to see these tips here that will help me progress, I’d say that monetizing and appearing professional should be taken lightly. For one, it’s less of appearing professional, it’s more appearing clean cut and neat. Perhaps, that is what the writer meant when she said “professional”. Secondly is the monetizing. Of course, everyone wants to profit from something that they’ve dedicated all their time towards doing but by telling young fashion bloggers to monetize, I feel that it somewhat increases the pressure to be perfect instead of creating a blog of passion and from the heart.


  13. Onianwah

    Great post.
    I will definitely be including the points noted here to what I tell people when they say they want to start a blog (as well as build on some of them for my blog)

    Lagos, Nigeria

  14. Jessica

    My little blog just reached 1 year last week and I am looking at how I can move forward in the upcoming years. I am not a fashion blogger, but a friend of mine suggested that I transition into that angle. Anyhow, I am oh so happy that I came across your blog post. It gives me a lot to think about. Thank you.

  15. Candyce Nicole

    Great read! I’ve begun a spin-off blog to the one I started 2 years ago, and have completely forgotten how to get started. This has been very helpful!

  16. Kristina

    This post inspired me to create a blog, and guess what? I create a blog and post new photos and texts and I really want to grow up with my blog, thanks a lot, IFB <3

  17. Emerald

    Great tips. I’m currently re branding my blog after I realize beauty reviews are no longer something I enjoy. Although I can’t change my URL, I have decided to begin blogging from the heart. I needed this post.

  18. Cheyenne

    While I think it’s hard to give tips going back but some of these were still good. I’ve had my blog for around a month now.

  19. Humairaa Hoosen

    I started 3 blogs that all failed because they weren’t planned properly. After that I got up of my lazy but and went looking for advice. I’ve started my 4th and hopefully final blog and Í think its going pretty well all thanks to the tips and advice I got on this site so thank you IFB.

  20. Alyssa

    I just started my fashion blog and these tips are great! I love the idea of leaving postcards in cafes, and posted on bulletin boards. I have thought about it when I am at the local coffee shop! IFB you always give great advice, your site has been a crucial aspect of me planning my blog!

    thanks again!

  21. Abigail Mae Prescott

    Ever since I was small, I always love to be stylish. I really find fashion very interesting. Thanks for this great tip. One of the best sites I always check out is They also share a lot of style and fashion tips.

  22. Jeff

    Great article. The process of starting a fashion blog is very similar to any other blog – the key difference is the styling of your website will be a bit more stylish and snazzy, than say a sporting blog. 🙂