How To Get your Fashion Blog Noticed : Be Controversial


I wrote an article several years ago about ways to get your fashion blog noticed and one of the “tools” I mentioned was to take a contrarian opinion about something. I DO NOT mean taking an opinion that's not your own, but if you have an opinion about something that's different from a lot (or the majority) of opinions in your niche, write an article about it! It can be scary to do because you might not want to alienate your peers, but if you come from a place of knowledge and defend your opinion well (and with respect to the other side) you can actually start a healthy dialogue.

Controversial posts ALWAYS resonate with someone, which tends to take them viral, resulting in more page views, comments and hopefully return visitors over time. Again – it's important to not be nasty (unless that's your niche!) and only choose to be controversial about something you're really passionate about.

Defend your Opinion

I've been anti-fashion week, written about why I don't read fashion blogs, and taken issue with eco-fashion over the years, and while I can't say for sure that the new readers I attracted by taking those positions stuck around, the posts did get a lot of attention at the time, and helped me create a name for myself as someone who's not afraid to express my opinion. You shouldn't be either. At the time, I didn't see anyone else writing about those things in a way I was satisfied with – and honestly, I still don't see enough fashion bloggers taking a stand on issues. There's really not a lot to disagree about, but issues do arise, and I've always had a hard time keeping quiet about things that matter to me.

As I said before, you don't have to be nasty when talking about an issue that's important to you – just be honest, calm and defend your position with facts as much as possible. And once you've written the article, get ready for backlash. Be prepared for negative comments and for people to disagree with you (oh! the horror!).

Stand your ground and respond as graciously as possible to commenters. The idea behind writing a controversial post is to start a dialogue in my opinion, and you can't do that if you're not willing to hear & respond to dissenters.

After all, you're a dissenter too, no?

Wear a Fashion “Don't”

If you're a personal style blogger, nothing gets more attention than posting an outfit featuring an “unconventional” item of clothing! I bought harem pants earlier this year, have worn them countless times in outfit posts, and have been featured/mentioned on other blogs because of them. Inevitably they garner very strong opinions – both good and bad. And since I've never been one to shy away from strong opinions, I love to push the boundaries a bit and wear them with flats (gasp!) or an oversized top.

Every time I wear them I get at least one negative comment, but I also know that I've inspired a lot of my readers to buy harem pants and rock them like nobody's business, which is why I do this in the first place.

And whenever I wear them, they're going to get attention, which is good for my blog and attracts new readers (and mentions from the brand).

Get Personal

Why do you read the blogs you do? Do you like to identify with the bloggers writing them? I do. I'm a fan of nice photography as much as the next girl, but if that's all there is, I lose interest quickly. I need to feel like I can relate to the person behind the blog on a personal level if I'm going to become invested in it and spend any time at all reading it. And I'll bet that many of your readers feel the same way.

I've been very honest on my blog about turing 40, body image issues, being childless by choice and every other important milestone I've faced in my nearly 10 years blogging. That honesty, and not being afraid to talk about important personal issues – in addition to staying true to my niche – is what keeps most of my readers around; it's certainly not the amazing photographs!! We have conversations about other things besides fashion & shopping, and I truly believe that is what keeps a blog going for more than a couple of years; it has to be about MORE.

Post a Negative Review

This is a tough one, and a topic oft discussed among fashion bloggers, but I truly believe that negative reviews are just as important as positive ones; ultimately you should ALWAYS only post honest reviews. I have never received anything from a brand directly that warranted a “negative” review (I have certainly always mentioned things I did not like about the product, but I've never been wholly unsatisfied), but I have mentioned dissatisfaction with items here and there that I've purchased and I encourage my readers to leave comments about their experiences with brands.

If you're working with a PR company or brand directly, and they're paying you for a campaign or post, I still think you should be honest about the product, and point out shortcomings as well as what you love. If you're truly unhappy with the quality, etc., I don't think you should feel like you can't write about your true feelings. Hopefully when you agreed to work with the company to do a review, you did not guarantee a positive review. Your readers deserve to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly about all the items you review, whether you paid for them yourself, or received them from a company.

Overall, when being controversial, it's crucial to be “nice,” calm, and factual as much as possible even though you're defending your opinion. And if you can't deal with backlash from your dissenting opinion, or from wearing an item of clothing that most people don't like, then don't post those types of articles. You are going to get negative comments, that's just part of putting yourself out there; you must be prepared to deal with them in a productive way.

Have you ever been controversial on your blog? Worn something that doesn't get a lot of love??

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26 Responses

  1. Style Context

    I love this post. There have been countless times when I wanted to raise my opinion on some controversial issues in fashion and retail. Recent examples include not shopping offline on Thanksgiving because workers deserve a day off, and defending the unpaid interns at Conde Nast who were being blamed by EVERYONE on the internet for the dismantlement of the internship program.

    The problem (and I know it probably just sounds like an excuse at this point) is that those posts are almost rendered obsolete if you don’t talk about these issues WHEN they happen. The ‘not shopping on Thanksgiving’ post would be irrelevant by Black Friday. And if you’re like me and have several ideas on your editorial calendar at a time, the “safer” shopping/fashion posts take precedence over the current events posts. The latter posts take much longer to write because, like you said, they should be artfully, tactfully written so as not to come off as nasty. If I feel like I can’t write a post in time for it to be relevant to readers then I’ll post said controversial opinions on Twitter.

    Nonetheless, I know I need to do a better job of talking about these issues when they occur. Thanks for this encouraging post.

  2. Corinne Alexandra

    I’m not a fashion blogger (lifestyle/artist blogger here!), but I recently went on a few, what my friends like to call, “feminist rants” on my blog and those posts attracted the most traffic and feedback I’ve ever received. It also was, like you said, a great way for my readers to get to know me a bit more beyond the pretty pictures and art I post. And I don’t know about you, but my “personal voice” comes out best when I’m going off about a controversial issue I’m passionate about. I definitely recommend touching on a few unpopular opinions every once in a while to keep things interesting.


  3. Monika Faulkner

    Wow…this post left me with some heavy thinking to do!! I totally get that being controversial in some way gets you noticed…but what if it’s truly not my nature to “rock the boat?” I’m a personal style blogger; I love posting photos of my fashion choices, and I love looking at photos of other bloggers’ fashion choices. I can always find SOMETHING that I like about someone’s post, and that’s what I focus on when I leave a comment. Do I have some strong, possibly “controversial” opinions about things outside of personal style? I do, but I don’t believe those opinions have a place in my blog…because that’s not what it’s about!! So I guess it will just be up to my style choices themselves to create controversy; however little there may be!!

  4. Purushu Arie

    Of course, we all have written controversial content. I once wrote this blog post about how one of Prabal Gurung’s collection ‘might have been’ inspired from Stella McCartney ( ) It was featured in IFB links la Mode too. But only few weeks later did I realize that Prabal Gurung’s twitter handle had banned me from following them! But then, many praised for speaking the brutal truth! Not just blog posts, but many of my controversial tweets (especially during fashion week) has been featured in New Delhi’s widely read news papers. Many of my blog followers like coming back to read those brutally honest blog posts!

  5. Ibadat

    I started a fashion blog around 6 or 7 months ago but I picked a name that I don’t like anymore. Can I change it without losing readers? 🙂

  6. Corinne

    This is such a great idea, I’ve got a few things that I would like to discuss but I really need to take the time to construct the post properly. I often feel like a lot of my readers just come for the pictures/outfit photos though and don’t read the text and I want to get away from that so such discussions don’t go unnoticed. I’m pretty sure I could write ‘I’m going to die in 2 months’ and then post a picture of myself in an outfit and the majority of comments would just be about the outfit. I’m trying hard to leave valuable comments on other blogs to gain a two way bloggy friendship – it’s working slowly. Hopefully my blog will be in the right place to discuss a few of these ideas soon!

    Corinne x

  7. Julia Rose

    Upon the release of Miss Representation’s Youtube video, called, “How Media Failed Women in 2013,” I took it upon myself to engage in my own research about the topic. What I found startled me, and I hope startles you too. I hope it encourages you to realize that sexism is real and effects bloggers like you and I. This is a pertinent issue directly relevant to women who are thoroughly engaged in social media and blogging networks. It’s sad, but unfortunately there is controversy about the importance of this topic. This full story is explained under the post title, “women in the media” on my blog #JRF aka, that includes statistics, videos, testimonies and more. I hope you take the time to read it and enjoy doing so. The direct link can be viewed here:

  8. Foodfashionandflow

    Yes to both of those, although wearing something that got no love was not intentional, it was just bad fashion choices. My blog is lifestyle and fashion, so it gives me plenty of room to write about topics that I think are relevant and I have written plenty of posts about my personal life. I tend to connect more with a blogger when I know a little bit about her and although I love fashion, there are lots of other things to talk about. I have not taken the stance of being intentionally controversial or wearing a fashion DON”T just to get noticed. I think it is important to find a way to stand out in the crowded blogosphere, but I don’t think you have to be gimmicky to do that. Good suggestions on how to get noticed, but some of those will bring some backlash.

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  10. salma

    useful post! but i don’t think it’s the right time for me to consider any of these ideas yet as i’m only just getting started, my blog is only 4 days old! i have to work on getting more readers first, i’ve started visiting other blogs and leaving comments to try and build some good friendships..

  11. Alexandria

    I’ve just started my blog, “Unfrequented”, up. I strongly believe that there are not enough teenagers and young women who go against the fashion trends. My blog’s aim is to show young women how to dress with style and sophistication and to break the fashion “norms”. Despite the intense urge to rant about the floral headband-tiny denim-crop top-loving trends, I have made a promise that my posts will steer clear of negativity and stick to what I do best.
    My url is if you would like to take a look.

  12. Alexia

    Yes, I totally agree that having an opinion is always the way to go, but I really think some bloggers try to push this point too far… I find it quite evident sometimes when people just “have an opinion to have an opinion”. On my own blog, I try to always write completely honestly… I do a lot of style posts, but also lots of “stories” and more opinion based stuff- I find it helps me to think as if I’m writing only for myself. I think the whole reason for having a blog in the first place is that you want to express you opinion, and if your opinion isn’t interesting or exciting for anyone…why would anyone wanna hear it? Feel free to have a look around my blog and let me know what you think, as I’m just starting out I would really love the feedback! Xx Alexia

  13. Rei Fujita

    Great post ! It really got me thinking about.writing more on my blog. I my opinion here and there on my outfot posts and i like to incorporate questions for my readers to answer but ive never wrote a post solely on a controversial topic or idea! Ill try to do that sometime !

    Rei (

  14. Coco

    I started a fashion blog few months ago. Since I am still finding what kind style I love the most, so I would love to get some feedbacks from people. Of course, Thank you for the great tips!!

  15. Kaitlyn Moore

    Amazing tips! I’ve only been blogging for a little while on and off but I’m trying to stick to a schedule and post twice a week these tips will hopefully help! Thank you!