I oftentimes wax poetic about the future of fashion blogging at IFB, hypothesizing about what may happen, and the impact that certain new tools and techniques may have on the industry. This summer, I actually got to experience first-hand what to expect when I taught a Fashion Blogging Boot Camp course geared toward high school and college students. In a computer lab setting, I helped students to create their own WordPress blogs, worked on and discussed the importance of various social media platforms, and legal and moral considerations such as the FTC guidelines.
As much as it was a learning experience for them, it was certainly an enlightening one for me, with five key takeaways that I came to realize while teaching this particular group of fashion blogger-aspiring students.
Instagram is King!
Speaking to the power and influence of Instagram can best be felt by hearing teenagers enthusiastically discuss the platform and how avidly post, like, and comment, but also have developed some peeves about it as well. Wow! While I wouldn't say I'm a social media expert, but rather am an overall early adapter and relatively tech savvy, these students are pretty much right on par with me when it comes to utilizing Instagram!
The heavy use of it also indicates another factor: pretty much all of these millennials have a smartphone, and hence access to an innovative, constantly evolving social meets digital world in a highly visual format.
Huge Consumers of Apps
Personal Style is an Integral Part of a Blog
They Aren't Afraid to Think Critically & Share Their Opinions
I gave each of the students a new beauty product to test and write a review about in order to give them exposure to writing in this manner and finding their own voice and opinion, alongside some standard, crucial elements to include, such as a disclosure, product pricing, where to buy, the formal name of the item and a link to it online. With most of their writing, their candid honesty shined through, and while finding their voice came more naturally to some than others, they all seemed to express an urge to share the truth, even if they didn't like the product they had reviewed.
I think that writing a bad review (or not) is a dilemma that crosses most bloggers' minds at one point or another, so it was quite refreshing to feel a sense of obligation from these newbie fashion bloggers to be genuine in their writing.
Fashion Blogging is Being Taken Seriously
I can't say that everyone who took my course has an end goal of becoming a professional blogger, but what I can vouch for is the understanding that it takes a lot of work and dedication that they all seemed willing to give to it. Having an aptitude for both creative and the business side of being an entrepreneur is quite valuable, and the majority of the class wanted to understand how to get their blogs to grow and manage them if it does become something that they can make money doing. No one seemed to have unrealistic expectations of how much time it may take, thanks to already growing their own mini brands on social media, and they seemed to have professional intentions opposed to just wanting to become famous and/or get free stuff.
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]