Is This The End of Fashion Blogging?

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After BlogHer's recent study on Women in Social Media and Racked's proclamation that “Nobody Cares About Your Outfits,” we might think this is the end of fashion blogging as we know it. After all, if we're not posting outfits and and talking about shoes, what else do we have to offer??

I joke, of course, but there are a few interesting things to take away from these articles:

Stay Relevant

The most important thing you can do as a blogger, fashion or otherwise, is stay relevant to your readers. You will grow and change over time, of course, and many of your readers will grow with you, or they will move on, but you also need to be aware of how blogging in general is changing and adapt to it. As BlogHer's study shows, women (out the VERY small survey of about 1,500, but still…) want to see recipes, health tips, and home & garden DIY before they seek out “fashion” tips.

What does that mean for fashion bloggers? As long as it's natural, and you enjoy talking about other things, and you see that your readers are open to it, bring in some home decor posts sometimes, or health tips if you're so inclined. If you're not interested in posting anything other than outfits, or fashion posts, then don't – it won't be authentic – but if you are, try talking about other things and see what happens.

I also love talking to my readers and asking them what they'd like to see more of – in your comments and conversations with them, find out what else they're passionate about and try to incorporate those things into your posts.

Familiarity & Trust are KEY

Readers are more likely to trust you if they know you, which means they're more likely to click on your links, or read your sponsored posts. I'm not exactly sure what “know” you means in this context, but I would be inclined to say that it probably means that you've been blogging for a while, have loyal readers, and that you share enough of yourself and your personal life that readers feel like they can relate to you as a person: they KNOW you.

Once your readers have seen enough to feel confident that you post about things you're truly passionate about, you're knowledgeable about your niche, you're authentic, and you're consistent, they will trust you.

Be Useful

According to the BlogHer study, the number one reason readers read blogs is to find useful information. AND 80% of the “BlogHer” audience visits a blog (they trust) for reinforcement before making a purchase. Be relevant, useful, and trustworthy, and your readers will turn to you over and over again before making a purchase online (if you're monetizing your blog, this is incredibly important!). I've heard this from readers over and over again – that they come to me for more information before they purchase a specific brand I talk about. Maybe you've heard that too?

Be a resource, be the first person your readers turn to for advice on anything related to your niche, and you will be useful.

This is not the end of fashion blogging, but maybe it is the end of mindless outfit posts, and shoe roundups. Readers are looking for MORE out of everything now, more information, more authenticity, more variety. If you want to stay relevant to them, figure out what ELSE you can give them, and move forward.

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45 Responses

  1. Chaudie

    I’m more interested in Korean Skin care products lately. It’s difficult for me to get into fashion when my budget is super restrictive now, and the fact that I’m considered between plus & regular size. I have my own style that isn’t ‘blog worthy’ in my opinion. I rather go to a personal blog, that has those glamorous elements, than a blog that shows a post with one outfit + 15 different poses + a linked list of where to buy. It’s too cold, too… mechanic. I understand that we have our different formulas for good post template, but I’m no longer receiving the bloggers’ personalities in the post.

    Reply
    • TlvBirdie

      That’s interesting. You think it’s not “blog worthy”, but try to imagine amount of girls/women exactly your body type with exact same budget for clothing. Now, if you’d try to create an informative content on your own niche of that sort “wardrobe on budget for an average lady”, and find your audience (on the parameters you’ve mentioned yourself before), you’ll have a constant flow of traffic. It doesn’t have to be “glamorous” at all, it should be real.

      Always welcome.
      Oly
      http://www.tlvbirdie.com

      Reply
      • Andrea

        There are so many blogs out there that catering to a specific niche unless the niche is particularly small and not already being targeted by other blogs is too hard now. In my opinion, it all boils down to writing a blog because you want to and enjoy doing it, not because you want to capture an audience. That way, if you have 1 reader or 10,000 will be a plus, not the end of having done it. If you’re doing it to earn a living from it eventually, you will have to be very clever on how it differentiates from the big fashion blogs and dedicate full time (and money) to it.

  2. TlvBirdie

    Nobody cares for bare “outfit posts” for a long period of time already,
    as from the moment all blogs became the same.

    Niche, concept, authenticity and creative content with a pinch of brainstorming before – that is what can keep your blog on the wave.

    Oly
    http://www.tlvbirdie.com

    Reply
  3. AJ Wears Clothes

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I still like reading them. My tastes have changed and I regularly do some spring cleaning, but if there’s someone out there that likes your taste or style, they’ll continue to follow along. I’ve found the people I still follow and enjoy the most are the ones that add a personal element along with the outfits. I feel like I’ve gotten to know them, so I DO care about what they’re wearing.

    Reply
  4. Kimi, twenty-something simple

    This is interesting to me, since I just did a reader survey myself. Even though I didn’t get a lot of responses, they all preferred my outfit posts to anything else I posted, and I get way more interaction (blog views, post likes/comments) on my outfit posts. I also still like reading them; they are often the first posts I click on in my feed. When fashion/style blogs I follow start posting more recipes, DIY, etc., I get kind of annoyed since that’s not the reason I started following them in the first place. I think it’s important for bloggers, especially fashion bloggers that branch into more lifestyle-esque posts, to be aware of reader feedback (if they want to keep and/or improve their readership, at least).

    Reply
  5. CynthiaCM

    This is why I position my site as “lifestyle” and (increasingly) include food-related and cultural posts. There’s a bit of (personal) ranting as well, especially on issues that don’t seem to be addressed by more “mainstream” sites.

    Cynthia
    http://www.delectablychic.com

    Reply
  6. Brittany Ann

    I’m not interested in pure fashion blogs – I love outfit photos, but prefer creative personal style over runway/trend reports. In 2014, I think “fashion only” is overly saturated while there is actually a hole to be filled in the return of -personal- blogs.

    It’s true that outfit posts alone aren’t enough to keep followers, and I know many people don’t read the text on outfit blogs, but I’m not one of them. 95% of these blogs leave me cold; the 5% that keep me coming back are a combination of a pleasing aesthetic and intimate writing (more than a list of H&M and Zara links below the pics – I’m not much of a mall/high street shopper and can’t relate).

    I plan to separate myself from the faceless blogs by sticking to my passions – which includes things that strict trend junkies might deem “pretentious.” I like dramatic dress up/play for the sake of it and taking creative photos, and enjoy pondering philosophical elements of style.

    http://www.fineryandmadness.com

    Reply
  7. Andrea

    Nobody with a full-time job and a hectic life has time for fashion blogs anymore. If you add that the number of fashion blogs out there is immense, probably most potential readers are not going to try to keep up with them. Unless blogs become apps somehow or move to social media as a publishing medium (not advertising), I don’t think it will be sustainable for long.

    Reply
  8. Raivyn dK

    Good post 😉 Yes, it’s important that we, as bloggers, be able to offer something other than ‘just another outfit’… For me, I focus on individuality and encouraging others to be themselves, without fear.
    http://inf3kted.com

    Reply
  9. ...love Maegan

    While I do think fashion blogging has gotten so common that it seems a bit less unique these days than in the beginning {when it was exciting}, you also have to look at the type of reader BlogHer attracts {and the 1500 that may have taken that survey}… the demographic on average were never into fashion blogs. So there’s that.

    Reply
    • Brittany Ann

      “53% were looking for content related to the home, gardening, or DIY project; and 52% were looking for style tips.”

      It’s a little sensationalist to say “more were looking for garden tips than fashion” when it was only 1% more and in a limited survey. Not to mention 52% of 1500 women is still an awful lot of women….even if it were 25% you’d still have a substantial demographic.

      http://www.fineryandmadness.com

      Reply
  10. Jen

    This is spot-on. You have to grow and change as a blogger, as well as a person. Personally I’ve stopped writing reviews about products so much because YouTube is saturated with them. Outfit posts can be found anywhere on Pinterest as well as Tumblr. There’s more to the fashion and beauty industry than just those types of posts, so I’m in the midst right now of trying to revamp it and making it more relevant for a longer period of time. Possibly starting other blogs of interests to an individual whoever you are is a key too. We all aren’t just about fashion. Some of us have a home and kids and could love making puzzles. We could write about making games since the market is saturated with mommy home blogs. The sky is still the limit; it’s still tailoring to our interests as well as the needs of the consumer.

    Reply
  11. Anna

    then again, why aren’t cooking blogs saturated? I find tons everyday! And as Meagan said above it’s all about the demographics. I agree that sticking only to outfit posts might get a bit tiring and I admit that outfit posts were never my sole type of post, I like to give style tips, or beauty tips and definitely write about travelling and travel tips (and that’s another saturated area in my opinion-travel blogging)!

    Reply
  12. Emily Chavous

    I don’t think blogging is a fad that will fade away anytime soon. In the grand scheme of things, the internet is still in its very early years (hard to imagine, I know), and we all comprise the very first generation of bloggers. The first! Its pretty incredible. People across the world are browsing the web and searching for all types of content. There’s a potential niche for anybody that wants to create a little niche. I think these are great tips that every blogger should take to heart, in blogging and in life. Life is fleeting, and it’s important to try all sorts of things, learn about other cultures, and I think for a lot of people (especially us! – bloggers) it is important to share the experience. We share through photos and words. And assuming the internet doesn’t come crashing down any time soon, the content that we create is essentially a legacy that will outlive us. We are sharing stories not only with people today, but with generations to come. They can look back at the styles of the 2010’s, at the projects we’re creating, and the home design inspo we’re sharing. I think the most important point is to “Be Useful.” You want to leave content that is worthy of a legacy. You want to share all the unique things that make you you. In doing so, content stays relevant and readers will become loyal, and therefore blogging will continue to thrive – its here to stay!

    Reply
  13. Raquel

    This is something I’ve been noticing for the past couple of years when I couldn’t differentiate one blog from another. I think it’s a disservice to yourself and your audience by not showing other facets of your personality. It makes the blog so much richer and if you remain true to yourself, it will stand out from others without much effort.

    I’m feeling like this is the direction blogs are moving towards. That and “interview” focused blogs where most of the posts are focused on others instead of just the author.

    Raquelsosaprive.tumblr.com

    Reply
  14. Abby

    My blog is mostly beauty review related but I do try to feature one outfit look a week. Outfit posts always receive more hits and I think that they help readers get to “know” me better. A blog needs a face and more than that a personality for readers to relate to and want to read your opinion on products versus a faceless magazine.

    I have noticed that quite a few fashion blogs are transitioning into lifestyle blogs based simply on their own persona’s.

    Reply
    • Bike Pretty

      I’ve noticed the same thing. I think my outfit posts lend credibility to the rest of my blogging. It builds trust because my readers see me put my theory into practice.

      Reply
  15. Jeanie Walsh

    I presented my thesis proposal at the Academy of Art University this week and a big part of my research was about blogging and what brands are missing when it comes to the readers needs….I found that studies show that readers want to feel like they are truly part of the brand. They want more interaction. Authenticity is key to gain brand loyalty with your readers. In order to that we must be “real”. Share our stories and passions and interact with our readers. I completely agree that at this point in time its crucial to set yourself apart from other bloggers by offering something other than just fashion to your readers that they can relate. Grow your blog into a fashion/lifestyle community where smart and stylish women can share their experiences together. Great article!!!!
    Please feel free to check out my fashion/lifestyle blog and I hope you all enjoy it! Thank you
    1trendii.WordPress.com

    Reply
  16. Nancy Lustri (StyleDecor)

    I’ve noticed many bloggers hopping on the “foodie” train. I know food is where it’s at right now, but ugh… It seems to be on every blog everywhere and I don’t want to get onboard. lol

    Reply
  17. LJ

    LOVE this post. I’ve definitely noticed a shift in my readers and viewers’ interests. They’re requesting a lot more cooking, decor, and personal vlogs which I personally love. Interesting to see this shift, I say it’s all for the better. Lots more topics to write about instead of constantly having to relate it back to beauty or fashion.

    http://www.ajourneyeast.com

    Reply
  18. Joe

    This is a really interesting read.
    It is quite surprising that there is a consensus that there is no place for fashion blogging. As a fashion shop owner, we use fashion blogs as a resource all of the time.
    Great article, thanks!

    Reply
  19. GirlandBuoy

    I think it’s not that it’s the end. I feel that the fashion world is going through another change in era. To bring it home to me, I was just recently at Philippine Fashion Week S/S 2015. Our industry is very small, with regards to local designers, and it’s the outside brands that people go to instead.

    A big takeaway was what they tried to say, that the era of fashion as entertainment is over; now it should be all about fashion being designed to be sold, to be worn. I completely agree with that line of thought.

    Reply
  20. Faith Bowman

    Oh, come on!!! Blogs won’t end because it’s a really great thing for PR companies and all sorts of brands that need coverage, product placement, etc. But what should end is the narcissistic way that women are posing like models in this neverending ‘am i pretty?’ kind of way.

    I started blogging to gain attention for my photography, and to mock bloggers. I said it. It’s the truth- I thought it was sooo stupid! Like, why would you go out in a parking lot and stand around acting like you’re in a fashion spread? What? Weird. And as someone who has actually shot fashion, and assisted people who shot fashion, and acted as a dresser at a fashion show, and worked in photo studios, etc- I guess I had a privileged opinion of who could make fashion.

    But my scoffing and mockery didn’t end blogging- it made me see how much I could get out of it. It made me work with others bloggers to study how it’s done. It made me question myself, and how I am perceived as a woman and how I hid myself away in books and work. And it got me a LOT of free stuff.

    The door is open now… so maybe instead of talking about just your outfit (which is maddeningly boring, like for real) talk about where the garments came from, what they mean to you, and … if you’re actually going somewhere in them. Be real, be fun, be vulnerable- be HUMAN.

    Bloggers have power, but not just in creating or monitoring trends. Bloggers have the power to show that fashion isn’t just clothing- but real human beings expressing themselves about the world that surrounds them.

    I love my blog. I love how it brings me shoes and cocktails. I love how my blog has given me events to go to. And one day, my blog got me a sweet boyfriend. My blog opened up a door to myself, and I hope it helps other people to see their own worth and value. That’s the best I could possibly ask for.

    Other than more events, more cocktails, and a really nice handbag. ;-D

    xoxo, Faith: http://sassyethnicbohemian.wordpress.com

    Reply
  21. Shian

    I ponder this sometimes. I honestly think the biggest enemy to the fashion blog concept is Instagram. We live in a society where people appreciate (and often expect) instant gratification. Why waste the time to actually go look at someone’s blog when you can see their life/food/fashion/whatever documented neatly and all in one quick location along with everyone else’s?

    I do have a fashion blog, and nearly every post I write is an outfit post. However, I try to put relevant information in the post, or something interesting or unique. It frustrates me, though, because I know typical readers take very little time to actually visit the site, then when they get there they find pictures far more appealing than paragraphs of information, so I force myself to limit my writing so it isn’t too intimidating.

    When I visit a website, or read a magazine, or watch a YouTube video, usually it’s because I want to learn something. How to apply makeup a certain way or what are some creative ways to create wearable runway looks. So that’s what I write about. People say this all the time, and yes maybe I’m on the bandwagon, but I like blogging. I learn about new things, and I grow personally and professionally. And I’ve met some cool people. So I think the most important way to keep your blog relevant and attract readers is to write about what interests you and to try to keep it informative. I honestly am not a fan of reading about where someone went to lunch or went on a walk with their dog, but maybe that’s just me!

    -Shian | http://www.TheFashionInvestigator.com/

    Reply
    • Brittany Ann

      I’m with you on Instagram – I have one attached to my blog (along with other necessary social media evils) but can’t seem to form any attachment to it. Pictures without any story or substance leave you cold and don’t allow you to know the person posting them. I too have felt the pressure to limit my writing, but I’m starting to break free of that and write what pleases me.

      http://www.fineryandmadness.com

      Reply
      • Shian

        You’ve inspired me to write a slightly longer piece for tomorrow 😉

  22. Sabina @Oceanblue Style

    Well the thing of these surveys is also how useful are them? The other thing is fashion blogs totally differ. I just got back from New York and noticed 20somethings being photographed in their high heels and leather skirts. Which is beautiful and fun. But does that relate to a real woman in her 40s like me? Certainly not. I have always loved art and beauty so I enjoy looking at beautiful clothes and outfits for inspiration. So as an Over40 fashionblogger I feel its important to share what I wear and why I wear my clothes. On a budget and in a fashionable way. When shopping in NYC I chose to wear what was comfortable and stylish and warm. I find lots of women can relate to that instead of putting on sandals when its raining.
    Also reporting about fashion blog still deals with younger fashion bloggers with all white, similar blogs most of the time. And the advice you get is to follow the “successful” bloggers style more. I beg to differ. So I keep up the good work and continue enjoying what I am doing and reaching out to other grown-up women. who love inspiration and fashion ideas not having to come up with ideas of their own all the time. Sabina

    Reply
  23. Elise

    I think it’s important to note that over half of BlogHer’s study respondents are publishers on BlogHer. And their publishers tend to be a lot of food, mommy, DIY, and healthy living bloggers. So it makes sense that they’re not as interested in fashion.

    Reply
  24. Susan Smith

    Fashionista’s list of the most influential personal style bloggers was determined by a strict methodology: We factored in Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr followers, monthly pageviews, press mentions, affiliate marketing successes, and industry sentiment. (Affiliate marketing, in this case, means the act of using trackable links to get a commission on products sold because you wrote about a product/linked to them. There are a lot of affiliate marketing programs: The most popular include Reward Style, Skimlinks and ShopStyle.)
    Thanks,
    Susan
    Best-Dslr-Camera-Guide.com

    Reply
  25. Catface

    I think article is spot on, I mean, if you search the #fbloggers hashtag on instagram for instance, you will find alot of irrelevant and off putting posts. Those who continue to grow and nurture their authentic voice will stay relevant. That doesn’t happen over night, it takes time and alot of effort on different social platform. It takes a village to raise a child!

    Reply
  26. Mackayla

    This article couldn’t have come at a better time for me, fantastic written work!

    Reply
  27. Yo Vogue® Clothing

    “Go to any fashion blogger and the word authentic will be spoken so many times that you might have to leave the building for a good scream if you hear it ONE MORE TIME (just me?). We all know that authenticity is important for any brand”…

    Ladies and gentlemen i’m proud to present …Yo Vogue!

    Reply
  28. Talktomyshoes

    Very interesting article! Blogging is so much more than posting an instagram photo of your outfit (not saying that I’m not guilty of that though). When I started my blog years ago, I always knew that I wanted to be the type to really write. I associated blogging with writing, sharing information and sharing a wealth of resources, thoughts and ideas within a community. Not just snapping a picture of how stellar my outfit was and dropping as many labels as possible.
    By no means do I think this is the end of fashion blogging, but how times have changed in the blogosphere is certainly notable.

    Reply