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:
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.
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.