How Fashion Bloggers Really Make Money

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This past weekend, I had the pleasure of interviewing Erin Hagstrom of Calivintage at the Simply Stylist conference in Los Angeles. Erin described her lengthy fashion blogging career: she launched in 2008, became a star on the top #OOTD sites at the time (Weardrobe (acquired by Google), Chictopia, Lookbook.nu) scored a spot on a much-publicized New York fashion week junket sponsored by Tumblr, and was one of the first members of Lucky magazine's Style Collective.

To this day she is still a top style (and now lifestyle) blogger on the scene, and has been making good money doing it. What's her secret to success? Is she a genius at self promotion? Was her family a legacy in the industry? Is she a trained model or photographer?

Like one audience member at our talk asked: “2008 isn't that long ago. How do you go from launching your blog to making money?”

Number one, 2008 is eons ago in fashion blogging years. Back then fashion bloggers weren't welcome at fashion shows, let alone dominating the front row as they do today.

Two, Erin didn't go to sleep one day with no blog income and wake up the next morning making bank. She loved blogging, and she continued doing it even when no one was paying attention. She did more than document her outfits, she also wrote interesting words to accompany her photos. And she did it every day with an eye towards continually improving the quality of her content.

Put simply, she worked hard.

If you're a Kardashian, then perhaps you have a shortcut to creating a successful blog. But the most reliable way to  make money from your blog is to build your business like you would a bagel shop or a shoe store. Work hard, invest in your business, and put out a quality product.

As we wrote back in 2013:

Fashion blogging is a bit like acting, and IFB is a bit like Hollywood–thousands of bright young things begin blogging every day and want to make a dream come true. A dream that seems glamorous and fun, but that’s really hard work.  Behind the glitter, IFB is here to help you make your dreams a reality. But like all dreams, there’s always a fear that crushes us… that we won’t ‘make it.'

Don't let that fear paralyze you, or wish for a miracle. Put the work in. Hang out with us at IFB. Make your blog awesome. We're willing the bet the money will follow.

[Photo via Calivintage]

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