Everything you need to know about starting a fashion blog
You have great personal style. You always know how to pick the right accessories. You help friends put together outfits to dazzle their partners on date night. You know all the fashion industry trends to watch in 2020. So why not take your passion for fashion to the next level and share your knowledge and enthusiasm with the world?
Starting a fashion blog, like any good thing in life, may seem like an overwhelming endeavor. You need to choose a blogging platform, come up with great content, and make sure your blog looks professional enough to steal the show. Otherwise it's unlikely that fans will come back, hungry for more.
If you're not already proficient in content management systems or plugins or editorial calendars, it's easy to get discouraged. You may opt to simply share your looks on Instagram and hope for the best. But here's the thing: Instagram comes with limits to what and how you can share. Plus, the algorithm is constantly changing, so you're not in complete control over how many people you reach, especially if you're not willing to invest in promoting your expertly-crafted posts.
And while social media networks are invaluable for bloggers, having your own platform to interact with the fashion community comes with serious perks, such as having:
- Complete control over this small corner of the Internet. This means that you can style it however you like.
- The ability to experiment with content. Post an entire photoshoot, for instance, or a #longread about a subject you care deeply about.
- Your own website, which enables you to easily promote a newsletter as well. This allows you to collect emails and establish a direct line of communication with your followers.
- Stability. Social media comes and goes. Remember – or have you heard about – Myspace? Hot new social networks are always on the rise, and older social networks fade away. Having a blog to host all your content has you covered if the Insta-pocalypse happens and you suddenly find yourself having to start from scratch somewhere else.
With that said, let's get down to specifics. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to hire a designer or developer to help you set up your fashion blog (although if you can afford it, we're not trying to stand in your way. You do you).
It's easy to start a fashion blog yourself, with a small investment and a willingness to learn. We've gathered all the information you need below, with links to additional resources and plenty of fun ideas that should hype you up for what's to come. Buckle up and grab a warm beverage – it's time to start designing your fashion future.
- Love social media? Consider giving Insta-blogging a try! Here is everything you need to know about starting a blog with Instagram.
- Beautiy Blogger? Read our guide on how to start a beautiy blog right here.
1. Select a Blogging Platform, Domain, and Hosting
The first thing you need to do when setting up your fashion blog is choose a blogging platform. You have two options. You can go with an all-in-one solution on a hosted website, or you can go the self-hosted route. A hosted website is one that is built using a platform that provides both the hosting (meaning the servers that house your website files) and the software that enables you to actually build your website.
Think of a hosted website like a rental; you don't have to worry about things like software updates, or clogged drains. A free blog platform such as WordPress.com, Blogger, and Tumblr is quick to start with, and easy to use. Often, their tools are as uncomplicated as drag-and-drop. However, they also limit you in terms of customization, features, and functionality. Moreover, you're trusting these websites to not only stay in business, but also keep your files safe.
On the other hand, self-hosting means building your website using software of your choice and then hiring a web hosting company to store that website. This can be more difficult, but you are in full control over what you create. Just like owning your own home.
Another consideration is the domain main. If your website is hosted on WordPress, for example, then your domain name will be something like fashionblog.wordpress.com, which doesn't look very professional.
If you're serious about your career as a fashion blogger, a free blog is not an option. We highly recommend you purchase your own domain and take it from there. You can still use all-in-one platforms (see below) to get it set up, buy you can pick a catchy URL and come across as more professional.
Choosing a blogging platform
The most popular website building platforms (as of this writing) are Weebly, Wix, SquareSpace, and WordPress.org. Let's take a look at each.
SquareSpace enables users to create websites using easy drag and drop tools. This makes it an appealing choice for complete beginners who aren't particularly tech-savvy. It offers beautiful templates for your website and has a great support team. However, you will be limited to using the features built into their proprietary platform. Plans start at $12/month (billed annually). All SquareSpace plans purchased for a year come with one year of free domain registration on available domains.
Wix also allows you to build a website using drag and drop tools, no coding skills required. You can use Wix for free, but features are limited. You'll get a Wix subdomain (https://username.wixsite.com/example) and won't be able to take advantage of everything the platform has to offer. Users can add a custom domain for $4.50/month (note that this plan displays Wix brand ads on your site, which is never ideal) or opt for a premium plan, which start at $8.50/month.
Another platform that comes with an easy-to-use drag and drop website builder, Weebly, will host your site for you, with paid plans starting at $12/month. Weebly is especially useful if you're keen to opening an online store, since it offers excellent tools to help you grow a shop. As expected, pricing plans for stores cost a tad more.
WordPress is free and open source. It's the most flexible of all blogging platforms, with thousands of resources available on how to build a professional-looking website. You will need to register a domain and sign up for a web-hosting account, but you'll have complete control over how your site looks and feels. The only downside? Managing your WordPress fashion blog comes with a learning curve, so you have to set some time aside to understand the basics.
When it comes down to it, we're partial to self-hosted WordPress. While the other three can seem more user-friendly, especially to beginners, they come with some cons worth considering. For one, they're more expensive. More importantly, you're limited to the features they offer.
Meanwhile, WordPress is open-source, which means that there are literally thousands of themes and plugins you can use to customize it, many of them free. Because we feel it's such a good option (and because space is limited), we're going to use WordPress as our example for the rest of this guide, but here are a few resources if you're thinking about going another way:
- 10 Step Guide to Setting Up a Squarespace Website from Scratch
- How to Build a Website with WIX: Step by Step Guide
- How to Use Weebly: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide
Getting a domain and hosting
As we've mentioned, you'll need a domain and hosting provider if you're going the WordPress route. The first thing to do is to settle on a name. You can always use your own name, but you might be tempted to go for something with a little more glam that will instantly catch the reader's attention. Think The Budget Fashionista, Accidental Icon, or Girl with Curves.
If you're having trouble coming up with a name, use our blog name generator for some instant inspo.
Is finding a name off your to-do list? Great! Next, it's time to choose the best hosting package for your needs. You can expect to pay around $15/year for a domain name and around $8/month for web hosting. But there are always sales and special promotions running. If you're a little savvy you can get these services for much less.
Case in point: BlueHost is one of the most popular, reliable, and affordable options for hosting your site. When Independent Fashion Bloggers was just starting out back in 2009, this was the hosting we started with.
You can get started for as low as $3.95/month (if you pay one lump sum in advance), a price that includes free domain registration, a free SSL Certificate, 12/7 support, and 1-click WordPress install.
Affiliate disclosure: this article contains affiliate links. This means IFB will receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you decide to make a purchase through links in this guide. Regardless of affiliation, we only write about things we have tried and tested ourselves.
Signing up is easy, simply follow the steps detailed below:
1. Select your plan
When you're just starting up, the Basic plan will more than have you covered. If your blog grows quickly, you can always upgrade later on.
2. Enter your domain name
In the next screen, enter your domain name. If you're still struggling with the name, click Choose Later. You can finish up the signup process and then brainstorm some more.
3. Create your account
It's time to create your account. This is where you will be required to add your name, country, email, and so on. You can also sign in using Google.
4. Select package extras
This next step involves selecting any extra features you might want to add to your account. None of these are essential, so most blogging newbies can do without. If you're concerned about your privacy, however, you might want to get the Domain Privacy Protection feature.
Domain owners are publicly listed in a Whois database, which makes it easy for anyone to look up contact information for them – including spammers or scam artists. This Bluehost extra feature ensures that the address and phone number listed for the owner of your domain will be that of Bluehost instead of your own. You'll still own the domain, but you will add an extra level of security to your personal information and may prevent unsolicited emails. On the downside, there's that pesky additional cost to take into consideration. If you're not sure yet, you can always add these extra features later on.
6. Enter payment information
You also need to enter your payment details. BlueHost doesn't support PayPal, only credit cards.
7. Set password
It should go without saying, but make sure you pick a strong password for your BlueHost account. Preferably something involving numbers and special characters. The minimum requirements from BlueHost should help you out.
8. Log in
Congrats! You've managed to successfully create your account. Now, let's move on to setting up your website. Login using your password to access the Control Panel and take it from there.9. Create website: Step one
BlueHost likes to keep things easy, so you'll need to follow a couple of additional steps before you're up and running. First, choose a name and tagline for your shiny, new website. The tagline is a short description for your blog that shows up when people search for it – for instance on Google.
We're guessing you don't plan to open an online store just yet, so leave that option unchecked.
10. Create website: Step two
In the next screen, check all the boxes that apply to you.
11. Activate domain
Finally, all that's left to do to activate your domain is to verify your email. Huzzah! You can do it later, but we recommend you get this out of the way now so it doesn't slip your mind.
11. Coming Soon
Until your site is ready to be online, the URL will display a Coming Soon page. Convenient!
12. Get your site ready to launch
Finally, you can use the guide provided by BlueHost to get your site ready to launch.
You should be all set by this point. However, if you encounter any problems, BlueHost has a comprehensive knowledge-base meant to easily guide you through the entire process. Some links that should get you started:
You've just created your first WordPress-powered fashion blog! Pour yourself a glass of bubbly, as the hard, technical part is mostly behind up. There's more exciting stuff to come.
Note: If you go with another hosting provider, you might need to install WordPress manually. However, most hosting providers make it easy for users to get up and running with WordPress. Just in case, we have some extra resources you might want to check out:
2. Select and Install Your Fashion Theme and Plugins
Now that your fashion blog is up and running, we'll need to doll it up a bit. Don't worry, this is the fun part! You get to pick a WordPress theme for your blog, install a few essential plugins, and write up some basic content to get you started.
Picking the right WordPress theme
Ideally, the blog will reflect your style and personality, instantly catch the eye of the reader, and stand out from the crowd. That's why picking the right theme is crucial. You can't go with a basic business layout. You need a design that's stylish and elegant, responsive (so that your blog looks good on smartphones and tablets as well, not just desktops), and flexible enough so that you can tweak it as your blog grows.
The Internet is overflowing with WordPress themes, so we advise you set some time aside to carefully browse a few collections until you find the one that you feel best suits your needs. The good news? A lot of them are free, so you don't need to break the bank to ensure that your fashion blog is as fabulous as possible from the get-go.
Once you start growing or even (gasp!) making some cash, you can consider investing in a more professional theme. For starters, however, a free one should serve you just fine. Start by browsing WordPress themes here. Or, choose from our top five pics below:
Cenote comes with a beautiful design, four widget areas, and a post slider that will help you showcase your best work in style. Sleek and easy to set up, the theme enables you to use attention-grabbing images and display social icons near the header. This allows your fans to easily connect with you on Instagram or Pinterest. Download it here.
Elegant and delicate, Blossom Feminine is a chic WordPress theme that works great for a lifestyle blog. Besides a modern design and a clean look, the theme also enables you to integrate an Instagram section that will help you display your Insta-posts in only a few clicks. There are also tons of customization options available, so you can play with the settings and give it more of a personalized feel. Download it here.
Feminine Lifestyle is not only easy to customize, but SEO-friendly and lightweight as well. Moreover, the design is well-suited for a fashion blog, as it allows you to prominently display images and curate your homepage to attract viewers. You can also display social icons at the top of the website. Download it here.
Flexible and beautifully designed, Writee is a WordPress theme recommended for those who want to keep things simple, yet stylish. It includes custom widgets, a Social Media Navigation Menu, and beautiful photo galleries. It also has Built-in Related Posts, which increases the chance of fans spending more time on your website. Download it here.
If you're looking for a bolder design that will help your blog make a great first impression, you can't go wrong with Oblique. The theme features a parallax header image, easy customization settings, and a dynamic menu. In short – it's meant to catch your eye. Download it here.
Don't mind spending a buck for better results? Premium themes generally come with extra features and better support. If you have a generous budget, consider one from the very beginning. Here are some top-notch options:
- Glossy – this posh WordPress theme offers seven layouts and endless possibilities when it comes to adding affiliate links. Trust us, this will come in handy later on. Buy it here.
- Amory – gorgeously designed, Armory comes with endless customization options. Crafted to help your content pop, the theme features huge images and stylish typography. Buy it here.
- Marilyn – this theme includes with a featured slider, a newsletter signup form, and ready-to-go promo boxes. In short, everything you need to get started. It's also great to look at. Buy it here.
- Grateful – if you're looking for a simple, clutter-free, and classy WordPress theme, you can't go wrong with this one. Features include an author-description box, a latest-Tweets widget, and more. Buy it here.
- Look – this stunning theme is a drag and drop page builder, so you can have your site up and running quickly and efficiently. Buy it here.
Regardless of which theme you choose, make sure it features a few basic requirements that come in handy for a fashion blog:
- Striking design – you want the blog to not only look great, but match your personal style as much as possible.
- Responsive design – remember to check the description for each theme to see if it's responsive.
- Beautiful photo galleries – so that your images stand out.
- Easy customization – since you are a WordPress beginner, it's always best to go with a theme that you can easily customize on your own.
Installing your WordPress theme
Once you've settled on a theme, download it to your computer. Then, access your WordPress dashboard and go to Appearance → Themes.
Next, click on Add New.
You can browse through themes in the next screen if you're not yet sure about your first choice. Otherwise, click Upload Theme.
Select Choose File, then Install Now.
Once it's installed, Preview your theme to make sure that you're happy with it.
Finally, Activate it and you're all set. You can do so from the Live Preview screen or from the Themes section in your dashboard.
You can customize your theme by accessing the Customize section under Themes in your WordPress dashboard. The options available will vary based on the theme you picked, but customizing a theme is generally piece of cake.
Essential Plugins for your fashion blog
Remember when we've mentioned that WordPress comes with tons of customization function? Well, plugins are created just for that. In short, a plugin is a piece of software that can be easily added to a website, such as WordPress, to add new features or extend functionality. Some of them are free, while others offer Premium versions.
To install a plugin, you need to go to your Dashboard and select Plugins, then Add New. You can browse available plugins in this section or upload your own, just as you did with your theme. The easiest way to install a plugin, however, is to look for it using the Search field. Once you've found what you were looking for, hit Install Now, then Activate. That's pretty much it.
Depending on the plugin you've installed, you might be required to go through a few additional steps to make sure your plugin functions properly. Different plugins will have different settings, so be sure to go to the plugin's settings and look around to see everything the plugin has to offer.
Which plugins are essential when you're just starting up? Here's a quick list:
- UpdraftPlus – helps you get your entire site backed up and sent to the cloud for safe keeping. You wouldn't want to lose all the content you've worked so hard on due to a glitch.
- WPForms – this one helps you easily create a Contact form for website visitors who might want to get in touch. You know, so they can tell you just how awesome your fashion blog is.
- Yoast SEO– SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, helps you get more visitors on your site from search engines like Google (we'll get to that in a minute). This plugin enables you to optimize your posts for social media, add meta tags, and more.
- AddtoAny – this one lets you add social sharing buttons to your posts. Pretty self-explanatory, as you want visitors to be able to share an article with ease.
- Akismet – spam is a huge problem for any website. Thankfully, this little plugin will let you keep your comment section clean.
As you get well-versed in using WordPress, you might need extra plugins to manage content, especially once your blog starts to gain some traction. Popular plugins among fashion bloggers include Pretty Links Pro (allows you to easily manage affiliate links), WooCommerce (the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress), Instagram Feed (displays Instagram posts from your Instagram account), and Easy FancyBox (offers a light box solution for just about all media links on your website).
A good idea during this step would be to also install Grammarly, a browser add-on available for Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. This will help you make sure that your posts don't have any typos or contextual errors. The add-on is free, but you can update to the Pro version of the service to enjoy extra perks like a plagiarism checker and vocabulary enhancement suggestions.
SEO basics for your fashion blog
The idea of SEO can be intimidating, but getting a few basics out of the way ensures that your fashion blog is off to a great start.
SEO is a strategy to ensure that your website is more visible. It is NOT a way to game the system or trick search engines into ranking you higher. Search engine algorithms analyze and rank pages appropriately in search results. Search engine optimization simply ensures that your fashion blog won't be overlooked.
When you're just starting up, it's important to understand SEO best practices, but not dwell too much on optimizing your site. At the end of the day, good content is the best SEO. This is what you should be focusing on when launching a fashion blog. That being said, if your blog isn't SEO-friendly, search engines won't find it. To avoid such unpleasantries and maximize your search traffic, follow these basic SEO tips.
Check visibility settings
WordPress offers a built-in option to hide your website from search engines. This comes in handy when you're still tweaking your site and aren't ready to make it public quite yet. But when you're all set for visitors to come flooding, make sure that this option is unchecked.
To do so, access your WordPress dashboard and go to Settings → Reading. Then, scroll down to the Search Engine Visibility section. Once you're there, make sure that ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site' is unchecked. If you need to uncheck it, don't forget to click the Save Changes button for the change to take effect.
Use an SEO-friendly URL structure
Ideally, your URLs should include words that highlight the content of the page and are easy to read by both humans and algorithms. In other words, your URLs should not look like this – http://fashionblog.com/archives/6790-0 or this – http://fashionblog.com/?p=78347.
To set your blog's permalink structure, go to your dashboard and select Settings → Permalinks. Then select the Post Name option and hit Save Changes. You can then personalize each post's URL using the Yoast SEO plugin.
We use “post name” permalinks at IFB.
Done? Great! You're ready to add some content to your fashion blog. But first, keep these SEO best practices in mind as you're moving forward:
- Learn how to properly use Categories and Tags – Categories are meant to group similar posts, while Tags are specific keywords that describe the content of an individual post.
- Use the Yoast SEO plugin regularly – Or any SEO plugin you've installed. It enables you to customize what visitors see when stumbling onto your posts on Google and social media.
- Don't be afraid of internal linking – interlink your own posts whenever possible, as this will help you increase page views.
- Optimize images – you can do so by adding titles and alt tags when uploading images to WordPress. You can read more about image optimization to avoid using images that might slow down your website.
Eager to learn more about SEO? Take a look at “SEO Essentials” – our 10-day crash course on SEO.
3. Create Content
Now that the basics are out of the way, you can finally concentrate on what's really important: creating valuable content for the fashion community.
They say content is king, and for good reason. You can have the slickest, most optimized website in history – but if you don't populate it with articles people find useful, you won't get anywhere.
The first thing you need to do is figure out your niche and come up with a realistic content plan. What are you most passionate about? Do you want to share personal updates as well as fashion content? Do you also want to include tips about décor or travel?
There's no right way to do this. You simply need to brainstorm a bit and see what kind of content makes your heart sing. But whatever you do, never underestimate your readers. If you're not into the subjects you blog about, they can tell. And they will likely click away to someone they perceive as more genuine.
However, you don't have to focus solely on one niche to become successful. There are plenty of popular fashion bloggers out there who manage to balance their content so that they include a little bit of everything: photo shoots, life updates, travel logs, and so on. Just because you specialize in DIY subjects, for instance, doesn't mean that you can't post about high-priced lingerie if you stumble upon a great sale or have a lot of thoughts on the subject.
This is your blog. As long as you stay true to yourself and do your best to come up with content that readers find valuable, you're on the right track.
Still having trouble finding a niche? We've listed a few popular fashion blog themes below. Maybe they can give you some ideas on where to get started:
- Being fashionable on a budget
- Shopping guides
- All about accessories – shoes, jewelry, handbags, eyewear, and so on
- Making work wear more stylish/creative
- Thrift stores – how, where, why
- Designers – news, reviews of new collections, etc.
- DIY projects – some much-needed inspiration for aspiring designers
- Plus-size fashion
- Fashion in movies or TV shows
- Vintage – how, where, why
- Celebrity fashion
Also, take a look at these articles for some inspiration:
- 126 Niche Fashion Blog Ideas
- Blog Niche Markets Perfect for Stay at Home Moms
- 6 Tips For Finding Your Blog Niche
As you can see, fashion is a broad, generous, and creative topic. Whether you choose to focus on a niche or mix and match, you can always come up with article ideas to grab the attention of your followers.
Since we're on the subject, we'll give you some inside scoop: blogging and writing is hard work, but it gets easier with practice. Don't be afraid to experiment, ditch drafts that don't work, or approach new subjects. When you're just starting out, writing several articles at once can seem like an impossible task. So allow yourself to take it slow, one post at a time.
We've got your back, so we have some marvelous tips that will help you stay ahead of the curve.
Readers appreciate consistency. If you post an article today and one two weeks from now it will be hard to get any traction. Ideally, you would already have a few posts up on your blog before you start to share it with friends and on social media, so new readers can get an idea of what you're all about.
After that, posting on a consistent schedule will keep fans coming back for more.
Don't fret – we're not suggesting you post every day. That can be challenging even for the most seasoned of fashion bloggers. It's also a schedule that's hard to maintain if you already have a full-time job or are still in school and your blog is something you want to do on the side.
But whether you post one, two, or three times per week, do your best to have articles up on the same days. For instance, you can try a Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays post schedule, or whatever suits your other commitments. Readers will get used to it and, with time, they will automatically visit your site on those days expecting new content. This goes a long way when it comes to building a community.
To make things easier, keep an editorial calendar and brainstorm posts in advance. Writer's block is a real thing, so be prepared just in case it decides to show its ugly face at the most inconvenient times. You don't have to install a fancy content calendar app if you don't feel like it – use a wall calendar or bullet journal to plan your blog posts.
Writing posts in advance is also recommended, so you will always have something to post. For maximum efficiency, we recommend writing them in batches whenever you have a free window of time or you feel particularly inspired. Having all your posts for the next week written up and ready to go on Sunday evening will make you feel like a glorified superhero who totally has her life together. If only!
Use catchy and share-able headlines
Powerful headlines are essential. They make visitors click on your article and even share it with their networks. As a result, it goes without saying that you should try to perfect your headline writing abilities as much as possible. Some quick tips:
- Teach readers something useful – Headlines that promise the reader a solution to a problem they're currently facing are more likely to be clicked on. Think in the likes of ‘A beginner's guide to building a killer wardrobe,' ‘How to put together a capsule wardrobe,' ‘Putting together an outfit in 5 minutes or less.' You get the point.
- Use digits to grab attention – Listicles are share-able and easy to read, so don't be afraid to create one every once in a while. Examples can include ‘5 shoes that any woman should own,' '10 tips to make your clothes last longer,' ‘7 online store offering big discounts,' and so on.
- Use compelling adjectives – ‘5 essential tips' sounds way better than ‘5 tips', don't you agree?
- Keep headlines short and sweet – People skim a lot on the Internet, so a short title is much more likely to grab their attention than a long one.
- Give them some insight – any title that includes the words secrets, strategies, lessons, or tricks is more likely to catch your eye. For instance: ‘5 insane strategies to take advantage of January sales,' ‘Crucial lessons I've learned while shopping for the perfect prom dress,' ‘Tricks to look good in every photograph.'
- Offer a cliffhanger – This can work great if you're posting a photoshoot. For example: ‘I wore my best dress in a lavender field and you won't believe what happened.' Maybe you stepped in some mud and ruined it? Maybe you encountered a cute puppy that left his paw prints all over your skirt? Now we have to know!
Make your posts easy to read
Reading never-ending blocks of text is exhausting. Always break up your articles using subheadings, bullet points, images, videos, or whatever else you can get away with. Short paragraphs work best on the Internet.
You should make your posts as easy to read as possible, otherwise you miss out on users with short attention spans. Why do you think we included so many bullet points, and used so many short paragraphs, in this guide?
Use quality images
Fashion is all about the visuals, so make it a habit to include quality images with your posts.
In a perfect world, your images would be looks, photo shoots, selfies, etc. But if you're writing a post and can't figure out how to best illustrate it, stock images are a lifesaver. Make sure to always provide credit if/when necessary. A few great websites that provide royalty free images – Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels.
Write About and Contact pages
Website visitors should easily be able to find out who you are and how they can get in touch. Having a carefully-crafted About page is essential. Give fans a bit of background about who you are, what you are passionate about, why you started blogging, and so on. Your Contact information should also be easily accessible. After all, you never know when a brand might want to get in touch!
Interact with your community
Your readers are important. We can't stress this enough. Always be nice to your community and respond to any comments people may leave on your posts (we're not referring to the occasional nasty ones, those should be deleted without a second thought).
Encourage people to follow you on social media and proudly display your social links. Ask questions at the end of each post to start a dialogue or include calls to action (like encouraging them to follow you on Twitter, subscribe to your newsletter, or read another related article). This helps you create a closer connection to your readers and, eventually, build a loyal community that will be there to promote and support you along the way.
As long as you follow these guidelines and are respectful to your audience, you will be able to grow an impressive blog following in no time. And you know what comes next? Reaping the rewards.
Networking will help you getting noticed, and to create exposure for your brand, and your content. Find out who the best fashion bloggers are, and see if you can start a conversation (comment on their articles, social media posts). Visit their fashion blogs and social accounts, see what they do well and what you can learn from them about fashion blogging.
4. Make Money
Once your fashion blog starts to grow, it's time to make the most out of it. That includes figuring out ways to make money. All those shiny shoes don't grow on trees.
There are several ways in which fashion bloggers make a living through their websites. Depending on what you're after, you can get started as soon as your blog is up, or wait until you build a large enough audience to gain the attention of brands eager to partner for promotions.
To keep things simple, there are four main ways in which fashion bloggers earn cash: display ads, affiliate marketing, brand promotions, and selling products or services.
Here's a rundown of each.
If you've spent some time on the Internet, you've noticed that most websites display ads to generate revenue. There's no reason why you can't follow in their lead. Companies are usually keen to invest in ads and banners and such, but to take advantage of that you will have to wait a while until you build a strong enough personal brand.
To start making money from fashion blogging right away, try Google AdSense, which allows you to easily display ads on your websites even when you're just getting the hang of things. You might not make a fortune in the early days, but it's a good way to get started.
Google AdSense is one of the most popular ways to monetize your website. An advertising network run by Google, it's a great choice for beginners because it doesn't involve dealing with advertisers directly to collect your cash. You simply earn money each time a user clicks on an ad on your website. As for how much you make, this depends on a variety of factors. WP Beginner has a comprehensive guide on how to add AdSense to your WordPress site in just a few clicks.
Affiliate marketing entails that you recommend products you love to your readers and then get a referral commission when they purchase a product after clicking on your unique link.
You can include affiliate links to everything from clothes to accessories to beauty products, as long as the brand has an affiliate program. This means that you will have to do some research to figure out how to join affiliate programs for the brands you're passionate about.
Or, you can try the easy route and start with one of the most popular affiliate partners out there – Amazon Affiliates. They have tons of products in the fashion and beauty departments, so you can't go wrong by giving them a go. It's free and easy to join. RewardStyle is also fairly popular in the fashion blogging community.
For everyone else, we recommend you go to your favorite brand's website and check the footer for any mentions of an affiliate program. You can also shoot them an email if you can't find any mentions on their site, just to double-check.
Brand promotions can take many shapes and forms. You can become a brand ambassador, collaborate with brands on various marketing campaigns, or post sponsored content. How much you earn will depend on both the brand's budget and your negotiating skills, but one thing's for sure – you need to build a solid following in order to catch a brand's eye.
On the same note, it's recommended that you only do collaborations with brands that have a similar style aesthetic. Also, make it a point to keep your content balanced. If you only post sponsored articles all of a sudden, you'll come across as less genuine and may alienate your fans.
Oh, you are not the type to sit back and wait for brands to make the first step? We totally get that. Thankfully, there are a couple of ways to get proactive.
Contact brands directly
Have a great idea for a marketing campaign involving a brand? Shoot them an email which includes details about who you are and what you're thinking about. All brands have a contact section on their website, so don't be afraid to reach out. Even if nothing comes of it, they will have your contact information on file in case anything pops up in the future.
Join an influencer marketing platform
There are several platforms available that are meant to connect brands with influencers. Popular examples include IZEA, Rep, TapInfluence and Webfluential. Creating an account on sites like these is usually free for influencers, but you will be required to fill out a profile where you provide more information about your personal brand. That way, you improve your chances of standing out from the crowd and you have a better shot at being matched with brands you're compatible with.
Before joining any marketing campaigns, make sure that the company you're thinking about partnering with shares your values. Making money is great, but not if you lose half your audience in the process.
Selling your products or services
Once you become an influencer, you can make some serious cash by leveraging your expertise. Fashion bloggers can start small by selling old clothes online using services like Poshmark. Or, you can try something bigger and bolder like creating and selling your own products. This can include clothes, ebooks, personalized mugs – the world is truly your oyster.
Another way to go is consulting. You can put together and sell a class/seminar online and charge attendees. Alternatively, consider offering fashion consultation sessions or personal stylist services. If you have a lot of followers, they're obviously into your style, so they might be willing to pay to learn how to pull off similar looks as well. Figure out what your strengths are and take advantage of them.
How you make money will depend on which of these tactics appeals to you the most. You can focus all your energy on one or use them all. As long as you don't compromise your integrity or risk coming across as fake to your followers, there's no reason why you shouldn't experiment with each one to see what works best.
Extra credit: it's always a good idea to see what your favorite fashion bloggers are doing to get inspired.
As a final note, remember that having a fashion blog is great, but you shouldn't ignore social networks while growing your website. Quite the contrary. A strong social media presence helps you boost views on your blog and grow a larger following, so make the most out of them.
Keep branding consistent across all channels and engage with your followers as often as possible. Instagram is the obvious choice, but consider other social networks as well. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or even YouTube can end up playing a crucial role in your content strategy. You never know from where you might pick up some new fans.
5. Grow Blog Traffic
Made it so far? Then you probably figured out that starting a fashion blog isn't rocket science. However, if you really want to knock it out of the park, this new endeavor will take time, patience, and creativity.
Don't get discouraged if your blog doesn't take off right away – you can't build a loyal community overnight. Stay true to yourself and make the most of the advice we've provided. Don't forget to take advantage of our Weekly Fashion Roundup to introduce your articles to a lot of readers. You're off to an amazing start.
Remember: Authenticity is key. Enjoy the ride. It's going to be magnificent.