In my first Fashion Blogger Education column on IFB, I want to set realistic expectations from the start.
While I’d love to be the blogging coach who helped catapult the next Blonde Salad or Gary Pepper into the blogosphere, my goals are much more modest. I’m not here to teach you how to become among the one-percenters in the fashion blogging world (although I am willing to take full credit if I do! ;-)). I’m here to help increase the number of fashion bloggers who make a living from their blog.
I want to help you quit your dead-end 9 to 5 rat race job or leave your over-exhausting, under-appreciated career to enjoy a comfortable salary from writing on a topic you're passionate about: fashion!
I want to increase the paltry 14% of bloggers who earn a salary from blogging, and maybe even increase the average annual salary of $24,086 (which is extremely close to median wage earned by an American of $24,695).
I want to increase the number of bloggers and the amount they earn: the majority makes less than $1,000 per year.
Realistically speaking, this column is designed to help increase the number of fashion bloggers who make fashion blogging their chosen career. Becoming a full-time fashion blogger is more attainable than you think.
Diversified Revenue Models
Of great advantage to fashion bloggers is that their income is not drawn from display ads or affiliate sales alone. Fashion bloggers (like many other blogging niches) make money via brand partnerships, sponsored blog and social media posts, appearance fees, commerce and other methods that are grossly underutilized in the fashion blogging industry. However, the most underutilized of all is internet marketing.
The 6 Internet Marketing Principles All Fashion Bloggers Need to Apply in 2015
1. Content Marketing
This is the art of writing high-quality, unique, actionable and usable content. Many fashion bloggers are photography-rich with minimal written content compared to their food, travel and DIY blogging counterparts. If fashion bloggers begin to write more, they will have an advantage. Content remains king on the Internet when applying search engine optimization techniques beyond the social media buzz of the beautiful photos. I feel so strongly that this principle should be applied for fashion blogging that it’s the debut Blogger Building Blocks training kit, “How to Create Unique Blog Posts Fast and Easy.”
2. Influence Marketing and Reputation Management
We know the top one-percenters in fashion blogging because they work hard to establish their credibility as authorities in a specific niche. The best way to establish your credibility is to find a sub-niche within fashion blogging. For example, Heidi writes for working women, or Andrea of PhDFashionista writes for graduate students and more specifically for lab-microbiologists. I feel equally strongly about this topic, and it will be June’s Blogger Building Blocks training kit, “Establishing Credibility as an Authority Blogger in Your Niche.”
Many top influencers have publicists, agents and managers to help maintain their reputations online and offline, but how does a one-woman-blogger-show do it? Think beyond the “hype” of the “best” social media channels and think: LinkedIn. Yes, my age may show by this recommendation, but it’s due to the fact that LinkedIn is a professional network that chronicles your career and can help establish your authority regardless of your industry. Pay particular attention to your reputation on LinkedIn, and stay tuned for LinkedIn resources in future columns.
3. Email Building
This is the number one area where I see fashion bloggers can capitalize on almost immediately. Rarely do I see an email opt-in option on fashion blogs—an email RSS feed option doesn't count. I’m referring to a full out email management and autoresponder system. To stress my point, stay tuned for a full column on this topic next week!
4. Ecommerce and Online Shopping
Both are predicted to see its biggest growth in 2015 and mobile sales should surpass desktop sales this year as well. A number of fashion bloggers have online shops, but ecommerce is definitely a labor of love. Physical products are difficult to design, source, warehouse, drop, ship, process, etc. This is why infoproduct development is a viable option for fashion bloggers (and all bloggers), and something I will focus on in this column and on our blog and in Blogger Building Blocks.
2015 was supposedly the year of video given the rise of Vine and Instagram in addition to powerhouse YouTube and to a lesser extent Vimeo. My bias goes to Chriselle Lim’s channel. While doing research (work excuse), I can get lost in her videos and often find myself re-watching them to catch all the nuances of fashion vidoeography at its best (work hazard). Heidi Nazarudin and I have been heavily exploring video for The Ambitionista brand, so keep your eye out for case studies, examples and lessons learned along the way.
While a steady and slow upward climb, podcast listenership doubled since 2008. So, an astute tortoise can and should win the race! If you’re looking to carve into a trend and become an authority “voice” (literally) before I can share my helpful tutorials, you definitely should explore modes of fashion podcasting today.
I am eager to have you weigh in! Please share your thoughts, experiences and questions below. See you next week, same time and place!