Here are some tips for starting your very own fashion blog on budget!
Getting Your Foot Through the Door:
It may take you a few years before you attempt to start a fashion blog or, you may already have one; either way you are wondering how do I stand out and, get ahead. Before even attempting to write you need to spend about $10 on a domain. Make sure your domain is going to be relatable to your website. Do not try and, go for the free spots to write on like BlogSpot they will not make your site professional looking. You want your site to have a focus and, your focus needs to be portrayed.
Find Your Niche:
Your blog will be competing against thousands of other blogs that are already established. What will make you stand out? What type of fashion will you be focused on? What labels/brands will you be wearing? This is all important to know from the very beginning. You will want to have many posts using the label/brand before approaching them with an offer to use their clothing in your blog. Once you find your niche, be bold, daring and, different. If you are focused on high-fashion make sure your pictures are editorial and, fit for a magazine. If you are going towards ethical fashion make statements and, keep up with ethical topics. You will need to be the writer, creator, photographer and, editor when it comes to your blog. To save on pictures, because most pictures need to be taken by someone else, find a family member or, friend interested in photography and, have them take the photos. Make sure to discuss what your image is and, what the theme for the photos are in advance; saving you time as well as, having the photographer understand your perspective will bring your image to life. Instead of paying cash, which, you would not be able to afford, offer up an exchange. Give your photographer credit for each photo, leave a bio on the bottom of each of your blog posts along with a website or, way for someone else to contact the photographer if they enjoyed their work. You can also, offer up an interview post as well as, credit on all your social media posts. You should be able to find someone even if it is at a local art school who is pursuing photography and, needs photos for their portfolio. Not only, would you be making a new friend but, also, a great contact as they further their career in the industry.
Who Are You Writing For:
You have your website, an idea of what content you want to create and, a photographer but, what about your target market. Who are you writing for? What do they want to hear about? What makes your content interesting and, engaging? All the outfits you wear and, clothing you own is targeted, branded and, promoted in hopes that you will purchase it. Finding your target market could be challenge if you have no idea who you are writing to. When a buyer in the fashion industry is buying for their customers they have an idea of their demographic and, psychographic. You need to know what age, gender you would like to write to and, their finical income. Gathering all this information will help to form the type of content you can write. This content will appeal to that specific audience. An example would be, a female in her early thirties to early fifties with an income of $70,000 a year who lives in an urban area. Now you know who your customer is but, you need to break it down a bit further; she has $500 expendable money for clothing. Now you can understand what kind of labels/brands your target audience can afford and, that is what you will be promoting into all your pictures. The object of the blog in your mind isn’t to sell clothing but, if you have any chance with working with a fashion company they need to see your target market and, how well their items will sell if they give them to you to wear. If you are going for high-fashioned posts you better make sure your target market has the means to purchase this clothing otherwise your blog will not thrive.
Social Media Is Key:
If you are going to have a blog you better have every form of social media possible. Blogs have become less desirable than posting on Instagram, where your target audience doesn’t have to read a post and, gets to see cute outfits. Your followers may want to purchase the outfit you are wearing right off Instagram which is when a company will seek you out to work with. You will have a long way to go until that happens so, you need to have a photo ready for all your accounts; fashion photos, outfits of the day, occasion ideas. Use all the social media to your advantage it will not only promote your blog but, if done right you will start to be a well-known face on social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and, many other platforms will become your best friend; make sure you are easy to find with your handles all being the same. The handles need to relate back to your blog where your audience will start to build up. Do not under estimate the power of social media because it is important for companies to see you have a following and, it’s a free way to advertise your blog.
Build Your Content:
In blogging you will be putting all your creativity and, hard work for everyone to see so, make sure you are ready for the critics. Build up that tough skin and, flood your feed with amazing content. Chances are the first couple of posts won’t get any hits and, it may take you awhile to build up your audience, no matter what, keep posting. Your content should be posted every day for at least a year before you decide to get a schedule of when you are planning to upload content. Writing every day for three hundred and, sixty-five days may get to be a bit draining and, speaking from experience you will not have time to write one post a day. Instead, pick three days a week and, write a weeks’ worth of posts each day, yes, seven posts in one day. It will be much easier for you to continue to upload if you schedule your uploads. So, if you have picked Monday to write seven days’ worth of posts for next week and, you schedule them all out they will upload without you having to constantly check. You may need to have many pictures taken at once to be able to keep up with the uploading schedule. Twice a month gather your photographer , your ideas and, take two days to shoot all the content that is needed. You will, need pictures of all your social media so, don’t forget that. Each day you will need to post on your social media or, you can use a new platform that is free such as, HootSuite and, schedule the posts when you do all your writing. It is all about saving you time and, helping your content grow. Writers block is a real thing, I can vouch, even as a blogger so, take one day out of the month and, list all your topics for the month. If you are writing about celebrity fashion, you can just have that as one of your posting topics and, put a new celebrity in each week, be flexible but, be organized.
Personality Is key:
If you are not a model and, have decided to put yourself in front of the camera it may be intimidating. Do not fret, you will not be camera shy for long because you are your blog and, you better get used to your face and, body being on your blog every single day. That is part of what makes your blog so special, you are an individual with your own unique and, creative traits. Let your personality exude from the pages of your blog as if, your reader is sitting beside you listening to you read. Let them feel your emotion through your photos and, let your fashion style become your signature. Do not follow another blog and, do not compare yourself, it is all too easy to and, can be frustrating. This is your mind coming to shine through your blog and, that is what your readers want to see. Portray yourself, as if you are speaking to your best friend of course, your writing maybe a different and, the pictures maybe be a bit more professional but, your personality will forever remain the same. Sometimes your audience may want quirky pictures, sensual pictures, innovative pictures. It is up to you and, your photographer to help capture your true self through the lens and, up to you to do so, through the writing.
Set Up a Media Kit:
Now that your blog has flourished and, you have quite a following it is time to reach out to companies. I suggest starting with local clothing stores or, designers and, work your way up gathering experience. Before you start calling around, hold on, there is a protocol and, a way to go about asking to get sent clothing or, to be paid to wear the brands clothing. To collaborate with these brands, you need to send them a media kit which outlines key facts and, statistics about your blog. Your media kit is selling your blog and, you will need an impressive kit that gets your blog noticed. Putting together a media kit may be a process but, it is much easier than continuing to write emails to companies that are most likely not interested in working with you. Your Media Kit is designed to help you tell the company about your blog and, see if they are the right fit. It is a professional way of presenting your blog to the company. Make sure you do an extensive amount of research in putting together a media kit and, see if your blog is ready for that step. First impressions are important and, if you have a small following and, don’t have a large social media following wait until you know a brand will work with your blog.
Build A Team:
If you are working for companies and, the work load is getting to be too much you need to hire a team. Your team will constant of professionals that can help you grow and expand your business. Make sure you are hiring professionals that will take off the work load placed on you and, that you are prepared to pay employees. Before you go ahead and, hire employees you may want to hire a company that will help you with taxes, payroll, insurance etc. It is still a must that you abide by federal and, state taxes even when you are getting paid by these companies. The tasks that you are not able to accomplish should be given to your employees which, means you may need to hire a writer, social media expert and, someone to organize your business so, you can continue to grow your blog. Whatever you need help with do not be afraid to pass on work to your employees but, as I said be sure that you are in that stage and, that you have plenty of money to afford this luxury. A lot blogs hire a few freelancers to do regular posts for them which, maybe where you want to find your employees until you are ready for a few full-time employees.
How Am I Making Money:
It will take time to earn the kind of money that you would expect but, good things come to those that wait and, of course, put all their hard work into. If you know about blogs, you will know you get paid by google analytics, ads, affiliate links and, sponsorships. But, hold the phone, the sponsorships and, regular ads will come later, right now you are in the stages of proving yourself. You will set up your blog with google analytics; it pays you for ads that it generates on the blog. Once you have that set up it will be difficult to earn money since your traffic will be low at first but, that is why you never put your eggs in one basket and, divvy it up. Affiliate links are a large part of how bloggers make money; you will get a certain percentage when a reader clicks on the affiliate link that you placed on your blog and, purchases the item or, items. There are many companies with affiliate links and, you must do research to see what affiliate links will work best with your blog style. It is important that you do not saturate your blog with links but, find a balance that will work for you and, your reader. Once, your blog becomes sought after or, you gain enough of a following you will be asked by fashion companies to place ads on your blog. You can make quite a bit off these ads depending upon their size and, placement; basically, you are selling ad space on your site, that happens to be a blog. If you have your media kit put together start to send it out to companies and, then you should start to receive jobs. Before you get a yes, you may get a lot of no’s, keep your chin up and, continue to send out your media kits. After a while your kits may get noticed and, you will have a new collaboration with a brand you love.
Bonus Tips & Tricks That Are Budget Friendly:
Starting a fashion blog can be a bit stressful but, with this list you should be ready to go full steam ahead. Stay focused, know what you will be writing about and, have your target market in mind. You may want to create a little booklet of your goals and, maybe even come up with a business plan. Buy yourself a planner or just do it all digitally and, have it send reminders to you. Personally, I enjoy having an old-fashioned planner that I can write in but, this is the age of technology so, why not use it and, save yourself some money. Money that will be coming out of your pocket will be mostly for clothing so, hang in strong you might want to frequent thrift stores at first; you are still promoting the brands/labels you love and, no one will know the difference. Find designers who are in fashion school and, want to get their creations out. If you can reach out to fashion students make sure you give them the option of each photo having the designer name under it, bio at the bottom of your blog post and, credit when posted on social media. You just got a new outfit, helped a designer get their clothing known and, may have discovered the next CoCo Chanel. Another way for you to save some money is to, upcycle clothing, it has become the latest trend in fashion. If you aren’t aware, upcycling is turning a piece of clothing you have and, transforming it into another piece of clothing. This will help your wardrobe expand because having three hundred and, sixty-five outfits a year can be a bit tricky when you don’t have the money. Take a piece of clothing and, do not sew it but, tie it which, will turn it into an extra skirt or dress, voila, you have another article of clothing. Using an accessory to turn an outfit into a brand-new outfit is clever and, budget friendly. Scarves were a big trend with purses to make them look cute but, did you ever think a scarf could turn your purse into another piece in your wardrobe. Be sure to switch up your hair and, makeup never clashing with another photo already taken. Because, this can be tricky, I suggest you lay out your clothing and makeup inspiration for each photo shoot, then, take a picture of each outfit. You will have all the pictures printed and, available for your next photo shoot. Accessories are crucial to your outfits so, make sure to buy timeless pieces that will never fade out of style; this will stop you from having to keep spending money on new pieces. Do your own hair and makeup or, offer it up to a friend or up and, coming makeup/nail artist. You can offer the same deal as the one you offered the designer. Use nature as your background and, never pay for any kind of sets when you are in the beginning stages of blogging. There are plenty of cool graffiti, parks and, towns for you to borrow the background from.
Just like you are giving everyone else credit, give credit to yourself. You are the one who is a stylist, creative director, makeup artist, writer and, you need to make sure you put that at the end of every post. Even though, this is your blog, your readers do not know who you have hired and, you need to make it known that you have put in all this work. If your styling gets noticed, you may be asked to do a styling job for a company or, for a new brand that is launching. Make sure you credit yourself in your Instagram posts as well.
Now you are ready to launch your new fashion blog. Take these tips and, tricks to go do what you do best. Remember to take a breath, learn and, concur what you came to do. Articles with substance are important so, even if you are posting about your pictures make sure to include topics and, content people will read. Your blog is not Instagram and, if you can get your readers engaged in your content you will go far.