15 TIPS | HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL FASHION BLOGGER!

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One of my friends asked me a while ago: 'How did you grow your blog so quickly? What do you have to do to maintain it?' 'Hell no, it wasn't as quick, it took years of hard work!', I said back! And that made me think about writing an article on this topic! Something you definitely haven't seen on my blog yet. I think that it could be a great post for those who are wondering the same thing. I'm not saying in any way, that I'm a pro! I still have plenty of work and improvement ahead. But I've been around in this environment for a bit now, so I feel like I'm able to tell you my point of view, and share some tips & tricks of mine! I would like to write more of these (hopefully helpful) articles in the future! I always have so many ideas and notes in my notebook that I want to scream out loud! I just have to put it together and publish! And that's what's happening now! I think it's time for some of my drawer notes to see the light of this World!

So, you want to become a popular blogger? You want people to save your outfits on their phones, show them to their friends and be endlessly inspired by your looks? You maybe want them to finally get out of their shell & try something new and fashionable? Well, not gonna lie, you picked a hard job indeed! Without dedication & love for what you're doing here, it will be impossible making this hobby your full time job! Blogging can be super rewarding on the other hand, if you don't easily give up and know how to step out of the huge crowds of wanna-be-bloggers! You just have to somehow find a balance between doing your own thing that you love, and what the audience actually wants to see! If you follow some basic guidelines, there is a great chance that sometimes, maybe in the near future, you'll be considered a well known influencer with a voice! Some people experience this almost overnight as their original content takes the breath away of the masses, other future stars have to find their way to it somehow. Some get lost half way! Do you want to know how to stay on point and become a successful fashion blogger? Here's a few tips:

1) Don't sell yourself short!
One of the biggest blogger's nightmares are all these naive little companies trying to make you work for them in exchange for free clothes! Nope, thank you very much! I really can't pay my bills with a hat & pair of jeans! Great for a hobby blogger, not so cool for someone who wants to step up the game here! Unless it's a company with a solid name, that you want to team up with, and they can offer something that will benefit you or a product you are truly interested in, don't do it! Only accept things you will be proud of sharing! And even then you should be able to discuss your terms with them! You and your time are worth more than a free ad for someone who actually HAS the budget to pay you!
Nobody works for free, okay?
These people cold emailing you - they have a paid job doing that! Hello! The cost they pay you by giving away free item isn't even the actual price of the product they're sending you itself! It's already marked up on their website! They are purely taking advantage of you, your time & your following! Otherwise, they would have to hire a model and pay her much more money than what you cost them. A free top and a necklace in exchange for a blog post that you have to publish within 7 days! Been there, done that. It took me some time to realize I'm being taken advantage of big time! One day, when I received a piece of a crappy fabric that was supposed to be a top, I said STOP!
I was not going to continue promoting something that I am not convinced by.
Even if I got paid for it at that point. If you get offered something you can easily re-sell and make a couple of bucks out of it, go for it! But be careful with these really cheap websites! Since that incident happened, I reply to every single email trying to make me do something I don't want to do, in exchange for 'freebies': 'Hi, thank you for your interest! I can offer placing your banner on my website for $XY/month or creating wishlist for $XY. Let me know if you're interested.' Period. If they get back to me, great! If not, no loss here!

Example 1: I got contacted by a chinese website with clothes and required to do both blog post AND a wishlist for $30 worth of clothes! After checking on their reviews online and considering that they are basically giving me $1 worth of clothes, I decided that NOPE! I'm not going to spend hours of my prescious time on this deal!
Example 2: I got an email from a popular hair e-shop. They offered me a free set of clip in extensions of my choice! I JUST took out my old tape-in extensions and was missing my long hair. So I said yes, because it was worth $150 and I wouldn't have it otherwise. Now I can just casually wear it in my blog posts like I would normally do, or write a review if I'm really impressed by it and want to genuinely recommend it!  Win/win situation!

Be picky with your sponsors! Don't sign a pact with the devil just to get free stuff! It's not always worth it! The other day, I got a sponsored post offer from a carpet company! Seriously, dude? Haven't you read my blog at all? Didn't even take time to find out what my website is about and they want me to take them serious? I'm a fashion blogger FYI!

There are other great ways to get monetized, and you don't have to waste your time doing things you don't want to! Simply sign up with Amazon Affiliate Program and get paid if someone clicks on your recommended product link! Another great option that literally requires just a couple of minutes is signing up for Google AdSense where you create customized ad banners for your blog! Then you can randomly add them all over your website and make $ per single click! If you'd like to create fashion widgets with similar clothes that you're wearing (something that I do), there are platforms like ShopCollective & RewardsStyle that you can check out and sign up!

2) Offer your unique style & personality!
There are plenty of fashion bloggers out there! Some of them are ok, and some of them are 100% getting your attention because they are doing something right! It's easy to look at it from your point of view and realize what catches your eye the most! That's the direction you should go for! In my case, looking at who I follow, all these ladies have a unique fashion style, great personality & fresh outfits that I adore. It's the 'something else' in the World where everyone's trying to copy! To me, 'fashion forwardness' - if that's even a word, is a number one reason why I follow someone! Their ideas, the way they combine clothes and aesthetics they have!
Be yourself! You might be into vintage, edgy, boho, lolita cosplay, elegant style or anything else! It's about finding what's close to you. Then embrace it and serve it all day, all night! You will gain audience by doing what you obviously love, not just styling yourself into something you are NOT! Bring the freshness to your readers and they will love coming back to see what you came up with! People are bored by company linesheets, they don't want to see model pics.
They want to see how the real people wear fashion in real life!
You're your own kind of magazine! You can do anything you want, yet you should be yourself and put your heart into your looks! There's nothing wrong with getting inspired by someone for your look, but never do exactly the same thing! People would sooner or later find out! Anyone can do that! Originality is much appreciated!


3) Don't give a damn about what your friends & family think about your content!
Are you still asking your family for approval on your pictures? Do you ask your friends what they think about your blog? Are these people relevant at all, that you give them the power to decide for you? You should do you! Maybe your friends are conservative and you don't want them to question your sanity by talking certain topics? As far as I know, it's your life! You don't need anyone's permission on your career decisions! Especially if you're certain age. A full grown adult with your own rights, head and opinions!
True friends will only come to you with some constructive criticism, willing to help you, take your pictures or discuss your future content!
When your blog hits certain amount of followers, true friends will celebrate with you! Some people around you might be your friends, but they simply don't understand this whole blog thing and your hobby sounds like a joke to them. Don't take these people serious and try to stay on the right track no matter what. If you want to turn this hobby of yours into a job, treat it like a job! People might be underestimating you, but most of them don't even know how to publish a blog post! So, don't let them get to you! And if you have to keep your fashion site a secret, do it! No one has to know it if you don't feel comfortable sharing your updates! Haters gonna hate! Most likely they are just genuinely jealous that your big dream is coming true! And such people have nothing to do in your life anyways!

4) Make yourself a schedule!
Consistency IS the key in this wild blogging World! If you follow the schedule and never let your readers wait long, they will appreciate you and become your loyal audience soon! We all know that things happen in life. Something might have come up and you won't manage to post as planned. Well, try to at least not let this happen too often. Truly dedicated audience (which is what you need if you want to grow), will be always dying to see your new post! These are the people who check your site every day, just in case!
Waiting will get old for them eventually, if you become unsteady! Everyone will simply stop checking after while. If you haven't posted anything in two weeks, chance is that no one cares anymore. That's the truth! If you want to do blogging for a living, you will have to try sticking with some sort of schedule! Maybe just set two days a week when you publish a new article. That's fair to start with. You'll see how easy or difficult for you it is to keep this promise to yourself, and then you can adjust it! Lots of YouTubers are putting a new video up every Wednesday & Saturday. Give it a shot! Grab your laptop, go sit to a nice café with wifi and make a posting plan for the next few weeks! What topics do you want to bring to your audience? What outfits do you have on your mind? What props are you going to need for each photoshoot? The more details you write down, the easier it will be to get ready and you'll save some time! If you think that you can't be a fashion blogger without having a photographer by your side all the time, you're wrong! Do not let this fact discourage you! Save up some money and get yourself a tripod! Thank God for timers!
No excuses! If there is a will, there is a way!


5) Call things by their right names!
Have you ever heard of SEO? Nowadays, anyone can learn the basics! There are courses online, and with a bit of time put into it, you could be a pro in a few months just watching "SEO How To's" on YouTube! Basically, if you write your article well, it will be easier for people to find what they're looking for, and for you to get noticed!
Always be very accurate when it comes to your post title! 
It's very important for the searching tools! Google is actually a rocket science! And brands pay big money to get on the first page! There's millions & millions of brands out there, trying to get recognized when people Google something. If the title of your denim jumpsuit post is your favorite quote, it's cute, but not smart! Simply call it Denim Jumpsuit or How To Wear A Denim Jumpsuit. That's honestly the only way to find your article when someone's searching for this topic! Not by calling it "Denim Is A Way Of Life" - if you know what I mean. Also, people are obsessed with numbers in your post! They love sharing such things on Pinterest or other social media! Create a post that say '10 Ways To Wear Ankle Boots' and you will get a lot of hits on that!

6) Networking is everything!
You have to acknowledge one thing:
Other bloggers are not your enemy or competition, they are your potential friends and mental support! Who else would know better how hard this whole blogging thing can get sometimes? Connecting with people is essential for you! It's especially key in the beginning of your career! People don't just randomly find your blog while searching something online (or it's very highly unlikely if you're a starting blogger)! No one is going to know about your website right away. You simply have to build your name! I'm very lucky to have become friends with local bloggers through my job, and I'm thankful for them every day! It's always fun taking pictures together and hanging out at a café, planning our next adventures! Sometimes you will have to initiate a meet-up and break the silence with people you don't know yet, but then you'll easily become friends! What you can also do is, google people with the same interests (I would search for example Florida Fashion Bloggers to connect with my community!)! Then you can start leaving sweet comments on their blogs! I personally always go back and forth with someone who left compliments in the comments! Someone else might notice your feedback too and you'll gain new traffic!
Always leave your name and link to your website with every comment you make!
* The above symbols around your link will make your actual website clickable - people are then just click away from your amazing blog!

People usually return the love from my own experience! Try doing this at least 15 minutes a day and you will see the difference in just a month! Maybe you will make some virtual friends!
It's the same story with contacting brands that you would like to collaborate with! Are you a big fan of this jewelry e-shop you always visit? Do you buy there often? Contact them and suggest some exposure for them on your blog! They might have an affiliate program going on and have you join! If you think that your blog 'niche' goes great with a local boutique that you love, ask them next time, whether they would be interested in some kind of collaboration with you! It's as easy as this: Send an email, introduce yourself, and offer what you've got! Always be supportive of others! We have to help each other! You know this quote? We rise by lifting others!


7) Your 'niche' is your brand!
We kind of touched this topic already earlier, but there's definitely more to it. It's very important to find your 'niche' and go with the theme! Something that is close to you and easy to talk about, easy to maintain for you!
It could be your language that is so unique to your audience, the way you edit your pictures, retro vibe in your outfits or maybe a blog that's only focused on thrift store shopping or cheap outfit creating!
You could be well known for your amazing DIY projects or recreating celebrity fashion. It can literally be anything you truly enjoy that can bring happiness into your readers lives! As you know, my blog is called The Kawaii Planet. I visited Japan in 2012 and fell in love with their culture, fashion and lifestyle. I started my website shortly after that! I wanted my blog to feature cute outfits. The main aim was mixing my home European style with Western and Asian fashion, and create a unique personal style of mine. I really am influenced by many cultures.
I consider my specific style my 'niche'!
You know I'm a sucker for cute little things, pastel pink color, lace, girly outfits and anything kawaii! That will probably never change and there will simply always be aspects of it in my life, and therefore on my blog! My personal style is of course still changing, that's totally normal. But Kawaii (which means cute in japanese) doesn't necessarily describe just Harajuku cosplay outfits like some people think. It's a lifestyle, and I enjoy it in my daily life!
Your content should always go hand in hand with your brand!

8) Do nice things for your audience!
Any kind of 'Thank You' for your readers will brighten up their day and make them feel appreciated! This good cause is definitely worth connecting with sponsors and getting some 'freebies' to run a giveaway on your website! If you can't get paid for working their products into your outfit, try at least asking them for a gift card for your audience. Then you can run a little contest on your blog (which is going to give the brand the exposure they want as well!)! You can just make people comment with a link to their favorite product off your sponsor's website. That way, they are getting traffic and everyone is happy! Plus one lucky winner will be actually rewarded for being your loyal reader! This will drive ridiculous amount of traffic to your blog because everyone will want to try their luck! Just don't forget to promote your giveaway everywhere you can! (Here are some websites you can use: Contest Girl, Just Freebies, Totally Free Stuff, etc.) You can go and leave comments with the giveaway link to other blogs too! Some bloggers give away what they receive from their sponsors on a regular basis! I ran a Christmas giveaway last year that had a wonderful feedback! I simply put together things that I got from my beauty sponsors and the lucky winner got it all! 

9) Be virtually social! 
Social media is taking over the World and if you want to succeed, you have to take it seriously and stop complaining about it. Yeah, the amount of time that we spend on our phones is crazy, but if we had these technologies in 60's, wouldn't we had acted the same? It's just a natural evolution! I'm not telling you to spend 24/7 staring at your iPhone screen, but starting to use social media as your business builder! It's a great way to network with people, re-tweet, share, comment... Everyone is on it, everyone can react and get to know about your brand! Isn't it wonderful how easy it is nowadays? Better take advantage of it!
Set up a profile on as many platforms as you can keep up with!
There's Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Lookbook, Tumblr and so on. I ALWAYS inform people on all my social media accounts, that there's a new post on my blog! In the meantime, I share my daily outfits, what I'm up to, how I work out, I exchange some comments, thoughts, fun memes etc. Your social media activity should be somewhat related to your content. Obviously, if you are an aspiring fashion blogger, go ahead and follow all the major people and brands in the industry! Keep it professional!
Always tag the brands you're wearing in your Instagram photos, on your Twitter and everywhere else! If they love it, you might get featured on their site and now, that would be a great accomplishment! More and more people will get to know about you!

10) Don't always be perfect!
This is just a reminder that people will love you more, if you show your true colors often! On your no-make up days, your followers can relate to you better than when you look all fancy for the photoshoot! Trust me, it's true! They also love it when you share a bit more of your daily life! That's why I started my YouTube channel to be honest. To bring more of the real me, that you simply can't capture on the photos! In the past, I shared my acne story including photos of my face full of break-outs here on my blog, and how I healed it. It's important to stay real and talk about issues rather than always looking perfect! Sharing these things and showing that your life is not necesarrily filled with rainbows and butterflies every day, will connect you with your audience even more! People will love you for being honest with them! Be silly! Be fun! Be you!


11) Think out of the box!
Other than maintaining your blog, there is plenty of room and potential for other revenues to drive some income along with your website activity! If you're really good at what you're doing and you have some useful information to share, you might want to consider launching an e-book with your tips and know-how! Another great way to keep your readers informed and always awake is creating newsletters!
Your newsletter can be filled with useful info, but there's a great opportunity for paid advertising as well!
Everytime you do this, try keeping it genuine and natural. Ideally recommend something you are using yourself. People don't like when you're pushing them into buying products too hard! What would be really amazing is if you developed an original product of yours and offer it to your audience! Now, I really don't want you to think that this is taking advantage of your readers! Let's put it this way: You are doing something for them, you are creating content that they love, and it's your job! If they truly want you to keep doing it, they will be supportive of everything that comes in the package! It's really hard to make money off just writing articles to be honest. And most people know it! You don't have to waste your time with haters!
YouTubers and other influencers regularly launch their merchandise!
Whether it's a fidget spinner like Alfie from Pointless Blog did, or an actual clothing e-shop with her own line like Marzia did, both are amazing ideas and a whole new potential of your income! Think about what it is, that you could offer other than browsing your blog, and start working on it! Some bloggers sell stickers, some create unique designs on t-shirts... There is just so many options! If you're wondering what I'm doing along with writing my blog, I'm currently woring on launching my handmade jewelry line!
If you're handy, maybe you can start making something too! 
Just do a little brainstorming with yourself!

12) Get a simple, clean web design!
A website that looks full of junk at first sight is not going to do well! If you want people to come back to your blog, it has to be user friendly, well-arranged and pleasant to other's eyes! People should immediately be able to find what they are looking for! If you don't know how to write HTML or CSS, it's not the end of the World! There are people who can help you with that for just a couple of bucks! I bought my web design on Etsy for $20 from a starting web designer! I got the whole package of HTML codes, that I simply installed to my blog according to her instructions! Anyone can handle this! Check these designs out, maybe you will like something for yourself! A website that looks great and is easy to use, will elevate your blog from 1 to 10 points! It's actually a pretty major part of the whole thing.
 Attract your readers once they visit you and make them come back!

13) Edit like a pro!
I'm a perfectionist when it comes to photos and I think it might be a part of my success! People don't want to see pixelated photos that look like a child took them! The truth is, thanks to the technologies, anyone can consider themselves a photographer nowadays! It's so much easier to keep up with the photo trends than it used to be!
All these new phones take amazing pictures! And you're literally a couple of clicks away from making them look insanely good and professional!
Don't you feel bad for all the photographers who spend money on expensive camera lenses and then you can't even tell the difference between their masterpiece and an iPhone photo? If you want your blog to step out, you will have to edit like a pro! I put a lot of time and energy into my blog pictures. Every post takes hours of work and the editing part is probably the longest! But then, when I see the result, I forget the pain! Your style and the way you edit will become distinctive for your blog! People will recognize you! Put some time into this! And start with downloading free apps like PhotoshopVSCO or Snapseed! Play with the filters, color adjustment, brightness and other features. It might be a learning process but you can do it! For me, when I visit someone's blog, it's essential that pictures catch my eye! It's the best impression you can give!
People simply love looking at big, high quality photos.

14) Consider creating a YouTube channel!
Well, you might be the shyest person in the world and then it's not for you! It can be tough sometimes to talk to a camera, especially when other people are watching you! Again, been there, done that! But I really wanted to do this big step so I pushed myself and now I have nearly 40 active videos on my channel, 325 subscribers and the number is quickly growing! I love it! I love vlogging and bringing people the 3D experience! Showing more than what I can show here on my blog! It's a whole new World! Videos can sometimes tell more than pictures. I've noticed, by just listening to my friends and strangers, that
people are more and more lazy to read!
It's sad, isnt't it? It's the age when someone will rather play a video lookbook than having to scroll down the outfit post! What's here to take for you? That you can either follow this trend, or stick with just writing. Or...? Do both! I decided to kind of do both! It's very time consuming keeping up with both platforms and keeping them alive to my followers, but it's so rewarding! Judging by my own view, I love waking up, grabbing my cereal and putting on YouTube. Then I just watch my subscriptions and get ready while finding out what my favorite youtubers are up to!
It feels a little bit like a virtual friendship!
Sometimes they talk about issues that I can relate to. In general, I think it helps me to stay motivated and that's also why I love watching others! It doesn't matter what you're going to share. Maybe something fashion related, maybe a bit of everything. Anyway, if you just want to show your normal life that you live out of your blog, it's a great platform! New opportunities are opening to you as well as many new potential friendships!


15) Don't give up!
Now, this is the most important part! Maybe you're stuck in a job situation you hate, just to make ends meet for now! And you're secretely dreaming of doing blogging for a living! I think most people had to start like this! So just be cool about it! Some people have to take the last bit of their energy after a busy day at work to make big things happen!
Others just keep a part time job that only pays the bills but gives them more time to work on their dreams!
At the end, your hard work will pay off! It may take some time, a couple of months maybe... but you will eventually get where you want to be, if you stay motivated and dedicated! When you reach the point that you don't have to work on someone else's dream, it's going to feel so great! Keep it up! And believe that you can be a successful blogger! They say 'Dress for the job you want, not the job you have'! Set your mind on this and the quote will literally work for anything in your life!

♥ xo Suzy
Gail J said...

hahaha I always feel like meh about the wishlist too! I mean we are not working for free! Plus, I really love what you said that sell the unique style is very important! There are many bloggers pop up everyday, so you just need to stand out from the crowd!


http://www.thequinoxfashion.com

Oh Hey Jessica said...

His is a great article! So many helpful tips. I'm not a fashion blogger but this is good advice for those hoping to become one. I love your style so much and always enjoy seeing your outfits on my instagram feed! I like that you brought up YouTube... I do actually want to start up a channel one day! Would be fun to talk about books and wrestling lol!

Style Over Coffee said...

Thank you so much for the post! I have been blogging since 2013 and do use most of your tips, but some of them are new to me! Guess we can always learn something new from each other.
Am sharing it on twitter :)

Love from Sarmistha
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