How to Start a Fashion Blog

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I get quite a few emails from people asking me about starting a fashion blog, so I thought I’d put together a simple how-to post for any would-be bloggers. Everyone will go about it in different ways, so don’t feel like you have to follow all the advice I’ve given. These are just a few starters for you to take, mix and match, or completely disregard when starting your own blog.

Blog Name 

The name of your blog is important. It’s your own brand, and once you’ve started off with a name it’s difficult to switch it without confusing people and possibly losing followers. Also, if you’re going to be using social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to promote your blog, you’ll want consistency across the board. So find a name and stick to it. How to find one? It took me and my boyfriend (who looks after the design and photography on the blog) a good few days of throwing names around to stumble across one we really liked. And then we found out it was taken. But now I can’t even remember what it was, and I can’t imagine our blog being named anything apart from Girl in the Lens.

So have a think of a name that is easy to remember, catchy, preferably short, and simple to type. Also think about how the name represents your blog, because it’ll be the first thing most of your readers will encounter. You want something that emphasises what it is your blog is about. We went for Girl in the Lens because it automatically put a focus on both personal style and photography. Have a look at some of your favourite blogs and think about how their names represent them and why their names work.

Platform

In my opinion the best platform to start your blog on is WordPress.com. This will give you a blogname.wordpress.com address, and is totally free. I think it’s better than Blogspot as the dashboard is nicer to look at and use. It might be a bit daunting at first but there’s really only a few things you need to look at on your dashboard – posts for posts (you guessed it!), pages for your about me/advertise bits, comments, appearance (easily customisable with WordPress themes) and site stats (for those all important metrics). Another major plus with WordPress is its longevity. If (like with my blog) you eventually want to move over onto a .com address, then you can just switch to WordPress.org and export all your stuff over to your new blog. Easy peasy.

Content

What are you actually going to be doing? Some blogs seem to do everything, but in my opinion, when you’re starting out it’s best to pick a few areas and stick to those. Otherwise you risk confusing and alienating your readers, and you’ll build a stronger brand image. Then once you’re established you can start diversifying. Think about how often you’ll post – it’s nice to be fairly regular, and something like two or three times a week is good. If you’ve got loads of ideas for posts, save them as drafts so you can make them go live as an when. A key thing to remember though is quality trumps quantity. Instead of doing ten different posts about items you like, why not group them together around a key theme are write about that?

Social

Blogging’s a social thing. Don’t just send out your posts and leave it at that. Take the time to read other blogs (hopefully you already do or I’m not sure what you’re doing here!), leave comments, chat to other bloggers on Twitter or at events. Buzzword alert – network. Whether you do this physically or digitally, the important thing is that you do it. And the more you get integrated into the blogging community, the more your little blog will grow. But don’t feel like you have to use every social platform there is. Pick the ones you enjoy the most and perhaps check out where your traffic is coming from too. There’s not enough time in the day to try promoting your blog on every platform available!

Stats

Metrics, numbers? What the hell? I just wanted to look at pretty pictures, thanks. Well, I’m afraid you’re gonna have to bite the bullet and look at the numbers at some point. It’ll do your blog good in the long run – you can tailor your content to better suit how people use your blog, and it’ll help when you start working with PR companies and brands. Luckily, it’s fairly simple, even though it can seem a bit daunting at first.

If you’re on WordPress.com, just go to your dashboard and click ‘site stats’. Glad you chose WordPress as your platform now ain’t ya? There you can look over a few different metrics such as site views and top referrers, which are good enough when you’re starting out. Once your blog has outgrown WordPress.com though, you’ll need Google Analytics. For an easy how-to guide for GA, check out this Mashable article. Though it’s a little old and your dashboard will look slightly different, all the key info is still there.

End goal: FUN

Those are a few starters to get you on your way, but if you want specifics or have any more questions, feel free to email me or leave your questions in the comments below. I hope the advice was helpful, but above all, HAVE FUN. Blogging is awesome. I never thought it’d take up such a big part of my life as it has, and I’ve had fantastic opportunities and met great people all because of it. Enjoy, and let me know how you get on! 🙂

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