Starting a Fashion Blog: What You Need To Know
Fashion blogging may not be as popular as it once was but I still have a lot to tell you about my journey and answer any questions you have about how to start a fashion blog of your own.
This topic was originally conceived as a video idea (ironically) so I recorded a 10 minute conscious stream of thoughts about fashion blogging, including how and why I do it.
Everything I talk about in the video is also written out down below. But if you want to see a bunch of throwback photos of yours truly, you’ll have to watch the video.
Either way, I think you’ll like both versions of this guide!
How I Started My Fashion Blog
My love of fashion lead to me reading my very first fashion blog in 2008. I was fascinated by this other small town girl sharing her style on the webs and I wanted to do that too.
So in 2009, I started my first fashion blog using Blogger.com and called it An Old Story.
In 2014, Pinterest came along and changed my life. A whole new world of links, tutorials, and guides were suddenly at my finger tips and I spent months pouring over them and learning so much about blogging.
I had spent about 5 years posting nothing but outfits on An Old Story and I felt ready to try “real” blogging, thanks to what I learned on Pinterest.
Becoming The Outfit Repeater
I wanted to jump head first into re-branding but it actually took me about 4 months of brainstorming before I came up with the name The Outfit Repeater.
Pinterest also recommended that I become self-hosted so I would own my content. I had no idea what that meant but I took the leap and bought some Namecheap hosting and started blogging on WordPress.org.
Some days I am frustrated with self-hosting but ultimately it’s the best thing I could have done for my blog career. I guess my past self was capable of making good decisions! 😉
Building A Resource
Next, my content needed a makeover. It was so boring! A blog with nothing but outfit posts might seem ok but I usually tried to tie each outfit to a personal story about my life which didn’t work for me because my life is boring. How much weather can one girl talk about?!
So I went back to Pinterest to decide what to do next. I had a big epiphany that it wasn’t my outfits that were dragging me down, but what I was writing about.
After consuming tons of fashion magazines, tutorials, and major fashion bloggers, I made the decision to quit being a “personal” blogger and instead choose to be a blog that could be a resource to others.
I came up with the tagline “your go-to girl for all things thrifty” which helped me shape all my content to be about thrifting or fashion in one way or another. I was excited to take my blog in this new direction! My content was finally becoming diverse, bringing people value, and becoming more about what I wanted to talk about which is FASHION!
After I established myself, wrote a lot of great content, and built a community, I was ready to approach sponsors. I used Pinterest to decide if I wanted to do it and how I wanted to do it. While I’ve used the last year and a half working on this aspect of my blog, you’d be surprised to know that I’ve only had steady sponsors for about 6 months.
In a perfect world, I would love to get monetary compensation for all my work but sometimes I take on unpaid collaborations. This is pretty controversial and I’m usually the one shouting “VALUE YOURSELF! DON’T LET THAT COMPANY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU!” But there are some conditions and benefits to doing unpaid collaborations with brands.
Really the only time when it should be ok to go unpaid is when you really love a brand and would promote them for free even if they didn’t know who you are! Doing this type of work is great to gain expirience, exposure, growth, and to align yourself as an expert in your field.
Why I Blog
I’m finally at the point where I feel comfortable telling strangers that blogging is my work. It’s awesome to have a space to share my sense of style and to talk about fashion. That’s all I’ve really wanted!
And while I said earlier that fashion blogging is on the decline, I believe it’s important to stay true to yourself in life and online. You may not making be the popular choice but by remaining true to yourself, you’ll find your people along the way and eventually start influencing outside your niche.
That’s how trends are born.. unpopular people doing unpopular things and then someone cool see’s it and wants to try it and BOOM, a trend is born.
Blogging vs. Micro Blogging
In a world that is live, instant, and now, how does fashion blogging fit into that?
It almost feels unfair comparing an entire blog/website to an app like Instagram because it’s like comparing apples and oranges. People use both mediums for different reasons.
Instagram is great for dipping your toes into blogging and trying your hand at micro-blogging. You can share digestible content, all of your work is contained on a single page, and the community is easy to engage with.
But I also believe that blogging has many benefits that Instagram does not. For starters, you can be a hub of information for people in your field, it’s easy to share posts outside of just a single platform, writing long form content with embedded links is a plus, having a search box is handy for viewing older content, Google can index your website and give your content a much longer shelf life, not to mention you own everything and Instagram can’t take it away in the blink of an eye. (Can you imagine life without Instagram? The horror!)
Both mediums have their pros and cons!
The Final Word
Blogging is awesome. There’s no one right or wrong way to do it, that’s the beauty of blogging! We’re all just a bunch of passionate people trying to showcase what’s going on inside our brains. Some are good at it, some are bad, some succeed, and others quit. But you’ll never know unless you try!
If you still have questions about this whole fashion blogging thing, tell me about them in the comments below. I’m always up for chatting about blogging!
I hope you found this post helpful. If you did, please share it on social media because the internet gods (and me!) would love that a lot. Thank you!