Back when I was thinking about starting a blog I read so many articles and blog posts and spent hours watching Youtube videos to find out what I actually needed to start a blog. There are many helpful tips out there from experienced bloggers but it does take a bit of digging to find exactly what you are looking for because every blog is different and everyone’s style of blogging is unique. Bearing that in mind, I wanted to created a post that will let you know the basics about what is involved in starting a fashion blog, all in one place. These tips can also be transferred to beauty blogs and other niches too.
1. Decide If It Is What You Want
Before anything else you must be sure that starting a blog is what you want to do. I cannot stress this point enough because it plays a huge part in how much satisfaction you get out of blogging and how successful your blog is.
When I created mine I have to admit I had my doubts about blogging. I was torn between starting on a blogging journey or continuing with the career I had already chosen. I like to give my all to whatever I choose to do and become as successful as I can at it. I was concerned that splitting my attention between two options would compromise my commitment and ability on both. And blogging is a world away from the career I had chosen so it almost felt like I was living two lives. This is something I still battle with now because blogging is not my full time job but luckily after a few weeks of blogging I had fallen in love with it. But when life gets busy it’s usually the blog that suffers unfortunately. However, I know that blogging is something I want to continue which keeps me motivated and makes it enjoyable for me.
2. The Blog
Now that you’ve decided that blogging is for you here comes the fun part, actually building your blog. There are so many publishing tools you could use to start, like Tumblr or Blogger but if you want to blog seriously I would really recommend WordPress. This way you can choose your own domain name and blog hosting which is much easier to build a brand from. There are a number of web hosting sites that support WordPress and they will guide you through the steps of buying a domain and web hosting fees.
The name and theme (aka template) of your blog are critical. Have a good long think about the name of your blog because you don’t want to regret it in a few years. I kept my blog name as my name because it allows me to be flexible with what I post. I also think a blog named after its founder is more personal. Secondly, the theme you choose will set the tone for your blog. There are loads of free themes to choose from on WordPress so you will definitely find something you like. Keep in mind how user friendly and intuitive the theme is because anything too complicated will put readers off.
Actually setting up your blog will probably take you the most time unless you’re a tech wiz. Take your time with it and be decisive because it really is the foundation of your overall blogging experience.
3. Social Media
Having a blog is all well and good but you want people to see it. That is where your social media becomes your personal cheerleader. You need to use it to promote your blog and any new content you post. Get on as many social media sites as you can and preferably have the same name across all. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are a must but Snapchat and Pinterest are also really useful. I would also stress keeping your social media consistant in terms of themes and the images you post. If you want to be a fashion blogger don’t post loads of pictures of food on your Instagram. Your social media should be an extension of your blog so keeping it all in sync is really important because then readers will know what to expect.
Posting on social media needs to be a daily thing to keep your followers engaged. A sign of a successful blogger is when readers want to know more about your life than just what you are wearing that day. Remember to be personable and entertaining but also remember that a blog is like a mini business so steer away from posting anything too unprofessional.
Social media is also a great way of discovering like-minded bloggers to connect and interact with. There are some fantastic communities out there like #BloggingGals, a personal favourite of mine, which support small and medium bloggers by sharing their content with a wider audience. It can get a bit lonely as a blogger so having a community you can vent too and rely on becomes very important.
4. The Camera
Imagery is everything. At least for me anyway, I always think a well written post can really be elevated with the addition of beautiful imagery. For a fashion blog I think at least one image per post is a must. There is no set minimum or maximum number of images you should include, as long as you make sure your are publishing your best work. Don’t include images that you’re not happy with just to fill the space on the page. Even a full fashion post could consist of three crisp images and still feel complete if it is well executed.
If there was one thing that stressed me out the most when I first started blogging it was how to achieve the images I wanted. Sometimes when we look through established bloggers work it’s hard to tell whether it is a blog or the next edition of Porter magazine because their pictures look so professional. While it’s not ideal to compare your work with others, you can certainly take inspiration from those bloggers. The good news is you don’t need to break the bank to get a camera which can take professional blog worthy photos. Luckily there is one go-to camera for all bloggers in my opinion and that is the Olympus Pen. It is a great beginner camera for even the most novice of photographers and allows you to capture stunning images with minimal effort. It is also a decent price, starting at around £300 depending on the spec and lenses you choose. It is a bit of an investment but it’s totally worth it!
The Pen is small and light to carry and fast at taking photos. I always have mine at the ready in my bag. What I find really useful about this camera is that it has a wifi connection which allows you to connect your phone and save photos to your phones camera roll. This makes is really quick to get images from your camera to your social media in no time at all. I also like how it has a flip down screen which makes it ideal for vlogging too. The Olympus Pen is really instagrammable itself because it is so stylish and it has lots of accessories options you can buy to make it your own.
I would also recommend purchasing a tripod whilst you are at it so you can snap those outfit shots yourself when there’s no one around to help you. A simple one from Amazon will do, you can’t really go too far wrong.
5. Contact Address
After you have set up your blog and social media you will need to create a blog email address. It’s a good idea to create a separate email address for your blog, like you would for any other job. You want to keep it separate so your inbox stays organised and you don’t miss anything. It’s also easier to keep all your blogging information in one place. Once you have done this make sure you share the address on social media. Add it to your bio wherever possible so that companies and followers know where to contact you and can do so easily. The easier you make it, the more you will be contacted. It’s also a good idea to have a contact page on your blog which is just a basic form for people to fill in just in case they missed you email address.
If you get blogger mail, or anticipate that you will then I would recommend getting PO Box address so that you don’t have to give out your personal home address to companies. It’s completely up to you but you can never be too safe these days! All you have to do is fill out a Royal Mail application form and they will do the rest. There is a charge for having a PO Box so you might need to consider how much you will use it but it is worth knowing that it is an option.
So after these five steps you should be ready to start blogging! Well almost, there is a lot more to blogging which you will soon find out but these are the fundamentals which will help set you up in the blogging world.
- Lasula Khaki Bomber Jacket (similar)
- Lasula White Crop Top
- Asos Black Jeans (similar)
- New Look Heels
These items were kindly sent to me.