Want To Be The Next Chiara? How To Start Your Own Fashion Blog
This year blogging was named the number one career choice, with a quarter of all young Brits questioned saying they want to be have their own online empire like Zoella and Tanya Burr.
Thinking of starting your own blog? Here blogging sensations Lily Pebbles, Margaret Zhang, Michelle Phan and more answer questions about making it as a blogger.
How to make money from blogging and turn it into a career
Lily Pebbles said at a Grazia event about quitting her job to become a full time blogger: 'I signed up to a network where they provided adverts to my blog and I was living at home which helped. I posted three times a week and knew it would grow when I posted more.' Estée from Essie Button says: 'once you go full time it will grow as you are working harder and posting more. You need lots of motivation. Anyone who is self employed: you have to put in time and be dedicated.' Fleur de Force said: 'after leaving Uni I decided to try full-time blogging for six months and see how it went. I signed up to a third party network for advertising on YouTube which gives you a guaranteed rate.'
How to gain followers on your blog
Michelle Phan says: 'don't ever think you need to cultivate fans because that is the wrong approach. You need to focus on growing your online family, and they might become influencers too.' Focus on your content and your idea first, and then the followers will grow. The most successful blogs are doing something different from others and have their own personality. Three words: The Man Repeller.
How to decide on the platform for your blog
There are hundreds of blogging platforms you can use, including Tumblr, Blogger and WordPress. Blogger is traditionally the most popular among fashion bloggers. Lily Pebbles says: 'I still use Blogger but hopefully it looks like a normal website. At the beginning you can easily use widgets to make it look nice and then I had a techy friend give it a few tweaks. My friend who designs my site says you can do just as much on Blogger as you can on Wordpress.'
Reem of Five Five Fabulous uses Wordpress and told us 'even if you are using a basic theme, it's easy to manipulate it to look how you want it to so you don't have the exact same blog as everyone else. The simpler the better - they don't want to be bombarded too much.'
Don't start a blog as a business or for free products, let it grow organically!
You might want blogging to lead you to the front row, but don't start by focusing on the perks. Lily said that only 30 people read her blog for the first year and so you shouldn't start a blog as a business but should let it grow organically. Fleur de Force adds that starting a blog to get free products is 'the worst idea ever.' It will show if you are promoting products and brands you don't believe in.
What three qualities do you need to become a blogger?
Michelle Phan said to Grazia 'the most important is passion. Number two is commitment. You have Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook - it's a lot to maintain so if you don't have the motivation it will be hard to continue on the path. Number three is to have an imagination as that is how you can build a new following.'
How to decide which social platforms you want to focus on - YouTube, Instagram, Twitter?
Michelle Phan advises: 'Don't jump straight into YouTube or a social platform straight away, dip your toes in at first. If you are a visual artist, Instagram is a great platform for you to show your work. But if you're a writer, Twitter might be the platform to help convey your message.'
When it comes to fashion blogs, Instagram is key to growing your audience but can also take readers away from your blog. Blogger Gabi Fresh said to WhoWhatWear: 'Honestly, blogs are dying out, because Instagram is taking their place. Especially with style bloggers, our whole thing is photos, so if we have a platform to show our outfits, we’re going to use it. Thankfully, I still get high traffic to my site, but my comments are down, because people are looking at and discussing my pictures on Instagram. The interaction is much more done on Instagram and Facebook these days.'
Decide on your publishing rhythm
Many bloggers say it's helpful to have a publishing routine, so can plan content and keep readers engaged as they will know when to expect new posts.
Naming your blog
You don't want to change the name of your blog six months in, so take some time to think about your name before you go live.
What photography apps do bloggers use?
Margaret Zhang tells us: 'most of my Instagrams are taken on my phone, unless they’re lifted from campaigns/editorial that I’ve worked on, or content from Shine By Three. My favourite apps are Snapseed, Luminance and Lightroom.'
Make friends with other bloggers
Lily Pebbles recommends going to blogger workshops as a good way to meet people. She adds that you should always be brave and introduce yourself to bloggers you like as you'll regret it if you don't. While Fleur de Force says she met other bloggers online and advises it's best to reach out to people who have a similar following to you.
Do you need to be an expert to be a beauty blogger?
No! Estée of Essie Button says: 'I am Canadian and moved here three and a half years ago and I wasn't into makeup at all. I googled the best MAC blush and came across beauty blogs and became obsessed. I didn't know much about beauty and after that I started a channel and became addicted.'