How to Become a Successful Blogger and Influencer for Fashion, Beauty and Style
Many dream of becoming a blogger and influencer around fashion, beauty and style. Which is totally understandable, as this is a very interesting, diverse and attractive work – no matter whether as a hobby or done professionally.
By blogging in this field ..
- you come to know many interesting people and personalities
- you enrich your everyday life with beautiful things and attractive people
- you train your senses for fashion, beauty and style
- you can live out your creativity through writing, photographing and filming
- you will learn much about the internet, technical issues, photography and video filming
- you can gain access to interesting events and travels
- you can get attractive trade samples and generate an income in the long run
But starting isn't easy, as you have to think about and consider a lot of things. This article gives you an overview on how to approach your goal to become a fashion and style blogger and influencer and on what to pay attention to.
Personal Brand or Other Name?
At the very beginning you should give thought to a decision with far-reaching long term consequences, namely if you will operate your style blog under your own personal name (or at the very least based on it) or under some fantasy name without reference to your person. You can do both – and each variant has its advantages and drawbacks
Usually, fashion and style bloggers choose their personal name for a blog name, so either their prename, their full name (or – less commonly – a fictional person’s name), mostly combined with a term from the world of fashion, beauty or style, to make the blog’s orientation clear already by its name.
Normally, this is the best choice for bloggers and influencers, who already know they will orientate their activities strongly to their own personality and plan to present only themselves in articles and fashion shoots as "face" of the blog.
Such a personal brand (personal branding) automatically leads to a high memorability of your blog by its readers and followers, as you coninuously present (only) yourself with your face and personality, what over time establishes familiarity, trust and identification with your person and with it your blog. This is the biggest advantage of a personal brand, already.
But at the same time, this is the greatest disadvantage of a personal branding, since your name, your personality and your face will inextricably be linked with your blog. This means, that if at some point you don’t have the time or passion to regularly keep posting content anymore, you start to loose your readers and followers, who got used to your person. Additionally, with a personal branding you cannot so easily publish articles from guest authors or post outfit shoots of others on your blog, as this wouldn’t fit in with its previous focus solely on your person, dilute your personal brand and appear confusing and inconsistent.
On the other hand, if you don't establish a personal brand, but instead choose some fantasy name, the main disadvantage is that this doesn’t create the intense bond with your readers and followers as a personal brand would. However, it gives you more flexibility and options, as then you can easier change the direction of your blog later and also divert it from your person.
And imagine, you want to sell your blog later – while in this case a personal brand normally is of no interest for most potential buyers, a blog running under some name without reference to your person is easier sellable, as its value does not come from the prominence and activities of the particular blogger and continues to exist even after the blogger leaves.
Whatever name you ultimately choose, by all means you should avoid the mistake of a not carefully chosen name, which would make it difficult to change the direction of the blog later. So before starting, give thought to the potential development of your blog at a later stage and if the blog's name would then also reflect this.
Website or Only Social Media?
As blogs initially emerged, the online world was simple. The internet practically only consisted of websites and no blogger had to care about social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat.
Meanwhile this has changed fundamentally. These days, internet users spend their time online mostly on such platforms and don’t visit websites as often as before. In addition, this was intensified by the widespread use of smartphones, where most users have installed and heavily use the apps of social media platforms.
That is why in recent years we had the trend that many new style bloggers and influencers not even bothered to run a website, but were active solely on platforms like Instagram or YouTube. And even already established bloggers with successful own websites eventually began neglecting them and started to mainly focus on their social media presences.
But now this begins to change again, for logical reasons. To put it clearly: whoever wants to be a professional blogger and influencer, should absolutely have a website, too. And that website should be the center, whereas the social media presences should only accompany it and generate traffic to that website.
Establishing your own website is important for several reasons. First of all, you never know how long a certain platform will be successful or even exist! Twitter isn't as important as some years ago and even Facebook not that significant anymore. Not to mention once prevalent MySpace, which meanwhile even stopped operations. Or imagine your account being terminated for no reason – this happens more often than you think! So, if you concentrate all your activities as influencer only on social media platforms, you are completely dependent on them!
Furthermore, so-called organic reach on social media continued to reduce over the last years: even if you have a high follower count, this doesn't mean that your post will actually reach them. Because of the changes in the algorithms and enormeous competion in the user's newsfeeds only a fraction of your followers will see your posts at all.
Certainly, to draw attention to yourself, you could pay for advertising on Instagram, Facebook etc. at any moment, but at the beginning this normally should be no option because of the associated costs. With the massively dropped organic reach many experts even say, that from now on social media can only be used under the motto "pay to play".
Another big advantage of having your own website: Only there you can have your individual design and layout, without control or guidelines from other platform operators – which is especially important in the field of fashion, beauty and style. And only there you can have additional content and functions as you like, e.g. subscribing to your email newsletter – you are entirely free and can do whatever you like. Additionally, you get valuable traffic from google searches directly to it.
Therefore, with great justice this general rule applies: "Don't build on rented land!" (meaning: don't be active only on externally controlled social media platforms, rather rely on your own website, mainly).
The Most Important Social Media Platforms for Style Bloggers and Influencers
But your website isn't enough, either – you definitely should complement it with social media accounts and be very active there, too. Currently, the following platforms are relevant: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat.
Quite a lot, right?
Hence, many experts recommend to concentrate just on one or two platforms and ignore the rest, to not waste energy and rather use one's available time with most impact on just one or two selected platforms. We disagree, because on the one hand you should open accounts everywhere in any case, if only to secure your name there, and on the other hand one could focus on just one or two platforms and at the same time be active on others as well, but to a lesser extent.
But which platforms are most important for bloggers and influencers for fashion, beauty and style? The answer is clear: Instagram! The photo sharing platform is ideally suited for it and and additionally extremely popular with fashionistas and the style crowd.
After that, you decide which one is the next important based on your personal preferences, however the intensity of use within your target group should play a role, too. In our opinion, for style bloggers and influencers the following order holds true:
Identical Name for Your Domain Name and Social Media
Before starting, you have to register your chosen name as domain name (for your website) and with all relevant social media platforms. Ideally do this simultanously, meaning consecutively, and make sure that your name is as identical as possible throughout your website's name and social media as well. This helps in building your brand, as you show up under a consistent naming everywhere.
Webdesign for Blogs Around Fashion, Beauty and Style
As you target a fashion oriented audience, you should especially pay attention to a professional and attractive web design. To choose your own style, at first you could look through many other fashion, beauty and style blogs to get a feel for it. While doing so, memorize what you particularly like and derive ideas for your own style from it.
These days, most blogs are created with WordPress, which has many benefits. For WordPress, many so-called "Themes" are available, which are already geared to certain sectors (and so for fashion, style and beauty as well). By using such a theme, you can have a beautiful premade design for your website for free or only a small fee.
Build Your Email List From the Beginning
Building an email list is often neglected, despite of its importance as a crucial marketing instrument. Only through your own email list can you reach your readers and followers directly and as many in numbers as possible. Admittedly, the open rate of emails has declined in recent years, but with attractive content and well-chosen subject lines it still can be as high as 25 to 60 percent.
But make sure with your email activities, that you don't send emails too often to your list and to send always good and useful (for your target audience) content in your mailings. Particularly with email marketing, you have to observe legislation – so send emails only after explicit and provable consent of the recipients, only by using the so-called double opt in procedure (where the email subscriber initially has to click on a confirmation link in a first email, before he actually will be added to the list).
Beware of Legal Pitfalls
By operating a blog, legal aspects have to be taken into account, too. This way you avoid problems, which otherwise can lead to immense costs. We cannot deepen this in our general article, but at least make sure to avoid these common pitfalls:
- no or insufficient legal notice
- Using pictures from the Internet (this can be copyright infringement)
- no or insufficient labeling of advertisements (on your blog or in social media posts)
You have to inform yourself about all of this and much more, if you don't want to run into legal trouble sooner or later.
Equipment for Style Bloggers
Fortunately, blogging isn't expensive anymore for style bloggers, too. Normally, you will already possess the most important blogging tools, namely a PC or laptop and a smartphone. The latter can absolutely be used for shooting photos for your blog, but nevertheless this should only be a compromise, because even if many suggest the opposite, a professional photo camera (e.g. DSLR) is necessary if you like to shoot better and varied photos. Hence, a smartphone camera isn't enough all the more, if your blog's focus is mainly on impressing photography.
If you are active on YouTube as well, you can get yourself a video camera specially for it. Should your budget not allow this, you can get by with videos made with your smartphone or photo camera (a professional DSLR, for example, can also film in decent video quality). But definitely pay attention to a good audio quality of your videos (e.g. through external microphones). While a not so optimal image quality normally will be tolerated, if the video’s content is interesting, almost nobody watches a video when its audio has poor quality.
If you produce videos more frequently, sooner or later you will not get around a video editing software (we had a positive experience with "Camtasia").
How to Make Your Style Blog Successful
After you chose your blog's name, registered your domain, designed your website and activated your social media accounts, you are ready to go. But in order to start a successful career as blogger and influencer – and to stay successful – you should internalize some fundamentals of successful blogging from the beginning on.
Most of all, this is the understanding that you must show great persistence and have a high frustration tolerance to not quit early. Since in the first time (which can last "only" a few month, but as well several years) only few visitors will come to your website and only few people will follow you on social media.
With that said, to stick at it – considering the plenty of work you invest in your blog and your activities on Instagram etc., which seems to not pay off – you need a great deal of mental strength, tenacity and perseverance.
By this time, fashion blogs, style bloggers and influencers already exist in large numbers – in consequence you have a lot of competition right from the start and have to make a name for yourself and build your brand in a saturated market. You can achieve that best by early on having your own style, especially for your photography.
Just look at famous fashion bloggers and influencers – most of them have a unique visual style, which sets them apart from others and their entire photo stream somehow looks similar throughout, despite the various photo motifs. This ensures high memorability and helps building their brand.
Find your own style and try to mimic this approach, e.g. by always using the same viewing angel or image background for all your photos, or use the very same filter for all of them.
Another key success factor for your blog and social media is to actually posting such content steadily and regularly, which suits your target audience and will be perceived as valuable by it. You should post periodically at set times and absolutely avoid longer blogging pauses.
To tighten the bond with your readers and followers, you should take the interaction with them seriously and as a consequence – especially in the beginning! – answer all their comments, emails or direct messages on social media quickly and personally.
Even a great blog will not make any progress if it isn't also well marketed, to spread and constantly gain new readers and followers. In practice though, many bloggers invest much time and energy in creating their blog content, but afterwards don't bother about its marketing – despite this being crucial for the blog's success!
For this reason, many online marketing experts even recommend to spend only 20% of the time for creating the content and use the remaining 80% for the distribution of the content pieces, which were produced with great effort, previously.
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