Last Update March 20th, 2017
So you want to learn how to start a fashion blog, huh? Well, I’ve got good news for you. Fashion blogs are huge right now.
This post is not just about starting fashion blogs. I’m going to show you some step by step tips for starting any blog in any niche and making sure you do it properly.
Oh, and if you really do want to know how to start a fashion blog this post will hopefully blow your socks off!
The best part?
You can build a fashion blog that really helps people out there by focusing on equality, ethical clothing labels, and helping young people form more healthy opinions about their body and sources of self-esteem.
How to start a fashion blog: you need some guts!
Let’s not sugar coat anything here – blogging is hard work.
And if you truly do want to start a fashion blog you are entering a niche that is so crowded and cramped you will struggle to even find room to breathe.
The same goes for blogs about blogging, travel blogs, music blogs, sport blogs and probably sexy ones.
The competition and the noise is endless.
But there is good news and that is that 95% of those blogs really suck.
I mean they REALLY suck.
This leaves you with an opportunity to do something amazing and awesome and special but, like the paragraph header says, you need some guts. You are going to have to make this work by being smart and different. If you’re not prepared to do that then you may as well stop right here.
So now what?
Remember: this post uses fashion blogging as an example but can apply to almost any other niche.
The basic steps needed to start a fashion blog
Now that we’ve got the scary learn-the-hard-way-grasshopper lessons out of the way we can get into some practical matters. Knowing how to start a fashion blog and make it truly awesome means following these basic steps (there’s more detail afterwards):
- Get a sick domain name and your own host
Please, please, please don’t start your blog on Tumblr or Blogger. Those things are promotional tools for your main blog or website. If you want to truly grow a brand and make a business out of your fashion blog you want your own domain name and blog hosting in order to start a WordPress blog. Most of the best sites do it this way.
- Find out why you are fabulous first
As I said in the intro-mumbo-jumbo, you really need to know why you are different. There are millions of fashion blogs out there and unless you do something differently you are going to get lost in all the noise. You don’t want that.
- Publish the most incredible (ethical) content your brain can manage
Once your blog is all set up and running don’t just publish thing stuff that you type out in five minutes and hit publish. Blogging is hard work. Sometimes I take two or three days to write one blog post. You have to make your brain work and really try to help people.
- Network, network, network
Make friends. Lots of them. Make friends with your readers and make friends with other bloggers that are already way more awesome than you and might be able to give you a helping hand. This means growing a mailing list and it means being active on places like Google+.
And now you are successful and famous!
Well, not quite.
Let’s get into a little bit more detail about all those points.
Vital step: Why you need your own blog host to start a rockin’ fashion blog
I’ve written this stuff in a few blog posts now but it is just so important and we constantly see people get it so wrong that I need to keep saying it.
A free blog is not a good solution
If you want to start a blog that will eventually become a business then you need to get your own domain name and web host.
Because that blog is your asset.
It will be the place from which you launch every project that you can come up with in the future. It will be the place from which you promote everything you do and it will be how all the big cats in your industry come to know you.
So why would you try to do that on a free blog host with some other company’s name in it? Can you imagine starting a restaurant or a shop and having another company’s name in your shop sign or restaurant name? No way!
A big tip about your future
Here is a big tip that I am going to make about your future. I guarantee that this will happen. It happens to everyone who makes this mistake. This big tip is this:
If you start a blog on a free host one day you will want to transfer it to a self-hosted WordPress set up. – Click to Tweet this quote.
That is a fact. And now that you know it you should be smart and just avoid the future headaches of a painful migration and start your blog in a way that sets you up for the long term.
Watch this quick video where I tell you why it’s so important:
It sounds really complicated, how does it work?
Getting your own blog host does sound complicated but I can assure you it isn’t. For example, over 850,000 people have set up a WordPress blog with BlueHost (affiliate). I am betting you are as smart as at least some of those people.
Here is a quick overview of how it works:
- Visit Bluehost
Start by visiting BlueHost . This is the hosting company that I recommend for all beginners.
- Get your domain name
You can buy your own domain name through BlueHost on the first page. Your domain name is what people will type in to find your site.
- Fill out all the details
You then fill out all your details, purchase the hosting package (billed annually) and you’ll get instant access to the control panel.
Quick interruption on hosting your blog:
Here’s a complete guide on how to start a WordPress blog with BlueHost that takes you through each step in 5 minutes max! Let’s get it right the first time on a quality webhost.
- Install WordPress
Just find the button called WordPress in your cPanel and click it. It will take you through a set up process that will take literally 30 seconds.
- Your blog is ready
Sure, its just skin and bones at this stage but you are literally ready to start blogging on your own set up.
What happens next?
Once you have your brand new baby blog you’re going to be seduced by millions of plugins and WordPress themes. You are going to want to change things and muck around with your theme and never actually do any content creation. That is a big mistake.
So, perhaps before you go too much further down the road you should read the next section.
To start a fashion blog (or any blog) find out why you are fabulous first
If you’ve jumped ahead and started your new blog that’s totally fine – it shows you’ve got passion and energy.
But here are a few things you need to consider about making a blog successful, awesome and totally fabulous.
Being different is being alive
That might sound a little dramatic but it is totally true. If your blog is the same as all the other fashion blogs (or travel, music, sport) out there then you are going to fail and give up within a few weeks.
If, on the other hand, you know why you are fabulous and you work hard at making sure that is part of your brand and that you let people know why you are different you will find that you start having small successes.
These small successes are very important.
For example, you might think of a really cool name for your blog, or a really cool angle from which you blog about something. Someone might notice that name on Twitter or Facebook and give you a little shout out saying that it is a cool idea.
That is a very, very important thing to have happen.
Very early on in this blog’s lifecycle I got a simple Tweet from a guy called Rand Fishkin.
He said, “I really like your About page.”
That was it.
Well, it just so happens that Rand Fishkin was/is a huge internet hero of mine and receiving that simple Tweet gave me a crap-load of energy.
If I got my About page right surely I could get other things right. Right?
That quote is still featured on my About page.
And I think it all came back to doing something different.
So, how can you start a fashion blog that is different from all the rest?
- Put your face on it
You are going to be a huge part of your blog. You write the darn thing! Make sure people know who it is coming from.
- Put your story on it
Why are you writing this blog? Why should people listen to you? Tell them your story even if it is really, really long.
- Think of a strong and differentiated brand
Your brand is not just your logo – it’s everything that you do. It’s everything that people think about you. Make sure your name, logo, design and style is all connect and all works together to make your blog different.
- Take risks
You need to take risks with your content (kind of like I am now writing a post about fashion blogging for tens of thousands of readers!). Talk about things that matter to you – don’t just try to be like everyone else. This is actually one of the hardest parts about blogging.
All of this comes down to having a really deep knowledge of why you are doing what you are doing.
Try and have some idea of your motivations before you start.
And then publish the best content your brain can manage
This is what blogging is really about.
Even if you’ve made mistakes in the last sections – chosen a bad domain name or started on a free host (ugh) – you can still make it work if you publish damn good content.
So what does the best content look like?
Well, the best content is not so much about how it looks. It may be in many forms like a video or a blog post or an eBook. That doesn’t really matter.
The best content, however, is something that changes a person’s life.
Again, that might sound dramatic but it’s not really all that surprising.
If your fashion blog is about helping curvy women then some content that you write might make someone feel better about themselves for a day.
That is a big thing. And they will remember it.
The best content solves problems. You and your brain should spend a lot of time trying to come up with the best and most helpfulest content ideas that you can think of.
If your fashion blog can help people with their lives, promote sustainable and ethical materials and worker rights, support a struggling environment, etc. then you are going to make a real impression on those that encounter your brand. And you’ll feel really good about doing it.
So how do you do it?
- Make plans
Plan ahead with your blog’s strategy. Figure out what people might want to see now and in the future.
- Copy your competitors and then be better
Have a look at what your competitors are doing to be successful and then copy them but make it different, unique and better. No point re-inventing the wheel.
- Get professional
Professional photos, videos, graphics – all of these things can make a huge difference to how you are perceived.
- Write, write, write
You want to get better at writing? Well, you need to write a LOT. Write all the time and really try to find your voice. Write long blog posts that give out a lot of value.
- Focus on evergreen content
Evergreen content is useful stuff that stays relevant not for just a week or two but forever. This is a key point to running a successful blog.
- Learn SEO
Search Engine Optimization is annoying but it is a vital part of helping you craft good content that get’s noticed. I have a guide to SEO for blogs that you can read.
Now, the reason I mentioned the brain in this section’s header is because this stuff really does become a drain on your brain if you are doing it right.
The best content is not easy to come up with. It takes a lot of research and it takes a lot of time to write, edit and perfect.
But it is very important that you make the effort to try and be completely fabulous with your new fashion blog’s content because even if you don’t quite hit it the first few times you will still get people’s attention.
Fashion blog case study: Once you’ve finished reading this come and see how one woman who read this very article went on to launch a fashion blog and get 17,800 email subscribers in 6 weeks!
And then network, network, network
© Katrina Brown
While good content is really important, you really need to make sure that you network, network, network.
I’ve said it so many times: it’s your colleagues and readers and the relationships that you have with them that will make you famous.
So how do you do it?
- Spy on fashion bloggers
The first step is to get on Google+ communities or Twitter search and start spying on the best fashion bloggers. Find out who is who and get to know what they do.
- Make contact
Slowly start to make contact with them around their content. Help them get more comments and try to make friends.
- Share content
Start to share their content on your own blog. Let them know that you gave them a mention. Try to establish a relationship by learning how to write emails.
- Start discussions
Wherever possible (forums, comment areas, Twitter, etc.) try to start discussions. Some of the best relationships I’ve made have come about this way.
- Use Skype
If you can get another blogger on Skype you will generally make friends for life. It is a fantastic medium that we don’t use enough.
These are some of the main ways I network online but, of course, there are a lot of other things you can do.
Getting you started in fashion blogging (plus lessons for the rest of us)
To help start you on that networking process I’ve made a kind of categorised list of some of the best fashion blogs around. Visit these sites, see what they do well and then get ideas and make contact.
For everyone else who isn’t interested in starting a fashion blog I’ve made sure these sites give you a lot of other useful things to look at.
This is a really good example of a blog that doesn’t need to just be a blog. The best way to make a blog is by creating a whole website around it. They have deeper content ideas and a broad range of articles that aren’t just simple tutorials.
A great example of creating a tribe around an emotional idea. The catch-phrase is “Freedom of expression through personal style”. You immediately know what you’re getting.
Anne Street Studio
A simple blog design with a rather complicated and “different” approach to a blog. You’ll instantly notice the professional photographs – there’s a reason for that.
The Beauty Department
The thing I love about this site is that they do almost everything in an infographic/graphical way which would lend itself extremely well to social sharing on Pinterest. It also creates a unique brand and style that you recognize right away.
This is how you build a personal brand and become famous. Not everyone loves him but he seems to be doing pretty well for himself.
The Independent Fashion Bloggers
This is an amazing case study of a website that has been grown and expanded by bringing in multiple talented authors to write about one specific topic. A very good lesson to learn.
The Lingerie Addict (maybe NSFW?)
This is the perfect example of someone who has started a blog on a very niche topic and is thus able to make money extremely easily by reviewing products or solving problems related to those items.
Go Fug Yourself
A massive blog with an incredible tact for branding. The name is memorable and the content always matches.
What advice would you give for starting a fashion blog?
I’d really like to draw on the collective brilliance of the Tyrant Troops here and ask what tips or hints you would give to someone starting a fashion blog or any blog that is focussed around a particular niche or sub-topic? Please leave a comment.
Oh, and I’d really appreciate a share, tweet or +1 on this post. These darn things take ages to write! 🙂
SO, WHAT'S NEXT?
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Blogging For Dummies Cheat Sheet
From Blogging For Dummies, 5th Edition
By Amy Lupold Bair, Susannah Gardner
When you start a new blog, one of your most important decisions is choosing what blog software to use. You also need to decide what type of blogger you’ll be. Is there a certain niche that would be a great fit to match your interests and expertise? Whether you’re a new blogger or looking to switch blogging platforms, the range of blogging tools and options you find here can give you a head start on your search for your blogging software and blog niche match.
Selecting Hosted Blogging Software
When you choose to blog using a hosted blog service, you don’t need to worry about the software technology at all. You can concentrate on the topic for your next blog post, rather than on how to configure a web server. To use hosted blogging software, you log into the editing tool, write a post, click the Publish button, and log out. Extra bonus: If you choose hosted blog software, you don’t have to worry about web hosting — the software company is providing that service for you!
What Kind of Blogger Do YouWant to Be?
Congratulations, you’ve decided that you want to enter the blogosphere and dive into the fun, new hobby of blogging! There are so many steps to follow and processes to understand that you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. Rather than jump feet first into selecting a blogging platform or designing a beautiful logo, take a moment to get to know some of the different types of blogs that exist. Have you found what niche works for you? Here’s an overview of some of the most popular blog types:
Parenting: One of the most popular blogging areas, this niche continues to grow by leaps and bounds and includes both mom and dad bloggers writing about everything from life as a parent to the latest and greatest products for kids.
Hobbies: Are you a knitting genius? Perhaps you’ve become an expert on the ukulele. Whatever your hobby, why not consider blogging about your experience and joining a large community of other bloggers doing the same?
Technology: Technology blogging is a huge niche — a bit of an oxymoron — because, quite simply, people turn to online sources to learn about the latest technology. Not hindered by publication dates and deadlines as print sources are, technology bloggers are on the cusp of breaking technology news, always able to provide their readers with the latest and greatest.
Politics: If you feel passionately about politics and don’t mind engaging in an intense debate, political blogging may be for you. Prepare to grow your readership quickly and respond to comments often if you take this leap into the world of political blogging!
News: Do you have an eye for news and an interest in sharing that news in a unique and fascinating way? Although you certainly don’t want to just regurgitate the same material out there on every news site, you may want to share the latest information about a specific topic or even report the news through a comedic filter.
Journaling: Remember when you were a teenager and wrote down your every thought, hope, and dream? Now you can do that online and share it with the world! Journal bloggers often share poignant reflections on life that are bold, brave, and incredibly relatable to their readers.
Deal and Frugal Living: Perhaps you are the coupon queen in your family or even your town. Maybe you’ve found creative ways to turn leftovers into a meal masterpiece. The deal and frugal living blogging community has exploded in the last couple of years and brings millions of page views from families hoping to save a buck after visiting a blog.
DIY and Design: As do frugal living bloggers, DIY and design bloggers bring their incredible skills to the Internet, wowing readers with their abilities and instructing and inspiring them on how to do the same at home.
Blog Software Applications
You might want to run your own blogging system right from the beginning. This type of setup is known as nonhosted or installable blogging software. By installing blog software on your own web server, you take on all responsibilities related to maintaining the blogging software and the data created when you blog.
Strictly from a technical point of view, this type of setup might be a little on the difficult side for a new blogger and cause more stress, especially for the nontechnical folks who are figuring things out while they go. But you ultimately have more flexibility when you use a nonhosted blog setup. If you love a challenge or want all the bells and whistles, consider signing up for a domain and web host and installing the software yourself. The good news is that you have to install the software only once.
Many of today’s popular social networking tools have blogging components; in fact, some of them began their lives as sites for members to blog within a community. As with hosted blogs, community blogging tools are easy, low-tech solutions that put the technical problems into the hands of the community’s creators, but also limit some of the flexibility to customize your blog.
|Apache Roller||Open source, Java app, install on your own server, free|
|b2evolution||Open source, PHP/MySQL, install on your own server, free|
|Battle Blog||Open source, ASP, install on your own server, free|
|Blog.com||Hosted software, free blogs with ads, premium blogs|
|BlogEngine.NET||ASP.NET, install on your own server, $4.95/month|
|Blogger||Hosted blog software, free|
|Blurty||Community blogging tool, hosted, free|
|boastMachine||Open source, PHP/MySQL, install on your own server, free|
|Drupal||Open source, PHP/MySQL, install on your own server, free|
|ExpressionEngine||PHP/MySQL, install on your own server, starts at $49.99|
|FlatPress||Open source, PHP, install on your own server, no database|
|Geeklog||Open source, PHP/MySQL, install on your own server, free|
|InsaneJournal||Community blogging tool, hosted, begins at $5 a month|
|LifeType||Open source, PHP/MySQL, install on your own server, free|
|LiveJournal||Community blogging tool, open source, hosted, free|
|MacJournal||Mac OS X, desktop blogging tool that ties into other blog|
|Manila||Hosted software, starts at $99 a year|
|Movable Type||Available for multiple OSes, install on your own server,|
|Nucleus CMS||Open source, PHP/MySQL, install on your own server, free|
|Open Diary||Community blogging, hosted software, free blogs with ads, $12|
for no ads
|Pebble||Open source, Java, install on your own server, free|
|Serendipity||Open source, PHP/MySQL or other database, install on your own|
|Simplelog||Ruby on Rails/MySQL, install on your own server, free|
|Squarespace||Hosted software, pricing starts at $8 a month|
|Textpattern||Open source, PHP/MySQL, install on your own server, free|
|Java, install on your own server, pricing varies|
|TypePad||Hosted software, pricing starts at $8.95 a month|
|Typo||Open source, Ruby on Rails/MySQL or other database, install on|
your own server, free
|WinJournal||Windows, desktop blogging tool that ties into other blog|
|WordPress||PHP/MySQL, install on your own server, free|
|WordPress.com||Hosted blog software, free|
|Xanga||Teen-oriented community blogging service, hosted, free|