Blogging Tips,Lifestyle (Home, Travel, Family)

How I Got Started Blogging and YOU CAN TOO!!

how to start a fashion blog - tips for getting starting and growing your reach on pinteresting plans blog

Many people reach out to me asking for tips on how they can start their own fashion blog.    It’s a long winded answer, not really one a short email or reply on Instagram can answer so I thought I’d write blog post about it.   Today I’m sharing how I got started blogging which might in turn help you do the same!

How To Start a Fashion Blog

how to start a fashion blog - tips for getting starting and growing your reach on pinteresting plans blog

My blog did not start out as a fashion blog and I actually think it’s funny when people call it that now.    My style is so casual, especially since leaving an office job, that it’s hard for me to consider myself fashionable.  I am a mid 30’s mom trying to share simple and affordable ways to stay cool, healthy, and hopefully be mistaken for someone who is well rested on occasion.   I am NOT a makeup artist, clothing stylist, or mom extrodinaire but I hope to get closer to each title by trying new things each day.    What I learn along the way I share on my blog.

My blog, Pinteresting Plans, was named that because I started by sharing furniture flips and simple recipes.   I would write about the types of things I was doing to save money or successfully get vegetables into my toddlers’ diets.  I hoped other budget minded folks might be interested.    At the time I started blogging my husband was just home from rehab (which is expensive) and I was just back to work as a nurse practitioner after a 4 month unpaid maternity leave.    Finances were tight, but I wanted to style our new home despite being short on money.   Fast forward 2 years, and I have shared one furniture flip in the last year of blogging :).   Things evolve and being dynamic is actually an extremely important part of blogging.

How To Monetize a Blog

DIY furniture projects aren’t always quick or easy to turn into a post.   I wanted to put out new content more regularly and be able to make some side income off of my blog.   I added fashion to my blog about 5 months in as a way to try and monetize my content.   It worked!   To date my blog content is mostly casual fashion ideas at reasonable price points.  Next week I am going to be sharing a post about how fashion bloggers make income.

What’s First in How To Start a Fashion Blog?

Pick a Domain and Site Host:

I use Bluehost for my domain/site host because it’s VERY inexpensive.    Tech savvy people have told me there are better options, but I knew NOTHING about making a website when I started.  So far Bluehost continues to give me no issues so I haven’t switched.  My site is built off of WordPress.Org.  I watched this series of 10  Wordpress tutorials on YouTube  on how to build a website.   My site is nothing fancy because of this.   I used a free “theme” or website layout for over a year before I purchased an inexpensive WordPress theme on Etsy and then paid the developer to install it.   Real gal – real tech handicaps!

If you, or someone you trust (and pay), is a web developer,  you can customize your website (fonts, layout, etc.) much more than I have.    To be honest it’s on my list, but people traffic social media so hard I spend more time and effort there at the moment.   I am a mom who hopes to get some sleep at night and QT with her fam so I can only do so much with each day.

Create Social Media Pages for Your Blog:

Fashion content is well received on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook in particular.   I personally didn’t find much return on my time with Twitter so I no longer post there unless a brand collaboration requires it.

I shared a post with tips for growing your fashion blog’s Instagram about a year ago and the all tips hold true!    The only thing I would add is to use Instagram stories (which were not around when I wrote that post) to promote bloggers you love and think your audience would enjoy.   Those bloggers are likely to return the favor if you are equally fond of one another, and that can help expand your audience.  Instagram stories also let you share behind the scenes quick tutorials and everyday moments with those who choose to follow you.

Post Consistently on Social Media:

Different platforms favor different content.   Video is huge right now on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.    I really want to start using YouTube and publishing videos on my other platforms, but I’m not quite there yet.   I do live videos on my Facebook page and they’re a great way to connect with followers and share useful information (like tutorials).

When you’re first starting out as a fashion blogger companies are not going to want to send you free clothes.   Like any business you need to expect some start up costs while you build an audience.   But you don’t need to spend a ton!   Your audience can be inspired by your style even if everything you wear isn’t currently available in stores.   Borrow from friends, restyle old pieces from your closet, and go to stores and take mirror selfies trying on outfits you love.   Have a friend or spouse shoot pictures for you and throw in mirror selfies and outfit flatlays to mix up your content.

In this post I shared how I edit my fashion blog photos.  You don’t need expensive equipment!   I don’t have photoshop and I rarely use my camera for photos.  The start up costs for blogging are within most people’s budget.

I would aim to share posts at least twice a day on Facebook and Instagram and twice a week on the blog.   Facebook is a different animal than Instagram and you will need to adjust your content ideas accordingly.   That could be another post in itself if you’re interested.

Hone a Niche:

A lot of fashion bloggers dabble in lifestyle posts.   If you want to share recipes, your kids, etc – be mindful of who is watching.    A lot of my Instagram audience is much younger than me.   I don’t want to bore them with lots of photos of my kids.   Same with food – it’s likely you have people who eat all sorts of crazy diets these days.   If you’re a fashion blogger people are there to be inspired by your style – not your lunch plate.  It’s also really hard to be good at food, home, and outfit photography – they’re all quite different!

Stay true to yourself and the content you feel compelled to share, but consider that some content has it’s place.   Instagram is a place for visual inspiration.   If you made a great recipe perhaps mention it in your outfit photo caption and then chat about it on Instagram stories.   This will keep your Instagram feed more cohesive and will let new followers know what they can gain from following your account.

Build Relationships with People In Your Niche:

One of the best parts of blogging is making friends with similar goals and interests.    I was part of a group called Style Collective when I first started blogging.    Style collective is a membership group (at the time it was $10 a month) that shares tools and resources that help new bloggers get their feet wet.

Style Collective covers topics like how to pitch yourself to brands, how to increase your engagement on social media, and networks you with other fashion bloggers with a similar audience.    This is huge to make blogger friends because you can bounce ideas off each other and expand your reach together.

Brand Yourself:

I touched on this above but you want people to know what kind of content to expect when they first click to your blog or social media page.    You will learn a lot about your own style and fine tune it along the way.  Try to narrow down your personal style and stick to what works for you.   I am casual.   I no longer work in an office.  As a mom of 2 preschool age boys I don’t often have occasions that require dresses.    These are all things that make me – me!   And things I share about on my blog because it’s likely there are people like me (OR YOU) who are interested.

Get STARTED!

The hardest part is getting started.    You won’t be an overnight success so if it’s something you’ve been wanting to do there is no big financial risk to get going.   I would suggest starting a blog as a hobby without the financial pressure that it will become a career path on a certain timeline.  That said, it could happen sooner or later than you expected.   I had hoped to be making some side income by the time my younger son got to preschool and a full year before that this became my full time job.

I’m going to be posting soon about how fashion bloggers make income if you’re curious.  If you have other questions related to how to start a fashion blog PLEASE feel free to drop them in the comments below.   I am more than happy to answer any of your questions. It’s likely, if you have a question, someone else is thinking the same thing so it might help another person too!

Learn as you go!

You will NOT know everything at the start.   As with any job – working in the field to gain experience gives you the most valuable lessons.    For long term success you’ll need to learn about things besides social media – like SEO (search engine optimization).   That’s a tech term for how Google (and Yahoo, Bing, etc) finds your content and shares it with people using their search tools.  My sweet friend Kallie (from But First Coffee Blog) wrote a super helpful SEO e-book with printable worksheets to help you meet your goals.  She does SEO work for a living and now does SEO audits for blogs.  This has been EXTREMELY helpful to someone like me who isn’t highly familiar with coding and the “back end” stuff that goes into blogging.

Good SEO practices are something that will gain you blog traffic a few months after the post is written so it’s great for more “evergreen content”.   Evergreen content refers to posts that are timeless – ie: not a weekend sale round-up but rather things like tutorials.

Final Thoughts:

  • trial and error – constantly evolve based on what’s working and what’s not
  • comparison is the thief of joy – do your own thing so you can stand out in a big pool
  • work and play – there will be people in your “real” life who won’t support your blog – move on – they are separate parts of your life and it’s likely it has more to do with them than you
  • negativity – there are people who troll the internet looking to put other people down.   The more you grow your audience – the more you will encounter these folks.  Hurt people try to hurt people.  This is one of the harder parts of putting yourself out there.
  • positive reinforcement – surround yourself with positive people!    Celebrate the success of others without questioning your own.   There’s room for everyone!

I’m impressed you made it through!   You all coming to my blog is what keeps it going….SO THANK YOU!!!!   I never thought I would be making a living doing this so know what it’s possible if you put the work in!   Best of luck in your blogger adventures!

 

 

 

 

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  • Kerri Petty
    February 20, 2018 at 2:47 am

    Thank you so much For your helpful advice!! I’ve been following you for awhile on instagram and I’m new to the blogging scene. These tips help a lot❤️

    • Rachel
      February 20, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      SO glad Kerri! Let me know if you have questions along the way.
      Rach

  • Lindsey Brown
    February 20, 2018 at 4:19 am

    I have been thinking of starting a blog for almost a year now, so I have read countless articles like this from other bloggers and I am so impressed by this one!! I look forward to reading more of your posts on this and other subjects!! Thank you for sharing and reminding people that there is room for everyone. That is so encouraging!!! You may have inspired me to take the leap finally!!!

    • Rachel
      February 20, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      YAY!! Can’t wait to see what you come up with. Thanks Lindsey 🙂

  • tess
    February 20, 2018 at 4:32 am

    Great post! Thank you for all the tips and tricks you shared ???????? Can’t wait to read the next edition!

    • Rachel
      February 20, 2018 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks Tess 🙂

  • Lynda
    February 20, 2018 at 4:32 am

    You are seriously such an inspiration to me!! This was an awesome post and I can’t wait to read more ????????

    • Rachel
      February 20, 2018 at 1:14 pm

      THANK YOU Lynda!!!! I appreciate that 🙂
      Rach

  • Kelly
    February 20, 2018 at 7:12 am

    Thanks for the post! This is great advice and I’d love to hear more about your journey as a blogger.

    • Rachel
      February 20, 2018 at 1:14 pm

      thanks Kelly! I’ll be sharing more next week.

  • Shopping With Cents
    February 20, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    Thank you so much for blogging about this, it helped me tremendously as I am totally new to my “fashion” blog and honestly don’t know what I am doing and am trying to figure it out! I am looking forward to your Followup blog continuing on this subject:) Thank you again!- Aimee

    • Rachel
      February 21, 2018 at 3:47 am

      GOOD LUCK AIMEE!!!!
      Experience is invaluable. I learn new things EVERY day. Keep at it.
      XX
      Rachel

  • Ruth Farr
    February 20, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    This is great thanks you

    • Rachel
      February 21, 2018 at 3:46 am

      thanks Ruth!!!
      glad you found it helpful.
      XX
      Rach

  • Kelli Buckley
    February 20, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks Rachel
    I have been wanting to ask these and other questions for awhile but felt like a pest. It’s hard to make the decision to do something you really want to do and not feel like a “johnny come lately ” I mean wouldn’t everyone love to blog fashion?? I feel like we have a lot in common, I have a degree in fashion but have been working in healthcare for the past 15 years… also have some similar experiences as pertaining to your husbands struggle, for that reason I am drawn to your site and am so glad you decided to share just how you did this. Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing (reading) more.

    • Rachel
      February 21, 2018 at 3:46 am

      Thank you Kelli!!!!
      You’ll always feel like you started too late – so NOW is the time :).
      I think you should get going if you’ve been wanting too. You won’t regret trying but you will regret if you look back and didn’t give it a go. Worst that happens is you don’t like it and can put that dream behind you!
      And btw – not a pest!!! So thankful for your support.
      xxxx
      Rach

  • Chris
    February 20, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    You know what a fan I am of this post and sharing information… I wouldn’t do it, but I love that you do!!:)

    • Rachel
      February 21, 2018 at 3:44 am

      A candle loses nothing by lighting another!! 🙂
      xX
      rach

    • Pedro
      February 21, 2018 at 3:57 am

      I think like Chris. He sounds like a wise, ol man. Wise old men (who know nothing about blogging) think alike.

      • Rachel
        February 21, 2018 at 8:12 pm

        He is wise – have you seen who he chose as his life partner?!?!?
        😉
        Thanks Pete!

        • Pedro
          February 24, 2018 at 6:28 am

          Rogue?

  • Tabitha
    February 20, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Great post! I love hearing other bloggers give tips and insights on blogging and how to get started. It’s refreshing to hear yours because I’m a post graduate kid (a poor one at that) that can’t afford the “affordable” cameras or expensive styles that other bloggers mention. It’s nice to hear that I can get started using what i have and still be successful.

    Tabitha
    https://shopsiloe.com

    • Rachel
      February 21, 2018 at 3:43 am

      YES!!!! you can definitely succeed without any pricy equipment. BEST OF LUCK!!!!
      Rach

  • Jess
    February 20, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    I’m a nurse and student in a family nurse practitioner program. Your casual style is perfect for me these days and I like following you because you’re genuine. Not interested in starting a blog but always like reading what you have to say! Thanks for sharing.

    • Rachel
      February 21, 2018 at 3:42 am

      Thank you so much Jess!!! I really appreciate that. Nursing is an amazing field. I’ve been getting a bit of an itch to get back in somewhere lately.
      XX
      Rachel

  • Becca
    February 20, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    THIS is perfect! Just what I needed as a reminder as I am getting started on my blogging adventure and feeling my way through it all. Thank you!!

    • Rachel
      February 21, 2018 at 3:41 am

      Best of luck to you Becca!!!
      Wishing you lots of success!
      xox
      Rach

  • Jennie
    February 20, 2018 at 11:50 pm

    This is very informative. You are funny and great at blogging. I always look forward to seeing your Instagram posts and stories! I do have a question: I notice that many bloggers post the same outfits, bags or shoes….is this because many bloggers are being sent the same things to wear and share?

    • Rachel
      February 21, 2018 at 3:41 am

      Hi Jennie!
      Thank you!! The majority of what bloggers wear we purchase on our own. We tend to favor the same brands that are popular because of their prices/styles etc. There is some overlap with brands we market for too but in general I think it’s more so that we all love to shop at Nordstrom the most — so we are all fishing from the same pool.
      Thanks for reading!
      Rach

  • Erika
    February 21, 2018 at 3:53 am

    Great advice! I don’t know how I managed to just find you but I’m happy I did. I know this is going to sound random but would you consider talking about your nursing journey? I read your about me page and when you left your “day job” but I’d love to hear more. I’m going to start nursing school this summer and I eventually plan on going to graduate school so I’d love to hear any advice or info you have as a nurse practitioner. Thanks!

    • Rachel
      February 21, 2018 at 8:14 pm

      Hi Erika!!!
      I LOVED nursing and still plan to go back at some point. It’s a VERY rewarding career and the schedule is so flexible because there are so many options. Pick a NP school that assists finding clinical preceptors. I know people who were held back a full year from graduating because they couldn’t find their own preceptors.
      Let me know if you have specific questions!!
      Rachel

  • Michelle Foley
    February 21, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I’m curious how much you were posting a month that got you to your goal a full year earlier than you anticipated?! Good for you !!!

    • Rachel
      February 21, 2018 at 8:11 pm

      Hi Michelle!
      I was posting 3 times a day on Facebook and Instagram and 2-3 times a week on my blog. That’s still my schedule most days.

  • Marianne
    February 23, 2018 at 3:51 am

    Thank you so much for the detailed information. I am looking forward to your next post, continuing the subject. I’ve had lots of questions building up in my head lately, unsure of who to ask.

    How did you set a goal? How do you know you’ve achieved the goal. I have no idea about any of this.

    I teach kindergarten full time and have no idea how many posts a day I’d have time for. My health is a roller coaster and I don’t always have a lot of energy after work. I have two sons 12 & 14, who sometimes need help with homework and are in sports. Could someone post only on Instagram to start instead of posting on Facebook and Instagram everyday?

    I don’t get to stores very often since I work full time, so do you think this would be a big problem? I would be able to frequent more on summer vacation.

    I’d truly love to do this, but am worried about how much time I could actually out into it. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease last year and have an autoimmune disease as well. So, the chronic adrenal fatigue is real. But I have a true passion for all things fashion, style, makeup and all things foo foo!

    I would appreciate any and all feedback.

    Thank you!

    • Rachel
      February 25, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      Hi Marianne!!
      I started with a heavy focus on Instagram. That’s a huge traffic source for fashion blogs since it’s image driven. If you can only devote your time to one place I would say that’s a great starting point.
      If you can’t get to stores often use what you have and share post like how to style a t-shirt dress 3 ways or how to wear a denim jacket every season. often people are just looking for ways to restyle pieces already in their closet.
      YouTube is HUUUUUUGE for makeup. If you can grow an audience doing makeup tutorials you will be up to your ears in products to try. I am working on starting up my video content.
      As far as goal setting – that’s somewhat arbitrary. I try to set goals I think I can realistically attain so I’m not disappointed.
      Let me know if you have more questions. I’m happy to answer.
      Thanks,
      Rachel

  • Angel
    February 23, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! I am glad I’m not alone. I’m just beginning my blog and there’s so much to learn. I’m far less advanced with WordPress. I’m concentrating on putting it together before I can even move to Instagram and stories. Thanks for all the tips!

    • Rachel
      February 25, 2018 at 8:46 pm

      the beginning feels the slowest but once you get going it will snowball 🙂
      good luck angel!!

  • Delma
    February 24, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you for your information about blogging. I’ve been wanting to start a fashion blog, but feel I will be unsuccessful. Your story has encouraged me. Thank you! -Feeling inspired! 🙂

    • Rachel
      February 25, 2018 at 8:48 pm

      AW!!!! Success is in the eyes of the beholder. If you plan to start it as a hobby you won’t be disappointed if it takes you longer to catch on that you might have hoped. GOOD LUCK!!!!

  • How Fashion Bloggers Make Money? | Pinteresting Plans
    February 26, 2018 at 2:47 am

    […] It certainly seems like a lot of people are considering starting a blog these days based on the amount of questions I get!   Last week I shared a post with some tips for how to start a fashion blog. […]

  • Alexandra
    February 27, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Rachel! Quick question! When you promote other bloggers is this something you do on your own or would you reach out to the blogger prior to coordinate? Also, during the holidyas, I always see so many fun giveaways bloggers collaborate one! How did you get involved in these giveaways? These post are always so helpful! Thank you

    • Rachel
      February 28, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Hi Alexandra.
      It works both ways. Most of the times bloggers coordinate a day to promote each other.
      As far as giveaways usually one blogger organizes it and invites people with a similar niche/following. I have not organized one myself. I generally find the drop off rate is pretty high from those 🙁
      Thanks,
      Rachel

  • Kate
    March 12, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Hi there, I had a question for you. I used to have a personal blog years ago and quit back in high school. I’ve recently been wanting to start up a new one but I’m having a hard time deciding what I’d want to center it around. I absolutely love following you and other fashion bloggers but I’m personally more into reading YA novels.. any advice on how to turn that into a blog?

    Thanks!

    • Rachel
      March 12, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      Hi Kate!!
      You could review books you did or didn’t like a start a Facebook group of people reading the same books to discuss them. Like a book club without having to get dressed to attend 🙂
      Just a thought.
      Thanks,
      Rachel