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
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.
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.
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.
- 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!