Over the years, I’ve gotten a ton of questions about starting and running a successful blog, so what better way to share the goods than a series?! This series is filled with all of my “secrets,” along with the steps I took to getting BTD off the ground. It’s composed of what I’ve learned from trial and error, insights to what running a fashion blog looks like, and even tech help for those of us who need all the help.
UPDATE: I had a few posts on this topic up, but I’ve since realized I want to teach this topic in a more comprehensive way. I know from experience that it can be difficult to read about this kind of stuff on the internet and them apply it to your own blog/business. Because of this, I’m thinking about carving out some time in Spring 2018 to put together an everything-you-need-to-now “How to Start a Fashion Blog” online course. I’m not 100% decided yet because it’ll be A LOT of work, but I think this is actually the best way to teach how to blog in a way that will actually help you excel! If you happen to read this and think that you would be interested in taking this course, please let me know!
It’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging for over 5 years because the time has flown by faster than ever! But man oh man has it been a shoot-ton of work and a heck-of-a-lot-of mistakes and lessons learned. To be completely honest, I’ve always gotten a lot of questions via email asking me how I got started or how I tackle certain tasks – and I’ve always intended to answer them in some way – but recently I’ve really felt a tug on my heart to pay more attention to figuring out how to do this well. I realize there are a lot of people a few years behind me that could really benefit from my experiences, and I’d really like to step up to the plate in the blogging world to teach and educate others.
There are plenty of educators online teaching people how to make money as a blogger, but there aren’t really any fashion bloggers or influencers specifically dishing out their secrets – or at least not that I’ve found. I’ve come across valuable articles here and there, but none are organized into a comprehensive course or a step-by-step guide for exactly HOW to do it. I’ve been thinking about filling that void in the market for quite some time now; meaning, I’d love to be that blogger that creates a detailed how-to course that explains (literally) EVERYTHING.
The influencer world is a pretty competitive place and I’ve found that a lot of people can be pretty tight-lipped when it comes to sharing EXACTLY how they do things. And I don’t blame them. It’s REALLY hard to stand out as a blogger these days now that it’s become quite the trend. With such a low barrier to entry and high perceived value, it’s no wonder so many people are wanting to join the blogging world and pursue it as a career.
But in the meantime, here are Two Posts on how to get started:
Finding Your Niche As a Blogger
If there was one word of wisdom to share before starting your blog, it’s to consider a niche. It’s more than choosing a general topic, too. In this post, I propose different questions to ask yourself if you’re considering building a blog, and important stepping stones before pressing Create.
Creating Your Site: Getting All The Technical Stuff Set Up
I’m no tech genius, but I’ve taught myself a thing or two about it since running a blog ends up being incredibly technical. I’ve taken this info from a bunch of different sites, so it’s a one-stop shop for the technical side of things, but in a way, even us fashion girls can understand. If you have zero idea where to start and what you need to build a site, this post will be super helpful! I go into LOTS of detail and hold you hand along the way!
In the post, you’ll see that I recommend you use Bluehost to host your content for your site! They’re easy to work with, reliable, have great customer service (PLUS very minimal downtime!) Read more about it and my other suggestions in the full blog post on setting up your site here.
Now, THIS is where I want to come in.
After you’ve got your site up, I want to come in, hold your hand, and teach you all my secrets. I’m currently in the process of figuring out how to do this and building curriculum to eventually teach a course. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to actually execute on this because I’ve spent the last 2 weeks researching and digging into what this will look like and it seems like another FULL-time job – LITERALLY.
Again, I’m still thinking it through, but here’s a running list of what I’d like to cover:
- Incorporating Social Media – Social media is a crucial part of a blog, DUH, but posting pretty Instagrams isn’t the extent of things. If you want to build a social strategy or simply know what accounts you need to set up, and how, look no further. Plus, I’m spilling all the deets on how to actually grow that Instagram!
- Managing Content – The meat of the blogging operation lies within your content, so this step is beyond important. From building out a content calendar and editorial system to figuring out how often to post, this step is all about scheduling, planning, and executing content.
- Creating Content – Part of executing your content calendar is (obviously) creating the images and copy that makes up the meat of your blog. There are certain strategies, techniques, and systems I use to do this well. I’ve pretty much got it down to an art these days and I have a feeling I could teach you a thing or two. I’d like to cover how I plan for photo shoots, how to make product collages (like this), and how I use social media to tell a story about my content.
- Monetizing Content – Obviously, we aren’t doing all this work for nothing, right? So I’d love to share the ways in which I’ve been able to monetize my content. Eventually, I would love to cover a variety of ways but I figured it would make the most sense to cover exactly how I do it and have done it for years. And that is through brand partnerships (where a brand pays a flat fee to “sponsor” content) and affiliate partnerships (where I make a percentage of each sale I drive).
- Cultivating Community and Engagement – This is incredibly important as a blogger because without having a relationship with your readers, what’s the point? I have so much to say regarding engagement and have learned SO much about how to build a tribe online with readers. When you’ve got a community surrounding your blog content, your engagement on social media naturally increases because people feel more connected to your brand and what you’re doing!
- Growing Traffic – One of my absolute favorite things about blogging is all the technical stuff behind the scenes. As an accountant, I literally LIVE for excel spreadsheets and figuring out ways to be more strategic with my content and brand by making data-driven decisions. One of the most powerful tools I’ve discovered is through Search Engine Optimization. I’d love to teach others how to use this tool to their advantage to more than double pageviews – like I’ve done over the past 2 years.
- And more – let me know if there’s anything, in particular, you’d like to learn about and I’ll add it to my brainstorming list and hopefully be able to fit it into the curriculum I’m working on!
If this (me teaching a course) is something you’d be interested in, let me know by signing up for the email list here! I’ll be sure to notify you if I make any major moves on that front :)