How to Start a Fashion Blog
If fashion is your passion, and you are willing to put in the work, a fashion blog is a hugely enjoyable way to get involved in one the most lucrative industries on the planet. Many fashion bloggers have become hugely influential in their own right, becoming style icons and brand ambassadors.
But before you build a readership, you're going to need to prepare.
Four Things You Need to Start a Fashion Blog
Anyone who starts a fashion blog needs to be realistic about the challenge. Fashion bloggers are plentiful already, so the industry is intensely competitive.
Consider your main incentive for starting a fashion blog, and ask yourself these key questions:
1. What's My Niche?
You can choose pretty much any niche, but stay true to your own interests and personal style. What really matters to you?
Do you enjoy high fashion, plus size fashion, Italian fashion, shoes, menswear, or perhaps DIY dressmaking?
The more authentic your choice, the more your blog will resonate with readers, and the more enthusiastic you'll be about writing it.
Some fashion bloggers start blogs just to get free products, or tickets to events. That's fine. But you can't expect people to throw freebies at you unless you've proven that you know your stuff. That's why authenticity is so important.
Additionally, beware of simply writing about new trends. This stuff gets covered everywhere, but even more important, it ages very rapidly. To attract traffic over a longer period, write timeless content. Your own personal sense of style will guide you.
Leandra Medine writes Man Repeller, a quirky and hilarious take on fashion trends and buzzwords. In 2012, she collaborated with Marc Jacobs. So you can make the big time while adding your own personal imprint. Experiment and find your own space.
2. Do I Have Lots of Free Time?
You can launch a blog within the space of an hour. Actually getting readers could take months.
A really good blog post could take several days to create.
Additionally, you need to put some effort into admin and planning. Shini Park, the blogger behind Park & Cube, has built a following over 8 years, and creates a planned editorial calendar for her content. You'll also need time to source photos that you can legally use, and make your content visually stunning.
All of this extra planning will increase your chance of success, if you have the time you need to make it work.
3. How Much Money Do I Have?
You don't need much money to set up a self-hosted blog. A basic web hosting account will cost you less than $5 a month, and a domain name, less than $10 a year. But once your readership grows, you might need more expensive hosting. You might need a freelance graphic designer to give your images sparkle. To cover events, you might need to cough up for tickets. This can turn a blog into an expensive hobby.
Eventually, your aim will be to recoup money from affiliate links or ads. You need to build a loyal readership before you'll get to that point, and it could take 5 years to be paid enough to live on. So while blogging isn't expensive, you will need some cash to get started.
4. Can You Write?
For every successful fashion blog, there are hundreds more that are struggling. You don't need to be a trained journalist to write about fashion, but you do need to be able to write well-structured content that people want to read.
This also comes back to knowing your niche: you need to know enough about fashion to write convincingly.
If you haven't done much writing, just set up your blog today, and practice. Aim to publish one really great post a week, and learn on the job.
Hosting For Fashion Blogs
You can set up your new blog using your own hosting and domain name, or you can set it up on a hosted platform (like Tumblr, WordPress.com, or Medium).
There are pros and cons to both:
- Self-hosting is great, because you have complete control. Most hosts will provide a basic level of tech support, and leave you to set up the blog the way you want it. This is by far the best way to create a blog, since it gives you the power to experiment, and it means that you never have to compromise on the way it looks. You also get tons of storage for big, beautiful photos.
- Using a hosted blogging platform is certainly easier at first. But you'll immediately hand over control to your provider. You'll be more limited in the features you can add, your blog may be plastered with ads, and you may not have much space for media. Crucially, hosted blogs charge a fee if you want to associate a domain name with them, and without that, your blog will look amateurish.
Overall, we always recommend getting your own hosting, because it future-proofs your blog and gives it room to grow. If you want your own domain, it makes sense to go self-hosted rather than paying more to use a domain name on a hosted site.
The Art of Building a Following
The fashion blogosphere is an intensely competitive arena, but that doesn't mean you should go out there and start dissing your fellow bloggers. To gain traction, you need to build a brand, and that involves networking and marketing.
Building connections will help you to get an audience more quickly, because other fashion blogs will link to you and repost your content on social media. That will ensure people recognize you and trust the content you write. In time, this networking will become the secret ingredient that you need to become a successful fashion blogger.
You'll also need to invest time in social media, but don't assume that it's all about Facebook and Twitter. As a fashion blogger, visual networks like Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram present a golden opportunity to generate likes and shares.
The fashion blogosphere is extremely crowded, but don't let that dissuade you from creating a your own fashion blog. Only a fraction of fashion bloggers have the commitment and talent to build a genuinely successful brand: you could be the exception.
Further Reading and Resources
We have more guides, tutorials, and infographics related to blogging:
- 7 Common Blogging Mistakes to Avoid: don't get trapped blogging the wrong way.
- Blogging for Beginners: this is our ebook that tells you everything you need to know to start blogging.
- How to Produce a Chart-Topping Music Blog: if music is your passion, this is where to start.
Secrets of a Killer Blog Post
Want to know how to create a great blog post? Check out our video, Secrets of a Killer Blog Post.