Aside from photography, I’m often asked about blogging advice. I know this has been a topic written about countless times and it’s super easy to find tons of resources with a quick Google search. However, I love this topic because every blogger has a different experience, which means everyone has something different yet valuable to offer. Today, I’m sharing the NJF edition of advice for new fashion bloggers. (Don’t forget to keep your questions coming so I can answer them over the next few weeks.)
It’s crazy to think that there are even more bloggers today than when I started almost four years ago. However, I encourage you not feel discouraged by the abundance of competition. If you’re just starting out, and looking to blog with purpose, here are my top three advice for new fashion bloggers.
1. Hone in on your mission & aesthetic.
The biggest mistake I see new bloggers making is not having a clear mission and/or aesthetic. In a world like fashion where everything changes super quick, you need to know what your purpose is so you can create long-term on-brand content. Having this strong sense of purpose allows you to attract the kind of loyal readers you need in order to build partnerships with brands.
Your aesthetic is important because when a reader comes to your blog, they need to know what to expect – and this will be the driving force that makes them return again and again. I know this sounds silly to say coming from me where my aesthetic feels like it’s all over the place – but that’s essentially what defines my look. It’s eclectic, forward, and unexpected. Not everyone can pull this off.
There will be times you’re pressured to do what another blogger is doing, but always look back at your mission and aesthetic. It will help you stay on track and focused on the things you need to.
2. Stay organized and plan your shoots.
The key to having a successful blogging career is to stay organized and consistent! I love using apps like Trello and Wunderlist to help me. When you start out blogging, you’ll learn that the biggest struggle is balancing a blog with a full-time job. It’s extremely difficult to maintain a consistent posting schedule when you have a million other things to do, like taking care of a family and working your real job. That’s where planning shoots and maintaining an editorial calendar comes in handy. If you know you can’t shoot everyday after work, spend three hours on the weekend shooting multiple looks. Or use your Sunday mornings to crank out blog posts for the week.
Also, remember that shooting just to shoot doesn’t work today. People want quality content that they can relate to, which often means staging and mood boarding shoots in advance. Use Pinterest and Instagram to get a sense of what you want to shoot before you shoot it. No one wants to see another avocado toast or a cup of cappuccino in your hands. Think beyond the basics and what’s already been done. Also, plan your outfits accordingly.
Key Lesson: Stay organized by planning your posts and photoshoots in advance. Doing so will ensure a consistent posting schedule, which is crucial for success in blogging.
3. Set specific goals.
Finally, the last thing new bloggers don’t often think about when starting is setting goals. I think it’s important to have big and small goals, even if it’s something as little as “post three times a week for 3 months” or “gain 500 Instagram followers in one month”. The thing about goals is, it gives you something to reach for. You’ll also be able to follow through on the smaller tasks that will help you get there. If you’re constantly creating content with no end in mind, you’ll never know what you need to work on or if what you’re doing holds any value. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste.
Key Lesson: Set goals early and often to give you a sense of purpose and direction. Check off and celebrate the milestones (big and small) and repeat.
Bonus: Make connections early.
Building relationships with other bloggers today is super important. So, go to networking events, interact with bloggers, writers, and photographers, and partner with them to reach a larger audience. You never know where one connection can take you.
Don’t forget to share any advice I may have forgotten in the comments below!