So you’re thinking about starting a blog?
I launched Glossed Angeles about four months ago, and feel like I simultaneously have learned SO much and still have such a long way to go. However, throughout the past few months, with the help of Google and some web savvy blogger friends, I feel as though I have compiled enough tidbits of good advice that could be useful to pass on to anyone who is thinking about starting a fashion blog or who is in the beginning stages of getting one up and running.
Also, if you’re reading this, I would just like to say thank you for tuning in and supporting me up until this point. I truly enjoy putting in all the work that has gone into my blog and find the entire blogging process to be such a fun, creative outlet. I hope that my content is making a positive impact and inspires you in some way!
Without further adue, here is my top advice for anyone trying to break into the wonderful world of blogging.
Invest in a Camera
When I first started my blog, I didn’t have a professional camera and had to rely on my friend who had one to take photos of me. Granted, we were always together so it was pretty convenient, but once I got my own camera, it opened up a lot more opportunities for me to get content. While I still needed to have someone else with me to take photos (luckily I live with other blogger friends and we shoot together), it is still nice to have my camera on hand when I want to shoot flat lays or other shots that aren’t of me, myself, and I. It’s also nice to have your own camera so you can retrieve your photos and download them on your own time, as opposed to waiting for someone to send them to you.
Outside of the convenience factor, the quality of photos are so much better on a DSLR camera compared to an iPhone. There are so many settings, which I’m still learning, but I prefer to shoot in sport mode, meaning the subject is in focus while the background is blurred. I have a Cannon 50D camera, which my sweet dad gave to me when he realized how passionate I was about this whole blogging thing.
Lastly, having a camera allows you to learn a new skill to add to your portfolio. I take pictures of a lot of my friends who have blogs and it makes for a really cool, creative, and collaborative experience from start to finish.
Form Connections in the Blogging Community
Like I mentioned before, it is really important to surround yourself with likeminded people who may already be involved in the blogging community. I feel really fortunate that two of my best friends share the same interests as I do as far as blogging, Instagram, photography, editing, website development, etc., so we work together all the time to create content, engage with each other online, and support each other’s visions. It’s amazing to be able to bounce ideas off them, meet other people that they may know in order to network and expand my circle, and receive their creative input and direction. While we all have different styles and ideas, it’s awesome to see our visions merge together. And, on a more obvious note, I wouldn’t be able to get pictures of myself without them, so that’s important too!
My piece of advice here is to try to work with friends who may be in the same creative space as you, or if you don’t know anyone in the blogging/creative realm, network, network, network! Reach out to other bloggers in your area via Instagram or shoot them an email – mostly everyone lists their emails in their Instagram bios. Other bloggers will love to hear from you; that’s the whole point of them doing what they do – to inspire others! You can also find cool local meet ups or workshops online. In Los Angeles, I am constantly seeing blogging events for people who are looking for others to collaborate with. You may need to put yourself out there, but have a creative partner or posse is totally worth it.
Engagement is Everything
This is related to what I was talking about above regarding creative connections, but moreso on an social media level. It’s important to engage with other bloggers on social media to not only promote your own content, but to also support fellow bloggers. If you’re reading this, I’m sure you know that Instagram is the best way to promote your actual blog and the two go hand in hand. Instagram is a vital part of the blogging experience and gives you access to an incredible amount of information. I would also recommend starting a Pinterest page to save all your photos to. This is an SEO tactic as well, and SEO is everything in the blogging world. Social media really is a community and there is a ton of opportunity to get inspired and connect with others with a simple click of a button. Leave comments on your favorite bloggers Instagram pages, tag brands you are wearing in your pictures, reach out to other pages for cross promotional opportunities, etc. Make sure to post on your own Instagram page every day, leave comments on other people’s pages daily, and keep up with current and relevant content on your blog. I would recommend posting a new blog post once a week at first to really build out your site.
Constantly Keep an Eye Out
What inspires you? When you see something you like save it, write it down, or take a picture of it. Whether you’re pursuing Instagram (the save button is your friend) or walking down the street, keep an eye out for how you can pull from your surroundings to create your own content.
For example, in LA there is amazing street style worn by strangers all around me. I will make a mental note or literally write down what I saw someone wearing in the notes on my phone so I can put together a similar outfit. I also always have a notepad on hand and am constantly writing down blog topic ideas that pop into my head based off conversations I have with friends about fashion, lifestyle, shopping, makeup, hair, etc. I also pull a lot of inspiration from other bloggers; I like to see how they organize their websites and what kind of topics they are writing about. This is not to say I copy them, but they might spark an idea of my own that relates to my blog and my personal voice. One idea inspires another, and looking at other content helps get the ball rolling.
Another way I get inspired is by the many scenic locations of LA. There are countless streets that are filled to the brim with texture, color, nature, fun walls, and overall epicness that I will think “wow, I want to shoot there!”. I will write these locations down as I’m on my way to work or bopping around on the weekends, and will mentally prep angles to be shot and outfits to be worn that will create an awesome piece of content.
Variety is Your Friend
In terms of creative cohesive content that flows across all platforms you are promoting your blog on, it is important to have variety while staying true to your brand’s voice. This means a variety of outfits, styles, types of shots, and themes. Mix it up from strappy dresses to cozy sweaters, pictures of shoes and necklaces, detail shots and full body shots. After a while, I realized that many of the photos I posted were taken from the same angle in the same pose. In other words, it was all becoming a bit stagnant and boring. I made it a point to take photos from different angles, shoot more detail shots, take pictures of products, objects, scenery, architecture, and flat lays versus just of me and what I was wearing. It made for a much more compelling and versatile feed for my Instagram and blog posts, and forced me to get more creative.
Find Your Voice and Shout It Out Loud
When you think about your blog, can you imagine what it looks like visually? Do you know what you want to say? Who you audience is? What your angle is when it comes to your blog’s topic? What your goals are? Your writing style? All these things contribute to your voice.
If you don’t know the answer to these questions, that’s ok. Pull inspiration from others and put your own spin on it. Start a mood board on Pinterest with colors, patterns, pictures, scenery, etc. of whatever speaks to you. Jot down topics that you may want to research or expand on and keep a running list in an accessible place.
The fashion/beauty/lifestyle sector of blogging is pretty oversaturated at this point. It can be difficult to do things or say things that haven’t been done before. It’s vital to stand out and put your own stamp on this market. I like to think outside the box and go a step further with my writing. For example, you want to talk about fashion in the workplace? Don’t just post a picture of yourself in a blazer with the title “Workwear”. Think of a more interesting angle. Why are you writing about this? What is your experience with the topic? How can you make a difference in the life of your reader by writing this post?
Get specific, narrow in, and pinpoint your USP aka Unique Selling Proposition (thank you FIDM for teaching me that term!). In marketing, which is essentially what blogging is, the USP is everything. It’s what makes your blog different and special when compared to the hundreds of thousands that already exist all over the world.
Commit with Quality Work
While you should post often, make sure it’s a quality not quantity situation. Even when I first started my blog and I knew no one was looking at it, I was meticulous about what I posted, how it was edited, and how the photos flowed on my Instagram page. I continue to make sure that there’s variety, cohesiveness, and that each post speaks to my personal brand and style. I also think it’s important to write and post about things you yourself would actually want to read and look at. Make your content entertaining, engaging, and unique to you.
Before you get into blogging, also consider the amount of time you will need to spend on growing your brand. I had no idea how many details went into it! From SEO and general website development to planning photo shoots and organizing your content calendars, the final product truly is a work of art. Since I launched Glossed Angeles, not a day has gone by that I haven’t put work into it (which I don’t mind since I love doing it!). It’s definitely a commitment, but if you are passionate about people seeing your work, it’s worth it. You will also learn a lot throughout the process and expand your skill set.
Finally, don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a lot of traction at first. Blogging is something that takes time before any recognition happens. Don’t give up!