For the Love of Blog
Blogging has become the new obsession of the fashion industry, with respected bloggers becoming the new ‘It’ girls and boys of the fashion pack: getting the tickets to all the shows, receiving all the free designer ensembles they could ever want and having the much desired ‘celebrity status’ within the business.
Their opinions have become of upmost importance, with only the likes of Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld exceeding them, and their posts can make or break a show, event or even a designer’s career – with a well-known blogger’s following boasting millions of fashion-devotees all willing to ‘splash the cash’ wherever the blogger in question sees (or rather types) fit.
Designers and companies alike are following the trend by setting up their own blogs in a venture to gain newer and younger customers, such as Topshop’s Inside & Out blog which features store events and ‘exclusive’ (that word again!) interviews with high-flying designers and other influential creatives, or Mary Katrantzou’s: Mary’s World – which focuses on all of the starlets who have had the opportunity to wear her creations.
But every blogger had to start with that intimidating first post, and blogging is something anyone can do – all you need is a laptop and something to say. With a multitude of different free publishing servers on the net, and a million & one step by step ‘how to’ tutorials, posting your ideas on your own URL is easier than you think…
Here’s my step-by-step guide how to set up your own blog:
- Firstly, pick the server you want to use to set up your blog. Depending on which server you choose, you will have a different address (for example Blogger = www.nameofblog.blogspot.co.uk), but also consider how simply you want to be able to set up your blog. The servers that I would recommend would be: Blogger – it’s the one I use because it’s totally free, easy for not-tech-savvy beginners (me!) and has a feature which makes your blog more likely to come up in search engines, which means more possible views! Also, it is powered by Google so links to your Gmail and Google+ account really easily, meaning you can automatically share your blog posts on your Google+ stream (meaning minimum faff). Another domain to use would be WordPress or Weebly, depending on your preference.
- Now decide the name of your blog – make sure it is unique, relatively short, and easy to remember. Also, decide the target audience/ type of blog you want to create (fashion, music, etc.) and make sure that your name addresses & attracts that audience. If you haven’t already, check out blogs that are similar to the ones you want to create and see how you can learn from them whilst seeing what else you could bring to the market.
- Choose the aesthetics of your blog – some servers are very easy to use with alterable templates and layouts meaning you need the least tech ability possible. Most really successful bloggers (Susie Bubble, Face Hunter) use graphic designers & IT teams to ensure their blogs look amazing, but there are lots of tutorials out there if you fancy giving it a shot – just don’t get too hung up on the image, focus more on the content!
- You now should be ready to compose your first post: this could be an introduction about yourself (with relevant info only – do not bore the reader) or an intro article about your topic. Your first post needs to set the tone and give an impression of what your following posts will be like. It also needs to be enticing, use phrases like ‘look forward to’, ‘soon I’ll be’ or ‘coming up’ – your need the make the reader WANT to read more and be interested.
- Now, you need to create a few more posts and publish them before publicizing your blog. When people click on your site, it shouldn’t look empty. The first couple of posts should be a variety of pieces, for example: a photoshoot, an event review and a current news piece – though it depends on your theme/style of blog. In all of your posts, make sure you have a good mix of: images, videos, links and writing – all words and no visual is not enjoyable to read.
- Next is sharing your blog with the world. If you have social media accounts, post links to your blog accompanied with a very short summary of them (max 10 words) on all of your interfaces. Self-conscious about your friends and family seeing your blog? Then simply create different social media accounts under the title of your blog, adding all the people that you want to read it (think big!).
- The last step is maintaining your blog. If you have lots of spare time 3 or 4 posts a week would be ideal, with gaps of a couple of days in between each post – you don’t want to bombard your reader and over load them. If you are very busy, one post a week is the minimum I would say sufficient – unless you have a big event coming up that you need to prepare for. Make sure that your content varies from week to week and that you constantly address current issues – always add Tags to your pieces to make them more searchable.
- Keep blogging, sharing your posts with the world and see what happens. As long as you enjoy writing, address your audience and continually promote it, you never know how successful it may be…
Some good fashion bloggers to check out are:
http://www.ichoney.blogspot.co.uk/ (which is my blog – I included it only to show what a starter blog can look like)
Remember: blogging is supposed to be about you and your opinions, and, for me, the thought of just one person reading what I have to say, let alone thousands, makes me very happy indeed.