HOW TO BECOME A FAMOUS FASHION BLOGGER
We are gathered here today to discuss a prominent career in today's world: fashion blogging. While I've been at this game for two years with nothing to show from it but a cohesive color scheme and the ability to dress myself creatively, I have learned a thing or two about the blogosphere. Of course, I'm being slightly humble when I say I have nothing to show, but compared to those who are strutting all over the internet decked out in Yves Saint Laurent this and Chanel that, my work seems incredibly miniscule. If you're somewhat active on social media in regards to fashion your Instagram feed is most likely bombarded with the likes of Chaira Ferragni and Danielle Bernstein. While I admire and look up to both of these style bloggers, it's hard not to feel discouraged.
Before you come at me, throwing bruised fruits and veggies in protest — keep reading. This post is anything but an ode to why I should be famous and sitting front row at NYFW, but rather, how I've conquered my insecurities while fighting my way to eventually get to the top of the fashion blogging totem pole. I'm sure I'm not the only blogger out there feeling discouraged that, even with a cohesive Instagram theme and killer #ootd posts, still has under a mere thousand followers. And for those of you who are sitting there thinking, "Girl, it's Instagram. You're seriously upset over your lack of INSTAGRAM followers?!" Yes, my friend.
WHEN BEING SOCIAL ONLY CONSISTS OVER THE MEDIA
In this industry, social media presence is everything. It grants you brand deals, which turns into establishing connections with companies you have loved for years, which turns into the content you work so hard on finally getting noticed in hopes of impacting someone's life. I'll reiterate: social media is everything.
But regardless of my lack of Instagram followers, and regardless of my lack of invites to New York Fashion Week (or any fashion week for that matter), I have maintained my blog for two-years, and I continue to work hard at it everyday because I have a passion for what I write about and create.
Passion: A word that is runner-up to the words "money" and "fame" in this industry. But for those of us who still have passion on our sides, those other words don't matter. A passionate writer establishes credibility, and from what I've learned and experienced there's nothing more rewarding than companies genuinely appreciating the content that you've created for them. While I'm sure it looks good to receive over 10,000 "likes" on a sponsored Instagram post, it means more to a company when all of the "likes" are genuine and not just followers scrolling through their feed and "liking" every single post that they see. I read an article last year on Racked titled "The Power of the Mid-Tier Blogger," it stated that you know you have legitimate readers when the follower count on your platforms is under 100k. Instead of people "following" you because you're popular they follow you because they genuinely read your content and take the time to interact with your posts. Numbers can become intimidating, but once you realize that your 590 followers are people who love your content, and will become acquainted with the brands you have the potential of working with, the numbers start to matter less and less.
THE COVETED COLLABORATION
My first big-time fashion collaboration was in August of 2015 with the infamous AMI Clubwear. Yes, Clubwear. I was thrilled because I had heard of this brand from beauty and fashion gurus on YouTube who had done hauls, showing and trying-on for viewers the pieces they had received from the company. So naturally I was pumped when I received an email from AMI's PR manager asking me to do a post with the pieces they would be gifting me. I took hours the week before the blog shoot creating and styling outfits that would appeal to all of my readers: some on the casual end of the spectrum, and others on the dressy end of the spectrum. After all of the ensembles were created, and the photoshoot was complete I sat in front of my computer for around four hours writing out the blog post. I wanted to make sure that my readers would love the products as much as I had, and would be as excited to open the package from AMI as I had been.
Creating blog posts for companies is a lot harder than it looks. It's more than just being able to put an outfit together and look pretty when being photographed. It's about creating content that expresses the emotions you felt when you first opened the package and saw the product for the very first time. The goal is to make the company proud to have worked with you, and to show your readers just how awesome the brand is. These collaborations are more than just making extra money that month, but about creating a relationship and establishing credibility so that other brands that want to work with you see your potential and passion.
From one blogger to another: be genuine, be humble, and never do anything just because you'll receive free merchandise.
CONSISTENCY IS EVERYTHING
The hardest part about having your presence so public on social media, the internet, etc., is consistency. Most mid-tier fashion bloggers have other jobs. I for example technically work three jobs: my blog, my internship, and my retail job. Every single day (including weekends) I'm working. For example, it's currently 10a.m. on a Sunday as I'm writing this sentence. Why am I working on a Sunday morning? Because I upload blog content every Wednesday morning at promptly 9a.m. Since blogging (unfortunately) isn't my full-time job, every free moment I have is dedicated to creating content. Of course I still have a personal life, but the majority of my free-time it's dedicated to writing, photographing, or sending out emails.
My biggest pet peeve with social influencers is their lack of consistency. I read several blogs and watch several YouTubers, and what impresses me most is when they have an upload schedule that they continually follow. Nothing is more unprofessional or unimpressive than when a creator can't upload on time or when they say they will. The main reason that I have loyal readers is because they know that they will be able to read/view content from me once a week, same day, same time, same place.
When I first started my blog, my upload schedule was all over the place. Some weeks I would post more than twice, other weeks I would post once. If I was really busy, I wouldn't post at all for a week. Once I started realizing that my lack of readers correlated with my lack of consistency I decided right then and there to upload only once a week. While uploading more than once a week is ideal for most bloggers, I personally would rather spend time working on a post to make it great instead of creating lousey content and posting several times during the week.
When establishing loyal readers, consistency is key. Never forget that quality should be over quantity, and your readers will genuinely enjoy and look forward to your content.
BEING REAL IS ALSO EVERYTHING
In an industry where most public lives are only seen through computer and phone screens or apps, it's easy to become someone you're not. Since I'm active in the social influencer industry, I know quite a few people who are equally as active online. It's safe to say that most people don't act the same way they do online as they do in person. It's always disappointing to me when I meet someone in person for the first time that I have admired over the internet and they are so different then they are in their online content.
In October of 2015 I attended BeautyCon in New York City. I was excited to be working at the Finding Ferdinand booth, and even more-so I was excited to meet in person some of my favorite YouTubers. As the day went on I kept seeing more and more of my favorites walk by, and eventually decided it was time I actually went up to one and introduce myself.
A YouTuber who shall not be named was my first and last interaction with a popular social influencer.
In her videos and blog posts she was so sweet, constantly talking about how the online world is so corrupt, and how she want's everyone to accept others for who they are without judgement. Yet, when I met her in person, she was completely different. Aside acting totally uninterested in what I was saying, she was rude and acted as if she had better things to be doing with her time. After this interaction, I decided right then and there that who I was online would be exactly who I was in person -- this wasn't hard to do for me. I wanted to ensure that if my blog ever became big enough that random people would come up to me and say "Hi," that I was the exact same person that they saw in all of my content and on all of my platforms.
Being fake doesn't only harm your credibility, but your once loyal and loving followers will also start to drift away.
THIS IS HOW TO BECOME A FAMOUS FASHION BLOGGER.