I’ve gotten so many questions over the past year about how I started my blog, so today I’m sharing my biggest tips and advice for those of you that want to do the same. I try my best to answer your questions through Instagram, but sometimes the answers aren’t that simple. If you’re looking to start or grow a fashion or lifestyle blog, you’ll definitely need to know these things first.
It is not easy, or cheap.
Just like anything great, you have to work for it. I love being my own boss, working from home, and all the perks that go along with having my own business. But if you think you can just start a blog and it will be easy, I hate to tell you that it’s a lot more than just that.
Blogging allows you to express yourself freely, share your thoughts and style with the world, but it also takes a lot of time, planning, organization, and sometimes money. My website costs money to own, run and design, my fancy camera and equipment weren’t cheap, photography costs can be pricey if you don’t have someone to take your photos, and so much more.
It’s time consuming.
Especially if your blog is fashion based, or lifestyle based, you have to have great photos and great content. Photos need to be professionally taken, or at least taken with a professional camera. Those photos are also often edited in someway, such as the lighting or photoshopping out something unwanted in the background. Getting ready for photoshoots, scooting out locations, getting the perfect shot, all take time. If you’re a mom, and/or have a full time job, it can be especially hard to find the time to take these photos. A lot of bloggers give up their weekends to shoot several outfits for the following week, and then work on the content the night before their post goes up.
There are also emails that you have to constantly answer, social media posting and engagement with your followers. A lot of time goes into having a blog, and if you’re not familiar with the web, it can take a long time to learn how to get things up and running the way you want.
Free stuff is great, but paying taxes on it isn’t.
I get a boatload of emails daily about companies wanting to send me free stuff, and who doesn’t love free stuff? This is a huge perk of blogging, but there’s so many things I wish I had known about getting these free products that I didn’t know when I first started blogging. Bloggers are supposed to pay taxes quarterly, and this includes paying taxes on the things your were gifted. If a company wants to send you something for free, ask yourself a few things first. Do you want to pay taxes on this? What do you have to do in exchange for the free product? If you have to write a blog post, and or post to social media to get the free product, is that worth it to you?
A blog needs good content.
If you think that you can just throw up some pictures, or write about what you did that day and get people to come read you’re blog regularly, you might be disappointed. Providing good content on a consistent basis is what drives people to you site, and transforms them into loyal readers. For awhile I wanted to blog about many different things but I quickly learned you need to find your niche and stick to it. What makes you so great? What are you good at? Why would people want to come to your site. If you are a fashion blog, then be consistent about your style, the price points of the things your wearing, and who you are targeting as a reader. Are you targeting moms that don’t know what to wear in the 5 minutes they have to get ready? Are you a budget babe that is targeting women without a ton of money that want to be fashionable? People will follow you and keep coming back to your blog to get more of these tips, and see more of these styles.
While blogging is a lot of work, it really is a lot of fun! You are your own boss, you get to write about what you want, and it opens up a whole new world of connecting with other bloggers. I’ve gotten to know so many great people through blogging, and even found some real life friends in the process. It’s definitely worth it if you’re willing to give it your all!
Now that you know these things, and you still want to start a fashion blog, here are my best tips for you!
- Post consistently. If you don’t, your readers may become bored, or just not know when you have a new post up!
- Get on Social Media. This can be a lot to manage. But a lot of my readers have found me through different social media channels, and those channels also refer a lot of traffic to my blog. Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are musts. Bloglovin’ is something I just got into that I think could be really helpful as well. Its a lot to handle but there are different tools that can help you automatically push content when you publish a blog post. But I did say it was time consuming 🙂
- Become an affiliate! So many sites offer affliate programs, so when you link products in you posts and readers purchase from them, you can get a small commission from it. Always disclose that you’re using affiliate links so your readers are aware.
- Be YOU! Don’t try to be like someone else. People are following you to get to know you. If you let them get to know you, you will earn their trust. Don’t post about products or things you don’t like or believe in, your readers will know!
- Use professional photos, and edit them similarly. Whether you like bright colorful photos, or dark monotone photos, your site will be more appealing if you stay within a certain theme and keep the picture styles similar.
- Monetize your blog. If you love what you do, it’s not considered work right? But you should still be compensated for your handwork and time. I’ll be doing another post soon about how to monetize your blog more specifically, but if you are collaborating with other people or companies, make sure it still fits within your personality and style, and charge a fee.
- Get Subscribers. Getting people to subscribe to your blog can be difficult, but if you’re creating good content, promoting your blog through social media, and posting consistently, people will subscribe. One thing you can do, is ask them to subscribe! Sounds silly, but it works. Offer them something for free for subscribing, such as a guide, style tips, a printable calendar, anything! Having subscribers is important, because it alerts them when you have a new post, and drives them to your site. The more people that come to your site, the more influential you become, and the more money you can make.
Have any questions or other tips? So many of these things I wish I had known when first started blogging almost two years ago. And the truth is, I could be better about some of them! They may seem like super easy tips, or really time consuming tips, but they are all important and will make a huge difference in your blog. Thanks so much for coming by, I would love to hear your questions or feedback in the comment section! xoxo
Great post Stef! All of these tips are spot on about blogging!
Thanks Steph!! 😘
These are all such great tips and I agree with every single one!! xo
So many great tips here! I agree with them all! Thank you for sharing!
Definitely great tips! Blogging is so time consuming and I know a lot of people think otherwise!
You’re so right Jamie! I love it but it’s definitely time consuming and a lot of work! 🙂 thanks for coming by girl!
Loved reading this!! Having just finished my first year blogging, I wish I had read this beforehand!! I am certainly doing what I love and passionate about, however, it’s significantly more time consuming than I had originally thought. I don’t know if it’s easier or harder because I stay home with 3 little ones that demand A LOT of attention, but that certainly makes it challenging. Thank you for such honest advice!
Haha I feel the same! My blogger friends that work full time want to be able to stay home and blog full time, but it’s just as hard I think with kiddos running around! Bloggers don’t get enough credit 🙂
These are some excellent tips!
Thanks Lee Anne! 😘
This is such a great post! I love that you were honest about the time and money! I get so many emails from people I know saying oh… I want to do what you do… but they don’t realize what it takes! You have to really love it because there is the chance that you won’t be able to make it profitable! You really have to do it because you love it and let that shine through!
Right!! Like yes, I love what i do but it took a lot of time and work to get here! Xoxo
These are such great points! Fashion blogging definitely is a labor of love. I love your tip about getting new subscribers!
April | http://thebluehydrangeas.com
Thank you!! I hate when people think it’s easy! It’s awesome and I love it, but it’s still work 🙂
I’ve got to pass this post along to a few of my friends who have been asking how to start a blog. Such useful tips!!
Alice at Lone Star Looking Glass
Seriously great tips – even for those who have been blogging for a while!
This is such a great post! Some people have no idea how hard it is to have a blog. I think they think that magically they will hit publish and all the peeps will come! Lol This really breaks it down! Well done, lady! 🙂
Hahaa yes seriously!