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Over my many years of blogging, I’ve gotten so many questions about how to start a fashion or style blog. The big topic these days is how to make money blogging and while that is very important and something that I love to help other bloggers out with (check out the bottom of this post for more on that!) the foundation of your blog is where you really need to put your focus in before you even jump into making money from it. Even if you already have a blog, this post will still be a great reference for you to make sure that you’ve got all the pieces in place to help you grow your traffic and monetize your blog. First thing that I have to mention is that yes, you will need to invest some money in this. As they always say, it takes money to make money. The good thing about starting your fashion blog is that it doesn’t cost a lot of money but just know that once you are able to monetize your blog, you will be make it back easily so the costs of running a blog are worth it.
1. Your domain/blog name:
I know this can be the hardest part! I have helped several people (including my sister) name their blogs. For mine, it just came together quickly as my husband was always known as “Ish” in college because of his last name. Even though we weren’t married at the time I started my blog I knew I eventually would become an “Ish” too so when I started my blog I wanted it related to fashion and myself which is where “I am Style-ish” came from! You can do something similar as a play on your first or last name. One caveat, is that if you have a different or unique spelling of your name that might not be easy to remember, I suggest going a different direction. Most people will not remember the unique-ness of your name and it may be hard for them to find you if they google you. You want to stick with something simple, easy to spell and easy to remember.
If you are stuck, my recommendation is to make a list of things you like. It could be anything, like if you like dogs, doughnuts, makeup, clothes etc… and then narrow it down to what you want to write about on your blog and then pull adjectives or words from those specific things and combine the two. Of course you will also want to make sure that the domain name is still available too but that’s why you need to come up with a few different variations to play around with. You can easily see if your domain is available here:
Once you have your domain purchased, make sure to go create accounts with the same name on social media networks that you’ll be using. As a fashion blogger I recommend getting a facebook page, instagram and pinterest. A lot of people also have twitter (I do as well but I’m not active). Don’t feel like you have to join all of them and be active right away but go ahead and save your name/account so that when you do decide to start using them, you will already have your account name saved!
I do want to mention that you will find that most of my social media handles go by “tiffanyish” rather than I am Style-ish and I did that on purpose as I found over the years that no one remembers that my blog is “Style-ish” and they end up googling “I am stylish” or “I’m stylish” which has led to a lot of confusion with readers. So again, make sure to learn from my mistakes and to create a name that is not too unique that people won’t have trouble spelling or remembering.
2. Choosing your blogging platform:
When I started blogging in 2008 there were not a lot of platforms to choose from and since I started blogging as a hobby, I chose the best free platform there was and that was blogger (or blogspot) which is hosted by google.
Eventually I bought my domain, meaning I went from iamstyle-ish.blogspot.com to iamstyle-ish.com. I have continued since on blogger just because it was easy and I didn’t feel I need to change. I also knew it was going to be a long and expensive process and I didn’t want to commit to it. Since then I’ve started quite a few blogs on the wordpress platform for my business and helped a few friends get their blogs started and I definitely started to see the advantages of using a wordpress hosted blog. I am finally going through the transition of transferring I am Style-ish from blogger to wordpress and I’m now crossing my fingers that everything will transition smoothly. I have over 8 years of blogging and thousands of photos to move over, so my advice, don’t be like me and make sure to start out the right way! Don’t get me wrong, I think blogger is a great platform as it’s very user friendly, very cost effective (you only pay for the domain that you purchase once a year) so I think that blogger is great for hobby bloggers. If you are serious about blogging and eventually want to make money from it, starting on WordPress is the way to go.
One big thing to note, wordpress has two different ways to start a blog, wordpress.com (free) and wordpress.org (self hosted). Make sure to start your blog on wordpress.org as this is the only way you’ll be able to customize your site and make it your own. Wordpress.com is the free version and it’s very limiting as to what you can do for your blog, one thing being that you may not even advertise on it. So if you are wanting to make money from your blog, that’s definitely not the option you will want to go with. A lot of people make this mistake so make sure that you are signing up for the right account. When you are on wordpress.org, you will need a hosting company. This basically means your blog will have your own spot on the internet that is all yours. I recently signed up through BlueHost and it was such an easy process so I highly recommend them (they are also one of the main hosting companies that wordpress recommends which is why the process is so easy). Just sign up through my link here and you’ll be able to purchase your hosting and install it onto wordpress in one click! Trust me when I tell you that it’s a lot more complicated when you don’t go through a hosting site like BlueHost. Hosting is not expensive at all and totally worth it. Bluehost has plans starting at $3.95 a month and if you end up deciding that blogging is not for you or you just don’t have enough time to dedicate to it, they offer a 30 day refund so don’t feel like you are locked in forever!
3. Make your blog pretty!
If you are on a budget you can certainly use the standard templates that come with the wordpress blog. You will want to pick a theme that you can identify with and goes with your style. However there are a lot of beautiful pre-made themes out there to purchase that you may find go with your aesthetic and you have a lot more choices in customizing the look and feel of your blog. A simple google search of “wordpress themes” will come up with plenty of results. My favorite sites that create beautiful, modern and girly style templates are:
Creative Market: This is a great resource for a lot of other blogger related items I’ll cover in another post! They also have a lot of great wordpress themes and even ecommerce themes if you plan on opening on a store along with your blog. Eclair designs is one of my favorites for pretty wordpress themes.
When you purchase a theme, you will receive an email with a download file. Make sure to read the instructions on how to install the theme. It’s fairly easy but just make sure you follow their instructions exactly as they will show you the best way to set up your theme so that you can customize it to your liking.
4. Create your content:
I’m going to assume that you know you want to concentrate on fashion and style for your blog. It’s great to have that focus but if there is anything more specific that you can make your blog and your style more “you”. For me, when I was working in the corporate world, I focused more on what to wear for work and my shopping finds. Now, I still like to focus on my sale/shopping finds but I also focus on dressing casual yet stylish as well how to dress as a mom to a preschooler. It’s OK to evolve as your readers will continue to follow you as your lifestyle changes, but it’s great to have a specific focus so that when readers come across your style that relates to them, they will want to continue to follow along.
Creating content can be tough right off the bat, and sometimes even when you’ve been blogging for a long time! I can have weeks where I just have no idea what to write about but some weeks I have so many ideas there’s not enough time in the day to write all those posts! Keep a notebook with a running list of topics that you’d like to write and if you ever need any ideas, refer to that list and continually add to them so you’ll always have something to write about! You don’t have to blog every day, but my suggestion is to start with at least 3 days a week to get you in the rhythm of blogging and then adjust from there if you want to blog more or less. Also plan ahead. For example for holiday season, you’ll want to do some gift guide posts so make sure that you keep a calendar of when you’ll be posting your holiday content. Or maybe you want to share what you’ll be wearing for all your holiday parties. Get that on your list so that you’ll be prepped with photos and content when the time comes to post.
5. Promote your blog and posts via Social Media:
Hopefully you followed my instructions above to save all your social media handles with your blog name! When you grow your blog, start growing your social media accounts as well. The easiest thing to do is to simply start networking within that platform. Every platform is different in the way you’ll want to promote your own blog. But the most important thing is to not make it all about you. When you are on facebook, go to other blogger’s pages and start to interact with their posts. You can even share their post on your own facebook page. I know that makes me very happy when I see another blogger do that for me and I often will do the same for them! On your own facebook page, along with promoting your own posts, share other interesting posts that you find on facebook that you think your followers will be interested in. On Instagram, start to follow bloggers that you love and start engaging with them and their followers. Comment, like and follow and be genuine about that as people will likely want to engage back with you. Not every post has to be about your blog but I recommend keeping your photos on brand. So if you are mainly focused on fashion, don’t share what you had for lunch every day. People are going to be following you for your style and not until you have a more established following you’ll want to keep your content consistent so that they know what to expect. It’s not to say that you can’t share a food pic once in a while, just make sure that it makes sense and incorporates into your feed.
How to make money blogging:
This is probably the number one question I get these days and because of that, my sister (who also gets the same questions) and I started Gal Guides. Gal Guides are guides or short books that my sister and I wrote that shares all our secrets about how we make money not only blogging but also with growing our brand and our online store. We specifically wrote them for women who are interested in fashion/style blogging and you’ll find that all our guides and tips are geared towards that.
Something that you may not know is that my company, T&J Designs is my main focus and I blog as a means to help with growing the business but it’s also become a part time job of mine that I truly enjoy. I work with a lot of influencer networks for sponsored posts which is a large reason why I can make a full time income even though I only work part time on the blog. My first guide, The Top Influencer Networks that Will Pay You to Post, shares everything that I’ve learned these past few years of working with influencer networks. I’ve narrowed down to the best ones for you to work with, how much you get paid, what kind of brands that they work with and more! Head over to shop the guides, if you purchase this guide, you’ll also get a free printable to help you track everything from what campaigns you applied to, to due dates of posts, the deliverables of each campaign and most importantly when you’ll get paid.
My sister wrote her guide on how to reach out to PR and brands in order to get paid collaborations. We are currently offering a special price on the both guides + 3 bonuses which you can get HERE. If you want to start making money blogging but you have no idea where to start, these are the guides for you. These guides are for all levels of blogging but I will say that to work with a lot of the influencer networks you do have to have to provide your analytics about your audience, so while these guides will definitely get you a head start in working with the networks, you’ll still want to work on growing your audience so that you have a great chance of landing campaigns with brands and networks.
We will be adding more guides soon on a lot more topics such as how to grow your instagram, how to get more traffic to your blog and if you are interested in starting your own fashion business we’ll also be adding guides on how to start and grow your brand, how and where to buy wholesale for your store and SO much more.
Stay up to date with the launch of all our new guides by adding your email below. For this month only, we are offering 2 subscribers the chance to win a one hour consultation with either me or Jen to ask us any or all questions related to your blog or business!