How to Start Your Own Fashion Blog

Let’s talk fashion blogs. Make yourself a beverage (coffee, matcha tea, water, whatever, I won’t judge), and get a comfy chair - this guide is long, juicy, and it’s going to teach you how to blog about fashion properly.

You’ll first need an attitude.

Yes, you’re also going to need motivation. Think along the lines of finding the strength to destroy the patriarchy - that level of hard fisted, unbreakable, unyielding motivation. Because blogging isn’t easy. It’s not impossible, but it’s also not a hobby. You’re seriously going to have to commit. It helps if you enjoy blogging but be prepared to make it a routine.

Fashion blogging is overcrowded right now. It’s a red ocean, in entrepreneurial language. A lot of people competing for the same audience means that you’re diving straight into a niche that’s really crowded.

And it’s not only fashion blogging that’s under siege. There are a lot of opinions out there about travel and music blogs, especially sport blogs. And don’t even think about porn blogs on Tumblr. It’s a rabbit hole. A sexy rabbit hole in Tumblr’s case, but a rabbit nonetheless. The noise to signal ratio is not in your favour. At all.

But, there’s good news. Most of those blogs are bad. Incredibly shallow and bland. Try browsing through a few and it’s tough to find true gems outside of the hugely popular blogs and video bloggers.

This means that you have an opportunity to reign supreme! The way you’ll do it is by being smart and being different (shoutout to all the men fashion bloggers!). It’s not going to be easy, but you’re not here if you’re an easy type of person. Time to buckle up, and get on this rodeo.

These are your first steps

How’s it going so far? If you’re halfway through your beverage, take another sip. We’re going to go through your first steps by the time you finish it.

We’re just going to gloss over the key points, and then we’ll go into them for depth and more detail. So, let’s start:

Be Authentic

We already kind of went over this. You’re supposed to find your voice - what you believe in - and use that as the building ground for your blog. It’s easy to copy paste something from Vogue (and you’ll be doing that, too) but anyone can copy paste from Vogue. What you’ll add is something different. Find your niche. What you think is gorgeous and works. What you think that doesn’t. There’s a lot of creativity to be expressed here.

Oh and don’t worry if your opinions are based off of trends and stuff you read in magazines. The mags are written by some of the most profound voices in the industry (there’s a reason they’re respected).

You don’t have to be hyper unique; a unique perspective will do it just fine.

Purchase a domain, host and WordPress theme

There are free options for starting a blog. You could do those, yeah. Something like wordpress.com or tumblr, or even blogger. And while that’s fine, it’s not great. The trick with social networks like Tumblr is that you’re going to use them as just a tool to promulgate your content (blog posts). If you really want to turn your blog from a hobby into a business you’re going to have to cash out a bit (think bellow $100 give or take). A good blouse might run you up to $30 so think of it as investing three blouses into your future business that might return 30 blouses back. It’s really the difference between seeming like an amateur on Tumblr and being a professional with a proper website.

A third of the internet uses WordPress, a free system that manages all your content and builds a website for you. To make your website look good, WordPress uses “themes.” A good theme will set you back about $30-50. This is important, and I’ll explain later why.

Create a content calendar

You’ve got the voice. You’ve got the website. Now you’ve got to write. And you have to write as if your life depended on it. I mean really punish that keyboard with the grace of a thousand monkey writers. Nah, just kidding. While the keyboard and animal abuse shouldn’t be your top priority, you should definitely commit to posting. The best way is to shut up, sit down, and get a bunch of ideas on what you’d like to write about. Then, get a handy calendar app (or a physical one on the wall that can stand there and guilt you into writing), and just jot those ideas down.

Writing a post can’t be done in 5 minutes. I mean, it can, but those posts belong in the trash, along with the rest of the really bad fashion blogs I told you about. Writing a post might take a few days even, so be sure to write two posts per week, and try three if you can make it.

Grow and create relationships

This is the part when you start following other good blogs religiously, and comment on them. Get into communities on reddit, on forums, other fashion blogs and so on. Get new friends. Be active on Facebook and Instagram. Foster relationships with readers, other fans, and try other successful/big fashion bloggers. They’re probably bombarded by wannabe bloggers daily, so don’t feel discouraged if they ignore you like the rest of their 100+ daily comments. You’ll get to that point too (successful blogs can’t scale comment replies), but for the first part, answer your reader’s comments and so on. Connect and be active.

Be authentic

What does that even mean? Chances are you’ve probably already started your blog. Or at least you have that spark in you that got you to reading this guide. Good. Excellent, even. Focus on that core passion within you, because that’s exactly what you’re going to base your site on.

The more you look the same like the rest of the fashion blogs, the worse off you are. Sure, there are blogs with thousands of visits, but those that have a thousand hits per day… they tend not to resemble one another.

Take a look at SKIN by Habiba Da Silva. She’s a 22 year old Birmingham born blogger with Brazilian and Lebanese roots. Her content centers on lifestyle, creative writing, fashion and beauty.

She created a line of outrageously expensive scarves that cater to skin complexions. As she describes it:

“The SKIN campaign was inspired by many things. Firstly for my passion for cultures and traditions, secondly to break up the trend of having brands with clothing dressed on only lighter skinned models. I wanted something for everyone: men, women; from every background. I played on the theme of marriage as you can tell by the names of the hijabs. The word, marriage, is all about bringing entities together. This is what SKIN is about. For EVERYONE.”

The SKIN collection went viral, of course. And the comments generally favoured the campaign; the only critique was that the scarves were too expensive (£20 is a bit much for a chocolate, non-designer scarf). But Habiba is the sole project lead, and she probably found a way to produce the scarves and sell them herself. She doesn’t have the sweatshops other brands like Zara or H&M rely on, nor the quantities that might help bring the price down. Thus, she’s left with a gorgeous idea that’s simply unfit for the “For EVERYONE” market, since not EVERYONE dishes out £20 for a scarf.

Anyway, this was a huge victory for Habibi. But! Like her, you will focus on small victories, or baby steps. It’s these steps that are so important - think of them as the breadcrumbs that lead you to your Hollywood home.

A small victory might hide in your blog’s witty name, like “Black Thursday” where Tara publishes a piece of violently black clothing every thursday. It started out as a Facebook status Tara wrote every week, then grew into a page, and finally into a fully fledged website. People loved the idea, and liked the page. See, Tara didn’t invent a fashion trend, she didn’t had to have Anna Wintour on speed dial, nor did she splurge $1000 into a website design. She just had a raging passion for black clothes, grit, and was stubbornly consistent. And that’s exactly what you should channel, too:

Passion + Grit + Consistency

These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little blog.

But Professor Utonium accidentally added an EXTRA INGREDIENT to the concoction.... AUTHENTICITY.

How do you, more or less, add a touch of authenticity to your blog? Here’s a few ideas that come to mind:

The who.
By putting your face on your blog, people will know who’s writing the opinion pieces and spending hours on collecting photos and making the equivalent of the conspiracy maps in A Beautiful Mind. Make sure you’re face is featured there, kind of like how we show the author on our Veni WordPress theme.

The why.
Why you do what you do is super important. Just listen to Simon Sinek’s TED Talk on why where he talks about starting with “why” and how it makes the crucial difference in people’s minds. So, feel free to write a blog post on why you got started. Why you believe in the skin coloured scarves; why black thursday's mean the world to you. Your about page should tell the why and the who. And lastly, the what.

The what.
The what represents your brand. Love it or hate it, branding is a way for people to differentiate you. To witness you and call you by a name. Your brand can be your name, or it can be “Black Thursdays” or “SKIN” or whatever it is that you write about. Your brand contains anything and everything you do, and it’s this collection that people refer to when they talk about your brand. Your logo, design, and style should reflect your brand. The way these elements work together is what makes your blog stand out in the sea of sameness.

The how.
The how is basically your content strategy. It’s the editorial risks you’ll be taking, so as to avoid looking like the rest of the blogs out there. You ought to take risks, whatever that means. Sometimes it’ll mean posting something that people might not immediately like, or that hasn’t appeared at other blogs yet. Something that might seem too much, or not nearly as enough. Find the secret sauce. If you’re all in on black clothing, sometimes a touch of pure white might spruce things up and be an unexpected surprise for your readership. Experiment, see what happens, adapt accordingly and move on to the next experiment.

That’s how you could add a touch of authenticity to your blog. It’s pretty hard, even impossible to be purely authentic. Trends rise and fall, and we’re all none the wiser about it. Please don’t feel the pressure that you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO BE AUTHENTIC. You don’t. It’s enough to just think about fashion pieces and write what you think. Post what you like. Anna Wintour didn’t spend her adolescence and later years thinking “Good gracious how on earth am I going to build a readership of millions around the world in less than 50 years???” No. She did what she did best. She certainly didn’t enjoy doing it 100% of the time, but she loved it enough not to give up. And the more she did it, the more she honed her skills, and built an authentic voice that other folks decided to listen to. So there you have it. Passion, grit, consistency, and authenticity. There’s no pressure, nor high expectations anywhere in there. Remember: baby steps.

Purchase a domain and host

Every business - and your website is a business and you have to treat it as such - needs a domain and a host. The domain is the website address, like www.google.com. The host is the machine that has your website’s files and shows it to people who visit your address. You’re going to need both.

There are free services out there, but they’re shit. Utterly useless. They make me feel violently ill at the thought. The problem with them is that you cannot grow your website with them - and your website WILL grow.

Your blog is your key product.
It is the starting point for launching every project that you will come up with in the future. You’ll use it to promote yourself, your projects, what you do, and everything beyond and between. Important people in the industry will get a chance to see you and your work. And can you imagine how they would react to a blogger site? Can you then imagine them reacting to a professional, crisp, stylish website? The difference in thought is staggering.

You shouldn’t create a website with another company’s logo on it. Tumblr, again, is perfect for promulgation, but is really bad at presenting you as a professional business. Can you even imagine Gucci having a website with Amazon’s logo in the corner? No. So, treat your website - and yourself - as professionals. Even if you don’t believe you’re professional yet, people need to believe it. They need to believe in your voice, and to take it as a credible source. You’ll inspire more confidence if you look good. But you already know that, don’t you? If you dress yourself we'll, make sure to dress your website well - as well.

You’ll end up on WordPress anyway.
It’s a tale as old as time. Most blogs that use free options quickly grow… and then they outgrow them. And what happens next? They move to WordPress. A robust and secure content management system. If you don’t know, WordPress is a free system that keeps all your posts organised, and lets you write, edit, and manage all of them.

Just be smart and avoid the hassle of moving hundreds of posts off of Tumblr onto WordPress. It’s painful, it’s messy, you’ll have to start over with website visits… it’s shit.

The great deal with WordPress is that it’s free. So you just have to get a host and a domain. Also, WordPress makes it incredibly easy to apply gorgeous design to your website. If WordPress is the engine behind your website, then a “theme” for WordPress is the looks. There are hundreds of thousands of WordPress themes available.

Yes, there are free themes. And yes, you should avoid them like the plague. Because if you got a theme for $0 that means the entire internet can and will get it, too. And what does that say about your professionalism? And how will you ever hope to stand out with a free theme that everyone else uses, too?

So, get a domain, a host, and a WordPress theme.

How do I get a domain, a host, and a WordPress theme?
Getting a domain means paying a small fee every year to the machines that run the internet (imagine if domains were free - the internet would probably collapse and run out of domains). Some domains cost differently than others, and that’s mostly based on popularity. The more popular the domain, the more it costs.

To get the best price for your domain, let’s say “myfirstfashionblog.com” go to: iwantmyname.com, GoDaddy.com, Google Domains or any other domain provider your friends might recommend

And then type in the domain you’d like, and then check the prices. Look for any hidden fees. Sometimes the domain provider gives you two dollars off of the price, but then hits you with a hidden fee of two dollars later at checkout.

Themes Kingdom Managed has a host AND WordPress AND a theme
This is the best option if you don’t want to think about setting up WordPress, installing themes and other yada yada. If you don’t want to waste time, Themes Kingdom Managed will:

- Host your website
- Install WordPress
- Give you 1 our premium themes - for free!
- Optimize everything so it loads fast
- Secure everything so you’re not hacked
- Backup everything everyday

All that for only $15 per month. You just get a domain (which should cost around $1 a month) and we will handle the rest.

How to get hosting yourself
Get a host. Search for hosts and you’ll end up with a shitty list of hosts that offer sites for as little as $2 a month. This is not real. These hosts don’t exist - they just use someone else’s servers and pretend that its their own. Get yourself a host that has their own network. Sometimes the hosts include a domain name to sweeten the deal.

Try some of these, or ask around for recommendations: WP Engine, Flywheel or Media Temple.

Now that you have a domain and a host, it’s time to download WordPress. Download it for free from WordPress.org. (You don’t have to do this if you use Themes Kingdom Managed).

Most hosts will have a tutorial written for how to install WordPress. Find it on their website or ask their support.

How to get a WordPress theme
Finally, it’s time for a theme! We at Themes Kingdom have specialised in making gorgeous, fast themes that are elegant and crisp. We look at trends and create themes that are always current, and have a few themes that are perfect for a fashion blog - and are designed based on the advice I wrote earlier. Check them out:

Create a content calendar

Now that you’ve setup your website, it’s time to fill it with content. Either import what you already wrote, or start fresh.

This is the heart and soul, the bread and butter of blogging. Even if you picked a free hosting, an ugly theme, and/or a shitty domain, you can still pull yourself out of the mess by writing quality content that people want to read.

Good content is not about how it looks (though that helps, but a good-looking theme will do 80% of the work for you in that regard).

Good content is about giving people value.
Let’s say you write a flattering piece about the burkini, and how it helps women who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to go to the beach, now can. It might anger a few, but also touch someone so deeply, that you changed their lives a little bit. And that’s huge. You just made someone feel better about themselves. Again, that’s HUGE.

You solved a problem. Your content did, anyway. So you should spend more time thinking about what to write, than to just sit like a monkey behind a typewriter and blurt out whatever idea comes to mind. Ideas are great, but remember that everything is a first draft. Always.

To plan for a good content calendar:

See what the best people are doing, then try to do it better
It sounds like copying. And it is a little, at least at first. But while I do sound contradictory, use their good traits for inspiration. Figure out why some of their pieces work, and some don’t. Then build upon it with your mixture of authenticity, uniqueness, nerve and talent.

Get high quality photos
Professional photos, either by a friend photographer or a paid one, can be a huge difference as to how you’re perceived. No one likes blurry photos, or photos that are skewed or cropped weirdly. Same goes for other content like videos, graphics etc. Ask for press kits from fashion labels, set up your me@mydomain.com email address, and start asking for pro shots.

Write as if your life depended on it.
You might not be able to churn out thousands of posts per month (nor should you). But write all the time, because you won’t be able to find your voice otherwise. It’s through writing long posts that you’ll give readers a lot of value - and give yourself more value, too.

Write evergreen content, too
This whole blog post is an evergreen blog post. It’s meant for beginners, and won’t feel old or dated in a week. It’s tempting to write for people like yourself, but not everyone has the same passion or capacity. Write in an inclusive way, and that means that a few beginner posts to fashion and trends is key. They’ll pull in more people, and once they’re educated, they’ll move on to your more advanced stuff.

SEO
Ah, that dreaded three letter acronym. SEO, or, Search Engine Optimisation, is an internet philosophy. It means optimising your website so that when people google “fashion blogs to follow” you are the first result (or as close to 1st as possible). Learn SEO. I personally despise SEO and think most of it is gibberish anyway, but there are good articles on SEO out there. For example, we noticed that a lot of people googled “fashion themes for WordPress” and that they somehow ended up on our website. So, we wrote this guide to fashion websites because it’s apparently what people wanted (even though no one wrote to our inbox directly saying that they need it.) We felt the intent behind the search term, and wrote a blog post based on the search term. Hopefully, now when people google the same thing, they’ll find a handy blog post to guide them.

The best content is definitely not easy to write, nor easy to research. It might take days. So don’t feel pressure to start churning out brilliant blog posts immediately. Start small, use great looking photos, and be consistent. You’ll get people’s attention even if you don’t necessarily hit it off on the first try.

Grow and create relationships

If the most beautiful flower in the forest blooms and there’s no one there to see it…

Sorry for the crappy metaphor, but you get the idea:

People need to KNOW that YOU EXIST.

It’s the relationships you make with your friends, colleagues and other bloggers that will help your website audience grow. At least at first (Facebook post boosts and paid ads come later).

Try to spy on current fashion bloggers, and see what they do.

Write up something nice about their blog, or their point of view, or what you like about them. Be honest, don’t just suck up. Help them get a few more comments on their blog, and participate in their blog’s comments, too. Try to make friends, through Twitter or wherever.

Share their content on your blog. Yeah, feature them. Write back to them that you featured them. Establish a relationship through email if you must. Be kind and respectful because there’s probably a thousand suckups doing the same in the hope of leaching fame from someone else. You do you, and feature something you really like.

Talk in communities. On Twitter, forums, comment areas, wherever you find you can ad to the conversation. This takes time and effort. Steal a few minutes from a lunch break here and there to get active socially online.

Here’s a few fashion blogs I like: Racked, Refinery29, Anne Street Studio.

Farewell and good luck

That’s about it! Congratulations if you made it this far, and good luck with your fashion blog! If you have any question, please reach out - we read all comments, emails etc. Write to me at milan [at] themeskingdom.com or on our Facebook page: Themes Kingdom.