Culture, Team Barneys

How to start a fashion blog in 2021

So, you’re exploring the idea of starting a fashion blog?

Good for you! There’s always an appetite for new and fresh takes in the fashion world.

From an avid reader, to a part-time blogger, to a blogger outreach executive, to… well, working here at Barneys Originals! I’ve spent my fair share of time reading, writing and exploring the world of blogging. That’s why I thought I’d wax lyrical about it here. After all, I’ve run out of friends and family to convince so I may as well go back to the internet!

Is it too late to start a blog in 2021? God no. It’s never too late to start a blog. You just have to keep current attention & tech trends in mind.

So allow me to exploit the Barneys Originals platform to badger you into joining the ranks of fashion blogging in 2021…

Find your WHY

Why on earth do you want to start a fashion blog? Be honest.

If you can’t answer that question then you simply have no starting point. It may seem like an obvious one but the answer can tell us more about where you’re headed.

There are so many reasons people start a fashion blog, some more solid than others:

  • to share a personal journey
  • to develop an online portfolio
  • to network for your career
  • to find more people like yourself
  • to explore things from a niche perspective
  • to support small businesses
  • to start your own business
  • to find and share the best deals online
  • because you’ve seen someone else do it
  • to try and get free things

No shade here, your reasons are your reasons. You don’t need to validate your blog to anyone, but keeping a ‘WHY’ in mind means that you know which direction to head in.

The ‘WHY’ is what keeps us going when the initial buzz wears off and the traffic starts to stagnate. It’s that thing that spurs you on when no one else is paying attention. It has to be a personal reason because that’s what truly matters deep down – doing it for yourself.

What happens if you don’t have a ‘WHY’? Well, that’s when things get a bit boring really. Without a ‘WHY’ there’s not much point in anything, is there? We all need something to motivate us. So take a moment to think about what keeps you going and how you can benefit from blogging.

Image displays 4 social media/blogging platforms to display the variety of mediums on offer for you to start a blog. From left to right: Tiktok, Instagram, Spotify and Tumblr

Pick a platform

Ultimately, your ‘WHY’ may dictate your platform. However, it’s important to consider the type of content you’re creating and how you’re most comfortable sharing it.

The blogging landscape has changed tenfold in the last few years. Oldschool zelots will tell you that a blog doesn’t count if it’s not written in text on a website – but that’s a load of pish. There are so many different platforms for you to take advantage of and some that are yet to be explored as a platform for fashion.

Tiktok

Forget everything you know about Musically. Yes, it was once a website for kids to mime along to Disney songs, but now it’s Tiktok… and Tiktok is a hub for just about ANYTHING!

If you’re interested in vlogging, blogging, sharing outfits and reviewing fashion; Tiktok could be the place for you. As it’s classed as an ’emerging platform’, it hasn’t yet been taken over by boring ideals and big brands. This means you’ll experience far more freedom in content creation.

Podcast

Fashion may seem like something that won’t translate to audio, but hear us out.

If you’re looking to discuss the fashion industry, there’s nothing quite like a podcast blog. It gives you the chance to really speak your truth candidly – something that often gets edited out in written work. Heavy fashion industry topics such as sustainability, law and ethics suit the podcast format really well. As it lacks the visual element, a fashion podcast is a great way of discussing meatier subjects.

To get started with a podcast, you don’t need a fancy studio. Simply grab your headphones and soften out background noise by putting a sheet over your head – trust us, it works!

Youtube

Forget what you know about cheesy vloggers. Youtube is still the biggest video sharing platform and home to many different types of bloggers. If you’re looking for a place to cadidly chat about fashion, Youtube could be the case.

However, it should be noted that in recent years it has become harder and harder for people to build a following solely on Youtube. As such, you’ll usually find that most Youtubers spread their content across other platforms.

Website

Building a website isn’t as hard as you may expect these days. With so many tools such as WordPress, Square Space, Wix and more, there’s never been a more accessible time to set up a website.

Hosting your work on your very own website means that you’re not fighting against algorithms to get your content seen. It means you can have it your way – with your own code of content – instead of trying to please another company’s terms of service.

However, the phrase ‘build it and they will come’ doesn’t apply to websites anymore. You’d still need to create content on another social media platform in order to steer traffic onto your website.

Tumblr

Let’s not forget this hidden gem. Tumblr is a very simple blog set-up. It’s easy to understand and easy to find like-minded bloggers. Whilst the website has changed its terms of service multiple times over the years, the audience is still there. It’s an audience with an appetite for new and exciting blogs.

Tumblr is probably a good starting point for less technical writers who want a bit of a ‘practice ground’ for blogging, before moving on yo their own website.

Instagram

Last on the list is Instagram. It’s a go-to platform for many fashion lovers. Not just because it’s a huge platform, but because it’s gained a reputation for catapulting stylish people into the spotlight.

But, there’s a reason that Instagram is last on our list. Fashion blogging on Instagram has been somewhat done to death. If your idea of fashion blogging is to share your outfit of the day or the latest bargain piece that you’ve found – we’re sorry to say that you’ll be eaten up by a sea of cloned content.

However, if you’re going for more in-depth & controversial content, of the likes of Diet Prada, you might just make it.

The thing is, Instagram is an easy trap to fall into. The algorithm is very ridged and let’s be honest – we all preferred the chronological timeline. Because of the rigidity of the algorithm, it’s easy to try and cater your content to what seems to be excelling on the explore page. Slowly but surely, you start focusing on content that you think will be good for the algorithm, rather than focusing on content that you want to produce.

So how do you choose a platform? Well, we’ve weighed up the pro and cons a little here so you may already have a shortlist. Ultimately you have to consider which platform offers the greatest potential for your ‘WHY’ and then consider what type of media you’re most interested in creating. If you like the sound of Youtube, but ultimately hate editing videos – well, it’s just not going to work for you.

What’s your zig?

Before getting started it’s worth considering your zig. It’s a term coined by Marty Neumeier in his book ‘ZAG’. By zig, we mean, what makes you different? How are you going to blog your own way? After all, it’s a big wide world out there and no two people are the same.

The people who read your fashion blog may scroll first for the outfit inspiration, but they’ll stay for you.

This can be a slightly intimidating thought. Most of us don’t really know what sets us apart and some of us would rather blend in entirely! However, due to the abundance of content online, if you want to hook people in you’ll have to give them something to hold on to.

Perhaps you want to create fashion content from a certain ethical standpoint.

Or maybe you find that there aren’t many fashion bloggers who share your dress size so you’d like to fill the gap.

Or maybe it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. So when everyone else is posting selfies from their phone, you’re recording vlogs on a Super 8 camera.

Your ‘zig’ is that one thing that you do that sets you apart from the rest. It’s the reason a lot of people say there’s no room for new bloggers. They think everything has been done before – oh how wrong they are. Your job is to zig whilst others zag.

Image displays a man sat at his desk, in front of a bright window.

Step one isn’t perfection

Your first post doesn’t need to be a viral hit.
Your first image doesn’t have to be worthy of a Vogue cover.
You just need to hit publish.

Getting started really is the hardest and most daunting part. You’ll probably wonder if anyone will care, what friends will think and how far your words will reach – but at this point it doesn’t matter. What matters is making yourself proud by taking the first step.

Don’t be fooled by people who seem like an overnight success. Most online creators spend years honing their craft, yet they only appear on your radar once they reach their peak. That’s what gives you the illusion of overnight success.

Everyone has to start somewhere. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be done.

Image displays a bird eye view shot of someone's desk whilst they work on a blog. The desk has a laptop, mug of tea a smart phone, headphones, a notebook and paperclips. It is quite a messy desk.

Make space for blogging

The trick to keeping up with blogging in the long term, is to make space both physically and mentally. Doing this helps to avoid burnout and allows you to set boundaries to that blogging doesn’t become a chore that seeps into your other responsibilities.

Making space mentally

Blogging is a recreational activity. It’s very easy to end up down the rabbit hole of metrics and become a slave to engagement. That’s why it’s important for you to make mental space for blogging. Like any creative pursuit, when you put your work out into the world there is a sudden fear of being judged for it. That’s why validation such as likes, comments, traffic etc becomes such an addictive high. It gives us an illusion of success.

However, it all comes back to the ‘WHY’ we spoke about before. Sure, interaction from your followers is nice but ultimately it’s the ‘WHY’ that is your own personal indicator of success.

Keep your WHY in mind to keep you going, but remember that the moment blogging starts to lose it’s joy it’s time to reevaluate. Blogging should never feel like a chore.

Making space physically

Now for the fun part. Sure, you might catch yourself blogging on the move whenever you can catch a free moment – but having a solid space for blogging is going to help you build up the habit. You blogging space needs to be part of you.

We recommend finding a quiet space in your home or a desk that you can convert into a blogging hub. It needs to feel like a place where creativity flows – whatever that means to you. Give your desk some character with inspirational decorations, desk mats, cute pencil cases, blotters and things that spark joy.

Combat the fear factor

Hitting publish is daunting, but promoting your work can be even more scary. You should be proud of your work, but at first it can feel a little weird telling people about your blog. However there are plenty of groups online for fashion bloggers to connect and share their work with each other, to get you into the flow of receiving feedback. In a weird way, sharing with strangers online can actually feel a little less scary than sharing with friends and family!

So, how do you promote your fashion blog? We’ll here are a few ideas:

  • Tweet about it
  • Share on Facebook
  • Find relevant forums
  • Find relevant Reddit communities
  • Network with other bloggers
  • Ask for feedback
  • Send it via email to people to admire

Once you’ve got over those first few promotion stages, you’ll be fine!

So go forth and conquer the blogging world! Hopefully we’ve given you a good base to get started and if we haven’t answered everything – at least we’ve hyped you up.

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