I’m a little behind on my reader mailbag, like this question from a reader wanting to know about starting a blog. Hopefully he’s already a huge success by now and all this advice just reinforces what he’s already doing. If not, here goes!
…I’ve been following your blog for a while and it made me realize a couple of things. It made me realize that I don’t want to become an accountant. I love fashion too much for me to be at a desk dealing with numbers. Also, it inspired me to start writing about fashion. However, I have zero experience when it comes to blogging. Therefore, I was wondering if you have any advice on how to start a successful and fun site like yours. I would really appreciate it.
Let’s work backwards on this one. So first of all, it’s great to hear that you enjoy Style Girlfriend. And anytime someone feels inspired to be more creative in their own lives – whether it’s by picking up a paintbrush, a pen, a microphone, or, I don’t know, knitting needles – I think it’s a good thing.
So you’ve decided to start blogging. Awesome. The biggest thing I would say is, work hard to find your point of view. A lot of style bloggers’ bios read along the lines of “Fashion is my liiiiiiiiife!!!” To which I, as your theoretical reader, say, “Great, but how does that help me?”
Consider your passions, and your blogging raison d’être will become clearer. I love communicating and creating understanding between groups. Explaining to a male audience what us ladies wish they’d wear (or not wear) is one interesting and fun way I’ve found to exercise that passion.
If you have a passion for…err, fashion, then you’re already on your way. Start writing about what you’re interested in, and see what kind of content you build. Are you drawn to discussing high-end designers? Star style? Affordable fashion? Whatever you think most about is where you want to focus your efforts. From there, consider how you can write about your specific interests in a way that brings value to your reader. Of course, if you want to blog just to blog, and you don’t care who reads it, that’s fine too. Blog about whatever you want. But if you’re interested in building an audience, you have to look for that sweet spot between what you want to write about and what other people want to read.
I stumbled into Style Girlfriend after a friend asked me to write a weekly column for the made-to-measure suit company he’d just started. Each week, I tackled a subject on guys’ style from the female perspective. What I found was that guys have a lot of questions about what they’re wearing, but not a lot of people they feel comfortable asking. Bros are not asking other bros for jeans recommendations while watching football. But they still need jeans.
That’s why, on Style Girlfriend, I try to make it easy by giving shortcuts, tips and tricks to achieving great style. While you may love fashion, I have a lot of readers who just want to know they’re leaving the house every morning looking acceptable. That means I give lots of specific clothing recommendations (always in a price range that’s reasonable to my readers) or advice on how to wear a specific trend.
My last point on the blogging front: try to post as much original content as possible. I follow a lot of menswear blogs, and it happens a lot that I’ll scroll through the same image of a super-fresh wingtip brogue six times because everyone’s reblogging the same stuff. Be different. You’ll stand out because of it.
Second of all…goo. I don’t know if I want to be responsible for a career switch! Have you told your parents yet? Second…ahh who am I kidding? Do whatever you want, so long as you can keep a roof over your head. But realize that there’s a zillion ways to work “in” fashion. My friend that I mentioned earlier did financial planning for several clothing companies before deciding to start his own business. When I was little, I used to tell anyone who’d listen, “I don’t want to be Donna Karan when I grow up, I want to run Donna Karan.” And even though my CEO aspirations eventually diminished, I like that even at ten years old, I knew I had no design talent but didn’t let that deter me from finding my own entryway into an industry. Whatever you decide, just be sure to do it really, really well. Otherwise, what’s the point?