I was lying on my couch Friday night, checking out my Facebook feed on my phone (as I always do when the Princess is having her Mickey Mouse Clubhouse time!) and I came across this article on IFB – Why No One Wants to Hear About The Decline of Personal Style Blogging (Yet). I checked out the Buzzfeed article it was responding to (which was a bit snarky for my taste but anyways!) and backtracked to Jeanine’s article about the fashion blogger bubble bursting. I tweeted the post and ended up having a great convo with Alison from Wardrobe Oxygen (who has a great blog by the way! I read it all the time). It sent my writer mind into a tailspin! The same feelings I had in my last post about fashion blogging were confirmed and I started thinking about what we needed to do next. You know we creative types can be all over the place and the more I thought about it, I found that the state of blogging affairs has come down to this:
We have to evolve. We have to take our blogs to the next level.
Now I admit I’m not just a personal style blogger. I didn’t start incorporating outfit posts until about a year after I started blogging. Back then (we’re talking 2010 when I did my first outfit post), the idea of putting up what you’re wearing was really gathering steam. I loved doing it and loved checking out other personal style bloggers because it was awesome to see fashion that wasn’t on a model. It was a source of tangible inspiration, something I could easily try to do without breaking the bank. It exposed me to new ways of wearing clothes and accessories while challenging me to be creative with what I already have (remember the 30 x 30 challenges?)
Now in 2013 we’re dealing with a gross oversaturation of new bloggers who are starting to look a lot alike. I’m not seeing anything really new and creative. It’s because those top bloggers who made it have set an aesthetic standard that new bloggers are trying to attain. I can’t blame them – they see this as the path to success in securing brand partnerships, major ad campaigns and a big readership. Also, like the IFB article pointed out, companies are learning how to get the best bang for the buck when it comes to bloggers. They are looking for more than just a fashionable girl with pretty pictures.
Bloggers who “make it” aren’t just cute anymore, they have business plans, niches, a specific purpose other than broadcasting their own vanity. – IFB
We gotta step it up people! If you want to be in this fashion blogging world for the long haul, leave that day job and go pro, you have to up your game. We have to go higher than what we used to. It takes more than a good camera and a great fashion sense. They are a million girls that have that. It’s going to take something that isn’t as fun:
We’re talking business plans, media kits, and business cards. We’re talking analytics, editorial calendars, and target audiences. It’s all about pitching, ROI’s, and branding. Your own sense of style doesn’t separate you from the pack anymore. If you want to be a professional blogger you have to think like a business a person.
Before you write that next blog post or email a PR company for samples, these are some questions you should ask yourself:
- What really makes you different from the gazillion fashion bloggers out there?
- What value are you bringing to your readers?
- Why should brands work with you? What can you do for them and their brand?
- What does your reader get from your blog that they can’t get anywhere else?
I know we are not feeling the negative vibe that being blogger has these days. The stakes in this game have been raised and if we have to prepared to meet it if we want to be taken seriously.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this! What do you think we need to do to stay in the blogging game long term?
PS: A great book that can help you answer some of those questions as well help you with a business plan is Fashion 2.0: Blogging Your Way to The Front Row by Yuli Ziv. I can’t say enough good things about it!