Before each season’s Fashion Weeks, Luisa Via Roma hosts more than 20 influential bloggers, offering them the opportunity to see, try on and take pictures in some of the most coveted pieces from the new designer collections. These bloggers rub elbows with top designers and enjoy elaborate dinners and parties in the heart of Florence. In the wake of Firenze4Ever, a bi-annual three-day event hosted by Luisaviaroma.com, I couldn’t help but re-evaluate the phenomenon of fashion blogging.
With invites for bloggers to similar events around the globe, which often include international plane tickets and all-expense paid weekends in the world’s most spectacular five-star hotels, at first glance the life of a fashion blogger may seem like bright lights and amazing free wardrobes before anyone else can get them, but underneath that shiny topcoat, there is a solid base of hard work and serious determination. How do they do it you ask?
After seeing this most recent round of Firenze4Ever and studying some of the most influential voices online, the common elements of these bloggers become surprisingly clear. So, if you want to be a fashion blogger, think about these seven characteristics that put (and keep) the best bloggers on the A-list.
In the world of fashion, confidence is crucial. It is a world that nurtures criticism. Not everyone will agree with your opinion or your tastes. Readers will leave nasty comments about your hair, your shoes and your dog. It does not matter how thin or beautiful you are, and it does not matter if your shoes are by Casadei or Giuseppe Zanotti if you don’t project confidence. If you are confident, not only will your style shine, people will follow you. If you don’t have alot of confidence yet, you have to fake it until you make it. Put your shy side away and speak your mind.
Despite stark differences in character, writing style and tastes, every successful fashion blogger unabashedly conveys his or her unique perspective on life without mimicking anyone else’s writing style or point of view. Authenticity will invite your readers to sit awhile and to come back for more. Be unique, be original.
This is more than just letting your personality shine through in everything you do. Brand yourself every chance you get. Create a unique, but consistent style and logo that readers can easily identify as yours. This includes photos, page layouts, fonts, writing style, colors and clothes. Vary your content, but make sure that it carries your signature look and feel.
The little things can make a big difference. Be sure that your site is easy to navigate with a good balance between text and images. WordPress is fairly easy to use, and you can download it for free. Once you’ve started creating, keep your pages and links updated. Building a blog is like building a business, the vibe that your readers get from your website doesn’t just depend on your brilliant personality, but also on the functionality of the site. You wouldn’t want your house to have broken windows, so don’t let your site have dead links!
The first rule for good communication is to respond. Keep up with your emails and comments posted on your pages. Your readers are the lifeblood of your blog; build relationships with them and they will come back and bring their friends. The second rule for good communication is to be concise. Save your inner ramblings if not relevant to topic for your significant other or your mom. Try to keep your blogs short, to the point and positive. (Yes, some people are quite snarky and very successful at it, but ultimately, they are few and far between.)
Create posts on a regular basis, but always write about what makes you happy when it makes you happy. Being consistent in updating your blog is important, but if it starts to feel more like work and less like fun, don’t be afraid to take the day off once in awhile or at least until you get your enthusiasm back. If you need inspiration, go read blogs you love and find images which speak to you and you’ll get right back to creating interesting content.
If you receive samples or payment always be honest about what you got and who gave it to you. Make sure that you are clear about anything that could be a conflict of interest or that could influence your opinion and state it right on your blog. Standard statements include: Financial compensation was/was not received…A sample product was provided by… This way you give credit where credit is due, and you are sure to provide authenticity and trustworthiness for your readers.
With a little ingenuity, dedication, and a lot of hard work, your blog will flourish. And who knows? You could be the next blogger with an all-expense paid weekend in Florence or Milan!