Here are some things I’ve learned from six years of blogging:
Consistency is KEY! Being consistent means posting at the same time, on the same days, week after week. I’m not saying you have to put up a new blog post every single day, rather, find a routine that works for you and stick with it. If you only post three times per week, try scheduling your posts for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and have them go live at the same time. Readers quickly lose interest if you post on different days each week or have long gaps between posts – therefore, give your readers a posting schedule that they can rely on.
Building a loyal audience on social media can be invaluable to your blog. Make sure you’re represented on the main social media outlets – Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and YouTube. You should utilize each of these accounts in a different way to create awareness and drive traffic to your blog. For example, Instagram is very image-driven, so choose only the very best photo from your blog post that day and then include a caption with directions on how to access the full post. With Twitter, you have the advantage of including both a picture and a direct hyperlink to the post – so include both! Here is an example of what I’m talking about. With Pinterest, you can pin images from your blog post to your own pinboards. And just like with your blog, you also want to be consistent with your social media accounts. I try to post at least once per day on each account to generate interest and keep them updated with fresh content.
Okay, by “be reliable” I mean you have to build trust with your readers! Trust is earned, not given. Be forthright with your readers, always. There are several components to this. In general, if a reader asks you a question, be honest with them. If a post is sponsored, let your readers know. On another note, if a brand approaches you and wants to pay you to post about their products, but you don’t use their products or wouldn’t buy them yourself, DON’T WORK WITH THEM. Yes, it is hard to turn down someone who is offering to pay you money, but I promise it is worth it in the end. Your readers can tell when you’re not being authentic, or when you’re promoting a brand that isn’t truly your style. I have turned down some amazing opportunities because I felt like I would be lying to my readers by wearing products I didn’t love. And – it makes it 100,000 times better when a brand that you DO love wants to work with you. Your readers can tell when partnerships are authentic and when you really do love the brand you’re representing.
I’m going to be honest, one of the hardest parts of blogging is creating fresh, unique content, day after day and month after month. You have to continuously challenge yourself to come up with new ideas, whether it’s a new blog post topic, new outfit combination, or even a unique pose for an Instagram photo. Although it’s easy to look to other bloggers for inspiration and imitate what they’ve already done, I would encourage you not to do this (in fact, I consider this to be plagiarism of intellectual property). The best advice I can give is to do you: find your niche; discover what works for you and for your audience and stick to that. You can find inspiration in so many different places, but other bloggers should not be one of them. Your blog will only be successful if it’s different than all the rest.
PAY ATTENTION TO ANALYTICS
To increase your blog traffic, you must fully understand your blog analytics. I recommend that all bloggers install a Google Analytics script on their blogs. Blogspot’s statistics are not always reliable, but Google Analytics’ are. Google Analytics will tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about your blog traffic – pageviews, sessions, unique users, reader demographics, even the search terms that people Googled that eventually led them to your blog. Use these analytics to your advantage – for example, if people keep searching for your posts on makeup, maybe that’s a sign you should be focusing more on beauty; or if you learn that your audience is mostly age 30 and older, maybe you should focus on posts that cater to them.
ITS ALL ABOUT THE PHOTOS
Let’s be real… you can write the lengthiest, deepest, best-written blog post in the world, but if it doesn’t have strong imagery, then you won’t get very far (especially in the fashion blogging world!). When it comes to fashion, the photos are EVERYTHING – they can make or break your blog. If you want to take your blog to the next level, invest in a nice camera and a good lens (I recommend a 50mm 1.8 lens), learn how to shoot in manual, and invest in good editing software (I use Lightroom). Large photos that take up a lot of the computer screen tend to do better, as do photos that are clear and in focus. It’s definitely a learning process – I learned almost everything about photography from trial and error and from making mistakes along the way.