10.19.2013

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FASHION BLOGGING!

So, you want to be a fashion blogger, huh? The next ManRepeller, Bryanboy, or Rumi Neely?
Well...you got to learn the basics, and I've got the ultimate round-up of tools, tips, tricks, and other words starting with the letter "t" to help you out. Sorry, no toffee here. This isn't your bubby's house.


First things first, you have to go in with the right mindset. Think: what am I trying to achieve with my blog or what am I going for exactly? Is it mainly street-style like TommyTon or The Sartorialist? Personal outfits and photo diaries like Le Blog De Betty? Something a lot more specific like Missladyfinger's runway-inspired nails? Or a pitiful mish-mosh like myself? These are just a few thoughts I'm putting out there. You don't necessarily need to fit any of these categories. In fact, I'd highly advise otherwise. It certainly sounds cliche to say this, but with the growing number of blogs every single day, especially fashion-related blogs, you really want to stand out, if you plan on making it a large part of your life or even career.  


So, what are some tools, every blogger should have under his/her vintage leather belt?

1. Polyvore: Even if you don't have a blog, you may have played around with this site a few times. It allows you to create your own outfits/inspiration boards in a collage interface that draws images from stores, brands, and a variety of websites. For the not-so-graphic-design-savvy, it's perfect as it allows you to crop around clothing and add text and borders. You can also share your creations with other people and get inspiration from other looks. I've used it quite often in times where I was shopping and looking for a specific price-range/color/brand/etc.
2. Fotor: A FREE, no-signup website for photo-editing and collage-making. This is awesome for those who are just starting out and don't want to shell-out on photo-editing software, or those who are freaked out by Photoshop. I personally use this to make collages for my fashion inspiration. It not only makes my posts more clean and elegant, but it trims the amount of space it takes up on my page by A LOT. Also, collages are just fun. You may want to even check out Picasa, Pixlr, Befunky....or even Smartphone (yes, I didn't say iPhone because I care) Apps like VSCO Cam, (which has stellar filters and effects that make Instagram seem useless).

3. A Thesaurus: Well, here's one more thing starting with the letter "t." The content of your blog is solely up to your creative direction, but keep in mind that the writing is just as important as your photographs. You want to create a strong voice for yourself, so try to avoid LMFAO or TTYL, unless you're trying to prove a point or be a smarty-pants writer or something. That said, don't abuse the thesaurus either and use words like floccinaucinihilipilification or sesquipedality. Moreover, over-complicated language and wordiness can lose readers, so, being concise is most forgiving! Sorry for making you revisit a long-forgotten english class. 

4. A Camera/Notebook: To me, these are interchangeable because of the way different people perceive different things. I personally find that taking photographs is my way of gathering my inspiration from places I visit, people I meet, or even cute dogs I wish I had (why does everyone in New York have an adorable dog? and why am I always the creepy dog-ophile who wants to snap photos of them?) However, another person may get his/her inspiration from writing down or drawing what he/she sees. Whichever way you like to get your inspiration, just do it. You may even want to use both methods. You never know when something will spark an idea for a post!

As for camera types, I'm not going to tell you to go out and spend loads of money on a Canon or Nikon DSLR, because it's not as mandatory as people make it out to be. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I've taken some pretty crisp, frame-worthy photographs just from my iPhone's camera, a steady hand and good lighting. Disposable Kodak cameras also provide a vintage-looking flair to photographs, so you may want to even check those out! I currently use the Canon Rebel T1i, with it's kit lens (although I would recommend using a non-kit lens if you're on the Canon-Rebel track).
Union Square via MY IPHONE!
5. Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr are the obvious one's that help promote your page to your friends and family while possibly getting new readers as well. Certainly, don't overdo it with postings, but you still want to be consistent and straight to the point. A catchy little title or question along with a photo might draw in readers, whereas a paragraph summary may leave them baffled and bored. Also, if you're leaning towards doing outfit posts check out websites like LOOKBOOK.NU or Chictopia. They can help you get your looks out there to other fashion bloggers and give you some inspiration. 

6. INSPIRATION INSPIRATION INSPIRATION: This is probably one of the most important aspects of having a fashion blog, because many people solely get their inspiration from the online-blogsphere. GET OUT OF YOUR BEDROOM. Take the subways. Take buses. Go to shops (even if you can't afford anything there). Thrift stores are a frugal-fashion-lover's best friend. Observe people and their style. Go to art galleries. Go to coffee shops. Go to comedy shows. Take a stroll through your local park. Take pictures. Read the fashion section of the New York Times. Study the government shutdown. Read actual newspapers. Read books. Think. Write down ideas in a cute little notebook. Inspiration doesn't just have to come from seeing the latest D&G campaign on Fashiongonerogue. It's also about having unique experiences. Why else do you think HONY has become so influential? He isn't necessarily a fashion-blogger, but when he photographs random people on the street that catch his eye, he doesn't just prop them against a wall. He talks to them. He asks them questions about their experiences.
The most gorgeous sunset I've ever seen at Griffith Observatory! It can even be as easy as finding the time of sunset/sunrise to get a beautiful photo! #nofilter
I love the Brooklyn Flea. Beautiful sites, interesting vendors, tons of unique food! 
This was another art museum I visited a while back called the Museum of the Moving Image. They had this awesome  minimalistic and futuristic room where their headphones came from the ceiling! Wish I had a room like that!

and, finally I find that trying to "stand out" can be hard especially nowadays where thats all that everyone is really trying to do, which ultimately defeats the whole purpose of being different. So, I have one final tip for you that could work and help give you ideas if you're stuck on what kind of blog you want: pick one other idea that can be unrelated to fashion that you are equally passionate about, and connect that with fashion. This will show people that you're not just a fashion-lover, but a lover of something else a well!

thus, I give you an example as any rightful teacher should:

Example: You could blog about your love for fashion and the environment, showcasing much of the eco-friendly brands in your wardrobe, teaching people about reducing the carbon-footprint with their home decor, etc.

It may sound like I'm forcing a formula for fashion-blogging, but I'm not. There really is no formula. This is just a little idea that can help you jumpstart your fashion blog and give you a bit of consistency, as that is what draws people in most of the time: CONSISTENCY. On the flip side, it's important to go into blogging not thinking, "viewers, viewers, viewers!" A lot of the time, you can put such a great deal of time away from civilization, money on leather goods, and arm cramping as you prop up your tripod, and you may still not have tons of followers. Just hang in there and know that opportunities strike when you least expect them to. The most important thing is that you must LOVE what you do, because if you don't, it will show.


Leave questions, bloggerly-advice, and love in the comments below.

If this post turns out half as helpful as I intended it to, I may even make more that cover this same topic, as it is quite the hot one!


xx,

Shay

1 comment:

Carly {style snapshot} said...

Hey Shaina!

I just stumbled across your blog and I'm loving it. This post is SO informative and well written. I think you do a fantastic job of standing out from the crowd with your writing and the way you edit your photos. Clicking on your blog was a little burst of fresh air :)

I can't wait to read more from you xx

Carly

www.stylesnapshot.com

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