AFA’s Guide to Starting Your Own Fashion Blog

college, how to start a fashion blog, how to make money as a fashion blogger, fashion blogger affiliate program, fashion blog sponsor, monetize fashion blog

I often have friends and readers ask me how I started my blog, how I make money, etc. I was inspired by a fellow blogger’s How to Start a Fashion Blog guide, so I decided to make my own. I started blogging a few years ago and I have learned a lot from trial and error, googling tutorials, and reading articles. I am no expert, but I have some helpful tips to offer. In recent years, professional fashion blogging has become a coveted and lucrative career. Top blogger, Chiara Ferragni, is set to make $8 million this year. The amount of money I currently make from blogging is negligible, but there are other perks, like collaborating with brands and inspiring readers. Plus, having my blog on my resume is impressive to employers and a great talking point during interviews. Anyone with a computer can make a fashion blog, but it takes time and commitment to make your blog stand out. Here are some how-to’s and tips to get you started:

1. Choose a Platform

I use Blogger. There are a few other popular choices including WordPressTypepad, and OnSugar. Do a little research to figure out which one you like best.

2. Name Your Blog

Coming up with an awesome blog name can be tricky. This generator might be helpful, but don’t worry because you can always change this later. Once you’ve finalized the name of your blog, consider purchasing your own domain (i.e. alliesfashionalley.blogspot.com turns into alliesfashionalley.com). This is an easy way to make your blog seem more legitimate and only costs about 12 bucks per year.

3. Customize the Layout/Design

I started out with a template from Blogger, then coded and customized everything myself. XOmisse is a great site for easy tutorials using CSS and HTML. If you want to save time, you can pay someone else to customize parts of your blog or buy a pre-made template. When it comes to layout, I say simple is better. You want your pictures and content to take center stage. A busy background can be distracting.

4. Invest in a DSLR

Great pictures are the most important part of your blog. All professional bloggers have photos with their outfit in focus and the background blurred. You need a DSLR camera to achieve this. If you have a photographer friend with a nice camera, you may not need your own. I use the Canon EOS Rebel SL1, which happens to be on sale at Target right now for an amazing price! This camera is easy to use, and is also the world’s smallest and lightest digital SLR camera. Grab a friend, roommate, or family member to take your pictures.

college, how to start a fashion blog, how to make money as a fashion blogger, fashion blogger affiliate program, fashion blog sponsor, monetize fashion blog

5. Find Your Voice

Every blogger has their own writing style. I tend to write just a few sentences to accompany my outfit posts. It’s all about what works for you. Make sure to spell check before posting. In addition, always preview your posts before publishing. Sometimes there might be formatting issues that aren’t obvious in your draft.

6. Connect with Other Bloggers

Find bloggers with similar interests, then subscribe to their blogs and consistently comment on their new posts (leave your link in the comments). Most bloggers will visit your blog in return. This is a good way to build a loyal follower base.

7. Share Your Posts

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr are great tools for promoting your content and getting more readers. Avoid overwhelming yourself by focusing on just one or two of these platforms at a time. Once you’ve gathered a substantial following, then add a couple more.

8. Monetize $$$ 

You don’t need to think about this right away, but why not be rewarded for your hard work as soon as possible? There are a ton of different platforms you can use to monetize your content. I use ShopSense because I think it’s the most straight forward. This allows you to link to products in your posts and earn a few cents per click. Other affiliate networks like RewardStyle pay you only when your readers make a purchase. This isn’t very lucrative until you have a ton of followers. Also, if you’re using Blogger, Google Adsense is built in. All you have to do is turn it on in the settings. Be careful not to over monetize; it becomes obvious if all you’re trying to do is get readers to click on products.

9. Collaborate with Brands

After you’ve gathered a following of loyal readers, companies may want you to sample their products in exchange for your review. Here’s a list of some sponsorship programs. Most of the brands I’ve worked with have contacted me, not the other way around. It’s important to have your email easily accessible. I have mine under the contact tab at the top of my blog.

Other Helpful Resources:

  • Independent Fashion Bloggers is an amazing site that has articles on every fashion-blogging-related subject imaginable. It’s also a great place to connect with other bloggers.
  • Every blogger should join Influenster. You get to test new products for free and review them on your blog. This is a great way to voice your opinion.
  • Following some of the most prominent fashion blogs will give you inspiration for your layout and posts. My favorites include The Blonde SaladPeace Love SheaSea of Shoes, and Ring My Bell.

Feel free to comment on this post or email me with any specific questions.