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The Keys to Starting Your Own Fashion Blog

Fashion bloggers reveal what it takes to turn a passion for fashion into a successful platform.

- June 5, 2014
Fashion bloggers are becoming increasingly high profile, especially considering that those at the top of their game have their own agents, publicists and image consultants. Since anyone with the time, talent and vision can start a blog, fashion blogging has leveled the playing field for so many looking to make an impact on the industry.

Five years ago, I turned a red stock exchange into a red carpet when I founded the fashion and luxury lifestyle blog Aspiring Socialite. After graduating from Syracuse University in 2009, I spent the summer sleeping on friends' couches in New York and interviewing everywhere I could. One day, when I was locked out of a friend's apartment, I wandered around the city aimlessly and came across a bank branch that had a ticker out front displaying all the stocks of the day. I stood there for 20 minutes and watched it go by. Every single stock was red. At that moment, I should have felt defeated, worried and alone; instead, I was inspired.

As I walked around the city for a few more hours, I contemplated what I would do if money were no object. I thought of charity, travel and fashion. By the end of the day, I came up with the name Aspiring Socialite and knew it was my calling to start a fashion blog dedicated to everyone who dreams of luxury. Since its founding, I've been a regular at New York Fashion Week, worked with top brands, and met amazing contacts in the fashion and beauty industries that I now call friends.

If you spend your waking hours daydreaming of couture and styling outfits, it may be time to start your own fashion blog. Here's how you can make it happen.

Choose the name of your blog wisely.
The first step toward starting your own fashion blog is choosing the perfect name and securing the URL. After you've secured the URL, you should also reserve the name on every social network, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube and Vine. Even if you aren't going to use a certain social network right away, you should still reserve the name. It's best for all the names of your social networks to match, but if that isn't possible, it's fine to use different variations.

The name you choose for your blog must be a natural fit that truly expresses who you are, as it is the essence of your personal brand. Often, the name can come to you rather unexpectedly.

"The name you choose for your blog must be a natural fit that truly expresses who you are, as it is the essence of your personal brand."

Melissa Tierney, founder of Missy On Madison, was also inspired by the streets of New York when she came up with the name for her blog. "I initially started a blog called 'Look 4 Less' on Tumblr when I was in college, and I maintained it for a few years. Then I decided I wanted to take my blogging more seriously and really build a brand, so I moved to WordPress and changed the name to Missy On Madison," said Tierney. "The name for my blog was a joint effort. I took a notebook and wrote down tons of different possible names. Finally, as I was walking to my office on Madison Ave., I came up with Missy On Madison."

Develop the voice of your brand.
A blog is first and foremost a brand and every great brand has a voice. Don't be afraid to develop a unique voice by having an opinion, taking risks with fashion or just being your own quirky self.

When Amy Vosejpka started her fashion blog, Not Official, she had been in the fashion industry for quite some time and didn't feel like she fit in. "In response to that I decided to create Not Official to show that you could be beautiful and have enormous style without [weighing] 100 pounds and having a million dollars.

"A blog is first and foremost a brand and every great brand has a voice. Don't be afraid to develop a unique voice by having an opinion, taking risks with fashion or just being your own quirky self."

I also felt -- and still do feel -- that emerging designers and brands do not have a place to be represented or heard. I made it one of my main goals to have Not Official be a platform to showcase this amazing talent," noted Vosejpka.

Learn from other bloggers.
Although the world can be a competitive place, you should never approach blogging from a competitive standpoint. It's been my experience that collaborating with other bloggers increases your traffic and social media following much more than if you were going at it alone. Be an active part of the fashion blogger community. Go to as many events as possible and never stop making new connections.

Los Angeles-based fashion blogger, Kristi Elong, founder of Currently Crushing, was inspired to start a fashion blog based on her desire to be a part of a community that shared her love of clothes, accessories, shoes and events. "I had been following a few other bloggers for years and they inspired me to take the leap and start my own site," said Elong.

By connecting with other bloggers, you can share your own tips and tricks while learning new ones to help build your blog's following.

"Be an active part of the fashion blogger community. Go to as many events as possible and never stop making new connections."

I personally never use a programmer, designer or photographer who hasn't been recommended to me by another blogger. I often find myself getting the best SEO tips while helping another fashion blogger on a style shoot.

Think of your blog as a business.
Your posts may be fun and lighthearted, but fashion blogging is serious business. If you're thinking about starting one, make sure you're 110 percent passionate about the overall topic or theme you choose and be prepared to post often. Start a blog not because you think it's going to make you money, but as a creative outlet that genuinely makes you happy. If you love the content you're producing, the money will come.

When asked what advice she would give a fashionista looking to start a blog, Elong suggested treating it as a business right from the start by choosing a domain name that you won't outgrow, investing in self-hosting and getting high-quality business cards printed. Then just get out there and meet people. Elong also strongly encourages bloggers not to be afraid to reach out to brands directly for event invites or sponsored opportunities.

So if you've been thinking about starting your own fashion blog, take every step possible toward doing it. Most bloggers' biggest regret is not having started earlier. Even if you don't have a name yet, take the time to reach out to bloggers you admire. Once you begin the conversation, inspiration is inevitable.

Vicky Sullivan is the founder of Aspiring Socialite.com. Follow her tweets @AspireSocialite.


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