5 Things Every Girl Should Know About Starting a Fashion Blog

how to start a successful blog

I’ve been thinking about writing a blog post on the craziness that is starting a fashion or lifestyle blog for awhile. So many girls want to start a blog or have started one and become discouraged with it after a few weeks or months. When I started Witty n Pretty, I thought fashion blogging was going to be glamorous and dare I say it- easy! Oh, how wrong I was. Today, I’m sharing with perspective bloggers and new bloggers wondering what in the heck they’re doing, 5 things to know about starting a blog

Blogging is Hard

Duh! Nothing worth doing is ever easy, right? I found that out quickly and if you haven’t already, you will soon. Fashion blogging is a saturated market with tons of competition from girls (and a few guys) that have more money than you, better photography skills, and just seem to have it all together. You’ll think you have it all together one minute and the next, you’ll want to give up. Don’t. Keep going!

There are No Rewards… at First

Contrary to popular belief, fashion blogging is not a “get rich quick” scheme. It simply doesn’t work like that. Fashion, lifestyle, and beauty blogging involves tons of work with little reward at first. Personally, I didn’t reap any rewards in terms of free product until about a year and a half of blogging consistently. After that, I started getting things here and there, which let me tell you, was a HUGE deal for me.

Fashion Blogging Takes Commitment

The number one reason why most blogs fail is because the blogger gives up after 3 months. Seriously, 3 months! People want things to happen quickly and let’s be real, the things we want the most God usually makes us wait for. To have a chance at success, you must blog consistently, provide information or inspiration, and know who you’re writing to. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scrolled through my WordPress Reader and seen posts titled something like “Sorry I’ve Been Gone” followed by an entire paragraph about their absence. Readers don’t want excuses; they want good content.

A Blogger Wears Many Hats

When I started blogging, I thought I would be a writer not a photographer, social media guru, SEO expert, website coder, public relations girl, and a marketer. I was wrong. Because it’s just me running my Dallas-based fashion blog, I have to do it all myself (with a little help from my boyfriend, David.) You will have to learn things that make no sense to you and you have no interest in. But guess what? It makes your knowledge of the industry incredibly robust so that when you do become a famous fashion blogger, you know everything there is to know about blogging.

The Comparison Game is Toxic

I think girls compare themselves more to each other than guys ever will. If you don’t agree with me, you will after becoming a fashion blogger. When you start paying attention to what other bloggers are doing and who they are, you’ll begin comparing yourself to everyone else. You’ll begin to wonder why everyone else has bigger and better followings, wardrobes, photos, brand connections, and even longer eye lashes than you. Let me tell you, this comparison game is so dangerous to your self-esteem. I’ve gotten sucked into so many times and it takes a whole lot of effort to get out. Compare yourself to no one except the person you were the day before. That’s who you’re trying to beat.

Stay tuned next week for an exciting announcement on something I’m launching for girls new to blogging or who’d like to start! You’re going to love this!

dallas fashion blogger

10 Mistakes Every First-Time Blogger Makes

Mistakes Bloggers Make

 

Hello lovelies! Since I shared a post last week about a few milestones I’ve recently reached on my blog, I wanted to give some unsolicited advice about the mistakes new bloggers make. I started out on my blogging adventure in May 2014 and did so many crazy things that crack me up now. Many of you have commented on other blog posts saying that you’re new to the blogging world. I’d love to help you out with a few suggestions on what you shouldn’t do when blogging!

Blogging Mistakes

Inconsistent Blogging –

I’ve had many bloggers approach me and want to collaborate, which is great! However, the first thing I do is check their blogs to see how consistent they are in their blogging. Why? Because it says a lot about how serious they are, the size of their (potential) audience, and how much my time will be worth collaborating on a project with them. Additionally, your own audience will become disinterested in you if they don’t know when you’ll post next.

Poorly Lit Photos-

The first months of my blogging were the worst for this! Shadowy pictures, grainy photos, and just awful imagery were all over my posts. It was bad. No one likes to look at that! People love pretty pictures that are well lit and taken with a steady hand. The best light is natural light. 

Writing Mysterious Titles-

“Pumpkins and Bicycles.” What does that even mean? Bloggers seem to think that mysterious blog titles will get people interested in what they wrote. It doesn’t do that at all. If people don’t clearly understand the topic of your blog post, then they are very unlikely to click it on to find out more.

Strange Font Colors-

When I first started blogging, I thought it was a fun idea to make my fonts bright and exciting. I actually made some of the font colors pink! Yes, I would write my entire post in pink. Guess what? No one can read that, so don’t do it.

Keeping the .Wordpress-

Starting out, you aren’t sure if you want to invest money in your blog. Believe me, I get it. However, if you want brands and other bloggers to take you seriously and collaborate with you, you have to get rid of that “.Wordpress” in your blog’s url and that means buying the domain name.

Relying on Polyvore for Content-

I love Polyvore, but it shouldn’t be your main source to create content. I use it specifically to help me with illustrations for my blog, but I do not let that become the centerpiece. For example, I might create a little something about a seasonal coffee bar, but I don’t plop that on my blog post and say “enjoy guys!” That doesn’t help anyone or give them ideas. You need to write something!

Writing About Yourself-

Talking about your experiences adds life to your posts, but your blog isn’t your online diary. If you truly want to grow your blog, then you need to have content that somehow helps or inspires the readers.

Promoting Your Blog-

I’ve had people comment on my blog or Instagram saying something like “Great” and then leaving their blog link. Obviously, they’re trying to get me and my readers to visit their blog. Leave a substantive comment and it’s more likely to happen.

Forgetting to Spell Check-

Even I still forget to do this. It’s the thing that can add or take away credibility from your website. Similar to applying for a job, you can’t have mistakes on your resume because no one will take you seriously.

Writing More Than You Promote-

For whatever reason, we think all we have to do is promote our blog posts on our Facebook pages and our Twitters, but it’s so much more than that. Collaborating with other bloggers, writing for websites, and leaving genuine comments on other’s blogs is promotion.

If you have tips, experiences, or advice to share, then please leave a comment! I always enjoy hearing what you have to say and so does everyone else!

witty n pretty

 

 

Blogging 101: A Short Intro for Newbies

I was in your position a few months ago and I know how hard it can be. You see all these famous, successful bloggers (think Rach Parcell’s Pink Peonies blog) and wonder how they got there. Truthfully, I’m not sure. I haven’t figured that out yet. What I do know I’m going to share with you and I hope you’ll share it with others.

lilly_pulitzer_agendaThe first thing I learned is that consistency is key. Posting routinely will not only improve your SEO Google rankings but it gives your readers an idea of when you will post. I haven’t always been great about this but recently I bought a Lilly Pulitzer daily agenda to help organize myself (blog to come on this).

The second thing I learned is that it’s important to get involved with other bloggers. Commenting, liking, collaborating (which I love doing), and exchanging ideas is all part of gaining a following and increasing your likability. Eventually, it isn’t just fellow bloggers following you, it’s people without blogs who love you enough to sign up for email alerts every time you post a blog.

The third tip I have for you is to connect your Instagram with your blog. This Instagram_profileis pretty simple because Instagram already has a widget set up in WordPress for you to use. All you need to do is activate it. You can use photos from every post and put them on Instagram to drive people to your blog. Be sure to include the link to your blog in your bio!

Finally, learn to use the “attachment details” every time you insert a photo. Particularly learn alt text. Essentially what this means is tagging your image for Google to index. For example, in my last post I had a photo of my Ann Taylor dress, the alt text I put in the image was “ann_taylor_dress.” Do you see what I mean here?

If there are any questions you all have for me leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer them! Hopefully, I’ve helped you somewhat already. Don’t get discouraged that you don’t have thousands of followers and companies aren’t giving you free products yet. That takes a long time. Just be consistent and write about what you love.

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