We’ve made it to step three in the “How to Start a Fashion Blog” series! If you haven’t been following the past couple of weeks, read The First Step to Starting a Fashion Blog and Step two Creating Your Website and Branding Basics first! Once you’ve finished reading up on these posts, or if you already have, you’re ready for step three in the process! Keep in mind, even if you’re not a fashion blogger these steps can generally apply to just about any type of blogger. So if fashion isn’t your thing, stick around anyway! 🙂
Step Three set up Social Media Platforms & Build a Following
Social media, as many of you may already know, has a critical part to play in the success of your blog. Some of you may be social media gurus, while others don’t really want to open up that pandora’s box. I’m going to help guide you through the huge jungle that social media is, today!
Let’s start by talking about what’s most essential to be on and then work our way down.
Quite possibly, the most important social media platform to be on for fashion bloggers is Instagram. I’ve heard it put by a more prominent blogger than I in an interesting way, “Instagram is basically a different form of your blog. When used properly, it creates a snapshot for potential readers of what they can expect to see on your blog.”
Some people enjoy reading, while others prefer to see pictures and read brief photo captions. That’s why you want to make it a point to share photos from your blog and other creative shots on Instagram.
If you’re new to Instagram you’ll want to read A Beginner’s Guide to Using Hashtags on Instagram.
There’s a couple important things to take note of when it comes to Instagram:
–Give your Instagram a profile picture that’s professional and creative. Headshots are best.
–Aim to post at least 4 days a week. If you can post quality photos everyday, that would be most ideal! Stay away from this if the photos you’re posting aren’t high quality and creative, though. Make sure your photos are worth a like and a comment every time!
– Use 30 hashtags in the description or comments of your photo, every time. This is an effective growth strategy.
– Always geotag your photos, to become more discoverable.
–Take it easy on the filters, never add anything too dramatic. (that comes across unprofessional)
–Give your feed variety, don’t allow yourself to get in a rut and if you ever do, look to other feeds for inspiration. (Inspiration though, try your best to always stay original.)
The second most important social media, is Pinterest. Why might you ask? Because Pinterest is used to gather/share inspiration, find new ideas and learn how to do things! It’s a really cool spin off of Google really. Pinterest is a search engine and like any other search engine, it provides the opportunity for growth. The unique part about this platform however, is that you get to save all of these ideas you’ve found on boards!
Most of the material on Pinterest comes from blogs and online stores. That’s why it provides the opportunity for maximum growth!
Now I know what you’re probably thinking as you read this subtitle. Facebook, why would I need to use Facebook? Well, I’m glad you asked!
It’s not Facebook pages per say, that truly drive the traffic to bloggers in particular, but groups.
You can find these through other bloggers, Pinterest and simply searching on Facebook through the search bar. I found most of the Facebook groups I’m apart of through other bloggers. It may also be helpful to search for fashion blogging groups in your city, if you want to create a local reach for yourself and find potential networking opportunities.
So what are Facebook groups anyway, and what can they do for my blog?
Facebook groups are small communities of people gathered on this particular social media platform to network, support and grow their efforts as bloggers and creatives. Often times the group creators will have threads posted once a week in which you can promote your latest post and support others in the thread as well. l’ve noticed a lot of new traffic through this particular method. It’s definitely worth a shot!
To join a Facebook group all you’ll need is a regular, run of the mill Facebook profile. Simply then request to be added into any group you’re interested in joining. You’ll find a button just below the page’s banner image, to the right.
Potential keywords you might search for include “fashion bloggers,” “girl bosses,” “creatives collective,” or a more local search such as “Pittsburgh bloggers.” (insert your city and then type, bloggers)
If you’re a blogger, then you need to activate your account on this social media platform! This little gem of a website is created with the sole purpose of creating promotion for your blog and linking potential readers to your articles! As a blogger, your blog will already be listed on the website. All you have to do is verify that its your blog by following the instructions it provides!
Side Note: I love using Bloglovin to search different topics other people have written about before. This with the sole purpose in mind of brainstorming title ideas and drawing inspiration off of what others have done. By using the search bar and typing in potential topics you’re thinking of writing about, you can begin to brainstorm post ideas. It also helps to see what’s doing well and any current trends in content you might want to post about!
A helpful growth method through Bloglovin is to engage! Talk to other bloggers, leave comments on other peoples blogs, like peoples posts and follow people! The best way to grow your blog is to constantly put yourself out there. There’s so many people out there in the blogosphere, so you need to always be out there and easy to find.
The last platform we need to take a second to talk about, is YouTube. Some of you will love it, while others..may not want to dive into a new form of media. That being, video!
As social media grows, so does other forms of media.
People are evolving and learning how to produce multimedia. Which is why I encourage you, to expand from exclusively producing photography, to video as well. (Also known as cinematography) YouTube is a social media platform in which video creators create their own channel and then upload videos to it!
You can produce videos about various topics, or even write both a post and video version of whatever you’re writing about on the blog! Always tie your blog into your channel, as the purpose is to drive traffic over to your blog! And never forget to shout out that post during both the beginning and end of your videos. (Don’t give your viewers the chance to forget about that awesome post on your blog!)
A couple of quick growth tips for your channel include following other channels similar to the topic of your channel, leaving genuine comments on other peoples videos and uploading to your channel regularly. Much like blogging, the optimal way to enjoy growth on your channel is to upload a new video every week. Produce as many opportunities as possible for people to find your content!
These are the platforms I believe to be the most important when it comes to growing your fashion blog and creating a following. It’s a slow and gradual process and can be quite in depth. Stay tuned for further weekly posts diving deeper into these topics. (Including posts solely focused on how to use Pinterest as a fashion blogger or how to increase blog traffic with Instagram.)
Above all just remember, you don’t need to stretch yourself thin attempting to keep up with every social media platform there is.
Decide on what you believe will be the most beneficial platform for you to use and learn it inside and out. Focus on strong promotion techniques and create a following. I guess I’m basically suggesting a divide and conquer strategy.
Focus is almost always the answer. So start where you can, build something awesome and grow, one platform at a time. (Starting with the most important/beneficial one first)