After talking with a few fellow bloggers that want to take their sites to the next level (but weren’t sure what/how to do it), I started revisiting some of my favorite fashion bloggers’ archives to see if I could notice any similarities or common themes that were connected to why they became top bloggers in the fashion/style niche. Having great personal style + content is a given, BUT, once I dug deeper into their archives, I started noticing small but significant shifts in how they all created their content that helped them become popular.
While many did launch during that blogger boom period (2006-2010), some began afterwards. While you definitely have to “know your voice” and “be true to yourself”, when creating content for your blog, there are 3 things that you must master for blogging success no matter when you launch:
Inject Personality Into Your Posts
No, I don’t mean write like you’re on stage, I mean write from a place of authenticity. Readers need to be able to connect with you on a level beyond your posts. For example, you could try a new product and love it because it does xyz, but if you also include what lead you to try it, or what you were doing when you learned about it (going out to dinner with friends, on vacation shopping, etc), it will make your post more personable. When I first launched my blog, I didn’t want it to be about *me*, but once I started putting more of myself into my posts, I started to see a shift in traffic, and also in comments, aka better engagement. Most top-bloggers find different ways to pull you into their day-to-day activities, which makes them more relatable. You don’t have to give it all, but give something so that your readers can connect with you.
If Content is King, Original, Cleanly Edited Photos are Queen
All bloggers start from somewhere. A lot of the earlier photos-from food to OOTD posts-were mostly taken on their phones or via a super basic camera (a lot of times with flash. The horror!). The photos weren’t terrible, but in the beginning, most were small, badly pixelated, and/or stock images (products, runway photos, weheart it/tumblr pictures with quotes). Once they began taking more original photos and transitioned from curators to content creators, however, they started having more success with their posts being shared, and the images were just prettier to look at. Sometimes you can’t help but use a product stock image, but if you have the time to take pictures to use with your post, do that instead. No matter what you use to shoot with, just make sure they photos are crisp, clean, and interesting. It’s hard to get the exact photo you want on one try so be prepared to take a lot to find 1-2 that you really like, but including original, pretty pictures to support your posts that YOU took will start to have a huge impact on your readership.
Be Consistent With Your Posting
Blogging should enhance, not hinder your life, so create a posting schedule that fits your current lifestyle and stick to it. Some top bloggers share 1-2 daily posts 5 days a week, while others only post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You want to do what makes the most sense for you, but consistently creating fresh content is the main traffic driver for top blogs. One blog I researched once had 6 posts in one day (they were all kind of meh, and it was during a time when they were posting collages, celeb trends, and things like that), but once they started creating original photos and being more personable in their posts, they then went to a 3-4 post/week schedule. They decreased their output (quality over quantity), but their popularity grew significantly.
While luck and other variables can also contribute to having a successful blog, these 3 components are what I found mattered the most. Don’t believe me? Look at the earlier posts on Cupcakes & Cashmere, Into the Gloss, Song of Style, Gabi Fresh, With Love From Kat, and The Chriselle Factor, Camille Styles; these are the sites that I researched. Each blog has an incredible aesthetic (and following!) now, but they all had very humble beginnings.
Growing a blog takes time, but you have to start somewhere. Being personable, creating great, original photos, and sticking to a consistent posting schedule are the top 3 things to master to help build an engaging audience. Everything else you do will fall up under one of these umbrellas!