Figuring out how to start as a fashion blogger can be completely overwhelming and, frankly, confusing. After all, there are a million other blogs and it's hard to decide what will make you stand out amongst all of them. Sure, your mom thinks what your writing is "special," but let's be real. It would be nice for someone other than family or your random Facebook buddies to care. So I'm going to teach you the first step into figuring out how to make people (other than your close friends) excited about what you have to say.
In the world of blogging, you'll hear, often likely, that the key to growing your site is by paying attention to two important phrases: "content is king" and "authenticity is everything." Well, I'd like to say that it's a load of... (you can finish the phrase). Doing only this might have worked in 2005 when blogging wasn't a thing. However, it's 2012, and if you are only writing quality, authentic content, it's not going to get you anywhere but undiscovered.
So you might be wondering what the Kardashians have to do with any of this. We, as humans, tend to follow others who we sense have our own characteristics and qualities. Kim Kardashian may be annoying to many people, but to some she represents the life that they wish they could lead. Would it be awesome for Kim to show herself burping or eating at McDonald's? Maybe, but if she did that consistently it would be extremely boring and something we would not want to relate to by any means. No offense, but it's not likely her audience wants to see someone on TV doing these things when they could walk down the street and see it in person. Instead, they enjoy watching the jet-setting, fashion show-going, Hollywood high-roller that they aspire to be.
Ultimately there are two core values that are involved in making the Kardashians a dynamite authentic brand. If it were just about living a high-roller life, we'd all lose interest as we've done with half of the other reality shows that have failed miserably. (Cough... Paris Hilton.) We watch the Kardashians because, oddly enough, we aspire to have the lifestyle that they authentically portray, but more importantly we stick around because we can relate to them on a deeper emotional level, their love for their family.
Both of these aspects not only consistently come across in their shows/social media/etc., but also make for a brilliant brand. The Kardashians consistently hit on the two topics that make a brand successful: the materialistic identity that people aspire to be like (Hollywood lifestyle) and the deeper emotional core value (family). Their outlet just so happens to be their television shows and not their blogs. Even though I believe they all have them now.
If you aren't a Hollywood diva or don't get along with your family, no worries. You can still have an awesome brand that is portrayed on your site. The idea of this post is to show that it's extremely important to find what makes up your personal brand so that your fashion blog will succeed. Writing quality content is not enough anymore. In fact, it's already expected. What will help your blog succeed is finding the unique aspect that people aspire to be or want to be associated with along with a deeper underlying meaning that your readers will be able to relate to.
5 Important Things to Remember When Building Your Blog's Brand
1. We, as humans, follow others who we see ourselves in and/or aspire to be
2. We need to be able to relate to a person or group on a human level, meaning a basic emotional need: love, happiness, friendship, money, passion, etc.
3. Figure out what type of audience you want to speak to while writing a blog
4. Figure out who they are, where they live or hang out, and what they do
5. Build your brand/story to share with your readers based on all aspects above
You know the phrase, fake it until you make it. This is the way I like to think about authenticity in a brand. Many say that being authentic is key, but like I showed in the Kardashian example above, we don't prefer people who share every aspect of their life, which may be truly the authentic them. Instead, we prefer brands/people who share the parts that we aspire to be or want to be associated with so that we can further tell our own personal story to others shown by the things we like (which doesn't include burping or going to McDonald's).
For example, maybe you are a creative being that can DIY your way through anything, but live in the middle of a cornfield in Indiana. If that's the case, appeal to those who are at heart "creative" and may be in the same scenario as you. If you're striving to be the Martha Stewart blogger of your day, start by building your personal brand around just that. Show off the interesting and unique aspects of your creativity that others aspire to have. This may involve sharing DIY shopping tips but having them all bought from your local Hobby Lobby store.
Yes, quality content is important, but in today's age you can't expect to write an outstanding piece without having a brand or marketing strategy behind it. Building a brand is something that takes a lot of thought and time. Once you find what ultimately makes your readers tick on both a materialistic level and a human level, people will be able to relate to you and your words. Take a cue from the Kardashians and you'll be on your way to having a successful fashion blog.
Follow Erin Flynn on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@GetCanopi