If House of Grazia – our pop-up event with Matches Fashion – is about opening up London Fashion Week to public, then there’s no one better to help us do that than fashion bloggers. This morning we were joined by the gorgeous Reem from FiveFiveFabulous, Sandra from 5 Inch And Up and Lula From Herself Magazine to talk about how to set up a successful fashion blog. It’s something all three are experts at. Reem’s been running her blog with her sister Natalya for three years and she’s been on tour with Rihanna and designed a collection for River Island. Sandra’s from 5 inch and up was hand-picked to work on a line with Nelly.com and Lula from Herself Magazine has already worked with Chopard, Dolce & Gabbana and Anna Dello Russo. So what are their top tips?
Develop a niche:
‘Don’t think that you need to cover everything. Narrow your content down and find your niche because it’ll help you find an audience. I decided I would only use my own photos and that dedication to original content really helped me stand out,’ says Sandra at 5 inch and up.
Be consistent with your content:
‘It’s the most important thing about blogging. That and having a standard of quality. When I first started I was writing news from press releases but I began to get bored of my own content because I’d seen it everywhere on fashion news sites and other blogs already. Once I decided that I was only going to blog about mine and my sister’s personal experiences in the fashion industry it took the pressure off and gave me time to build relationships with key people,’ says Reem at FiveFiveFabulous.
Our glamorous audience for the talk
Love what you write about:
‘Don’t even think about starting a blog unless it’s a subject that’s from your heart, that you’re really passionate about otherwise it’s just another series of news stories or street style pictures. It’s hard work and something that requires serious dedication so you’ve got to really love what you do,’ says Lula from Herself Magazine.
Think about your name:
‘I’m having problems with Facebook and Instagram at the moment because they don’t think my content is about fashion,’ jokes Sandra at 5 inch and up. ‘It’s about shoes, I promise!’
Master social media:
‘Social media is the life source of my blog. It’s essential to master – and to think about each platform differently. I’ve learnt that people want different things from me in each place. On twitter it’s about original tweets not just feed from instagram, my facebook audience want quick, fast news and I’m very selective about the pictures I post on instagram. Because it’s constantly evolving, keep track and look at where your traffic’s coming from. I’m now using Vine, Urturn and Pose, too…’ says Reem at FiveFiveFabulous
Reem Kanj of FiveFiveFabulous
Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in the industry:
‘Part of the reason I set up the blog was that I wanted to have a reason to connect to people in the industry. I reached out to Anna Dello Russo because the character Lula lives in a fantasy world and so does ADR. I’m now lucky enough to have worked with her on projects like the H&M collaborations,’ says Lula from Herself Magazine.
Invest in your technology:
‘It’s especially worth investing in a quality camera. Magazines like Grazia aren’t going to want to pick up on your blog and reproduce your content if it’s taken on a cameraphone,’ says Sandra at 5 inch and up
Embrace the inner-geek in you:
‘You have to be tech saavy and understand SEO and Google Analytics. If all else fails read Mashable every day…’ says Reem at FiveFiveFabulous
Think about the timing of your posts:
‘I usually blog at night but I’ve noticed recently that I get most of my comments and hits from 4-8pm so now I’m thinking about changing that,’ says Sandra at 5 inch and up. ‘You can set up Google Analytics to track by time so you can see when you should schedule your facebook and twitter posts,’ says Reem at FiveFiveFabulous
And finally… don’t be afraid to ask for money!
‘Once you’ve got a platform and a following don’t devalue your blog. Don’t sell advertising too low – aim high. And it’s not just about free advertising so if someone sends you a free T-shirt that’s worth £20 think would you blog about it if they paid you £20. If not, don’t do it,’ says Sandra at 5 inch and up. ‘Ask for money when people come to you about collaborations, too. The worst they can do is say no,’ reiterates Reem at FiveFiveFabulous.