Questions

How can I monetize my fashion blog at an early stage?

Background: Modelling has always been my passion, but because of the small market/demand in fashion industry in NZ (where i am based right now) , I only can do it part-time locally. Also, I came to the age of 23, so the life span for being a model is disappearing. To be able to transfer my passion for fashion, I thought about an alternative is blogging. It can also satisfy my secondary passion for business. Idea: To differentiate my blog with other exiting ones. I thought about video blogging my daily fashion on each post (also few photos attachments) rather than mainly based on photos. Concern: 1.Building a blog requires many skills. I love the part that you get to design your look (styling), the process of producing high-quality photos (modelling) etc, but my weakness is writing and lacking knowledge of online/social media tactics to attract a large amount of followers to be able to monetize it in the future. 2. After brainstorming few blog names, almost every single one that ends with .com is taken (imagine the frustration). It's been couple weeks , I just want to start it RIGHT NOW, but have no name for it..... 3. With video posting, I imagine it would be more time-consuming and costly ( pay for professionals to create the video and edit) than photo posting. If so, is there a way to overcome it ? 4. I am working full-time as an office manager on weekdays, wanting to pursue a side business then be able to turn it to full-time business one day soon. Is there a way to make money out of fashion blogging straight away, in other words, what product/service can I offer/sell on a fashion blog rather than waiting to gain enough fans to monetize it by accepting ads etc.

3answers

First things first - you have 2 ways to monetise.
1 - build an audience
2 - get paid to write (not necessarily on your site).

1 - How to get readers and build an audience
If you have an audience then advertisers will pay to promote to your audience.

It's important that you ensure your audience find the adverts relevant and appropriate or they will unsubscribe.

As a fashion blogger you can often get free product (clothes) from retailers in exchange for your writing about them. I recommend you then sell the clothing to raise funds. When you're a very good popular blogger you can charge money, till then, ask for product.

The easiest way to get paid is to install Google AdSense on your site and in your email newsletters. I use FeedBlitz.com as my newsletter distribution service and they also insert adverts (from a different service) into the newsletters.

2 - Get paid to write - go research the online freelance marketplaces like Upwork.com, guru.com, freelance.com and find paid writing gigs.
You can often re-purpose writing for your own site at the same time.

I often re-use Answers from Clarity.fm for my own blog.

Here's a good list of places to learn more
http://www.bloggersclub.com/ is an agency representing bloggers to brands.
http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/sites-to-get-paid-blogging/
Read anything by Neil Patel on how to grow your audience
http://neilpatel.com/2016/01/17/six-figure-consultant-4-proven-services-every-blogger-can-offer-to-make-money-online/


Answered 3 years ago

Fashion blogging, as you’ve already realised, is a hugely competitive business. You need a huge amount of creativity, connections and most of all luck to break through all that clutter and become a star. Of course, you don’t need to become a top-earning celebrity blogger and maybe if you’re just after an additional income stream, then you may be able to carve out a niche for yourself that can earn you that income.

First, your idea. You’re absolutely right to focus on differentiating your blog from existing ones, but it may not be enough to do so just on the medium, i.e. videos vs photos. Who is your audience going to be? What are the key demographics - age, gender, location - and psychographics - insights about their lifestyle and behaviour? What problem are you solving? Why should someone follow you and not someone else? Video may well be an interesting route, but what are you going to do in those videos and why should anyone take the time to watch them?

Then, taking your concerns one by one:

1. Well done for recognising your own weaknesses, it’s great to acknowledge what you know and what you don’t know, so that you can look for help to fill those gaps. If you know that writing isn’t your strongest suit, then of course writing long blog posts is not going to be for you - you either need to outsource this and pay someone to do it before you, or you should focus on your visual strengths i.e. rather creating photos or possibly videos as you suggest. When it comes to online marketing and social media, if you are willing to learn then there is a host of information available free online; and, of course, you have platforms like Clarity where you can have experts supporting you along the way :-)

2. Finding a unique name can be very challenging! The name should reflect your unique selling proposition that I talked about above in terms of your idea: who you’re talking to, what you’re trying to achieve, how you’re different. You may be able to use your own name, if you are happy to build a personal brand around you as an individual, and this will definitely be unique as only you are you! Again, there are plenty of articles giving tips on how to come up with a simple name that is still unique and relevant.

3. The trend in online video is very much going in the direction of being less formal, more ad hoc and spontaneous. People are doing live video streaming on Facebook and Periscope, while the specifications for Instagram videos are also much less demanding than creating a full-scale professional production. If you’re going to be creating daily videos then you’re going to want to keep things as simple for yourself as possible. You can always get more professional lighting and videographers once you’ve established your business and you have a substantial income coming in.

4. In general, in order to monetise your blog you do need to have visitors. Affiliate marketing and advertising will only generate significant income for you if you have sufficient traffic, while many advertisers won’t even be interested in working with you if you can’t demonstrate a substantial following. To build a following as quickly as possible, once you have those fundamentals in place (an understanding of your target audience, a clear brand, and so on), you need to be creating and sharing search-optimised content, you can do advertising e.g. on Facebook or Instagram if you have budget for this, you can guest post on other people’s sites and have them do the same on yours, you might consider a competition e.g. on Instagram to get some buzz around your new channel…

I appreciate that you are impatient to get going but taking some time to get those fundamentals clear in the first place can really save a lot of time and pain further down the road.

Apologies for the long answer but I wanted to address each of your points! Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss any of them in more detail, whether to get clear on your brand fundamentals first of all, to brainstorm a name, or to define the best strategy to build your following in a short space of time. Good luck!


Answered 3 years ago

Hi there!
Like in everything that concerns people (in you case your future readers) there are 2 questions you need to answer first: 1. what makes your blog unique i.e. what will make your blog the preferred blog for your target group?
2. what is your specific target group and what is their unsatisfied need your blog is going to satisfy?

Both go hand in hand, especially concerning blogs as you are the product therefore it's better to find people that will be attracted by your personal offer vs. inventing a different persona (although you could ;).

Let's imagine you have curves and like to dress very smartly. Now, out there there might be a target group (your future audience) who is missing a blogger/fashion expert that explain them how to dress classy when one has curves. Then you have a reason to exist which will transform into getting a followship faster and cheaper than if you are not unique.

Based on that, you will be looking into monetization in a very different way because you will try to partner with companies or bloggers that target the same profile of people.

Similarly you will be selecting a name that is very different from the name you would want to appeal to hard core campers for example.

I am happy to jump in a call to help you transform what is unique in you into a viable blog/business :)

You can also watch my TED talk - it's about marketing applied to online dating, but the same principles I exposed above are treated in the video (plus it's fun ;)
https://youtu.be/zQBUYK3d0fI

Serena


Answered 3 years ago

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