Thursday, April 7, 2016

My Challenges in Fashion Blogging

I want to be very transparent here. I was taking a trip down memory lane to a time when I decided to start a blog. The blog was called Exclusively Chic and I created it as an outlet for some built-up creativity after I had discovered my love for sketching clothes and researching trends. I had a lot of fun until I started wanting to talk about more than fashion. So I talked about diabetes, politics and local businesses. I changed the look and name of the blog and Chic Memphis was born. Since then, the blog has meandered away from fashion and into many other sectors without much cohesion at all. I just posted at my whim about whatever I wanted without a plan or strategy. Since I have been on maternity leave, my goal has been to revamp the blog. If you read on mobile, you may not notice. I changed the look around a bit, and I am starting to develop some structure around the content. I challenge myself to learn something new about blogging each day. For example, I may learn a new trick with HTML or test out a new photography app. The goal is to stay true to my passion that has always been underlying this entire site - fashion. I may still sprinkle in an update on mom life and politics, but I want to confine those subjects to being occasional rather than the norm. 

Here are the challenges I have always had with blogging about fashion and how I plan to overcome them:

  1. Modeling v Awkward Mirror Photography. The truth isn't lost on me. The professional and careered fashion bloggers are not taking their own photos in outfit posts. They have a person, either a husband or a friend/assistant, taking the photos for them. These look exponentially better on all levels than my awkward mirror photos. My attitude has always been but I'm not a model. And I can't have people thinking that I think I'm a model. Perhaps wrongfully, I had assumed that posing for pictures portrays a confidence that verges on arrogance. So I would take pictures of my outfits in mirrors so as to say hey look! here's my outfit! I don't take myself seriously because I am using a mirror like a real amateur. Well friends, I will be 30 next year and I think it's high-time I stop caring so much about what people think. Those who know me know that my world is not a runway. Also, I could not imagine asking Lucas to take pictures of me. That's not his job. So, I will have to figure that part out. Tripods? 
  2. Price of Photoshop. Once upon a time I thought obtaining and learning Photoshop was as simple as Word or Excel. So, Photoshop is ridiculously expensive. I would throw it under the category of an investment. I have had to improvise with other sites, some of which no longer exist. Maybe one day I will bite the bullet and buy it. For now, I have found a site that is working well! 
  3. Deciding to monetize. Sometimes it feels like bloggers are attempting to hide the fact that nearly every post is geared toward making money. I made the decision to monetize the blog a few years ago. Basically, if you click through to a retailer through a link I provide and make a subsequent purchase, I get a commission for driving the traffic and securing a sale. That's happening all the time. Next time you click a link in a major fashion blog because you like an item, the site will flash with the affiliate's information before ultimately landing on the retailer. That's how this information is tracked and captured. My strategy is to be up front with you. I am only posting about fashion or topics about which I am passionate or reflect my aesthetic. I have never and will never post or host a giveaway for the sole purpose of gaining followers or to make a dime. That being said, my blog is monetized. If you like something and would otherwise buy it online, it doesn't seem so sinister to do that through a blogger. Those gals you see who have quit their day jobs and blog full-time have mastered this. That's not my plan. This is fun for me, but I am an attorney with a full-time job that I love. I just wanted you to continue reading and be in-the-know. 
  4. Blogger/Wordpress. When I started blogging, I had no idea what Wordpress was. So I used Blogger and eventually purchased my own domain name. Chic Memphis is a name that I own because I pay GoDaddy money to restrict anyone else from using it. From what I understand, bloggers have a lot more creative freedom and control with WordPress. I have tinkered with the idea of switching, but there would be a learning curve and a potential sacrifice of content, followers and search engine optimization. I revamped what I have with blogger and started to research which other bigger blogs have stayed with the Blogger platform and continued to make it work successfully. 
  5. Private/Public Instagram. When I first started blogging, my Instagram was a public account. I kept getting spam comments and folks simply looking for followers or to "help me get more followers." I only want people following my accounts who genuinely want to follow it. I am not concerned about a magic number. In my opinion, while it may look glamorous to have a ton of followers, I'd rather have quality followers who are engaged in what I am doing. I turned my account back to public this week to see if the spamming still happens. If so, back to private we go. 
Bottom Line. I am excited about Chic Memphis Chapter II. I can't promise you have seen the end of awkward mirror photos, but expect to see an attempt at more professional photos. One goal I have and will always have is to promote and provide support for local Memphis businesses or bloggers. I don't compete with other content creators because we all have something unique to bring to the table. As for businesses, stores like Indigo, Oak Hall and Sachi have been sanctuaries for me, and I consider it a civic duty to help them succeed. 

I do hope you'll continue to read now with a better understanding of the world of Fashion Blogging and that which can make it often pretty awkward. Traditionally, its success comes from a combination of shameless self-promotion, beautiful content and a good team. You know, the way any good business would market itself. I think it is an exciting and intriguing universe that I will continue even if I never make another dime. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

09 10 11 12
Blogging tips