How to make a successful blog?
I have to say, I feel like there is more and more bloggers that start a blog for the advantages of it. Those people want their blog to be “famous” right away. Let me tell you, that’s not how it works. Unless you are really lucky it takes I’d say around 2 years to “earn” back the time you spend doing it. I say “earn” because I think about the ones who are doing it only for that reason. For other people (bloggers) like me, we don’t wait to earn anything back, because just the fact to share and talk about what thrilled us, have feedbacks from our readers, and just meet interesting people during events, it’s all we want. Even though, of course, it’s really pleasant to receive a little something, it’s not the reason why we do it. When we started, there were no such things as there is today! Blogger events, collaborations, etc…
Recently, I have received emails from newcomers asking me how to do to make their blog popular and to help them out. For example, A few months ago, I have received an email, from one of them, complimenting me about my blog (quite nice, I admit) : [...] Je dois avouer que j’adore ce que tu fais! ))) C’est vraiment inspirant[...] (ENG: I have to admit I love what you do! It’s really inspiring!)
Then it was all about helping her out: [...]Je viens de lancer mon propre blog et je me demandais si tu accepterais de me référencer dans tes favorites. Je ferais pareil bien évidemment.[...] Je me sentais bien seule & snobbée par les françaises T_T. Je serais plus qu’honorée si acceptais de me donner ce petit coup de pouce[...] (ENG: I just started my own blog and I was wondering if you would put me in your favorites. I would do the same of course – I felt really lonely and rejected by the french bloggers. I would be more than honored if you accepted to help me out a little.)
When I got the email, it took me some days to see what I would write back. Not that I don’t want to help people, but I don’t like people asking for it. For example, as you may know, I really LOVE the blog Brussel’s Kitchen. They do a great job, great writing, beautiful photos and they make me discover great places in my own city. A few weeks after they started, it was just something so obvious for me to help them out, share their blog, put them in my favorites, because I think the blog is so great. And even if I know the girls behind it, they never asked me anything!
But the thing was, with that email, she was being really nice, apparently a reader of my blog who really enjoyed what I do. As I said, it took me a while to write her back. Then during those days, I received an email from another blogger, a friend of mine, telling me she’s had received the same email sent to her, 3 times, saying « Bonjour Lucie » (Hello Lucie). Ok, HUGE FAIL here! The email wasn’t even sincere since it seemed that it was copy paste to any fashion blogger that girl could find.
At that very moment, she lost ALL credibility for me. But she’s not the only one. There are plenty of girls, just like her, out there. Just waiting for us to tell them exactly what to do.
Just thinking about that idea, it pissed me off a few times. To me, if you want to have a blog, to be able to handle it from start to finish, to write articles, to give your point of view, to collaborate with brands (if you’re lucky), you better be able to do this on your own. But you know what, I will give you my tips and tricks anyway. Here is what I know, and what I’ve learned so far. Let me just add that it’s mostly things I’ve learned by myself, it’s all pretty logical
Before starting with the advices, I want to clear out a few facts:
- be strong, and be sure about what you’re putting out there. Be confident, because don’t forget that when you have a blog, you expose yourself, in a way, to everyone. That means that you leave the door open for criticism, stupid comments,… and you have to be able to take them, as they come.
- blogging is about sharing what you love (either it’s food, fashion, beauty, travels,…) to others. Others who are as passionate as you are, other bloggers, or just random people that enjoy your writing and your ideas.
- blogging is all about having fun. It takes a shit loads of time, you might as well enjoy it.
- never blog to expect something back. Either it’s visitors, invitations, goody bags, presents. Of course, it’s always nice to receive a little something, but it can definitely NOT be the reason WHY you created the blog.
- Be yourself, everyone one else is already taken. I couldn’t say it better! Having a blog is exposing YOURSELF. Don’t try to be someone else, they’ll always be better than you at being themself. Be different. Be creative.
- You must have an opinion, a point of view. If you only explain what’s going on in fashion, let’s say giving the trends, you won’t bring something new. Your readers will 1: be able to see those trends everywhere (when talking about obvious subject like a trend, you’ll never be the only one to talk about it.) 2: the readers will want to see YOU in your articles. If you want to talk about the trends, do, but give your favorites, the ones that fits your style the best. OR, give them tips on how to wear them.
- Sorry for the ones who are not confortable with this, but you have to put a few outfit post. It’s the best way to show how your are, your style. It is clearly what your readers will like the most. You always wonder how someone will mix up the pieces of her closet. It gives inspiration, plus it’s easier to relate to a blogger than to that beautiful model on the fashion magazines.
- Let’s face it, it is way easier when: 1 – you are pretty. As stupid as it can be, we can clearly see that the big fashion blogs are by girls who are good looking OR really well put together. 2 – skinny is definitely a plus, again same that for point 1, OR if you’re a plus size, give good advices. But don’t dress as a size 2 when you’re a size 6 or 8 (by that I mean forget cropped tops). 3 – have great pictures, which means, you better have a great boyfriends that makes great photos and owns a great camera (ok, I’m kidding…kind of). 4 – have an interesting closet, OR, be really creative. (Here I’m just analyzing facts, which doesn’t mean that I agree with it…)
- Exposing a part of your life is clearly not suppose to be part of a fashion blog, but it definitely works. Let’s take Chiara Ferragni for example. She started her blog not so long ago (compare to other big blogs that exist out there) but made it to the top right away. Of course, she is beautiful, has the perfect body, dresses well and has an incredible closet. But that’s not it, she also shares her personal life on her blog. Sharing pictures of her apartment, family times, her vacations, and some sort of stolen moments with her boyfriend. And it works! It’s almost like a TV show that her readers (fans) read every day.
- There are some great tools out there to help you promote your blog, USE THEM! Of course you have Facebook, on which you can create a page that can become later a community. It’s always good to post your new articles up there since it will pop up it your fans feeds. Do the same with Twitter, where there is already a big community of bloggers. It’s fun, everybody talks to each other, there are a lot of good infos going on,… If you ask me, I think it’s a must do! Besides these two, there is the huge Bloglovin’ that helps too. I know there is much more than these 3 but honestly I can’t keep up with them, they are way too numberous, and it would take me way too much time.
- You have to be consistent in your post, by that I mean post often. If you can, everyday. Why? Simply because when your readers come up to your blog, they expect (or at least they wish) to find something new everytime. I guess, by reading blogs you already felt the frustration of finding nothing new? Well, just apply that rule for yourself. It takes time, I know, but it’s worth it!
- Choose a good plateform, my favorite is definitely WordPress.com
I think that’s all.
Don’ forget, there are so many bloggers out there, that you better be creative to make yourself stand out.
Work on it!