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[…] (ENGI 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[…] (ENGI 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.

My advices:

  • 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.

(source: www.manrepeller.com)

Work on it! 😉

xx

26 Comments

  • Coucou Lucie!
    Super ce post 🙂 je vais la mettre sur mon FB page & Twitter. Je suis certaine qu’il y aura pleins de gents qui vont aimer!

    Passe une bonne journée!xx

    • I know how you feel! I was at the same place when I started my blog… Then I realized that it was what I enjoyed the most on other blogs, and I quickly saw that when I posted a few outfit post, I had more visitors.
      Even if it takes courage, it’s really worth it. Let me tell you, the readers love it and usually react really nicely, by posting adorable comments. It helps with the confidence, you keep on going, and usually the cute comments keeps on comming too!
      Good luck 😉

  • I think it’s important to work hard and be passionate about what you do. I blog because I think it’s fun and I love getting feedback from my readers. I don’t blog because of the advantages. I love fashion and it makes me happy that I can write about it. Great post!

  • Great post !

    I definitely agree that you should only start a blog because of the “blogging” itself and not because of the opportunities that might arise from it. Nevertheless, I would love being able to attend blog events and pr meetings, but mainly because I love to meet people with the same interests as me and also because I am considering working in the marketing business later on, if I can of course.

    My favorite part is still creating the posts, making collages, thinking of new topics and outfits …But your advice on explaining or commenting on trends rather than just “mentioning” them is definitely useful.

    I think that first Blonde Salad photo is a bit over the top, but I am a huge fan of her style !

    B. x
    http://www.tripsandtreasures.net

    • Hello B.,

      Really glad you liked the post!
      I totally agree with you, and part of my joy of going to an event is indeed meeting new people, and also see my fellow bloggers, we get along really well and it’s always fun to see each other.
      Just like you, my favorite part is writing my articles, just like this one that I’ve worked on for days, because I like to be able to share my ideas. Of course I also love writing articles about trends, or creating outfit. I’m really glad my tips can help you, it’s definitly very important to understand who you are, what you stand for and your style when sharing things on your blog, such as trends or any other subjects.

      I do agree about the photo from the Blonde Salad, but I found it on her blog, it was one of her first posts… Weird uh!? 🙂

      xoxo

  • Coucou Lucie,

    Quel article, ça fait plaisir à lire ! En effet, je remarque énormément de jeunes nouveaux blogs qui n’espèrent que se faire connaitre et toucher des avantages qu’un blog offre. Or, je fais également partie des nouveaux blogueurs (3 mois pour ma part). Et lorsqu’on regarde mon blog, on n’y voit rien d’extravagant. Il reflète vraiment la personne que je suis : simple, sans chichi. J’y partage ce que MOI j’aime. Que ça plaise ou non ! Et au final, je suis très contente du résultat. Comme tu dis, je penses qu’il faut du temps et vraiment ne pas être quelqu’un que l’on n’est pas !

    Je partage ton article, car il est nécessaire que certaines le lisent !

    Bisous, Joy 🙂

    • Salut Joy,

      Je suis ravie qu’il te plaise!
      Continue comme tu le fais, à faire comme tu le sens, à ta manière en restant toi même. Evidemment après trois mois c’est court, mais tu verra, avec le temps c’est ça qui prendra toute son importance.

      A très bientôt,

      Lucie

  • loved this post and you are so right! people expect so much from you! and yeah, i have noticed it too, the pretty girls are the popular ones! sometimes i have the feeling it is high school all over again. i think great pictures are extremely important and i love to see a blog evolving in that way! when i look back at my first pictures, it looked like crap! you have to figure out how you have to pose! oh and about the reality part, you are right about that too! ps not a huge fan of the man repeller, it is as if she doesn’t know that there is a real world out side! she lives at the most perfect spot in the world and she has access to it all! and she doesn’t look sincere

    • Glad you like it!
      It does feel like highschool sometimes, but it still seams easier to “make it” by being different than during highschool where as soon as you dressed different, you had to be some kind of wierdo…
      As for the picture, I totally agree with you (btw your pictures are always stunning). But as I said earlier, to have great pictures you must have someome behind the camera that knows a thing or 2 about photography, and that’s not something easy to find (or even if you find it, as I did, not always available haha)
      So glad you get the reality part too, not that much people understand it actually attracts a lot of people!
      About the man repeller, we need to discuss this next time we run into each other, I’d love to know what you think about it and your point of view. I actually really like her, but you’re completely wrong in what you said about her… interesting 😉

      xx

  • C’est sympa comme article, je tiens quand même à relever quelque chose:

    “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). ”

    Il ne faut quand même pas considérer du 6 ou 8 comme plus size. Peut-être pour un mannequin mais les blogs ce sont des filles normales et honnêtement si tu ranges du 42/44 dans cette catégorie, alors moi je carrément hors norme. lol Je trouve que ce qui est sympa est justement de voir des looks sur des morphologies différentes sur les blogs sans que tu aies toujours les bêtes avis des magasines style: “ne portez pas de rayures etc” 🙂

    Sinon pour ce qui est des blogueurs qui demandent d’échanger des liens, j’ai plutôt tendance à éviter aussi. Je préfère partager sur Twitter ou de temps sur mon blog d’autres plus petits blogs qui sont des coups de coeur.

    • Hello,

      Je m’attendais à avoir ce genre de commentaire, ce que d’ailleurs je comprend tout à fait. Je voulais surtout faire passer une idée, sans savoir vraiment à quoi correspond les tailles à part la taille mannequin qui reste la taille 0 dans ma tête. J’avoue ne pas m’être renseignée et d’avoir visé au pif, je ne pourrais honnêtement même pas te dire ma taille… Ce que je voulais surtout faire passer c’est que il faut s’habiller en fonction de sa morphologie, peut importe la taille qu’on a (ce pourquoi je dis don’t dress as a size 2 when you’re a size 6 or 8 : en gros ne mettez pas 3 taille en dessous, si vous avez des rondeurs autant les assumer, c’est mieux et beaucoup plus joli. Je ne parles évidemment pas des idées préconçues des magazines, par contre mettre un top au dessus du nombril, quand on ne peut pas se le permettre, ça va pas (et j’en ai déjà vu plus d’une le faire…)

      Pour le reste, comme toi c’est une question de coup de coeur mais surement pas d’échange ou de deal.

      Je suis désolée de m’être mal exprimée, mais j’espère que tu comprend que ce n’était pas ce que je voulais dire 🙂

      A bientôt!

      xx

    • I actually absolutely don’t think we should all dress according to our body shape. What fun would fashion be if we would only wear what is considered flattering? For instance, I remember the time when skinny jeans were considered something only Axl Rose would wear, and now they are considered flattering for almost all body shapes. Or f.e. harem style pants, are those flattering on any shape? Or high waisted bottoms, those were thought of as diaper like or grandma/grandpa like as well just a few seasons ago. If you only wear what is ‘right’ for your body, you will run circles in a small cage. That is not fashion or style. Besides, there is nothing wrong with bigger body sizes. Wearing something flattering won’t make you magically tiny, so you might as well have fun with what you have. I think a Beth Ditto type of girl would have more success blogging if she wore crazy Beth Ditto stuff than if she kept it demure and all black like Adèle, even if the second one probably dresses more flatteringly.

      And also, a size 6-8 is just regular slim girl size, most popular bloggers are probably 4-6-8.

      But this article is very honest and frank, and thorough. I enjoyed it, minus that small bit about sizes 🙂

      • Hello Annebeth,

        I think I definitly gave the wrong message here. The first thing I wanted to write is that being skinny helps (alongs with beauty and the other stuff I mentionned) to have a popular blog. At least I feel that way when I look up to all those huge blogs that work so so well, all those girls are so tiny. BUT definitly didn’t want to make it feel like they were the only ones who could do a great, and a popular blog, that’s why I added that part: “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).”
        I do feel like being a plus size and having a blog, is giving some hope to the other plus sizes out there that are always forgot in the fashion industry, at least most of the time. Giving hope, giving tips and inspiration, to say that wathever you’re size style, you can still wear wathever you like.
        Still, I do think you have to take your body proportions in consideration, I think you can definitly still have fun while making sure it fits you! Of course, sometimes I have fell in love with something that wasn’t fitting me perfectly, and that’s totally ok.
        But Beth Ditto? I’m sorry but to me there is a line (sometimes a thin one) between having fun and extravagant (which I love) and being vulgar, and Beth Ditto is vulgar.
        Wearing something like an harem pants, as you said, isn’t flattering on anybody, and that is another debate (on the wierd pieces that make your body shape look wierd but is so cool anyway).

        And as I said in an earlier comment, but in french, I said size 6 or 8 because I thought my point was made anyway, but I actually don’t really know what corresponds to, maybe it’s my size, I have frankly no idea. I just always have in my mind the model 0 size, so I wanted to mention something bigger, that’s all.

        I’m really sorry for the misunderstanding though, I should have been more precise.

        xx

    • but vulgar is something completely subjective, you can’t give people the advise not to dress vulgar because your definition of vulgarity is completely different to someone else’s. That’s why we don’t all read the same blogs: you like 1 thin, another person likes another thing. No one is completely right and no one taste is superior to another taste. We can peacefully coexist without putting another person’s style down, or at least that’s my opinion! And I prefer people who risk something and go vulgar from time to time to someone who is super careful to always draw within the lines. We wouldn’t have progression without a few individuals daring ot be vulgar from time to time. F.e. women wearing pants outside the house was considered vulgar as little as 60 years ago in most of the western world, thank god some people chose to be vulgar! 😀

      Also, Beth Ditto has been looking amazing lately. Nothing vulgar about this: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/609481/thumbs/m-BETH-DITTO-CANNES-WHITE-DRESS-620x930c.jpg?6

      http://www4.pictures.zimbio.com/bg/Beth+Ditto+Sacha+Barron+Cohen+Cannes+Film+RkeAsXL4X6Hl.jpg

      • Haha ok you are right. Putting things in that perspective, I totally agree with you, and as you said, I enjoy more someone who tries something with the risk of being vulgar than not trying anything.
        Still, sometimes it makes me sick seing how people are vulgar, but it’s very subjective, and I guess it depends on everyone’s taste levels.

        Btw, you are right about those 2 pictures of Beth Ditto, but I’ve seen really REALLY bad photos from her in the past 🙂

        Thank you for the very interesting comments!

        xx

  • Chouette article! C’est vrai que certains exagerent! Certain blog just take off right away, le mien ca fait presque un an que je l’ai, et je n’ai que 87 followers. Par rapport a d’autres que je suis, je suis pas tres populaire, mais je fais ce que j’aime. Je sais que si je commence a plus parler de marque style MAC – Benefit – Urban Decay etc, j’aurais surement plus de followers, mais ce ne sont pas les marques que j’aime…
    Merci pour tous les tips – p-e que je devrais mettre un peu plus de photos de mon style (soyons honnete, je ne suis pas tres douer pour assembler un outfit, il me faut un fashion coach!;) ), et p-e un peu plus de ma vie autour des produits egalement…

    • Je comprend tout à fait! D’ailleurs sur un blog, je trouve ça beaucoup plus intéressant de parler de marque moins, voir peu connue, que ce que tout le monde connait! Le but, entre autre, est de faire découvrir des choses à ses lecteurs, ce que j’essaye de faire le plus possible!
      Par contre, c’est pas plus difficile de faire connaître son blog quand on est aux USA quand on sait que là bas il y’a déjà tellement plus de blogs qu’ici?
      Pour tes outfits, je suis sur que tu te débrouilles très bien, mais si tu as des questions surtout n’hésites pas [email protected] 🙂 que ce soit pour une pièce en particulier, un évènement… avec plaisir!

      xx

  • tu t’es pris pour qui en fait ?? 🙂
    T’as cru que t’étais THE bloggeuse et que tu pouvais donner ton avis sur celles qui se lançaient ?
    Conseil pour toi : achète un miroir 🙂

    • Salut Laetitia,

      Pour qui je me suis prise? Tout d’abord pour quelqu’un de passionnée par ce qu’elle fait, et clairement à qui ça ne fait pas plaisir de voir des espèces “d’arrivistes” qui espères avoir tout tout de suite, et qui créé des blogs pour les mauvaises raisons.
      Ensuite, je me suis prise pour une blogueuse à qui on a demandé à plusieurs reprise des conseils, voilà pourquoi je me suis permise d’en donner. Et comme je le précise, il s’agit de ce que moi j’ai apprit en faisant mon blog, ou certaine chose qui sont évidente mais toujours bonne de rappeler.

      Je pense que tu n’as pas du bien comprendre le sens dans lequel j’ai écris cet article.

      xx

  • Je ne sais pas si c’est vrmt plus difficile de faire connaitre son blog aux USA. J’en ai vu qui on commence apres moi et on decoler direct. Bien evidement j’ai aussi lu des articles que tu peux “t’acheter des followers”!!

    Je pense que je vais tout doucement faire plsu de fashion posts sur mon blog. Si j’ai une question je serais a qui m’adresser :D.

    Merci Lulu!

    Gaelle.

  • Interesting post.
    Although I find that a lot of bloggers can now became famous in less than 6 months when they propose high quality content. I think the previous generation of bloggers took more time as they were not familiars with all the things that come with blogging, they probably didn’t start with the best templates, or with quality pictures and it take time to improve yourself when there was not a lot of person to compare yourself too.

    Today it’s easier in a way as you can take a lot of inspiration everywhere to build a nice blog, they are a lot of blogging communities, blogging tips website such as IFB and ProBlogger.

    Unfortunately, it’s true that blog about outfit post work the best, I say unfortunately because except if you have an exceptional style, blog that are only about those can become pretty boring. Personally I like when there is a mix of content, between outfit post, travel pictures, event etc…

    The only thing I didn’t agree with was your point on be pretty and skinny, but as you already talked about it in previous comment I will not expand on that. But I do believe that they are so many “skinny girl” style blog around, that a person with some curves on will definitely have more space to evolve in the blogging world, I think on the contrary they should be encourage to blog. As the same that goes with magazine, people are sometimes tired of seeing perfect “model like” girls showing off their perfect sized outfit and would probably gain more confidence by watching other type of girls. So I think that on the contrary, being curvy should be a good reason to start a blog as blogging should not be reserved for the pretty and skinny. Also the reason why a lot of people started following blogs is because they want to see real people, and not magazine like figure.

    See Adore Daily: as an exemple http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOnadj2QBuM

    After for the exchange of link thing, I am like you, I don’t do it. When I get comments, I always try to check the blog of the person and if I like it, and only if I do, I will put it on my reading list, but if I don’t, I won’t. I think today, some commenter have became pro spammers, as their comment is more about “follow me back and I follow you” than anything else. My fav are when people write me on a street style picture from someone else “you look great, follow me back?” And I am like… I am black, don’t you see that the girl in the pictures is white, it’s not me!

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