What Does A Fashion Blogger Do?

fashion-bloggers-with-kim-kardashian

Next up in my Blogging Advice series is something that I’ve been asked so many times, and I’m sure a lot of people who don’t fully understand, are wondering exactly the same thing. What does a fashion blogger actually do? There’s quite a few misconceptions actually when it comes to fashion blogging and that’s that we don’t really do much except for write a couple of blog posts and then jet off around the world to exotic locations, buy designer goods, then laze around on a beach or by the pool. While some of the top fashion bloggers do get to live lives like that now, it wasn’t like that in the beginning.

So what skills do you need to know in order to be a fashion blogger?

Essentially, if you’re a fashion blogger, you’re running your own online version of a fashion magazine. As you probably know, at a magazine there are countless writers, an art department, a photography department, ad sales, interns, PR… The list is endless, but for someone like me, I have to manage all of that on my own, for multiple blogs. So it really is a full time job. So lets see what skills myself and other fashion bloggers have had to learn in order to be a fashion blogger that’s self employed and doing it professionally.

Writing – Lucky for me, writing is something that does come naturally to me since I have done it since I was a child. I would think that if you can’t write at all and don’t enjoy it, you wont find being a blogger inspiring or food for your soul like some of us do. The first thing a fashion blogger needs to do is be able to write and make sure it’s enticing and readable. Without gripping text, it’s dull.

Editing – I will admit in the beginning when I started at around 18 years old, my spelling and punctuation wasn’t at its best and I wouldn’t proof read my articles either, so I had to quickly learn to brush up on those skills and make sure I proof read everything. Now I actually do feel like I’m a great editor and have been editing writing for years now, even spotting issues and mistakes in actual books or magazines, to the point that I can’t read anything without analysing it while doing so. But this skill is something that I need to be good at, especially since I run many blogs on a professional level and people need to see it as something they can trust. Spelling mistakes and errors always lead to the article looking sloppy, so fashion bloggers need to learn to edit and correct.

topshop sleeveless duster white

Modeling/Styling – For me, this wasn’t something that came naturally. I was very awkward, stiff, and always had a rabbit in the headlights expression in my poses. They looked strained and staged, so it took me quite a while to get a lot more comfortable with people watching, and learning how to pose. It’s easy to get stuck in doing the same poses over and over again because they’re good, but trust me, bloggers have to learn to do as many different poses as they possibly can, and learning to do natural, candid ones works even better. When you’re a personal style blogger, modeling is something that has to be brushed up on. Getting the outfits right as well is key, bloggers have to be good at styling and putting looks together that are fun, creative and gorgeous. Being a stylist is a key point as outfits need to be visually appealing.

Photography/Creative Visualisation – This is another main point that is incredibly important. Fashion bloggers need to invest in a fantastic camera (a Nikon or Canon DSLR is great – we have a Nikon D610) as the photos need to be high quality. Learning to use the camera as well as learning how to utilize lighting and angles is key. The more creative and expertly done the photos are, the better the blog will look. Basic photography skills are needed, even while being a hobby blogger. Nobody wants to look at blurry, dark photos. Being creative is a must, so gorgeous flat lays and fun photos can be created. A blogger is essentially creating an online space and portfolio, so it has to be creative visually.

Photo Editing – Not every fashion blogger wants to use Photoshop or Lightroom, but in my experience, if they want to be successful, they will. Not for editing the length of their legs or making themselves look thinner, I mean for lighting, colour, shadows, resizing, sharpening up the images etc. Basic Photoshop skills are definitely needed to improve and enhance the photos.

instagram-flat-lay

Social Media Skills – Social Media is a must for fashion bloggers as they need to reach potential new readers and share their content with them. This means they have to learn how to use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Google+ etc. and do it well. Making the accounts visually appealing and sharing their content to other people has to be done in order to grow their following.

Ad Sales – If a fashion blogger wants to turn their blogging into a job instead of a hobby, they will have to learn how to do ad sales. This includes making up a press pack to show their blog off and what they can offer, as well as general conversing with potential buyers and brands. They have to learn how to sell themselves and be confident with it. I’ve personally found that this is something that took a while to come naturally for me as I’m not generally a confident, bold person.

Public Relations – Much like ad sales, a fashion blogger will need to learn basic public relations skills as they need to build up friendships with brands and companies. It’s important to communicate properly and professionally in order to gain a relationship that’s long lasting and mutual between them and the brands. I’ve found being friendly and polite, but professional is the best way to be.

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Website Design – Now, not all fashion bloggers need to learn website design as they might be willing to pay someone else to do it for them, but as I have personally found out in my many years of blogging, you need to learn the basics. Even if that’s customising a theme that you bought or adding your personal touches to your website, it’s good to learn some of it yourself so you can do little tweaks here and there without having to pay anyone, and possibly breaking your website.

HTML Skills – Much like website design, learning some coding and basic HTML is important as well. Sometimes you can get issues, bugs and glitches with your website and if you can learn to fix these yourself, that’s better. It can take a while to get someone else to do it and it can be costly.

Knowledge On Your Subject – The last thing is knowledge on the websites niche and chosen subject. It’s important to have a focus and a subject matter for blogging, so fashion bloggers need to make sure that they have a lot of experience with what they’re writing about. For me, denim is my passion and expertise as I’m sure you know (check out The Jeans Blog), so there needs to be a clear voice and knowledge on what is being written.

How can you call fashion blogging a job or profession though?

I would say based on the skills listed above, if you’re utilising them to run a successful fashion blog and are making a good amount of money from blogging, that counts it as a profession, or your job. I went self employed a year and a half ago so I could focus on making money doing what I do, so it’s definitely my career path. If you’re putting a lot of work into your websites and it’s returning money, it’s definitely a job. I spend almost every day working on my 4 blogs and writing for other companies too, so it keeps me busy almost 24/7. Us fashion bloggers are lucky enough to have our own hours and do something different quite regularly, but just because it’s not the traditional 9-5 job, doesn’t make it any less of one. Some of them can become really big influencers and have a reach to millions, almost making them a celebrity, meaning brands will want to endorse them and pay to advertise, but I will touch base on how money can be made in a dedicated blog post as well for you all soon, if you’re interested?

So what does a fashion blogger do in a week?

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This varies for every single fashion blogger out there since they all have a different niche, different styles, and ways of working. So to answer this for myself, my weeks are taken up by brainstorming and coming up with content ideas for my various fashion blogs, putting all of these into a schedule (I usually work a couple of weeks in advance), writing blog posts, styling outfits, shooting and editing photos, responding to emails from companies and arranging work, replying to readers, managing social media, and sometimes doing website tweaks and maintenance. You can see my fashion blogger schedule which I wrote before, but there’s always something different going on. I sometimes might need to attend events, do special photoshoots and prepare for those, or simply just spend a long time writing. It can be crazy and intense, very stressful and time consuming since you can’t shut off from this type of work, but it’s rewarding.

So, are there different types of fashion blogs?

I would like to think that we all create an online magazine or look book for people to enjoy, be inspired by, and feel connected to in general, but some of the fashion blogs are more like a magazine with articles about fashion, fashion week, campaigns etc, while others are personal bloggers who share their life with everyone online and give up their privacy for it, in order to make a difference. We are writers, photographers and curators, creating content and a hub for those who enjoy it. It’s definitely not easy like people can be misled to believe, especially not when you’re doing it professionally. I’ve outlined the most common 4 fashion blogs below.

For personal style bloggers – Look at Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere as an example. She’s hired a team of writers, she has her own office, she’s written books, and has since launched her own clothing line, all around her Cupcakes and Cashmere brand. Pretty impressive isn’t it? She’s taken fashion blogging to another level, much like Chiara Ferragni has from The Blonde Salad as well. Having her own shoe line, getting signed by a modelling agency, appearing in a movie, being featured in hundreds of publications like Vogue, Elle, InStyle etc, sitting front row at the top fashion week runway shows and more… She has a whole TBS Crew which has over 15 people working in her business now. These are just a couple of examples, but many other fashion bloggers like Song of Style, Kayture, Gary Pepper, Pink Peonies and more have created empires for themselves and it’s truly impressive. Check out this video of Kristina Bazan talking about her life as a fashion blogger with E! and see her fans too, just like Chiara, she’s now famous. But there’s also personal style bloggers who just focus purely on their outfits and not as a business.

cupcakes and cashmere office

For general fashion article bloggers – You also have the fashion bloggers who aren’t personal and love to create general fashion content. Purse Blog is one that springs to mind, being the leading website online for everything to do with bags. They turn over a huge amount of money every year and always have access to the new designer bags before they are released, as well as having the chance to create their own bags in collaborations with brands. They also have the leading bag forum (The Purse Forum) which you probably already know. Then you have a more fast fashion website like Who What Wear that creates multiple articles everyday from a team of writers, but are so popular and well respected that they have created a Who What Wear empire. It’s truly incredible.

For hobby fashion bloggers – I’m not going to leave the smaller bloggers out at all, as we have different levels of success for every single area of fashion blogging, but you also have those who like to blog about fashion and their style as a hobby. Much like an online diary and photo sharing space where they can write their thoughts and share their outfits on a much smaller scale, not wanting to turn it into a business. Of course everyone starts out this way though don’t they? I know I did. It just depends on how much time you’re willing to commit and whether you want to turn it into something bigger, or are lucky enough to know great people and get a foot on the ladder, or catch that big break which makes you go viral.

For Vloggers – You have that section of bloggers who use YouTube as their platform too. I’m thinking Zoella and Fleur DeForce as the top 2 that spring to mind for me personally. These lovely ladies share their videos on fashion and beauty to millions of viewers every week and have turned that into their own empire. I know vloggers might not count as bloggers, but they do because they also have blogs to accompany their videos, they just use YouTube as the main platform.

kayture-cartier

As you can see, it’s just like I said, it’s different for everyone with regards to their schedules and style of blogging, but I hope you get the idea of what goes on and how it’s a job. For those of you who weren’t really familiar with fashion blogging before, if you do have questions, just leave them below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Hopefully next time someone tells you they’re a fashion blogger, you will already be clued in on what they do and can have a conversation with them.

Now you know, don’t ask inappropriate questions

I started this blog post as I’m often asked questions about fashion blogging, not just from those who have no idea what my job is, but also from those who think it’s not a real job. So I will say, just be aware not to ask personal questions as that’s happened to me before and I find it inappropriate. I do count this as my career so when someone starts asking me:

  • How are you making money?
  • How much money do you make? (this one is the worst!)
  • How can I do the same thing to make some money?
  • Can you tell me your secrets on how to earn money?
  • I can’t believe you make money from something so easy!
  • How much do you charge or what does a brand pay you?

And the list goes on… I’m under the impression that I wouldn’t ask someone I just met about their job and ask such personal questions. If I met someone and they said they were an accountant, I wouldn’t ask them how much money they make and tell them their job is easy and that I want to do it to earn some quick money. If it’s a career, discussing money should be out of the question if you don’t know the person, but so should thinking their job is easy and laughable. I just had to throw that out there so you don’t accidentally offend anyone with your inquisitiveness. Just understand that a professional fashion blogger is an influencer and people look to them for inspiration and guidance or advice, whatever their niche, which is why it’s possible for brands to work with them and turn it into a business. I really hope that helps! If you have any more questions, let me know!

Images courtesy of Cupcakes & Cashmere, Kayture, Sarache, I’m Drew Scott & Revolve.

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46 Comments

  1. August 22, 2016 / 2:35 pm

    Such a great sum up on what a fashion blogger does!! It’s literally a multitasking job that takes more than people think! And funnily enough the largest part is not writing, it’s marketing! Putting the work out there, and it’s can be so frusturating! Xx

    http://www.thefashionfolks.com

    • August 22, 2016 / 8:46 pm

      It really is! You are right, networking and marketing is one of the biggest, most time consuming parts!

  2. August 22, 2016 / 5:51 pm

    Lorna, I’m tired just reading this… you do a lot♡ Personal blogging takes up a great deal of my time but I’m okay with that since I truly enjoy blogging. I have no idea how you keep with so many aspects of blogging have. .. you’re awesome girl xox

    • August 22, 2016 / 8:47 pm

      Thank you, Launna! I think if you didn’t have your job and did blogging permanently, you would have more time to do it all, so that’s how it is for me, my work hours are all blogging. We’re both the same that we really enjoy it though!

  3. August 22, 2016 / 6:19 pm

    EXCELLENT post, Lorna! This puts such a great amount of clarity into the whole thing and I can tell you took a lot of time and thought to write all of this up. I see a lot of posts out there about HOW to make money, but I like how you highlighted the different types of style bloggers as well and included your own experiences for some no-frills realism. Really well done 🙂 Thank you!

    xo Lana
    http://www.decadentdissonance.com

    • August 22, 2016 / 8:48 pm

      Thank you, Lana! I’m so glad you liked it that much 🙂 It did take a long time to write and a lot of thought did go into it, but I hope it really helps a lot of people. I didn’t just want to make it all about the money as I wanted to showcase all bloggers, no matter how big or small they are!

      • August 22, 2016 / 11:05 pm

        I am actually curious how important you really feel Snapchat is? I’ve put it off for so long hahaha, but now I’m wondering if it really is a huge help with blog growth.

        • August 22, 2016 / 11:36 pm

          It’s like a mini YouTube, so it’s important I think for people being able to connect and follow you. I know you don’t get links to your blog from it, since that’s not an option, but for being reachable and ‘real’ as I call it, I think it’s very helpful. I feel a lot closer to many bloggers after watching their snaps and seeing what they’re up to! It’s cool!

  4. August 22, 2016 / 7:01 pm

    This is a very interesting read. 🙂 Of course I was never in any doubt that it’s a tough and demanding job – it’s always seemed very clear to me that you’re a very hardworking person.

    I can certainly understand your irritation at the inappropriate questions. I suppose what prompts a lot of them is that your job is a job which didn’t exist within the lifetime of most people who are living today. I wonder if, throughout history, all people in newly created professions have had to put up with thoughtless questions?

    I have a question which, I hope, doesn’t fall into the inappropriate category: Without set working hours, do you find that you can mentally switch off from your job enough to say to yourself that such and such a period of time is going to be entirely your leisure time – and then enforce and enjoy that decision?

    • August 22, 2016 / 8:52 pm

      Thank you, Steven 🙂 It definitely is a time consuming job, but I’ve always been hardworking, so I kind of like it. I think it would be the same actually as I have spoken to social media experts and people who have social media as their jobs, they get comments from people like ‘paid money to mess around on social media all day’ when it’s not like that since they have strategies etc. So I would guess it is!

      Your question is just fine! I don’t mind questions from my readers anyway as we all know each other. It is hard for me actually as when I spot good locations or interesting things, I always have to stop to take photos of it and I will Snapchat as well, so I can never fully shut off 100% unless I actually physically don’t use my phone at all and tell myself I’m not going to. But I can enjoy some leisure time like movies, quality time with Adam, all of that. It’s hard though, I wont lie. Sometimes I can be inspired without realising it or intending to be, so it will start thought processes of blog posts etc, which get in the way of my downtime, ha ha. I do enjoy it though, so it’s not entirely bad.

      • August 23, 2016 / 8:32 pm

        I see. 🙂 Yes, it sounds like there is some blurring of the line between work and leisure – but not in a bad way. I think you’ve got a good balance of the two going on. 🙂

        • August 23, 2016 / 8:47 pm

          Thank you! I hope I have, it does feel like I have!

  5. August 22, 2016 / 10:35 pm

    This is a long read but worth every single second. I learned a few things just by reading this post so thank you so much for taking time and writing all of these down. I think there are still many who don’t understand how serious the blogging world has become or even how huge and influential. And to make it all happen one have to commit and do a lot of hard work. And no kidding about the inappropriate questions, eh? I generally find anything that has got to do with money is a no go area. It’s rude to ask people how much they make or charge unless you are trying to do business with the said person. t’s common sense really…

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • August 22, 2016 / 10:57 pm

      I know! Those types of questions should really be a no go area out of common courtesy I think. I’m so glad you liked the post though and found it really helpful on some parts, Shireen! So pleased!

    • August 23, 2016 / 1:52 pm

      I hope so too!

  6. August 23, 2016 / 5:28 pm

    Wow, what a large job description. You are very busy indeed. I hope people will understand your job better and think it is remarkable that you answer and reply all e-mails you get.

    • August 23, 2016 / 7:09 pm

      Thank you so much!

  7. August 23, 2016 / 9:50 pm

    I really loved this post, Lorna, if just everybody reads this, wow, life would be so much easier! I mean, I don’t write much on my blog, because some people just look at photos anyway, so I write very short paragraphs. I use a Canon camera, a good one, but not the heavy ones that are impossible to walk with, especially in some cities I go, that are not so safe, but mine is not a blog like the ones you mentioned. I don’t use photoshop, but I try my best to get good lights to the picture, I mean, outdoors. I normally have the same poses and I would like to have different ones, but I simply can’t. And I never post many photos of the same outfit anyway, just one or sometimes two, if I am wearing a coat or want to show the back detailing. So it is my way, but I am also asked the questions you mentioned and I can;t stand them! Next time I will tell people to read this post! Thanks for that!
    DenisesPlanet.com

    • August 23, 2016 / 10:50 pm

      Hi Denise! Oh this definitely doesn’t categorise everyone at all, everyone has their own unique way of blogging, which is what makes them all so interesting, but I was outlining the most common types. We all do as we do and do what works for us, but that’s good to know you get the same questions too, definitely direct them here!

  8. August 24, 2016 / 12:32 am

    What an inspiring post! Thank you so much for sharing. It’s always nice to hear a bloggers perspective on what this may encompass. Congrats on all the success with your blog! You are the definition of girl boss!

    It really frustrates me when some people assume blogging is so easy. It takes a lot of planning, hard work, dedication and motivation to be successful with it. I can’t wait to read all the others posts you’ve linked also. So helpful!

    xoxo Rina
    http://www.andshedressed.com

    • August 24, 2016 / 10:25 am

      Thank you so much, Rina! That’s really kind of you to say such lovely words. I hope you enjoy the other posts, but you’re right, it really does take a lot of time and effort to try and make the blogs successful. I wouldn’t say I’m hugely successful if you base it on money and wanting multi millions of readers a month, but I guess it depends what you count it as.

  9. August 24, 2016 / 1:55 am

    ;D

    Muito bacana o seu post! Achei bem completo.

    Ótima terça!

    Beijo! ^^

    • August 24, 2016 / 10:26 am

      Glad you liked it!

    • August 24, 2016 / 10:26 am

      Thank you!

  10. August 24, 2016 / 11:37 am

    you did a terrific job, I read your post from the beginning to the end and well, there is always something new to learn about the blogging world
    I had no idea you run three other blogs, would love to visit them too…
    kisses
    http://www.theitalianglam.com/

    • August 24, 2016 / 12:09 pm

      Oh yeah I do! Thank you so much! They are:
      TheJeansBlog.com
      TheFashionSupernova.com
      FashionRunwayBlog.com

  11. August 24, 2016 / 11:56 am

    This is so on point! So many people don’t realize what goes into a fashion blog. You’re a writer, editor, stylist, model, and photographer all in one!

    xx http://www.qustomquinns.com/blog

    • August 24, 2016 / 12:09 pm

      Glad you liked it!

    • August 24, 2016 / 5:44 pm

      Thank you so much!

  12. August 24, 2016 / 6:29 pm

    I am not making a living but I am doing everything by myself. Even taking the photos. So when a person asks me how to start a blog I freeze. So much work behind it!
    Love the tips!
    Dora http://www.BangsBang.com

    • August 24, 2016 / 9:11 pm

      Yeah, it’s definitely not easy to answer how to start one!

  13. August 26, 2016 / 2:57 am

    Lorna this is such a great summary of everything surrounding blogging. I totally agree with most of them. I spend a lot of time on my blog and I don’t post nearly as often. I’ve toyed with the idea of going full time, and then I get cold feet. Who knows, maybe soon. But for now, I’ll enjoy it and take it one day at a time. People have asked me some of those questions too, lol. You do such an incredible job. Kudos and keep it up.

    http://fashionablyidu.com/

    • August 31, 2016 / 8:35 pm

      If you think you have the time for it, you should! It’s quite rewarding when you get to be able to turn it into a business, but it does take over your life quite a lot. Thank you for the nice comments though!

  14. August 27, 2016 / 3:22 pm

    Though many seem to brush it off as unserious, but blogging is a multitasking demanding job, just a bit more creative. Awesome informative post!

    xo
    http://www.carinavardie.com

    • August 31, 2016 / 8:36 pm

      Glad you liked it!

    • August 31, 2016 / 8:37 pm

      Thank you!

  15. August 29, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    Wow this is a very insightful article Lorna! You’ve provided the perfect overview of fashion blogging, which is not only a relatively new job, but as you’ve mentioned, a frequently misunderstood one. You’re so right, successful fashion blogging requires excellent skills in multiple areas. In essence, one person is single-handedly doing the job of a team of people, and that person has to be a really good all-rounder and teach themselves various things, such as business and marketing, as well as the creative aspects of styling and fashion photography.

    I think it’s incredible how hard you work and the level of care and effort that goes into your blogs. It must be frustrating when people make the assumption that fashion blogging is an easy way to make money. Hopefully this article will help to demystify fashion blogging and lead to more appreciation for the hard work that goes into it!

    Thank you for a well-written and informative post!a

    Saba xx

    http://www.trulymadlydeeplyfashion.blogspot.com

    • August 31, 2016 / 9:24 pm

      Thank you, Saba! I’m so glad you liked it and feel that way too, I genuinely hope it helps people.

  16. Abhi
    July 24, 2017 / 10:14 am

    Hey I’m a budding blogger…so can I go to some well located known stores and ask them for promotion of their brands…is this the right way to start to get popular

    • July 24, 2017 / 12:02 pm

      Hi, no it doesn’t work that way unfortunately. You need to build up your blog to have a social following that’s decent and a lot of views/readers coming to your website, otherwise no companies want to work with you as it’s no benefit to them. Good luck.

Thanks for your comments =) I read & reply every one =)