Welcome to the official first post of Fashion Blogging 101 | The Series by Brett Robson.
In today’s post I thought I would focus on a few questions I believe you should be asking yourself before you even start your blog. I could easily have started with a post on WordPress or Blogger, & tech tips, however I genuinely feel that some bloggers get into blogging for the wrong reason & then end up creating content that they are not truly passionate about. I think this information is relevant to many areas of blogging & is not specific to fashion. You can apply these questions to any blog.
Here goes, Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Start A Blog:
Why do you want to start a blog?
So many people start blogs for the wrong reason. Maybe you’ve been told that you have great style, or that you are a great cook, or you’ve just seen a whole bunch of the girls you follow online getting freebies. But it is important that you answer this question for yourself, & truly understand why it is that you would like to embark on this journey. It is so easy to be clouded by what other people think you should be doing. But remember that you are doing this for yourself, & essentially you are the one who will be putting in the hours so if this isn’t important to you then why even start. I started my blog at a fairly low point in my life. But even so, fashion was always the focus. Fashion was my life, & so starting a fashion blog made sense to me. I was & still am passionate about fashion & that is why I do what I do.
Do you have time available to commit to blogging?
When I started my blog, I had all the time in the world to spare. But as I have progressed in my career, which is extremely important to me, I have had less time for blogging & anything else really. However, blogging is something I am passionate about, & I choose to focus some of my time on my blog so that I can grow my Brett Robson brand. I make personal sacrifices everyday just so that I can either work on my blog, or work on something for a client, or do research – the list is endless. Even events are taking time away from your home or work life. And you need to decide if you have that time to spare.
When you are just starting out you obviously wont be as busy as an established blogger, but even so, time is important. Time is a rare commodity for many of us. And I believe that if you decide to blog, you need to have time to be able to commit to that blog. Yes, you are your own boss, & you dictate when you will post. However, consistency is key. If you know that you have limited time to blog, but it is something you want to do, then put a figure to your blogging schedule. Ask yourself how many blog posts per week can you achieve within the time you have, & stick to it.
What are your strengths?
I find that when I excel in a certain area it makes me want to do even better at it. We all have areas that we excel in, & it’s important that you play on your strengths & let them work for you. Assess yourself & concentrate on the positive aspects of who you are & what you have to offer.
Do you have a blog topic/theme in mind?
I think you need to have a vision for your blog from the get go. Fashion by Brett Robson started as a general fashion blog. I used to post on trends & runways shows etc, but really it just was anything & everything.
My vision has evolved & I have decided on a clear path with where I see this blog going. LIFESTYLE. Fashion will always be my number 1 focus, however beauty is also important to me, & that has become a focus too. And because I am developing my Brett Robson brand, my lifestyle in general has also become of interest to my reader. And even though lifestyle is a pretty broad spectrum, those are the areas I am focusing on right now. I’m not about to include food into this blog, although I may instragram a picture of food or blog about my new clean eating (Glow Cleanse) lifestyle. But I am no foodie.
I think that if you have a set theme for the blog, you set the tone from the beginning. People who followed you in the beginning will not be shocked by a post a month from then. I am by no means saying that you are not allowed to grow & evolve. I just think that it is better to have a plan from the beginning. It will make your life easier in terms of content planning, & it will also keep your readers coming back without any confusion.
Are you passionate about the theme?
Passion is very important when it comes to deciding on your blog content theme. You need to be passionate about your blog. I am a firm believer that if you are passionate about your theme that you will not see it as ‘work’ & that it will make you want to work harder at succeeding & getting your blog out there. Also, readers can tell when you aren’t passionate about something, so why try fool them? Rather create content you love, & that you can be proud of.
In a saturated market like blogging, how will you stand out?
It’s no secret that blogging in South Africa, like the rest of the world has become a saturated market. I think that for established bloggers who have a decent following & have an identity in the market it doesn’t really matter. You’re going to keep getting work as long as you stay true to your brand & keep doing what you’re doing. However, if you are fairly new to blogging then you are competing with others & you need to figure out a way to set yourself a part from the rest. As I mentioned above, use your strengths & the things you are passionate about a guide to help you create the best version of your blog. With new blogs popping up daily, it is important that you create content that readers won’t find elsewhere. Think about that.
How patient are you?
Becoming an overnight success is highly unlikely, but you may be the exception right? Well, for most of us out there blogging has been a journey we have been on for years now. I started in 2010. That is before I even knew what blogging really was or the potential I had as a blogger.
You have to be patient, work on yourself & your blog. I like to think that there is a plan for all of us, & that we just need to ‘Trust The Timing Of Your Life’. It can take time to get your blog out there or to develop a readership. But it’s important that you don’t let it get you down, & you don’t give up. Be positive.
Thank you so much for all the emails I have received with your questions. Just a reminder that the topics /questions will be answered throughout this series & not via email.
And if you have a topic of discussion to suggest, be sure to mail email@example.com
I did a Blogging Q&A a few months ago that you may find it of interest.