by Jit Salunke
“The great thing about fashion is that it always looks forward.” – Oscar de la Renta
Fashion is an ever evolving thing. Fashion is always looking forward and the same is expected from the ones who write about it and celebrate it. We’re talking about you: a fashion blogger. But being a fashion blogger is a tricky job. Everyone has a different tastes, which makes it even more difficult to build followers for your fashion blog. Building audiences in social media is critical for any fashion blog.
That’s why we’ve created this extensive guide just for fashion bloggers. We hope this helps you to increase your followers on social media as well as on your blog.
You can read it once and get a hang of it. But we strongly recommend going through it step-by-step and implementing the steps we have mentioned.
1. Optimize your social presence
Just creating an account on each social network won’t take you long. Your presence on each social network has to be like your blog – unique and interesting. Because most of your potential visitors will land on your social profile first and then on your blog. That is, only if they find your social presence interesting enough.
So, it is incredibly important to optimize your social presence across all your networks. In this section we will talk about how you can optimize your social presence for maximum conversion.
Having your own independent blog
We have seen a lot of people, despite not having a blog, create a tremendous presence on individual social networks like Pinterest and Instagram alone. That works for some, but you will end up missing out on other social networks.
There are some critical advantages of having your own blog.
- You control what kind of content you can upload. You can not upload detailed tips on Twitter or big blog posts on Pinterest. A blog gives you freedom.
- Having your own newsletter with subscribers gives you tremendous freedom and high engagement with your followers. With your blog, you can focus on build your mailing list.
- You can send dedicated personalized messages to your followers. With social networks, your message might get lost in other updates
- You are not at the mercy of the social networks. When Facebook decided to trim down the presence of updates from businesses on user’s timeline, it affected thousands of enthusiasts who just had a Facebook page. If they wanted to continue, they would have to shell out hefty amounts to even reach their own audiences. If they had the same audience on the blog, they would never face that problem.
- You can monetize your content. You get to decide whom to advertise and set your own rates. That is not possible in case of social networks.
Viraltag can help you setup a blog for FREE
If you don’t know how to setup your own blog with a custom domain for your website, we can help you set it up for free. We can also help you get a theme that goes well for fashion blog. And we will do this all for FREE. We love bloggers and we would love to help you create independent presence. If you are interested, just get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Optimize your social presence
Your bio on a profile page is basically a short bit of information about you and your blog. One of the first things any visitor will read on a profile page is your bio. Almost every social networks asks for it. Your bio should clearly mention the value it delivers to your target audience.
These days most of the bios are so predictable because everyone tends to be lazy about writing it. So being a bit original can get you maximum rewards
Here are few tips on how to write a great bio:
- Tell about your blog in a simple language.
- Your bio has to be exciting and at the same time targeted for your potential audience. Think of your audience and what can excite them. They should feel compelled to check your blog after reading your bio. If you write about ‘what to wear daily’ talk about the cool stuff you write on daily wear.
- Mention the value you add to the life of user. Talking about your blog post frequency, talk about how your post can have an amazing impact on reader’s day to day fashion decisions.
Accept it, your profile photo greatly decides people’s first impression about your blog. In fact lot of times people decide whether to follow a person merely based on their profile picture. You can either put a logo of your blog or just your own photo. Both work great.
Here are a few good examples:
This profile picture clearly depicts that the user means business when it comes to fashion.
Whereas this can pique the interest of anyone who is looking for the new dress styles.
Profile pictures you should avoid
The below profile pic catches a bit of interest but doesn’t signify anything which risk leaving visitor disinterested. Such pics also tend to go unnoticed in the search results where they appear.
This picture is a bit confusing and takes a bit of time to understand what it is exactly.
1. Whenever you upload a photo, make sure to use the name of your blog as the name of the file name. Some social networks also use the name of the media files for search functionality.
2. Also try visualizing and compare your profile picture with others. See if it stands out. Often your profile will appear in different search results related to fashion. In such cases, the people tend to scan the profile photos and click on the one with the most interesting pic.
You want as much space as you get in a header image to show your expertise in the area of fashion you write about. Putting a random image on your header is a great waste of that limited real estate.
Here are few ideas for eye-catching header images
Collage of your favorite fashion collection
Here is a nice one by @Fashionista
Your own picture showing that collection if you have those
Rachel has done a great job with this header image:
If you have been covered in coveted fashion blogs or magazine. Put their logos on it.
Donna Moritz who writes on social media has done a stunning job with her header image. She has put the logos of big media brands where she has been featured and also the award she has received. This instantly creates a great impression about Donna.
Your own picture with the value you provide
Some unique visual graphic can also do the job for you.
How about your own pics in different style
No one could have done this better than Gary.
Almost every social network also displays your blog link. So, make sure to upload the link.
Hosting a blog on a dedicated domain makes a tremendous difference in the way visitors perceive your blog.
Real Life Examples for Inspiration
We have put together a couple of great examples to give you an idea of how some fashion bloggers have optimized their social profiles for a particular social network. Take some time to study where your social profiles stand as compared to the below examples. I am sure you will find a couple of good takeaways.
Rachel’s profile pictures pretty much sums up her love for fashion. Her bio starts by humanizing herself, which makes the viewer more comfortable. After that she gets to the point of what you can get by following her: daily fashion tips. She has also made sure to put a link of her website.
Her header image is exciting, relevant and — most importantly — original. That encouraged any new visitor to follow her on Twitter and checkout her blog.
Something Rachel misses on, which is extremely useful for any fashion blogger, is the pinned tweet. A pinned tweet is a tweet that is pinned to the top of your tweet timeline no matter how many tweets you tweet after the Pinned tweet. Whenever someone stumbles on your profile, this will be the first Tweet they will see. So, pinning up a tweet that links to your latest content can get you more views to your content as well more retweets.
We at Viraltag have seen almost 10x jump in shares whenever we pin a tweet on Twitter. Check out this simple Twitter trick to get 10x more retweets on Twitter.
Another cool feature of Twitter is Cards. You can use Cards to capture email of Twitter users to build a following for your blog. Ryan Battles has written a nice post on how to do this. Check it out and get a free template for a Twitter card.
Julie has over 1.8 million followers on Instagram. Just like Rachel on Twitter, Julie also hints at her love for fashion through her profile pic.
In place of a banner, Instagram automatically displays a collage of a user’s most popular, as well as most recent, photos. This way your banner will always look different and you don’t have to worry about changing it up like you on Facebook or Twitter.
The rules of Twitter apply for bios on Instagram, too. But also keep in mind you are targeting an audience that prefers visual content. So it is a good idea to mention what you are going to be posting on Instagram.
To really become interesting on Pinterest, you need a bunch of really interesting boards that will appeal to your target audience.
Rachel Gadiel is one of the prominent fashion bloggers in Australia. Her Pinterest has 53 boards that cover street fashion style, classics to essential accessories like bags and shoes.
Place your most popular boards at the center in the first two rows as recent a eye-tracking study by Mashable reveals people pay the most attention to the center of the Pinterest page.
Another great way to attract attention to any board is to have the picture of a celebrity as the cover of your Pinterest boards. But do make sure that it is relevant to the board’s topic.
Check out this tutorial on how to change a board’s cover photo.
More resources to help you!
To create headers or any other visuals, Canva is the best app available. It provides readymade templates with optimum dimensions for most of the social networks, so that you don’t have to worry about dimensions for each one.
You can even check out more apps to use to create different types of visual content on our post 33 apps for creating stunning content
2. Creating great content
To have a great following you need to produce great content consistently. Great content doesn’t always have to be hard to create. With just a little extra touch and creativity, even the content on a rather boring topic can become really interesting. And you are lucky that you are a fashion blogger where the possibilities for great content are endless.
In this section we will see how and what type of content your audience really finds interesting. There is certain human psychology at play that can dramatically increase your chances of taking your content from ordinary to great.
Creating great content is easy as long as you take care of two things:
1. You absolutely love the topics you are writing about.
2. Your potential audience will really find it interesting and valuable.
Also given that fashion is a really broad term, you need to focus on a certain area as well as a certain audience segment. If you try to please all types of people by writing stuff on everything that is fashion, you are bound to fail. This might seem like a risky move to put all of your eggs in one basket, but it really pays off to focus on a niche area. It helps in retaining your readers, improving SEO & refining your marketing strategy.
Here are a few examples of niches to give you an idea:
- DIY(Do It Yourself) Fashion: A lot of people are on a budget and happy to put efforts on their own to create fashion wear. You can guide such people.
- Fashion for 30-something women: Women in their 30s tend to have really hectic schedules due to kids and family. You can make it easy for them by writing about the latest trends suitable for them.
- Fashion Jewelry: If you love experimenting with accessories, focus on it!
How to Find Great Content
Once you have zeroed down on the niche you are most comfortable with, you can pretty quickly figure out what kind of content works for your blog.
Here are few ways:
Skyscraper Technique was coined by Brian Dean. It basically tells us to look for really popular content in your niche and then create even better content than the existing one. This technique works really well because the type of content you are creating has a proven track record. People loved it. That’s why it went viral and got lot of shares.
And by creating better content than the popular one, people will find your content even more useful. That increases the chances of your content getting shared. So, with this technique you will be pretty sure that the content you are creating will be very valuable for your target audience.
Here is how it works:
For an example we will take DIY fashion as your niche.
1. Go to Buzzsumo.com
2. Enter ‘DIY fashion’ as a keyword.
3. Buzzsumo will show you the most popular content and also the no. of shares on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and also Google+
4. In this case, Buzzsumo displayed 208 results of really popular content which has garnered thousands of shares. It should be enough for you to create great content for months.
Look for inspiration in other areas of fashion
It’s also useful to observe other niches of fashion and see what is getting popular in those niches. You can pick good ideas and see if similar content for your niche can be useful or not.
E.g. you can search for what kinds of content is popular in ‘hair styles’ and take inspiration to create content in your niche.
Listen to your target audience on Social Media and Popular Blogs
Your targeted audience should be one of your primary sources of content ideas. If you keep engaging with them on social media and other blogs, you will naturally come to know what are their needs. Such insights can be really handy when you create content for them.
Power of Visuals in Great Content
Visual content is taking over social media. To give you a glimpse of it, Instagram has more active users than Twitter. If that’s not enough to convince you, user engagement on Instagram is 52x more than Twitter.
And fashion is naturally visual. Having great visual content is what separates great content from ordinary content. So make sure to use lots of visuals in your blog content as well as social updates.
Look at Fashionista’s Twitter stream. Out of the first 4 tweets, three have had images attached to it. Also, tweets with images attached have received 5x more retweets than the one without image.
Visual content marketing is the new content marketing. So, make sure you use the visuals smartly in your content as well as in your social media updates.
3. Promoting content
Content isn’t king, promoting it is.
The internet is full of millions of blogs and if you don’t promote your own, no matter how good your content is, very few will pay attention. And that will reflect on your following on social media as well. In this chapter, we talk about how you can promote your content on social media and how the small rewards play a role in building a following for a fashion blog.
Social media has been one of the best things that ever happened to Google search. If you are consistent on social media, it will pay back well. A lot of bloggers are at a loss on what kind of content they can post on social networks like Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. It is actually easier than you think.
All you need to is give short instant rewards.
People have different expectations from a blog and a social media account. People read blogs because they want to know in detail about some particular topic. Whereas, on social media they want something short and sweet. Something they can skim quickly. Sharing your blog post link doesn’t always do that.
What works is providing a short bit of info, snippets that are helpful and interesting on their own. People love instant rewards. And by providing such snippets, you are giving that reward.
Such consistent short rewards warms them up to check out your actual content.
So you need to promote content that give such instant rewards.
We love photos and videos because they give us instant visual reward. So, you need to focus on visual updates as much as you can. Because visual updates drive more shares and engagement than the text updates. For Instagram you don’t have an option. But in case of Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest, we either go with text update with ordinary image or no image at all. A bit of effort put in on using creative visuals can really make you stand out from the rest.
Like this simple visual content of a footwear which amassed 446 repins and 113 likes.
Daily tips are intellectual reward. They make the person smarter and also help them live better. Even a short one works amazingly well to help build a strong following. Mainly because anyone who stumbles upon your social profile will realize that you share something useful daily. This will entice her to follow you. If you add a visual with the tip, even better.
Every blog post has pieces of micro-content that can become updates on your social accounts. You can create short snippets from your blog post and post it on social networks.
Quotes from influencers help build credibility on the topic you are talking about.
— Giani (@GalleriadiGiani) February 5, 2015
This is just an example of the type of content your audience will like. To figure out good updates from bad, here is a rule of thumb: Do you think your audience will find the update worth sharing with their network? If yes, go ahead and post it. If not, see how you can make it better.
Such content gives your followers reward of the hunt: finding great content. Subconsciously we all feel responsible towards people we are connected to. And that’s why we tend to share whatever valuable content we come across. Which results in the reward of the hunt.
When your content becomes worthy of being considered for the reward of hunt, people do the promotion for you.
If you want to build a strong following you need to form habits. Habits are formed when there are rewards. Facebook delivered us the reward of telling us what our friends are up to 24/7 and we formed the habit of checking it at least once a day. If Facebook stops delivering that reward, the habit will break and we will stop visiting Facebook.
That’s the case with your social media as well, you consistently need to provide instant, short rewards. On social media that means at least a couple of times a day. If your audience is spread out over different time zones, which will be the case for most of the bloggers, you need to spread your updates at times when your audience will be online. If you don’t do that, your posts will get buried deep down beneath more recent updates.
Keeping up with those timezones is difficult. It will waste a lot of your time and you might end up looking like a zombie. Obviously not good for your fashion blog.
That’s why scheduling your updates is critical.
This is where Viraltag can be incredibly useful. It lets you schedule visual content on fashion friendly social networks like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, all at once. You can set your daily posting schedule and add posts to your queue, which are published on each social network as per your schedule.
Lets look at how it works. First you need to create an account on Viraltag.
1. Once you create an account, you can connect your social profiles from Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Linkedin.
2. Next thing is to set your auto posting schedule. You can set daily limits for posts on each social network. For every day of the week you can add time slots when you want the updates to be published.
3. Once you connect your profiles and set up the auto-posting schedule. You can upload the images on social media.
One cool feature that sets Viratlag apart from other social networks is the ability to pull images from almost anywhere on the Internet. You can import images from Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Instagram and anywhere on the web. And of course from your desktop.
4. You can keep a track of your queue from Viraltag dashboard which shows you the scheduled updates.
Good schedule for a Fashion blog
Frankly there are no ideal times that can fit all kinds of fashion blogs. Some people check their social feeds while they are having their morning coffee or some check in the afternoon to deal with slump after lunch, and some prefer checking it in the night once the busy day settles.
We have observed lot of fashion bloggers prefer morning times.
But here is the best way to find out what is really good schedule for you. You need to schedule your posts just before your reader consumes the content on your blog.
1. That requires you to find out what are the peak hours when your traffic is highest. You can schedule your post just before that. You will likely find a couple of such time slots.
2. Another trick is to see when your social media posts gets shared more on each social network. That will give you an idea when your audience is active on social networks.
Recycling content is basically publishing your old content with or without small modifications. If you look at your blog’s archives, you might find some content still relevant. You can schedule that content on social media.
Also scheduling the same content at different times on different days helps to cover your audience which is active on social networks at different times like morning, afternoon or evening.
How to recycle:
You can create a repository of your social posts and segregate them based on the type of content e.g. daily tips, quotes, video, etc.
Then you can recycle such content at different times over the next couple of months.
Converting your blog post into slides, infographic, video, audio, etc, is called re-purposing you original content.
This is done to reach wider audiences on different platforms which otherwise would not have been possible. A lot of people prefer watching video rather than reading it. In fact YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. If you have a really good blog post with a ton of valuable information, you can create a video and publish on new platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.
This will bring a lot more visitors to the same content only because you re-purposed the content.
Also, podcasting is picking up quite well. You can explore that too.
So, next time you write a post make sure to re-purpose it in video, audio, etc.
There is only so much you can do when it comes to creating original content. Filtering really good content from the heap of junk shared on social media is of equal value to your audience. And that’s called curation. In this section we talk about how you can use curation to build your presence on social media.
Curation can be a great way to supplement your original content and increase your following on various social networks. If you are really good at curation, it become convenient for your followers as it saves them efforts of checking various blogs or social profiles.
Curation doesn’t have to be a stand alone task with the right set of tools. You can do this within your work schedule.
At Viraltag we have built a series of extensions and discovery features to make it really easy for you to not only schedule your own visuals but also content from the sites you visit on the Internet.
If you found a really nice post on fashion that you want to share with your audience, simply use Viraltag’s bookmarklet. With the bookmarklet, you can schedule content on your social accounts from almost any web page.
Lets see how you can curate great content from the Internet using our Bookmarklet.
1. Login to your Viraltag account and ‘Extensions’ tab under ‘Settings’ option.
2. Drag the bookmarklet labelled as ‘Viraltag’ to your browser’s Bookmark bar.
3. Visit any web page. Here we will take Vogue’s Spring 2015 Suggetions post.
4. Once you are on that page, click on bookmarklet placed on your Bookmark bar.
5. Our bookmarklet will grab all the images from the above post and will display in an array.
You can select the images you want to add to your queue and click on ‘Next’ button.
It will lead to you a Viraltag app popup. The bookmarklet automatically captures the web page link for each image. You can add your own description for each image.
From here you can add all the images to your queue at once.
So, with Viraltag’s bookmarklet and extensions we have tried to made it really easy to curate the content you stumble upon.
Viraltag’s Discovery Feature
You can also use our Discovery feature where you will find the latest content under the Fashion category.
5. Encourage to Follow
Sometimes, all you have to do is ask. This is quite relevant on social media. So, it is good idea to keep encouraging visitors to follow your blog or on social media. In this section we talk about the best ways to do that.
Remember the way video publishers on YouTube literally beg you to subscribe to their channel at the end of the video? No matter how annoying it seems, they do it because it works. Mostly we subscribe only if the publisher requests it.
Delivering great content is a sure way to build your following. Still, it is not always that your readers will follow you instantly. Proactively asking them is better than waiting for ages.
So you need to give them the extra nudge by making it a really easy and obvious action when they stumble upon your blog, content or social accounts.
Lets start with your blog. You should have prominent follow buttons for the social networks you are active on. The follow buttons should be at prominent positions across the blog and not just on your homepage.
Here is a great example of using follow buttons properly on a Fashion blog.
After every post:
At the end of every blog post, you should encourage your readers to follow you on a social network of your choice whether it is Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. You can place small follow buttons at the end of the blog. If the reader found the blog post to be really valuable, he can definitely follow you to keep track of your latest blog posts.
Another good option is to encourage them to follow after they have shared your post. Like this:
This is highly effective because it already proven that they liked your content as they shared it. And asking them to follow you after they share your content is probably the best time.
Here is a post by Shareaholic on how to use “Post-Share” follow buttons.
Cross network follow requests
A lot of users are active on multiple social networks like Twitter as well as Pinterest. You can occasionally encourage your Twitter followers to check out your Pinterest boards and vice versa. Same is the case with other social networks.
Encourage your newsletter subscribers
If you are already building a mailing list for your fashion blog, you can engage with your newsletter subscribers on a weekly basis. You can take that engagement one step further by encouraging them to follow you on social networks. You don’t have to send a separate email. Instead, you can nudge them by including follow buttons in the newsletters you send weekly.
That’s all for now.
We hope the techniques we covered here will help you to increase followers for your fashion blog. Of course, we still have a lot of ground to cover like engagement and content promotion on small communities. All of which together adds up to build a great social following.
BONUS : Here’s an additional resource from First Site Guide for all the Fashion enthusiasts out there who want to start a blog and share their creativity with the world.