8 steps to start a fashion blog
Blogging may seem pretty vocational, but running a successful fashion blog can actually be a very lucrative business.
If you’re looking to start one or if you want it to be your full-time occupation, here are 8 important steps to help you get started:
1. Find your niche and your name
And in this order. The most successful fashion blogs target a specific niche and become front runners in the space. The more generic your idea, the harder it will be to stand out. Did you know that over 4.4 million blog posts were published in March 2019 alone? Some example niches could be:
- Sustainable fashion
- Shopping on a budget
- Vintage finds
- Afro or curly hair styling
- Wedding makeup
Next, your name. Be sure to choose something that’s original without being too left field. You want potential readers to be able to guess what your blog is about from the title.
Once you find it, you can create your domain name based on it. Just make sure that the domain is available before ploughing too far ahead with content preparation!
2. Select a blog host provider
No, not a hostess with the mostess. A blog host is a company that lets you use their server to store your files and content. It lets anyone online on the internet reach your blog when they look for it.
Be aware, you will need to have a web host to start a blog.
Some hosts will also provide you with blogging software, but be aware that you will almost definitely have to pay a fee to use this. Even to use a host that doesn’t include blogging software, you may have to pay fees to use the service.
2. Choose your blogging platform
The content management system that you choose to upload your content onto is important. When choosing, you should make sure that it has all the capabilities that you’ll need when it comes to building your fashion blog. Are there any image dimensions that it requires? Can you smoothly upload videos? How is text formatted and is it highly customisable?
Here are a few software options to consider:
4. Start churning content for your fashion blog
As you can probably imagine, the more that you write and upload, the more reason your readers have to stay. Here are a few tips to help you get going:
- Be consistent – don’t exhaust all of your content in the first week. Try to spread it evenly to maximise what you’ve got
- Be varied – the more types of content you have, the better. Written posts, images, videos, quizzes, podcasts etc. are a few examples
- Be organised – make the most of scheduling tools so that you can plan ahead with certain calendar dates e.g. fashion week
5. Stay abreast of what’s trending
Whether you’re setting up Google alerts on relevant topics, following daily hashtags to see what people are talking about or constantly talking to your reading audience to understand what they’re interested in, staying abreast of what’s trending is super-important.
It will help you seem relevant and give you more chance of your blog appearing in Google searches.
6. Market your fashion blog
Don’t forget, no one will be able to read your blog if they can’t find it. Marketing is key. Here are a few hacks that you can use to make it visible:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Shameless self-promotion
- Work with influencers
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – if you’ve never heard of SEO or you’re not exactly sure what it means, it’s basically a technique of writing that makes your content visible on search engines like Google. Producing relevant, useful content that includes terms that people often search for is a good start. Making it easily digestible is even more valuable.
7. Monetise your fashion blog
This stage is important if you want to transform your blog into a profitable project. There are a few ways to do this:
- Host banner adverts
- Do sponsored (not gifted) social media posts
- Create sponsored content
- Partner with brands
- Start influencing
8. Declare your income and pay your taxes
So now for the important bit. If you’re lucky enough to have successfully monetised your blog, don’t forget that you’ll have to declare your income to HMRC.
This depends principally on how much money you’re making.
- Is blogging your full-time employment?
- Is it a hobby business?
- Are you blogging along with a salaried role?
If you blog alongside your full-time job, you’re covered by what’s called the Trading Allowance. This lets you earn up to £1000 tax-free every year. Anything you earn over £1000 you’ll have to declare by doing a tax return, but you only pay tax on the portion over that allowance.
If blogging is a hobby business (i.e. you’re not using it as income to sustain you), you’ll not have to declare this to HMRC until you earn more than £12,500 profit. That said, you should still record everything you sell, spend on your business and earn just in case the business grows beyond a hobby.
If you’re blogging full-time and it makes up the main part of your income, you will have to declare this to HMRC with a tax return. You’ll only pay tax on your profits so it’s really important to keep a spreadsheet of what you spend on the business, what you earn and what profit you make. You’ll start paying Income Tax when you earn over £12,500 a year in profit.
To calculate exactly what you owe, use our self-employed calculator here.