May 21, 2018
So, you want to be a successful style blogger, but you don’t have a $10k, $5k, or even a $200 Monthly budget for clothes every month, right? You are not alone. Starting out in the style blogger & influencer industry, i’m sure that is the case more often than not. Style bloggers start in all income brackets. Eventually, as you become successful and start making a large income off of your blogging and influencer marketing, your style budget may increase and you may be able to afford a new $100 shirt every day if you want, but, for most of us, that isn’t in the cards at the beginning.
So, how do you make an impact in the style blogger & influencer industry without having a big budget for new clothes? Let’s start by talking about some of the basics for what you need to do to start earning an income as a style blogger/influencer and then talk about how you can do those things when you are just starting out.
1. create shoppable content
2. consistent posts
3. cohesive branding & feed
The first step in monetizing your blog is finding a way to make your content shoppable. If you already have an established following, you could use an affiliate network like RewardStyle or ShopStyle Collective to get started. Usually, these companies look for an engaged following on your social networks and consistent posting. They both require you to fill out an application, and, if you get accepted, they make it really easy to create shoppable instagram posts and blog links. ShopStyle Collective used to have an easier process to join when they were a pay per acquisition company (meaning you got paid every time someone clicked on your affiliate link, whether they made a purchase or not) rather than a commission based company. Now, they require an application, but I believe it is still easier to join than RewardStyle. I am a member of ShopStyle Collective and love their platform, high commission rates, and ease for creating shoppable content and especially for creating shoppable pinterest pins (you can’t do that with RewardStyle). I plan on writing a blog post all about how to utilize ShopStyle Collective to make money, but for now, I’ll just say that although it doesn’t have the LIKEtoKNOW.it feature that RewardStyle has, I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. I believe that having people actually navigate to your blog/website to shop is better because it creates more community and engagement with your brand, rather than directing you to the LIKEtoKNOW.it app. If people are navigating to your blog to shop, you are getting more blog traffic, connecting with your audience more, and giving them a chance to look around your website and get to know you more, which are all great things!
As I mentioned, I use ShopStyle collective to create shoppable content and it makes it really easy to link to products featured in your instagram posts through the use of “Widgets”. I simply created a page on my website called “Shop My Instagram” and added a bit of code provided by ShopStyle Collective that showed all of my instagram images from my “Widget” and linked to all products. If you are a part of shop style collective, and would like help setting this up, send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form below and I’d be happy to help! If you don’t already have a “Shop My Instagram” page on your website, I can also help you create one through my design services. If you’re looking for an entire website design or refresh, I can help with that too! I also plan on creating a blog post for tips on utilizing ShopStyle Collective some time in the next week, and I will include a more thorough tutorial, so check back for that!
If you haven’t yet become a part of an affiliate network like RewardStyle or ShopStyle Collective yet, then it will be a little more work to create shoppable content, but with consistent posting, you will have a stronger application next time you apply to join one of these network.
how to create shoppable content without being a part of an affiliate network:
If the look from your instagram post was from a blog post, simply link to that blog post. If there isn’t a blog post for it, you can also link to a generic “Shop My Instagram” page. Either you or your website creator should create a page on your site just for “Shop My Instagram” photos. Each time you post a new photo, upload it here and then link to the items featured in the photo below it. Don’t delete past photos, just keep adding more. I would go ahead and do this for all posts for the week on the same day I am batch creating and scheduling those posts, that way they are ready to go on the website for when they are posted.
Posting consistently is the #1 way to grow your following and get noticed by brands. For instagram, this means every day, multiple times a day. I know this seems like a lot but when we get into the content ideas below, you’ll find that it is actually very doable. The best way to go about this is to batch create your content. Spend one day a week creating all your social media content for the entire week, and then use an app like Preview to schedule the content and send you a reminder when it is time to post, streamlining the process for you. For blog posts, consistently posting 3-4 times a week is ideal to get brands and affiliate networks to want to work with you.
Have cohesive branding. I can’t stress this enough, but it’s so important as a fashion blogger & influencer to BRAND yourself. Even if you can’t afford a fancy logo or website yet, that is just one part of your overall brand. The aesthetic of your feed & the tone of your voice and personality will tell readers whether or not you are someone that they want to follow, engage with, and ultimately trust to influence their shopping choices. If your aesthetic, style, and captions are all over the place, you will confuse your reader and they won’t know what to expect from you.
When visiting your instagram page, it will only take a few seconds for a reader to decide if they want to follow you. They will likely read your description and see a collage of your last 12 instagram posts when deciding if you are someone they are interested in following, so what is your bio and feed telling them?
If you are trying to succeed as a style blogger, having 3 pictures of just your dog within 12 posts isn’t going to help you at all. (Unless, maybe, your blog is about dog style? Is there a market for that?). If you have a cute pup, save it for your personal instagram or try to limit your dog posts on your business account. I certainly think it’s okay to include a post here or there about things not related to your blog/industry. It helps people get to know you, which is important in connecting with your audience and building trust, but 90% of your posts should still be about the things that you consider yourself to be an influencer on, whether that be a mix of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle posts, or fashion, fitness and travel posts. Another great place to inject a little more personality and introduce more aspects of your life would be in instagram stories. Since these don’t show up in your feed and throw off the branding and aesthetic, it is a great way to let your audience in on other aspects of your life, and most people watching them will already be following you.
What you are probably thinking now is, how do I create these consistent posts and all of this shoppable content if I can’t post pictures of myself wearing a new piece of clothing 3x a day every day? Don’t worry, there are TONS of ways to share content without necessarily making a ton of clothing purchases
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