Way back in 2005, Scott Schuman’s street style blog, The Sartorialist, rocked the blogosphere and launched a slew of location-specific fashion blogs. Everyone wanted to start one, including us (yours truly had a Portland Street Style blog at the time).
Since then, the fashion blog industry has taken the web world by storm, with top bloggers becoming brands in and of themselves and making well over $1 million a year from affiliates, product placements, social media marketing and more, according to a recent article from Fast Company. There’s no magic behind what these people are doing – they all start with the same tools: a laptop, a website template, and some zany idea that maybe, just maybe, they can make it. With a little luck and a lot of persistence, many of them succeed beyond what they ever thought possible. So how can you cash in on the internet fashion market? Read on for how to start a fashion blog.
Update April 24, 2015: It was only a couple of months ago that we launched our Fashion Blog WordPress theme and the response has been overwhelming and wonderful. So many new and existing fashion bloggers have decided to use our theme that it’s made me want to draw a little attention to a few today. So here they are:
Be sure to check out The Model Style Blog from Alessandro Sartirana, a photographer. This is such an amazing example of what this theme is capable of when it’s used by a skilled photographer with a fabulous eye for color, design, and contrast. There is tons of eye candy here for fashionistas, too!
Choose a Name for your Fashion Blog
The first step in starting a fashion blog is choosing the right name for your website. There are a variety of opinions on how to choose the best name, but generally, you want to follow these guidelines:
- Brandable: It’s much easier to create a logo and identity around a website name that calls up specific images to your reader. Think about the ways that your website name will be used – when other bloggers write about you, what your name say to them? The Spicy Stiletto blog is a great example of this.
- Not too long: When you think about names for your website, consider the number of characters users will need to type in to find it – via the web, or via your email. No one likes a long email address. Words tend to run together when too many are involved.
- .com when possible: Unless you are blogging outside the US and your audience is not US-based, it is a good idea to stick with the .com domains if possible – they show up better in search results and users are most comfortable with them. There is, however, an exception to that – using tools like Domainr will help you find domain names that may be shortened to the point of using the TLD (top level domain, what is known as the “.com” portion of your URL) as part of your name (radio.fm is a good example).
- Relevant: Make it fun, make it relevant. Closet Freaks blog does just that. You can also use your own name and create a brand around yourself if you’re planning on playing a solo role in it. If you’re starting a fashion community, your name might not be so relevant.
How to Install WordPress on your Fashion Blog
Next, you will want to connect WordPress to your website by going through the famous 5-minute install process. Bluehost offers a great video tutorial on this, and WordPress has a very useful step-by-step article on installing WordPress on your website.
How to Select a Website Template
This part is fun – you will want to find a website template that you like that will serve as the foundation for your blog’s style. Some of our favorites include the following:
Street Style Theme
The Street Style theme is the perfect website template for fashion bloggers, beauty bloggers, or street style chroniclers. The theme is fully responsive so it looks amazing on all platforms and it’s been carefully designed to perfectly match the current aesthetics that are popular in the fashion industry today. This is the perfect theme for your next project.
Fashion Blog Theme
Choosing a theme for your fashion blog just got easy! With the Fashion Blog theme you get greater value and more flexibility than with any other theme on the market. Don’t miss the opportunity to use this incredible theme! This theme comes with a wide range of frontpage banner layouts that include classic image banners, full-screen image and video pages, and slideshows. This is the ultimate platform on which to start a fashion/lifestyle magazine that puts your photos and media creations front and center.
The theme is packaged with the powerful Nimbus Themes options panel that allows for modifying all aspects of the template. Choose from hundreds of Google Fonts and an infinite number of color combinations making branding your website a piece of cake.
The Marilyn theme from Blu Chic is a classy fashion blog theme for WordPress. With large image areas and a user-friendly layout, this theme is the perfect choice for street style bloggers. Marilyn is fully responsive meaning it looks fantastic on the largest monitor or the smallest mobile phone handset. Additionally, the theme offers a built-in featured content slider and custom header logo to make setting up your fashion website fast and efficient.
The theme is created by our friends over at bluchic who create a great line of feminine and girly themes. Some are sleek and streamlined while others are soft and approachable. We’ve never heard a complaint from any of the bluechic theme users that we’ve worked with so they must provide quality support and value in their theme offerings.
The Magazine theme is a perfect fit for anyone who is starting a more traditional magazine style fashion website using WordPress as the base CMS. The theme offers a wide array of options to modify the fonts and colors of the theme elements and comes with a nice black on white high-impact default looks and feel. The theme is fully responsive and is coded in compliant html5 so you know your site will not be penalized by Google for issues with code.
The Runway theme offers users a high-contrast sharply focused blog/magazine style template that would make a wonderful lifestyle blog theme of any kind. Runway is fully responsive and offers retina support for high-definition devices like retina enables ipads and macbooks. It also offers a fully customizable theme options framework making it easy to modify typography and choose from an unlimited array of color choices.
One of my favorite things about this theme is the very nice use of blocky san-serif fonts. It makes the theme feel very crisp and modern without falling into the trap so many themes do with adding endless flash and bling that only confuses and muddles the overall feel of the final website.
The Bijou theme provides an interesting mix of magazine, blog, and business layouts. It’s a great template if you’re looking for a flexible layout that can offer room to migrate your business model between the many fascists of the fashion industry. You could use this theme to build a readership by blogging and providing search friendly content, when the time is right you could activate some of the more magazine-like aspects, then when you’re ready it’s easy to switch to a more business-typical look.