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Have you ever thought of starting a fashion or beauty blog? Already have one that you’d like to improve? Or, taking it one step further, is blogging full-time your dream job?
This year, the New York Lucky FABB conference—a two-day event tailored to fashion and beauty bloggers from all over the world—was all about making it on your own terms. It started off with an inspiring opening keynote by Lucky’s Editor-in-Chief, Brandon Holley, who talked about the important role bloggers have played in the evolution of the fashion and beauty worlds. Then, during panels held throughout the day, some of the industry’s superstars offered amazing advice that I’d recommend to every blogger who wants to stand out in the best way.
1. Offer Your Readers Something That Will Make Them Choose Your Brand Over Another
While this advice from Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren was originally meant for brands and retail store owners, the same concept applies to blogging (or anything, really). Since the blogosphere is already oversaturated with lifestyle and fashion bloggers, finding a niche and staying true to it has never been more important. You’ll stand out in a good way, and that will keep your readers interested. Plus, it’ll garner you new ones, because you’ll be providing something that no one else can.
2. Ignore the Negative Comments
Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller shared a disturbing story I’ll never forget. She had recently received a comment on her blog that said “Die Jew.” I couldn’t believe that someone— anonymous, of course—would be so discriminatory, ignorant, and scary all at once. This opened up a broader discussion at the conference about the anonymity of the Internet and how it can produce downright evil feedback.
So how do you deal with it? The consensus was to keep in mind that Negative Nancys are likely playing upon their own insecurities. Most comments have little (if anything) to do with you or your blog. That said, do take constructive criticism with stride. It hurts, but the person who took time to write it probably cares about your content and wants to see an improvement.
3. Analytics Mean Nothing Without Context
Raman Kia, the Executive Director of Digital Strategy for Condé Nast Media Group, explained that unique views and bounce rates—two common measures of success for blogs—mean very little without a storyline. It’s important to understand the meaning behind those statistics.
Let’s say your blog has seen a significant increase in page views over the last week. Figure out why that happened: Is content on a certain post or tag you used trending in general? You can check this by using Google Insights, a great tool for figuring out what search terms are popular and when. It helps to put traffic spikes in perspective, and you can use your findings to your advantage in future posts, too.
Kia also stressed the importance of knowing your blog’s page authority or “cool cred.” To get this comparative metric, he recommends using Open Site Explorer.
4. Always Be Looking for the Next Thing
Go bananas, Rachel Zoe style. She’s one of the most successful fashion personas on the map, and for good reason—the woman never stops going! She’s always looking forward, even while she’s working on the tasks at hand, and the result is seemingly unstoppable growth for her business.
Have you ever heard the adage: If you rest, you rust? While I do think there’s a time and place for relaxation and rejuvenation, it’s important to avoid complacency. If you’re constantly challenging yourself with new projects, collaborations, website designs, or whatever the “next thing” means for your blog—even if it doesn’t work—you will always be growing.
5. Constantly Reinvent Yourself
This advice comes from sage and eternally hip fashion designer Anna Sui. As her interviewer Simon Doonan, Creative Director of Barney’s New York, puts it, “Today’s peacock is tomorrow’s feather duster.” In our rapidly paced digital world, it’s true—and as a blogger, you need to make sure you evolve and stay relevant. Readers aren’t going to keep coming back to read stale, uninspired content.
Sui admits that she goes through phases (like many of us do) that inspire her collections season after season, but she finds that tearing pages out of magazines and creating mood boards, traveling, shopping at flea markets, redecorating, and listening to music or attending concerts are sources of inspiration that keep her constantly thinking about what to do next.
Did you attend LuckyFABB? What was your favorite lesson from the conference?