Before social media gave the world immediate platforms to share POVs, style, and intimate looks inside people's lives, it was good old-fashioned blogging that gave everyone and anyone the space to leave a mark on the internet. And many of those marks became phenomenons, which eventually developed into full-time jobs, fame, and thousands of devoted followers.
While those early days of blogging are now over, there are still tons of fashion forums with a profound influence on today's style scene. But since so many people want to be the influencer of the moment, how exactly do you get to that level?
We asked 10 bloggers to give their expert opinion on how to get started, keep a blog going, and, most importantly, stay true to yourself. Click through below to hear from some of the coolest, trendiest bloggers out there.
Jane Aldridge – Sea of Shoes
Instagram Followers: 195k
What got her blogging: I was 15 and obsessed with fashion and magazines. I spent my weekends thrifting with my mom and wanted to document our outfits because we were finding really cool stuff! Living in suburban Texas, I was really isolated in my love of fashion, so it was a way for me to connect with a few friends I had who loved it too
Her Advice: Practice, practice, practice! Get out and shoot every day, learn what you do best and feel best doing. You'll learn from your mistakes, and you shouldn't have to force it. I wish I had been more confident in myself. When I decided to pursue my blog as a career rather than go to college, a lot of people told me I'd be making a huge mistake and ruining my life. Now some of those same people have dropped their jobs to work in the industry I'm in now. I've learned so many invaluable skills doing this over the last decade, I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. It's a real job like anything else, so you'll have good days and bad. If you have someone in your life you really trust and want to build it with, it can help shoulder the burden of all the work. My mom and I helped each other with our respective blogs when we started out, and it was the only reason we could make it happen!
Caroline Vazzana – Making it in Manhattan
Started: Spring 2016
Instagram Followers: 10.3k
What got her blogging: After several years of working in the fashion industry for magazines from Teen Vogue to InStyle, last spring, I decided I wanted to create Making It in Manhattan. The concept was simple: I wanted a place where those hoping to “Make It” in the industry could go and turn to someone to for career advice. Through my personal essays and industry interviews, I hope to shed light on the industry for them so they can succeed and learn from my mistakes.
Her Advice: Putting yourself out there in such a public and honest way opens many amazing doors, but it also opens doors for negativity. I try my best not to let negative criticism get to me, and if I am feeling down about it, I always talk to someone. Whether a friend or fellow blogger, create a network of women who are doing similar things who you can vent to and bounce ideas off of—I promise it makes a world of difference. At the end of the day, have fun! Make your blog a passionate project. Something you can wake up every single day excited to work on and excited to create new and interesting content for your readers.
Justin Livingston – Scout Sixteen
Instagram Followers: 228k
What got him blogging: I started my blog in 2012, after feeling creatively slumped in my corporate job. I wanted to find a place online that I could call my own—with my blog Scout Sixteen I found it.
His Advice: I’ve always tried to be the same person online that I am offline. The authenticity of truly being myself was a big factor in my success. I wish there was a magic formula, but it’s all relative. I’d say the best way to stand out is being passionate about the topics you choose to blog about—the readers will follow. Blogging is hard work but so long as you keep your passion and creativity at the forefront, it can also be extremely fun and rewarding. Start a blog because something is stirring inside of you that needs a place to grow. Don’t start a blog if you’re looking to get famous or rich because readers will suss out those ill intentions quickly.
Lynn Kim Do – Neckbreakin’ Style
Instagram Followers: 10.5k
What got her blogging: About four years ago, I started my blog in a total stranger’s living room with a cat. It wasn’t even my cat. I was house sitting for a friend of a friend. It was also the exact moment when I found out I was allergic to cats. Great! It was a pivotal time and a defining moment in my life; I just turned 21. I was newly single. I just started a job in PR. And, I was somehow in NYC by myself. Long story short, I was in hella confusing place in my life. And I was toggling the idea of starting a blog for a couple months. I had all these ideas and creative energy with no outlet to express it. Blogging gave me that. And way more.
Her Advice: Really ask yourself why you are starting it. Write it down somewhere. Really dig deep. And then use that reason and go hard. Is the reason to just work on a really cool concept? Maybe it’s art you really want to highlight… okay, which part? What kind? Is it visuals only? Or reviews too? My suggestion is to ask yourself, specifically, how you’re going to convey and express yourself and why? If I could go back and drop some knowledge I now have, it would be to not be afraid to be raw and personal. It took me a long time to break down the wall in front of a mass of digital people. I mean, I didn’t know them, and they didn’t know me. What was too much? And too little? It wasn’t until two years ago that I decided that I’m going to just do whatever I want, wear whatever, and say whatever I want. No fear. No censorship.
Diana Pearl – The Pearl Girl
Started: Summer 2016
Instagram Followers: 1.5k
What got her blogging: I fell off of blogging my senior year of college, and I honestly just really missed it. Even though I write for a living, blogging is just so different and offers you a chance to really channel your favorite things into your own little corner of the internet.
Her Advice: Growing a following takes time more than anything. So many bloggers buy Instagram followers, but since it’s inauthentic, it doesn’t really matter. You want people who are actually connected with you and your content. Social media is hugely helpful. I love following and connecting with other bloggers, whether it's through tweeting at them or commenting on their own posts. Doing more personal posts is a great way to gain a following because you're offering people a new perspective, something only you can give. The reason people read blogs is to connect with a real person and get their take on things, so be sure you're providing it! Incorporate hashtags into your posts, and be consistent in your posting. And, of course, be authentic! When I think about my favorite bloggers, it's people who have taste I trust and a voice I want to hear. And that often comes from confidence.
Andrea Maria – Dear Milano
Instagram Followers: 74k
What got her blogging: I studied marketing and fashion design in Milano, but I have always had a passion for writing, so I wanted to create a platform that could help me share my writing and vision about fashion with the world. It took me by surprise to realize I was one of the first bloggers in Mexico and Latin America back in the day.
Her Advice: It is so much more important to focus on creating high-quality content rather than just post to get likes and followers. Work on being yourself and share your authentic point of view in fashion. Social media is a great tool to engage with your audience. Your audience needs to be engaged in your social media platforms, so you can later send all that traffic to your blog. Instagram Stories and Snapchat are great platforms to share your authentic self and make a connection with your followers.
Throughout the years, you will learn that things are not going to happen in a second. You need to focus on building strong relationships with brands, even if that means not getting paid the first couple of times while you are building your followers. It’s more about working with the brands that go with your personality, rather than just getting paid or stuff for free. You need to take care of your voice and credibility. Don’t accept projects that don’t go with your style and branding. That’s why it’s so important to know who you are and what you want to say. Always be true to yourself.
Charlotte Groeneveld – The Fashion Guitar
Instagram Followers: 282k
What got her blogging: I loved the idea of a fashion blog. I loved sharing my looks with whoever out there wanted to see it, and the whole building a website, learning about blogging, social media, and business models that came with it intrigued me, and it still does.
Her Advice: Don’t let yourself be blinded by the “glamour” of what you see, and surely don’t make that your prime reason to start a blog. It’s not like that 24/7 and surely not when you just start. It’s our job to make everything look in the best way possible, within personal brand borders. The glamour comes and goes, and these are the perks, but the road there is, as with everything, a rocky one. You’re a solo player, and you need to be prepared to deal with the forever coming and going of highs and lows, no stable income—or income at all—when you start. Don’t get me wrong, I love love love my job, and feel so lucky that I took the step to start The Fashion Guitar back then, but I want to be real about it. It has all been worth it, but it’s not always been easy!
Tanesha Awasthi – Girl With Curves
Started: February 2011
Instagram Followers: 257k
What got her blogging: I started Girl With Curves in February 2011 as a creative outlet outside my full-time career in tech. At the time, I was super frustrated with my job and regretful I didn't go to fashion school, so my husband suggested I start a blog.
Her Advice: Be yourself and post what you're passionate about, no matter what. When I first started blogging, it was purely a creative outlet, but over time, I started worrying too much about what readers and brands wanted to see, which inhibited my creativity. Luckily, I was able to get out of that mindset by reminding myself the reason why I started the blog in the first place: to show women that beauty is one size fits all and anyone can look and feel amazing, regardless of size. On occasion, I get called a name like “fat,” and I always respond. Most people that troll online spaces are looking for attention and someone to project their inner issues on, so putting that into perspective in a response is the least I can do to spread my message to people who lack confidence so much that they're tearing others down. The majority of the time I get an apology and a new reader!
Aleali May – Aleali May
Started: October 2014
Instagram Followers: 169k
What got her blogging: I started my blog to highlight my outfits, but also show my audience more insight about the culture of streetwear. I wanted people to see from a woman’s perspective what street culture is.
Her Advice: We live in a world where comparing your life to others' is so common. The goal is to remain true to yourself! The great thing about a blog, is that anything you create, you can always grow better from the foundation. Sometimes my photographer and I would have to reshoot content because our last post was just so good! There's so much to touch upon in the world and this is a creative space to expand on these things. I always ignore negative criticism. Negative criticism is just a reminder that not everyone will understand your purpose, but that's something we can't run away from.
Jamal Jackson – Style Society Guy
Instagram Followers: 45.7k
What got him blogging: I used to post OOTDs on Instagram in 2011. I began developing a backup page just in case Instagram crashed, and I started to realize that people were visiting the site without me even promoting it. After I saw a big stat increase, I decided to just create content and start writing more.
His Advice: Sit down and figure out how much time you can actually devote to blogging now. After that, you can plan your topics accordingly. If you don’t, your posts will look sporadic and inconsistent. You should also be aware that not everyone will like, support or even care what you have to say. I usually ignore negative comments or negative people in general. Positive always weighs in over negative.