Being an online publisher has been nothing but a journey. I had to dig deep into my knowledge and mind, find the treasures of ground-breaking posts, and slaying the bad ideas that come at me when writing. The digital revolution, in how easy it is to present ourselves online, opens a world of possibility. In my experience, I started to find my online presence through what I wear: fashion. Fashion to me is a form of art, in that you can communicate it through pictures, words, and having this “physical thing” on your body.
But why care about fashion when it is deemed materialistic? Is that not shallow? According to Jenni Avins, Quartz’ global lifestyle correspondent who has written for the Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Style.com and various others, she explains how why caring about fashion does not make one shallow. I read this article about a year ago, and one of the main reasons I decided to go with clothes. She describes how fashion may be hard to follow, but if you focus on clothing and what communication it provides, it’s a different matter.
In a sense, Avins described how clothes represented deep meanings such as identity, a story, and “as a piece of the globalized economy” (Avins, 2018) We are all part of the fashion movement right now, in 2018, and what is worn today might not be worn in a few years. Whether we like it or not, we are part of this history, and to it has been astounding to think of it like that. My public that I had imagined was the Millennial male who adored street fashion, but, my public was anyone who wears clothing in general. They do not particularly have to agree with my style or start to own anything I suggest, but they can admire and view what it is like to dress in 2018 through my lens.
The most important thing to understand in branding is your audience. Building an online presence is much like building a brand, especially for those who delve into fashion blogging. In building a business, your brand “is how people perceive you wherever they interact with your business—both the impressions you can control and the ones you can’t” (Shopify, n.d.). This is particularly the same for building an online presence of a blog, and I feel that people usually forget this factor. You have to view your blog in its entirety: the design, the layout, the way people navigate. Every little point matters, down to the font you decided to use because it is how people are interacting with you without saying anything. You are giving them almost something I would call “digital touchpoints” for them.
So how can you deal with this? In previous posts, I feel that consistency is key to building an online presence. You need to make sure every little detail is consistent with what you are trying to pursue. If you, for example, want to give off the vibe that you are bright and bubbly, it has to reflect well on your design, the words you use, and the pictures you provide. For me, it was easy to saw what my brand in fashion was, but it was a different story to translate it online. One of the things I had to learn is that I needed to “position myself apart from competitors,” almost if I were to competed with them (Shopify, n.d.). Having this mindset really helped me develop my blog in that I needed to provide what is different about myself and showcase that online as well.
This is when the development of my online presence started to manifest—when I was trying to got noticed as much as possible. I personally used social media to my advantage, as I used Instagram already to develop a following through not only friends but other people who have a similar style. According to Ramsay, who runs Blog Tyrant to share blogging, SEO and email marketing strategies, he analyzed several fashion blogs and found that while good content is vitally important, he explains that “it’s your colleagues and readers and the relationships that you have with them that will make you famous (R., 2018).”
My network, which is comprised of mostly my friends, have been pivotal in my success of growing an online following. Before even starting my online blog, a lot of them were already nagging me to start one and have stated that I should did one. With this motivation from them, I knew that once I started, I already had supporters. For me, to even have 10 supporters, is a lot. If I were able to have 10 life-long supporters, I already knew that they would play a huge role in shaping my reach as they were advocates already for me. Yes, they were my friends, but it paid off having supporters; I can’t ever thank them enough for their trust in me.
Looking back, I think there were many instances where my thoughts have changed. I started off thinking “this would be easy and fun” to “alright, I need to plan what I’m going to do next.” Though it became a job, it was fun in that I had an outlet to just be me in the most creative way possible. However, I guess in a sense that could also be a double-edged sword, in that I could not bear to be boring or mundane and had to put this image on all the time.
I really fell in love with the design aspects of my blog, making it unique, navigating through every detail possible until I was satisfied. I became picky. However, I felt that this contributed to producing my online presence. If everything on my blog was a choice I had to make, then I know I am creating an authentic and unique presence. As the semester ends, I think this was my biggest takeaway. Be picky, because that’s when you really find out more about yourself and what it means to have an online presence.
In conclusion, I must address whether or not I feel successful in reaching my audience. To answer this as concisely as possible, I feel that I did in terms of reaching people. Though I’ll never know if I converted anyone into buying clothing pieces that I would buy, I’m sure I was able to provide content that people liked to see and were able to show myself in the best way possible. In terms of continuing this blog, I definitely plan to as time goes on, and will continue to keep reiterating as my creative mind continues to grow, change, and adapt.
Avins, J. (2014, December 15). Why caring about style doesn’t make you shallow. Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://qz.com/259024/why-caring-about-style-doesnt-make-you-shallow/
How to Build Your Own Brand From Scratch in 7 Steps. (n.d.). Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.shopify.ca/blog/how-to-build-a-brand
R. (2018, January 14). How to Start a Fashion Blog and Make it Famous. Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.blogtyrant.com/start-a-fashion-blog/