What Ordinary People Expect When Visiting Fashion Blogs

I am not a fashion blogger, but I frequent fashion blogs. I have a few independent fashion blog favorites but they now sound like mainstream fashion which kind of turns me off.

I like my fashion bloggers real and talking about fashion in a sensible way. However, I cannot force their writing style to remain the same especially if they view it as growth.

I am writing this for fashion bloggers who might be struggling to know what ordinary people like me expect when visiting a fashion blog. It may keep you align with how to reach your audience properly.

Here are a few expectations of ordinary people when visiting fashion blogs:

 

1.   We don’t expect you to be a celebrity

The main reason most people prefer independent fashion blogs over mainstream fashion editorial is because they can relate more to ordinary people. We don’t expect you to be a celebrity, so do not act like one.

I have noticed that there are a lot of fashion bloggers who wants to establish a personal brand as a fashion diva. When the content appears mediocre, people get an impression that you are not being authentic. And that may result to never coming back to your website.

Also, most people do not expect the blogger to be a model, so please don’t act like one or copy a model’s attitude and look. That will really drive your visitors away.

Unless you are really a model, then that is great!

2.    We expect you to blog from your own perspective

We don’t expect that you sound like someone from Vogue or Cosmopolitan magazines. It is very important that your blog remains conversational.

Otherwise, your readers might start feeling that the intention of your blog is not for them.

I personally prefer informal approach to blogging about fashion than trying to sugarcoat everything to sound nice.

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3.    We expect a fashion blog, not your diary

You are free to publish anything in your blog. Nonetheless, please avoid writing things beyond fashion and lifestyle and start bashing a friend or a neighbor.

Your readers are not interested in your personal affairs more than your interest in fashion and possibly a little bit of your lifestyle.

Your love stories don’t make sense to some of your readers. You may argue many times but as I said in #1, if you are not a celebrity please do not act like one. Besides, make your blog about fashion and not like a tabloid exposing your personal life.

4.    We expect a fun personality, not a snob

Your readers can sense when you are becoming a snob. From the brands you mention and to the lack of creativity and enthusiasm in your posts.

When you gain loyal readers, it may not be obvious to you, but they know when you are inspired or not. Be careful what you write about and how you write about it.

I am not suggesting that you remain perky and fun all the time. Taking it over the top will also make people leave.

To maintain a fun personality and not come across as a snob, you should regularly reply to comments and emails and spark discussion among your tribe.

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5.    We expect you to be an expert

Fashion blog readers expect people blogging about fashion as a fashion guru. Make yourself one and maintain a brand as an expert in things that you talk about and recommend.

If you seem like just another fashion blog, your brand will not stick with you visitors and they won’t even remember you among the millions of fashion blogs in the internet.

Conclusion

There are plenty of fashion blogs in the internet, becoming as the top choice even among a small tribe means that you have impact in their lives. You may just be a fashion blog in the eyes of others but for some people you inspire hope and beauty.

Be that blog that speaks about reality and not fashion in its delusional sense.

Getting an advice from a non-fashion blogger and listening to the needs of your readers will drive you towards success.

Fashion blogging is a tough niche, but that does not imply that you focus your blog around your competition. You must ensure that you are still centered towards your loyal readers.

Simplify Business Blogging

How You Can Simplify Business Blogging

You want to take business blogging seriously but the amount of information you find online is drowning you. This is true. In fact, most small business owners begin to get discouraged at the planning stage of their blog. There are a lot of abandoned business blogs that are still active online. There is a wasteland out there.

There are many ways you can simplify business blogging without losing the seriousness of your business. If hiring a professional blogger to be part of your marketing seems to cross your ethical stance on ghostwriting, then it could really be a problem to keep a consistent blog.

Nonetheless, you have another option, hire a blogger who will blog under their name while ensuring that all pieces comes from the thought leader, you. That could be a good idea right? But it is true that will still mean an additional manpower.

So you want to do it yourself but you are scared of failure.

Here are recommendations for you to simplify business blogging:

 

1.      Create the simplest editorial calendar

I mean the simplest, don’t aim for automated blogging calendar. Just plain paper with boxes. Normally, bloggers would have an in-depth keyword research when they start a blogging. Since you wish to simplify things, a complicated keyword research is not advisable. For now, just think of the most relevant keyword that pertains to your business and mix that with your locality. Start writing titles.

30 titles can keep you blogging for a month.

For example your business is Pet Shop 555 in Great Neck, New York. Then all you need to do is think of simple topics as your headlines that relate to your daily business activities.

For example:

Box 1. Dog Grooming at Pet Shop 555 Great Neck, NY

Box 2. Pet Shop 555 Pet Vaccinations in Great Neck

Box 3. Feline Friends at Pet Shop 555 in Great Neck

The list can go on forever, and you can talk about all the animals, regular and surgical procedures, all going on in your shop in a daily basis. You will never run out of topics.

The thing to really get you going in business blogging all you need to remember is that a blog is an informal kind of writing that focuses more on storytelling. While there is great value in posts that tackles deeper in subjects, that is not your goal for now.

Besides, those kind of posts must be done only a few times a month. Something that involves study and deep research. For now, you can simply tell a story.

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The reason for that kind of title in our example is to ensure you also incorporate a little SEO on your page title while making sure that you are found locally.

You may include the keyword found in the title a few times in the body of your post, if you find it awkward, then don’t. The point here is to just keep on blogging and get you writing and simplify business blogging.

2. Your blog must be in your website

I assume that you already have a website, now you need to make sure that your blog is installed on the exact server and exact domain. You can install it in a directory as http://myawesomebusiness.com/blog. If you cannot do it yourself, have your web designer do it for you.

The reason behind this is to make sure that all SEO credits for added pages/posts on the blog is attached with your main website. While there are debates that using a subdomain will be alright. I think SEO wise, it is best that you go with the former.

Just an interesting graph from Hubspot

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3. Link your blog post and website pages

That is simply adding a hyperlink on texts that you post on your blog. Make the link point to another page on your website or blog post. This will make sure that crawlers deployed on your site will be able to index all of your pages.

Links to external websites are also necessary. Not only does it improve SEO, it improves your authority as you suggest further reading or give credit to where the information you are talking about came from.

4. Images

Add a few images here and there. A great way to divide your topics is to put a spread of an appropriate related image.

Make it entertaining.

Images are a great way to enhance customer engagement.

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5. Proofread and publish

Aim for standard content length for now. By that I mean 400 – 750 words. That should be safe for search engine ranking and also for your customers to be entertained as you practice more. In time you will be able to make longer posts, those that require more study and time. Today we are more focused on how to simplify business blogging for you so you do not get confused at the startup of your blog.

There is great value in long-form content, but for business owners who do not have time daily, that is just impossible. As you practice with short-form content, making longer content will be easier in the future.

Read what you have written aloud. Check errors in grammar and spelling. Don’t worry if you think your composition is weak. It normally happens at the beginning of blogging.

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Relieve stress by not thinking about the writing too much to simplify business blogging. You will definitely improve soon. For now, just focus on delivering necessary information that you think your customers might be interested of.

When you are done with proofreading just hit publish. Congratulations, you have just blogged!

You see, business blogging is only complicated when you pay attention to buzzwords and want to apply every tactic mentioned by blogging and content marketing gurus. You don’t have to do everything they say right now. It is more important keeping your blog alive by producing original content.

SEO, writing skills, design and others will come along the way. Your goal is to speak for your business and your blog is that voice. Just say what you have to say and worry about complicated technicalities as you progress.

How do you get along with your business blog? I would like to know. Tell us how you manage your business blog in the comments below.

If you think I can help you getting started with your business blog in the right direction, please let me know.

What Small Businesses Should Blog

To remain competitive in today’s market, small businesses should prioritize blogging over other forms of digital marketing. Owning a blog but not consistent with publishing does not really serve your business well. Nonetheless, preferred than that is having no blog at all.

Often small business owners who setup a blog arrives at a spot where they think they ran out of topics to blog about. This simply is not true.

There are plenty of things that you should be blogging about. Business blogging is not confined to keeping a log on some important key areas of your business. In fact, customers are often not interested on that side of your business.

So what should a small business owner be blogging about? Here are some tips:

Solve a problem

Your blog is a great way for you to enhance customer service. There are a lot of topics you can individually cover in a blog about your product or services.

Every post you publish that solves a problem must be categorized under one category. This can be the hub for your customers who are experiencing issues with your business.

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Create How-to posts

Almost similar to solving problems, posts falling under this category can be used for instructional purposes. Having this section on your blog will enhance how you deal with your customers.

Sharing your knowledge in a blog will create a great impression among your audience that you are indeed an authority in your market.

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Promote Products

Blogs are a great way to promote your products in a conversation and avoid hard selling. While you tackle issues that are commonly experienced by prospective or current customers you can include hints of promoting your services or products that can help them.

Use your blog to talk about these issues and show that you care while you include subtle hints of promotion.

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Share Industry-Related News

Consumers love to hear news from industry experts. As you blog, you establish yourself as an authority figure in your industry. If you include news and current trends about your industry in your blog, the greater you will be perceived as someone who is truly knowledgeable. This enhances your reputation among consumers.

Spark a Discussion

Note topics that matter to your target audience. Create blog posts that encourages further conversations or discussions. Posts that encourage your audience to participate will boost your online presence. Blog posts length do not necessarily have to be long. Short posts that present ideas that can be further talked about is a great way to hear from your customers.

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These are just common things that you can look into when creating blog posts. The next time you feel like there is nothing to blog about anymore, look into it this and you will never run out of topics.

In blogging, repeating a topic several times in different blog posts does not necessarily mean being redundant. In fact, it can do your SEO good because you added a new page for search engines to index. You can talk about a particular topic many times but in different ways.

If you think I can help your business blog, please let me know.

Small Business Online Presence Startup Guide

If you are among the startups of 2016 you must belong to those batch of entrepreneurs who really need to look into establishing a strong online presence. This year offered many different options for entrepreneurs to start with the right foot forward.

Social media has become stronger today as a marketing platform and obviously going to get stronger in the years to come. Websites are easier to manage now than ever before.

Nonetheless, as an entrepreneur, you might not have the luxury of time to really dig into the benefits of a strong online presence. Maybe you are considering it after the business has picked up momentum offline.

Wrong, you actually you should have worked on your website the moment you thought of starting a business.

Building a strong online presence should not be as difficult as you picture it. Start with the right foot forward, consider the things written below.

First, let us have a strong definition of “online presence”

Your online presence surmises your overall digital brand in the internet. It will set the foundation for future interactions with clients, investors and peers.

If successfully built your online presence can take your brand to limitless possibilities in terms of online business logistics, marketing, promotion and conversion.

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How do you build a good online presence?

A lot of small businesses, especially startups are lost at this initial stage. I have learned from experience that some entrepreneurs think that building an online presence may start from just a Facebook Page, and ends there.

While, that proposes a little bit of success, an online presence is actually broader than that.

To help you begin on the right direction consider the points proposed in this article.

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1.      Write down your goals in detail

Writing down your goals in great details will allow you to formulate a strategy that will work. Whether long-term or short-term goals you need them written down and identify their priority.

Your online presence must reflect how these goals are being accomplished.

You shouldn’t be building an online presence because this blog says you should, or you heard of it from a friend. You have to build it because it will align your business strategies with success.

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2.      Lay down the foundations

You need a base, a place where all the magic begins. Online that will be your website. Your website is where all your content assets are. The very same assets that you will deploy in social media.

Starting with social media alone is probably a stupid idea because you don’t own the servers there. Besides, you cannot tailor your social media page to exactly reflect your brand. In the greater sense you will only be a similar business among many others.

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On the other hand, owning a website will give you opportunity to publish and curate content that you have full control of and then deployed to social media. Best solution for content management and marketing actually.

Your website design does not need to be perfect at the beginning, but it needs to display exactly what your brand is all about. It enhances customer engagement.

3.      SEO and marketing

Search engine optimization is very important. Don’t ever think for one second that you can survive with social media traffic alone. While social media can definitely divert traffic, search engine traffic is much more reliable if all of your pages are optimized.

Remember though that SEO is among the long-term investments that does not show any result at the onset of your online presence. There are so many things that needs to be factored in. Nonetheless, it does not mean it is not achievable.

In fact, once it starts to perform, there is no stopping it. Well there is stopping it, but you get what I mean right?

SEO would be useless without content marketing. In the basic sense, what will you optimize if you have no content on your website. A good content marketing plan must be in place.

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4.      Social media

Social media is a powerful tool. But also understand that not all social media channels can be powerful for your kind of business. Being in every social media channel is a waste of time too.

Unless you will be working 23 hours out of 24. Do not be silly, you know you cannot do that. So stick with one channel that drives results.

How?

  1. Identify your target audience demographics
  2. Identify which channel they are in
  3. Spend most of your time in these channels

Your time is better consumed by creating content for your website and generating leads than in every social media network.

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5.      Provide valuable timeless content

Whatever content you decide to create, it must be valuable to your target audience. Consistently provide valuable information.

I weigh timeless content heavier than timely content and would always consider it for a blog. Timeless content provides resources that can really be useful for you visitors today and the months or even years to come.

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6.      Measure progress

You need to always measure your progress through your analytics reports. This will make it clearer whether you are wasting your time or moving forward and getting closer to your goals.

Patience, a great deal of it

Patience is the key to success in establishing a strong online presence. Things don’t happen overnight, and is unlikely to happen over a course of a month. Depending on your type of business, it may take years before you establish a really profitable and strong online presence. This should not discourage you as an entrepreneur, in fact this is the reason why I mentioned at the beginning that you should’ve thought of your online presence prior to starting an actual business.

Even though the markets are now saturated, that shouldn’t stop you creating a dependable and strong online presence today. Invest in it and reap the rewards later on. If you think I can help in establishing your small business’s online presence today, please let me know.

The Painful Road to Success in Blogging

You want to be a successful blogger of course. But your meaning of success must be very flexible when it comes to blogging these days. An overnight success is hardly ever happening anymore in the blogosphere, and that is a fact you need to face.

We are hardly filled in between the gaps of how success happened to most of the people who made real success in blogging. More often we hear only the good bits and mixed along with the marketing gimmicks on how you can be rich like them.

Blogging is more than creating content. Just because you write does not mean readers will show up. Unless you are a celebrity with an established name. Nonetheless, even celebrities and big bloggers need to keep up with the competition.

Blogging is a tough choice, and wanting to earn from it is a gamble. Now that the entire world wide web is saturated with blogs, it is even harder to penetrate a readership who might give you a few minutes to see what you have to offer. But that shouldn’t discourage you, especially if writing is engraved in your being and find joy in weaving words.

Don’t give up easily

Most people do, especially those who truly possess the skills to create compelling content. Why? Because of the bitter truth, no one comes and read it. After about 50 blog posts and you think you have written your heart out and even formatted the post at its best, and still no one comes, it’s often a call to give up.

Not if you ask those who made recognizable success. Try reading this article.

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Your initial window to gain traction from search engine traffic is probably after 6 months of blogging. To gain real and loyal visitors it will be years. Now if that is somewhat frightening you and think you don’t have time and guts for it, you can give up. The only secret sauce to blogging success is time and patience.

Create timeless content

At the beginning of your blog, it is better if you create timeless content. Meaning content that can be used as a resource by another person and always relevant. Doing so, you create a substantial volume of content that will still generate traffic in the months and years to come. If you remain topical and blog about things that will no longer be valued in the coming weeks or months, chances are, you will just be wasting your time.

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Don’t even think of monetizing your blog at the moment

Trying to monetize your blog at its infancy is equal to making yourself feel even more terrible than you already do. It will only add to the stress. Consider monetizing after years of practice, probably by then you have a good amount of traffic that you can convert to sales for either your own product or affiliate products.

It is different for a business blog however. Business blogs must include sales and lead generation efforts at the beginning.

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Blog religiously

While you need to allow time to ripen your blog before it gains traction from search marketing and promotion, it is not a reason to slack. You need to religiously blog. Not because it is an additional page for your blog, but because you need to show up. You need to learn new things and post every day, if not at least post thrice weekly. This will help you learn more and as you do, blogging becomes part of your routine and becomes easier.

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See success as a process

Instead of seeing success as a spot you arrive at, see it as a process. There are really no shortcuts in blogging success, even with the help of the known marketing influencers, if you are not making content, there is no success for you.

Success is the collective process that you invest in your blog. Once you start gaining readership, your view about blogging will change. Just keep blogging.

If you think you need help with your blog or content creation, please don’t hesitate to contact me.