One of the most exciting new features on Style Context is the section on Blogging Tips. As someone who is relatively new to the fashion blogosphere, I know how important it is to learn from fellow bloggers about everything from utilizing social media to gain a following to designing a user-friendly blog to advertising. This month, I spoke to Katie Cruz, writer of fashion blog, Lucy & Camilla to find out her tried and true tips for blog design, generating traffic through social media, and networking with other bloggers. Regardless of whether or not you’re a fashion blogger, these tips are widely applicable to all bloggers. Read on!
1. One of the first things I noticed on your blog, Lucy & Camilla, were the beautiful visuals. What’s your method for designing eye-catching content on your blog? Do you use a particular platform (like Photoshop)? What layouts and fonts do you recommend?
Thank you! In all honesty, that has been one of the most difficult things for me to achieve. I had to do much research on this because if you are a blogger that wants to go the extra mile when designing to make it more personal, then you will need more than the widgets or designing platform that your host website gives you, whether that be WordPress or, like me, Blogger. I relied on finding and tweaking my own HTML codes to add those extra touches. For working with photos or banners for a post or just my blog’s design in general, I have to thank and give much deserved credit to the amazing website that is picmonkey.com! Ever since discovering them, I use them for everything. From creating my labels and banner, to editing photos for posts to look like they came out of a magazine, they have been there! Pertaining to fonts, my suggestion is to use no more than 2-3 in your blog and most importantly make them legible. Once you have more than 3 fonts, they are very hard to read, it looks disorganized and turns possible subscribers off. Visuals at first impression are everything. If it is organized and fun looking then people will stay and more times than none, come back later on. In fact, most blogging award judges use organization and visuals of the blog as a guideline for voting.
2. Very helpful. I’ll have to check out PicMonkey. Let’s talk about social media. What social media platforms have been most effective for generating traffic and building a loyal following?
There is this little media site called Twitter. I’m sure you heard of it (laughs). It’s pretty phenomenal for generating traffic or even future followers. In fact, social media, point blank, is a must for any blogger these days. I wish I could say it wasn’t, because it would be so much easier not having an Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook Page account to have to keep an eye on as well, but it’s the truth! I have found, through the past couple years of blogging, that having a strong social media presence really helps get my content and name out there. That being said, I am also careful with what I post because if you are using these sites for professional reasons, you don’t want to associate your name with a cursing rant on Twitter or a nude photo on Facebook. Then your work gets shadowed by a wild drunken mistake. So definitely take advantage of these sites for traffic and exposure reasons (not the nudity kind) because after all, they are free and there to help!
3. I agree, I get overwhelmed with social media sometimes and I still don’t even have an Instagram! However, I would like to create a Facebook page soon. I see you have a Facebook page. What are your tips for gaining followers on Facebook?
Yes. My first blog was actually a Facebook Page called Fashionista Files. Once I began blogging with Blogger and created Lucy & Camilla I made a new Facebook page to match my blog and closed off my old one. Nowadays, their Pages are great because you can connect with Twitter and even Instagram by featuring them as Apps on your page. As for getting followers, the first thing that anyone should do, being they have their own personal profile account, is that they invite their friends to ‘LIKE’ their page. Just simply click the ‘Build Audience’ tab and you will be able to spread the word quite easily! That tab will become your best friend! Also, this is a prime example of when to use Twitter or any other social media site. Post telling your followers that you are officially on Facebook and give them the link.
4. Let’s move on to the subject of networking. How have you networked with bloggers?
In the beginning of my blogging days, I was a bit of a shy girl, which is odd because I am outgoing and bubbly in real life, but I was new to it all and not sure how to make the first step in creating blogger friends. Now, I have several and I love it! When you network with other bloggers, especially those in your field, which in my case is fashion, you create a work relationship like no other. I used platforms such as Bloglovin’ and Independent Fashion Bloggers to discover new people and create relationships. We are all learning and trying the same things, so when I have questions about something I can always ask them how they approached it and I immediately get help. Networking with others creates a chain of support!
5. What tips would you give to beginning bloggers for networking with other bloggers?
Make sure you know who you are dealing with first. Check that they have a legitimate blog, etc. There are a lot of creeps on the internet! I don’t want to scare anyone, but it is the truth. I always look into the person first by either Googling them or looking at their website. Also, if they ask for my personal info besides my email or blog url, I become hesitant. They don’t need to know anything else. Like I had mentioned earlier though, try getting involved with websites like Bloglovin’ or even Google Plus because there are lots of bloggers out there that are willing and more than happy to network! Contact them whichever way best and tell them about your blog and leave a link to it. Also, you can create events. I hosted a “Subscribe Soiree” in which I invited bloggers on my Lucky Community Dashboard to post on the event page and subscribe to one another’s blogs and get to know each other in the process. They loved it. Everyone who participated got traffic, new subscribers, and friends!
6. Are there any other tips you’d like to give to fellow bloggers?
I just want to say that I have learned so much about the internet and fashion through blogging and I am so grateful for it! At times I would second guess myself and would want to conform to how everyone else’s blog was, but I would eventually continue on and stick to having my blog represent who I am and what I love. A lot of style bloggers are so similar and have fallen in the cliche of redundant street style photos with very little content. I am a writer and plan to be a fashion journalist, so writing is important for me and that’s why I always try to create informative pieces along with photos to help my readers achieve whatever they are looking for. As long as you read and smile, I know I did my job! Moral to my story…let your blog represent the person you are and want to become, never what everyone else is! Your uniqueness is the best trait for followers – even better than Twitter!
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Do you have any pressing questions about blogging? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @stylecontext and I will try to address your questions in a future post.