I’m a fashion blogger. Please take me seriously.
I have to admit I didn’t always take bloggers seriously. I earned my degree in Communication with a concentration in both print and broadcast journalism. I have tremendous respect for the time-honored profession of reporting the news, and there will always be a need for objective, straightforward stories. We will always need the facts. I’m not sure we’ll always need Tumblr blogs full of cat pictures or Donald Trump memes.
In starting a blog about men’s fashion, I wasn’t sure what I was setting out to achieve. Would my peers from college roll their eyes and scoff at the site as a half-assed attempt at breaking into journalism? Would people think I failed as a real journalist and the blog was my only alternative? Would people view what I was doing as insignificant? Was this blog destined to be nothing more than an expensive hobby?
Regardless of your positioning on whether or not to respect bloggers, there is true evidence out there bloggers should be taken seriously. In today’s world, influence is invaluable, and social currency is the way to lead significant change.
Take a look at the fashion sector specifically. Chiara Ferragni, the 28-year-old Italian style maven of The Blonde Salad, had 1 million visitors and 12 million impressions each month just two years into working on her blog. Ferragni has been profiled in Teen Vogue, created a shoe collection for Steve Madden, was featured on the cover of Vogue Espana this year, and was featured in a Guess ad campaign. Her blog and shoe collection were the subject of a study at Harvard Business School. Ferragni also brings home an estimated $10 million annually. Scoff at bloggers all you want. That’s big business.
On the men’s fashion side, style blogger and model Mariano Di Vaio created MDV style in 2012. With a Facebook page that touts over 2.5 million likes and an Instagram account with 4 million followers, this guy has serious influence. He’s used this influence to create his own jewelry line, MDV Jewels, and work on exclusive shoe and clothing partnerships.
Bloggers have several options for streams of revenue. Brands hoping to reach new audiences capitalize on bloggers’ influence to spread the word about their brands. They’re willing to pay anywhere from $20 to $15,000 to have their products featured on blogger Instagram and Twitter accounts. Ad revenue can also be a huge source of income for those who can get significant traffic to their sites on a daily basis. Affiliate links can have big payouts when readers click to view and/or buy pieces from a bloggers’ looks. Once a blogger has achieved significant influence, the opportunity for exclusive partnerships is endless. There’s even the option of getting an agent who can then broker deals with major brands and labels.
While it’s true that fashion blogging may not lead the conversation in current events or social change, it’s definitely changing the face of the fashion industry. Bloggers are influencing trend just as much as designers and have become an integral part of the flow of the business. When all of the pieces fall into place, a fashion blog can be a force to reckon with.
Yes, traditional journalism is a respected and established industry. But there’s room for both bloggers and journalists in this world. Blogging has become a multi-million dollar industry, and the bloggers themselves have become the face of a new business world. It’s an industry with leaders, hopefuls, and fans of its own. It’s a real business. It’s a real job.
I hope to use my blog to influence others whether it’s with helpful tips to look good or inspire discussion about the business of retail. Though I may not be working for The New York Times, I still deserve to be respected. And one day, some of the hardcore journalists out there might end up working for me.