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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fashion Blogging

John Marine | 9:50 PM |
One thread on a message board inspired me to post my thoughts regarding fashion blogging in general. One criticism people make about fashion bloggers is that many of them seem more like advertising spaces rather than actual journals or musings on fashion. For example, one may be obsessed with Jeffrey Campbell shoes and may mostly wear those shoes in their outfits and posts. Some may see certain fashion blogs as fronts for various designers and retailers. Inspired by a thread on an online message board, I began thinking about what some of the people there thought about fashion blogs in general. I felt I needed to make something to try to get some attention and to get my blog here some traffic and attention. So I started this post to discuss fashion blogging in general based on thoughts expressed from that thread in an online forum.

When I started "StyleSpace," my intent was to discuss fashion the way I see it. I express certain fashion points the way I want to express them. I want to discuss certain looks and trends the way I want to express them. If your idea of a "fashion blog" is mostly about sharing outfit posts and giving advice, then StyleSpace probably doesn't qualify as a "normal" fashion blog. I am not in any way classically trained or educated about fashion to be any sort of authority.

This blog post was inspired by a thread on a message board, and I got to think about things a bit more and decided to share my thoughts here on StyleSpace. In my blogging universe, you've arrived in my stylish space- StyleSpace! Welcome (back?) to StyleSpace!


...I want to say that I have been VERY careful choosing my words for this blog post. I have a number of friends whom have their own fashion blogs, so I want to make sure that my own comments aren't anything too offensive. The majority of material posted here is mostly based on expressed points rather than personal commentary.

This is also [officially] my silver (25th) post on StyleSpace! ;)

--- Fashion Blogging: What Is a "Fashion" Blog? ---

IN CASE YOU'RE INTERESTED: I said this blog post was inspired by a thread from a message board online. Well, this thread online inspired me to blog about this topic you are about to read: "Thoughts on Fashion Bloggers" - Forums. Hello to any and all visitors who may have found my blog via tFS!

What qualifies as a fashion blog is one key element- fashion. Fashion, though, takes on many different elements. Fashion blogs mostly feature insight on fashion. Beauty pertains to things like skin care, styling advice, and of course- makeup. While I don't consider it fashion in the classical sense, some fashion blogs relate to things like interior design and furniture. That- believe it or not- is also fashion-related, even though most of us think of and regard fashion only as clothing and personal care. Fashion blogs are devoted towards helping you look and feel your best or in sharing various insights from various fashion and fashion-related topics.

Of course, everyone has different tastes in discussing fashion online. Some prefer to share outfit posts. Some prefer sharing insight on fashion shows and other things. Some fashion blogs feature other content besides fashion. I have even seen various fashion blogs feature highlights of certain events as well as food. Everyone who has some sort of fashion-focused blog has their own insight to offer and their own identity they try to share and establish online.

What Do I Think a Fashion Blog Should Be About?

There is no rule book on what a fashion blog should be about, and I don't like telling people how to run their material. I think fashion blogs should be about fashion. You can always put your own spin on things to make your blog stand out and be different. It doesn't matter if you mostly do outfit posts, posts about fashion shows, fashion inspiration posts, posts about recent buys, or whatever- your blog is your contribution to fashion. And as such, it is up to you to determine what all you want to feature as your contribution to fashion. Regardless, it's your blog. Do what you want. Don't feel like you have to follow some strict code specifically detailing what a fashion blog should be about. There are no government regulations or federally-mandated rules or laws on what a fashion blog should be about. You aren't going to face any fines or get any tickets just because your fashion-oriented blog doesn't meet the standards of others. Be yourself. Let your blog have its own character and charm.

This said, I find fashion blogs mostly as personal journals and recollections on fashion and fashion-related material. People have different things they like to share while still mostly retaining the blog's identity as a fashion blog. Some fashion blogs try to cover multiple bases in their establishment as fashion blogs- fashion, beauty, and various other related topics. There's only one requirement (to me) as to what a fashion blog should be about- your interest in fashion. Whatever else you want to contribute is up to you, but it should mostly be about fashion. A supposed fashion blog that has nothing to do with fashion and/or beauty is... well, it isn't a fashion blog.

Why Did I Enter the Fashion Blog Realm?

I have one main story. I was mostly active discussing fashion... until I felt like I was severely not qualified enough in that community to belong discussing fashion. So what I did was take my love of fashion elsewhere. It began with posts on "John's Blog Space." As I became comfortable discussing fashion on JBS, I saw my main blog's popularity rise. It wasn't until July 2012 when I decided to make a proper blog devoted to fashion apart from my main blog. I finally decided it was time to make a blog more focused on fashion than a blog focused on anything and everything. Granted StyleSpace currently doesn't have anywhere near the number of views for my main blog, I still work to make this blog stand out and become some kind of success. I want to make StyleSpace a success. Because I want to make my own mark in fashion blogging with my own content and opinions, I made the work and the effort to start this blog and work on it to make it special.

So no matter what, everyone's opinion on fashion blogging differs; and various fashion blogs have their own insight and character that makes each one unique. Whatever you consider to be a great fashion blog depends entirely on what you think a fashion blog should be about.

--- Fashion Blogging: Being Discovered ---

As with anything, people want attention. This section applies to any blogger, really. Publications online and in print sometimes feature certain fashion bloggers. Teen Vogue Magazine and Seventeen Magazine often times feature certain fashion bloggers when certain styles are showcased. Their pictures and blog posts are usually brought to the attention of certain publications; and if these looks and blogs are to the liking of certain publications, they get featured in the pages of magazines or online.

I love blogging and love sharing content online. What I hate, though, is how I feel like just another addition to a certain label- I'm part of the blogging and social media crowd, as if I am horribly insignificant. I (and others) just seem to be another faceless person that only exists online and whose opinion(s) mean very little to anyone or anything. Because of the culture we live in, most of what us bloggers are just a bunch of insignificant nobodies. You know- ANYBODY can set up a blog and say whatever the heck he/she wants, and it won't mean crap to most people because... we're just a bunch of talking heads that only exist in cyberspace.

So why should somebody even bother fashion blogging? I think the biggest reason is because fashion bloggers represent real fashion people are actually wearing. Because let's face it- not everyone has money or access to high-end designer goods; and not everyone represents or influences the latest of-the-moment trends in fashion. So to show that average people have as great of fashion style as any celebrity, the best way to share our respective style in this postmodern age is through the realm of fashion blogging. Why does all the fashion discussion have to be about celebrities in extravagant photo shoots when there are average folk expressing their own fashion style unique from and apart from what is being featured in proper publications? Also, doesn't it feel good knowing that average people who post interesting blog posts and interesting outfits get almost as much love as certain celebrities featured in posts, most of which who have certain stylists help select clothes (and mostly quite expensive or have custom-made garments for photo shoots)? So it is this human element and this reality element that makes being discovered such a joy.

How Would I Feel About Getting Noticed For My Work?

My blog is still fairly young. However, anyone who knows me knows I have about 3.5 years of experience with "John's Blog Space"- my main blog. I am no stranger to fashion-themed topics if you are familiar with my main blog. In fact, many of my posts here on StyleSpace are blog posts from "John's Blog Space" made for here. Back on topic- I don't really care if I fail to ever be noticed for my fashion blog work, but I would appreciate if I were actually noticed and admired for my work. That's why I'm glad us bloggers get noticed by publications and websites. Quality work is rewarded with attention from others.

Up next is a look at fashion blogging from a money standpoint.

--- Fashion Blogging: Money and Advertising ---

Remember how I started this blog post? I mentioned how some criticize fashion blogging somewhat as being a living advertisement for certain brands. There are those who are paid handsomely for posts. Some are given products to review. There are some who even do sponsored posts. Even with sponsored material and paid material, making money is only secondary compared to the primary task of providing quality fashion material. Various fashion blogs accept advertisement and reviews. Of course, money does not influence or fuel peoples' desire to blog about certain fashion topics.

I often tend to look at fashion blogging (from a money/advertising standpoint) as a proper outlet for showcasing certain items and letting people in on certain deals. A sad-but-true part of blogging is that for those of us who are independents in the realm of blogging, we basically are our own business. So some of us look for ways to promote quality content but also financially profit from our work in some way. Paramount to all of this is the fact that the bloggers in question mostly showcase these items and feature their own personal comments on reviewed items.

On the other hand, some feel that some fashion blogs and fashion bloggers are more about clothes shopping than featuring fashions. Critical types would fancy fashion bloggers who are more about fashion ideas than being so fixated on shopping or on being an advertising front. Some people would feel certain fashion blogs are a lot more about advertising than being about fashion. The real critical types would wonder if fashion bloggers should be compensated financially for featuring certain fashions and styles since some exhausted their efforts to discuss certain fashions and products in posts.

Personally, I don't think of advertising or being any kind of consumer when I visit a fashion blog. All I care about is fashion. That's it. I want to see outfits and certain beauty touches. I don't think fashion bloggers care about anything other than fashion and/or beauty. I am not going to criticize a fashion blog just because it goes too far off-tangent regarding fashion. I would rather a fashion blog have its own character and presence rather than tell someone how to run a fashion blog. I am a casual fashion fan, not a hypocrite.

Some fashion bloggers feel their work is great enough to warrant financial profit of some kind. Then again, you can say that about anyone who feels his/her content deserves to be profitable.

--- Fashion Blogging: My Final Thoughts ---

Fashion blogs and fashion bloggers all have their own unique style. Everyone's taste in fashion is different and unique in their own ways. Some highlight on fashion. Some are mostly highlighting on beauty. Some just provide casual or professional insight on fashion. Regardless, everyone has their own unique contribution to fashion for various readers. You can't please everyone with your work. However, the desire to be different and to really stand out in the fashion blogging realm is different for everyone.

When I created "StyleSpace," I wanted this to be my space where I discuss fashion. I want to discuss fashion while also providing my own commentary on certain looks. In no way am I qualified to be any sort of fashion professional. It isn't as if my work is good enough to be invited to fashion shows (not that I actually see myself wanting to go to certain fashion shows). I am not a fashion blogger, but I do have a love for fashion. My own discussion of fashion is a lot different as I usually try to discuss various topics that ultimately have some connection to fashion. Some fashion bloggers even open up about personal insights. This brings a human element that makes certain fashion blogs interesting to visit. There are people who actually look at blogs as personal diaries. So therefore, having this human element adds some spice to blogs (fashion blogs notwithstanding).

People within the realm of fashion have their own levels of dedication and love towards fashion; and such fashion bloggers express their thoughts on fashion in their own way. Who are us readers to tell how fashion bloggers should run their content? Who are us readers to judge certain fashion bloggers like they are any sort of disgrace to the fashion community (unless they just simply dislike fashion)? Respect and honor all who are into fashion. We're the ones trying to keep fashion interest abound and afloat. If nobody truly cares about fashion, then at least respect all of ones who are trying to keep fashion fresh and relevant and real. That's all I'm saying here. No more, no less.

Please note that this blog post was inspired by a thread on a message board that I contemplated on. I had to offer my own thoughts based on this critical thinking topic regarding fashion and fashion blogging. What do you think about how some people feel about fashion blogging based on what you read?

I need your support, people. If you enjoyed this post (or any of my others), PLEASE subscribe and/or Follow! I do run a few other blogs. While this may not be my main blog ("John's Blog Space" is my main blog), in regards to traffic and popularity; I am trying to as much as I can to make "StyleSpace" as successful as my other blogs. Please help me with my vision for this blog. I want this to be a worthwhile experience. While I am blogging about almost any topic at random, I am open to ideas and commentary. If you have ideas for future topics or blog posts I should feature in my posts here on StyleSpace, please contact me via E-Mail or connect with me through my Facebook Fan Page. Thank you for reading!

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