Sunday, October 03, 2010

A Successful Style Diary

This isn’t the only style blog on the internet. The style diary phenomenon has taken off and, like styles of dress, there are many different approaches to the blogs. I’m not a fan of them all, but I have my favorites and I’m happy to share the elements that I find make a successful style blog.

A few recommendations:

DO. . . Post good pictures. This usually requires good lighting, an actual camera (instead of a phone), and a tripod and timer/remote or a partner. You don’t need a professional photographer, exotic backgrounds, or creative poses. Simply, your readers should be able to clearly see your outfits (and accessories). Everything else is just gravy.

DO. . . Update regularly. Blog is short for “web log,” and the very nature of a log is that it is updated with some regularity. I recommend posting to a style diary at least three times a week. If you are looking for regular visitors, you must reward them with new content.

DO. . . Keep text to a minimum. This is my personal preference. I best enjoy style blogs with no more than 250 words per outfit post. Say a few words about your outfit. Share a funny anecdote. But keep it short and sweet.

DO. . . Participate in the online style community. Visit other style blogs and leave meaningful comments. Participate in a fashion message board. Post your outfits to community forums (like Wardrobe Remix).

DO. . . Take fashion risks. Why do you look at style blogs? To be inspired? To see what’s new? To learn new mixing tricks? Assume your readers are looking for the same. We don’t get online to look at the status quo. So, be extraordinary and we will watch.

And some watch-outs:

DON’T. . .Use a ton of big pictures. I recommend using one or two big pictures (big = 500 pixels along the longest side) per post and many smaller sized images (240 pixels along the longest side) for detail photos or repeat full body photos. I hate scrolling through posts with multiple, large pictures of essentially the same shot. Unless your reader is using a big-screen tv to view blogs, the larger pictures can only be viewed in sections anyway. Be choiceful for greater impact.

DON’T. . .Cram a week’s worth of photos into one entry. Again, keeping with the diary concept, create one post per day and fill it with only that day’s outfit(s). If you get behind…backdate and publish a few posts a day until you are caught up. I find multiple outfit posts overwhelming, unless there is a common theme, like a vacation or special trip.

DON’T. . .Complain. Everyone has a bad day and you’ll certainly find sympathy from the internet. But if you make a habit of whining in your posts, people will stop visiting.

DON’T. . .Be unsafe. Google yourself. How much of your personal information is already out on the internet…your last name, your address, your place of employment? On your blog, do you reveal your daily routine or plans to go out of town? With that information, you could easily become the victim of a crime: burglary, fraud, stalking or worse. Be smart about what you reveal and when.

DON’T. . .Blog for money or popularity. Blog because you love it. If you’re blogging for sponsorship or fame, your readers can tell. You’ll come across as false instead of genuine. I’ve dropped a few blogs from my blogroll that turned into nothing but giveaways and product “reviews” or attempts to be noticed by the fashion greats. Blog because you have passion for your subject and people will respond.

What do you look for in a style blog?


-smatz- said...

Thanks for the tips! I appreciate them and will definitely take heed in my own blog.

Cheers :)

Unknown said...

These are all great tips, I make my images bigger than 500px but aim to make them shorter and longer rather than taller, so they CAN be viewed all at once... I do get fed up with blogs that have become purely reviews or bigging up their sponsors as well! c:

In Kinsey's Closet said...

Thanks Kasmira! Greats ideas for a new blogger like me :0)

Collette Osuna said...

Sounds like great advice:) I have giveaways....but Im very particular who I partner with.....not every Tom Dick or Harry....a company or a place I believe in..I love or I think my readers would love....theres more to life (and blogging) then the almighty dollar....:) Keep doing what you are doing...I love your blog!

Anonymous said...

Totally right. I've quit following blogs because they just didn't update enough. And I've also just never been able to follow blogs where they have bad pics/too big pics.

Hannah | The Outfit Repeater said...

These are some really great tips, thanks so much for sharing!

There are a few that bother me a lot, typing a novel explaining there day/outfit, starting off with "I'm sorry" to every blog post, and of course posting 10 pictures of the outfit and the only change is your hand moved slightly.

grace said...

One thing that is important to me is realism. Yours is the most "exciting" or "inventive" fashion blog I read. Mostly, I want blogs that show how real women wear their real clothes in their real lives--nothing that is emulating a runway.

Leslie aka "MissusSmartyPants" said...

Thanks for sharing your blog tips. I especially like the idea of blogging about fashion because it's your passion.

I too hate "product review" type of blogs! Too many gimmicks are a turn off and plain dull!

Here's to being a style original! Keep it up girl :)

Kathryn from Schoolmarm Style said...

These are great tips, Kasmira. I think that the blog because it's your passion tip is key. There might be times when you wonder whether it's worth it- especially when you see other blogs take off while you stay where you are. If you're doing it for passion that will help fight those blues.

I personally prefer when people include their faces in their posts even if they are looking off, away, or behind shades. I can't stand the headless outfit post.

Anonymous said...

i look for fashion inspiration.
tx for da brief tips :)


Ashley B said...

Another don't, don't have a style diary if you were the same colors and outfits in front of the same white walls ; so un-creative (is that even a word?)

You definitely don't have that problem and that's why I love your blog! You're one of my faves, you inspire me to be creative =)

ash said...

Oooo! Ooooo! (waves hand frantically) I have another tip!

Don't truncate your posts in your rss feed. I just drop blogs that truncate unless their content is really worth it (almost never).

I have GOT to get posting to my sewing blog more regularly....

Jodi said...

thanks for posting this Kasmira,
Yours was one of the first fashion blogs I came across and was really inspired by it. Yours was/is full of ideas, creativity, resources and fun. I then began looking at other blogs and have sure seen a range.. some bloggers are so focused on themselves and their popularity. I think its pretty easy to tell who is in it, for what. And then its up to us to choose who we spend more of our online time with.

anyway,thanks for this post!!

Vanessa said...

Excellent tips. It's great how blogging can make you practice skills like photography and exercise your creativity. That's what it should be about.

Sheila said...

Thanks so much for the tips! I've learned so much from blogging from you over the years. :)

Andie said...

I couldn't have said it better myself! :)

Kailee said...

Thanks for the tips...these are very very helpful. I'm for sure going to try and follow some of them as I'm a new blogger and still working everything out. Also, I would just like to say that I really love all your different categories and style tips on the side because they really help a ton. I feel like I can go there for any style problem I have. thanks!

Lindsey Dixon said...

These are such great tips! The thing I struggle with the most is probably updating regularly. But I'm working on it!

Lindsey Soup

Jessica said...

Thanks for posting - these are all great tips for us newbies! Jessica at the well-known blog What I Wore posted a great list of helpful hints for new bloggers as well, even though it might have been a while ago.

I do have to disagree with you about the bit about a text maximum, though. There are a number of successful style blogs like Already Pretty (which focuses on body image, etc.), or the Scholar Style Guide (which encourages thoughtful discussion on clothing and style choice) that are very text heavy, but I personally enjoy exploring more than just the visual about the world of style. I like blogs, too, that tell me more about the person behind the clothes - their day, their inspiration. In fact, that's the sprit behind my own blog, Surely Sonsy. I didn't want my blog to be just about my clothes, especially b/c there are many other blogs that do that and do it far better than I could. I felt it important that I stay true myself and write how and as much as I want - especially since I like talking about my style choices as much as wearing them. I wanted it to be place of exploration in both life and style - perhaps it's not a style blog, but a personal blog with a style diary as its main focus. I have, however, made that intention very clear. It's fine that it's not for everyone - the fact that I'm not a size 4 isn't for everyone, either - but that's what I wanted my blog to be. And reminding myself that it's not a popularity contest (as you have here) helps me solidify that intention as well.

So, I think another DO for a blog to make sure it has a personal voice to it. Otherwise, it's just another blog. =)

Lorena said...

These were really good tips.
I feel kind of bad now because I complain a lot.
I complain in real life too.
Maybe I should write a separate complain blog.
Anyways I mostly look for inspiration and uniqueness in blogs, Oh AND PERSONALiTY.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the advice as well. When I read a style blog I'm looking for new ideas, solutions, inspiration, and a little entertainment all rolled into one. I follow quite a few blogs, but if I start to find them annoying or irrelevant, I'm quick to delete them from my list.

I particularly appreciate blogs from people who I think are especially creative (like YOU, my dear) or who seem to work around different challenges, like a super strict budget, a remote location, or a less than ideal body type or shape. ;)

The Adams Family said...

Great tips, Kasmira. Yours is the first blog I started to follow and for many of the reasons you listed here! I must say, too, that I can't stand the blog whiners! If there's anything that will cause me to stop visiting a blog (besides photo overload), it's whining and complaining about one's life. It's just annoying, really, and unless it's a blog about your life in general, who cares? Just show me what you're wearing, how to remix it, where you got it, etc.

The Adams Family said...

Great tips, Kasmira. Yours is the first blog I started to follow and for many of the reasons you listed here! I must say, too, that I can't stand the blog whiners! If there's anything that will cause me to stop visiting a blog (besides photo overload), it's whining and complaining about one's life. It's just annoying, really, and unless it's a blog about your life in general, who cares? Just show me what you're wearing, how to remix it, where you got it, etc.

Kate said...

I love your "Don't complain" tip. One of the big reasons I frequent your blog is for your positivity. I agree readers visit fashion blogs for inspiration, and readers surely feel less inspired by someone glooming over an outfit not working, or 1 persons off the cuff negative remark, of not being able to afford more clothes, or being too fat, or too tall, etc.

Unknown said...

Love this list!

One thing I would add is look for other bloggers who can inspire you, not ones that dress the same as you. I really find that following bloggers who wear things I would never leave my house in inspire me to try different things!

Rachael at

Unknown said...

These are some great tips, thanks!

Unknown said...

Hi Kasmira !!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks again for the tips :)
You have helped me tons , especially about overly complaining (if I do, I try to have a positive resolution, sometimes it's good to see people being real, and not shiny/happy people all the time) However constant complaining or apologetic posters do try my patience.
You are right on with taking risks.
That's why I visit other blogs, for unique inspiration :)
I do enjoy getting to know the blogger a bit and enjoy well-written commentary , Like Second Skin ( i love her views/outlook ).
I still am a photo overloader ;)
I have a hard time picking one. I am getting much better with my variety :)
If u get a moment, would you "critique" my image size? I really like large photos since I am now a bi-focal gal, but do they load too slowly? if so I'd appreciate your imput. My hubs says I make them too bright as well ( another eyeball issue ;)
Aren't you getting tired of that Hawaiian print dress yet? ;)
I am so sick of seeing it on you, and think it would look great on me! Tee, Hee :)
Thanx again for your inspiring blog. Reva

C said...

These are perfect tips.

Anonymous said...

I love these tips and will start applying them to my blog ASAP!! Also I just found your blog yesterday and I'm already addicted. You have great style!!

Angie said...

I look foe remixing tips and ideas.I love my clothes and I seek inspiration on how to wear them. your blog does a great job on that.I'm part of the blogosphere and checking style blogs and/or updating mine has become part of my routine.