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Britain’s finest fashion bloggers unveiled

The UK’s resurgent fashion scene and thriving, entrepreneurial tech sector have combined to create a multitude of blogs.

Many of them are amateur and struggle to attract followers, but the cream rises to the top.

A select few have turned into full-blown businesses, leveraging their readers, followers and reputation to become successful, profit-making concerns.

But how do you make yourself heard amid all the noise? How do you develop over time? And how do you make money from your online presence?

Here, four of the country’s most successful fashion bloggers give us the inside track.

 
 


Style Bubble

stylebubble.co.uk

Founder: Susie Bubble

35-40,000 hits per day

Twitter: 233k

Instagram: 150k

Style Bubble

I was probably part of the first wave of fashion blogs. When I started in 2006, there weren’t many others. I was doing a nine-to-five job in digital advertising, which was really dull, a means to an end that I just fell into after uni.

I started the blog and didn’t think of it as being anything other than something to do in my lunch hour, after work and to feed my interest in fashion.I never thought I’d have a career in fashion.

By 2010 I had started working for Dazed & Confused but it had become impossible to keep up a day job, so I started working on the blog full-time.

It sustains itself and I earn a living, but I also do freelance writing and social media consultancy. It often comes off the back of the blog, so it’s quite hard to define where one ends and the other begins.The main source of income is advertising revenue.

But that’s looked after by Now Manifest, which controls the ad space and takes care of sales for a network that also includes blogs by Derek Blasberg and Anna Dello Russo.

Lots of bloggers do a similar thing. They take pictures of themselves, they garner a big Instagram following through cult of personality, rather than super-engaging content. I don’t want to bad-mouth new bloggers because I support what they are doing, and it’s good to have new voice. But it’s becoming homogenous.

Sometimes, when people really do approach blogging as a business, that can be to the detriment of the content. If you are too focused on clicks, affiliate links and other things, you’re not going to be producing content that is ground-breaking.

It’s such a crowded marketplace now, it might be better to put business aside to begin with and just try to create original content. Later you can start looking at it as a business and trying to grow it.

 


BOF

businessoffashion.com

Founder: Imran Ahmed

400k uniques per month

Twitter: 973k

Instagram: 117k

Youtube: 2.2k

Business of Fashion

Perhaps the BoF audience is more niche than the audience of most fashion blogs, but it’s also more monetisable. We’re using content as a way of interacting with a community of influential people around the world. But it’s not just about content.

The BoF careers platform [which launched earlier this year] gathers influential people from the global fashion industry, and then connects them to each other.

The media and content business is not an easy industry to be in. Lots of brands in print and online are struggling to make money.

But BoF has two primary methods of generating revenue: there’s the traditional advertising and sponsorship model that monetises content directly.

Examples are the BoF 500 [list of the most influential people in fashion] with Swarovski, the careers platform that has been launched in association with McArthurGlen and the menswear hub that we do in partnership with Pitti Immagine.

We run advertising campaigns on the website too. The second way is through a corporate subscription model — an annual fee that companies pay to become a premium partner in our careers network, rather than paying for each individual job posting.

BoF received outside capital for the first time last year — $2.5m from investors such as Index Ventures and LVMH. Until that point I had invested my own money. The rise of fashion blogs has happened in an industry that was ripe for disruption.

It was hard to penetrate, but we’ve taken this brand, this asset, this community and are making a business of it. A number of blogs are now finding ways of monetising, scaling and capitalising on their brand. It all happened without a master plan and we’re still working it out, but we’re in a very exciting business.
 


MademoiselleRobot

mademoisellerobot.com

Founder: Laetitia Wajnapel

175k uniques per month

Twitter: 23.6k

Mademoiselle Robot

I started the blog while I was on maternity leave and I simply didn’t go back to work. By the time my leave ended, the blog was generating a bit of revenue.

The blog is my main (and only) source of income and even the consultancy gigs I do have happened because people contacted me after seeing the blog.

I am well into the five figures now, to me, it is doing incredibly well. I am not a millionaire but it allows me to live comfortably in London.

There are three main ways that Mademoiselle Robot makes money.

I do consultancy; people come to me as they would come to an agency and hire me on a retainer basis to help them with their branding, editorial needs or creative direction.

I’ve worked with brands such as French Connection and MCM. Then there are brand collaborations; editorial style shoots posted on the blog highlighting a specific brand or product. And product placement too; that’s highlighted items posted on the blog.

I was also just hired as a brand ambassador by Olympus… and I have a few other things in the pipeline.

Why has my blog been successful when so many others haven’t? This is the million-dollar question. I am not sure, but I do think that having had a “proper” career before (I worked for 7 years as a journalist and editor before I started the blog) gave me a better understanding of what I wanted and could do.

Overall, I believe it is a combination of factors and a lot of luck thrown in too.

 


Victoria In the Frow

inthefrow.com

Founder: Victoria Magrath

Twitter: 14.2k

Instagram: 88k

Youtube: 74k

In The Frow

I have a PhD in mobile commerce design from the University of Manchester. It involved studying the implications of fashion apps, how they are designed and what consumer behaviours they can influence.

I’m now a lecturer on fashion retail, but I also teach PR, fashion marketing and digital marketing as I believe our students really need to understand the changing fashion world and the movement into online prominence.

I hardly thought about blogging until I did my PhD. Then, I stumbled across a Youtube video and found that there were people making homemade videos and writing about products. I was totally out of the loop, but now I love doing it.

Even if it turns out that I can’t make a career out of it, Im pretty sure it will help me get into whatever career I fall in love with. But at the moment, I’m loving it so much and wouldn’t want to change it.

Generally, advertising networks will share only a tiny bit of the income with you. I do get approached by brands to work for them as a content creator and if I already love the brand and it fits with what I do, it can be a fun way to help pay the bills. One of the brands I work with is Wonderbra — I’m one of their official bloggers.

Follower growth is entirely organic. It relies on good, high-quality and interesting content, so I just need to work on keeping up to date and on top of everything.And that would be my advice really — stay up to date with trends in content creation and do it better yourself. People will find you and your followers will begin to grow.

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