There’s far more to blogging than buying a domain name, updating it with pretty images and providing commentary. If you want to turn your blog into a business, then you need this advice.
There are people who blog purely as a hobby, sharing their interests and loves on the blogsphere, then there are super-bloggers who make money for their online postings. Take for example former Dazed Digital commissioning editor Susie Buble who is now a fashion star thanks to Style Bubble and even Scott Schuman who has become a photography superstar due to the renowned The Sartorialist.
There is big money to be made in this business, but it’s all about getting it right. Here, three local Internet stars – Nadya Hasan from thefiercediaries.com, Anum Bashir from desertmannequin.com and Mahmoud Sidani from mrmoudz.com – reveal their tips on how to be a successful blogger.
How Do You Stand Out?
Nadya Hasan: “Let your personality shine through. Know your brand and your aims. Think about what’s your end goal, then stay focused otherwise you will distract your followers and brands.”
Anum Bashir: “I started blogging in 2013 and treated my blog as a startup. It’s so crucial to get your DNA. You need to stand out as there are so many people trying to do the same thing. For me I had access to all of this art [Anum is the Communications Officer for Qatar Museums] so I used that as my niche.”
Mahmoud Sidani: “I left Level Shoe District in February and launched my blog in March. But I started out in Instagram documenting my travels from my job. I travelled to places that not everyone is fortunate to experience so that caught attention. Be original. Make people say: ‘This person is different, let me follow them.’”
How Long Does It Take To Find Your Identity?
NH: “I’m still learning. With blogging you learn everyday. That said the luxury market seemed like the natural fit for me.”
AB: “My focus is on the marriage between art and fashion.”
MS: “My blog is an extension for me to communicate with followers from Instagram.”
What Should Be The Image/Text Ratio?
NH: “It’s up to you. For me I spend a lot of money on images but I also write a lot of reviews and document what I do. It all depends on your post.”
AB: “I mix high-end imagery with text.”
MS: “Images are important to me. You wouldn’t believe the amount of images I take before I get it right. You need to be selective with the images you post.”
What are the mistakes not to make?
NH: “Don’t work with brands that don’t suit your brand as no one will believe it.”
AB: “Patience is key. Remember, building an audience takes time. It’s not about getting noticed quickly.”
MS: “The Internet is so big. Once you post something it is out there for people to see, so think before you do anything. It’s your portfolio – you don’t know who is watching.”
How Do You Add Value To A Brand?
NH: “Think about how people portray you. Don’t let one project affect another more favoured one down the line. You have to prioritise. I try to be less commercial as possible, for example I won’t use loads of a brand’s hashtags. I will put my own spin on the coverage.”
AB: “It’s dual carriage, I like to work with brands that perpetuate art and fashion – it reiterates my ethos. Bloggers create huge desirability for a brand. I’m surprised you don’t see more bloggers being buyers.”
MS: “There is a responsibility as a blogger to give back to the community. I think long-term – what’s good for my image.”
How Do You Know When To Post?
NH: “It’s about timing. I know from analytics when and that time gets the most likes. I time according to region and I always try to reply to comments.”
AB: “Posting for me is correlated to an event. For example when I did the jewellery collaboration with Nadine Kanso I was virtually spamming people with nonstop content.”
MS: “I’m very analytical, for example I know that mornings are slow for me. I post three stories a day. When you over-post people unfollow you.”
What Are Your Most Popular Posts?
NH: “When I post ‘in the moment’ for example when at an event. Also I get a lot of likes for my outfits.”
AB: “My likes are consistent. I think because my coverage is consistent. That said my birth-iversary (my birthday and wedding anniversary are at the same time) gets lots of love.”
MS: “Mine are always when I’m with a celebrity.”
Nadya, Anum and Mahmoud were all part of a panel for a Fashion Forward Season Six panel discussing The Business of Blogging: How To Engage With Influencers