Creating a fashion blog is fairly simple, but making money from it is a totally different thing. In today’s blog post, learn how to monetize a fashion blog and get paid for having exceptional fashion sense.
If these are what you like to research and write about, blogging about fashion is probably for you, whether as a hobby, a side hustle, or a steady income source in the future.
However, “fashion” is a huge niche, and is incredibly competitive. You’ll have to have tons of creativity, a very specific and engaged target audience, connections (or the audacity to create these connections), and an insane amount of luck to break through.
If fashion blogging is super competitive, is it even worth pursuing as a blogger with plans to monetize their blog someday?
The answer is yes, of course.
In today’s article, I’ll tell you why you should start a fashion blog anyway and discuss some of the best ways to monetize a fashion blog.
If fashion is your passion, then why not?
We’ve already covered passion versus moneymaking in an older article about finding one’s niche. If you’re genuinely interested in fashion—can’t stop reading about it, can’t stop talking about it, can’t stop being excited about it—then there’s absolutely no harm in starting a fashion blog and seeing how it goes.
A fashion blog allows you to express your own unique voice, personality, and taste in fashion from your own perspective. It’s this uniqueness that you need to attract your target audience.
That said, you need to remember that fashion blogging offers plenty of opportunities to earn an income, and this is precisely why competition is huge. Recent trends suggest that fashion blogging is going to be even bigger in the next few years, at least.
Fashion is evolving and is slowly but surely (“begrudgingly,” some would say) becoming inclusive in terms of gender, body type, skin color, age, and class. Expanding horizons means an expanding audience, which in turn means you’re likely to attract your target demographic, whoever they are.
So to sum it up, if you are obsessed with fashion, can offer a unique take on it, can research and write on it pretty well, and have the patience to work hard for a while until you gain traction and are able to monetize, then fashion blogging is for you!
So you’ve built your blog, wrote top-notch content for it, promoted it, and now you’re ready to make money from it. Let’s talk about how to monetize your fashion blog. Bear in mind, though, that not all of these techniques may suit you and your audience, so don’t be discouraged if they don’t work and don’t be afraid to try other methods.
Plenty of fashion bloggers, as well as bloggers who write in other niches, have been successful with affiliate marketing as a source of income.
If this is your first time to hear about it, affiliate marketing is when you promote products and services of another merchant and earn a commission when your readers click your affiliate link, or if a purchase or a form completion results from a click on your affiliate link on your website.
We’ve already written about the basics of affiliate marketing in this article, so I suggest reading it if you’re not entirely sure how affiliate marketing works.
Choosing the right products and services to promote is critical to the success of your affiliate marketing campaign, so choose them wisely.
Remember, every time you endorse a product or service, you’re saying to your readers that this is a product that reflects your style as well as your values.
This is the same message for all bloggers who are into affiliate marketing, but it’s a stronger statement when you’re a fashion blogger because the content you would normally put out is highly visual, and visual connections are often more powerful and stick more to people’s minds than written or even spoken words.
Affiliate marketing is a good way to train yourself how to sell in preparation for selling your own products in the future. However, it’s a bit unpredictable in that you can’t predict how much you’re going to earn because it varies a lot depending on the affiliate program and the company you’re working with. It can be as little as $5 per click or $1,000 or even $5,000.
You’ve probably featured a number of products and services on your blog at this point, so revisit them, list them down (with your favorites at the top of that list), then find out if they offer affiliate programs.
List down products as well that you like using but haven’t featured in your blog yet for some reason, and find out if those have affiliate programs as well.
Often, a simple Google search for “affiliate program” + [product/service name] will give you this information. Other times, you might have to go to the company’s website, poke around a bit, and see if they have affiliate programs. If this still doesn’t turn up anything, you can politely ask by filling out their Contact page, emailing them, or even calling them.
You can also research other fashion blogs in your niche, i.e., blogs you can consider to have similar styles to yours as well as competitors for the same target audience, and see what they’re promoting on their blogs.
Another way you can go about doing this is to look at affiliate networks, see which brands are offering affiliate programs, and check if they’re products or brands that you can work with.
Here are some affiliate networks that work with plenty of brands related to fashion:
A few of these affiliate networks require you to apply to be a publisher, so make sure that when they check out your blog that they like what they’re going to see: high-quality text and images, regularly updated, and highly responsive to questions and comments.
They’re likely to go on your social media accounts and check them out as well, particularly visual ones like Pinterest and Instagram, so only post high-quality images and photos on your social media.
Having an email list will also be a huge advantage for you to be approved as an affiliate, especially if you have 500 subscribers or more. As far as they’re concerned, the more people you can display your affiliate links to, the greater chances that they’re clicked.
When you do get approved as a publisher, remember to always disclose your affiliate links to your readers. You want to keep your credibility, your readers’ trust, and your compliance with the law. So it’s a best practice to always, always disclose your affiliate links, whether or not your affiliate program requires it.
This outfit roundup from FiveFootFashion not only has affiliate links but nifty-looking carousels at the bottom of each outfit photoset, with individual photos, prices, and availability. Her Disclosure And Policies page is also noteworthy for its sincerity and detail (she even discloses which affiliate programs she’s part of).
You can also check out this post from The Stylin Educator, featuring a similar carousel under the photoset. Notice as well that her target audience is well-defined and proves that fashion blogging isn’t only for young, single women in their 20s.
While affiliate marketing earns you commissions when your readers click on your affiliate links, sponsored content is content that’s paid for by companies. Sponsored content can appear on your blog or any of your social platforms.
As this is a form of native advertisement, it can look like your usual blog post or social media content except that you got paid for it (or got the product or service you wrote about for free).
Because this type of content has become popular in the last few years, audiences have been increasingly wary of posts raving and gushing about a product or service. They can’t help but wonder if what they just read was sponsored by that company because there’s just a tad too much praise and too little criticism.
Making this worse are content creators who aren’t at all transparent about their content being sponsored. Thus, people are getting tired of being sold to when all they want is to read articles about something they’re interested in.
So if you’re looking to go down this route, make sure you maintain your objectivity when describing your experience with the product or service. Tell the whole story: the good, the bad, and everything in between.
Plus, make sure your sponsored content is still of high quality. What makes or breaks native advertisement is if your audience remains engaged with your content or not, and if your content is sloppy, your audience won’t be engaged.
Honesty should also apply to companies who intend to sponsor your content. Explicitly state that if you’re going to write about their product, they should expect nothing less than a truthful article.
There will be times you’ll get offers to write about products that aren’t a good fit for your readers. There’s no shame in turning them down. Your primary responsibility should be to your target audience. If they won’t find a product valuable, there’s no point writing about it.
Remember: nothing is worth your integrity as a blogger.
First, you need to get noticed by companies who are a good fit for your blog. To do that, you have to do a good job attracting your target audience, which is also their target audience.
Valuable content, plenty of targeted traffic, and an engaged social media following are all attractive to companies looking to sponsor content. Sooner or later, a few of these companies will start to take notice and contact you.
Be ready for when it does happen. Set up a page specifically for your potential sponsors. Include information such as your traffic statistics (monthly pageviews, social media engagement, where your blog visitors come from, etc.), your target audience, and what’s in it for them.
If your resources permit, consider including a dedicated contact form and email address to make it easier for them to contact you if they’re interested. This way, their inquiries don’t get mixed up with other emails that you receive, such as general questions and blog comments.
After you’ve been doing sponsored content for a while, you can level up and start pitching paid sponsorships. Start with small brands and work your way to the larger brands.
This sponsored post from Always Creating Blog is an image-heavy post featuring the watch as part of an entire outfit, in contrast to the usual promotional photos showing nothing but the wrist where the watch is worn.
Plus, note how it’s clear even in the title that this is a sponsored post. The proper disclosure was also given at the beginning of the post and once again in the body text.
Notice that the author, Sabrina Tan, told a personal story in her post. It’s a good way to connect with her audience and dispel the feeling that this post is purely promotional.
Why couldn’t we have covered this in the previous section?
Well, I decided to talk about sponsored Instagram posts in its own section because Instagram is a big deal in fashion blogging.
Proof? According to research done by HopperHQ, of the top ten social media influencers (i.e., non-traditional celebrities) making bank from Instagram last year, half are fashion bloggers.
Note: Before you get too excited, these are the top earners; these numbers are far from the average. It takes years of hard work to get to this point, and these influencers have certainly put in that work. It helps to manage your expectations early on.
Being an Instagram influencer is a natural offshoot of being a fashion blogger, most likely because fashion is such a visual niche that photos shared by fashion bloggers on Instagram attract a lot of engagement.
Sometimes, it even happens the other way around; that is, Instagram influencers end up starting websites or blogs to expand their reach and command even higher fees for their content.
Whichever route you take, the bottom line is companies are willing to pay for Instagram exposure to be able to show their products to a wider audience, and that’s where influencers come in.
The simplest way to impress Instagram users is to post stunning photos that capture the essence of your blog, your style, and your story.
You can attract potential sponsors by simply tagging relevant brands and companies on your photos. Make sure you’re actually wearing or featuring their product or service, otherwise it’s going to backfire.
Ideally, you want to direct sponsors to your blog to see more of you. Since your Instagram bio is the only place you can include a link, make it count. Create a bio that catches people’s attention and convinces them to click to go to your blog.
Make your Instagram a business account so you can add a button so you can be reached by phone and/or email. Be informed that the phone number and email you provide here are public.
You want prospective sponsors to easily contact you, but aside from that, an Instagram business account provides engagement data for your posts. It’s highly likely that companies who want to sponsor you will ask to see this information.
When it comes to Instagram or any social media platform, engagement is what matters. And not just engagement but organic engagement; that is, real people who like and post comments on your photos.
It’s not enough to merely have plenty of followers; these followers also have to naturally engage with your content.
Once you feel like you have enough engaged followers, you can actually start reaching out to brands and pitching a collaboration. Talk about why you think your Instagram is a good fit for their brand and what you have to offer them.
If there’s one platform that makes it simple for you to disclose that a post is sponsored, that’s Instagram. Take a look at the following example from Aimee Song (@songofstyle).
Notice the “Paid partnership with” disclosure above the location tag. That’s a built-in Instagram feature tailored especially for content creators to be able to e