In the lull between Christmas and New Year, I thought it would be fun to take a light-hearted look at my blogging genre and some of the stereotypes that come with the territory. If you're a blogger then you'll probably recognise a lot of these, either within your own blog or from the ones you've got bookmarked for regular reading.
He was so determined to nail the vintage look that he went Elizabethan.
[Image my own, taken at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival].
Of course, you could be running a perfectly successful site by following this list to the letter, but I'm not saying that these points have to be flaws: they're just trends within the blogosphere that I can't help but notice.
Those fashion blogger clichés in full...
- You own Jeffrey Campbell Litas and can't stop telling everyone how great they are, in the hope that the PR department will spot you and send you another pair. THEY WILL NOTICE, DAMMIT.
- You have ombre-dyed hair but would never have considered this until it was fashionable.
- You go by a more original-sounding version of your name, such as 'Tigerlily' (you were born Tracey) or 'Nebulissima' (you were born Nicola).
- You regularly mention your boyfriend in your blog posts and occasionally dress him up for outfit posts, which he loathes.
- You regularly mention your dog/cat in your blog posts and occasionally dress him up for outfit posts, which he loathes.
- You practically blackmail people into becoming a follower of your blog/Instagram/Hello Cotton/Lookbook.nu account and you have a recurring dream of reaching 1,000 Twitter followers, which is surely a premonition, right?
- You begin your post with the immortal words: 'Hiya, girlies!'
- You greet commenting blog visitors as 'babe' or 'hun'.
- Your really imaginative fashion icon is Kate Moss or Alexa Chung.
- When you put up an outfit post it will consist of approximately 20 photos taken from slightly different angles, including classic poses such as Mildly Aghast, I Have No Idea There's A Camera Present and the Too Close For Comfort. (We all do it, so don't pretend you haven't too).
- You take grainy pouting photos of yourself in changing rooms, holding up your iPhone 5 so that we can all be clear about the make and model.
- When you take close-up photos for your blog, you have no idea how to use the Macro function. Wait, there's a Macro function?
- Your regular posts include Wednesday Wishlists and Instagram grids documenting the minutiae of your day.
- You leave insightful comments on other blogs such as 'FOLLOW ME! I'LL FOLLOW BACK! ENTER MY GIVEAWAY TO WIN A TAMPON! GREAT POST, HUN!'. If you call me 'hun' again then I will go all Attila on your ass.
- You never credit image sources and will sometimes post whole series of photos (such as those from major fashion events or product launches) with little or no commentary.
- You have a whole section of the blog dedicated to attracting PR attention, but the email address you use is something akin to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- When dealing with companies or press, you add three kisses at the end of all correspondence.
- You nominate 10 fellow bloggers for an award that you've never heard of, with a daft name such as the Sweet Sugar Bubblegum Blogging Gals Lovefest, which must be passed along in a chain letter style, with the person who ends the chain burning in hell (or Primark).
- You dream of being invited to super cool all night raves in East London warehouses with posh people who call themselves DJs and smoke roll-ups.
- The main reason you began blogging was to try and get free clothes.
You are so edgy that your hair is actually made of diamantes.
This bloke is apparently an art installation...
[Image my own, taken at London Fashion Week S/S13].
How to avoid the pitfalls and stereotypes
- If you don't want to compose a Wednesday Wishlist then don't bother. The world will not end, honest. Your followers can, and will, shop without you.
- Find out what your personal style is about. Step away from the role models and the routine of stalking your favourite high-profile bloggers and actually discover what you want to wear.
- A picture tells a thousand words, or so they say, but repetitive photos are really not the answer. It's quality, not quantity, and we don't need to see the same pose in the same outfit but with a 360 degree view. You have a mirror for that.
- Don't post for the sake of posting - if you don't have anything original to say then don't panic. It can wait.
- When you do post, say something different, and always credit your image sources. If someone nicked your content and passed it off as their own then you'd want to know about it, so treat others with the same courtesy.
- If you're marketing yourself as a blogger then remember to be professional, not casual. Get yourself a non-cheesy email address and use it; respond to outreach from businesses in the same way that you'd respond to a job vacancy, i.e. no kisses, full sentences and proving your worth. Oh, and ditch any embarrassing fashion aliases (you heard me, Tigerlily).
If you have a favourite blogger who avoids the pitfalls then feel free to share their URL below.