How To Start A Fashion Blog: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

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Fashion blogging is wildly popular and there’s a growing audience for both men’s and women’s fashion.

Whether you’re a natural writer or someone who just loves fashion, there are plenty of reasons to start your own blog. It’s a fun way to share ideas, build a name for yourself, and even make some money.

fashion blogging

But how do you get started? The idea of blogging with no experience can be scary but it’s much easier now than ever before.

This guide will teach you how to create a your own fashion blog from scratch. You’ll learn how to setup your fashion blog in a step-by-step process that anyone could follow.

You’ll also learn how to customize the design, write incredible content, and make a name for yourself in the blogosphere.

And once you get your fashion blog online you’ll be surprised you didn’t start sooner!

Making A Fashion Blog: An Overview

How exactly do you make a fashion blog and what are the steps?

Here’s a rough breakdown of the process from start to finish:

  1. Get a domain + web host
  2. Install WordPress
  3. Pick a theme
  4. Customize your blog
  5. Write awesome content and get noticed

I know this seems over-simplified because there is a lot to do. But it’s really not that difficult.

Anyone could do this. But most people shy away because it seems too complicated.

Absolutely anybody can make their own fashion blog regardless of their background or experience with making websites or using WordPress.

the curvy fashionista

You may be asking yourself “why WordPress”?

There are many good reasons. Partially because it’s free and will be free forever. But it’s also the #1 blogging platform and it’s currently used by 25% of the entire Internet.

Some bloggers argue for free solutions like Tumblr or Blogger. But neither of these let you brand your blog or customize the design enough to stand out.

Plus as your blog grows you’ll eventually want to get your own site anyways.

With a WordPress site you can run it anywhere, on any host, and you have full control over the design and content. This also lets you run your own custom domain like thecurvyfashionista.com which looks far more professional than a Tumblr domain.

You’ll also be able to make backups of your website and even create your own email address like yourname@yourblog.com.

Not to mention you can’t really earn money on a free host because it’ll load much slower and limit where you can place ads. Ultimately if you wanna get into fashion blogging it’s best to start with a strong web presence using a custom domain & webhost.

Typically you’d need to register a domain separately. But with BlueHost you can get a free domain and free email with your hosting account. This is by far the best choice for new bloggers and it’s the most stable long-term solution.

Once you get through the initial setup it’s actually a breeze. But if you’ve never done this before I understand it can be confusing.

If you follow this guide one step at a time I guarantee you can launch your own fashion blog in less than a day.

Step 1: Setup Your Blog

The first step is to think of a great domain name. This is the .com address you’ll use for your blog.

For example Elle’s domain is elle.com.

elle blog

Don’t skimp on this step because your domain is your brand. It’ll define your site and how people remember your blog.

Avoid anything too complex and try to keep it unique. It may seem like all the good domains are taken but just keep trying! Get creative with your ideas.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when picking a domain:

  • Make sure it’s easy to say out loud
  • Avoid numbers and hyphens
  • Shorter is usually better
  • Stick with a .com because it’s easier for people to remember

Write a list of different ideas and see how they look when spelled out. I usually write 3-5 different ideas and pick whatever stands out to me.

Try not to overthink this step. Go with your gut and if something feels right it’s probably a good choice.

Once you have some domain ideas visit BlueHost and click the big “get started now” button.

bluehost homepage

From here select the basic plan on the far-left side.

It comes with everything you need including a free domain, unlimited bandwidth(unlimited visitors), and up to 5 free email accounts.

pricing table image

On the next page enter your domain name.

You can select from a few different types like .com and .net, but I suggest using the .com.

domain register

If you enter a domain that’s already taken you’ll get a message with some suggestions for alternatives. Don’t be discouraged if your first choice is already taken.

Instead keep an open mind and be willing to try new ideas. At some point you will find an awesome domain that’s available.

Make sure that you’re entering the domain in the box on the left labeled “new domain” because this is how you’ll get it for free.

The last step is the longest part where you enter your contact & payment info.

This is pretty straightforward but there are a few settings you should change. Scroll to the box labeled “package information” and uncheck everything except domain privacy.

domain privacy checkbox

Every new domain has to include some contact details by law. Normally this would be your contact info, but with domain privacy it’ll be BlueHost’s contact info.

This is usually preferred since nobody wants their contact info open to the public.

Also if you want to pay less upfront you should click the “account plan” and change it to 12 months.

account plan terms

This will cost much less in total but the monthly price will be a bit higher. Either way you get the domain for free and the plan stays the same so pick whatever payment term you want.

Once everything’s filled out just click “Submit” and you’re good to go!

BlueHost should redirect you to a completion page. But if not you should get an e-mail with a link to the dashboard login.

Since this is a new account you may be asked to create a new password.

bluehost create password

Use whatever password you want but make sure you’ll remember it. If you’re afraid you might forget then jot it down in a notebook or on a post-it somewhere.

Once you’re logged into your account you should see a dashboard like this.

bluehost dashboard

Scroll down until you see the box labeled “Websites”.

Click the 2nd link inside the box labeled WordPress. It has a blue icon with the “W” logo.

wordpress install link

That’ll take you to the one-click install page.

This is the quickest way to install a WordPress blog and it’s a courtesy of BlueHost(just one more reason they’re awesome for new bloggers).

The very top section labeled “do it yourself” is the free option. Click the green “Install” button to get started.

green install button

The next page should have a dropdown menu with the domain you registered.

You can select either the www prefix or the non-www prefix. They both work the same so the only difference is how they look. Pick whatever style you like most(I prefer non-www like on WhatPixel).

Click the “check domain” button and let it load.

domain check

This should work quickly and it’ll bring you to the final setup page. You’ll see a box labeled “show advanced options”. Click that to expand three fields.

checkbox show options

The site name is whatever you want to call your new blog.

In my case I would enter WhatPixel(including capitalization). This will be added to WordPress automatically but you can always change the name later.

The admin username & password are made specifically for your WordPress blog. The password does not need to be the same as your BlueHost account.

advanced options setup

But make sure you’ll remember the username & password because this is how you’ll log into your blog to write posts.

Lastly check the terms & conditions checkbox at the bottom and click “install now”.

The process may take a couple minutes to complete so kick back and relax. Once it’s done you’ll see a notification at the top of the screen.

finished install bluehost

To access your site you can click the “view credentials” link in the top banner.

But you should get comfortable typing your domain into the browser since this is the quickest way to access your blog.

Let’s say your domain is myfashionblog.com and you want to log into your site. Just add /wp-admin/ to the end of your domain to access the administration panel.

Using the example above you would go to myfashionblog.com/wp-admin/ to see your admin panel. But replace myfashionblog.com with your domain.

You should see a login screen like this.

wp login field

In here enter the username & password you just created. If you forget you can always use your e-mail as the username, or hit the “forgot password” link.

Once you log in you should see a dashboard that looks like this.

wordpress dashboard

If you’ve made it this far then congrats! You now have a brand new blog with a fresh copy of WordPress.

And now that the technical part done we can focus on sprucing up your blog with a nice design and custom features.

Step 2: Picking A Theme

If you visit your blog’s homepage you’ll notice it comes with a boring default theme. Every great fashion blog should have a kick ass theme, and while the default is OK it’s generally worth looking into alternatives.

There are two routes to go: free themes or premium themes.

Free themes are usually enough for a new blogger. The free themes in the theme directory are fantastic and you can find plenty of blog themes in there.

activello theme

However premium themes usually come with more features and more control over the design. But if you’re new to blogging you won’t want to spend any more money.

This is ultimately a personal decision because both choices are fantastic.

To give you some ideas here are my favorite picks for both free and premium themes.

Free Fashion Blog Themes

Paid Fashion Blog Themes

In my opinion the best premium themes for WordPress are on ThemeForest.

Hundreds of designers submit themes to the marketplace so there’s a lot of variety, and their prices are reasonable ranging from $30-$60 per theme. I always get my premium themes from TF because there’s so much diversity to pick from.

But free themes work just as well, and the ones listed above are perfect for a new fashion blogger.

One thing to consider is that photos sell fashion.

Any great fashion blog will have a lot of photos, and you should notice that many posts in these theme demos have their own headline images. These are called post thumbnails and they’re usually a different size for every theme.

pashmina theme

If you pick one theme and change it 6 months later you’ll probably have different post thumbnail sizes. Not a big deal, but it might make your older post thumbnails look a bit wonky.

This is why I suggest picking a theme you love right from the start. It ensures that all your posts have the same feel and you can run the same theme for years.

Both free and premium themes can be installed right from the dashboard so you don’t need any technical knowledge. It’s pretty simple to do and I’ll show you the process for both.

To install a free theme click the “Appearance” link in the admin menu.

themes wp admin link

On this page click the “Add New” button at the top.

add new theme link

You should see a list of featured themes from WordPress. You can install any of these or search for your specific theme in the top-right corner.

search themes wp admin

I want to install the Activello theme so I’ll search for it by name. The list of themes should update to show Activello at the front.

Now I can hover this theme and click the blue “install” button.

install theme button

It may take a few moments but once the theme installs the blue button should say “activate”. Click that to make it your active theme & you’re all set.

If you bought a premium theme you’ll follow a similar process.

Again click the “Appearance” link and then click the “add new” button at the top.

Instead of searching for a free theme you should click the “upload theme” button near the top.

upload wp theme button

All premium themes from ThemeForest come in .zip files. This is exactly what you need to upload to get the theme installed on your blog.

Any theme inside a .zip should install from that upload field. But if you’re having trouble check out this brief guide, or contact the ThemeForest author for support(it’s free!).

You should be able to install any theme just from this page. All free themes are hosted by WordPress so you can search for free themes by name.

Or if you buy a paid theme just upload the .zip file and it should install right away.

Once your new theme is active you can click the “customize” link located under the appearance menu.

customize menu link

The settings are different for every theme but usually you can change your theme’s color scheme, layout style, logo, along with many other features.

Tinker around in this menu whenever you have some time.

But when you’re ready let’s move onto the next section to customize some basic blog settings and install a few plugins.

Step 3: Customizations & Plugins

In your admin dashboard click the “Settings” link on the left-hand side.

settings link admin panel

On this page you can change some basic features including your site’s name and tagline.

general page tagline

If your blog doesn’t have a tagline then just leave it blank. By default WordPress forces an ugly tagline so you’ll need to delete that first.

Then scroll to the bottom and click “save changes”.

You can also adjust how dates & times are displayed on your blog.

Now look back to the admin menu and underneath settings there should be a “Discussions” link. Click that to view your comment settings.

discussion link wp admin

Some bloggers prefer to disable user comments because they can be a hassle to maintain. But other bloggers love active discussions. No right or wrong answer so do whatever you prefer.

If you want to disable comments then uncheck the box labeled “Allow people to post comments on new articles”.

disable wp comments

Next click the “Permalinks” link in the left-hand menu to adjust your blog URL structure.

permalinks menu

I prefer the “post name” option because it makes your blog links short, easy to share, and it’s easy to guess the article topic because the keywords appear in the URL.

But you could also choose any date structure too.

change permalinks settings

Just be sure to change your permalinks because the default “Plain” is ugly and not Google friendly. Definitely not a great choice for a dazzling fashion blog!

These are all the main settings you should change but feel free to dig around in the other menus if you wish.

The last bit of customization can be achieved with WordPress plugins.

Click the “plugins” link in the side menu to see a full list of pre-installed plugins.

plugins menu link

I usually delete all the default plugins except Akismet. This is an anti-spam filter for blog comments which keeps your comment section clean and tidy.

Akismet is completely free and it comes with every new install of WordPress. If you want to keep user comments then you should definitely keep Akismet.

Everything else can be deactivated and deleted by using the links underneath each plugin.

delete plugins link

WordPress has thousands of free plugins to add features to your blog.

It’s important to install only the necessary plugins at first because it’s easy to go overboard adding dozens at a time.

I’ll get you started with three must-have plugins for any new blog.

Yoast SEO

Great SEO is crucial for every website and this is especially true for blogs. Thankfully you don’t need to be an SEO wizard to setup the basics.

There’s a free plugin called Yoast SEO which automatically configures basic SEO settings on your blog.

To install this click on the “plugins” link in the sidebar. Then find the “add new” button near the top.

add new plugin button

This works just like the theme search so it should be familiar.

Type in the name of the plugin you want into the search field on the right. Then when it appears just hover and click “install”.

yoast install screen

Once it’s finished installing the blue button will say “activate”. Click this button and Yoast will be all set to go.

yoast activate button

There are plenty of features you can customize with Yoast but you do not need to do anything.

Yoast handles all the basics and it can work like a hands-off SEO automation tool.

The only thing I hate about Yoast is all the extra stuff it adds to the admin panel. It comes with so much extra fluff that you really don’t need, and thankfully you can remove the extraneous Yoast features with SO Hide SEO Bloat.

It’s a free plugin specifically designed to remove the unnecessary Yoast interface fields.

This way you get all the best features like custom title tags and meta descriptions, but you won’t have to deal with the annoying bloat that comes with it.

W3 Total Cache

Every WordPress site needs caching. This is a technical process that basically speeds up your site and makes each page load quicker.

You can find plenty of info correlating quicker page speeds to fewer bounce rates(fewer people leaving your blog). This is one reason why caching is so important—and it doesn’t even require ongoing work.

W3 Total Cache is currently the best free caching plugin.

w3 total cache install

W3 Total Cache has a lot of options which makes it great for new blogs and more advanced blogs. But you don’t have to adjust any of these settings.

Simply install and let it run. W3 Total Cache works right out of the box and it’ll automatically cache new blog posts when they’re published.

This is an easy set it & forget it plugin that you’ll be glad you have.

Contact Form 7

It’s always a good idea to include a contact page somewhere on your blog. This way readers can reach out and connect with you, plus it’s great for potential advertisers or sponsors who want to pay to be featured on your blog.

The simplest contact form plugin I’ve found is Contact Form 7. It comes with a very simple default theme and it’s super easy to setup.

First install Contact Form 7 through the Plugins -> Add New page. Then activate the plugin and you should see a new link in your left-hand menu.

cf contact admin link

Click this link to see a list of all your contact forms. By default this plugin comes with one basic form.

To display the form on your site you’ll need to copy the shortcode with the square brackets that looks [like this].

square shortcode cf7

Copy that code and then hover the “Pages” link, then click “add new” in the flyout menu.

add new page wordpress

Enter the page title as “Contact” and then paste the code into the page body.

Then click the blue “Publish” link on the right.

publish new page

If you visit this page on your blog you should see a contact form like this.

cf7 contact form page

Very simple and straight to the point(and it looks great!)

But one thing you may wanna do is change the e-mail address that receives all these messages.

To do this simply click the “Contact” link in the menu. Then on the new page hover the default contact form and click “edit”.

edit contact form link

Now click the 2nd tab labeled “mail”.

cf7 mail tab

Here you’ll see a couple fields with your default e-mail address. You can change this to any e-mail you want and the contact form will send all new messages to that e-mail.

change email to fields

You can change other settings in the contact form but none are necessary. The default setup should be more than enough for any new blog.

Other than these 3 plugins I don’t have any others that I’d specifically recommend.

But there are literally thousands of other plugins out there so if you ever need extra functionality you should check the plugins page on the WordPress website.

For example, if you don’t know how to add Google Analytics tracking to your site you could try a plugin like Insert Headers and Footers.

But you shouldn’t just add plugins for the fun of it. Only add plugins that solve problems and that make your blog easier to manage.

So with all these customizations out of the way it’s time to move onto the fun stuff: writing & managing a fashion blog!

Step 4: Writing Great Content

Most fashion blogs online today are just not that great. They often veer into unrelated subjects, publish poor quality content, or simply clone what other bloggers are doing(but worse).

Readers like different fashion blogs for different reasons but the best blogs all have one thing in common: great content.

Try to make each article valuable to the reader in some way.

Ask why you’re writing each piece and who it’s meant for.

Are you writing to share your thoughts on matching colors or comparing fabrics? Are you writing about accessories, hair pieces, shoes? Or are you covering news in the fashion world?

You can write articles across all of these topics and a whole lot more.

But try to find a way to make your content stand out.

girl taking photo camera

Fashion blogs thrive on images so be sure to include lots of photos in each post. If you’re short on photos you can contact photographers or fashion designers to ask if you can republish their images on your blog with permission.

But every great fashion blogger should really learn to take their own photos.

Also think about your blog from the reader’s point of view. Is your writing easy to consume? Do you repeat yourself too much or are you skipping over any details?

These are some writing tips I use to make my posts easier to read:

  • Write shorter paragraphs of 1-3 sentences each
  • Bold/italicize important phrases
  • Sprinkle in a few images
  • Use lots of bulleted lists

And make sure to add featured images to all of your posts if your theme supports it.

These are the images that appear next to each post on the front page and in your blog archives.

Here’s an example from the Girl With Curves homepage.

girl with curves blog

Each theme has its own feature image dimensions but WordPress automatically crops all images. So if you upload any image size it can be cropped to work as a featured image.

So far I’ve covered how to make your posts easy to read and easy to look at. But what about the actual content?

This is a bit trickier because “great content” is a vague term. You should write about topics you love but also try to share valuable ideas with your readers.

My favorite example is The Modest Man which shares fashion advice for shorter guys. Advice ranges from how to size dress pants all the way out to confidence tips for shorter men.

modest man blog

The key here is to know your audience and think about who you’re writing for.

Great content will be different for each blog. When you’re just getting started you should study other fashion blogs and mimic the type of writing you like best. But don’t make your blog a carbon copy.

Instead try to blend the writing styles of your favorite blogs along with a scoop of your own writing style.

Finding your voice takes time and practice so the best thing to do is sit down and blog your heart away.

How To Stand Out

If you want your fashion blog to grow then you’ll need to offer something unique. This may seem hard because there’s practically a bajillion fashion blogs out there.

But it’s actually simple once you know how to put a twist on your writing.

And it all boils down to one thing: genuine value.

Can you provide some unique angle or value that your readers can’t get elsewhere? What can you offer that’ll make your blog stand out?

This might be awesome photography, vintage fashion accessories, funny/insightful writing, or interviews with fashionistas from around the world.

All of these things develop with time but try to find your strong areas and focus on those.

The more you study other bloggers the more you’ll learn what’s lacking in your own blog.

If you want to stand out then find a void in the fashion community and fill it with your voice. Write about the topics nobody else is writing about. And do it frequently enough that readers keep coming back.

Another key tip: if you feel comfortable being a blogger then add your face somewhere on your website.

brooklyn blonde blog

People connect with people more than brands so a personal photo helps give readers a peek at the writer behind the blog.

Check out the Brooklyn Blonde about page to see a nice example. When readers see you as a real person it’s easier for you to share stories about your life, your fashion sense, and your opinions/ideas.

You’ll also have an easier time building personal connections and you can become the personality the fuels your blog.

Networking With Fashion Bloggers

It’s super important to get your name out there and build a reputation for yourself as a fashion blogger.

This can be done in many ways but you should always be open to chatting with other fashion bloggers. It may seem like a big industry but many fashion bloggers know each other and you should try to squeeze your way into the group.

But this is easier said than done.

Your first step is to get on social media, especially Instagram.

instagram user smartphone

It doesn’t matter whether you create a personal account under your name, or an account under your blog’s name. In fact you could make both!

Social media is the best way to reach out and make connections without being too pushy. With networks like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat it has never been easier to connect with strangers and foster a relationship.

Track down some of your favorite fashion bloggers and follow their social accounts. Drop comments on their Insta pics and tweet about their best posts.

If you write about them on your blog tweet the link and drop an @mention to let them know.

Over time your name will become more recognized with other fashion bloggers.

This type of relationship building has never been possible before and it’s incredibly powerful for fashion bloggers.

I wouldn’t say that you need to sign up for every social network available. But these are the most popular ones to consider:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook(Fan Page)
  • Snapchat
  • YouTube(if you do videos)

Don’t be afraid to reach out via e-mail too. Most bloggers are super friendly and don’t mind getting emails from other bloggers.

But cold e-mails asking for stuff rarely get a response.

Instead try reaching out to complement an article. Share your thoughts or ask a question about their blog.

girl fashion accessories

As you build relationships with fashion bloggers it’ll be easier to ask for advice and get critiques on your writing.

But before you can do any of this you have to just write!

So with your new fashion blog online & customized the only thing left to do is grab your camera, break out your clothes bins and write some awesome content.

I hope this guide offers more than enough detail to get you started and moving forward with a fashion blog. There’s a lot of work that goes into fashion blogging and most of the hardest lessons you’ll have to learn through experience.

But if you feel any part of this guide is too confusing or lacking in detail please get in touch and share your thoughts.

I’m always willing to update this guide to make it the best possible resource for aspiring fashion bloggers. So if you have any suggestions for improvements I’ll be happy to listen.

Congrats on making it this far & best of luck with your new fashion blog!