4 Things I Learned From Style Bloggers That Made Me A Better Poet and Writer
I believe that personal style is a talent. It’s one that I have admired pretty much all my life. As my mother worried about me during a sick day when I was in one of the earlier grades in elementary school, I told her to put on lipstick before she left the house to get supplies for me. I’m not really sure what was on my mind when I said that. It could have been the cough syrup talking, but I’d like to think that even as a child, I had an appreciation for a put together look.
By the way, I still get the stink eye to this day over this incident even though my mom has always had wonderful personal style.
As a teenager, I read magazines like Vogue, Elle, Essence, and Harper's Bazaar and dreamed over the photography of expertly dressed women. Style is a big reason why I love magazines to this day and earned my first Master's degree in Journalism.
Great personal style something that I continue to aspire to. Style is more than just throwing a top together with a pair of jeans or filling your closet with the latest and most expensive designer labels. Style is about developing an eye for coordinating colors, finding the perfect fit for your body, and combining expensive splurges with bargain finds, the old with the new, and a large splash of your personality to create an aura, an experience. I see the same whimsy, knowledge of self, and creative ingenuity that I love about my favorite writers in the photo shoots that my favorite personal style bloggers produce for their blogs and brands.
It is because I’ve recognized this parallel between creative writing and personal style blogging that I’ve been able to pull out these four crucial tips about excelling as a writer as I watch my faves like Kim Postell of Naturally Fashionable, Kelly Augustine, and Mattie James of Mattieologie grow their respective brands.
No one is exempt from having high quality visuals.
Even if your strength is your ability to have your way with prose and verse, poor visuals will ensure that no one with care enough to read your work. We live in a world that is losing more of its attention span every day. Our world is also becoming more dependent than ever on captivating visuals to decide on what content they will consume and what content they won’t. All of my favorite style bloggers have photography and graphics on their blogs that rival any of the New York glossies, and honestly, that’s the first thing that pulled me into their blogs and made me a regular reader.
I’m currently working on a plan to start posting personal style outfit photos along with some other types of content to the blog. Purist writers may think that outfit photos on a blog that is meant to showcase writing is a distraction, but OOTW (Outfit of the Week) photos just serve as another way to exude personality and draw readers in. That brings me to the next tip I’ve learned…
The hardest thing about being any kind of content creator is finding your authentic self and reflecting it through your work.
One thing I like about Kim Postell is that she keeps it real. I appreciate her telling the story about how she has grown from a semi shy teacher who looked at style blogging as merely a hobby to a chic and confident multi-faceted style influencer who runs multiple successful businesses that grew out of that same blog. A big part of her success is the way that she infuses her spirit and authentic self into every venture that she takes on. Whether it’s Naturally Fashionable, her style blog, Blog with Kim, or her Avon business, Kim has added her own flair to everything she has touched in a way that resonates with people and moves them to take whatever action she wants them to take.
I work hard to bring that same unique touch to my writing. It’s easy to underestimate how difficult it can be to figure out what you really want to say and then take it a step further and say it in a way that no else has. Many people refer to this delicate balance as nuance.
If you want to develop nuance, you’ve got to get this authentic self thing right. You won’t go wrong to focus the bulk of your time and effort on that.
It’s the difference between good writers and excellent writers.
Never let anyone tell you that what you have to offer won’t sell/be read because your market is “saturated”.
I’m a firm believer in the notion that when it comes to the creative world, there’s room for everybody. No one can do what you do quite the way you do it. Even if someone has the same ideas as you do, they won’t execute it the same way you will. That’s why being worried about “saturation” in a particular field is pointless. It may be true that there might be many more people doing what you do in a general sense, but that’s all the more reason why you need to spend most of your time developing your unique contribution to your craft.
Each of my favorite style bloggers blog about style, of course. Yet, each of them has tens and even hundreds of thousands of people who await their posts and photos. That’s because each one offers something that the other might not, and each one resonates with people in a different way. Kim is plus sized and classic, Mattie has a very luxe, haute couture feel, and Kelly gives off a very bohemian, free spirit vibe. They all do the same thing in different ways.
Don’t let people scare you from your passion with the saturated talk. Focus on bringing what you have to offer to fruition so you can rise above and succeed.
Figuring out a social media strategy for your brand is not an option for 21st century content creators.
Social media effectively broke down many of the gateways to a lot of creative industries, including the publishing industry. This can be both empowering and overwhelming, but harnessing what social media can do to amplify your writing is something all writers must do.
Kim says all the time that she doesn’t wait for others to feature her or give her opportunities. She creates her own exposure by sponsoring her own events and teaching her own blogging classes. Social media helps her reach the people who support her in all of these ventures.
In the same way that Kim creates her own opportunities, writers must create their own avenues to get their writing to their readers. We are living in a time when writers no longer have to wait for a major Big Six publisher to discover them. Research ways to self-publish to get started with creating your own pathway.
Who are your favorite personal style bloggers? Why are you drawn to their style, and how does it inspire your writing?