Friday, 26 April 2013

Elements of a Good Fashion Blog

Top 5 Elements of a Good Fashion Blog


Identify who your users are and why they are on your website. Consider that each user has a different background, literacy skills, socioeconomic status, beliefs, goals... (you get the idea). Although you may get a lot of traffic from IFB, consider your reader's that are coming from different sources.

Identify what your blog is offering and make sure that both your blog and your users understand what they are getting from visiting your site.


The Man Repeller is a great example of effective structure, making it really easy to navigate.
The Man Repeller is a great example of effective structure, making it really easy to navigate.
A good structure has labels up at the top so people can easily navigate the website. Labels on the side are also helpful for users.


Understand where things are on your home page. Focus on creating space between elements so that users can easily navigate the page. Use strong typography, fonts, photos and colours. Consider what colours fit your blog's personality. Put engaging fashion photos on your blog.


Hypebeast, one of the most popular fashion blogs on the web, is a great example of a really strong brand.
Hypebeast, one of the most popular fashion blogs on the web, is a great example of a really strong brand.
How are you communicating your blog brand to your users (especially if you are a personal style blogger)? Your brand needs to be defined so that the content and design can abide by the brand purpose. (If you are a personal style blogger; have consistent style in all of your photos so your reader's know what to expect when they visit).


The MOST IMPORTANT element is content. Write unique content to attract new visitors and fill a niche.

Source: Writing for the Web, Open2Study

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

How to Host an Awesome Giveaway on Your Fashion Blog

How to create a blog giveaway, tips for fashion bloggers, how to increase traffic on your blog, how to promote your blog, fashion blogging 101, blog contests
Original image by Roberto Trm
Don't you hate it when you click on someone's giveaway link and the contest sucks? Or they ask you for too much information? Or the product doesn't make any sense with the blog content? I know I do.

Here are some steps in simplifying your blog giveaway and getting more people to enter:

People don't want to come to your blog and enter 5 pieces of information on 5 different websites for a bracelet worth 10 bucks. 

Here's a perfect example: I hosted a giveaway on another blog that had 2 products under 8$. It was a stationary item and a nail file. Doesn't make much sense on a fashion blog does it? Nobody entered. Two weeks later I hosted a Topshop giveaway for a leather backpack worth $50-60. Approximately 10-15 people entered.

Don't advertise your fashion giveaway on different lifestyle blogs being hopeful people will want to enter anyways. People MIGHT, but usually it's a waste of your promotion time. 

Promote to your fellow friends (not crazily, just with a sweet message), promote on, promote on fashion blogs you follow and social media sites linked to your blog. A big tip that I discovered is to create a great photo of the product with the words "FREE GIVEAWAY" and share the photo on Pinterest making sure it links back to your blog. In my Topshop giveaway, it worked very well. People shared the photo and it translated into traffic and more people entering.

See example below (created using Serif Drawplus):


Don't make people jump through hoops to enter your contest. People don't have time for that. Some sites simplify the process for you, making it easier to navigate for your users, check out: and \


Gumball approached me and said they'd love if I signed up as a co-host for their giveaways. I checked it out and discovered it was a great way to promote my blog and givea away high value merchandise to my readers. Although your reader's won't have as high of a chance to win, the products are awesome. Apply here to become an ambassador: or email

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To close off, just remember that blog giveaways should not just be about increasing traffic. Giveaways are a great way to give back to your readers and show them you appreciate them.


Friday, 19 April 2013

How To Create an Outfit Post if You Don't Know How to Use Photoshop

If you're interesting in doing an outfit post but you don't have any experience with Photoshop or Illustrator there is a really great program you can use and it's free to download.

It's called Serif DrawPlus (the starter version). I'm going to walk you through the very basics of using this program to create outfit posts. Once you learn the basics, you will have the knowledge to use Illustrator as these programs are very similar.

STEP 1: Download Serif Drawplus at

STEP 2: Once the program is downloaded, find the picture you want to use. Bookmark the page to use when you are ready. (Be mindful of copyright).

STEP 3: Open Serif DrawPlus and start new drawing. Select portrait. Select snapping and make sure pixels are displayed. Make a rectangle to suit your blog post width settings (usually 400px-500px width works).

Step by step tracing tutorial
Step 4: Create a title. Copy and paste the image into the picture.

Step by step tracing tutorial - illustrator and serif
STEP 5: Crop your image using the pen tool. Enlarge image and zoom in very close to get a good trace. The closer you zoom and the shorter the distance between the dots, the better your trace will be. You may have to practice with this pen tool for quite a bit before you get the hang of it. When you want to create curves you must click and keep your finger down on the mouse and drag before clicking again to make another dot. (PLEASE VISIT THIS LINK TO SEE A TUTORIAL ON TRACING USING THE PEN TOOL).

Once the image is fully traced via the crop tool, use the black arrow tool and select the trace. Do not move it's position. Then put your finger on the SHIFT button and make sure you select the original image. Once both are selected at the same time, right click and choose "crop" then select "crop to top image".

Step by step illustrator serif tracing tutorial.

Step by step illustrator serif tracing tutorial.
STEP 6: Keep pasting images and cropping as needed (or, use images with white backgrounds so you don't always have to crop them). Add text and shapes if you desire.

EXPORT IMAGE by following these steps:

Using your mouse, create an invisible box around the completed image, selecting the entire rectangle and everything inside. While everything is highlighted, click file->export->export as image. In the next screen, export it as a .png. file. 

Step by step tracing tutorial for fashion outfit posts.
STEP 7: Import your final image into blogger. Select 'original size' and make sure you enter information into the properties tags so Google indexes the photo!

How to crop an image. Striped dress trend
Creative derivative work of original image by Eva Rinaldi
STEP 8: Email me if you have any questions!

Question - If you already know how to make an outfit post, which image program are you using? Have you used Serif Drawplus before? Would love to hear your thoughts.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Position Yourself as an Expert

How to make money off your fashion blog, How to position yourself as an expert on your fashion blog
Creative derivative work by Tara Wilkins based on this original illustration.
I want to share a story with you I heard while attending a (really awesome) social media seminar recently. It's an amazing story about a guy who got laid off of his job and started a blog. It's a story about a guy named Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn is just a regular dude like you and me. He got laid off of his job one day and thought he was totally screwed, so he decided to put in serious effort into developing his blog into something worthwhile that would generate income. He put in affiliate links, blogged regularly and offered tips to people in his niche with a little bit of reaction here and there. After some time blogging, one of his friends suggested he write an E-Book.

So he obliged. He put a lot of work into the book, studying at the library and putting documents together. Then he published the book on his blog. Immediately people started purchasing the book and in the first month alone, Pat made $8,000 off of E-Book sales. Pat's blog readers started viewing him as an expert in his field and soon enough, his affiliate links started generating income too. At the end of the year, Pat ended up pulling in $203, 219.04 off his blog. Isn't that NUTS!?!! I was blown away when I heard that part.

Pat actually posts his monthly income on his blog: Smart Passive Income and literally breaks it down so you can see where all of the money is coming in (and how much he's spending). It's super inspiring and awesome . I highly encourage you to check it out.

The reason I wanted to share that story is because when I heard it, something clicked. I realized how much impact we can have on our blogs and/or our businesses if we just start strategically positioning ourselves as experts. I mean really, let's break it down: An expert by definition is a person "who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area."
Any of us can do it with some confidence, endurance and A LOT of hard work and dedication!

Don't you think?!

How to make money off your fashion blog, How to position yourself as an expert on your fashion blog

Friday, 12 April 2013

Influential Fashion Blog Comparison

Ever wondered what the statistics were behind some of your favourite fashion blogs? Well, I have!!... So I created this juicy infographic to get a behind the scenes look at *some* of the influential fashion blogs on the web right now. 

Before you check it out just remember that each of these bloggers have put hard work into their blog for an average of 3-5 years. They've put in time, made mistakes, learned new skills and been working at this blogging world for quite some time now... and at some point their blog probably sucked.

Fashion blog worth, fashion blogger comparison, fashion blog infographic, fashion blogger views per day, influential fashion bloggers

Are you surprised? 


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Gold & Studded is undergoing a re-branding process this week!


Please follow my updated blog name on Bloglovin! --> HERE 
Additional details:

1. Fashion Blogging 101 will be aimed at aspiring fashion bloggers and current fashion bloggers.

2. The purpose of Fashion Blogging 101 will be to provide fashion bloggers with information and inspiration on fashion blogging.

3. The end goal of Fashion Blogging 101 is to help fashion bloggers reach blogger success!!

Thank you all for your patience, please stick with me through the process and I promise it will be worth your while! :)

Monday, 8 April 2013

Turn Your Fashion Blog into a Source of Income - Part 2

Fashion blog affiliate marketing tips and tips on creating influence in your fashion blogging niche market. Tips on creating valuable content to form long lasting online relationships. Make money off your fashion blog & improve your fashion blog. How to.

When I first started blogging I noticed there was a common thread among fashion bloggers who had achieved success with their blogs; influence. 

It is my strong belief that if we can understand what influence is, we can learn how to create it ourselves. 

If you are new to fashion blogging, my hope is that you will gain as much insight from this research project as I did. I would love to hear your reactions in the comment section below.

Three Major Ingredients of Influence & How They Affect Buying Decisions in Fashion Blogging

1. Confidence.

Decision making is often social in nature. We usually look to others for opinions or advice when we are unsure about a decision. One of the ways we judge their advice is whether or not they're confident when they express themselves. The higher the confidence, the greater the influence.

If a reader has clicked on your fashion blog, they are immediately sizing you up through your posts. Confidence is communicated in the way you write, the topics you choose and the way you pose in your photographs. If you're interested in persuading people to purchase you're going to need to build your confidence and have confidence in your personal style. (See tips here.)

Exhibit A: The Man Repeller in her natural environment, looking super confident.
2. Likeability

If people like you, they will read and engage, even if your skills are sub-par. 

Pop culture tells us likeability is based on superficial attributes like physical appearance, wealth and social status however, research tells us that the top three qualities people most admire are warmth and kindness, expressiveness and openness, and sense of humour. Other important qualities include trustworthiness and extraversion. 

The key is to keep it real and be true to yourself. Not everyone will respond positively but you must be able to form connections with readers in your niche. When you're creating a personal style post, write a small paragraph to connect the dots and reveal some of your personality. Make a human connection.

3. Credibility

Credibility is the ability to communicate and carry an effective message in the area of your niche and inspire belief in your ideas.

In the area of personal style, readers are looking to see that you have great personal style. If you can effectively put an outfit into context and make it interesting and appealing for your readers, they are more likely to be influenced by your suggestions.

Exhibit C: Sincerely, Jules on the beach... competently communicating her laid back style.

Another hallmark ingredient of credibility is authenticity. Be genuine. Be yourself and present yourself as an individual instead of a branding puppet. 

Some great advice from the very successful affiliate marketing blogger Pat Flynn is to 1) Only recommend products you're familiar with and 2) Recommend products in an honest matter. Put your products in context with who you are and what you're doing.

At the end of the day, everything in life has a learning curve and if you've recently started your blog and don't have any of these items down-packed yet don't be discouraged.

Influence can be built over time, along with all of the ingredients I've mentioned above.

 For some inspiration along the journey, I like to check out the archives of successful bloggers and go back to their first couple of posts. You will see that gaining influence is a slow progression. Building trust online takes much longer than building trust in person. 

Exhibit D: One of BryanBoy's blog posts from 2004.

1. "The Communication and Influence of Confidence and Uncertainty" by Dr. Caroline Wesson & Dr. Briony Pulford

Thank you for reading.