Vintage fashion blog – How to write one
How to write the most fascinating vintage fashion blog
So, you want to write a vintage fashion blog?
Lots of people love vintage fashion, and want to share their passion with the world. The ideal way to do this is to start-up a vintage fashion blog. It’s very easy to set up a free blog, and then all you need to do is find regular inspiration, and start writing!
People are drawn to content with lots of images, and you can play with layouts and text styles on the web site until you find one you want. You will find that there is a choice on your chosen platform. You need to decide if you wish to be business like, sweet, avantgarde or artistic.
It’s a good idea to write regular posts, (at least weekly) and you can then always post on a certain day so that readers know when to expect, or send out an email reminder every time you post. If you really want to promote the blog, open Facebook, twitter and instagram accounts and add a reminder there every time you write something too.
What to write about?
You probably already read other blogs, but it’s a good idea to go back and look at your favourite vintage fashion blog to see just what it is that you like most about it. Do you find that the subject matter is fascinating? After all, there are many things to write about and “vintage” is a wide umbrella. Is it menswear, womenswear, accessories? Is it a particular time period? People have a passion for the mid-century, or some prefer specifically the 1940s, the 1950s, the 1960s or the 1970s. You might only be interested in 1940s underwear, or you may decide that your blog encompasses vintage underwear as a whole.
Some people like to give styling tips on how to wear vintage, and you can even do it season by season or month by month, for example what to wear in winter, or in January 2014, January 2015, January 2016, 2014 February, February 2015, February 2016, etc. What is fashionable in 2015 2014 isn’t what people are wearing in 2016 2015, even in vintage circles.
How about the tone?
Generally a vintage fashion blog takes a more informal, chatty tone. You are not writing an essay, or a book. So, be informative but friendly. It’s ok to put your personal opinions in, in fact that’s good. You want the reader to connect to you, as a friend.
I always imagine I’m telling a friend about this great new discovery that I made. Or I’m describing a show I went to see. I don’t think that long words or overly complicated descriptions have a place. And I don’t think it’s a good idea to refer to obscure things just to show off your knowledge. A lot of people interested in fashion have a very visual way of understanding things, so you could describe a dress at length, but it won’t come alive until you show them a picture. So add lots of images.
Layout of your vintage fashion blog
You will find that there are lots of options as to how your blog could look. There will be options to choose the font, the back ground, and the way that your blog is laid out. Most blogging platforms will also have the chance to pick the colour and style you like. You can have a permanently pinned top post, or just the most recent post first. You can choose to have a section introducing yourself, or not. Another thing people sometimes add is a product page. You can sell badges, t-shirts or even vintage items of your own.
Some changes to the layout are free, but if you want anything more fancy you can pay a small fee. Blog sites are easy to use, and you don’t need to know about coding to use one. You can easily upload your own images and change the way it is done.
Another way to add interest to your vintage fashion blog is to have a guest blogger occasionally. You could ask a friend or fellow expert to write a post – always credit their work with their name though! Or you can interview someone. I have found that asking five to seven questions works well.
As well as this, what I have found when visiting exhibitions is to listen carefully to the conversation of people around you. You will get a good idea of what different people think of the show, and sometimes get a new insight. Sometimes there is an expert there, or an enthusiastic amateur. They will often give you tidbits of information that isn’t on the wall plaques. If you’re feeling brave, don’t just listen in but approach them directly. Many people are very happy to discuss their love of fashion or expertise.
Comments or no comments?
This is a matter of personal choice. You might feel that it’s too much trouble. But it can be good to interact with people who read the blog and want to discuss it with you. They may just leave a comment saying how much they enjoy it! If you do want to turn comments on, make sure it is moderated so no trolls slip though. Often people post entirely irrelevant comments or adverts so it’s good to be able to filter them out. There is a setting on the website for it.
Do you want your blog to cover just vintage fashion or also contemporary fashion trends? Is it a how to get dressed guide or more about fashion history? You could post the appropriate historical or vintage fashion for the season – winter fashion in January and February, spring in March, summer in august and autumn fashions for October. Perhaps look though contemporary magazines and write about what people were wearing on that particular day on a certain year. There are lots of resources online for vintage magazines. There are also copies in libraries. Just take a stack, say February January, and see what articles catch your eye.
Fashion libraries are also good for research, without having to buy all the books yourself. In fact, visiting a library can be very good to focus the mind. Though it’s also good to sit at home with a cup of tea. And nothing is better than sitting at home in bed with your newly arrived fashion book!
Copying – don’t do it!
It’s fine to add the odd quote from original sources and in fact it enriches the content. But don’t copy out other people’s work word for word. Do your research and absorb the information, but never use what other people have written. It’s their property, and you will soon be found out. It will damage your blog’s reputation. Besides, it’s much better to think about things yourself! If you use quotes you must say where they came from, and put quote marks around them to clearly show that you didn’t copy them.
Promotion and how to get readers
People who are interested will find your blog, but to get the maximum number of readers you’ll have to do some work. The best thing to do is to build up a network of like-minded friends. Mention your blog on social media, spread the word! Sign up to Twitter and Instagram, and other social networks. Don’t be shy. After all, you wrote it so you should be proud of it.
If you write original material you will soon get a reputation. Also, this is where your interviews come in – friends of your interviewee will be interested to read what you wrote, and will pass your blog on to other people. Think about doing a newsletter or sending a tweet every time there is a new blog post. If you are specialised you might also want to give papers or talks at fashion history conferences.
It’s a good idea to carry business cards so that people you meet and get chatting to can read your work too. Many people like to subscribe to a blog so they never miss a post.
What comes next for your vintage fashion blog?
Well, writing a vintage fashion blog is an end in itself. But, to take it further, many bloggers have ended up studying fashion further, such as taking MAs. They write books, or become fashion experts on panels or talks. Or, they take their expertise and develop fashion lines inspired by historical costume. They can also become fashion consultants on films, or work in museums. There’s lots of directions it can take.
You may even be invited to travel to different countries to speak there. Some people go into modelling or set up vintage shops of their own. Writing a blog will bring you lots of opportunities and you generally get to choose what happens next.
To find out more, it’s good to join an online group of fashion historians or vintage enthusiasts. You will see the range of vintage fashion jobs and also get to network with fellow enthusiasts. You can also show them your vintage fashion blog – no doubt lively discussion will follow.
Make sure that you frequently and consistently post on your blog, be polite to people, answer their questions quickly, and be friendly. Use your imagination and the world could be your oyster!