Tuesday, June 3, 2008

You Turn

Anna Wintour may be one of the few people on the planet who can say to us "buy this, because I say it's good" though opinions of US Vogue may vary widely the fact remains that it is one of the top selling fashion magazines in the world.

If you wield less power than Anna Wintour, then chances are you're not going to intimidate your readers by the sheer perfection of the fashion snippets you provide in your blog. No need to worry, there are loads of ways to go about generating content. One thing that has been registering on my radar frequently is the idea of user-oriented content:

(Ironically, the photo of the dapper gent blogger Imelda, was taken for Paris Men's Vogue)

This isn't about blog vs. magazine, it's although many magazines (and blogs too) come from the standpoint, "buy me because I kick ass." Part of the appeal blogs have is the feeling of giving the reader some inside information, information although freely available to the public, is not widely known and is somehow secret, more personal.

That's where we come in, can offer daily information, and one way to encourage readers to come back is to offer them something, "reading this blog will help you kick ass." There are blogs like iCiNG that are 'you' oriented, which goes to say Gala Darling writes her blog to help her readers feel good about their style, about themselves. Another Aussie blog, Imelda, provides the scoop on shoes from an insider's hilarious perspective, Imelda talks with us like with a good friend leaving us feeling like we're in the know when it comes to shoes.

The shift is somehow subtle, and yet it's huge, in terms of fashion it shifts the dynamic from that where an elite dictate what is stylish, inevitably alienating the general audience, to a more democratic approach, inclusive to anyone who participates. Having user-focused content not only helps your readers it helps you build a stronger blog. Useful posts give people a reason to link to you, they give people a reason to come back.

22 comments:

Boutique Flair said...

What a fab entry. Very good points! I'm happy to find this blog & glam group!

Super Kawaii Mama said...

A fundamental point if you are looking to build your readership. Thinking about your audience, finding out more about them and writing to their needs is key.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. The most reader-oriented blog I've ever read is Retail Recovery. Though I've never posted a comment there, I read it religiously. I agree about Imelda. I read that one daily too, now that I've discovered it. And I wonder if it isn't from being spoiled by blogs like these that have caused me to lose my appetite for Anna and her ilk.

SwanDiamondRose said...

word.

Nana is Dreaming In The Theatre said...

Oh, I liked this.

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-thanks for letting me be a part of IFB-Love your blog!!

fashionpuppy said...

hey would u add me too your bloglist? amazing blog!!

Sandra said...

Excellent post Jennine. I agree with you and I think that fashion blogs will evolve even more in the future.

Michael Wall said...

Great Article, nice.
Michael

Good Girl Gone Shopping said...

I am totally in tune with your thoughts and I agree about Gala Darling. I always feel inspired and cutesy when I leave her iCiNG. IFBU does that to me too! And I have to say that I totally strive to bring my readers important info, interviews, services, and products that will help them feel even more fabulous than they already are! I feel ya.

Ever read the unauthorized bio of Anna Wintour, "Front Row?" I have yet to finish it...but I kinda want to savor the taste...so that's OK.

On Track said...

Imelda is master of all shoes items

vipgal said...

everything in this post is so true! great article!!

Ingvild Marie said...

I like your blog:) well written

Pratishtha Durga said...

Yet another great post, Jenn. A couple of blogger freinds met online and we discussed our viewer profile. Turns out, I am getting as more hits from UK, US, and Canada combined, than I am getting from all of Asia. So last week, i finally got down to chalking out a new content profile for the blog. I also noticed that i had veered drastically from the street fashion concept. So, more decisions to make there.

Your post has been most helpful. Thanks a ton, yet again!

Cheryl Lynn said...

Very good post and fantastic advice. I'll be coming back for more info as I try to grow my own readership.

prettygeeky.com said...

Great post, it definitely intrigued me and I'll be sure to stop by again!

Margherita. said...

Great post. Certainly something to consider.

The Hundred Dresses said...

I love you! Although I just used this photo of Sasha because I think Slimane's site is filled with beautiful photography!

Keep up the good work.

CoutureCarrie said...

Really insightful observation. It's funny how print and online media sort of "rely" on each other, but compete against one another, too. I often use the second person in my writing and it is something that's fairly unique to blogging!

Cammila said...

Well put, and I'm glad someone decided to address this. I work for an internet company, and we've always noted how people will say the most rude and deplorable things when they submit feedback. I had a friend who processed letters to the editor for a magazine, and she said the same thing.

I think it can be understood with a simple, two part theory. 1) people are several times more likely to pipe up when they're angry about something than when they're happy, and 2) anonymity/the perceived right to speak without consequence reduces many, many people to spoiled, tantrum-throwing children.

The folks at Penny Arcade put it well with this image.

gilda said...

i've been reading icing for a while now, since i started blogging last year. and i think, personally i'm quite a positive person myself, i think i read icing because i feel that gala and i are both following our dreams and doing what we set out to do. and living it! it was great to meet the girl behind the website and find out what she was like.

kathleen said...

Interesting. I'm very familiar with the whole concept of empowering one's "users" to kick ass probably popularized best by Kathy Sierra but I hadn't imagined how this could be applied to fashion consumers.