Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Changing Fashion: The Internet & Blogging Panel with Late Afternoon, On The Racks, and The Face Hunter

Liz of Late Afternoon, Laura of Shop It To Me and On The Racks, Yvan of the Face Hunter (photo from here)
So, as I mentioned in my last couple of posts, I had the pleasure of attending a fashion and blogging forum that was put on by UC Berkeley's BARE Magazine and Fashion and Student Trends club last week. I was surrounded by fellow Bay Area bloggers and budding fashionistas, as we all listened to Liz Cherkasova of Late Afternoon, Yvan Rodic of the Face Hunter, and Laura Ellner from Shop It To Me and On The Racks answer questions and speak about their online journeys. Some of the topics covered included: the future of blogging, the role of the blogger, and the how the internet has changed in general. Since many of you mentioned how much you wish you could have attended this enlightening event, I thought I would try to do my best to make you feel like you did. After a few photos, read the top ten things I took away from last Wednesday's event.



Liz chats with John Kim, Bare Magazine's Editor-in-Chief
Yvan signs his book for an attendee
Liz shines in her shimmery gold skirt, colorful H&M scarf, and sky-high JC Lita's
So You Want to be a Blogger? Ten Things You Need to Know, Now.

1. WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE IT BIG IN BLOGGING?
  • I am sure you will relate to many of the attendees who wondered this. Liz says there is no key recipe on how to make it big in blogging. In fact, she thinks a LOT of it is luck -- just like with acting, or singing. You might have a lot of talent, but you also might never get "discovered." 
  • Liz warns, DO NOT BLOG TO BE FAMOUS
    • I really do agree with this one. You can't just blog because you want to be the next Fashion Toast,  Cupcakes and Cashmere, or Song of Style. Blog because you love it, and believe me, it will show. I pour out a lot of love into my posts not because I want to big the next big blogger, although believe me, I wouldn't mind that at all being a poor post-grad girl such as myself. I do it because I care. I care about my readers, I care about how my posts reflect me and how I am presenting myself, and mostly, I care about the topics I write about (I'm sure you could taste my passion for food and my love of fashion with all the photos I bombard you with, ha!).
2. THE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO ESTABLISH YOURSELF AS A BLOGGER
  • Build relationships with other bloggers. 
    • Not just any ole relationship, but loyal ones, people! Don't just comment on someone's blog and say "cute dress!" (I for one really, really, try not to do this unless from the bottom of my heart, I really think that it's a cute dress...). Engage and write meaningful comments showing that you've READ their post, but only if you mean it.
  • Liz advices that when you are leaving comments, do not leave your blog url at the end because "no one ever clicks on it." 
    • This, I have to say, I don't actually agree with, and not because I desperately want others to click on my blog link, but because I think it helps to have a signature. Would you ever send an email and not sign it at the end? But hey, this is just personal opinion.
  •  Although he acknowledges that this is already obvious, Yvan advices others to join social networks if you haven't already. Five years ago when he started his blog, he got big by promoting himself on Myspace and Facebook.
3. STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF
  • Laura says you have to stay credible. Align your blog with sponsors, posts, etc. that belong on your blog based on what you have presented. 
  • Liz says it may be tempting when sponsors invite you to fly out and sample their products in exchange for a post, but if it doesn't fit your audience or your blog, why would you feature it? She says, "I wouldn't promote a sponsor for Wrinkle Cream when my demographic is 18-25 year olds. It just wouldn't make sense."
4. ARE BLOGGERS TRENDSETTERS?
  • Simply stated: No. While at a Chictopia conference, Liz remembers that one of her take away points came from Women's Wear Daily, when they said, "Celebrities will always have more influence than your biggest blogger." This was an interesting point, but I do think as social media and the internet begin to grow even further, bloggers are going to be even more influential than they already are. 
5. YOUR BLOG IS YOUR BRAND
  • Respond to your readers if they they ask you questions. Market yourself just like any other brand out there and stay professional.
6.  YVAN'S FAVORITE BLOG?
  • The Showmanship. This gal is half Filipino (like me!) and gorgeous! I can see why Yvan loves her site! She has a very particular vibe and is amazingly stylish. 
7. LIZ'S FAVORITE BLOG?
8. BE ASPIRATIONAL
  • You have to keep some mystery for your readers. "Give them something to aspire to," Liz advises. 
9.  SNOOKI, WHO?
  • This is just a random fun fact, but Yvan seriously doesn't know who Snooki is. Now what does this say about the 75% of us who DO? 
10. This one is from me: NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK.
  • I loved mingling and meeting people at the event. And, although I was way too shy to say hi to the famous bloggers that night, I'm now kicking myself for not doing so! Don't miss opportunities to make new connections, guys! 
  • Say hello, give out your business card, and don't be afraid to branch out.
  • Sometimes there is no second chance, and you never know who you will meet if you just say hi!
And there you have it. What do you guys think? Do you agree with what Laura, Liz, and Yvan had to say? Which point was the most helpful? And, how will YOU change the way you blog, now that you've read this?

Psst: Don't forget to be on the lookout for my future post on some of the stylish audience members I spotted!
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