TIPS FOR NEW BLOGGERS! AN INTERVIEW WITH WHAT I WORE TODAY'S KASMIRA!




AS A NEW BLOGGER, FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE VERY IMPORTANT! 


It's harder to erase a "BAD" first impression, than to improve on a "FAIR to GOOD" impression !

You want to ATTRACT followers, not REPEL them from visiting your blog. After all, isn't Blogging all about SHARING a specific passion? If not, you wouldn't let others "in", and you wouldn't hit "PUBLISH POST" (TO MAKE PUBLIC!) . So, plant a healthy seed and watch your blog- filled garden grow!

I have made many FAUX PAUX's in the Fashion Blog-o-Sphere! 
So I decided to ask for help!

What I Wore Today was the first Fashion blog I ever read. As someone who was wandering around an area that consisted mainly of "football helmut" haircuts and "Mom jeans", I knew there must be regular women who shared my Fashion Passion. Who didn't ask "Why are you so dressed up?" when I put on a skirt!

Kasmira was so refreshing! Candid ! And loved wearing trendy, fun clothes ! AND she was a REAL person!

She kindly accepted an Interview for the "Newbie Blogger" and HERE IT IS!



PROFILE: A bona-fide cat lady, homebody, wanna-be-writer, and faux extrovert. If I'm not gardening, I'm rehearsing for a local theater production.
                   
                   




BLOGGER followers: 724
BLOGLOVIN followers: 36 (wow, that's dismal!)
GOOGLE READER followers: 1803 (that's more like it)
VISITORS PER DAY: about 2000

DATE BLOG STARTED: 10/06/06 (so so long ago, now)

(When I asked about her awards , she humbly said,"I'm afraid I don't keep track of awards".
How classy is that?!)


1. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START A FASHION BLOG?


I wanted to share my outfits with the world and see what other people were wearing. I initially conceived of the site as having multiple contributors (like Academichic). After discovering groups like Wardrobe Remix, I saw that the multiple contributor niche was filled and refocused the blog on my personal style. (Besides, no one ever indicated any interest in joining my blog as a contributor.)
Academichic: www.academichic.com
Wardrobe Remix: http://www.flickr.com/groups/wardrobe_remix/


2. HOW HAS YOUR BLOG EVOLVED OVER TIME?


My pictures have improved. I became more creative with poses, got better at lighting, and upgraded my camera. After polling my readers on their preferences, I started including multiple pictures and detail shots. I've become more regular at documenting casual, weekend, and special occasion outfits. My earliest posts included only information on the clothing items. Now, I try to set the stage with a little text and sometimes share snippets of my life as well. Besides the outfit diary component, I now answer reader questions, provide "how to's", and other commentary on style.


3. NAME SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE FASHION ICONS OR DESIGNERS. AND WHY?


I don't follow Fashion (with a capital "F"). If I had to choose one designer, it would be Isaac Mizrahi. I was a big fan of everything he did for Target. I've only seen catalog ads for his work for Liz Claiborne, but his designs continue to appeal to me. I don't have any celebrity fashion crushes. Honestly, I find the most inspiration from my fellow bloggers and my imagination.


4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NEW TREND TODAY?


My favorite trend is "excess". it is the opposite of the 90's minimalism. It involves layers, contrasting textures, loads of jewelry, and heavy ornamentation. I think the glamouri best epitomizes this style. Songs of the Exile also does the "excess" look, minus the jewelry.
the glamouri: http://theglamourai.blogspot.com
Song of the Exile: http://songoftheexile.blogspot.com






5. WHICH "SITE" DO YOU CHECK FIRST EACH DAY, BESIDES YOUR OWN!?


Google Reader. i read ALL my blogs through Google Reader. I read about 160 fashion/style blogs and there's no way I have the patience to click on each one to see who has updated. Google reader just shows me the new content.


6. NAME A FEW OF YOUR FAVORITE FASHION BLOGS AND WHY.


You can see the blogroll on my website for my favorites. I'm always adding blogs and removing. If a  blog isn't updated regularly or loses focus, i remove it from my list.


NOW, SOME QUESTIONS FOR NEWBIE FASHION BLOGGERS!


1. WHAT CONSTITUTES A GREAT FASHION BLOG? AND WHAT DO U LOOK FOR IN A BLOG?


My favorite fashion blogs have these elements:
1. Good pictures! Well lit, in focus, true color photos.
2. Updated regularly. At least two-three times a week.
3. Minimal text. I want to look at the pretty pictures, not wade through dissertations on this pair of socks vs another or commentary on someone's love life. (Although I do make exceptions for my favorite people.)
4. Fashion risks. I have no interest in a blog that documents an endless parade of outfits consisting  of jeans and sweaters or even tasteful business casual. I want to see someone trying something new and quirky. if i wanted to see status quo, I wouldn't bother going online.


2. ANY SPECIFIC TIPS ON ACQUIRING MORE TRAFFIC ON OUR BLOGS AND BUILDING A STRONG FOLLOWING?


Participate in a group, like Wardrobe Remix, Weardrobe, or just a fashion forum (check out the forum on You Look Fab). If people like your style, they'll likely check out your website as well. Take fashion risks.  You'll stand out.  WARNING: sometimes you'll stand out in a "bad" way. I gained a lot of traffic from lifestyle forums in which members made fun of me. In the end, it all backfired on the trolls because plenty of other forum readers clicked over to my site, liked it, and stayed.
Attach links to your posts on your facebook status updates. You're friends will know you've updated and check you out and maybe even forward the link on to others.
Comment on other's blogs. Leave a meaningful comment (not "come check out my blog").
Other reader will find your blog through your username.


Wardrobe Remix: http://www.flickr.com/groups/wardrobe_remix/
Weadrobe: www.weardrobe.com
You Look Fab forum: http://youlookfab.com/welookfab/


3. ANY TIPS FOR MAKING BLOGS MORE SEARCHABLE?


Can't help you there. I've never looked into this.


4. ANY SPECIFIC IMAGE SITES YOU RECOMMEND, AND WHY?


I love Flickr. The site resizes images for you, so you can choose the appropriate size for your blog.


5.DO YOU "TWITTER"?


I don't twitter. i have an account but I have only "tweeted' twice.


6.DO U BACK-UP YOUR POSTS / IMAGES? IF SO, HOW AND WHY. IF NOT, ARE U AFRAID OF LOSING YOUR WORK?


I don't back up my posts. My images are all in my Flickr pro account (i pay for it), so I expect a level of security from Flickr. However, if I lose it all, c'est la vie.  In the long term, is anything really permanent?


7. DO U RECOMMEND AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE?


Don't use one.


8.HOW MUCH "INFO" IS TOO MUCH?


There are certain things you should NEVER post to your blog:
1. Dates/times you will be away from home.
2.Your home address.
3. Work details.


Personally, I dislike wading through a ton of personal stories when looking at style blogs, but other people love that element. Each blogging approach has its own audience.


9.ANY TIPS FOR ACQUIRING MONETARY SPONSORS?


Frankly, I think of most sponsored sites as sell-outs. I look at them through Google Reader so I don't have to endure the ads. I did accept a single sponsor (cincinnati.com) who approached me. I feel like a sell-out too....until I get that monthly check in the mail.


10. WHAT PROCESS DO U FIND BEST FOR POSTING PHOTO?


Learn some basic html. I stole my basic image codes from other sites and taught myself enough to manipulate it. I'll pay it foreward by inviting anyone to steal my code:  just go to my blog in Internet Explorer, and click View->Source. All the html will display.



11. ANY TIPS TO HELP NEWBIES FROM BECOMING DISCOURAGED WHEN THY FEEL STUCK?


 Blog for yourself. Don't do it for followers or comments or sponsorship. Do it because it makes you feel fulfilled.  If it no longer brings you joy to blog, then stop.


With that said, if you REALLY want people to comment, ask your readers a question in your post. Somebody will answer.



12. WHAT IS THE PROPER ETIQUETTE FOR USING OUTSIDE IMAGES ON A BLOG?

Legally, I don't believe you are allowed to use any copyrighted images without the permission of the owner. Practically, I steal and use product images and movie stills when they are appropriate to my entries.  However, I never use the image of another blogger or flickr member without asking permission.  What can i say? My sense of ethics is warped.

13. WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO KEEP YOUR BLOG UP-TO-DATE AND CONNECTED WITH NEW TECHNOLOGIES?

I'm always a little late to the party on this one, so I have no advice.

14. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST FAUX-PAUX , OR MISTAKE THAT NEWBIES MAKE?

WHINING!  I don't want to read that you're fat or broke or that no one comments on your blog. Whine to your boyfriend/mother/coworker/friend, not to the internet at large.  It is tacky and repellent.

15. DID U EVER GET DISCOURAGED WHEN U FIRST STARTED OUT?

When I first discovered that people were saying the meanest things about me on forums, I was discouraged. It was also disheartening when readers left unkind comments on my entries.  My solution was to stop looking for mention of my blog in forums (ignorance is bliss) and to disallow anymous comments.

16. HAS THE RECESSION AFFECTED YOUR BLOG? IF SO, HOW?

If anything, the recession has increased the reading of "real world" style blogs.  With less money to spend, women are looking for inexpensive ways to revitalize their wardrobes. I think I appeal to the frugal woman because I remix items I already own in new ways, I thrift, I alter, and I make some of my own accessories. I also shop at "average" stores, like Target, Forever 21, New York & Company, etc.

17. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF BLOG-WISE IN THE NEXT 6 MONTHS? 5 YEARS?

Still blogging!  Wouldn't it be fascinating to see someone's style evolve over 5, 10 or 15 years?

I am thinking of revising my platform to something like Adored Austin, but I worry about the blog becoming too commercial. Stay tuned!


18. TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW CAMERA!

When my first Canon Powershot died, I bought a Nikon D40. At the time, it was the bottom of the line SLR. I LOVE it. I have so much control over how my pictures come out, especially after taking a photography class for SLR users. I 've got a fisheye lens and a macro lens on my wish list. I also have a second camera , another Canon Powershot (SC780 IS), that is great for "on location" photos. The quality isn't as good as the Nikon D40, but it is much smaller and more convenient. (It is only slightly larger than my cell phone.)

19. ANY OTHER TIPS OR ADVICE?

If you are going to start a style blog, do it with passion!

20. WORDS OR A QUOTE YOU LIVE BY:

You are the most important person in your life.


A SPECIAL THANKS TO KASMIRA FOR HER INSIGHT AND TIPS!





KASMIRA !


THEN.....


TO....


NOW!


(One of my favs. Hand-made Doily Necklace)


(A cat lady who loves owls!)


( Cool Layers)


(My favorite and one of the first posts I saw!)
W.W.K.D.?

A BIG THANKS AGAIN TO KASMIRA FOR INSPIRATION AND HER HELPFUL TIPS.

To sum it all up, ask for help, but in my experience, don't be too needy. The blogging community is full of helpful advice. But, don't be too "needy",  as this may repel others. Half the fun of a newbie is the learning experience!  Sometimes, "physician, heal thyself" can reap many rewards. So do the foot work, rely on others when necessary, but remember: it's YOUR BLOG!  YOUR STYLE! As Kamira says, "Do it for yourself", or don't do it. So, together, let's plant our seeds and watch them grow!
*Retro Reva*

10 comments:

Kasmira said...

Thanks for the interview! It was fun. I did see a typo in question #14...I seem to have inserted "of" instead of "or" a couple times. Doh! It should read:

"read that you're fat OR broke OR no one comments..."

This was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the interview process. Best of luck with your blog!

gina said...

Great interview. Nice selection of photos. Kasmira's blog is one of my favorites. It was the first daily outfit blog I started following.

Kathryn said...

Great interview! I love Kasmira's site. I'm glad I finally made it over here. Thanks for all of your weardrobe love!

maryeb said...

Nicely done. I've been following Kasmira's blog for a little while and enjoyed reading this post immensely.

marta said...

It was very fun the interview! I like your blog Kasmira!

Andrew Yu said...

Kasmira's blog is always an excellent read because of, among many other things, her wonderful sense of humour! So another tip for newbie bloggers is obviously "be funny"!

Lorena said...

I think Kasmira has inspired a lot of us newbies... it is so interesting to see how she has evolved... thank you for the interview.

Marie McGrath (The Joy of Fashion) said...

Great interview! Kasmira is a big inspiration for me as well!

www.thejoyoffashion.blogspot.com

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the Citizen Rosebud said...

She rocks, Reva! Great subject and great interview. Very inspiring. I LOVE her style and can see why she inspired you to start blogging.
Going to go check out her blog now. Good job!

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