It’s finally here…
The time of the blogger has finally arrived in the UK and with so many of the little critters out and about on social networks, blogger platforms and promoted on shopping sites, it’s a shame that many brands still don’t see this new revolution of the Fashion Industry.
With Company Magazine (the only really exciting and inspirational one) now moving online and closing it’s print section, the long awaited time of dead print is finally here.
Don’t get me wrong, I have always be someone who loves a proper book(not a kindle) and a magazine to read on the train but with the new online industry now linked to all our mobiles and tablet devices, its hard to ignore what the rest of the world wants (and how fast they can get it).
I also get the impression that people just prefer the view of a blogger to something they read in a magazine. A blogger will generally always be pretty honest and sadly you don’t get that feeling when you are reading anything from a professional Journalist. Also people can relate to bloggers as they are normal people and have flaws that are out there for all to see and aren’t photoshopped or slimmed down.
I first started blogging back in 2010 and have seen the industry change dramatically over the last 4 years. When I used to go to press days and introduce myself as a blogger, press and PR’s were a little taken back as the blogging world was pretty unknown then and I think the only bloggers they may have known at the time were massive onliners like Susie bubble. Even when I went to Paris Fashion week in 2011 and did the 9 day slog of shows and trade events, the french Industry insiders really didn’t understand the term ‘blogger’ and I didn’t get the nicest reception neither. In 2011 there was only 156 million public blogs in existence but now in 2014, there were around 172 million bloggers using Tumblr and 75.8 million wordpress sites worldwide and that doesn’t even include Blogger and any other foreign blogging platforms.
Now with so many bloggers(some full, part time or those who use it as a hobby horse), the brands can no longer pretend this new age isn’t happening but sadly some are still very reluctant to give in. It’s my 10th season at London Fashion week(starts on the 12th) and still I can’t get tickets for certain shows. When I enquire with PR’s and brands asking why I can’t attend they simply state that some designers simply don’t believe in our industry and prefer Vogue, freelancers and any A, B, or C list celebs that they want on their Front row.
That’s all well and good but now that there are less magazines to be featured in and everyone is going online for their news, food and clothes shopping, embracing the bloggers will be something all brands(big or small) will have to do. Either that or they will have to rely on a very big budget for advertising, which again is more effective online(as it’s trackable) then in a magazine which costs £10,000+ a week.
This is the main reason why I stopped doing print PR for brands for Carrot top PR Limited. For the last two years I could see the way the industry was going and as small brands just don’t have the money for gifting or advertising, I knew in the future they would find it even more hard to gain print coverage(and hopefully sales) unless they too embraced bloggers and social media.
What makes a good blogger…
I now work on Bunnipunch full time, do lots of other projects and also work as a social media and blogger outreach person for a PR agency. Through my job and other various projects, I get to see tons of blogs every day and make a note of the ones I want to work with! Some are ok but it’s the ones that have amazing outfit styles, great pictures and a chic layout that really get noticed! There is no way to find a good blog unless you physically go on hundreds of sites and check social channels like twitter and Instagram but that is how you find the really amazing blogs that grabs your attention and makes you want to visit them again and again.
I think bloggers that are themselves and aren’t copying others are the best ones out there. Bloggers that also embrace their own style and not copy what’s ‘in’ are great to watch too as they can take an advantage looking jumper and make it something really different and special. I try to do this on my site and I think it helps me stand out as I am being myself and not what is expected of me.
If you are looking for a blogger, look for one that is fresh and different and who has good content. Outfit posts are a really strong way to get your product reviewed but pick a few bloggers that all dress differently and see your product grow as an inspirational piece through their own individual tastes.
I love working with brands like Superdry, Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s, Gola and loads of others that a lot of people see in 2D. I love to spin people’s perceptions on their head and I love challenging myself to dress a casual item into something you could wear to a dinner/dance.
Social stats can be a really disheving thing when you look at bloggers. Some have an amazing blog but their stats are maybe low or some blogs are only advantage but have 100K on twitter! You can research to see if people have been buying social followers for twitter but sadly this hasn’t been done for Instagram as yet which will clear up some confusion over popular blogs that have ‘appeared’ out of nowhere.
I still to this day get some rather unpleasant emails from bloggers. It happens a lot less now as I only tend to work with ones I know or ones who are professional and are honest. There are some newbies that never respond to my emails or tweets (some of them I know) and because of this, I then decide not to work with them again. I still try to reply to every ‘personal’ email I get even if the topic isn’t too my taste as I know PR’s and Press appreciate this and in an industry where blogging is so competitive, these people will remember the nice bloggers rather than the popular ones.
It only takes seconds but manners and being polite has helped me and Bunnipunch to where it is today and don’t forget, if a blogger is rude or unprofessional at an event or on a project, this gets round like wild fire.
Please don’t think negatively about bloggers or this new industry. Most of them you meet are very sweet individuals or have a full time job but love spending their spare time working on their blog. They are normally really nice and always respond to your emails and I love working with these lovely ladies(and guys) every single day.
I’m really proud to be apart of this new movement and eventually all the old school brands that rely on print will eventually come to this conclusion and if they don’t, they will just get forgotten along with Pagers, CD Roms and Minidisk players.