Here’s the situation. You’re one of those style bloggers who’ve finally got round to buying a digital SLR, convincing your sister/boyfriend to take photos of you in front of edgy stone walls and it’s going pretty well. I mean, it’s not quite 10,000 hits per day territory yet but you’re definitely not one of those freaks who spend their whole lunch hour refreshing the stats tab in Blogger and wringing their hands when the numbers still only read in double-digits. Right? Of course not. But even so, a little nudge in the right direction always helps and that’s where our step-to-step guide to making big dolla from your blog comes in.
Denni Saldana of The Chicmuse, cashing in with American Apparel. Well, we hope she was paid
Step 1: Be a model
Chances are if you’ve got your own personal style blog, you’re somewhat underweight and/or very comfortable in front of a camera. These are good things, no matter what your totes jealous non-blogger friends say. These are good things because they mean you can build a fanbase online then make money with your prettiness IRL. It doesn’t really matter whether you get signed representation to an agency before or after you start blogging: the point is to get the one-up on those lame models who don’t share their outfit choices with the blogosphere at least six times a week. Remember, they’re your competition. Take a leaf out of Natalie Suarez (below), Gala Gonzalez & Denni Saldana’s modelling books.
Natalie Suarez, selling her soul to JC Penney/telling us why style blogging is awesome. For JC Penney
Step 2: If you can’t be a signed model, be skinny enough to be one
Pretty self-explanatory, because it increases your chances of getting signed and being able to follow Step 1. And as Rumi Neely(with Forever 21) and Alexandra Spencer (with Nasty Gal, StyleStalker) have proven, being short doesn’t ruin your chances of making this one work. Enough said.
Step 3: Be a designer
Let’s say you’re not so hot on all the travelling, backstage champagne-drinking and soul-destroying constant judgment of the modelling world. Why not get to be the one in power and become a designer? If your blog is good enough you won’t necessarily be expected to have any actual design or construction training, since your role is more likely to be about aesthetics. You know, Kate Moss for Topshop style: ‘Yes, I like that print. No I don’t like that colour. Yeah, now go make it please’.
Fellow blogger Cocorosa, wearing Alice Point x Paprocki & Brzozowski. Blogger swag worn by bloggers is extra-cool
Plenty of big name bloggers have been jumping on this bandwagon and there’s no shame in giving it a shot too. You’ll need a few ideas for some low v-necks, printed on the softest possible marl. Then you’ll need to approach the shops that should already be sending you free stuff, and see if they’ll go into business with you. Follow the lead of Alicja Zielasko of Alice Point when she made this hoodie (above), or go for Rumi’s approach with these RVCA pieces. Even better, team up with other bloggers you know and take pictures of each other before doing some brainstorming. Together you could follow in the footsteps of Chiara Ferragni (now a show designer too), Andy Torres & Carolina Engman of the Werelse dream team making these tees.
Step 4: Be a vintage store-owner
If Step 3 seems like a lot of hassle, just open your own shop. Hoard enough super-cute vintage clothing and accessories and start selling them online. You can go for an eBay shop or set up your own site; whatever you think will make the most cash for your dash.
Remember, people will trust your judgment if they already spend time scrolling through photos of you walking up and down a street, so you can be a bit cheeky and sneak in pieces you think are fug: just to see if they sell. Tuula and Gary Pepper Vintage are cashing in on vintage sales already and nothing should hold you back.
Step 5: Be a street style photographer
Hanneli Mustaparta, taking a moment away from snapping awesome-looking people in New York
You may need a bit of training for this one, but if ex-models Hanneli (above) and Caroline of Stockholm Street Style have proven anything, it’s that Steps 1 and 5 can be easily combined for dosh-making. Move to a big city if you don’t already live in one and start taking photos of cool-looking people on the street. Then set up a blog about it, get all the people who follow your blog to talk about it and start freelancing. It’s working for Tommy Ton of Jak & Jil (now shooting for GQ online) and it can work for you.
Soon you’ll be at the stage where you can be a total douche about it, like Scott Schuman from The Sartorialist: “My audience is so much larger than everybody else’s that advertisers, well at least American Apparel told me that I am not in their internet budget. My order is so big and they have to pay so much that I am actually in their magazine budget. That comes from having a good size audience.”