Who are "the in crowd" in fashion blogging? Who are the people who decide what is cool in apparel? Who are the most influential style bloggers?
“The fashion world loves a ranking – the best-dressed list is a staple of the industry – so I guess it was only a matter of time before someone turned the tables and ranked fashion.”
The difficulty with many rankings is that nobody understands clearly how people may have arrived at them. For instance, how were the blogs rated and then ranked by online fashion retailer Net-A-Porter?
Blogger “hanneli” is very nice and tells us that Net-A-Porter used a panel of experts to rank a set of blogs as outlined here:
Of course, the group of blogs that were evaluated may not be representative. Nor may the subjective evaluations of this panel give us a reliable ranking of the influencers.
It is no longer easy to determine what was, is, and will be popular in style and fashion.
As Adam Sternbergh (New York Times) pointed out, we are each sheltered in our own cultural cocoon. In turn, this makes it difficult to identify the driving forces of popular culture.
That these rankings matter is obvious. One just needs to read how often bloggers mention them if they have placed close to the top.
“FriChic was recognized by Vogue Paris as the most popular Bulgarian blog in the article “Around The World in 45 Blogs” and continues to have an unique voice…” About Fritchic
Vogue magazine published a ranking ages ago: Vogue France April 9, 2010 – Le tour du monde en 45 blogs (Around The World in 45 Blogs). Interestingly, many of those 45 ranked blogs no longer exist. They have gone silent or are inactive as of May 2015.
You may be part of the what the Business Insider termed “25 people who determine what’s cool in America“. If not, don’t worry, the list changes at least annually – so you might be on it next year. Dov Charney is no longer on it either. His stardust has vanished as the American Apparel brand’s coolness has evaporated.
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There have been many ironic comments about the business of fashion ranking. In fact, most rankings are useless. They are based on some variation of selecting a few, asking the crowd to rank these and so forth. In contrast, we analyse these blogs systematically. Published ratings are used to arrive at the rankings.
Because we have nothing to hide and we trust in the quality of our indices, we give free access to our data. We describe the composition of these rankings. We also provide detailed methodologies of our indices – not only to bloggers but also our competitors.
Like more than 12,000 current users, you can register for free without restriction on our website: http://DrKPI.com. Access data about more than 10,000 blogs.
The question boils down to whether one should rank blogs using such vague criteria as:
– Number of Twitter or Facebook followers (what about fakes)?
– Giving bloggers props that use their ‘influence’ to create products?
– Asking ‘insiders’ about whom advertisers are loving right now?
We knew there had to be a better way. We wanted to focus on quality of content and the blogs themselves. So we didn’t drop any blogs based on some vague criteria such as using Google News Searches like Fashionista does. But blogging well is a craft. It depends on three factors:
1. Using images smartly
You either take the picture yourself, as does The Sartorialist, or you have a partner that takes wonderful images of you strutting your stuff.
– It takes effort to put the outfits together or find the gadgets or apartments you like to show.
– Pictures are generally not perfect and also require some editing.
But sharing snapshots is no longer good enough for some fashion lovers.
In fact, The Sartorialist has been dropping in the rankings a few nudges over the last quarter. Put simply, getting a post with one or two pictures about another person and labelling it “street style” is fun. However, after a while it gets boring. Moreover, the added value is questionable.
Photo-heavy posts featuring clothes and model poses is fine. But Swiss model and blogger Kristina Bazan (Kayture) uses images that are not compressed properly for online viewing, leading to sluggish load-times.
81.5% of our test group left the site before the images for one blog entry had fully loaded. Not useful for building influence and reaching out to your fans, is it?
2. Offering added value to your target audience
So you have taken the pictures. What now? Showing off the latest trends or styles with nice pictures is a great start. Thereafter, however, it requires some text where you explain your take.
– Why are you showing us this outfit? What makes it cool?
– What makes these shoes interesting? Is it the high heels that make you look taller and slimmer?
Whatever it is, your readers would like to know. Your take as a style blogger is what they want to hear about.
This requires a content strategy. The top 100 style bloggers in the DrKPI Benchmark definitely have one.
3. Excelling in engagement
The toughest hurdle is to get some resonance from readers. Studying and analysing these blogs has taught me two essentials that should always be top of mind:
– Do your readers find your content interesting? If yes, VERY FEW of these are likely to take the time to write a response.
– Do you as an author actively support this dialogue?
Providing thoughtful and insightful answers to the comments left by your readers is the best way forward.
Some bloggers seem to ignore the few comments they get. In other blogs, comments add little value to what has already been said.
Nevertheless, there is a small elite group that takes comments seriously. They go a long way to engage and reply to their readers. Their reply comments provide additional insights to the matter being discussed.
What is your favourite?
Please let us know in a comment below and provide the blog’s URL. We will gladly add it to our database.
How many style blogs do you read each week?
Have you ever purchased a product that was reviewed in a style blog?
By the way, if you leave a comment with a link to your style blog, you’ll get your personalised report free via e-mail!
And just because somebody says this is the best blog, you do not have to believe it. Check it out: Susanna Lau – #40 in the UK – influential maybe, but a trendsetter?
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