A: It is so much more crowded, and the definition of "blogger" has changed: Instagram influencers, Pinterest pinners, YouTube stars... there are so many places to look for style ideas just using a hashtag. When I started, the only competition was magazines and they weren't really into the internet. I got the idea for my site because there was no easy way to get fashion advice, you'd google "black pants" and a billion results would be returned. I thought I could help people by curating the choices out there.
Now there is much less of a distinction between publisher and retailer. Retailers are making their own content and publishers are selling their own products.
Also, ten years ago people barely knew how to shop online, now no one even wants to go to the store.
A: Success can be defined in many ways: number of followers/readers, monetization, engagement, and whether you enjoy doing it.
To grow traffic, you want to strike cross-promotional deals with other bloggers in your category. You also want to post consistently, whether it's daily or weekly, so that your audience will come to look for you. If you're going to start a website, an email newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with your audience.
For monetization you want to make sure you have an audience the advertisers will want. I chose fashion and beauty both because I love the topics, but also because I know those categories have ad money to spend. Currently advertisers are really focusing on engagement, meaning will your audience communicate and share your content.
A: Social media has made fashion much more accessible to everyone. Now you don't have to travel to big cities to see what's in style or to visit a fabulous boutique. All you need is a hashtag to see what's trending.
It's also caused designers and retailers to be more reactive to customer desires. You can literally hear and read what people like instantaneously. They also now need to pay attention to people who have built influencer status, in the past this might of just been celebrities or models, now a regular person can build a devoted following without the support of a big company.
You see a lot of social media influencers even getting deals to design their own lines. This would never have been heard of ten years ago.
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