today's article is dedicated to my sponsor Farfetch who have made me finally share the story of Fall4Me by Johanna Karajan with you, some secrets and my personal blogging advices. This is a good occasion since my blog is celebrating its 4th anniversary on May 26th, 2016.
When I have joined the blogging community four years ago around this time (it was Eurovision and I have once again suffered from my hay feverJ) I had no idea how huge this community actually is. I have got in touch with some bloggers and have learned a lot from them. This learning is based on positive but unfortunately as well negative experiences I have made with them. This made me conclude the community of fashion bloggers with the following three words: 'glass', superficially all bloggers are kind, because apart from being a passion blogging has furthermore become a business for many and it is a common knowledge that kindness is important to gain plus points among the followers because without them you would be nothing. This leads me to the second word 'competition oriented', in Germany we have the saying 'Konkurrenz belebt das Geschäft' which is supposed to mean 'competition stimulates business' - fair enough - but I find it terrible how much this thinking has destroyed feelings of love and friendship. After all as the third word 'connected' should already describe us bloggers are connected through our love and passion towards fashion and blogging and we are all supposed to be individual so it could only be a benefit to support each other, collaborat, inspire and be inspired by others.
I would see my personal niche in fashion as well as lifestyle. Once in the German newspaper magazine 'Zeit' ('Time') I have read about fashion and its meaning. What is fashion? Now our days it is not only clothes, make-up and accessories, furthermore it has become culture such as books, music or movies, travel and many other kinds of entertainment. I myself focus on (personal) trends (I can identify with), looks and with that philosophy because every look tells a story, every day is a lecture and in 22 years I have huge message to tell - each time a piece of it. I am convinced that my readers have eyes and a brain to see and understand the looks, trends and products I provide with photos that is why a story is worth more than a description. My highest value here is the personal mark. I do not expect people to read my blog but I am happy to receive the feedback from people if they do. I think it makes sense to read someones blog to understand the person better.
Everything in life needs care, so even though I see my occupation with blogging as a passion and hobby, not a main work I rely on, I take a lot of care of my blog, in time as well as in quality. My blog is like my child, I have created it and raised it from zero to a beautiful flower. I have learned that every good product in life needs time, so as well the articles that are published on your blog.
What you need are good friends who are willing to support you, when it comes to photoshootings. I rather prefer showing one look per month shot by a true friend who does it with love than delivering countless looks by spending money on photoshootings or being dependent on false people who are using this dependence against you. This is the only overwhelming thing I see in fashion blogging - the activity and traffic that is sometimes not compatible if you have a busy everyday-life with studies, politics, music and family like me. But I can say that I am very blessed to have true friends and a supportive family when I am in need and comprehensive collaboration partners.
My three favorite brands I have worked with so far I want to mention at this point who are supportive and cherish me as fashion blogger despite the statistics I cannot possess are BornPrettyStore, Dress W+E and CNDirect. These brands have understanding for my busy everyday-life and do not put me under pressure when we collaborate apart from that I am happy that they always get back to me again time after time. Apart from that they always have fantastic products to provide me any time which flatter me as I receive as feedback.
Talking about the statistics and my networks. The motto is not the one who is represented in the most networks wins. Networks are important but also they cost a lot of time. That is why I recommend everyone to choose five networks - which is not too less and not too much - to concentrate on and build a followership with. The top five networks I have chosen are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Lookbook and Style My Fashion. The best thing about these networks, especially the first three ones I mentionned, is the huge link that is built through tags and hashtags and that you can easily be seen. The two other networks are fantastic fashion communities to get inspired for trends and looks. The photos that get the biggest attention are doubtlessly the looks I deliver.
I may have not the biggest amount of followers on my networks but also I have my value. Often I am noticed from my public Instagram feed where I have left my business e-mail for contact but luckily networks like Instagram and Facebook make private conversations with public pages possible. I think it is important to have public networks if you want to catch a lot of attention however in the World Wide Web you have to be careful with your privacy and imposters. That is why I recommend a personal watermark. I for myself can say it does not matter how many people follow you but how you present yourself. This is my recipe to success.
One other way to gain followers has been getting in touch with birds of one feather. We have the same interested to grow the numbers of our networks so firstly there were bloggers writing me for a so called 'follow for follow' which means that we follow each other on the networks of the other. Some of them furthermore started to leave comments and later on we got connected through our Facebook profiles which is the most personal connection of them all and started to grow a friendship beyond fashion and blogging talking about more personal things.
I would always recommend upcoming bloggers to get in touch with other bloggers, what I however have concluded to be a waste is getting in touch with commercial brands, since they mostly did not reply or follow restrictions of one condition being a certain amount of followers, et cetera. You should not rack your brain over collaborations no matter how attractive free samples may sound. Just concentrate on what you love to do - blogging - inspire and enrich the world with who you are. The contact for collaborations will come when the time is right. :)
I am very happy I have virgorously got in touch with other bloggers. If I did not I would have never met great friends with influencers and soulmates such as Wiktoria from Victoria's Secrets, Priscila from PriscilaDiniz.com, Mary from MaryFashionLove and many others mainly from the Lookbook community.
I have to admit before I became a fashion blogger I did not have any connection to fashion blogs. I have read of fashion blogging in the H&M magazine winter edition in 2011 and thought this would be perfect. We have been finding ourselves in the economical crisis and my parents insisted me to study something with which I would have more opportunities than with fashion design so I have decided to study political science however that did not stop me wanting to do something with one of my biggest passion - fashion, too. So almost right after I have graduated high school in May 2012 I have created my personal fashion blog.
Being a fashion blogger is somehow a responsibility, on the hand because you provide fashion to others and on the other hand because you become a public person. What I have realized much later was that under the age of 20 (how old I was when I created my blog) I was finding myself in the phase of self-finding. I did neither know which style I belong to nor what I actually want - whether it concerned blogging or other things in my life. This overdose of thoughts in the end collapsed to nothing. But in these four years I have developed and took my readers with me on that journey. That is why I want to give other young ladies under 20/25 who may struggle with fashion and style to focus on their childhood and mix it with what is leaving its mark on them during their present. We all have something or someone whom we have been admiring and whom we will never forget. For me it was Catherine Oxenberg who played the Carrington daughter in 'Dynasty', in my childhood, the girls from the Estonian rock band Vanilla Ninja in my teens and Lana Del Rey in my present. Out of these three personalities I have named I have created my so called "classy rock diva" style. Also create your own trademark, mine are flowers, black leather and fierce lipsticks.
Last but not least I want to refer to a continuous company in my fashion blogging life, Farfetch, where they strongly believe in having your own unique style. That is why they always get back to me as a true Unfollower of fashion. I believe that I have caught their attention because I do not dress like the majority. Not to say I am called 'crazy bird' not without reason. Already before being in my phase of self-finding people have talked about me as always wearing something eye-catching in my looks. This may have two major reasons: I have always had my own head, my life's motto is "you're not on earth to be like others want you to be." this has begun already in school. While all girls liked horses I loved animes, mangas and J-cult (Japanese culture). I was also on principle never willing to like what the majority celebrated, so shops such as H&M and Topshop or the color pink. Personally I think pink gets abused by many chicks that is why I have a dislike for that color. I as well never followed every trend when I cannot identify with it. I believe in what Coco Chanel said: "Fashion fades but the style remains."
The second reason may be my Eastern European roots. Us Eastern block power-girls are known for our extravagant style which we celebrate and integrate into Europe since we are proud of our femininity. This has become rare at the Westside. But many forget that you can be emancipated and feminine. Apart from that we believe that men like feminine girls.
You liked what I stated? I will be most happy to take you on my journey on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Lookbook and Snapchat (ItsNotJ).
Xoxo ♥ Johanna