Blogging Feature with IFB Founder, Jennine Jacob
The blogosphere is an ever-changing world. With new blogs to read, new social media platforms to follow and new rules for what constitutes success, it can seem impossible to stay on trend. But, the unpredictable nature of blogging is part of what makes it so enticing to readers and bloggers themselves. Jennine Jacob, the creator of Independent Fashion Bloggers, is somewhat of an expert on the genre. Her site, IFB, is the world’s biggest resource for blogging advice and networking opportunities through its bi-annual IFB Conference. As IFB’s most recent conference came to a close earlier this month, we chatted with Jennine to get some up-to-the-minute insight into the wonderful world of blogging.
E&F: As someone who has their finger on the pulse of the blogging world, who is a new blogger we should keep our eye out for?
JJ: I’m really liking how Natalie Joos, Tales of Endearment, shows us her life, and talks about the clothes she loves, which also means talking about vintage. She does it in such a fresh way – I really like it.
JJ: Of course there is “more room”! In fact, people are hungry for new and fresh content. I think what’s happening is that the blogosphere is normalizing and certain formulas for success have evolved, which in a way is great, but on the other hand gives us a preconceived notion of what success looks like in the blogosphere. For a majority of the bloggers who are at the top, they started before blogging became popular, so I think in a way not having a path outlined for them helped them create something entirely new.
E&F: At what point should bloggers begin to monetize their site with advertising and/or sponsored posts?
JJ: Knowing now what I didn’t know then, it’s perfectly fine to start monetizing at the beginning. Most professional bloggers have found success by developing a model from the beginning. Albeit many of the bloggers who have done this, i.e. ones like Bagsnob, Shefinds, Second City Style, Purseblog, Curvy Fashionista did not have to go through the awkward phase of starting to monetize because they provide a service, and they’ve always been transparent about starting out as a business.
E&F: What are some other ways that bloggers can monetize their sites?
JJ: Bloggers can run ads, use affiliate marketing links, do sponsored content, offer services like photography or styling, publish books and e-books, host events, offer workshops, run an e-commerce store. The sky is the limit.
E&F: What is the biggest mistake that fashion bloggers make in growing their site?
JJ: The biggest mistake bloggers make is to take success for granted. But that pretty much applies to everyone!
E&F: What are some blogging trends we should look out for in 2013?
JJ: What I’m seeing is the move towards mobile content consumption. With Twitter, Vine, Instagram and apps like Pulse, people are consuming more and more content from their mobile phones and tablets. Last year, tablets outsold laptops, so it’s clear that readers are heading that way.
E&F: What tips do you have for aspiring bloggers/ entrepreneurs?
JJ: Hang in there and have faith that things will work out, even if they don’t work out the way you expect. Fear prevents many people from taking risks necessary for becoming an entrepreneur, but generally speaking even if the business fails, what you learn from your experience is invaluable. If you succeed, well then you just made your dreams come true. So, why not give your dreams a go?
About Jennine Jacob
Fashion and web 2.0 enthusiast, Jennine Jacob brings a whole new meaning to the term go-getter. Jennine’s passion for digital began in 2006 when she Googled “fashion” and “blog” and discovered a whole new conversation developing in the fashion industry. Inspired by blogging’s fresh approach, it led her to create her own fashion blog, The Coveted.
Her insatiable desire to build a top tier blog left her searching for an outlet. Finding no organized support for would-be pro fashion bloggers, she put her passion to action and created the IFB network. In September 2009, Jennine launched Independent Fashion Bloggers, an extension of IFB, the only fashion blogging conference, created by bloggers, for bloggers. Her goal was to create a platform for bloggers to connect with their peers, industry leaders, and reach their goals. IFB has quickly become the world’s largest fashion blogging network. Continuing her love for all things stylish, she most recently launched eat, sleep, denim, a personal style blog devoted entirely to denim and sponsored by online retailer Shopbop.
Jennine currently resides in New York with her husband, Rocky.
For more information please visit http://heartifb.com/
*Kelly originally wrote this article for Fashionotes.