How influential is a fashion blog? A lot more than you probably think!
I've said many times that I don't think fashion blogs endanger fashion magazines. The two formats cover the subject in such different ways that I think they compliment each other rather than being 'competition'. However, what blogs can do is really challenge the websites associated with magazines.
The above graph (via Google Trends for Websites) plots this site against some of the websites from the big names in the UK fashion press - Vogue.co.uk, ElleUk.com and MarieClaire.co.uk. The steady growth of Catwalk Queen (the green line) proves just how many people are now turning to fashion blogs as a source of news and information, rather than relying on the websites of their favourite magazines...
It's absolutely brilliant for us to see that we're up there with the big names, and I think it really proves the power of fashion blogs. I'm not just talking about Catwalk Queen here, either. Plot any big fashion blogs on similar graphs against their mainstream competition, and you'll see similar trends. The fashion industry has no choice but to sit up and take notice of blogs now, and that's all thanks to you - the readers - for choosing to read your favourite blog instead of (or as well as) the websites associated with your favourite print media titles.
I've always thought what works so well about fashion blogs is the way they are tailored to particular consumers. At Catwalk Queen, our regular reader wants quick, accessible fashion. She is interested in a bit of catwalk news, some celebrity style and a sneaky peek at what will be on the high street in the coming months. Someone reading Susie Bubble's high-fashion Style Bubble is probably after something completely different, more underground and a lot edgier. In the fashion blogosphere there are blogs for everyone, from fashionable housewives to bargain hunters to people interested in the business side of the industry. There are knickers blogs and shoe blogs and bag blogs with forums so popular they beggar belief. Everything is covered, so you're far more likely to find something that really appeals to your sense of style.
If you run a fashion blog, or are thinking about starting one, I hope you see the amazing diversity and growing popularity of fashion blogs as an incentive to keep on going. If you're a reader, I hope it encourages you to keep supporting the blogs you love.
In 2002, I was a student, writing a fashion blog from my bedroom that was read by a couple of hundred people a day. Now that same site (albeit with a bit of extra help) reaches tens of thousands of people a day. That's all down to you, for reading, so thank you so much for your support!