Social media has taken over the generation putting bloggers are the pinnacle of everyone’s vision boards. In an era where your Instagram acts as your manager, Pintrest your personal stylist, Facebook your agent, Snapchat your PR; when your entourage is literally a few apps away it is no wonder that we consider these moguls as our monarchy. Bloggers are influential because they are real people and have become the crème dela crème because they have earned it by sharing relatable content to an audience who was confused, uninformed or just a little lost. The art has development into an extremely profitable business due to the following each blogger has built. Andrea Chong one of Singapore’s top lifestyle and fashion bloggers give us an insight into what it takes to make it in the industry. Being a blogger wasn’t what she set out to be but the experiences, the travelling, the work she does with top brands and not to mention a fancy new wardrobe doesn’t hurt.
Though the concept of the glitz and the glamour of fashion blogging seems impressive the legitimacy of the situation is up for questioning. Andrea Chong put the situation in perspective saying that it was “aspirational living”. The concept of blogging is not to elude the viewers into thinking that this is fake but to sell a certain kind of lifestyle. She articulates the point by saying “It’s not artificial or fake but it’s an extension of myself that you guys will like as well”. Blogging is an art and much like art it’s a piece of work. Blogging is a creation of work which stems from something a writer is passionate about. The amount of effort that goes behind the article requires a lot of dedication, time and a team (most times) to execute well. The ideas and concepts come from this simple ideology: “It all stems from one- what I want to see and what I like”.
Becoming a blogger is a never ending gateway to new experiences to travel. Travel presents you with new opportunities which were never a thought before. Her experiences and interactions help her find her voice and build to her identity, in fact she taught me an interesting detail about Japanese models (they are regarded as style icons and they publish books. The frequency of their next issue being published depends on their stature). The hike in the popularity of blogging has led to a significant increase of awareness amongst the masses. Most brands are capitalising on the movement but according the Miss Chong this could largely affect the luxury market as they wouldn’t want to dilute their image digitally.
The time and dedication that goes behind blogging required an entire creative team wrapped into one individual. Creative direction is an important part of blogging. Apart from the concept and styling, the photography is also handled by the blogger. So take it from a blogger who is one of the biggest in the country and did/learnt it all by herself- learn to teach yourself.
The aesthetics of your blog are a reflection of yourself so visuals and aesthetics are very important to maintain your image. Experience and exposure help you define yourself which will help you attach vision to your blog. “When you start out you don’t need a professional looking blog but as you mature you probably I’ll want to change it.”
Client management is another skill a blogger would have to master. Their main source of income comes at a price- giving up control to a certain level. The main idea is to allow your voice and the brands USP to be cohesive with one and other. “When dealing with clients you have to have a marriage of your creative beliefs and what the client likes. You have to convince the client about the vision you want. But the client obviously wants to promote a certain image and USP that have to be hit. The brand wants to see a ROI (returns on investment) to track progress”
A blogger is nothing without her posts, keeping that in mind knows that she is also nothing without her niche market. Blogging is a marriage between the views of the blogger professionally articulated to meet the needs of the readers. Most importantly a blogger is nothing without good quality content. That’s what allows the blog to sustain itself. The content needs to work for the market but still keep the bloggers voice intact. “If its content that I don’t think will resonate with my followers really well I won’t put it up. I feel like what they like is my brand and identity and if it doesn’t match I will pass it up.” And what is a star without their entourage- yes, social media is crucial when it comes to starting a blog. They are symbiotic, i.e., they don’t function well without each other.