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The rise of new technology heralded a major shift in the way people consume content. As articles that were once read in magazines began to appear on websites and blogs, an increasing number of top fashion bloggers were introduced to the new online space and granted autonomy to share their personal opinions with highly engaged audiences. Now, a second digital trend shift is taking place, one which finds audiences switching from laptops to mobile devices (i.e. smartphones & tablets) and eschewing traditional publishing outlets for apps and social media platforms.
Because these mobile audiences now consume content in an entirely different way, the fashion blogging ecosphere is changing as well. While some claim that the fashion blogging bubble has burst and warn about the end of the fashion blogging era, the answer to the question “Is Fashion Blogging Dead?” may not be so straightforward.
A recent report by Smart Insights shows that Millennials find information or advice from social media roughly by twice compared to the previous generation and four times more than Baby Boomers. Consumers are no longer going online to check blog posts because it is much easier to see an influencer’s content on mobile apps like Instagram and Snapchat.
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Understanding these consumer trends, more and more fashion bloggers are transitioning away from their personal blogs and creating content for social media apps and platforms instead. In her interview with The National, famous fashion blogger Lebrasse mentioned that her strongest platform these days is Instagram. People are hungry for immediacy, and these social media posts often generate more views compared to traditional blog posts.
Fashion blogging is no longer a niche. At the peak of fashion blogging, the most prominent bloggers were recognized by designers and fashion journalists and earned six-figure annual incomes. The potential to turn a hobby into a viable career attracted so many aspiring fashion bloggers, however, that the market became saturated; at one point, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week insiders even expressed frustration at the overabundance of fashion bloggers.
The fashion blogging market is also oversaturated with similar content to the point that bloggers are no longer seeing the need or opportunities in the market. Hence, many top fashion bloggers are transitioning away from the blogs that built their audiences and finding creative ways to stand out of the crowd, either on different platforms or by pursuing entirely different niche interests.
Claire Marshall, for instance, utilizes YouTube to post creative, unique content that cuts through the clutter. The decline of fashion blogging is also pushing many content creators to take on different projects: The Blond Salad’s Chiara Ferragni launched her own shoe brand; Cupcakes and Cashmere is publishing books; Song of Style launched her own clothing line.
Fashion blogging, as we once knew, has inevitably changed. The way people consume fashion-related content has shifted due to the introduction of social media platforms and market saturation. However, such phenomenon doesn’t necessarily mean that these bloggers have lost their influence.
We as consumers still trust our fashion gurus and want information from our influencers. To remain viable, fashion bloggers now need to focus more on being smart, innovative, and creative on how to make an impact on their audiences.