Blogging is simply like riding a bike… at least that’s what I told myself when I returned to blogging in April this year after almost two years away. I mean, I was gone, gone, gone. I had taken down the blog, taken down my Flickr (not knowing that would mean the loss of all faves), I took down my Twitter, I bid a sad goodbye to my sponsors – well, I told them I was going on a break and it may be substantial, and turned out to be even more substantial than even I had envisaged!
Not much has changed in the time I was away, quite honestly. Not really.
I thought I would write a little about what it means to blog fashion in Second Life for anybody out there who might be thinking of taking it up. Before I took my break, I had several years of experience under my belt and I hope that my thoughts and advice can prove useful.
I’ll be honest, because that’s the only thing that will work!
What do you enjoy about Second Life Fashion Blogging?
I enjoy two things about blogging and I enjoy them sufficiently to continue doing it. These favourite things are doing photographs and talking to you. These days the ‘talking to you’ bit isn’t required in blogging lore, really. I just like doing it.
Do you do it for all the free gear?
I think if you are looking at blogging SL fashion from the outside, you might think people do it for the clothes/decor/accessories and while that is a motivation at the beginning, when you’re struggling to get the sponsors you want, it’s not one that lasts.
You see, you don’t get time to wear them much – well, I don’t anyway. Many established bloggers only wear something once and that’s to take the photo. I know… sad isn’t it? All these beautiful clothes in my huge inventory and I don’t wear them out! I guess I used to when we had the club and I went there every night, but no longer. I go out perhaps once a week in SL and I ALWAYS have something to wear. Haha. Unlike RL where I can go out every day if I want and never have something to wear.
Do you have to be a good photographer?
Yes… or at least be working on becoming one. It can be tricksy to ensure you show off an outfit. Take the one above, for instance. I want to show you the hair, top, jeans and shoes. That means you have to be able to see my whole body, but full length photos lack impact (one figure in a scene can get old quickly). To make my life a little easier, I don’t tend to seek sponsorship for shoes, in isolation, only if they come as part of a pack as they have here. I also don’t blog nails and although I use jewellery and have blogged it, it has to be exceptionally gorgeous to make it worth doing a blog only showcasing some jewellery and maybe a hair.
There are successful SL fashion bloggers who simply take a good picture of their outfit in front of a screen – and do it with style and grace, but there are also many bloggers like me who prefer to get out there to a new sim and take picture with added interest. Hopefully it makes it more interesting for the viewer, but really, deep down, that’s for me. It floats my boat. So yes, if you want to be a SL fashion blogger, taking decent photographs is important.
Do you enjoy all aspects of it?
No, I don’t like the repetitive nature of putting pictures into Flickr groups – they seem to make it as clunky and annoying as possible. I don’t like anything repetitive that takes time. I’ve not signed up for Instagram with my SL yet for this reason. It’s just more liking/faving/commenting/following others to build up social media following. Sighs.
Social media marketing takes me more time than writing the blog itself and about the same amount of time as producing the finished picture – and I don’t do as much of it as I should and certainly not as much as many other bloggers. It’s tiresome for me!
Social media marketing is a part of my RL work and so it’s never something I think ‘Yippee, I gotta do me more of that’. If you love scrolling through pictures and commenting on them, posting things to groups and building a following, you should definitely consider SL fashion blogging. You will find it much easier than a grumpy social media-ite like me 😀
How do I start being an SL fashion blogger?
Well that part isn’t difficult really. But it does take effort. You must open up a Flickr account and/or a blog (depending on if you want to be a Flickr only blogger, or a blog/Flickr blogger) and begin AS IF YOU WERE ALREADY DOING IT FOR SPONSORS. That is most important. So you go out there, make an outfit, make a photograph, post it, credit everything in the picture with links to where it can be purchased, publish, promote and make sure you tag the designers, where possible, and put it in their groups.
Make AT LEAST two posts per week to your blog.
Then, when they open blogger applications (you can find groups in Flickr containing details of who is advertising for bloggers) you have essentially got a portfolio ready to show them. You should spend time building up a following on all your blog and social media platforms.
It might also be worthwhile spending some time thinking about how you can distinguish yourself from the thousands upon thousands of other bloggers out there. Different is good!
If you are lucky enough to already have a great following on your Flickr/blog, then it’s much easier for you to begin. Always credit, always link.
Do you always credit everything in your pictures, ReadMeri?
Who asks these questions? Didn’t I just say I did… well, I lied a little. I don’t always blog my ‘base pack’ and by this I mean my body, skin and any regular tattoos. I will share that information readily if anyone asks (and I often mention I use Maitreya Lara body) but I’ve always felt that simply copying someone else’s avatar is a road to being unhappy with it. I’ll tell you here that I use Deetalez skin at the moment. I was using Lara Hurley before that. They are definitely two of my faves, so far.
I guess my point is, you credit everything in the picture even if you bought it yourself, you don’t just credit the items you’re given. The reason? Well there are several but the first reason is that the person who is looking at your picture doesn’t really give a rat’s ass about who is sponsoring you, they only care about the thing they’ve seen that they want to get. Piss off your viewers and your likes plummet. If your viewers don’t like what you do, they won’t return.
Second good reason is that if you liked it enough to buy it, you may at some point, want to ask for sponsorship from that brand. If you have responsibly and efficiently blogged their items in the past, this will go a long way in your favour.
What is reasonable for a Sponsor to require from an Second Life fashion blogger?
Well, I guess what is reasonable is what you’re willing to do. What I’m saying is that it’s subjective. I won’t/can’t blog for a brand who insists I blog every release they make. I do tend to do all the releases anyway, but if they released something I really didn’t like or felt was inappropriate for my blog/style, then I need to have the ability to not blog it.
I also don’t tend to make applications on the basis of a competition. You know… produce a picture showing several items from our store and we’ll choose the best for our blogging team. That’s not to say that I disapprove necessarily, it’s simply that if I already like that brand, I will have produced blogs which show their items most likely. In other words, if they don’t like what I’ve already done, they shouldn’t hire me on the basis of a new picture.
Equally, it’s a bit of a false promise, I suspect. If a complete ‘noob’ to blogging with no social media following or blog produced an amazing picture, I doubt if they’d get taken onto the team.
What is acceptable is what you are willing to do. Don’t over-commit though, because there’s nothing sponsors hate worse than a blogger who accepts items and doesn’t blog them promptly. And word gets around.
I hope my thoughts prove useful to you. My last little tip is to join Facebook and take part in the SL community on there, it’s a useful way to promote your blogs, a great way to keep up with what’s happening and a good start on becoming a part of the blogging community.
What ARE you wearing?
Visit – soul2soul coast
Necklace – *MM* Cherry Charm Necklace – No longer available
Shirt – Addams // Melody Loose Shirt
Jeans – Addams // Melody Jeans
Shoes – Addams // Melody Speed Sneakers
Hair – [KKLRS] Hair – Runa for The Liaison Collaborative til 26 Sept.
From Addams – “Melody is the perfect casual outfit that steps us closer to fall!
This outfit has 3 pieces, all sold separately. The top has quality textures in all Addams colors, included panty, so you can even wear alone. The jean has a few different options, common or ripped, and on/off back pockets. And the shoes come in 2 lengths (ankle and sneaker), PLUS extra pattern soles!
We also have a special Labor Day offer, for a limited time for the megapack, at L$1899!”
Mega! The fits are Maitreya/Belleza/Slink/Legacy.
KoKoLoReS’ new hair – Runa – is a release for The Liaison Collaborative, which opened on the 3rd and closes on the 26th of the month. It’s an alpha hair, unrigged and resizeable, so it should be okay for you Gertrude, with your awkward shaped head 😀
Honestly, it’s out of this world. I love it. I love the Addams stuff too. I’m one happy wee blogger today! ❤