Today I interviewed Shokla, the author of the popular blog The Silk Sneaker for Style Counsel. We talked about fashion trends and her success as a blogger. Since this is not a fashion blog, if you want to get her style tips, check out the interview on our Facebook page. This is a blog about setting up and running a business, which is what I want to focus on in this article.
Shokla set up her blog a year ago and is already working on it full time. This means that within 12 months, her blog has gone from a fun hobby to a job which provides her with enough income to live in London, one of the world’s most expensive cities.
Having worked in digital media for a long time, I am always interested in seeing how some people manage to make their blog into a sustainable business, while others barely monetise even if they have very similar follower numbers. The influencer industry is currently getting a lot of press, but it is still not transparent in its earnings.
In my view, being a fashion blogger is much like being an actress in terms of what you can earn. For every Jennifer Lawrence, there are thousands of actresses waiting tables and working in call centres. Just as for every Blonde Salad and Man Repeller, I have seen hundreds of young women with notable followings and beautiful content who could not make a living from their blog.
While everybody has to start somewhere and every blogger (like every actress) has to grow their portfolio before they can expect payment from brands, I do see a consistent theme that differentiates those who manage to make fashion blogging a career. That theme is professionalism. What I saw in Shokla is a highly professional business woman, with a great eye for content. She always arrives on time, delivers consistently good content and engages with her followers across several channels (even on Soundcloud!). This reminded me of the Financial Times article on the Beganovich sisters in New York whose blog earnings are a reported $30,000 per month (FT: How to make money as a digital influencer) and who employ 12 people in Bosnia to market their services and support their influencer business.
However, for every Beganovich there are thousands of bloggers with five to six figure followings who cannot give up their full-time jobs. As a business person, a market this opaque with such high variance in earnings is an opportunity ripe for disruption, which is what Style Counsel aims to do. But for fashion bloggers, it seems to be every woman for herself.
You can watch the interview with the Silk Sneaker author here: