Vintage Blogging 101
I remember clearly when my blog changed from a very infrequent side hobby of writing about life and fashion and taking pictures of scenery on Instagram to a full blown second job. I had just gotten back from a CT Bloggers Event and was struggling to find my "niche". I often wrote about my life - love, heartache, anxiety, loss with a mix of fashion. I always loved writing and always loved fashion and wanted so badly to create a blog and Instagram that reflected my interests.
I always loved vintage style, antiques, and a dreamy, romantic aesthetic that was timeless. I was so excited when vintage blogger Laura Jane Atelier followed me back. She had the perfect blog and Instagram - vintage, dreamy, romantic and so feminine. It was still authentically hers and her blog was well written and interesting. At this time, I was doing a lot of flat lays with my "pretties" (teacups and antique perfume bottles I collected). I had a hard time taking pictures of myself in clothing and as much as he tried, my paramour at the time never seemed to get the shots I wanted. When I found Darling in Dots - a groovy vintage blog based on the '60s by retro babe Nicole Wilson my heart skipped a beat. I was drawn to these well executed vintage blogs and wanted my own.
It started an amazing, fun journey of vintage blogging! I learned a lot along the way and still learning!
1. Be Authentic
I loved Laura's and Nicole's styles and they still inspire me but I wanted my renovated blog and Instagram to reflect my style, not just someone else's style filtered. What was it about vintage I loved? What eras of vintage fashion were my favorite? I knew so much random Golden Hollywood trivia and loved the feminine glamour of the '40s so I ran with it. Do I lounge in sequin gowns all the time? No way! But I appreciate a mid century dress and the way it makes me feel. I always try to infuse my sense of humour and life in each and every Instagram post. I don't live in a slinky, smoky 1940's film but I adore the aesthetic. I try to share that aesthetic in my own modern way.
2. Vintage Blogging Makes Giveaways and Affliate Programs Harder to Use
Vintage Bloggers are authentic with their aesthetic. Many of us shop at thrift stores, consignment shops and Vintage-inspired stores. It makes working with RewardStyle or LikeitKnowIt challenging if not almost impossible if our fashion is from that Goodwill down around the block. Is it possible - yes. You'd need to incorporate more modern pieces. There are stores like UniqueVintage that have their own ambassador program!
Giveaways seem to be the go-to for increasing your Instagram following. A lot of giveaways though center around the same things: Nordstrom gift certificates, Target shopping hauls, Strollers, etc. It seems strange to be advertising a Nordstrom giveaway when you are promoting yourself as a true blue vintage blogger. I've seen some people do it, but does it take away from their authenticity?
For me, it did not feel authentic and I chose to opt out of giveaways that have nothing to do with my blog or "brand". I may miss out on getting a jump of new followers, but at least my followers will follow me for my specific niche.
Giveaways aren't a total wash though! I did do a giveaway for a ModCloth bag that looked like a retro camera. Nicole Wilson of Darling in Dots paired up with Fred & Lulu ( a stunning vintage shop) and did a giveaway for 1960's dead stock tights. It was brilliant and fit her aesthetic perfectly.
3. Know Your Stuff
Being taken seriously in any niche community means having knowledge and authenticity. Don't know about certain vintage eras? Read up! Google and Pinterest are a wealth of knowledge. I loved to continue reading about 1940's fashion, style and décor along with the popular stars of the time. I'm always on a mission to learn more. It fascinates me. I love reading about other era's and being able to write it about with ease.
4. Stay Inspired
I love staying up to date with my favorite vintage bloggers. I get great recommendations on vintage shops, retro diners, where to get a cool rotary phone or the latest vintage thrift store in the area. I also love the Vintage Community. It's fun talking to like-minded people and coming together. We share certain bonds and obstacles to blogging. Laura Jane Atelier came up with the idea to start a community for Vintage Bloggers. She handed the torch over to me and Krystle DeSantos and Leigh Ray and we have a Facebook and Instagram group called RetroBabeLand! My favorite fashion bloggers (aside from the aforemention Laura and Nicole):
- Krystle DeSantos - Modern/Retro Tropical Glam Fashion and DIY
- Pink Vintage Heart - Vintage Fashion with a Street Style Mix and Travels
- All Glam No Filter - A Mix of Vintage and Modern
- Melodrama - Vintage Home Decor
Vintage Powderpuff - The Ultimate Vintage Guide! Full of amazing, informative blog posts!!
5. Stay Positive
There's a LOT of positives in being in a niche. The community for one is amazing. You build friendships with like-minded people and inspire each other. Being a vintage blogger you stand out in a sea of fashion bloggers touting Cult Gaia bags and striped Target dresses. It's easier to build a brand when yours is unique and stands out. You also get to use a lot of creativity and not be stuck doing "whatever everyone else is going". You have more flexibility to be yourself!