Before you can earn money from blogging you need views and a monetization method. For that you need to know who your ideal viewer is, where they are, and what they want.
You've finally found it...
This resource is designed for those unfamiliar with fashion blogging of who want to make a career in this exciting industry — and for those salty blogger veterans who want a refresher course on the foundational principles of building and monetizing a fashion blog successfully.
It’s also a road map of sorts.
You see — all fashion bloggers are at various levels of STUCK. There’s just so much to learn. From brand deals, to gaining views, making a stable income and more. There is just so much to learn and it can often be confusing on what tasks should be focused on.
"From beginner to seasoned blogger – we are all looking to get better at what we do — always looking for an edge. It’s our defining characteristic. It’s why we blog." - Corey Lupton
This page is here to help you master this fashion blog stuff.
And by “stuff” we mean…
Making a living off your blog!
Making a living off fashion blogging is quite easy, when you know the system…
So, we decided to show you the system in detail in this blog post…
Now, this blog post goes into detail about the method used to make a living off fashion blogging. You will be using affiliate links from RewardStyle or other affiliates, or you will be selling your own product/service. These two options are the two options all successful fashion bloggers use. If you want to learn more about all the options and why these two are the only ones you should focus on, click here to read our blog post on monetization methods bloggers can use and how much each of them will earn you.
This blog post will not go into detail about how to get organic views and followers, as surprisingly followers and views does not equal income. If you want to get the full tutorial on growing followers and views, click here for our tell all blog post.
I’m being serious, we have all the information available on our blog to show you how to grow followers, land brand deals and everything else you could want to know…
But, unless you read this post and implement a monetization strategy using this system it is unlikely you will make a living from blogging. But how can I say this so certainly?
Let’s look at a real-life example:
I have two friends, one of which has over two million followers and receives hundreds of thousands of likes and comments yet has earnt next to nothing ever from his content or followers.
The other started making $10,000 per month when he reached only 4000 subscribers on YouTube! All because he used affiliate links and sold products using this system!
So, want to learn the system yet?
It’s the same system Starbucks and McDonald’s have used to corner the coffee and hamburger markets. It’s the same system Amazon uses to dominate ecommerce. It’s how all fashion bloggers make millions and become household names.
This system works for small and large blogs. It works for mom-and-pop shops and billion dollar retailers. It works whether you sell traditional products, digital products, or services. But we will tailor this PERFECTLY for fashion bloggers.
This system works because it exploits each and every aspect of the irrefutable law of business growth put forth by legendary marketer Jay Abraham:
There are only three ways to grow a business, and your blog is indeed a business:
- Increase the number of viewers/customers
- Increase the average transaction value per view/customer
- Increase the number of transactions per view/customer
We call it Viewer Value Optimization or VVO.
Read this page carefully. Read it multiple times and commit it to memory.
This is the number one reason most bloggers will fail. They simply don’t think about these facts. Yes, they may have been created as business and marketing rule, but these apply to and should be applied to fashion blogging.
This is the stuff they don’t teach in business school, the stuff the fashion industry won’t tell you and the tips that the socialites won’t give you.
Because once you nail this, you will understand how and what is necessary to make your blog, your career.
Learn the Steps to Viewer Value Optimization
When you’re learning new tactics like perfect content creation, Facebook Advertising, Google Analytics, or SEO, you’ll need to constantly remind yourself of the VVO process. Otherwise, you’re wasting time and money.
This is a warning: There is little profit in understanding, for example, how to get tons of views and followers. There is enormous profit in understanding how to apply these traffic generating strategies to the VVO process.
Here are the steps of the Viewer Value Optimization system…
Here are the steps:
- Determine Product/Market Fit
- Choose a Traffic Source
- Offer a Lead Magnet
- Offer a Tripwire
- Offer a Core Product
- Offer a Profit Maximizer
- Create the Return Path
Lean into this article and pay close attention — we’re about to reveal the EXACT process all successful fashion bloggers use to make blogging their careers.
Let’s begin with…
Step 1 – Determine Product/Market Fit
Selling something, or getting a view is pretty simple.
We get paid to move people from a “Before” state to a desired “After” state.
In the “Before” state, the customer or viewer is discontent in some way. They might be in pain, bored, frightened, or unhappy for any number of other reasons.
In the “After” state — life is better. They are free of pain, entertained, or unafraid of what previously plagued them.
People don’t buy products or services…
They buy outcomes. They buy access to the “After” state.
A great offer will genuinely move a customer to a desired “After” state…
… and great content creation or marketing simply articulates the move from the “Before” state to the desired “After” state.
Most businesses and blogs that fail, particularly at start-up or when entering new markets, do so because either…
- They fail to offer a desired “After” state (the offer is no good)
- They fail to articulate the movement from “Before” to “After” (the marketing is no good)
Needless to say — getting clear on the desired outcome your offer delivers is fundamental to the success of your business.
Here’s how to get that clarity…
The 8-Question “Before/After” Grid
Before you create content or market an affiliate link or product — go through this exercise.
Ask yourself these eight questions…
- What does your prospect HAVE in the “Before” state?
- What does your prospect HAVE in the “After” state?
- How does your prospect FEEL in the “Before” state?
- How does your prospect FEEL in the “After” state?
- What is an AVERAGE DAY like for your prospect in the “Before” state?
- What is an AVERAGE DAY like for your prospect in the “After” state?
- What is your prospect’s STATUS in the “Before” state?
- What is your prospect’s STATUS in the “After” state?
For example, we’ve helped a fashion blogger before whom was blogging his life trying to become a model - yet his monetization method was to sell jumpers with his name on them... Like so many other bloggers.
He sells a basic black jumper with a low quality print on it. It requires costs upfront to purchase stock as well as taking up a lot of maintenance time dispatching what orders he does receive.
Now, don't get me wrong. You can make good money selling clothing, but to do so you need to apply this system.
So let's begin go apply the system to his monetization method and see what happens...
As you start to think about the before and after state for his product it quickly becomes apparent that the main reason for purchase, would be in this reason because they idealize the creator and want others to know too. Unless you are already a huge name this means that it will be very hard to sell this product to the audience watching the content he creates.
But what if he started selling a service that better suited his audience and his content?
What if someone who made current trending outfit videos posted affiliate links?
Well, lets have a look and see the difference it can make...
For the remainder of the post, lets assume that the new product this blogger sells is - a members only group where he gives his most valuable modelling tips learnt and where he can be asked questions.
Let's think about this. His content is showing his life trying to become a model. So the viewers watching are likely interested in learning more about modelling.
Makes a lot more sense to offer them our new product rather than the jumper, right?
So, the product:
It’s a group where the blogger gives feedback to the questions that the viewers want or coaching on how to walk and be photographed etc.
But it would do so much more than that.
I know this because when I started in fashion I was interested in becoming a model, I know that the industry is secretive and hard to get into
Customers who buy this product are transformed… Or at minimum, want to be...
- From HAVING no starting point or resource to knowing what to send to model agencies and how to make those things.
- From FEELING scared and frustrated to confident in the potential to have a career in modelling.
- From having an AVERAGE DAY with a terrible time trying to figure out what to do, to knowing the steps needed to be done to progress as a model.
- From a STATUS of a wannabe model to someone who actually knows how to become a proper model.
Average marketers/bloggers only articulate what a customer will HAVE if they purchase their product or service. Great marketers/bloggers speak to how a customer will FEEL, how their AVERAGE DAY will change and how their STATUS will elevate.
With this simple eight-question “Before/After” Grid, any half-decent copywriter will be able to create a marketing message that will have an impact.
The marketing copy writes itself now that you are clear on the “Before” and “After”…
- “Learning how to get into modelling doesn’t have to be a scary, frustrating experience.”
- “Say goodbye to stressing about how to get an agent.”
- “You’ll feel like a true fashion insider.”
Do you see how this copy clearly articulates how the product will move a viewer from a “Before” state of stress and unhappiness to to an “After” state of confidence and knowledge?
It’s powerful stuff.
But understanding how you will transform your prospect from a “Before” state to a desired “After” state also impacts…
How much you can earn
What is the distance between the “Before” and desired “After” state?
That distance is called VALUE.
Want to charge more for your products and services?
Simple — create a greater distance between the “Before” and desired “After” state by either:
- Creating a better product or service (better offer).
- Articulating the movement from “Before” to “After” differently or more clearly (better marketing).
Creating a product to shift someone from wanting to know about modelling to understanding all the steps to become one is a much further distance, than if you used outfits, reviews etc to promote affiliate links, shifting someone from wanting style inspiration to buying a clothing item.
So you can see that there is much more scope to earn an income off the first option, but also requires more work and to create your own product. Where the second option doesn't require creating a product, only good content and marketing.
When rolling out a new offer, starting a new monetization method, or even creating content — keep it simple.
Get clear on your “Before” and “After.”
If you’re not able to clearly articulate how you can take your prospect from the “Before” state to a desired “After” state — you may have an issue with Product/Market Fit.
There may be nothing more important than Product/Market Fit, simply because every other part of the process is dependent upon having a group of willing and able viewers to want whatever it is that generates your income.
In the next step, we’ll dispel the myth behind followers and traffic generation…
(By the way, if you're starting to get lost but want to figure out how to grow your blog, we offer one on one consultations to teach you exactly how to grow YOUR blog! Click here to learn more.)
Step 2 – Choose a Traffic Source
This might shock you but you DO NOT have a traffic problem or a problem getting views.
You might have a blog model problem, an offer problem, a measurement problem or a content problem.
But you DO NOT have a traffic problem.
What if I told you that every time you get a visitor to a web page you make $10 in profit? Could you get traffic to that web page?
Heck yes you could. You could pay up to $10 to get a visitor to that web page and still break even. In fact, you’ll be able to pay more than $10 to get a visitor to that page when you truly understand the whole of Viewer Value Optimization.
I’ve often said,
“He who can spend the most money to acquire a customer, wins.”
And Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon.com, once said (in a tongue-and-cheek warning to his competitors)…
“Your margin is my opportunity.”
The lesson we’ve learned is that once you understand VVO, you become unstoppable. Amazon.com sells on the thinnest of margins knowing that acquiring new customers, selling them more, and selling to them more frequently is how you become unstoppable.
Traffic is not a problem.
Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn, just to point out the obvious, are lining up to sell you targeted traffic. Your Search Engine Optimization agency wants to send you more traffic. Your Pay-Per-Click agency would love nothing more than to send you more clicks.
You simply need to understand:
- How to measure what traffic is worth.
- How to extract maximum immediate value from that traffic.
Tactics are worthless if you don’t understand the VVO process.
This is why you are frustrated. You have no context. You have no system.
We can teach you to drive traffic through tactics like blogging, Facebook Ads, or email marketing but first you need to understand the system.
The goal, no matter which traffic source you choose, no matter what you do to get views, is to drive viewers into the VVO Funnel.
Become a master of a single, steady traffic source. Stay focused on that traffic source and, once mastered, add a second and third traffic source.
These traffic sources include…
- Email marketing
- Social Advertising (Facebook/Twitter/YouTube ads, etc)
- Banner Advertising
- Organic Social Media
Your traffic strategy (if the goal is acquiring new leads and monetizing them) begins and ends with driving visitors into the VVO funnel.
It begins with the Lead Magnet…
Step 3 – Offer a Lead Magnet
The next two sections (Offer a Lead Magnet and Offer a Tripwire) show you how to grow your business through the first of Jay Abraham’s methods, increase the number of customers.
The Lead Magnet is an irresistible bribe that gives a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information.
Make no mistake, although no money changes hands, this is a transaction. And, it is often the first transaction you will have with a prospect.
You will need to provide tremendous value with the Lead Magnet.
The Lead Magnet is usually offered on a web page called a landing or squeeze page that is optimized to convert even cold traffic into leads.
The landing page doesn’t need to be fancy.
The Lead Magnet exists to increase leads. Because the Lead Magnet is the very top of the VVO Funnel, increasing opt-ins here will pay dividends throughout the rest of the system.
But all Lead Magnets are not created equal. The best will convert north of 50% of visitors into leads and you’ll be relieved when I tell you that the highest performing Lead Magnets have one thing in common…
Specificity: The Key to Getting More Leads
What irresistible bribe could you offer in exchange for a prospect’s contact information?
The good news is that you DO NOT need to create something lengthy or complex. In fact, we’ve found that the more laser-focused your Lead Magnet is — the better it will convert.
So, for example, this is NOT a good Lead Magnet…
"Sign up for weekly news"
There is no offer in this Lead Magnet, much less a specific one.
They want to solve a problem. They want an outcome.
A Lead Magnet that solves a specific problem for a specific segment of the market will generate more leads…
…and more leads means more Tripwire sales.
Step 4 – Offer a Tripwire
If you understand and execute on this step, you’ll be ahead of most of your competitors.
Remember, our first goal is to increase the number of customers. So far, we have only generated leads through the Lead Magnet. We still haven’t generated new customers.
The Tripwire offer is made to those who have displayed interest through the Lead Magnet.
The Tripwire is an irresistible, super cheap offer (usually between $1 and $20 that exists for one reason and one reason only… to convert prospects into buyers. If you're using affiliate links this is harder but still able to be done)
The goal of the Tripwire is to fundamentally change the relationship from prospect to customer. The conversion of a prospect to a customer, even for $1, is magical.
The key is to make a Tripwire Offer that leads are unable to resist.
The most common way to make the Tripwire irresistible is by selling it at cost and, in some cases, at a loss to you.
That’s correct — you are not trying to make a living from selling Tripwire Offers. You are trying to acquire buyers because there is nothing more valuable than a list of buyers.
When you understand the rest of the Viewer Value Optimization process, you will understand how the Tripwire Offer is the single most powerful addition you can make to your business — even though you make no direct profit from it.
A classic example of a Tripwire Offer comes from Columbia Records…
Columbia House took over the music market by making an absolutely irresistible offer (13 records or tapes for $1) because they understood that acquiring a list of buyers is the name of the game.
Types of Tripwire Offers
Physical products can make fantastic Tripwire offers…
or pieces of software…
And lastly, an a la carte service like a deeply discounted teeth whitening session from a dental office or a ridiculously cheap domain registration service works wonders at acquiring customers…
Tripwires are all around us.
It’s the ridiculous flat screen TV deal at Best Buy. It’s the rock-bottom price of a Kindle Fire. It’s the $20 for $50 worth of Mexican Food Groupon offer. It’s every service offered for a measly five bucks on Fiverr.
The strategy behind the Tripwire is simple:
Convert the maximum number of Lead Magnet leads into paying customers, even at the expense of your profit margin, with the understanding that acquiring a paying customer will deliver profit through the next three steps:
- Core Offer
- Profit Maximizer
- Return Path
OK, now that you understand how to increase the number of customers, let’s talk about increasing the average transaction value per customer.
(NOTE: Want to be living off your fashion blog in under 42 days? You can do so in this course.)
Step 5 – Offer a Core Product
You likely already have a Core Offer. It’s your flagship product or products.
Most businesses get nowhere by making Core Offers to cold prospects. You’ll see your Core Offer sales explode with the addition of the Lead Magnet and Tripwire Offer.
After all, you’ve already had two successful transactions with this buyer.
This is why it’s critical to over deliver with the Lead Magnet and Tripwire.
In some cases, sales from the Core Offer will make you profitable. But it doesn’t have to. If you follow through on the VVO process, you could take everything you make from the Core Offer and reinvest it to acquire more customers.
Again, this is how you become unstoppable. You build a system in which you can spend more to acquire a customer than your competitors.
Your competitors are making a Core Offer and trying to make a living from it. You don’t need to make a dime from your Core Offer.
Remember, as Jeff Bezos says, your competitor’s margin is an opportunity. It is your opportunity to, for example, spend more on traffic acquisition, conversion rate optimization or increase the value of your offers.
It might stun you to find out that many of the most successful businesses in the world make no profit until they reach the next two stages, Profit Maximizers, and Return Path.
Here’s where things get very interesting…
Step 6 – Offer a Profit Maximizer
The second of Jay Abraham’s business growth methods is to increase the average transaction value per customer. The Profit Maximizer does just that.
Most businesses don’t have Tripwire Offers and they don’t have Profit Maximizers. They live and die selling cold prospects on their Core Offer.
This is why they struggle and you won’t.
Would it shock you to find out that McDonald’s makes almost no money on the hamburger? The hamburger is the Core Offer, but it’s the fry and soda Profit Maximizer that built the Golden Arches.
This type of Profit Maximizer is called an immediate upsell…
Best Buy sells laptops and plasma TV’s (Core Offers) on wafer thin margins you can’t resist and makes it up on warranties, installation, and Geek Squad support (Profit Maximizers).
Amazon makes a Cross-Sell Profit Maximizer offer when they show you, “People who bought this product, also bought that product” to increase the Average Basket Value, also known as maximizing profit.
But Amazon also makes a Bundle Profit Maximizer offer with their “Frequently Bought Together” offer…
And Premium Subscriptions (recurring billing) like membership sites and other continuity offers make fantastic Profit Maximizer offers…
Any offer made after the initial sale is a Profit Maximizer. Because the single biggest expense most companies will incur is the cost of acquiring the customer (which is the job of the Tripwire Offer) and everything else increases the customer’s immediate and lifetime value.
What could you be offering as an upsell or cross-sell? What could you bundle with your Core Offer? How can you incorporate a subscription or membership site into your blog model?
Find your Profit Maximizer and you begin to become unstoppable.
But there is one more way to grow…
Step 7 – Create the Return Path
The last way to grow a business is to increase the number of transactions per customer.
Enter the Return Path.
The goal of the Return Path is to have frequent, strategic communication with your buyers and prospects that cause them to buy again and again.
Because you have received their contact information through the Lead Magnet, you have the ability to continue marketing.
You can offer new Lead Magnets, Tripwires, Core Offers, and Profit Maximizers because you have permission to market to them or bring them back to the Tripwire, Core Offer, or Profit Maximizer that they didn’t buy the first time around.
The Return Path is anything that brings the customer or prospect back more frequently including…
- Exit Offers
- Organic Social Media (like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn)
- Loyalty Programs
- Content Marketing
- Ad Retargeting
The single most impactful action you can take right now is to set up the system.
Implementing the system to your monetization and your content is the ultimate game plan and it is… unfortunately… far too involved to cover here. (Wow… I just noticed this article is over 3,000 words.)
If you want to learn more about living off your fashion blog (and get more in-depth teaching about the Customer Value Optimization process we covered here today)…
… you can access the “Blogger Memoir Course” by clicking here.
This training is taught by me and contains 21 Lessons, each of which is designed to (yep… you guessed it) help you implement the system to your blog…
This course is so refined that we guarantee you will be living off your blog in under 42 days! Even if you’re just starting! We walk you through from the very beginning to going full time. All in under 42 days!
If you’re not ready to make the leap into full time fashion blogging and want to spend some more time learning the basics, you need to start here:
This worksheet is ABSOLUTELY FREE and, if you’ve read this far, I know you will be absolutely stunned by the value you will receive from this worksheet. Before you can make your fortune, you need to know exactly who your audience is, where they are and what they need/want. This worksheet goes into this in such detail I have been told it should be sold as a product… But I want to give you the resource you need to succeed, at no cost! Click here to get a copy of our Viewer Avatar Worksheet while it’s free!