Writing a Menswear Blog – Year 1

Why Blog?

I spend a lot of time reading online magazines about menswear. From the Journal by MR PORTER, GQ Magazine, Esquire Magazine to men’s fashion bloggers like Blake Scott, The Sartorialist, and THE PREP GUY are all a part of my reading diet. Within the Jamaican context, the mellenials are not so much aware of what is trending in menswear in the major fashion capitals around the world. But there is the desire to look good and feel good. I wanted to educate, entertain, inform and inspire boys and men. So, I decided to start blogging.
This month marks the one year anniversary of the coming to being of the blog The Essentials. It has been a wonderful learning experience and a fulfilling journey. This weekly journal rose from obscurity to now boasting over 8k views. To date there has been one collaboration. Over the period the audience has grown wider and wider to places as far as Russia. The majority of the views however, are from the US. This week, we take a look back at the first year of blogging.

The first article

Jamaica is a little island nestled in the Caribbean. This small nation gave birth to people such as Usain Bolt, Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley. It also gave the world Rastafarianism and Reggae music. We are a third world country with a struggling economy. There is a little known fact about Jamaican men – we love to dress up.The challenge though is that we don’t necessarily have the money to shop at the designer stores in Milan or Paris. I have recognized that one can still look dandy even when on a budget. Out of this came the idea of blogging about menswear. The initial plan was to offer information on men’s clothes: how to wear them, where to buy them and who to take clothing advice from. Hence was born the first article:

Up your style game!

With the first article published I was on to the next great idea. Taking inspiration from the hugely popular MR. PORTER, I thought of doing articles on clothing items ranging from head to toe. I deliberately infused some history into the posts. It was fascinating to discover the origins of some these things we wear. So, I wrote about shoes, socks, trousers, shorts and even underwear. 

What I didn’t realize was how absorbing this whole activity would be. Writing a weekly blog while doing a thesis in chemistry is no mean feat. It takes hours to do the research for each article. Scouring the internet for information and pictures. Then there was the editing. Thankfully I co-oped two good friends, who happen to be quite keen, to assist with the editing. This has proven invaluable as I just can’t seem to spot some of my own errors.

Write about what you want!
In the initial stages I did succumb to the temptation of wanting to write about trending topics, as these would poll the most views. However, after a couple of articles and a few thousand views, I decided to write about what I wanted to write about. At this point the blog became more than a menswear site but a men’s lifestyle platform. A wide array of topics were covered.

How to Dress-up….your mind

The Most Read
Looking at the stats, the most viewed posting was:

Trousers or Pants? You decide

The Least Read

That would be:

This part o f the evaluation may appear disappointing and discouraging. After labouring for hours to put an article together, you post it and even after three months, it has gained no more than 60 views. While my expectations weren’t met, I was still able to learn. Here was an issue that a lot of persons aren’t interested in. It could also be how it was packaged. No worries. Everything won’t work in your favour.

Best Moment as a Blogger

In October of 2015 I got a suprising email from someone at The Black Tux, a tuxedo rental company operating out of California. He wanted to know if I was willing to do a collaboration with them? This marked the highlight of my blogging career. It wasn’t a paid gig but the fact that the blog was recognised by this international company certainly left a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Best Article
As the author of these publications I think I have the right to say what I consider to be the best article. I humbly suggest:

Not a jacket, it’s a Blazer!

For a number of reasons, this post has received pride of place. It discusses a trendy piece of menswear, the history is really interesting and it gives a variety of options for purchasing stylish yet affordable blazers. This blog post truly epitomizes the intent of The Essentials.
The Future
Presently, I’m working on acquiring a domain name for a standalone website. With this new website the blog will expand to look at different areas of men’s lifestyle. Look out for an accessories page, fully devoted to talking about men’s accessories. Men are always in the hunt for quality items at a reasonable price and the blog will continue make options available to you the viewers. There’s also a definite plan to reach out to local clothing stores to do collaborations.

Thank you all for reading and sharing your comments. Feel free to offer suggestions and requests for issues you’d like to read about in the comments section below.

“Style is personal.” Do you.

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