When Malene Jorgensen graduated with her Master’s degree back in 2009, she didn’t realize that she would be covering Fashion Week in Canada within a year. When she graduated, the jobs were scarce and the unemployment level was high. Instead of waiting for a job to come around, she found her entrepreneurial spirit that had been hidden during the years she was a student and decided to jump in with both feet.
Now, 4 years later she has published three books with more on the way and an international business growing by the day. This Examiner decided to interview this writer to talk about her top-selling book, “How to Become a Fashion Writer: Taking Your Writing to the Runway.” This interview was conducted on Oct. 10.
What inspired you to write this book?
I spent a few years working as a fashion writer. I would attend shows all day, every day during fashion weeks across the country, writing for several clients – usually as a ghostwriter. And while I was at these shows, I would see young girls jotting down every detail of every garment coming down the runway. I would sit down with these girls, talk about their writing and they admitted that they only had a free blog. And somewhere along the line, it clicked for me. With all of the blogging books available, I was surprised that no one was targeting fashion writers, given their massive dreams. So, I decided to research the topic and the book is essentially a combination of what I found and what I know.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for fashion bloggers?
I believe there are actually two challenges for fashion bloggers; attention and money. To make money online, you need a strong readership. But if you just created your blog yesterday, you may have a big challenge ahead of you to get readers to your site. Why would readers pick your website over an established one covering similar topics? I think that’s why niche content is so important – well, at least part of the reason. The second challenge is to make the money. In the book, I do offer several ways to make money, but you really have to market your blog continuously. Starting a blog and making money from it is like a business; you eat, sleep and breathe that blog.
Can aspiring writers benefit from this book?
I would say yes. If you are planning on pursuing a job at a fashion house so you can write articles for them, you may find some information in this book that can help you understand how the internet works with content. But I didn’t write this book to help people write up their resumes for a fashion-writing job. This book is more for people who have that entrepreneurial spirit. I don’t teach you labels and designers. I don’t teach you grammar rules. But I do teach you the connection between fashion writing and online content.
Why do you think this book is important to aspiring fashion bloggers?
I loved seeing young women try something new, such as starting their own fashion blog when I attended Fashion Week. But I think they should do it right so they get something out of it. I want them to succeed. I want them to make some money. If they are so devoted to their craft in the first place, why not make it something big? Why not do it right the first time around?
I heard you are writing a beauty book. How does that differ from this one?
As I was researching websites for this book, I often found that fashion and beauty were often lumped into one. And while you could see the similarities, they are two completely different industries. And both have different income opportunities online. I often talk about the importance of niche in my books, so trying to combine fashion and beauty in one book would go against all of my blogging advice.
Now that you are an author, do you miss the fashion world?
I do miss going to shows and seeing all of the new fashions. I do dabble in the fashion industry on occasion and I will write a blog post or two once in a while, just to keep that fashion-passion alive. But I’m happy to be writing books and sharing what I’ve learned.
You can find Malene Jorgensen on her personal website, on Twitter, on Facebook and on Instagram. You can buy “How to Become a Fashion Writer: Taking Your Writing to the Runway” here.
Malene’s other books: