Craig Landale’s Menwear Style blog is the UK’s #1 Men’s Fashion Blog, according to Vuelio’s latest ranking. Apart from his successful blog, Craig is an experienced online marketing consultant, member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and qualified in Post Compulsory Education and Training. Currently the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Menswear Style (MWS), his previous experiences include leading the marketing department of a corporate clothing company and managing the digital marketing of a large menswear group.
In this interview with Vuelio, he talks about his recent collaboration with Ciroc Vodka, the challenges of using Facebook and on launching a clothing line in the coming months.
What’s new on Menswear Style?
Over the past 6 months we’ve changed over to new servers due to increased traffic. We now have a shop, iOS and Android app and an e-book titled ‘ABC of MAN’. Our lifestyle chapter has developed hugely, now including sub chapters such as Tech, Food & Drink, Travel, Health & Fitness and Cars.
Give us an example of a successful brand collaboration? What did you learn from it?
A recent successful brand collaboration was with Ciroc Vodka whereby we booked a cool apartment in Shoreditch to shoot a mixology scene and to give our take on their #MYARRIVAL campaign. It was our first time working on a project to this scale with an alcohol brand and the positive feedback from the client was amazing.
How do you use social media to promote and share content? What are the challenges?
Our social following was a main focus from day one. We knew that once we gain a strong following we’d have a good platform for spreading our stories and helping them to gain high exposure. We now have over 200k social followers but one of the challenges has been the recent Facebook algorithm update which means pages no longer gain as much clicks than previously. They’ve upset a lot of people but I can see why they’ve done it. They need to make money via their advertising service.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog?
Plan it out, decide on the audience and whether you’d like to be in a niche sector or mainstream. Ours is more the latter because we cover everything in men’s lifestyle but many bloggers see success in a smaller niche. I’d also suggest that you try to be realistic and publish consistently. If you’re giving up your job then you can commit to daily posts. If you’re working alongside blogging then maybe it’s a twice weekly frequency that’s suitable.
How do you work with PRs?
I’ve developed a good email relationship with many PR’s whereby we’ve successfully completed many brand projects together with a detailed brief. I will also often publish news/press releases for free for these PR’s as a thanks for bringing regular paid opportunities.
Do you feel bloggers need to be compensated for the work they do?
Yes, and the high quality bloggers will rarely publish anything for free. It has become a career and the only way to sustain a career like this is to not work for free. However, for up-and-coming bloggers with lower traffic I’d certainly recommend working with a few brands (without remuneration) to gain exposure.
What do you feel about sponsorship disclosure?
With the recent ASA news about Vloggers and how they must disclose paid work and freebies, I’d expect this to be the standard across all influencer mediums very soon. I think it’s perfectly fine for this to happen and the average reader is intelligent to spotting this anyway.
List three best practices PRs need to follow for better blogger outreach?
Make it clear what you and the clients wants and whether there is a budget for the project.
Provide a detailed brief as this is essential in stopping any confusion or problems.
Show that you are familiar with or have researched the blog and understand its content direction, audience and tone of voice.
What will be big in your blogosphere in the coming months?
We’re going to be testing the water with a clothing line in the coming months.
Editorial information on Craig Landale, Menswear Style and thousands of other media contacts and outlets, can be found in the Media Database.