#BOB: KATHERINE TABINOWSKI
Katherine Tabinowski, owner of Boston-based personal style blog Style Tab, started her blog with a primary aim to provide style advice to her friends and family, but she soon won over sophisticated fashionistas around the world. An avid shopper herself, on Style Tab, she keeps tabs on all things fun, stylish and affordable; her blog is a visual diary, where she shares her latest outfits, shopping roundups, beauty picks and style advice.
What inspired you to start your own blog?
In college, I did a few social media internships, and I was also a writer for College Fashionista. It was through these experiences I discovered that I really loved writing and blogging. For one of my summer internships, I was creating content for the company’s blog, but I was only required to write one post per week. I was having so much fun creating blog posts, and I was bummed I was so limited on how many I could write. I had briefly thought about starting my own blog the previous semester, and that summer internship gave me the extra push I needed to start Style Tab.
How important is the name of the blog?
I thought a lot about what I wanted to name my blog before I started. Thankfully, I had taken several brand marketing classes before I created my blog, so I knew having a strong, cohesive brand name and logo would be very important. I knew I wanted to blog about fashion, but I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself with a very specific name. I went with “Style Tab” because my nickname is “K.tab,” and I wanted my blog’s name to have a personal touch to it. At the time, I also was thinking about creating a blog series called “Bar Tab” for my foodie adventures, so I knew Style Tab would be a versatile name. It’s kind of funny because a lot of my close friends now call me Style Tab instead of K.tab. I’ll take that as a brand identity win!
How difficult is it to find a blog niche?
For me, finding my blog niche was never an issue. I knew from the beginning I wanted to blog about my style and I wanted to target readers who could relate to me: a twenty-something who was on a budget and wasn’t afraid to experiment with her style. One of the main reasons I started my blog was to provide style advice to my friends and family, so I already had a pretty clear idea of what I would be blogging about and what niche I wanted to go after. For bloggers who aren’t really sure what their niche is, it can be very difficult. I think it’s important to really think about why you blog and identify which categories or projects bring you the most enjoyment. Once you solidify that, you have to think very critically about why you’re different than the other bloggers in your niche. Do some competitive research to see what other successful bloggers are doing, so you’re not creating content that is too similar. Imitation is boring and your readers will get bored quickly. It’s important to differentiate yourself, while staying true to yourself and create your own original content.
What is the best way to promote and grow your blog?
Hustle! From day one, I’ve always tried to get my blog out to every outlet that has come across my computer screen. From social media channels to blogger networks, I am all about digital networking and getting your name out there. I try to engage with other bloggers and brands on social media on a weekly basis, in addition to leaving genuine comments on posts by other bloggers in – and outside – my niche. I also hand out my business cards whenever I can. I love making in-person connections!
What is your main audience and how did you reach out to them?
My main audience is women between the ages of 18-30. When I first started blogging, my audience was much more college-oriented because I was a college student. As I’ve grown up, I think my audience has grown up a little bit as well, but I think my style and shopping habits still resonate with readers who may be younger than me. Like I mentioned above, I love networking so I would try to connect with other bloggers that are similar to me. I’ve also had a ton of support from my friends, family and classmates through the years, so I like to think I reached some of my audience by word of mouth.
How important is it for your business to attend fashion week?
I wouldn’t say it’s critical, but I do enjoy attending! I always have so much fun when I’m in NYC for fashion week. Reconnecting with old blogger friends and meeting new ones has always been my favorite part about the experience. Fashion week is also a great opportunity to network with other industry professionals and brands who may want to collaborate.
What are the best tips for building long-term relationships and partnerships with brands?
I think it’s important to only build relationships with brands that you would normally buy from and would recommend to a friend. Just because a brand is offering to compensate you for your time, doesn’t mean you should immediately accept the offer. Once you’ve agreed to a partnership, make sure the content you create for the brand is memorable and high-quality. It’s also crucial that you be reliable – answer emails in a timely matter, meet your deadlines etc. After the initial collaboration, check in with your contact every so often, see how business is doing and let them know what you’re up to. I think it’s also important to continue to give the brand’s social media love even after the collaboration. Showing that you genuinely support the brand will keep you top of mind when they’re ready to do work with bloggers again.
What is the biggest challenge about running a blog?
Time management is definitely my biggest challenge. I have a full-time job, so fitting in blogging around my schedule can get pretty difficult, especially in the summer time! I try to stay as organized as possible by keeping my editorial calendar up-to-date and crossing things off my to-do list as quickly as possible. I always carry a notebook with me to write future blog posts on my commute to work or jot down post ideas.
What advice would give to anyone looking to start a blog today?
Don’t start a blog with the sole intention of making money. You’ll burn out very quickly! Blogging takes passion, patience, hard work, and sometimes tears. If you want to start a blog, do it because you want to have fun with it and inspire someone, not because you want to become Internet famous. I promise that if you’re intentions are sincere, blogging will become one of your most rewarding activities and will open up doors you never knew existed!
What are your ultimate plans for your blog/blogging career?
I’m planning to start writing about a few different categories on my blog to provide more informative content to go alongside my outfit posts. My two long-term goals are to one day be able to blog full-time and eventually open up my own boutique. I will most likely launch my shop online through Style Tab, with the end goal of opening up a brick-and-mortar location!
Images © Style Tab