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How to Read a “How to” Blog Post

How to Read a “How to” Blog Post

Do you like reading “How to” blog posts? Here’s some thoughts on the subject which I expect will annoy some people. That’s OK, we’re all entitled to our opinion, right?

The number of blogs focusing on style and fashion for Midlife women is exploding. I come across new ones daily. To be honest…because that’s what I’m being here…some are educational and helpful, some are pretty and fun and some are frightening. Told you I was being honest.

I love “How to” posts. They make life simpler. They teach us how to do something better. In short, they’re lessons. Google also likes them so titling a blog post “How to…” makes it easily searchable and found…which makes blog writers love them.

How to Read a How to Blog Post

Now I don’t want to piss anybody off…but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest there are differing values to some of these posts. Duh. When I read a real estate agent or dentist, who writes a blog on the side, telling me how to choose the best item for my body shape, I have to wonder how she knows. What are her qualifications to teach me? Remember, a “How to” post is a lesson and not all lessons are created equal.

 

Having good taste and knowing how to dress your own body doesn’t always qualify you to give advice for someone else’s body. Which is why I don’t advocate shopping for clothing with your girlfriends.

 

So how do you decide if a “How to” post has information that’s going to help you? Take the source of information into account. It’s that easy. If the blogger’s aesthetic appeals to you and they have a track record of providing information you’ve found consistently valuable, then you’re pretty safe to assume it’ll be helpful.

 

Writing about fashion and writing about style are very different. Fashion is what’s in the stores, style is how you use it to represent your personal taste. Fashion advice on what to buy, where to get it, and ways to style it are fun to read. But when I read a “fashion blogger” give styling advice on silhouette, coloring and proportion, I get concerned.

Many women and bloggers are self-taught on these subjects and know a lot about it. This isn’t rocket science ladies but there is a science behind proportion, silhouette, color and fit. It’s knowledge you can learn if you choose to spend the time studying.

 

I encourage you to look at “How to…” style advice posts, with a critical eye. Question it’s validity for you and your body, and listen to your own intuition.

Perhaps some of these posts should be titled, “How I…”, but then Google wouldn’t find them as interesting. Would you?

Have a great day!

 

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17 Comments

  1. May 24, 2016 / 7:00 am

    Great post. How To should be How I most of the time, shouldn’t it!. I’ve made poor buying choices and made a lot of awful recipes as a result of How To posts. Buyer beware indeed! xo

  2. So true. I’ve come across some bizarre blogs. I’m very careful to make mine about me and most often will ask ‘how do you’ at the end. I am only an expert on me. Hence I won’t ever appear in a Google search but that’s fine. I blog for community and friendship not fame. I admit my stuff is waffle as I’m not giving advice. I’m fine with that.

    • Jennifer
      May 22, 2016 / 6:22 am

      I cross that advice line frequently because I am a certified Image Consultant, but I am careful to encourage women to wear what makes them feel confident.
      When I see someone with no training, bad taste and poor judgement giving others advice on how they should dress, it concerns me. I do love seeing how other women style themselves.

  3. Canuck on
    May 21, 2016 / 10:43 am

    I like Jess Cartner Morley’s “What I wore this week” feature in The Guardian. I wouldn’t wear any of it, but it amuses me. And she has the right title. It’s about her experiments with fashion.

  4. May 20, 2016 / 10:08 am

    I’m smiling because I see that your title is “How To…” so google will love this, no doubt. 😉 You make some excellent points about the distinction between fashion and style. Knowing that you are a professional stylist, I definitely trust your advice. I appreciate your tips on the science of dressing and I often learn something new when I stop by.
    Have a fabulous weekend, Jen!
    xx

  5. May 20, 2016 / 9:20 am

    You are so right. I never read that with much interest. What I do like is when other bloggers suggest ways to style an outfit I wore with another color or garnment.
    Happy weekend!

  6. Allison Jones
    May 19, 2016 / 5:26 pm

    Again well said !!

  7. May 19, 2016 / 3:28 pm

    You’re right, but then there’s my friend… I love her beyond words, but she couldn’t find style if it was laid out on her bed. xoxox, Brenda

  8. May 19, 2016 / 12:51 pm

    As someone who has How to in the title of her blog, I do agree with you. However, I don’t give advice on things that I am not an expert in. We have to be careful when reading blogs because there are so many voices out there telling everyone how to do things that it is overwhelming and often leads readers in directions they don’t need to go.

  9. Mary Hartman
    May 19, 2016 / 11:17 am

    You are so right. Great information- thanks for sharing.

  10. May 19, 2016 / 10:52 am

    Great points, Jennifer!

    I think often bloggers feel they should do “How to” posts (or post do and don’t lists in very absolute terms) because that’s what so many others do and Google likes it. I often smile at the advice and move on. I also often think that the post would have been much better if the blogger had just focused on what they think works for them and why… As you point out, many are quite good at dressing themselves but may be much less skilled when it comes to others…

    • Jennifer
      May 20, 2016 / 10:21 pm

      I agree Andrea! I think the pressure is on to do a “How to”! I’d so rather see how women are styling themselves.

  11. Maria
    May 19, 2016 / 10:14 am

    You are soooo right on! I love it!

    I like your style, and your suggestions for a modern touch on classic wear.
    Keep up the good work!

  12. May 19, 2016 / 10:12 am

    You are right on the money, Jennifer. “Not rocket science…but still a science”…. great way to put it. We most of us are experts on ourselves.. and without any qualifications that’s all most of us can purport to be.

    • Jennifer
      May 20, 2016 / 10:19 pm

      I love to see women share “how they…” We all learn from that.

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