My past time (#menswear) overlaps with my profession (economics) from time to time. Not in the sense that I maximize my content or optimize reposts, but the act, the virtual act, of blogging becomes in itself marketable product.
Tumblr, and to a greater extent any type of blogging, is a virtual replication of a market. Blogging about clothes creates a virtual product (a post) from a physical product (the actual product) on a virtual market (tumblr). You put your posts and updates out for people to consume, and the cream rises to the top. People like what you have to say, you get more followers; if they don’t you, wallow in obscurity until you release a sex tape.
Don’t bitch about other people’s followers or better posts, the menswear scene is indifferent to your struggles.
Don’t complain, up your game.
Because the internet is an open market with low barriers to entry and perfect access - but not necessary consumption of - information, the market is essentially efficient. While not monopolistic, it can appear that some bloggers have more sway over the market than other. Warranted or not, some do.
But there in lays the rub. If it is an efficient market but market power is partially concentrated, how do you gain market power?
Post from my blog, will garner 60 reblogs on a good day. The kings of the market (LAS, Novh, Liam, Nikko) command a much greater audience and can therefore spread their ideas easily. So that begs the question, how do expand your reach.
I have (while others may not) a full time job and professional qualifications to study for, my time to follow designers, other bloggers, and general menswear updates, is restricted. I physically cannot pine over posts and posts and posts, trying to get the next best thing up first. Someone is going to get there before me. Therefore, I need to find ways to push my goods, more effectively.
This is where gains from trade comes into play. My site is a jack-of-all-master-of-none. I don’t stick to one type of style, but spread myself over a variety of topics to extend market reach. I can’t be the first, but I can dip my hand into a variety of menswear topics. Write a little. Post some songs. Take some pictures. And this is the same with other sites, they excel in some aspects and not in others. By leveraging strengths through trade, each can mutually benefit colluding. But, back to that in a moment.
Breaking into this market requires: 1) a radical new product 2) exploiting a niche or 3) using existing supply chains to promote your idea. But if you play by the rules, you’ll wallow in mediocrity. So what is the right play?
Start a menswear cartel. Gather a group of like minded blogs, and promote each other. All the time. Everyday.
You want menswear photography? Go to this blog. Insights with a little philosophy? This one. Rick Ross and Todd Snyder? Done. Put all the blogs on a list, and when questions arrise point to the list.
Become an authority through referrals.
And, unlike an actual cartel, there is little incentive to defect. Each blog gains notoriety and access to each other’s markets, greatly expanding each other’s voice. As long as the content is original (or close to) it creates the perception of superiority, an assumed understanding of the market and its products. Monopoly power is not required, but instead created. And in turn, so is credibility about the subject matter.
Unfortunately, a menswear cartel does not have a monopoly on content, so without original posts, consumers quickly go to other sources and the cartel’s credibility is lost. This aspect is similar to any market. New content in a cartel has to connect with the other members; it must be a reenforcing act. It creates a closed circle of referrals and internally generated content, allowing other user to peer but not participate.
Therefore, key to cartel survival is: content, credibility, and mutual promotion. And, Rick Ross.
But if all else fails, just follow these instructions.
So, who is down to start the OPEC of menswear? Dictator suits available on request.