Cornerford Picks Their Favourite Gentleman Bloggers of 2018
What Makes a Great Male Blogger?
A million followers don’t impress us these days. We don’t look at the numbers, instead delve deep into what each blogger brings to the table and sit down with them to offer our readers an insight into what they are really about. We ask what makes them tick, how they stay current in a very saturated industry and top tips for budding bloggers. These select few are our ones to watch for 2019.
We have picked our global best below so click ahead to discover the bright future of the blogging industry.
Carl Thompson / @HawkinsAndShepherd / United Kingdom
Gentleman Tip: Never turn up to a party empty handed. Always wear a shirt on a date. Be a good listener. Subtract yourself from any given equation and think what is best for those around you
Carl is a UK gentleman blogger who consistently provides his followers with great images and gives us an insight into the best fashion, events and travel tips in London and across the globe.
Carl’s biggest inspiration is the wonderful City of London which has everything anyone could ever want in a city. Design and style that stands out with a community around it. London is the place to be for endless cuisine, theatre, fashion houses which can often be taken for granted by the locals. Carl reminds us how to make London our never ending playground.
With such a saturated field, we often wonder what the most difficult thing about being an influencer could be. Behind the elegant imagery and content that is being brought to his vast following, the work done behind the scenes is tough in this industry.
“Staying on top of emails has to be the hardest. Making sure I allot enough time to put everything into any given campaign. I never like to spread myself too thin, but at the same time I'm a one-man band. I do the editing, the writing, the social media etc. often having to make sure I have a healthy influx of work coming in, without getting too distracted on what I'm presently doing.”
Companies will be happy to hear this. Often inexperienced bloggers will take on any work they can and if it starts to snowball, the quality of the content can dip. Carl gives his all to each and every campaign.
The industry keeps getting tougher and tougher to crack with so many trying to push their way through to the top. Some good, some not so good who are looking for an easy pay day. Carl shared his insights about emerging new talent and if it’s already too late for them.
“I don't know if it's too late. Sure if you want to be a vlogger now it's harder to break through. The likes of Jim Chapman were there at the beginning, so sometimes it’s all about good timing. A lot of people will tell you not to copy and be yourself etc. I'd say copy the ones that are doing it well, and do it better. What are they not doing? Where do you fit in?
Also you need to find your village. If you ever watch people who have their cats on Instagram, it’s a huge place to leverage engagement. You have people leaving comments as cats on other cat’s pages, then other cats chime in. It’s bananas.
My point is you need to find your village, and be a part of that community by regularly engaging. And I don’t just mean posting comments like ‘on point bro’.”
Engagement is everything these days with Instagram trying to only show you relevant content. Some say it’s a bad thing with the new algorithm losing you impressions, but the point here being is to regularly engage with meaningful content.
At the end, we talked a little about Carl’s other ventures – running his very own e-commerce store, the Hawkins & Shepherd brand for a city guy with a love of shirts. He brings the London style to his shirt subscription service.
Brian Morr / @sinkthesun / United States
Gentleman Tip: A gentleman is aware of who he is as a person. You need to know who you are and be comfortable in your own skin in order to give advice or guidance to someone else
Brian blogs about men’s fashion from the States. Personal style is his most interesting subject. How people consciously make decisions about what to wear and how to wear it. It’s a continued expression of their personality. Loving the fact that fashion is objective, refreshingly, his mantra is “If a look works, it works!”
Trying to add character to a feed is sometimes difficult, we asked Brian how he tries to become more personable with his followers.
“My Instagram account screams fashion and lifestyle but if you look a little deeper you’ll find lots of humour in my Instagram stories. Unlike some bloggers and influencers I don’t display my whole life for the world to see. I like to keep some things private and only share the hilarious parts and many mishaps in my life which people seem to enjoy. At the end of the day if you’re laughing at my stories then I’ve done my job!”
The demand can get a bit much sometimes;
“I would have to say the most difficult about being an influencer is not having enough time. Time to be creative. Time to get the shot we want. Time to create something unique and special for the brands we work with. Some brands rush you to create content in a few days and they need to know that it takes more than a few shots with a camera to get something great.”
One of the ways that Brian manages his time is with his favourite Cornerford item, the Classic Collection mostly, telling us that he’s a real sucker for a nice watch (well thank you Brian).
“Watches compliment an outfit so well and it serves a purpose! A simple timepiece like the Classic Bianco in brown ties so well into an outfit!”
With such a busy and hectic schedule, we asked Brian if he has any tips for anyone who is looking to start out as a blogger. His tips resonate with us and the advice is solid;
“Please stay true to who you are as a person. Embrace your uniqueness and be creative with your looks! Create your own style and never let anyone tell you not to wear something you feel strongly about. It’s time to be your own walking and talking style guide!
It is never too late to start doing what you love! But make sure YOU stay YOU.”
Rowan Row / @rowanrow / United Kingdom
Gentleman Tip: Be you, return the favour, define your personal style, hold the door open, keep your promises and find your purpose
“I believe that if you come with sometime that you inspire the world with and you also do it with so much passion without thinking of money or gifting, then you will succeed in no time. Think on a long term and have the right mindset with lots of patience. Be consistent and have the drive for it.”
The advice of Rowan Row, a fitness and lifestyle blogger residing in the UK. His photography is reposted often and his accolades keep growing. A true influencer.
“I don’t really like to compare myself with others because everyone is amazing in their own way. I believe in my style, personality and the drive I have for this industry.”
He’s one who has gone into the industry purely from a passion perspective hence why he’s grown so quickly and organically.
“The reason why is that because I love to inspire the world with my lifestyle and sense of dressing.”
We asked him what the most difficult thing was about being an influencer;
“Weather forecast! When it comes to outdoor photography I believe that that’s one of the most common and difficult thing that us the influencers we are fighting with. It’s all about the lighting for the perfect shot!”
Elio Ministeri / @elioministeri / Italy
Gentleman Tip: A gentleman must be a determined person, fearless and self-confident
Mostly talking about fashion, Elio styles through his travels and lifestyle around the city of Venice, Italy.
“I always try to get high quality photos, I think it's a detail that can make the difference. I like to stand out for myself in different ways. I try to be complete, I like to post pictures of my travels, always taking different perspective and I like to post latest trend outfits with my taste. I love to post black and white photos of myself as it has a vintage twist from the past.”
Elio’s favourite Cornerford product at the moment is the Nero Black Classic Timepiece which he owns, calling it a must-have for every gentleman.
His biggest motivation is the desire to improve day after day in everything he sets his mind to.
We also asked him what the most difficult thing is about blogging;
“The most difficult thing about being an influencer is consistency. Always stay active and upload original and quality content. It’s not easy to stay relevant and a lot of influencers are trying to do the same.”
“The advice I can give to those who start this path is to focus mainly on one or two favourite topics, not to copy other profiles and to be very detailed in what you do. I think it's not too late yet to start out. Those who have the skills and the will to do beautiful things will always be on time!”
Anything else you want the world to know about you, Elio?
“Often in my pictures I never smile, but in real life I'm pretty happy and I like to always joke with everyone! I really like nature, I love wine and I have a degree in Oeology! I also like beer and I make it in small quantities at home.”
Cheers to that!
Matt Hales / @mattthales / United Kingdom
Gentleman Tip: Kindness goes a long way. Being supportive and motivating, great style and of course, happiness
A male model and part time blogger living in London, Matt’s Instagram consists of portfolio images, behind the scenes and nutritious food.
“My images usually have a quote in the caption, I’m all about the insta inspo! If it can make someone look at something in a different light, or make them feel more content/better about their progress in life. A bit of motivation is always worth the caption.”
Matt always likes to post these type of themes as it’s positive and if it can help people feel better by eating foods to further their nutritional intake then that’s music to his ears. A true believer that eating the right foods (natural) can impact anyone’s day; from mood to energy, skin and sleep.
“Before becoming a model my nutrition was awful (lots of sugar) and would just feel rubbish about myself. I would get so many energy slumps throughout the day which would lead to eating more unhealthy food. Since changing my diet I feel much better with a lot more energy spurred me to share this with others.”
“I’m down to Earth, happy go lucky, just trying to succeed in this difficult industry and try motivate people to be the best they can. Life is too short to be average and unhappy.”
Matt doesn’t think it’s too late to get into blogging especially if you’re passionate about a certain subject and want to share experiences with others. His best tip is to plan posts in advance as life can sometimes get overwhelmingly busy. This helps your followers to stay engaged and seeing your content.
He continues; “Be you, be great, feel good. A great motivation tool I use to make life decisions is ‘imagine you are 90 years old in a care home reminiscing about your life, and ask yourself the question whether you would regret not trying a certain thing. If it’s a yes, then go for it. If you’re nervous, fake being confident... No one can tell the difference, put your confidence mask on and soon enough you will merge into that person.”
We love Matt’s positivity!
Danny Gibbons / @dannygibbons90 / United Kingdom
Gentleman Tip: Treat everybody equally and without judgement knowing everybody has their own story. You can learn something new from everybody you meet
In the world of blogging, Danny takes his inspiration from fellow blogger @magic_fox. However this is an inspiration, to stand out he never follows the crowd.
“I'm always only going to do me, the way I like. This way, you stay true to who you are and also get that authenticity feel from your followers too. I don't feel like I could do it any other way, I try to document my story and progress rather than create a perfect image. We're all human and everybody encounters struggles along the way.”
Danny blogs about his favourite topics;
Fashion - Well who doesn't want to look good? You can't beat walking out with a fresh outfit. At the end of the day, it's the front cover to who you are. My favourite Cornerford item is the watch without a doubt. Its aesthetic look just completes an outfit, especially when making that extra effort.
Travelling - I'm always on the lookout for cool places to go and things to do. Sometimes these don't even have to be abroad like people think. So if I find a hidden gem, I'll share it.
Music - I couldn’t live without my music, those who know me know I've got music playing 24/7. It keeps those good vibes flowing!
Fitness - You only get one engine so looking after it is important. I try to show that you can have a very balanced lifestyle and enjoy what you want within reason whilst maintaining the desired physique you crave.
With all of these ideas under his belt, behind the scenes there must be some difficult shortcomings?
“It would probably would have to be people who don't understand the influencer world and what it's about, therefore question your reasoning behind every post etc. Just staying focussed, staying in your own lane is what you need to do and keep doing you.”
Jace Brown / @jacebrown_ / Australia
Gentleman Tip: Remain true to yourself and true to your voice. Be genuine, act with sincerity and match your deeds to your words
Jace posts about whatever is relevant to life at the time, mainly lifestyle, travel and fashion. We loved talking to Jace as he had some great insights and how to conduct himself. Taking a lot of his inspiration from his friends and family we could have talked to Jace and listened to his ideas all day!
“What’s important to me is educating and empowering others. I feel we each have the ability to lead, we each have the capacity to influence others and inspire change. If I can have a positive impact on someone else’s day, that’s a really great thing.”
“What you see is a reflection in real time. It’s kinda like, ‘this is where I am, and this is what I’m doing’. I think people can relate to the authenticity of that.
The people I work with, the brands I represent, these are things I’m into and believe in. It’s about maintaining integrity. “
“Whenever you put yourself out there, you’re exposing yourself to vulnerability, you’re open to rejection and criticism which is okay but it’s not always easy to take. It’s important to maintain a good understanding of yourself; know your worth, know who you are and know what you stand for.”
Taking all of that into account, we asked whether in a world of superficial goings on there is still room for genuine bloggers who just want to tell their story to the world.
“It’s definitely not too late. Find meaning in what you are doing, focus on your thoughts, your ideas and act for yourself. This will allow things to happen organically.
Be real. Create from a place of authenticity and make genuine connections.
Remember, it takes time, so be patient and show yourself grace - trust the process and maintain clarity of the bigger picture.”
Very profound Mr Brown, we loved your insights! One more question though, which Cornerford product are you most in love with?
“The Classic Nero (black gentleman) timepiece. I’m a sucker for a nice watch and black on black, come on? Elegant, sophisticated. It’s hard to look past that.”
We agree, Sir.
Harry Sheppard / @hshep10 / United Kingdom
Gentleman Tip: Mind your manners. They cost nothing and they go an incredibly long way when it comes to making first impressions
Harry juggles his blogging with his sport as a professional rugby player. Mainly a lover of fashion, he combines this with travel and training.
“I stand out from other bloggers on Instagram purely because of my variety when I post. A lot of fashion focused bloggers tend to keep to the same styles, whereas I like to switch it up and dress for different occasions whilst sticking within my theme.”
“My favourite Cornerford product is the Black Premium crew sweatshirt as it can be worn in a variety of styles. Accompanied with dark jeans and a Chelsea boot, it gives off a great look for a first date. Not too smart and neither too casual. However, accompanied with a pair of joggers, it’s easy to give off a chilled look on a rainy day.”
We ask him what his tips are for new bloggers and what he finds most difficult especially managing two demanding activities;
“The most difficult thing about being an influencer would be the constant demand for new content that resonates with your audience. The demand is high, so it is by no means easy.
Top tips for getting started is to establish your niché in what is a very saturated industry and then apply yourself fully.
My blog is run purely for fun about something I find enjoyable. You can’t ever take yourself too seriously in real life, so social media shouldn’t be any different.”