How to Start a Beauty Blog
With the explosion of beauty and makeup tutorial videos online and the blogs that accompany them, many people are wondering how they join the online beauty community. It is important to note that very few people make a salary from writing or creating content online. This article will explain how you can share your ideas, photos and tips with others and will not teach you how to make a lot of money or become extremely popular. It will however provide you with basic information on how you can incorporate ads on your blog and where you can promote it.
If you're starting any type of blog, you need to make sure that it is focused. If you choose to write about cars, write only about cars. The same thing goes for a Beauty Blog. Make sure that everything you write about is relevant to your topic. You can choose to narrow your topic down further if you wish, focusing on a specific area of your topic. You could focus strictly on hair care, makeup, or skin care. The choice is yours but make sure that you stick to it, especially in the beginning stages of your blog.
Choose a Name
Though seemingly unimportant, the name of your blog is one of the most important decisions you'll make about it. Try to keep it short, unique and catchy.
Avoid names like "Makeup by Megan" or "Megan's Beauty Blog" as these names are overused and generic. Successful blogs with these names may have had this name way before these types of blogs were popular. You want to avoid using names like this because you don't want your blog to be confused with another.
In the photo above, I've included a screen shot of the blog that I started. The name "The Daily Swatch" is short, unique, and tells the reader what they can expect my blog to be about. It suggests that I'll be posting daily (or frequently) and that my posts will include swatches (what the products look like on the skin).
The name of your blog is entirely your choice, but make sure that it tells the reader exactly what kind of blog it is and what they can expect to see.
Choose a Blogging Service
A Blogging Service is a great place to start a blog. Most are user-friendly and straight-forward. They will host your blog for you and provide you with other tools and services to enhance your blog. Most Blogging Services are free.
I recommend Blogger because it is easy to use and integrating Google AdSense and Amazon Affiliates codes is quick and easy. Blogger is also a part of Google so you can use your Google account (if you have one) to sign into Blogger as well.
I like using Tumblr as a companion to my blog on Blogger because Tumblr enables users to 'reblog' your content, exposing it to more people at a quicker pace. I post a photo from a recent post, and include a link to the post on Blogger if the reader wants more information.
The design of your website is almost as important as your blog's name, but it's easier to change.
Blogger has several different templates and designs available that you can switch between with the simple click of a button. However, if you want your blog to look unique and personalized, there are other services available that work well with Blogger.
These services include:
These services are free to use and will usually add a small graphic or link to the templates crediting them as the ones who designed the template.
When designing your blog, it's important to make it look clean and simple. This does not necessarily mean that you can't use bright colours, but just make sure that it looks like you put some effort into it.
Photos will enhance the quality of your blog's content. Beauty Blogs must have photos as products such as makeup need to be seen before your reader decides to purchase it. This is the case for most blogs. Not only will photos show what a product looks like and how it applies on the skin, but it will also give your readers something to look at, rather than paragraphs of text.
You don't need an expensive camera to take clear photos. Try to use what you have and make it work for you. Look closely at the settings and options your camera has and adjust them depending on what you need. The camera's instruction manual is a great place to start, and there are also many resources online that teach you how to take great photos.
Just make sure that the photos you take are clear and not blurry and that they represent the true colour of what you're photographing.
Your readers will decide to read your blog if it is pleasing and easy to look at. While the content of your blog is important, everything in this article so far has been about getting your reader to stay on your blog long enough to read what you have to say. Most readers take only seconds to decide if they'll continue.
Your posts don't always have to be about reviews of products. You can also write about tips and tricks you've learned or discovered, your experience with a specific brand, sales that you've taken advantage of, etc. You're free to write your posts any way you choose, but one thing that I have noticed is that a lot of people like to talk about their personal life. This can sometimes deter people from reading your blog. If you enjoy talking about your day-to-day life, consider making a blog dedicated to yourself. Put simply, write only about the topic of your blog.
Review What You Have and What is New
When you're starting your blog, you don't necessarily have to go out and buy a ton of products to review. Look through the products you already have and figure out which products are still being sold in stores. Reviews of discontinued or limited edition products tend not to be viewed many times.
Gather as much information about your products as you can, such as where they can be purchased, how much you bought them for and how the product worked for you.
This is a great way to start and practice blogging.
The next time you're out shopping, look at what products have just come out. If you need a new eyeliner, consider purchasing one that has just come out so that you can review it on your blog. If your blog starts doing well, you may generate enough income so that you can purchase new products to review on a regular basis. Reviews of new products will receive many views because a lot of people will be researching to see whether it is worth purchasing or not. You can be the person who helps them decide!
You can also ask your friends and family if they've tried something new recently and ask if you can try it too. Then you can do a review on it without spending any money. In return, you can let them try something of yours.
Once you have named, designed and created content for your blog, you can begin promoting it in order to gain some followers. There is a fine line between spamming and promoting, so make sure that if you decide to promote your blog that you don't overdo it.
There are subtle and less-annoying ways of promoting your blog, such as adding the link to the signature of your e-mails. You can also create a Twitter account for your blog and have the link to your latest post automatically tweeted.
You can tell your friends and family on Facebook about your blog and even start a Facebook page.
Websites such as Beautylish allow for such promotion on their Forum, but many other makeup websites will not allow you to include links to your blog in your posts.
You can also visit other blogs and leave a comment and a link to your own blog, however this is not always acceptable. If someone leaves you a comment on your blog with their link, it's safe to say that they might not mind if you do the same. Just remember to leave one comment with your link, but if you wish to comment on other posts of theirs, leave the link out. This is a great way to make friends with other Beauty Bloggers as well!
You should avoid constantly posting your link on any of the above websites as this can ruin the reputation of your blog.
AdSense and Affiliate Links
AdSense is what can help your blog make some money. Very few people make a lot of money from AdSense, but quite a few people make a few extra dollars simply by placing advertisements on their websites and blogs. You've likely seen an AdSense advertisement before on another website. They are square or rectangular images that advertise and product or service that appear on the sides of a website, and sometimes in between blog posts.
Each time one of these advertisements is loaded onto a page, it's called an impression. Each time one of these advertisements is clicked by your readers, you'll get anywhere from a few pennies to about one dollar. This is how you can make money by placing advertisements on your blog. Blogger will help you apply for an AdSense account and with the placement of these ads on your blog.
*Clicking your own links will not make you any money and it will result in the suspension of your AdSense account. The same can be said of asking people to click the links for you*
Affiliate links (such as with Amazon and Ebay) are like AdSense in that you place their advertisements on your blog, but instead of other company's ads showing up, you can choose which products you want to feature. This is useful because you can choose products that are relevant to your content. If your reader decides to purchase this item, you'll get a small commission from the sale. Blogger can also help with setting up these affiliate links.
Once your blog is up and running, make sure that your posts are frequent and consistent. You don't need to post every day. Sometimes that can be overwhelming for your readers, especially if they decide to follow you and receive updates whenever you post.
Anywhere from every 2-3 days to once per week is a good frequency to start with. As you gain popularity, your readers may ask you to post more often, which you should do if you have the time.
If you are worried about forgetting to post on a regular basis, you can write several posts all at once and have them posted automatically. All you have to do is set the date and time of when you want a post to be published and the rest is taken care of for you.
Remember to be honest when you write and to provide clear and useful information.