Thursday, 14 April 2016
How to start a beauty blog
Writing a beauty blog is highly rewarding - it can bring you lots of opportunities, challenges and the chance to join a whole new community. The beauty blog sector is extremely popular so when starting it's important to keep a few tips in mind so you can get yourself in the best possible position when you launch your site.
Choose your platform
There are two main blogging platforms that you can use to set your blog up. Blogger is one of the simplest and offers a very simple tutorial to get you started. It is fully customisable and allows you to change the html without charging you a penny. Wordpress also offers a free option for new starters but it is very restricted and you can't change the html. This may sound a little complex at the moment but changing the html really does come in handy later on especially if you want to add advertisements to your blog. There is a paid version of Wordpress that is fully customisable but it's a little more complex. Wordpress allows for more creativity and fancier designs whilst Blogpress is more simple but easier to use. Once you have established your blog you may want to buy your own domain (i.e www.glitzandglamourmakeup.co.uk is my domain, http://kathcakeblogging.blogspot.com is my blogspot name). Having a domain will allow you to get a Domain Authority (DA) which will allow you to get paid content once you have become more established.
Design is key
We all love things that look pretty don't we? A pretty, streamlined website is more attractive than a blog with a unattractive design which isn't easy to use. You don't have to spend a lot of money, a lot of bloggers create layouts for very reasonable prices. I would aim for a design that shows your logo as the main focus, with a picture of you and a little about your site near the top of the fold. Make sure your social media links are visible near your About Me and place your most popular posts above the fold. I have had many blog designs over the years and I've finally found something that I feel really suits my brand.
Once you've established the kind of posts you'd like to write and that blogging is for you a few essentials will help you in your journey. A computer is perfect for writing all your posts and editing all your pictures. If you only have a smartphone or tablet you'll find it a little more tricky putting everything together. A lot of smartphones have excellent cameras so a fancy camera isn't essential in the beginning. Once you have established yourself you'll find a digital camera designed specifically for photos/videos may help you produce superior content. I often used my Iphone 6+ for taking my pictures and I still do as the exterior camera is very good. The front camera however is of a much lower quality so when filming videos it was quite grainy and didn't look very crisp. I recently invested in a Canon Powershot G7X which I adore (mainly because you can lift the LCD screen up so you can see yourself film!). A tripod will come in really useful especially if you're going to be shooting outfits/long shots. Finally I would highly recommend you film/take pictures where you have good light. Natural daylight is perfect for getting pictures which show the product in its true form. Pictures taken at night are often too bright or show products incorrectly.
Would you read it?
You probably see this absolutely everywhere, but content really is king! If you are writing rubbish then people will quite quickly turn off, leave and never come back. The best way to create content is be original, take inspiration from what you see around you but don't copy it and just let yourself go. Don't try to force it or sound like other bloggers as you'll quickly lose your way. Make the post personal to you and your experiences as that is completely unique. People love discovering new products so if you write reviews try and find the latest product that may have just been released that no one else has reviewed yet. When people search for it your post will be the only content available so of course you have instant viewers. Try and be consistent with your posts, if you only want to post 2 times a week that's fine but do write those 2 posts. If your blog is empty for months on end you'll lose your audience and Google will stop crawling your site as well (bad news for traffic).
Use social media to grow your audience
Sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+ are full of millions of users and are a potential new reader of your blog. If no one knows your post is there, no one will read it - especially if your site is new as it wouldn't yet be indexed on Google. Create a profile on each social media site you want to join and start to follow people. Twitter is probably the easiest site to get started on and I think is the easiest to join conversations. On twitter you can use hashtags like #bbloggers to find people to follow. Share your posts and if you've mentioned brands then tag them in your posts. Hashtags are key so make sure you use tags like #bbloggers, #fbloggers or #lifestylebloggers for example. On any social media site it's important to ensure you are constantly interacting and share other people's content too so you don't look like you're self promoting all the time. Everytime you tweet/share content your name is getting mentioned and over time people may be inclined to see what you're sharing and visit your blog.
Keep a to do list
You may find it beneficial to create a list where you can detail all your inspiration and ideas for future posts. I like to compile a list every week of my posts for that week. I then work off that list to create my content.
You may find these posts useful in your blogging journey:
How to promote your blog using Google+
76 Ways to promote your blog and increase blog traffic
Do let me know how you find this post and whether it's helped you at all in creating your beauty blog! If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.