I got an ask on my tumblr asking about tips on how to start a beauty blog! Here are my tips for beauty blogging, punctuated by pictures of my blogging station at my mom's house so you can see a bit behind the action!
1) Blogger is your friend. If you don’t have a google+ account, make one and start with blogger. It’s a lot easier and user-friendly than tumblr. You can see all your comments, stats, and drafts in one simple place. It’s honestly and truly one of the most user-friendly interfaces I’ve dealt with. I can’t even change my stupid theme on tumblr but on blogger it was so simple to customize and add widgets! Make sure you get the app, too, if you’re going to be using a phone to upload your photos.
My blog station is actually the dining room table.
2) Decide what you want to post. Is it reviews, makeup looks, something else or all of the above? Write a list of post ideas. Some of mine include: Product reviews, Product wishlists, Favourites of the Month, Empties of the Month, Products that didn’t work for you, brand features, top 3 of a product (eg top 3 mascaras, eyeshadow palettes, etc)
3) Lots of pictures- and lighting! You don’t need a fancy camera or lighting- I use an old iphone and edit with MS Paint or Windows image viewer. Always take your photos in natural sunlight with a steady hand. Days where it is slightly overcast are the best days to photograph as you won’t be squinting. Most photos take many takes to ensure that they are in focus, the lighting is right and there is no glare. And backgrounds- some people insist that a white background is professional to do product shots on, but I find that a coffee table, windowsill or the top of a dresser is just as nice and adds a bit of character too!
I use this box to transport products from my bathroom to the dining room blog station to assure I don't drop anything.
4) Buy some coconut oil. Sounds a bit weird, I know, but if you’re going to be doing arm swatches or multiple eye looks in a day, then this will save you so much money. It functions as a makeup remover on the cheap and will moisturize your skin and make your swatches stick to the skin better. Just make sure you’re not allergic!
My coconut oil!
5) Be gentle with yourself- and your wallet! Sometimes I’ll do ten eye looks in one day and immediately regret it because my eyes get irritated from how much they’ve been rubbed. You have to remember to pace yourself. Don’t over-exfoliate in hopes of clearer skin for photos, don’t test out too many skincare products in too short a period of time for the sake of reviewing them. And remember that you don’t have to have high-end makeup to be cool! Some of my most popular posts are my ELF, Wet N Wild and Essence reviews (both have makeup for 1-5 dollars max) because everyone loves a good bargain but doesn’t always want to take the risk of lower end makeup not working out for them. If you want to get a couple of higher-end pieces, I highly recommend checking out your local TJ Maxx and Marshalls. They sell it at discounted prices, though it’s a bit of a treasure hunt to find the good stuff!
And once you’ve gotten your blog started, you may want to network to gain more traffic! Some tips for that…
I'm saving up for a standing lighted mirror, but for now, this one will do.
6) Promote your blog on social media, especially if you have relatives on facebook. I know, it sounds embarrassing, but there’s nothing your distant relatives love more than to show you off (in most cases). I finally promoted my blog on facebook, and to my surprise, all of my mom’s work friends are hooked on it now, along with some people I knew in junior high! Instagram is also a great place to post previews and sneak peeks of future posts.
7) Comment on other blogs. Not only are other peoples’ blogs great inspiration, but they can also be used as networking tools. It sounds callous, but it’s really not. Whenever someone leaves a nice comment on my blog, I check them out. Who doesn't love when their post gets a comment? The first time I commented on one of my favourite blog’s posts, she immediately started following me and commented on my stuff! It was so great!
8) Consider joining a network. This gives you opportunity to do guest posts, weekly prompts and challenges, be featured in other (more popular) blogs’ roundups, and chat with other bloggers to soak up their wisdom! I actually run a network, Our Beauty Talk blog network, so once you start up your blog, send me the url and I’ll talk to you about joining if you want!
I use this to clean my brushes on the spot.
I hope these tips were helpful! I've gleaned a lot of info from the Canadian Beauty Bloggers network. Comment below with your best blog tips!