When I first started blogging (you can read about how I started off here), I followed only a handful of beauty blogs, the only beauty videos I watched on YouTube were from Kandee Johnson and Lauren Luke (Panacea81), and I certainly didn't have any "blog friends." In other words, while there were several things/people that inspired me to start my own blog, I didn't have anyone giving me shout-outs left and right to help my blog gain popularity in the very beginning...it was a slooow process (like it is for most of us) but my little bloggy turned out just fine :)
I've noticed that once you have a certain number of followers, people seem to think you have all the answers on how to make a blog successful. In reality, I certainly don't have all the answers (if any, let's be real), but I have learned things along my blogging journey that, I have an inkling, may have contributed positively to my blog.
**Please take this entire post with a (large) grain of salt - all of these points are entirely just my personal opinion and not factual in any way, shape or form.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY...BLOG STYLE.
...or at least as often as you can. Obviously, we all have lives outside of beauty blogging, and blogging should never seem like a chore. However, as a reader, nothing is worse than finding a great blog and then not hearing a peep from them again for another 6 weeks. I don't think there is a right or wrong frequency for cranking out blog posts, but I do think it helps to try to remain consistent, whether you blog several times a week or a few times a month.
You know that great feeling when you click on a new blog and notice that you're in their blog roll, or when someone gives you a shout-out on their blog? And how awesome is it when you discover an amazing, new blog based on someone else's recommendation? If you have a good blog, the shout-outs and blog love will come, but don't forget to also spread the love :)
Put in the time and effort.
Taking and using your own photos is always better than using stock photos. Showing swatches and/or photos of the product in use is always better than not showing swatches and/or photos of product in use. And finally, writing a thorough review of a product after using it for several weeks is always better than writing a "review" that includes something along the lines of, "I just used this foundation for the very first time an hour ago. I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it!" Put the time and effort into brainstorming blog post ideas, reviewing products, taking and editing photos, and writing blog posts...it'll pay off in the end.
Twitter is your friend. I can't tell you how many people I've met, friends I've made, and fun I've had on Twitter. Like blogging, it's a great way to connect with like-minded people (aka makeup addicts). People tell me all the time that they found my blog through Twitter, and I've found tons of great blogs to follow as well. You'd be surprised how huge the beauty blogging community is, but it's your choice as to whether or not you want to involve yourself in it...I'm just letting you know that it's a lot more fun if you do :)
GFC ain't nothing but a number.
Everyone loves having followers and everyone gets excited when they get new followers - I'm the same way. However, it bothers me when people focus way too much on what their follower number is and not nearly enough time on actually making their blog a good one to begin with.
Let me fill you in on a little secret: Your followers notice when you only blog about things you've been given for free! Yes, press samples can be great because most bloggers can't afford to buy new products all the time to review, etc., but when you just so happen to write glowing reviews on every press sample and rarely ever review anything you've purchased with your own money, it starts to look really shady and hurt your blogger credibility. My personal view on receiving products from PR to review is: 1) if I wouldn't consider purchasing the product with my own money, I won't accept it, and 2) if I were to imagine another blogger reviewing it and think that I probably wouldn't have the urge to read their blog post on it, I won't accept the product either.
Write a blog you'd want to read.
If I could only give one piece of advice, it would be this. This is my blogging motto. I strive to write the type of blog that I'd be interested in reading. I'm lucky that other people seem to enjoy reading it as well, but it also wouldn't bother me if someone told me they didn't like my blog because I don't blog for anyone else's approval or validation - I blog for me and the people who matter...you guys, of course! :D
What tips do you guys have for blogging?