Who knew so many of y’all would find such great use out of the 10 Tips for Aspiring Bloggers post? I don’t claim to be some kind of professional when it comes to blogging but I’m glad that my post brought about so many “OMG, that was helpful.”-type comments. Fellow blogger gals and I were griping on Twitter not too long ago about some of the annoyances we’ve seen in the blogosphere. I know, I know. Sounds so whiny, doesn’t it? The fact is, a lot of bloggers may not know the rules of the game when they are first getting started. Granted there isn’t an official “Beauty Blogging Bible”. The fact is, we’ve all made mistakes. This post is to help give some insight on what may not be so good to do if you’re a beauty blogger. Of course, use your judgement and feel free to correct me if you think I’m wrong about something.
1. Fail to cite sources.
This is the worst thing any blogger, journalist, writer, college student, hell, ANYONE can do. Failing to cite where you received your information or photos is such a no no. It’s stealing. Period. If you grab a thought that didn’t come from your own dome, cite where you received that information. It’s just the nice thing to do. Besides, if the blogosphere finds out that you’re notorious for taking content and photos without citing them, no one will want to work with you. You’ll be considered an e-thief. And nobody likes thieves. Noooooobody.
2. Completely bash a brand.
This one is relative. Some beauty bloggers only feature products that they like. Others feature products they did and DID NOT like. The choice is yours but remember this….your completely bashing a product may omit you from future opportunities. I am soooooo not of fan of Revlon’s mascaras. In my opinion, most of them suck. However, I actually really like their new lip butters and nail polishes. If I totally wrote off Revlon as a brand, I may do myself a complete disservice if they had intentions on working with me somewhere down the line. Of course, it’s your blog and you can do whatever you’d like but if you plan to be in the beauty blogosphere for quite some time, it’s best not to publicly bash a brand.
3. Leave your blog link in another blog’s comment section.
Whenever I see this, it makes me want to scream. A blog’s comment section is for engagement. Not for you to spam your blog’s website. Many bloggers consider it rude and oftentimes they will delete those comments. I get it. You have a blog and you’d like the person whose blog you’re commenting on that to visit your blog. A better option would be to send them an email introducing yourself. Because I love showing love to other bloggers, I installed the CommentLuv plugin (WordPress) on Clumps. That way, commenters can display their blogs in the comment section in a discrete manner.
4. Assume that by becoming a beauty blogger, you will get free products.
So you’ve started a blog and now you want free products to review. Newsflash: It won’t happen overnight. If at all. Becoming a beauty blogger is not a guarantee that you’ll get products. Starting a blog for the sake of getting free products can be considered….lame. And PR folx pick up on that quicker than you may think. Your best bet is to blog, blog and keep blogging. Get your Google page rank up. Increase your blog traffic, Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Give PR folx a reason to want to work with you. They will come to you. Trust me on this.
5. Solely post press releases.
Aside from being insanely boring, a blog that only posts press releases isn’t really a blog. It’s a beauty news source and there is no creativity behind it. Oh, MAC has a new collection? Okay cool. Laura Mercier’s primer comes in a larger size? Great. Copying and pasting a press release or article time and time again will not engage your readers.
6. Assume that if you don’t live in New York City, you won’t be a successful blogger.
This couldn’t be more false. I don’t care if you live in East Idaho or Northern Wyoming, you CAN be a successful and influential blogger. And that goes for any blogger. Yes, NYC is considered a beauty mecca but don’t let not being there discourage you. Trust me – it sucks to miss out on the opportunities that seem to prevalent in NYC but look around you. Why can’t you launch events in your own city? Next month a good 15 beauty bloggers and I will be getting together for a networking event and swap meet. And I live in Orlando. Home of Mickey Mouse and tourism. Put some feelers out there. If you are passionate about blogging and beauty, chances are you can find a few others who are too. And no shade to my NYC bloggers but being a beauty blogger who is not in NYC kinda makes you stand out a bit, ya know?
7. Consider other bloggers your competition.
There is no race. Blogging is not a spectator sport in which the person who has the most comments, likes, visits, subscribers and fans wins. Some bloggers interact more on Twitter than they do on their blogs. Others get hundreds of comments per posts while others have thousands of newsletter subscribers. Don’t beat yourself up trying to figure out how to be “better” than another blogger. Can you be inspired by them? Absolutely. But whatever you do – don’t waste your creative brain power but trying to find out how to be “better”. Be you. That’s the one thing that you can do flawlessly. And before you get to thinking “OMG, she’s got 40,000 Twitter followers. She must be really cool.” consider this – there are programs out there in which you can BUY followers, subscribers and likes. I don’t use them because I find them to be inorganic and I’m not insinuating that every blogger with a ton of numbers uses them, but…I’m sure some do.
What do you think? Am I off on some of these things? Got any to add to the list? Let me know!
*Special thanks to the bloggers that helped with the development of this post!