10 Tips For Aspiring Beauty Bloggers

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Lately I’ve been getting a ton of emails from gals looking to start a beauty blog. I’m one of those “tell it all” bloggers. I have no secrets and don’t mind sharing information that I think can help motivate wannabe bloggers and current bloggers. I’ve been formally blogging for almost 5 years (wowsers!) and have learned a thang or two. This list would best help those who are seriously looking to get into blogging…any genre. And by seriously, I mean you want to eat, sleep and breathe blogging. Nah. I’m just kidding. Or am I? :cool:

1. Take great pictures.

Okay, considering I’m a budding photographer, I WOULD say that, right? Seriously though…nothing sucks more than a blog with REALLY bad pictures. And you know what bad pictures are. Pictures that are fuzzy, too far away, grainy, have too much light, not enough light…get my drift? Many aspiring bloggers feel as if they have to invest hundreds of dollars in cameras to produce good pictures. Not true. Point and shoots and even smartphones can crank out gorgeous pictures. If you have 8 megapixels on your smartphone, you can take incredible pictures. Lighting and angle is EVERYTHING in photography. Learning how to take great pictures takes time. I’m still learning. Also, readers REALLY love to see your pictures. Not a picture that you found online. And for goodness sakes, don’t ever submit a blog post without a picture. That’s just wrong. When I see that I’m always like, “Dude. Is this a blog post or a thesis?” People need pictures to break up text. It’s a scientific fact.

2. Read and comment on other blogs.

Chances are, if you’re interesting in starting a beauty blog, it may be because you were inspired by other beauty blogs. Good. But even once you start blogging, KEEP reading those blogs. And leave comments. Not “Wow. That’s cool.” unengaging-type comments but comments that let’s the blogger know that you really liked their writing, pictures or information. Hold on though – leaving YOUR blog link in a comment is a huge no-no in the blog community. It’s rude. If you want to share your blog, kindly send an email. Camaraderie and community is everything in the beauty blogosphere. I never want to be that blogger that got so big that I stopped commenting on other blogs. Nope. I follow and comment on blogs daily.

3. Don’t just talk about the product, SHOW the product.

Love that new Clinique blush? Or Maybelline’s newest mascara? Awesome. But an advertisement of the blush or mascara doesn’t show me anything. Anyone can Google a picture. I want to see how it looks on YOU. The reason why I prefer reading blogs over magazines is because I get an in depth review with pictures. 9 times out of 10, a magazine is just going to show you a pretty picture of a NARS’ eyeshadow. I’d rather get a glimpse of that eyeshadow on your eyes. While I believe it is okay to display stock photos from time to time (I don’t though because I’m a snob. Ha!), the bulk of your blog should really be focused on what’s going on your skin.

4. Do more than just blog.

Blogging is great. But if I spent my entire time just blogging, I’d go insane. I love writing about beauty and all but talking about it 24/7 is a bit of a snooze fest for me. If you’re too lazy to put up a blog post, do a video. Create a Facebook fan page and engage your readers that way. Take your blog in the community and host beauty events. Connect with other bloggers in your area and have a volunteer day. The fact is, the most successful bloggers do more than just blog. Take heed and brainstorm ways of how you can go beyond blogging.

Random pic of me to break up the lengthy text. Hollaaaa!

5. Find a niche.

There are a million beauty bloggers out there. Seriously. There are bloggers in the U.S. Bloggers in Germany. Bloggers in Australia. White girls blog. Asian girls blog. Mexican girls blog. Dutch girls blog. There are bloggers who do videos. Bloggers who feature their pets. Bloggers who feature their kids. And on and on….. Find a niche that works for you. Attempt to stand out. Love planting and polish? Make plants and polish your focal point. You want to give people a reason to read your blog and simply saying, “I have a beauty blog.” isn’t enough. Saying, “I have a beauty blog and I also put coordinating recipes in each blog post.” makes me want to check your blog out. It’s memorable. My niche? Mascara, duh! ;) I mean if the blog name Clumps of Mascara doesn’t get your attention, I don’t know what will. I also have other niches. Like ya know…being goofy and talking about embarrassing stuff on TMI Tuesday. Next week I’ll be discussing birth control. Weeeeee!

6. Treat your blog like a brand.

When I started Clumps of Mascara, I was graduating from college, moving across to country to volunteer for AmeriCorps and had NO idea that my blog would take off the way it did. Had I known, there would have been A LOT of things that I would not have done. You don’t know who is looking at your blog. It could be a potential employee or potential client. That means, watch your language and edit like you’re submitting a dissertation. Nothing sucks more than reading one of your blog posts and seeing messed up grammar. Yep. It happens to me too. Blog as if the world is looking. Create a logo for your blog. Get business cards and attend blogger meetups and social events. Treat your blog like it’s a big deal. You can’t expect others to take you seriously if you don’t take yourself seriously. And media kits for bloggers? They are SO in right now. Get one. Can’t make one? Hire someone to do it for you. Trust me on this.

7. Brag about your blog.

For the first few years Clumps was around, my family didn’t know it. Neither did my friends. I have a tough time tooting my own horn, and not doing so has made it so that I missed out on many opportunities. Your hard work should be seen by those who love and support you. Let people know what you’re up to. And who knows…they may be able to help in someway. In my case, my bragging about my blog (via resume) landed me a job in field I really wanted to work in: social media. Oh yeah, that’s another thing. Blogging CAN lead to jobs.

8. Don’t stop blogging.

Once you start blogging, don’t stop. I’m serious. Don’t. Even if you can only blog once a week…do it. Consistently not blogging will throw your readers off and you will inevitably lose some. At the same time, don’t think you HAVE to blog daily. If twice a week is more feasible, do that. I finally have Clumps running like a well oiled machine but it’s not because I’m up until 2am blogging. I’ve created a schedule that fits my lifestyle. Think of one that works for you and put it to use.

9. Focus on great content over numbers.

Every blogger wants a billion readers and trillions of comments. Numbers look good and they make us feel good. But if you develop great content, people will keep coming around. Do numbers matter? They can. Baby bloggers should really focus on creating content that makes people want to read their blogs before stressing over numbers. And dude – once you START stressing about numbers, you’ll never stop. For now – enjoy nursing that baby before s/he starts talking.

10. Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers.

This is a tough one because we’re human beings. I get a ton of “Man, I wish my blog was like yours.” comments but what people don’t realize is that Clumps is almost 5 years old. I’ve invested hundreds and hundreds of dollars in my blog. I spend hours brainstorming, taking pictures and researching information for Clumps. I didn’t just wake up one day, start a blog and become successful. Uh no. It doesn’t work like that, home skillet. Even now, there are still SO many things that I have to do to get to where I want to be. Do I admire other bloggers? Absolutely. I am motivated by them. Everyone has to start somewhere. Even the biggest bloggers were baby bloggers at some point. Focus on YOUR blog and where you want it to go.

+ Honorable Mention: Worry about making money later. Seriously. I get so many questions asking me how to get free beauty products or how to get invited to events. Starting out, I NEVER emailed any brands asking for free products. They found me. If your number one goal for starting a blog is to make money, then honey, this is the wrong field for you. Sure, I make some revenue through sponsorship/ambassador opportunities and ads but guess what? I still have to work a 9-5 to make ends meet. Repeat after me: Content first. Money later.

Bottom Line:

Blogging takes time. If you plan to be a serious blogger, it’s an investment. Especially if you have to purchase a domain, layout and branding tools. Stay calm and keep it fun. The minute blogging STOPS being fun is the minute I will invest time in another hobby. Fo realsies.

Did that help? A little? Not really? Either way, let me know your thoughts.

If you’ve got a baby blog, shoot the link in the comments so we can support you. Fellow bloggers, feel free to add to the list.

The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 32

My cutie patootie goddaughter.

Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

Nouveau Cheap – Pssst! Want to the know the quickest and easiest way to make drugstore rewards work for you? Get 25 to 50% off your beauty purchases ASAP and stop throwing money down the drain!

Pink Sith – has completely lost it over the new NARS Eyeshadow in Lhasa from the 2012 Spring Collection!

Prime Beauty – invites you to Sunday Brunch with Jouer. Relax, enjoy some champagne, good food and of course, makeup!

Phyrra – presents a variety of lovely lipsticks and pigmented lipglosses from Morgana Cryptoria.

Vampy Varnish – highly recommends the new Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca True Romance Eyeshadow Palette.

we heart thisDERMAdoctor’s Photodynamic Therapy lotion harness the sun’s rays to create a sunlight activated laser similar to red light lasers used in doctor’s offices. What has YOUR lotion done for you lately?

Clumps of Mascara – is in love with Finger Paints’ Twisted nail polish. What’s better than a flakie?

EauMG – falls in love with a natural citrus floral perfume, LUSH 1000 Kisses Deep.

Gouldylox Reviews – can’t stop raving about three things this week.

Krasey Beauty – Read all about the new Sigma Beauty Eyeshadow palettes, see the swatches, and then decide for yourself if they are worth your time and money. K.B sure thinks they are!

Question of the Week:

Do you have any makeup/beauty tricks
for looking more awake?

B says, “Sleep! And defining the waterline with black eyeliner. I look like a corpse without eyeliner. “

What about you? What makes you look more awake?

See you next week!

~The Lipstick League

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The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 31

Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

Nouveau Cheap – If you’re a fan of the Wet n Wild 8-pan eyeshadow palettes, the new Black Radiance 8-pan palette in Downtown Browns is a must-see.

Pink Sith – educates you on the dangers of Severe Chanel Blush Withdrawal (SCBW) and explains how the latest Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel saved her life

Prime Beauty – got Mega Drag Queen lashes with RevitaLash Lash Conditioner and now you can too. Head on over to Prime Beauty to see the before and after pictures and enter to win a 3-month supply of RevitaLash and a RevitaLash mascara!

Phyrra – tries out a new line of eye shadows from well-known blogger Marlena of the Makeup Geek.

Vampy Varnish – checks out the new MAC collection called MAC, Naturally.

we heart this – you’re not a color lover if you don’t have a bit of Sugarpill in your stash.

Clumps of Mascara – has a guest editor discuss infertility and wonders why more women aren’t discussing it.

EauMG – is in love with this decadent, self-indulgent vanilla by DSH Perfumes.

Krasey Beauty – shows you some brand spanking new additions to the LUSH Cosmetics line. Bathtime is funtime, in LUSH land.

Question of the Week:

What’s your go to eyeshadow brush?

B says, “I don’t wear eyeshadow much these days but when I do I loooove the MAC 217 brush. I’ve got 3 of ‘em.”

What about you? Do you have a favorite eyeshadow brush?

See you next week!

~The Lipstick League

 

Guest Post: Mimi’s Peacock Nails

I was quite flattered to be asked by Brittany to write a guest post for Clumps, you have no idea! It’s like a blogging celebrity thing. The blogging equivalent to Paula Deen asking you for your macaroni & cheese recipe.

I was Googling around, looking for patterns to inspire some new nail designs when I found this picture of a rug.


It was so simple, yet definitely captured the essence of peacocks (side note- peahens really got short end of the stick. Nature definitely did not leave any beauty for them!).

I freehanded the design. I bet there is probably a nail stamping plate that you could use to easily stamp the light green background pattern, but sometimes there is great joy and satisfaction in doing something completely by hand.

I used:

From left to right: Sally Hansen Fairy Teal, Orly Sweet Peacock, Spoiled I Only Eat Salads and a mixture of Sally Hansen Polar Bare + Ulta Snow White for the base white color.

Second side note: Have you ever seen a peacock fly? Up until recently, I didn’t even know they could, figured they were too heavy, that all those feathers must drag them down. I recently saw a video of one taking flight, it’s quite spooky how graceful and quiet they are. Birds can be sneaky. Never forget that.
Author Bio:
Mimi is the brilliant mediocre writer of Makeup Withdrawal, a beauty blog that has it all- makeup, nails, hair and fragrance. She has finished cosmetology school, is now back in college intending to study engineering and has a great love of bears and fast cars (not at the same time, that’s dangerous.)
Note from B:
Thank you so much, Mimi! Oh, and Clumps kids..be sure to follow Mimi on Twitter too.

 

photo credit

The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 29

Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

Gouldylox Reviews – Sure, I can tell you how to improve your skin, make your hair shine or your eyes pop, but how about some good old being beautiful from the inside out? Try one of these ideas this holiday season!

Krasey Beauty – Didn’t get what you want this holiday season? No worries, pick one of these amazing beauty items for yourself at the Gaga Workshop, exclusively at Barneys New York.

Nouveau Cheap – has been waiting MONTHS for L’Oreal Infallible Eye Shadows to hit the US. Were they worth the wait? Come find out!

Prime Beauty – always aims for a flawless complexion– the Make Up For Ever HD Complexion Perfection Starter Kit helps her achieve just that! See what you think of the before and after pictures!

Phyrra – My Independent Spotlight for Christmas is with Femme Fatale Cosmetics! Learn more about Sophie and her Australian-based makeup company.

Vampy Varnish – Has the scoop on the new Too Faced Natural Flirt Makeup Collection for Spring 2012!

we heart this – our John Frieda makeover commercials have finally been released! Watch Stef’s and Tyna’s and learn the scoop about Precision Foam Colour.

Beauty Junkies Unite – Don’t miss this sneak peek of the latest from Bare Escentuals’ BUXOM lineup of products, the new True Hue blushes!

Clumps of Mascara – is a woman that hates shopping. Somehow she managed to pull together a few outfits for only $75 at Sears. Score!

Question of the Week:

Do you have a beauty-related New Year’s
resolution? What is it?

B says, “You know…I don’t really have one. “

Do you have one?

See you next week!

~The Lipstick League

 

The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 28

 

Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

Clumps of Mascaratalks about boobs during this week’s TMI Tuesday.

EauMG – Want a perfume that smells like old school face powder? Check out EauMG’s video review.

Gouldylox Reviews – Found a great eye creme that is also giving back to Karma Dogs with each purchase! It’s a win, win!

Nouveau Cheap – compares the new Physicians Formula Nude Palette to the Urban Decay Naked Palette. Is it a budget-friendly alternative?

Pink Sith – Says: If you only get one red lip color this year, ELLIS FAAS Milky Lips L201 is the one to get.

Prime Beauty – is gifting one lucky reader her TOP holiday beauty pick, Tarte’s Lip Service LipSurgence Collection. Enter now!

Phyrra – Phyrra debuts Femme Fatale Cosmetics and their lovely duochrome eye shadows.

we heart this – Hey Hunger Games fans, have you seen the China Glaze Colours for the Capitol swatch chart yet? Join in our game of “guess the inspiration”!

Beauty Junkies Unite – Amber shows that seeing is believing with Make Up For Ever’s HD Complexion Starter Kit.

Question of the Week:

Beauty or otherwise, what gift are you
hoping to receive this holiday?

B says, “Not a thing. Between getting a new job, getting my own place, hosting several events, taking Clumps to the next level and getting married, I’ll say 2011 was ‘gift’ enough for me.”

Are you expecting any special gifts this holiday season?

See you next week!

~The Lipstick League

 

Live Chat with Milly on CVS’ Beauty Club Page

Have you heard the news? My good friend and fellow beauty blogger Milly from Beauty Logic Blog announced that was she was the newest gal added to the CVS Beauty Board. Huge deal! Words can’t express how proud I am of her. And don’t even get me started on how much I love strolling through CVS and racking up ExtraBucks.

Just in time for the holidays, Milly will be dropping ideas and product suggestions for festive looks via a live chat on Facebook.

 
When: Thursday, December 15, 2011 from 12:00pm-1:30pm EST
Where: On Facebook, yo.
RSVP here.

See you there!

The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 27

 

Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

Beauty Junkies Unite – Amber is going absolutely ga-ga over the new Urban Decay Naked2 Palette, check out the review & swatches!

Clumps of Mascara – is giving away a $50 gift certificate to Sephora.com. Enter the giveaway!

EauMG – Check out EauMG’s holiday gift guide for natural beauties.

Gouldylox Reviews – has a holiday list of gift ideas that might break the bank, but you’ll score you major gifting points.

Krasey Beauty – Looking for that perfect holiday gift guide? Look no further than this holiday beauty gift video guide!

Nouveau Cheap – The big 2012 drugstore beauty launches have begun, with many new collections now surfacing in stores. Find out what I’ve purchased so far, and why Bed Bath & Beyond is currently rocking my world.

Pink Sith – Shares with you her “I have no idea how to apply this beautiful NARS palette” review of the Hanamichi Kabuki-Inspired eyeshadow palette.

While Prime Beauty prefers ‘eye candy’ of a different sort, she’s still smitten with Tarte’s Eye Candy Waterproof Cream Eye Shadow Set. At $27 for six full size gorgeous cream eye shadows, it’s likely to satisfy your sweet tooth and make a wonderful gift if you can stand to part with it!

Phyrra – shares with you her new favorite way to follow all her beloved beauty bloggers… on the Kindle Fire!

Vampy Varnish – talks about all her favorite holiday 2011 gift ideas!

we heart this – hearts MOR’s Lip Macarons. And with our code and a $20 purchase, you can get one for free!

 

Question of the Week:

Your favorite type of lip color: lipstick, gloss,
balm, stain or other?.

B says, “I prefer lipsticks. Although drying, they last a lot longer than glosses. Plus, I feel so sexy putting on a lipstick. But of course, I neva eva put one on without putting on a lip balm first.”

Any other lipstick over lipgloss ladies in the house?

See you next week!

~The Lipstick League