In some of my recent posts I’ve banged on about my love for beauty blogging and the various ways it’s enhanced my life, so I thought I’d put together a post detailing the things I love most about being a beauty blogger. I’ll warn you that this has turned into a bit of an essay, so apologies for the long read!
We Are The People
To be fair, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I’m so close to people I’ve met through my blog that I’d call them family, but in a funny little way, they’re kind of my favourite people as they’re the people who share my passion and are happy to not only listen to me wax lyrical about my latest skincare love, but they’re eager to join in and share their latest make-up find. The people I’m talking about are the fellow beauty bloggers, the PRs and the readers. There’s at least one person in each of these categories who I can count as a genuine friend who I see regularly and look forward to catching up with. On top of that, you have the support system of the Twitter beauty bloggers who are always around to share their wisdom and advice, send you sad face tweets when you’re having a rubbish day and congratulate you when things are going well. On Twitter there is a phenomenal network of beauty bloggers from all over the place who come together daily to chat. Twitter is an invaluable resource for any beauty blogger.
It Must Be Love
Non-bloggers will think me a little odd and possibly even other bloggers too, but there’s no escaping the fact that I LOVE my blog. I don’t mean I love it in the way I love Mexican food, I mean that I’m in love with my blog. I am constantly proud, bewildered and ecstatic by the results it produces. For example, when a gigantic blog posts a link to something I’ve written or someone e-mails me to say that a recommendation I’ve made has changed their life, or even when someone gets in touch with the sole intention of thanking me for writing the blog (OK that’s only happened twice, but it made me feel like a rock star!) it leaves me with the overwhelming buzz of pride that lasts for days. My blog is my baby that I created from nothing other than a few ideas and turned it into something that makes a positive – albeit very occasional – difference to the life of a complete stranger. Isn’t that astonishing?
Magic’s in the Make-Up
Every single day (apart from the occasional missed day, but oh the guilt! THE GUILT!) I write about something to do with beauty. Regardless of whether people read it or not (but they do, which in itself is more excitement than I can usually handle) I get to sit down for an hour and absorb myself in a good ol’ ramble about my favourite lipstick, or what skincare I’m loving. It takes me completely out of the rest of my day and allows me to focus on something I truly love talking about. It strikes a perfect balance as it’s a challenge because I like to try and write well so that people know the point I’m trying to make (I’m not always successful but the intention is definitely there…) but because it’s about beauty, it very rarely feels like hard work. I say ‘very rarely’ as opposed to ‘never’ because there are the odd occasions when I’m shattered and cannot face the idea of doing anything that involves positioning myself upright at a computer, but I do generally try and push through. I’m definitely more relaxed about it than I used to be, as I don’t think anyone wants to read a heavily forced post that I have no interest in writing and is only there to provide basic content, but I think the longest I’ve gone without posting so far is 3 days and I don’t believe I’ve done that more than twice. They say that happiness is small, achievable goals, and if you’re writing about something you love then you’re achieving exactly that.
Jane at BBB wrote a great post recently on becoming a professional blogger. The general consensus through the comments was that the way it’s achieved is through the opportunities that arise as a consequence of your blog, rather than making money directly through your blog itself. I couldn’t agree more as the work I now do would not have been possible if it wasn’t for my blog. Considering how easy it is to start a blog and how many of us beauty bloggers there are in the UK alone, it’s very difficult to offer something on a blog that someone else hasn’t already managed previously. There will always be exceptions who prove the rule by appearing out of nowhere and achieving obscenely high stats and successful ad revenue within months, but for the majority of us that just isn’t going to happen any time soon. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make money from blogging, you just have to be creative. There are examples of bloggers who have gone on to become professional writers or work in PR as a direct result of their blog, as their blog fuelled their passion for the subject of beauty and this resulted in the realisation that they wanted it to become their career. A blog also works as a portfolio of work too. The money I make as a direct result of my blog is by writing things for other beauty companies; things like press releases and blogs for their company website. I have a degree in writing which possibly helped, but I don’t think it in any way sealed the deal. I believe that if you’re a good writer, this will be clear in the posts you make on your blog.
Now for the controversial part which I have to mention as it is part of the joy of blogging and whilst I realise some people may think I should apologise for feeling this way, I would definitely struggle to apologise convincingly. The more successful your blog gets, the more free stuff is on offer to you. Receiving samples to write about is exciting, as is being invited to an event to find out about a new launch. However, for me, the excitement comes from the idea that my opinion is credible enough for a company to want to hear my thoughts. I’m not naive and I know that as my blog has grown, so has my Google rank (albeit marginally) and at the very least, a company who receives a review from me will receive a small boost to their SEO, but my experience so far has been that companies genuinely want to know what I think of a product and the same applies to events I’ve attended. This alone is so incredibly flattering to both me and my blog and I really enjoy this side of it. It isn’t just the freebies but the scoops I love too; when we’re sent a press release about a well known brand’s newest launch, the knowledge that we’re ahead of everyone else in knowing about this launch is incredibly exciting, but then again it would only be exciting to someone who loves beauty.
On another note, when I receive a press release or an invitation from a brand who I’ve never heard of to sample one of their products and then find an absolute gem in the sample is yet another thing to love about beauty blogging. As I mentioned in another post, there are so many products that I’ve come across as a beauty blogger that I just don’t think I would have had I not been blogging. A good example of this is Etat Pur (who I obsess about regularly on here for delivering such fantastic results) and Ginvera Green Tea BB Cream which is my go-to BB Cream as it suits me perfectly.
It is a bit of a minefield as I’ve definitely been guilty of being a bit trigger happy when being offered samples, but it’s a tricky one as when someone offers you the chance to try things that really excite you, it’s difficult to say no. However, the whole thing is a big learning curve and as I’ve developed my understanding of blogging, I have learned to research a product before agreeing to try it. Firstly, there is absolutely no point in me trying something that isn’t suitable for me and my skin and secondly, there’s only so much skincare I can try within a particular time frame. If I take on too much, I’ll end up feeling pressured by the PR (who, quite rightly, expects a timely review) and guilty for not being able to deliver on my promises. As I said, it was a learning curve for me but as I’ve honed my ability to select products to review, I’ve found that the things I do review are things that both myself and my readers are genuinely interested in.
So there we have it; my thoughts on the joys of being a beauty blogger. If you’re considering starting a beauty blog as an outlet for your passion for beauty, I say do it (yes that means you Haidee!!). However, if you’re thinking of doing it because you like the idea of writing about freebies, attending glamorous events and sending companies your shopping lists, definitely don’t do it as chances are you’ll run out of stamina way before you reach a point of success needed to be in the position where companies and PRs perceive you as reputable. There is no easy way to develop a blog, it’s very time-consuming hard work and I’m sure most bloggers will agree that the first few weeks/months/years/delete as appropriate were spent writing away for the benefit of the token gesture views from your mum and your mates. There were at least 5 occasions when I wondered why I was bothering as absolutely nobody was reading what I had to say, but I kept on regardless because I loved putting together little posts about my opinion on the perfect summer pink lip and the best moisturisers for spot-prone skins. Then suddenly I was receiving a hit every few days from Google searches (GOOGLE I tells ya!) and after a few more weeks I made 100 views (so I went out for dinner to celebrate. Seriously.) and eventually the views, followers and comments started growing. But all of that isn’t too important (I realise it’s easy for me to say that now) as what is important is staying true to the reason why I first started blogging; purely and simply because I love all things beauty related.
P.S. Yes I did spend a stupidly long time finding song titles that were suitable for this post. I have absolutely no idea why.