Hi! I’ve got some new tips for beauty bloggers from some of my favorite bloggers, as well as tips from me.
Use a commenting system like Disqus (or livefyre or intense debate). These types of commenting systems are beneficial for multiple reasons:
- They cut out spam comments. Seriously, I get less than 1 spam comment a week when I was getting 300 daily.
- They remove anonymous comment trolls because people have to login.
- Some people have problems with captcha and can’t fill them out correctly. If people have to try more than once, they will often give up.
- Threaded comments. This makes it easy to respond to questions from your readers.
- People like having avatars (images) by their names when they comment.
- People can use their Twitter, Facebook, etc to login rather than having to create a login for you site.
I’ve tried Intense Debate, Livefyre and Disqus and of the three, I greatly prefer Disqus. It’s easy to login. I can login to it on my Android cell phone. I like the features that I can turn on, such as showing links to other people’s posts at the bottom of the commenting area. I usually see one or two new blog posts I want to read on other people’s blogs by checking that. I rarely get spam comments. I have it set up so that if someone drops a link it is automatically sent to my moderation panel. This makes it so that if a person is rude enough to just leave a comment of ‘come visit my blog’ with their blog link, I can delete it or edit it to whatever I choose. If someone leaves a relevant link to the blog post, I will publish it.
The only feature I don’t like is that it won’t show someone’s most recent blog post when they commented as a link by their name. I’ve requested that as a feature (like the way CommentLuv works), but I don’t know if they’ll add it. You can always request it too! If enough people request, it might happen. I really like giving people a way to link to their blog post without spamming my blog.
Add a Pin It on Hover
Having a Pin It on Hover, or a Pin It button next to every single image, makes it easy for your readers to share your content and they’re reminded that they can share it. If they have to hunt for ways to pin your content, or even use their browser extension for pinning, they may not want to do that.
Sharing On Every Post
Use a plugin or theme template that lets you have sharing buttons on every post, including StumbleUpon, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. I used to use Digg Digg, but now I use the one built into my theme. You want to make things as easy as possible for your readers to enjoy and share your content.
Make Your URL SEO Friendly
Make sure that your URL for your blog posts (and pages) are SEO friendly. Don’t use numbers. Use words. This will help you to rank in search. I cringe when I see people using numbers for the URL of their post.
Post What You Love
Even though you should choose a niche and write within it, don’t be afraid to write posts that are outside of your niche, too. If you’re passionate about it, that passion will come through in your writing and your readers will enjoy it.
This is a controversial point, but I feel strongly that you should watermark your images with your site name. It will drive traffic to your site. Sure, despicable people will still steal your images, but it’s easier to prove that they’re yours with a watermark. When your images pop up in google search, people will see your site name and it will drive them to your site if they like your images.
When you’re trying to figure out what products to write about and you feel overwhelmed, make lists. Work through each point on the list. I also try to make sure that I only accept products for consideration that I think I will like. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time – mine or a company’s – with products I know I won’t enjoy and won’t want to write about. Don’t be afraid to write negative or neutral reviews, either. Just be sure to state why it didn’t work for you. Bonus points if you can state who you think it might work for. I’ve found some great products from other people’s negative reviews because they listed why it didn’t work for them, which showed why it would be perfect for me.
Tips From My Favorite Bloggers
Do the best possible job you can with your photos. Readers look at pictures first, so make sure they are clear and bright. – Krystle, Baking Beauty
Write about what you love and in the way you want to write about it for yourself, not for anyone else. This is your site, you need to create your own voice and it needs to be something you are passionate about. In a sea of beauty bloggers, your personality is what will make you stand out. – Christine, 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic
Make sure your images are pinnable and social media sharing buttons are easy to find. Also be sure links to your social media sites are visible on the home page (usually top right). – Jen, My Beauty Bunny
Make sure you have a search bar where people can find it! – Christine, 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic
Declutter your side bar. It’s easy to get caught up in promoting affiliates and other money-driven ads in your side bar, but it detracts from the content you want your audience to continually come back and read. – Shannon Smyth, A Girl’s Gotta Spa!
Don’t make every post or comment about self-promotion. If you’re constantly ramming yourself down people’s throats, they’re not going to want to read what you have to say. Commenting empty praises on other blogs just to leave a link doesn’t add anything to the beauty community. Be thoughtful in everything you say, and people will follow at their own accord. – Miranda, Slashed Beauty
Don’t promote your giveaways or blog in other people’s blog comments. It can be insulting to the blogger, and won’t exactly make anyone more likely to click through to your blog/giveaway. -Brianna, Brikasia
Emulate those you admire but never copy – find your own true voice & work on developing your tone. Try to find a topic that you’re truly passionate about, not one that you ‘think’ might be popular – your passion will shine through and that makes for excellent reading. – Susan, CherrySue, Doin’ the Do
Be mindful of errors in spelling, grammar and capitalization. Read, re-read and edit before posting…brands notice and appreciate well-executed writing! – Rachel, The Beauty Professor
Have good, clean images. Crop them so the subject is the focal point, eliminating empty background space. And make them large enough that people can see the details of your work. You don’t need a fancy camera to have great pictures. – Francine, The Polished Mommy
Have at least one pinnable image in every post. Often times your readers and fellow bloggers will want to share you on their channels and Pinterest is a huge traffic driver but without that pinnable image there is nothing for them to share for you! – Ange, Hairspray and High Heels
Don’t have money for photoshop? Invest in an online editing tool like picmonkey. Don’t have money for a DSLR? Invest in a good point and shoot camera with a lot settings. Can’t afford a light box. Shoot your images near a window. Do what you can. The readers will come eventually. – Jennifer, Spiced Beauty
Comment on your favorite blogs. I know that seems silly but as long as you’re not spamming your name everywhere, it’s a great way to get your blog out there AND to let your fave blogs know you like them! – Noelle, XO, Noelle
Give credit where it is due. Make your personality shine by being YOU. Make it easy for readers to follow you by displaying your social media icons prominently. – Kath, The FabZilla
Keep your visual style consistent. Stick to 2 or 3 fonts and colours to maintain your brand across all elements of your site. Create images that people will want to share. – Christina, Hair Romance
Research your name before you decide on it. Make sure it’s available on social media outlets. Once you are certain on a name lock it in everywhere so your brand is consistent. – Mercedes, Beyond Beauty Lounge
Don’t be afraid to step outside of your circle! It’s totally okay to build relationships with bloggers of other niches. Just be genuine and supportive to all bloggers you admire because your newest reader may not be a beauty enthusiast but they can still be interested! Maybe your favorite mom blogger loves nail polish or the creative DIY blogger needs makeup tips. – Mina, MinaSlater.com
Try to be somewhat consistent with your posting schedule. If you can post once a week that’s fine but try to stick to it. Don’t disappear for 6 weeks and then suddenly publish 5 posts in 1 day…and then disappear again ninja style. It confuses readers and they’re likely to forget all about you! – Mina, MinaSlater.com
If you receive products for editorial consideration, it doesn’t mean all those reviews can only be positive. That’s the beauty of blogs – you can (and should be!) be honest in your reviews. If a product doesn’t work for you, just mention why you didn’t like it. And if you think it can possibly work for others (with a different skin type etc), that would be good to add too! Just be professional when it comes to writing negative reviews and don’t slam the brand/product like it’s the worst thing ever. – Harshleen, Beauty Tidbits