Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How to Afford Beauty Blogging

Happy Halloween Post Shine and Sparkle Readers!

I know lots of bloggers are doing scary make-up looks and costumes.  However, I could think of nothing scarier than tackling the financial aspect of having a beauty blog.  Sometimes I look at other beauty bloggers and youtubers and think "how do they afford to buy/review all that stuff?!"  This inspired this post about some tips about how I balance things support my blogging hobby and perhaps offer some advice to bloggers who are just starting out.  I also wanted to provide you with some perspective on the big name bloggers/youtubers out there.   And most of all, I want to stress that if you are passionate and dedicate time and love into what you are doing, it will be far more successful than if you simply pour tons of money into it.

Like all my images, (such as Squiggle's hat) I'll gladly give someone credit for their image or take it down if someone throws a hissy fit.

As a quick disclaimer:  I am NOT a financial professional.  I am also NOT the world's most successful blogger (though I hope to be some day!)  I am just telling you what works for me and my opinion.  Take my advice with a grain of salt.

1. Post Smart:
Views are money.  The more views, the more likely someone will click on one of your ads (which generate revenue).  I like to think that if it is something I'm interested in, someone else might be too.  This means that other people might be searching the internet for it.  If your post closely matches what someone is looking for, search engines are more likely to display it.  Search optimization is important! Also, most of my posts about something I was going to do/buy whether or not I planned on posting about it.  There are some bloggers/youtubers that will buy lots of things, do posts on them, then return the items.  Others also stretch their budgets way too thin to buy products.  I think it is much more economic to do posts about things you actually want, rather than what you guess other people might want to see a post about.  I think that if your posts reflect who you are as a person, you will be more successful than if you are trying to be a certain mold.  Most importantly, you can blog about things that don't cost you money but that you think someone will find interesting! Be creative and think of things like DIY's, informational posts, tips, and tricks. or a post about how to afford beauty blogging...

2. Budgeting:
This is really important in all facets of your life.  Look at the total amount of income you have.  This can be anything from a paycheck from your day-job to allowance from your parents.   Then come up with a list of priorities for your spending.  When I know I'm going to want to get some beauty products that are a bit more of a treat (like my recent Make-Up Geek Shadow Haul)  I make sure to save some money for that item.  All kinds of small things like bringing lunch to work/school, or skipping that extra latte in the afternoon can free up cash that you can put towards your blogging hobby.  Side note, please don't go into debt for your hobby.  It will stop being fun, and just be stressful.  It's not worth it for something that should bring you joy.

3. Promoting Your Blog Smart:
Before you spend hundreds on a custom page, custom domain name, fancy equipment or advertising,  I'd say take a look at your content.  If you were someone else, do you have enough content that would inspire you to subscribe, like, or tweet about the blog?  If not, it's not the time to advertise yet!  As far as blog design goes, before you spend buko-bucks getting a page designed, try DIY-ing it.  There are so many great resources out there for how to style your blog yourself.  Also, services like blogger make it quite easy to learn by trial and error.  I also think it is vital to connect your blog with as much online social media as possible.  It is a lot to maintain, but by using social media and hashtags, your can get a lot of viewers for free!

You can also try applying for blogger networks.  I'm super proud to be a member of Her Campus Blogger Network.  May great opportunities have come from my membership in this group.

As far as paying for advertising, I think a great first step to advertising is to get business cards.  They are relatively cheap (see how I got my business cards in this post).  You can get a bunch and leave them with your hair stylist, your manicurist, random people you meet who might be interested.  Especially make sure to give a bunch to friends and family.  You know grandma likes to brag about your accomplishments right?  Perfect!  There is nothing like personal interactions to start getting viewers.

The last promotion thing I will suggest that might be worth the money is facebook advertising.  Once you have exhausted all free/cheap promoting options, I suggest adding viewers through facebook.  It has worked well for me!  

4. Sponsored Posts:
There are many avenues by which bloggers/youtubers might come across the opportunity to try things for free.  They are given the products and asked to review them.  A disclaimer should be somewhere on that post, indicating that the review is sponsored.  This is one way that bloggers/youtubers get things to generate content.  I have only had this chance 2 times so far for Venus Embrace Sensitive Razors and Hujan Skin Care.  That being said, this normally occurs when you have a pretty substantial viewership already.

5. Ad Revenue
It is easy when using a blogging site like blogger to put ads on the side of your page.  When you are just starting out, I'd keep it to one ad or none at all.  Without viewers, you have nobody to click your ads.  I highly suggest building a fan base before trying to generate money from your blog.  While it is great if eventually you can pay for your blogging hobby with your blog itself, I think it is most important that you enjoy blogging, nurture it, and let it grow.  The less annoyingly covered in ads your blog is, the more likely you are to build your fan base.

I know, money is scary! Boooo!  Spooooky right?!  Anyway, here is my post for today, and as always,

Shine & Sparkle  

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