Just a few weeks ago, this blog (aka my first baby) completed 3.5 years of its existence. This would not have been possible without each and every one of you and I am sending special warm hugs to those of you who have been following me from the beginning 🙂 Over the course of these years, I have gained a lot of wisdom as a blogger and I am still learning new things every day. I have made mistakes along the way but I have also made some really good investments that have helped my blog grow significantly.
Today, I will be talking about 5 things every beauty blogger must invest in, as per my experience. Bear in mind that this is my personal opinion and I don’t claim to be an expert, but I feel that if you invest in these things as a new blogger, they will make your blogging journey way more fruitful!
Your website’s domain name is going to be its brand identity, and you must market it from Day 1. Choose a domain name that stands out and resonates with you. It may be cheaper to get a free domain on a blogging platform but you will eventually want to have a domain address of your own if you are serious about your blog. It is therefore advisable to block (purchase) the domain name of your choice from the date of inception of your blog. This way, your readers will be able to build an association between your blog’s name and your content from the beginning. For example, I cannot associate anyone other than Ankita Chaturvedi with the name Corallista, and that is the kind of branding you should aspire to build.
2. Products to Review
If you are planning to get into beauty blogging because someone told you that you will get tonnes of freebies then this field is not for you. As an aspiring beauty blogger you will have to put your own money into buying at least a chunk of the products that you review on your blog. First of all, PR packages may not start rolling in for at least a few months (or years) from when you start blogging. Secondly, if you will only review the products that you get sent by brands, then chances are that you will be able to cover a very narrow range of products on your blog.
Most readers are interested in hearing about all the new launches and comparisons between similar products from different brands, which will require you to invest your own money in purchasing some of these products. This is why even the most established bloggers buy a significant percentage of the products that they review with their own money. So if you truly want to turn this into a profession, be prepared to make an investment in products from the niche that you choose for yourself as a beauty blogger.
3. SEO Tools
If they can’t find you on Google, you don’t exist! This saying is extremely valid for beauty bloggers. It may have been easier for a beauty blogger to build an organic, returning audience a decade ago, simply because of lesser number of beauty bloggers in the country, but now that there are thousands of us trying to attract an audience in the same space, you have to show up in people’s Google searches for them to stumble upon your blog. A basic knowledge of Search Engine Optimization or SEO is therefore necessary and can be acquired from a number of free resources available online. I will also recommend investing in a robust SEO tool to help you optimize each page on your blog before you hit publish.
4. A Decent Phone Camera
Like it or not, pictures do most of the talking when it comes to beauty blogs. You may be a magician with your words and may have truckloads of knowledge to share with the world but it will still have to be accompanied by some attractive pictures. You can find a bunch of photography tips online for free, but will also need a decent camera to give you those crisp and clear shots. I will not recommend you to buy a DSLR right away, that is an investment you should weigh the pros and cons of after a few years into blogging. For beginners, a decent phone camera should suffice provided you take pictures in a well-lit setting.
Try to maximize the use of sunlight and use clean backgrounds such as bedsheets and walls to make the products pop. You can also play around with props that you can find around the house, such as cute plates or bowls, jewellery, flowers or cut fruits. With time and practice, you will be able to build your own aesthetic and photography style and then you can decide whether you need to invest in a DSLR, fancy lighting, editing tools etc.
5. Promotional Tools
With so much competition in the field of beauty blogging, paid promotions often become a necessity to reach a wider audience. If you are on a tight budget then I will advice you to only promote the posts which are already performing well, because chances are that new readers will also like these posts the most. Also, select just a couple of platforms for running these paid promotions based on where you already get most of your traffic from. This will give you the maximum returns for your money and will help you build an audience as per your target demographic.
But Before You Spend Your Money…
If you crunch some numbers, you will realize that all this will result in you spending up to five digit figures on your blog each year. Such a huge investment will only be worth your while if you are truly determined to become a professional blogger. Also, it is not just the determination that counts but also whether you will be able to dedicate as much time to blogging as you hope to.
My advice to those of you who are dabbling with the idea to start a blog is to write the content and click pictures for at least 10 blog posts in a time span of 2 months before you actually create a website. If you feel that you will be able to regularly do this amount of work for at least the next few years to come, only then is investing in a blog advisable. I am not trying to deter you from blogging, I am simply trying to give you a practical estimate of what a professional blog demands in terms of time, effort and money. Of course, you can always start small and look into these options later if you stick with blogging for at least a year. There is also nothing wrong with blogging just for the fun of it without worrying about the numbers.
To sum it all up, do your fair bit of research and introspection before investing in a fancy website or photography gear. Spend wisely and selectively on what matters the most and I am sure your blog will be a success. I hope that this article on things every beauty blogger must invest in gave you some amount of clarity, and wish you all the luck if you are planning to dive into the beauty blogosphere!