This post is a reflection on my first few years as a beauty blogger – I hope to hear from lots of you in the comments! I initially started this blog because I wanted a place to share makeup swatches that would be more accessible than my Instagram feed. I had been frustrated more than a few times by not finding the exact swatches I wanted to see when searching for a specific product. I love to take pictures, so I jumped right in to starting a blog!
The First Year of My Blog
After doing the initial blog set up and posting a few swatch pictures in mid-2019, I was pretty overwhelmed with the process and amount of time involved. The set-up phase nearly wore me out! I only posted four very short posts. Then the blog just sat idle for many months.
I was unprepared for the amount of time and mental energy that just getting the site set up would involve! I chose a free theme, and I didn’t do much customization. But learning where all the pieces go together was very new. Seemed like you have to install a new widget for any and every feature you wanted on your blog. And for each widget, there are tons of options from different developers. And let me tell you, I’m always suffering from analysis paralysis so all these little choices were agonizing!
If you build it, will they come?
I’ve found that the disappointing answer to this question is that only a few will come. Apparently you’re supposed to spend a ton of time making pins on Pinterest and being extremely active on social media to promote your blog. And also you should become an SEO expert. I just don’t know if that’s something I feel motivated to do, but I think I’m getting a lit bit better at each of those things as time goes by. Just making the blog posts is already a lot of work, and I’d rather try more makeup, take more pictures, and make more blog posts!
How long does it take to create each post?
I think Beauty Blogging is different from other types of blogging in this aspect. I’ve read/watched a lot of people who give blogging advice. And they generally talk about getting a post created and published in an hour or two. I think that’s really unrealistic for a beauty blogger who tests a product, takes product shots, takes swatch photos, edits/labels the photos, and crafts a post with lots of text and links. I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers in other niches use a LOT of stock photos which take no time at all for the blogger. Stock photos and manufacturer product photos just don’t help a beauty blog reader at all, you know? I think original photos are so important to a beauty blog. Or is that just my bias as somebody who is REALLY into photography? What do you think?
I’ve gotten a bit better about dedicating morning time to blogging tasks on a more regular basis. But my workout routine has definitely taken a hit. I work full time, so it’s hard to find free time for BOTH working out and blogging. I’m working on learning to strike a balance between the two.
Have YouTube and Instagram replaced Beauty Blogging?
Kind of. I was never an avid reader of beauty blogs during their hey-day (before YouTube was popular). I credit YouTube for luring me into the beauty community.
Since becoming a part of the beauty community via YouTube, I’ve found myself often searching for blog posts on specific items. Specifically swatches of color cosmetics such as eyeshadow, blush, lipstick, and even foundation/concealer. Especially when those items are swatched next to similar shades from other brands. Those are the posts that I find the MOST helpful. And there aren’t enough of them out there!!! So many times I’ve searched for a specific product and really not come up with many useful results.
Now, in 2021, I watch a ton of beauty YouTube content for entertainment. I just like to listen to people talk about makeup! Lots of times I have these videos playing while I’m doing something else like house cleaning. Heck, I’ve even made some YouTube videos! YouTube can be really fun!
But when I’m seriously researching a product I want to buy, that’s when I search for blog posts and images. What about you? Do you do this, too? The cycle goes like this for me: See it on Instagram first, watch some YouTube videos about it, search for blog posts with swatches, then finally purchase the product online.
So is Beauty Blogging dead?
I find this topic so interesting. And I really haven’t come to my own conclusion just yet. I’ve had some blog posts do better than my YouTube video on the exact same topic. But I’ve had several YouTube videos reach into the thousands of views, and that hasn’t happened for any blog posts yet.
I like to read what other bloggers have to say about this topic:
Can You Make Money as a Beauty Blogger?
At this point, I’m not a good person to ask! LOL. Currently, this blog is completely un-monetized. No ads, no affiliate links, no sponsored posts. I can tell you that based on my stats, I’d be making peanuts at this point. I like to grow things and do big projects over time, so maybe in a couple years I’ll have something more interesting to report in this category. I certainly intend to monetize in the future – at a bare minimum I’d like the blog to support its own costs.
As of the writing of this post, this blog has about 6,700 views from 4,300 visitors. I don’t really know if that’s good or bad for the amount of work I’ve put in. I’ve only got 43 total posts (9,400 total words), and some of them are very brief such as just a swatch picture I wanted to post. I know that I need to create a lot more content to see any real improvement in results. We’ll have to see where this journey takes us over the next few years!
So tell me what you think in the comments! Are you a beauty blogger, too? I have more thoughts, but since I’ve already rambled for a thousand words, we’ll save those for another time.