beauty blogging tips

#bbloggersoz Summary : Thoughts On The Different Social Media Platforms Available For Beauty Bloggers

Blogging and social media come hand-in-hand these days.  This week’s #bbloggersoz touched on this subject and I am sure we all unanimously agreed that social media has helped us all in many ways – it promotes our blogs and helps us to network with other bloggers and readers – which positively encourages us to blog.

Please note that the #bbloggersoz summary is slightly different to my co-host Celeste’s post today as I wanted to break it down to the different social media platforms available and see which ones were relevant to beauty blogging.  With regards to my blogging experience, Twitter and Google Friend Connect has helped me the most with interacting and networking with other bloggers.  Traffic-wise, I get the most from Bloglovin’ (even though I rarely interact there), swiftly followed by Twitter and rarely, Facebook.

There are so many social media platforms to choose from these days and here’s what the other beauty bloggers had to say…


Twitter

I think that new bloggers should be encouraged to join Twitter –  lots of friends to make and plenty of resources available.

I think Twitter is more interactive and a better way to get to know other bloggers outside their blogs.

I prefer to use Twitter. Facebook page doesn’t have the personal touch.

Twitter has definitely helped my blog. I had Twitter before a blog and so my first followers were people from Twitter!

Most of the blogs I read have come through twitter referrals, especially followfriday #FF.

Without Twitter, I would be missing out on these #bbloggersoz discussions 😉 So glad that I have Twitter!


Facebook

I don’t think it’s necessary to have a Facebook Fanpage.

I find my real life friends follow my blog through my facebook page. A lot of them don’t really read blogs or follow twitter.

I linked my FB page to Twitter, post updates on FB, which is then posted to Twitter. This way, both sides get the update.


Google +

For me, Google+ is still a little too buggy for me. Am going to give it a few more months.

I don’t know how google+ performs as social media.  Google is stingy giving out public access at the moment.

I think Google+ needs a bit of tweaking but I think it will be the next new big social media platform. – This is my prediction so watch this space!!!

Pinterest

I’ve just started using Pinterest, seen a lot of blogger photos on there, I have one and its driven a bit of traffic through.

 

Bloglovin’

Just realised that majority of my traffic today came from Bloglovin o_o people actually read my blog from there? I’m surprised!

 

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon can help spread the word of your blog but also of all your friend’s blogs too.

I think StumbleUpon is past its prime.

I think Stumbleupon works/worked better for tech blogs where people understand the concept.  Less so for lifestyle blogs.

Re Stumbleupon. I don’t ‘get’ it. But I do notice, when I get bump from it, my traffic skyrockets.


Conclusion

Every blogger should know that social media is very important for a successful blog.  From this #bbloggersoz chat, the majority of the beauty bloggers agreed that Twitter is a must-have as it is interactive.  Bloglovin’ and Pinterest seem to be great sources for traffic.  Facebook is a bit hit-and-miss.  StumbleUpon is perhaps past its prime for beauty blogs but still going strong for tech blogs.  As for Google+, yours truly predicts that it’s going to be the next big thing – but whether it’s going to benefit your blog is anybody’s guess.

Regardless, I think that @paris_b summed it up the best by tweeting these wise words of wisdom :

I think we don’t need too many social media platforms for our blogs. Just one or two active ones will do the job well enough.  Too many social media platforms means spreading yourself too thin and spending too much time on them – time better spent blogging 😉

#bbloggersoz Summary : How To Deal With Negative Comments?

This week’s #bbloggersoz topic was – How to deal with negative comments? Some beauty bloggers have been truly blessed and have not received any negativity on their blogs (yet!)…but there are some bloggers who have received negative comments – which vary from constructive criticism to plain old nasty comments.  The following is a summary of the Twitter chat but please remember, it is entirely up to you how to deal with negative comments – some people retaliate and some people walk away.

Thoughts On Negative Comments

I was devastated when I received my first negative comment but then you know you’ve made it in the blogging world when it happens!

If you’re putting your thoughts and opinions out there you got to kinda expect some negativity.

Don’t confuse negative comments with constructive criticism.

Constructive criticism addresses the post. Hate is ‘Why do you blog, you’re not as good as XYZ’.

If it’s negative blathering don’t take it to heart. If it’s criticism then think about it.  People may not word their comments too clearly.

Bloggers should support each other not slag each other off, blogging is not a competitive sport.

I respect people that don’t agree with my opinions as long as they don’t attack me personally.

Haters will always hate. You can’t please everyone. Just believe in and love what you write about, be true to yourself 🙂

I also try to remember that the opinion of someone who is nasty for the sake of being nasty is not one I hold in high regard.

I’m not too bothered by negative comments on my blog.  I just take it as part and parcel.

I also think bloggers shouldnt go overboard about negative comments. I saw this blog where the blogger dedicated an entire post to comment on 1 of her posts, so I felt that writing 1 entire rant post just because of 1 comment was making drama out of nothing.

Ways To Deal With Negative Comments

Laugh it off. 9 times out of 10, I know it’s probably something they would never say to my face anyway.

If a hater repeatedly leaves negative comments, block their IP address!

As per haters in real life, best not to react – that is their aim.  If they see you rise above it, they know they have failed.

I always disregard anonymous comments. If you don’t have the balls to say it with your name, don’t say it at all.

It’s probably better to ignore haters / negative comments but it makes me feel better to lash out at them and stand up for myself.

Ignore is key. No matter where the comment comes from.

Delete the comment and move on, no time for negativity on my blog I’m afraid.

If it’s a personal attack at you or another commentator, delete it. Negativity should not be allowed to perpetuate on your blog.

If the comment’s down right mean, I’ll leave it there because it makes that person look stupid not me.

Bashers want you to react and usually stepping away for a few hours /days helps.

What do I do with a nasty person? Usually I bite back which is not the right thing to do, but it feels good at the time.

Moderating comments is useful if a troll is lurking on your blog.

I have received negative comments on my blog…in fact, I got a threat one time…but that’s another story.  I was really upset for days…and I was tempted to quit blogging – but then I realised that is what the haters want.  They want to bring you down!  But I am growing a thicker skin and I refuse to let them destroy my passion for blogging.

I have also experienced negativity about blogging in general from my family and friends.  Some of them think I waste time doing this as it doesn’t earn me money!!!  Yeah, whatever!!!!  I am entitled to do whatever I want in my free time and if blogging makes me happy, then so be it!

Here is a good acronym on HATERS = Having Anger Towards Everyone Reaching Success.  Constructive criticism is welcome on my blog but nasty negative comments are definitely not welcome.

Do you have any more suggestions on how to deal with negative comments?

#bbloggersoz Summary : How To Keep Content Fresh?

Sunday’s #bbloggersoz topic was – How to keep content fresh? Unfortunately, I was not able to participate as I have Scottish visitors over and we were doing touristy stuff.  But Celeste said that everyone had a ball!  YAY!  And she kindly summarised it all for us.

So what did our beauty bloggers have to say on this topic?

Keep any unfinished posts in your drafts. You might find inspiration to finish them/improve them later on.

A lot of my blog inspirations come from celebrities, especially with my FOTDs/makeup looks.

Sometimes it worth to have a quiz / poll on your blog. Let your readers to tell you what they want you to post about.

I think a big part of producing good content is to never assume that you’re too good/good enough.

I also get a lot of inspiration from the fashion world .. “colour blocking” and “lady like” fashion also inspire makeup looks.

Write about what you love, love what you write about 😉

Trend reporting takes dedication. If you don’t love it yourself, your writing will show that. Stick to writing about what you love.

I think it’s always good to have a sense of humour about yourself and blogging. Eg. my love of DUCKFACE.

Personal stories are a big turn-on for me when I read blogs. Don’t just tell me something is pretty, I want to know more!

I’m new to the scene but I just think of what I would like to read in other blogs when I put up a post.

Treat EVERYTHING like a beauty story… smudged your mascara? How to clean a smudged mascara is a story!

Read. A lot. Read magazines, webzines, books, blogs, etc on beauty, fashion, etc. You’ll find lots of inspiration there.

I browse the aisles of Priceline and try and find new things that I might want to try that won’t break the budget.

Find your unique voice and don’t be scared to use it.

I also read a lot of magazines and spend as much time as I can discussing content with others to bounce ideas off each other

Wow!  Amazing advice!!!  Learning never stops – it is an eternal journey and hallelujah for that!

Stay tuned for the new #bbloggersoz topic to be revealed on Thursday – it’s gonna be a good one!

#bbloggersoz Summary : Balancing Blogging Life

I really look forward to Sunday evenings now. I love having #bbloggersoz on a Sunday night because it’s a nice note to end the weekend on. There’s so much to learn from other bloggers and always lovely to hear how other people do things. There’s no right or wrong, it’s just a forum to share.

This week’s topic was :  How do people balance blogging with life/work/family commitments? How do you get your partner to support 100% what you do?  This was unconsciously summarized into : How do you balance blog life vs real life?

Here were some of the highlights shared during the chat:

Don’t force yourself to blog. Only blog when you have something to say. Do those and you will keep your passion intact.

I don’t ever want to feel I’m a slave to my blog.  I don’t make money out of it.  It’s a hobby and I do it when I feel inspired.

If your blogging is negatively impacting your work, relationship and finances, you seriously need to reevaluate.

You don’t have to go to every event you get invited to, it’s okay to say no if it doesn’t fit in with your Real Life schedule.

Don’t stress too much if you don’t get x amount of posts out a week.

Send the husband or boyfriend out to hang with his friends; it will give you time to blog without feeling guilty.

My hubby does shift work, so blogging is actually quite a nice way for me to keep busy and do something constructive.

Plan your posts in advance. If you know you’ll have a busy week ahead, create posts and schedule posting for later.

My boyfriend is supportive because he can see that blogging helps me unwind from uni work and studying.

I’m not a natural writer, so any idea I have on a post I get it down quick smart and try to schedule them for every 3 days or so.

I plan a week in advance and swatch one night a week. I then write posts in the evenings once the babies are in bed.

I plan out my post over the weekend so it doesn’t interfere with uni work in the week.

 

Personally, I go through phases of being able to blog non-stop and blogger’s block.  I don’t currently work full-time so I spend the majority of my free time doing blog-related stuff – reading and commenting on other blogs or working on my own blogs.  Blogging is one of my passions and I don’t want to stop loving it.

Stay tuned for next week’s topic for #bbloggersoz which will be revealed on Thursday.  Thanks to Celeste for running the show this week as Jade and I have been preoccupied trying to balance life (how apt for the #bbloggersoz topic, eh?).  There has been a death in Jade’s family so please show her some love and hugs at her blog.  Thinking of you and your family!  And I have Scottish friends visiting so I have been busy being their tourist guide.

Thanks again to everyone for their support for #bbloggersoz.

#bbloggersoz Summary : How To Gain Readership

Sunday nights have never been the same since #bbloggersoz entered the Twitterverse.  The one hour Twitter chat just flies by!  It’s been a great opportunity for beauty blogging newbies to ask questions and note down words of wisdom from the beauty blogging gurus.  This week’s topic was how to gain readership.  Please remember that every blog is different – what works for one blog may not work for the other.  Here is the summary (not in any particular order) :-

1.  Social networking

Even if you write the best quality content, no-one will read it unless you participate in social networking.

Gain readership by networking on Twitter.

I find Twitter helps a lot, I interacted with a lot of beauty bloggers before I had the courage to start my own blog.

I think forums like these (i.e. #bbloggersoz) are a good place to introduce yourself to other bloggers and gain some readership.

It’s true, I have started reading more blogs from #bbloggersoz.

#FF is also such a good engine- am always finding great blogs recommended by my favourite bloggers

Engaging in social media is the best remedy for readership growth. Remember, I said ENGAGE, not ANNOY.

Do the occasional guest post or interview it’s beneficial for all parties.

StumbleUpon and Pinterest are great sharing tools, but share other bloggers posts, not your own.


2.  Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Pay attention to analytics, in particular search terms, see how people find your blog.

It pays to be clever with search engine optimisation. A lot of my traffic comes from referrals.

I make sure that my posts include keywords that get picked out in a Google search. I want to be top of any search.

Using keywords helps too. If people can’t find you on search engines it’s a bit of a fail

Think about words people might use in a Google search. Insert them early in your post so spiders can catch them.


3.  Commenting

Comment selflessly, honestly and thoughtfully without ulterior motive.

I find commenting on others blogs usually gets peoples curiosity up to come and look at mine.

Open discussion and reply to your readers comments/questions.

Replying to comments and answering reader questions is very appreciated.

I like CommentLuv because it allows me (and my readers) to keep up to date with what others have posted recently.

Don’t spam comment though!

How NOT to get followers: spam people with your links. If you put your link after an unthoughtful comment, I’ll delete it.

Do NOT go around leaving useless comments with a MASSIVE JOIN MY GIVEAWAY. That shits me.

 

4.  Blogroll / Link love

I’ve found that I have been gaining a lot of readers from my site by featuring on other bloggers’ blogrolls.

Referrals from more established blogs is a good way.  If they like what you do they’ll tell their readers about you.

If you do a link love post, don’t just write a four word sentence. Tell me WHY I should click that link!

I like reading Blog Link Love posts but if every blog posts the same links on the same day, it annoys me.

I dislike blog circles, I’d rather write my own link love post with links to posts that have interested me

Blog circles and cliques, particularly elitist ones annoy me. I don’t want to see you link each other 10 times a week.

I think the problem with link love circles is that it is generic. It doesn’t reflect the blogger’s own favourites.


5.  Layout

When I visit a blog for the first time and see cluttered layout and ads galore and it takes years to load, I dont bother hanging around.

Lots of ads, different fonts and crazy messy layouts will make me click the little X.

Your layout is important too. Make it streamlined, neat, not OTT.

I totally hate blogs which have music on them! STFU please!

OMG, blogs with music is my number one pet hate! Embedded music – kill it with fire!!!

An ‘about me’ page is the first thing I look for when stumbling across a new blog.

How about considering easy access to blogs via mobile phones. Some blog layouts aren’t suitable for mobile internet users.

Good paragraphing & spacing can make longer posts more readable, particularly on a mobile device.

I personally don’t like when bloggers who use too much text colouring, like it’s a rainbow.  Turn off!

No white on black text.

I think having a ‘search’ option and an archive on a blog really helps readers navigate old posts.

Remember to have a SUBSCRIBE button on your blog – email / RSS / GFC – and make sure your feeds work!


6.  Google Friend Connect

Google Friend Connect is a valuable readership tool. I find new blogs to read every time someone follows mine.

GFC also helps me remember the face behind the blog, helps me remember the blogger’s identity more.

I have got lots more readers from following people.


7.  Blog Feed

Avoid making your feed with previews only in Google reader. Blog readers generally prefer to read the whole post,not a preview.

I rarely click through on a preview only post in Google reader – I think it’s my number 1 pet hate.


8.  Regular Posting

If you don’t post regularly you can’t expect current followers to come back

Regular posting is important but I really dislike blogs with 10 posts in a day, EVERY day of the week.

I think at least three per week but love reading more. Too little and I tend to get bored with the blog.

I think 3-5 posts per week is ideal (from a readers perspective) as I read a lot of blogs.

There is no ‘ideal’. Blogging when you have something to say is better than forced posts. Readers can tell the difference!


9.  Content

I love blogs that show how items can be used.

I follow blogs with a variety of reviews, make up looks and tips. I want to feel like I’m learning something new.

I love blogs that aren’t too intimidating. I feels like I can relate to those bloggers.

I will unfollow if constant bad grammar/punctuation etc.  It takes no time to spell check.

Also sharing some of your personality/life – people want to know YOU not just what you think about a product.

Don’t just post PR press releases – dull

Blogging styles! Personally, I prefer witty styles over typical,serious introduction.

Dont talk down to people.  Nothing worse than a holier than thou attitude.

Get involved, stay on top of current trends but don’t rehash the same old posts, seeing the same thing on every blog is boring

I don’t often follow blogs that look really empty with posts containing a few sentences and a picture.  Where’s the effort?

Each week, I plan out my posting calendar. I try to make sure that every week is all killer. Good photos. Good copy.

With regards to filler posts, sometimes it’s nice to read a light fluff post, or just look at a pretty picture.

Filler posts can sometimes be your content winners. Often posts I just ‘chucked up’ have got the biggest hits.

10.  Giveaways

Hosting giveaways can gain readership…but do you want subscribers who genuinely like your blog or random followers?

I have giveaways every month. I like to give back to my readership. It can get lots of new followers or it might not.

 

Conclusion

This is all great advice to gain readership for your blog but at the end of the day, these two established beauty bloggers summed it up nicely with these tweets of wisdom :

“I think it’s important just to be patient. Building a readership takes time. So long as your vision is clear, readers will come.” – @youvegotnail

“The best way to grow readership is to be patient! Quality readers who interact and get involved are more valuable.” – @PlasticDiaries

Come visit this blog again on Thursday and you will find out what this week’s topic for #bbloggersoz is.

#bbloggersoz Summary : Photography Tips

The second #bbloggersoz was another success.  Thanks again to co-hosts Celeste and Jade and for everyone else who participated.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion so please do not be afraid to share your views.

To recap, the topic of the night was – Photography tips

There were divided opinions on a number of things so I have grouped them together :-

Type of Camera

DON’T USE A WEBCAM FOR BLOG PHOTOS.

An inexpensive digital camera takes better pics than the phones. Sad but true.

I use a regular digital camera for my blog photos. It would be great to invest in a DSLR but i don’t think it’s that necessary

THE BEST CAMERA is the one you have with you. You don’t need a DSLR to take good pics

You just need to understand the camera you have and how to use it – be that a DSLR, a little camera or an iPhone

Advice on Lighting

The key to good photos – good lighting!! Without lighting, you won’t be able to showcase your items / person perfectly.

For nails, I have a light box. For face, I use light umbrellas. All to replicate natural light.

When I take FOTDs I take a heap, with a few different lighting options. If that doesn’t work I’ll adjust the lighting

Opinions On Photo Editing

Best photo editing tools of the trade , in my opinion – Photoshop and Lightroom.

I’m not a fan of Photoshop just because I find it confusing. I get away with using Gimp, Picasa and Piknik.

I don’t mind Instagram, it has some fun features, but Iike seeing at least 1 non-Instagram, accurate photo in FOTDs

I feel uncomfortable now that I know people are editing lighting, contrast etc.

I don’t agreed with digitally removing blemishes. Everybody should be proud of how they look

I would never airbrush a FOTD pic. I think that’s cheating…

I am not going to let an eyebrow post for example go on there with an oozing yellow head between my brows. Selective editing!

Beauty blogging is about being real.Don’t forget, all beauty mag ads are Photoshopped so it’s up to us to tell it how it is

I personally believe you can enhance photos without changing its true nature.

Sizing – if you have huge photos that take a long time to load, you’ve lost me already. but keep the quality when cropping!

There is nothing sexy about product shots when they’re too closely cropped

I really like adding a little fun caption to each of my pictures for the people who just skim through blogs nowadays.

Practical Photography Tips

Use a tripod where possible. Some of us are blessed with steady hands, but not all of us do.

If you want a close up (lips, eyes, etc) make sure you’re focusing on that item – don’t focus on your face and then crop.  Be in focus

I always have my table mirror behind as I take my picture with one hand so I don’t get “blind” shots and can see how it looks

When I do lipstick posts, I always take one full face shot and one lip shot. Full face gives a better picture of how it looks!!

Taking hundreds of pics also helps, at least a couple will turn out well

The key to better photography – practice, practice, practice. practice taking photos, framing photos and then editing them

To Watermark or Not To Watermark?

I always watermark but that’s because my photos get stolen with alarming regularity.

Definitely watermark

I reckon no watermark because it takes away from the image

Always ask for the permission of the blogger before using their photos even if their watermarked pictures are linked back to them with full disclosure.

Think carefully before you watermark if you intend to move to your own domain name in the future, e.g. from blogspot.com to your own domain.com

Fab Photos But Badly Written Blog vs Bad Photos But Well Written Blog

Try to have both, but great pics have more impact, especially for first-time visitors

I guess great photos will save the day, most people don’t bother to read a whole post and will just look at the pic

For a review, well written, for a swatch, good photos

For me swatch accuracy is important but that’s about it, I go for writing over pics

A picture says a thousand words

Would love to think its good writing but in reality people usually photo skim a post

Photos are the key!

Wise Words

Know your camera, good lighting makes a world of difference, use duckface for all lip photos (ok, maybe not the last tip).

Perfect photos but dull writing don’t maketh the blog

At the end of the day, everyone takes different photos. Photo and blog variety benefits everyone

 

Great discussion ladies.  Whatever works for you, keep doing it!  The next #bbloggersoz topic will be announced on Thursday and if you have any suggestions, please let us know.