Last night we went back to school (of Grazia), with the first of our blogging masterclasses this term at the Apple Store. We started this year's series delving into the world of beauty blogging, with Fleur of Fleur De Force, Estée of Essie Button and Lily of Lily Pebbles joining Grazia’s Editor-At-Large Angela Buttolph on the panel. They talked about everything from how they started blogging to how they made it into a full time job. Read below to find out their top tips for being a successful beauty blogger...
You don't have to be an expert to start a beauty blog
When asked why they started their blogs Estée said: 'I am Canadian and moved here three and a half years ago and I wasn't into makeup at all. I googled the best MAC blush and came across beauty blogs and became obsessed. I didn't know much about beauty and after that I started a channel and became addicted.'
Should you schedule in advance?
Lily has posted an entry on her blog every day for a year and a half and plans her content in advance as she says 'I schedule in advance in case I am sick.' She adds that she often spends several weeks preparing one post - she spent two weeks preparing a video she filmed that morning. While Estée says she can't plan too far in advance: 'Then I feel the content isn't relevant, but I try to finish a post two to three days before I post it.' Fleur is also a planner, as she says she has the next six weeks of content all worked out.
Making blogging into a career
Lily had worked in social media and beauty PR and then a year ago decided she wanted to put in the work she did for other companies on her own blog. She explained: 'I signed up to a network where they provided adverts to my blog and I was living at home which helped. I posted three times a week and knew it would grow when I posted more.' Estée is a blogger and Psychology student and says 'once you go full time it will grow as you are working harder and posting more.' But she added 'you need lots of motivation. Anyone who is self employed you have to put in time and be dedicated.'
Fleur said 'after leaving Uni I decided to try fulltime blogging for six months and see how it went. I signed up to a third party network for advertising on YouTube which gives you a guaranteed rate.'
Be selective with the brands or products you promote
All three bloggers agree that it is important to work with brands you really believe in, as the trust of their followers is more important than a brand collaboration.' Fleur says 'your followers are the most important thing so you have to stick with products and things you believe in. Everyone's ethics are different, but out of courtesy to my followers I only stick to brands I like. It's your baby - you don't want to sell out. I have spent four years building up a relationship with my followers.'
Wordpress vs Blogger
Lily says: 'I still use Blogger but hopefully it looks like a normal website. At the beginning you can easily use widgets to make it look nice and then I had a techy friend give it a few tweaks. My friend who designs my site says you can do just as much on Blogger as you can on Wordpress.' Estée switched to Wordpress from Blogger, and says although you do get used to it, Blogger is easier to use.
Making friends with other bloggers
Lily recommends going to blogger workshops which are now very popular and a good way to meet people. She adds that you should always be brave and introduce yourself to bloggers you like as you'll regret it if you don't. While Fleur says she met other bloggers online and advises it's best to reach out to people who have a similar following to you.
Do they feel the need to be perfect all the time?
Estée answered: 'No! It's weird when people try to look perfect.' Fleur added: 'I blog in no makeup in my PJs. But there is pressure. YouTube can be quite a difficult place at times and it can be hard for girls who are 15.' Lily adds 'when people comment on my blog and say I've got frizzy hair I'm like 'yeah that's the point!' Trying to be perfect sends out the wrong message.'
Your posts don't have to be glamorous; mundane things can be interesting
Fleur said: 'Mundane videos are really popular, such as 'what's in my fridge' videos always do really well. There's something MTV Cribs about it!' All girls agreed that approachable, normal posts do better than ones at glamorous celebrity parties.
Don't start a blog as a business or for free products, let it grow organically
Lily said that only 30 people read her blog for the first year and so you shouldn't start a blog as a business but should let it grow organically. Fleur added that starting a blog to get free products is 'the worst idea ever.' The girls all agreed that it is a great perk but not what it is all about, as you have to be dedicated and put in a lot of time to your blog.