It’s been such a long time since I posted anything about blogging that I thought this excerpt of an e-mail exchange with reader Juli might be interesting to someone trying to build an existing blog or thinking about starting one soon (any kind of blog; not necessarily one about makeup and beauty).
A lot of people out there know much more about blogging than I do, so please take my responses with a grain of salt. If you find this helpful, I’ll try to post similar things like it more often. Just let me know.
And if you do have a blog, please include a link to it in your comment. I’d love to check it out. Let me know what prompted you to start your blog and what it’s all about.
JULI: I know time is one factor, and since 2007, you’ve had plenty of good quality posts, but what other methods do you use to get traffic [to Makeup and Beauty Blog] and rank so high in Google?
KAREN: Well, thank you for saying that about my posts, but time is a major factor, actually. I spend at least 60 hours/week blogging and have for some years. A lot of it is attention to detail. If it takes an extra two hours to retake a batch of pictures that didn’t turn out quite right, I’ll take them because, like everyone else, I appreciate sharp, vibrant pictures when I browse the web. Early, when I started the blog, I also read a number of e-books about search engine optimization (here’s a great source on the subject) and implemented the lessons from there about post titles and page design. One obvious factor that helps is having a domain name that includes your keywords in it, in my case makeupandbeautyblog.com. But that’s only one factor.
JULI: How did you let the world know about your blog? I know one good method is writing guest posts.
KAREN: Wow! Brace yourself for a long answer, but a lot of it just took time. I attended industry events, had business cards made, had t-shirts made that I would wear to events, emailed hundreds of companies, telephoned PR people, wrote guest posts, wrote and published press releases (I recommend prweb and prleap), took classes on writing, took classes on photography, took classes on Photoshop (I highly recommend the video tutorials on lynda.com), read books on HTML and CSS, did some freelance writing for magazines to hone my craft — all while continuing to write 1-5 posts/day. I think it also helped that when I started in beauty blogging, it was a less competitive time, and I had a loving partner in El Hub whose day job allowed me to take some risks I may not otherwise have been able to take (like quitting my day job to blog full time).
I think it’s important to remember, though, that I didn’t do everything at once. I’m always learning, but I love blogging and helping and entertaining people. Because it’s like magic to brighten someone’s day, that drives me to do it and get better along the way.
JULI: When I read blogs talking about being invited to this event, that party, I too want to be part of those. How should I invite myself to these events?
KAREN: Well, it’s not that easy. Many of my relationships took a long time to cultivate, and now I’m friends with people in and around the industry. I’ve taken a lot of different people to lunch and coffee to discuss projects and to just get to know them as people. Sorry to say, but there’s really no shortcut to networking.
JULI: I’m sure there are times when you get tired of this business, so how do you motivate yourself to carry on?
KAREN: The business side is one thing, and all businesses get annoying and tiring at times, but I think if you just focus on your readers, your passions and your craft, always remembering that no one ever owes you their time, it’s incredibly fulfilling.
If you’re interested, here are a few more posts about blogging…
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
P.S. As always, thank you for visiting Makeup and Beauty Blog. I hope you’re having a good weekend so far. I just got back from a quick dip in the pool, and now I’m off to get a burrito. Today, as they say, I’m living la vida loca!