Why should people read your blog? What makes it different? I don’t feature every new beauty release that hits the shelves; only the very best make my pages, so readers know that if it’s on there, it’s worth buying. My reviews are mostly positive because I’m ruthless in my testing and what I edit out (a huge percentage!). Beauty products aren’t cheap and I don’t want my readers to make expensive mistakes – we’ve all been there. In a sea of 20-something beauty bloggers, I think I offer a unique perspective on what products work best for 30-40+ women.
How do you measure the success of your website? In all honesty the most rewarding thing for me is when a reader loves a product that I’ve recommended, but overall success is based on so many different elements – from stats and subscribers to engagement. I try to focus on pleasing and holding on to the readers I already have, many of whom have been with me for years, which is the biggest compliment ever.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog? Don’t be afraid to do things your way; being individual in your approach will attract more readers than carbon copy-ing. It’s a much bigger commitment than you probably realise and the only thing that will bring you success is passion for your subject. It helps (a lot) if you’re also knowledgeable, have a unique perspective, write well and enjoy photography.
How do you work with marketers and PRs? I’m lucky to have good working relationships with a lot of great brands and PRs. This is something that has developed naturally over 4 years of blogging… they’ve always been the ones to approach me and I like it that way. I’m honoured that brands value my space on the internet.
How do you use social media to promote/share content? What are the challenges? Social media is one of my main traffic drivers. I share links to all of my posts on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and occasionally Instagram or Pinterest, though I prefer to save those for sharing more creative images or little everyday moments. If I know I’m going to be busy, I’ll schedule tweets via Buffer, but could be more organised about this!
What can PRs do in working better with you? The majority of PRs I work with are absolute pros and approach me with opportunities or products that are a great fit for me and my blog. The negatives are when they put me under unrealistic time pressure (eg asking what date I’ll review a product they haven’t even sent yet – and may not like) or expecting me to essentially advertise their product. I do appreciate that PRs are under huge pressure to deliver what are often unrealistic expectations for their clients, so I think mutual respect is essential. I worked in PR myself for 10 years; I know how tough it can be.
What has been your blogging highlight? There have been a number of accolades such as awards and being quoted in the press, but I think the biggest is that my blog has led to so many work opportunities for me. I now write about beauty full time, whether for clients or my blog, which is pretty amazing.
What will be big in your blogosphere in the coming months? Bloggers are becoming their own brands, with new collaborations, book and beauty launches popping up every month. While their influence and contribution is becoming greater, some people are shying away, assuming that the whole blogosphere is becoming too commercialised. Integrity has never been more important and can not be bought – I hope that more bloggers hold on to this – and their readers.
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