Belle is a little over two years old, which makes us either highly advanced walking toddlers or slow-crawling bébés – whichever you think we should be. In these two years, we’ve learnt a lot about beauty blogging, and we’d like to share a bit of what we’ve learnt with you. We’re still improving, so do share your tips with us!
Info and text overload. Overlinking to death, copy pasting press releases, and para-para-paragraphs of text are some of the no-no’s advised to us. The fear of being potentially sued for infringement and accused of stealing content is legitimate; however, it’s enough to usually link a word as opposed to full-on sentences (or paragraphs, sometimes). As for press releases, they’re meant to serve as guides on what a product/launch is, not as a complete blog post. Finally, with paragraphs of text – break the monotony with interesting pictures (and paragraph breaks!) if there are heaps of information you need to share.
If you’re going to take your own pictures, edit them and make them look better. Am still improving on this point – sometimes you’ll notice my pictures have watermarks on them, which means I edited them on the computer. Pictures without watermarks were directly uploaded from my phone via the WP app, but I still edit them with my editing apps. Good pictures lend some credibility to your post – it shows that you’ve taken the time to show the product in its best possible light, and overall, it shows that you do put in the effort, period.
Put on thy grammar hat! And spelling hat too! A few typos here and there are forgivable but not when errors in sentence structure, spelling, and grammar are all your readers see! A few pet peeves include confusing “they’re” with “their” and “All these stuffs are so good” as opposed to “stuff” (remember, stuff is uncountable, so no such thing as ‘stuffs’ unless you’re using it as a verb). Carefully written posts convey your message better, and also adds credibility.
Reach out proactively to other bloggers and BE NICE! The one major lesson we’ve learnt. Leaving comments on other blogs is great to build visibility, but try to be part of that blog’s community instead of just leaving comments when you’ve published a new post, or just for the sake of showing, “I’M HERE, VISIT MY BLOG”. Being humble and sincere are also no-brainers – at the end of the day, we all share the same passion for beauty and there’s no need to fight over blogging space, who got invited to events, or who received things to try. The friendships we’ve cultivated from blogging are our biggest reward.
You don’t owe brands anything, and likewise, brands don’t owe you anything. But you must still be nice to them. Simply put, we appreciate brands that reach out to us and offer us things to try. We do our best to be nice to them, because it’s a mutually exclusive relationship. Never think for once that you’re better than a brand – appreciate the chance to review a product and don’t expect things to be handed to you on a silver platter. However, we have learnt never to trade our writing styles and our true opinions of the brand’s products in exchange for more items or paid reviews. We thank the brands we’ve worked with who understand this clearly, and we thank their support for letting us experience their products, and telling them as it is. That much we can and want to do for the brands – share more information, give the brand visibility. Brands that insist on changing the way you write or even falsifying/covering up parts of reviews should be turned down firmly but politely. Stay nice, stay polite. We believe that most brands out there appreciate frank opinions and use these opinions to better themselves.
Haters gon’ hate. Don’t mean you gotta hate back. That’s right, we’re talking about flamers and spammers, those mildly irksome pests that make the random appearances once in a while. As with all things, there will always be those who don’t agree with or appreciate your reviews, and take a strange schadenfreude sense of satisfaction in telling you so. These comments can range in intensity from irritating to just outright hurtful – but the key to dealing with this is to simply rise above and exercise grace, elegance and dignity.
So that’s pretty much it. Lengthy and maybe a few “duh’s” here and there. But this is what we’ve learnt from our friends and fellow bloggers, and never take these lessons for granted!
Happy Hump Day!