This is a guest post by Zoe Cohen.

So you’re really into makeup and skin care, and you think, “I know! I’ll create a beauty blog!” But where to begin? Rather than just jumping in, it’s important to carefully think through and plan out your approach: what your blog will focus on, who the audience will be, how much time you want to dedicate to it, etc. Though they may look effortless, all the best beauty blogs are actually a product of tons of time, effort, and work. This isn’t to dissuade you from starting the beauty blog of your dreams, but rather to caution you to be smart about it.

Below is a list of some of the things you need to think about and hammer out before starting your blog. By doing the hard planning work now, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of time, effort, and grief down the road, so it’s worth it to think about this now!

Do You Want a Beauty Blog

Let’s face it – everyone who sets out to create the next best beauty blog wants to gain millions of followers, earn tons in ad/affiliate revenue, and be showered with free samples. But if fame, fortune, and free beauty samples are your driving force, you’ll soon burn out and lose interest. As we’ve said above, these blogs are a lot of work, and if you want to be successful, you have to be in it for the right reasons. Your driving force should be your passion for cosmetics or skin care or style. This will ensure that your passion will stay lit throughout the long road to becoming a successful beauty blogger. Furthermore, your passion will come through in your writing and posting, something that readers notice, appreciate and latch onto. If you can convey your joy and interest in something to readers, that’s half the battle!

Your Beauty Blog Niche

Now that you know you’re in it for the right reasons, the next step to create the best beauty blog is to find your niche. If you’re too broad (a “beauty blog”), you’ll never stand out from the ranks of already-successful beauty bloggers. You have to find something that sets you apart, either that other bloggers don’t provide or just that you do best. Maybe your mission is to find the best cruelty-free cosmetics, craft the perfect skin routine for sensitive-skinned readers, or find the best makeup for $10 or less. Maybe you’re targeting older readers, drag queens, people with certain skin types (freckles, rosacea, etc.), or people who prefer a “natural” look. Maybe you specialize in brows, nails, eyes, contouring, or imitating iconic makeup styles. Whatever your specialty is, it needs to stand out because that is what will ultimately draw in readers and persuade them to recommend your blog to others.

Good Aesthetics

At the end of the day, you’re creating a beauty blog. Though this point is applicable to any blog you might want to start, beauty bloggers should pay extra attention to the way their website, photos, and graphics look. If people are coming to your website for aesthetic advice and guidance, one look at a poorly-designed website will send them elsewhere. Having a carefully-cultivated website and brand adds to your image as amongst the best of the best beauty blogs and a beauty authority. Plus, good photos make whatever look you’re showing off look even better. Take time to think about exactly how your website should look, how your photos and videos will look, and what you’re going to name your blog. All of these aspects of your website make an immediate, if subconscious, impression on potential readers.

Expand Your Online Presence

Online success is all about networking these days – do you have your blog linked to your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat? Though you might not decide to have accounts for your blog on all of these platforms, the more accounts you have, the likelier you are to gain readership because you have so many more areas to pull readers in from. Furthermore, each social media account features something different. Use that to your advantage to make your readers want to follow you on each separate account. This can only help you on your journey with creating the best beauty blog!

Beauty Blog Blogging Tips

Here are more blogging tips to read if you’re still interested in a beauty blog:

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