Mar 11, 2011

TIPS for New Bloggers and YouTubers...

TIPS for New Bloggers and YouTubers...

The Fancy Face Blog and the associated YouTube Channel/thefancyfaced is now a little over a year old and to date we have 1200 subscribers to the blog (I hate the word follower...sounds demeaning to me) and 4550 subscribers on YouTube.

This is by no means comparable to the super bloggers of our makeup world or the mega gurus of the YouTube universe. But I must admit we have done pretty well for a little blog written by a little make-up loving engineer in NY. I assume that based on this I get asked all the time for TIPS on starting out in blogging and YouTube. Instead of responding to each email, message or comment individually, I thought it might be more helpful to compile a post on what I have learned over the past year that may be useful for some up-and-coming bloggers and YouTubers.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT an expert in blogging, writing, makeup, YouTube, video making, video editing, photography or 'anything' really nor do I profess to be. I just do the best I can and try to learn and grow from my mistakes. These are my personal experiences in this virtual beauty world.  Results are not typical and may/will vary. I will be brutally honest and some feelings may be hurt in the process. This relates to the beauty online community and may or may not apply to any other industry/hobby/category. Be forewarned!

Before I get started, I want to urge you guys to think about the popular beauty bloggers and YouTubers out there...think about the ones you enjoy and follow. Now think about what they all have in common and keep that in mind as you read

First off I would like to say there are NO TRICKS to gaining credence in the beauty community. There are schemes/tactics that have been used to gain popularity and while they may work they are not always successful and bring with them certain drawbacks. For example, contests grab subscribers but you may not be able to keep the subscribers after the contests are gone if your content is lacking.



It does not happen overnight! While I think this can go without saying, I have to reiterate for those people that think success happens in an instant or comes flying in on a golden unicorn. It can take weeks, months or even years for your blog or YouTube channel to gain popularity so don't expect immediate results. No one knows who you are yet so relax and pay your dues.



Don't tell me you thought it would be easy. Quite simply it takes work and lots of effort! It's time consuming and sometimes overwhelming. So get the golden spoon idea out of your head. There is no easy way to do it. You will need to work hard and dedicate time to writing, taking pictures, swatching, editing, responding to comments and emails and the list goes on.

Come on now! Do you really think that posting once a month will yield popularity? Popular bloggers and YouTubers post almost daily or weekly. Some post multiple times a day. Think about those top beauty gurus on YouTube and top bloggers in the beauty world - they keep their content flowing and current. Think about how you feel about a blogger who posts once in a while or a YouTuber that makes a video once a month. Do you enjoy that? Honestly, I tend to delete people like that...

Besides, the more you post the more likely it is that you will pop up in Search Engines such as Google and Bing. Yes search engines will become your friend. Many people will find you through a search engine and if they see what they like then they will subscribe or at least bookmark your page.

Look at KarlaSugar - she takes swatching to new heights! And she works hard to have complete swatches up and ready for your viewing pleasure. Scrangie is the queen of nail polish and she keeps us up-to-date on all things lacquer. Temptalia is just the queen of blogging period! She puts so much hard work into her blog and reviews and swatches and it shows!



Let's be honest, none of us wants to read the same thing over and over again. The online makeup community is saturated with beauty bloggers and YouTubers so it takes work to stand out in the crowd. Find your niche and perfect it!

There are some that just copy from other blogs or copy from Sephora/MAC/Nordstroms/Macys, etc. Don't just regurgitate what you read on the internet because people will catch on to you and you will lose any credibility you had before. Also, remember that people read blogs and watch videos to learn about products that they may not know about or a tip that they never thought of. So the more tips and tricks and original content you have the more likely you are to gain popularity.



No one likes a liar! Your word is your bond. Be completely honest in your reviews and thoughts. If you received a product for review let people know (FTC requirements aside), if you like a product say why, if you don't like a product say why. Try to be as open and honest as you can without being disrespectful. Companies love honest feedback and that's the only way they can improve. Your readers and viewers love honest reviews because it can influence whether or not they purchase a product. It's the worst thing to recommend a product with your seal of approval only for others to call you out for showcasing crappy products. I take pride in being brutally honest and I can sleep well at night knowing I didn't endorse a product that I hated, didn't even test out or wouldn't buy myself.



This should go with saying. If your quality sucks then your viewership will also suck. Sorry but I can't sugarcoat it. Bad swatches, bad lighting, poor resolution, bad grammar, poor spelling, crappy makeup skills (yea I said it...I know many of you think it too). The attention span of us beauty lovers is fleeting and as it is with a new product or company we will move on to the next bigger and better one. What keeps readers and viewers coming back is your quality. I will wait months for a new video from QueenofBlending or MakeupbyTiffany because their skills and quality are on point.

And no quality does not mean expensive makeup or camera. My tools for blogging, taking pictures, making videos and swatching are relatively cheap. My camera is under $150 and my lighting is from Walmart. I will admit that my makeup and brushes are a bit more expensive but that doesn't not mean you can't make it work (and work well) will cheaper makeup products.



This is key to gaining AND keeping subscribers. People will leave comments, ask questions, send emails and give feedback. The least you can do is respond. Be courteous. Say thank you. Respond even if you can't answer their question. This goes a very loooooooong way. No one wants to be ignored. I try to respond to most if not all comments and questions and emails I get...even if it takes me a little while. I answer all questions on Formspring and all emails the same day or as soon as possible. Some questions take a little longer to get to but I make the effort to address all that I can. I try to respond to each comment as well but I know this can get overwhelming. People will see your effort though and won't get mad if you miss a few here and there.



As in any other field networking is important. This is the fastest way to get your name out there. Join beauty forums and share your posts there. Follow other blogs and interact by commenting and leaving feedback (no not just a link to your blog or YouTube channel). Reach out to other YouTubers and bloggers for collaborations (no don't stalk them). Please note, that not everyone will be receptive to collaborations and you should not be offended. Remember people have their own lives and styles which may not sync up with yours. Plus some people are very selective in how they interact digitally. But get your name out there in the beauty world by sharing and participating on different platforms.

Check out Specktra, MakeUpGeek, LiveJournal, MakeUpAlley, etc...



This is a pet peeve of mine and by no means am I immune to it but...brush up on your writing skills if you really want to have a respected blog. Check your spelling and grammar religiously and don't forget semantics and syntax. No one minds a typo every now and then but I find it hard to value and respect a blog filled with jargon and slang. You may say I'm too choosy and that others may like argot mixed into a beauty blog but remember your readers may also be potential sponsors and affiliates. Bear in mind that most professional companies may not want their products and name associated with a blog that is riddled with bad writing, vernacular and curse words. Just saying...



Let your personality shine through! No one like a dry matter-of-fact blogger or YouTuber. We are all humans and we want to feel a connection to the face and mind on the other side of the computer monitor. Let your personality shine through. And please don't fake it...the bubbly, giggly, hyped up cheerleader facade is an easy one to see through. Just be yourself.



I find that most people prefer a simple and clean home page. If your page is cluttered and filled with gadgets and ads and artwork and all kinds of jumble then it makes it harder to read and harder to load sometimes. Think about making it easy for the reader to go through your posts and videos, search for posts or keywords, find links and such. A simple clean cut design is more attractive and will pull in more subscribers.

Also, remember that readers have a short attention span so use images where possible and relevant. Keep writing short and sweet. Use easy clean language to appeal to a wider range of readers - younger, mature, foriegners.


Your REASON...

I will finish off by saying be true to yourself about why you want to start blogging and/or making YouTube videos.

Too many times I read and hear people say they want to start blogging so they can get 'free stuff' and make money. Others think it's 'so cool' to be on YouTube and they want to get discovered and make it big. If that's your reason, then own it and all the negativity that will come with it. I won't support you and I could care less if you get subscribers.

Now if you genuinely love makeup, love the beauty industry and you want to share that love with us all then I am all for it. But please know that if you really don't have much to share in the way of tips, tricks, technique or creativity then you may not be that popular. And will that really matter if you are in it for the love of makeup? It shouldn't!

I guess at the end of the day I'm really saying - Do it because you love it and not because you are seeking notoriety. If you are doing it as a business venture then please note that it will require working at it like it's a profession. Many people have create great careers out of blogging and YouTube and you can agree that it didn't happen overnight and without major effort.


  1. First! Congrats on your subs! You totally deserve them, plus more! I love reading your posts and watching vids.

    And thank you for this post. As a new blogger, I appreciate it and agree with your points. Hard work=success! Nothing comes easy in this world. I've only been posting a few short months, and I must say I am very grateful for the subscribers I have.

    Looking forward to upcoming post :)

    Have a wonderful weekend

  2. Thanks so much for this. I've been trying to think of ways I can get more people to read my blogs and this helps a ton. I am one of those bloggers who only posts once a week or a every couple weeks. I definitely need to work on that.

  3. Thanks for this! I've been blogging for about 6 months now and I really appreciate this post. BTW, ♥ your YT channel, which led me to you blog. Take care. :)

  4. Love this post and thank you! This is great info for us beginner bloggers!

  5. This was one of the best blogpost I've read so far! Thanks for sharing this. It's very helpfull for me since I'm new to this blog world!

    Everytime I'll write a new post I will come back to this post and read so I will be sure I do the most out of every post I write

    Thanks ones again

  6. Great post. As a new blogger this post couldn't have come at a better time! Thank you for sharing such great advice. =)

  7. Great advice. I haven't been blogging very long and you're right that it is a lot of hard work and takes time. Thanks for your tips (and I love that comic in the beginning :-)

  8. Great tips!! :D I did something like that a few months ago on my blog and some people called me too judgemental, because I wrote that it's a blogging "do" to update your blog quite often! lol x

  9. Hey. I've been reading your blog for a while now, and it's great! I rarely comment, but I'd just like to say keep up the good work!

  10. Thanks a million for this post!!! Greats advice... I've created a blog and YouTube channel but haven't quite started posting because simply I don't know how to start and most importantly I want to be consistent and be able to give good quality when I start. Once again... thanks! :)

  11. Well said. I'm obsessed with your eyebrows!

  12. Brilliant post - I have to make note of most of your tips!


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