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How to monetize your blog, partner with brands, & more: The do’s and don’t of blogging

» How to start a beauty blog

1. The do’s and don’ts of blogging

2. Working with brands

3. Monetizing your blog

4. Branching out from (or into) beauty blogging

The do’s and don’ts of blogging

Burberry Beauty launches Canada Vancouver Nordstrom

For those of you on your coffee break, here’s a snappy list of the do’s and don’ts of blogging!

Edit: DON’T try to monetize every single sample offer from your contacts. I keep seeing newbie bloggers deciding to do this, and it makes me want to shake them and yell, “TWO THOUSAND HITS PER MONTH IS TINY. SIT DOWN.” Start instead by using affiliate links or selling banner ads (read below!), and focus on creating great content and building relationships, not squeezing naïve small businesses for cash.

DO leave lots of comments on other bloggers’ blogs, and DO leave a link back to your blog in the “url” form field, but DON’T leave a link to your blog in your comment text — I can’t think of a single person I know who doesn’t find that to be incredibly rude!

DON’T get into spats on social media. Someone is always watching, in the creepiest of creepy Big Brother ways.

DO be funny! 

DON’T send your new followers automated messages.

DO use a blogging calendar to keep you on track. I’ve recently started using a sticky-notes-and-tape eyesore, and I love that I can touch it and move stuff around.

new camera 2014 copy

DO learn the difference between HTML, CSS, and PHP. My favourite resource for all three is w3schools.com, which is easy to reference for simple fixes & arranged like a textbook for those who want a crash course.

DO buy a good camera — and editing software. If you’re serious about blogging, I recommend a camera body that gives you room to grow, like the Canon T5 or Nikon D3200. I shoot with a Sony A6000 (the A5100 cheaper option with a 180˚ screen) and an old Zeiss lens, and then edit in Photoshop.

DO proofread. Accidents happen, but if you mix up your there, their, and they’res, I won’t be the only one quietly mocking you in my head.

DO nerd out over your non-beauty interests. This is the easiest way to find other people like you in the herd, whether your special interest is ramen noodles or alpacas!

cats cats cats

My special interest is cats. My special interest has always been cats.

Working with brands 

Okay, so once people start blogging, the big question always becomes, “How can I start collaborating with brands?” Which is a valid question, but like — you have no idea how gross it makes me feel to hear it. It’s like someone asking how to get into your ex-girlfriend’s pants: it’s not that you definitely don’t deserve to, it’s that you really seem like you’re only in this for the sex and you should really be proving that you’re good enough on your own.

I don’t make a lot off of theNotice, and if I had to buy every single product that I tested for the blog & featured here, I would barely break even. But while it’s awesome to have a brand validate your work by working with you, it’s important that you view press samples as a way to help you do your job better, not the reason for doing your job at all.

stop being greedy

So: I’d recommend waiting for at least a year (yes, really) before reaching out to brands. If someone contacts you before then, awesome; if not, it’s worth the wait! That way, you can show brands your archive, stats, and social media following when you do contact them, and your reader base will know that they can trust you — and so will other bloggers.

Highlight whatever YOUR BLOG really excels at. You don’t have to be the biggest fish in the pond to show people that you’re doing great work!

Next, create a media kit in the style of your blog that includes your stats, your blog’s message, and a little bit about you, the person they’ll be working with! It’ll help give you a leg up in the PR department’s inbox, and it’ll work kind of like an online business card for your blog.

One of the best tips I’ve ever heard about creating a media kit is to highlight whatever your blog really excels at (I think maybe it was Natalie?), whether that’s the number of comments you get or the number of page hits. Your blog doesn’t have to be the biggest or the most polished to stand out.

Moody pastels - YSL Spring makeup look

I recommend starting on a brand’s website to look for contact info, or pitching in person if you can. I know bloggers who recommend contacting brands via their social channels or employees’ LinkedIn accounts, but I’ve always found that if a brand really loves your blog, a general email to the company will be enough. Let your work speak for itself! 

The hard part about PR relationships, though is keeping that relationship going. If you want to stay in the loop, you’re going to need to review new launches quickly (most brands prefer to see features within 30 days, which is whiplash-and-a-concussion fast), forward links back to the brand after a review goes up, and always be reachable by email.

Once you’re in, remember that blog-brand relationships are a two-way street, and you do not work for the brand — no matter how well or poorly they treat you. Accepting product for a review is a fair (and industry-standard) practice, but make sure you don’t let your to-review pile overwhelm you. It is a real, breathing thing, and it will suffocate you in the middle of the night and hide the evidence. 

Graphic sunset eye look

Monetizing your blog 

Unfortunately for all of you up and coming beauty bloggers, ambassadorships and sponsorships are a rare thing in this industry. Sure, they exist, but it’s not exactly “cool” for a beauty blogger to post their Amazon Wishlist or have a Patreon.

Instead, beauty blogs tend to survive on the Golden Trio of advertising: sidebar ads, affiliate commissions, and sponsored posts.

Rakuten Linkshare

Affiliate commissions

Affiliate linking is one of the easiest and most common ways to turn a profit when you blog. Simply put, if someone clicks on a link on your site and then buys a product, you get a small percentage of that sale. You’re not doing anything directly in exchange for cash, and if a reader really, really hates the idea of a blogger getting paid by mystical other-being to provide them with free content, they can choose to not click on your affiliate link at all.

(People, man. People are so weird.)

I think Rakuten Linkshare is the best affiliate program to sign up with for most, as there’s no minimum payout amount (unlike RewardStyle) and they won’t start pulling money out of your account if you go on hiatus (unlike CJ). I think RewardStyle has the best widgets and resources for bloggers, but Rakuten team is helpful and friendly, which is a big pull for me.

FOREO lavender toothbrush ISSA review

Sponsored posts

When I was talking about sponsored posts on Twitter last year, Sheila made a great point: if a brand or PR firm is approaching you about a sponsored post, they already see the value in your blog. Don’t let them talk you into doing it “for the exposure!”

 

— Sheila (@MaddyLovesBlog) November 14, 2014

Brands will often expect you to suggest a rate to them (if they can get away with paying you less, you bet your blog they will), but I’ve found $125 USD to be a standard rate for sponsored posts in the beauty world. (Maybe $75 USD if your blog is EDIT: seeing closer to 5000 UMV than 10k/month. $125-$175 is standard for blogs in the 20-90 000 UMV range, though, so don’t be afraid to ask for it if that’s where your blog falls!)

Estimating that you’ll take 3-6 hours to write, photograph, test, and email about a single post, that’s as little as $20 an hour for your writing/working time — and it doesn’t even factor in your blog hits or followers, so that rate should definitely go up over time.

exposure by the oatmeal

This number will vary, but depending on the quality of your posts and size of your readership, but I find that it’s what most respectable companies will be willing to pay to a small to mid-size blogger. I know companies who will only offer $25 (which is a laughable amount, even if your blog is TINY), and sadder still, I know bloggers who who will accept, even though they could easily be asking for six times that amount.

Undercutting prices is a very slippery slope (if some bloggers will do it for 1/5 of the price, how long until that’s the new standard?), so when you’re ready to start accepting sponsored posts, think about this, first: would you rather wait to write one post for a great company at $X, or have to write five posts for companies that treat their bloggers like crap to make the same amount?

Je Joue MiMi Soft review

Branching out from (or into) beauty blogging 

I touched on this briefly in my last post, but one of the things that you need to remember about the blogging world is that it touches more than one industry. A fashion blog is going to require a greater initial investment than a beauty blog, but it can deliver much (MUCH) greater profits; a beauty blog is going to require more pictures than a personal blog, but it automatically provides an infinite pool of prompts that you could be publishing about.

To branch out into another industry, I’d recommend making friends in that industry first, just to get a feel for its discourse and size. When you’re ready to start publishing content, get a few really good pieces of work up first, and link to them when you reach out to brands. Make sure to show the versatility and duration of your blog, especially if you’re moving into a smaller industry (where your beauty bloggin’ page hits are going to help you out a ton!)

A great blog is adaptive and surprising, so content that’s out of the norm (like this post!) can be a nice way to shake things up and get you out of a blogging rut!

Are you a blogger? Feel free to leave a link in the comments along with a little blurb about your blog. I wanna come check them out! ;)

(I know I said that was a “don’t,” but much like boob-groping, it’s a “do” if someone asks very, very nicely.)

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  • rocaillewrites

    Excellent post, Rae! I have nothing to add from my personal experience, you're much better versed in the professional side of things than I am. Oh – and that photo of you, your hat and a cat is just too cute for words. xxx

    • Haha thank you, Monika!! I <3 that cat. He makes the most adorable little dinosaur noises!

  • This is great advice- so helpful! Thanks!
    My recent post My Lip Nourishing Must-Haves

  • HAHA I thought that was a trick. Asking readers to include links to their blogs in the comments. So, I just started my blog VERY recently and I'm having trouble getting the pictures to look the way I want them to. Do you think I should take a photography course or is that unnecessary? How about getting a better camera? I'm currently using Nikon Coolpix L830. Thanks so much. Do you let me know what you think of my blog?

    beauty-a-la-mode.com

    • Hahaha nope, no tricks! Thanks for leaving your link, Tali.

      I personally find beginner photography courses to be a money grab. There's nothing in then that you couldn't learn at home! Instead, maybe try taking your photos in different lighting (bright, indirect sunlight is always best), or tweaking them on your computer in a different way to see if you can get an effect that you're happy with. :)

    • Aside from editing the photos on Photoshop by playing around with the levels, maybe you could DIY a light box? I don't have any super bright rooms in this unit, and my lightbox helps to reflect light. I use lamps to make it brighter too, though it takes some fiddling around. I saw this great post the other day on editing photos on photoshop, and I found it to help A LOT. Have a look here: http://bit.ly/1K1Oxdj

      Also, another tip for photoshop, if your photos sometimes show up as being a little on the yellow/orange side, use the green or blue filter at about 10-15% to neutralise it. When my sunlight doesn't work as well, and I have to use lamps, it casts an unattractive yellow tint to my photos.

      My recent post A RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS SANDWICH

  • Hello! I'm Annick and I've been beauty blogging on and off for 5 years now. This post is super helpful and I have to say I agree with almost everything – I don't find it that rude when someone leaves a link to their blog. It's a bit irritating when someone has absolutely nothing interesting to say, and then leaves their blog url, but other than that, I don't personally mind.

    Thanks for the blurb about the affiliate links. It actually never occurred to me through beauty blogging that affiliate links could help me monetize! I'm excited to look into that!

    As for my blog, it started out as a mostly nail polish blog about 5 years ago when I really needed a hobby to occupy my time and has grown since then into being generally about cosmetics. I had a bit of a stint fashion blogging for a few years, and now I'm trying to focus back on beauty blogging.

    By the way, LOVED your post about relationships a few weeks ago. I've been in a similar situation and could really relate. Hope it helps someone else out there! :)
    My recent post Tarte Tartelette in Bloom Palette – A Review

    • Hi Annick! I love love love your blog :)

      You're actually the first blogger I've found who doesn't mind when people leave their link in the comments, lol!! I know it's common practice, but I feel like I keep running into people who just HATE it — and it's totally the people who just write "love this! Come check out my blog!" that cause the distaste.

      Thank you so much for your kind words about my relationship post — they really do mean a lot to me. I'm sorry to hear that you've been in that position, too. ❤️

  • First things first – the Graphic Sunset Eyes…wow! stunning, not much else to say :D

    I really enjoyed the post, some great points here. And I have to say I first discovered your blog because of the MiMi review :D So branching out helps :)

    I do have a question – what are things that you personally frown upon? Both from your perspective as a blogger, and as a reader. Thanks!
    My recent post My Scent of Love… Narciso Rodriguez 'For Her' EDP Perfume Review

    • Aww, thank you!! :) I can't even remember DOING that eye look anymore, but I love it every single time I see it. I miss doing really bold eye looks!

      I really frown upon people who leave their links in the comments, as I mentioned, but as a blogger, I can't stand other bloggers who review things with only a 1-2 day turnaround. Most wide-scale press packages are all mailed at the same time, so I can usually estimate when a blogger received an item to the very day. Hearing someone say "I use this all the time!" when I KNOW they've only had it for 48 hours just kills me. There's one blogger in particular who is notorious for doing this, and while I'm not going to name names — we all know it, and bloggers definitely talk!

      My biggest pet peeve, though, is sex toy reviewers on Twitter who suddenly start posting really racy images and not tagging them as adult content. Like, dude, I'm here for the reviews, and your feed has always been really clean before; I didn't consent to seeing your naked butt selfie! Surprising your readers with your genitals isn't "anti-body shaming;" it's sexual harassment, and it gives the whole industry a bad name.

      I think that's more or less it, though! I also frown upon greedy writers who are constantly begging for press samples (of course), but overall, bloggers are a pretty awesome crowd — there aren't a lot of other common things that make me go :/!

      • I for one would definitely encourage you to do more of those looks. I feel like the blogosphere is becoming a wee bit uninspired these days…everywhere you look there's strobing and 'perfect smokey eye', but very few bold, creative looks (like your Sunset)

        (hope my link wasn't obtrusive, since you did 'ask very nicely' for it :D )
        I usually look at rave reviews with caution, especially when, like you say, they're always saying 'I use this all the time'. There's only so much a person can possibly use 'all the time'…

        Hahahaha oh this made me laugh out loud…I tried searching for sex toy reviews on Twitter once…felt like scrubbing my eyes with Oxiclean afterwards…totally agree with the sexual harassment part!

        Has there been a time when you felt like giving up on blogging?
        Sorry there are so many questions :D I just feel like life is constantly trying to pull me away from blogging, and it can be really tough to get the ball rolling again…

        • Thanks, Catherina! I feel the same way about the blogosphere, but it's hard to find the time to put together a makeup look — something like this would take me two hours to create and shoot (all of which has to happen during prime daylight hours), plus another three or four to edit images and write the post. It's tough to find the time!

          And girl, you didn't even put your link in your comment field! Url form fields and CommentLuv links are always nice to see — it's just the text links that irk people :P

          I have totally felt like giving up on blogging. After you blog for four or five years, I think it's natural to! (I'm on my 8th year now, which sounds crazy every time I think about it.) I came close to quitting entirely right before I got into sex toy reviews, and that feeling didn't go away until late last year when I finally took the time to go out to Toronto and chat with other bloggers in person. Chatting with other people who are excited about the thing you're doing can be really inspiring when you feel like you've hit a rut!

          And no, not at all — I welcome the questions. I often think about my choice to keep blogging, and it's nice to know that I'm not alone!

        • I almost forgot — for really cool makeup looks, I heart Becky (Star-Violet/quinnn.v)! ;)

  • So incredibly helpful and thorough. You know what Iove most about you, Rae? You're SO generous to other bloggers.
    My recent post Declutter 2016: Drugstore Palettes

  • Vanessa

    Thank you for this post! Great advice and bits of info I haven't even thought of! Would love to know what you think of my blog: yourbestfacefirst.com

    • Girl, I looove your hair, and I think your font choice is the perfect fit for your writing style! I can't wait to see more from Your BFF. :)

      My one tip would be to include more product photos if you can — as a reader, I love seeing the makeup that went into each look (and how each product has translated onto your face)!

      • Vanessa

        Thank youuuu so much! Means a lot to me, thank you for the compliment. Definitely will take your advice, thank you!

  • GlitterOCD

    Thanks for sharing your camera. I'm in the market for a new one. Does body only mean it comes with no lenses..? O_o

    Also, really? $75 for a post. I'm sure some people can ask for that much, but my blog and YouTube are honestly sooo tiny!! (200 people x_x) heh, I feel like asking $50 is asking a lot!

    Great tips, thanks for sharing! I love branching into some of my other interests, especially books, even though those posts get so few views!
    My recent post TUTORIAL || Gold &amp; Magenta Gradient Eyes

    • It does, but you can get interchangeable-lens cameras with a "kit," too — I just find that *if* you have a different lens in mind for your camera body, it can make sense to save a little bit of money by just getting the camera body & buying your lens separately!

      For a super-tiny blog, I can see $50 — but remember that it has to do with how much time you're putting into a post, too (and not just how many readers you have)! The company is getting a link from you (SEO links usually sell for $125+ regardless of the size of your blog), plus a permanent post that will come up when people google them, AND your time. At that rate, I think I'd hold off on sponsored content until my blog had grown a little bit more, but then again… I'm a pretty lazy blogger. :p

      I'm going to have to keep an eye out for your book posts! Novels were my first love ;)

  • Lilly

    I think it would be a good idea for each niche to consider sharing (privately, publicly?) their ad rates and maybe their traffic. Something that EVERY new blogger in the sexuality niche ends up wondering is how to price their ads. Even I don't feel like I really know! I think it depends on everyone else TBH. The last time I used another blogger as my measuring stick to help me figure out my rates, it was a different time for sexuality bloggers; the market wasn't *quite* so saturated.

    Also the thing that's always confused me on sponsored posts is how long do you keep them up for? Or keep the links active? Because isn't that like forever advertising? I kinda think that a sponsored post should be at least the cost of a year's worth of a small banner ad on your site, but maybe I'm wrong? 7 years at this and even I never feel like I REALLY know what I'm going half the time lol
    My recent post Sex Toy Copycats – Is it improvement or shitty business ethics?

    • Lilly, I LOVE that idea. Maybe a google spreadsheet or something, with the results published anonymously so other bloggers can see what to expect, too?

      I'm gonna see if I could maybe pull that off! That would be such a great resource to have.

  • Oh I love that comic strip about exposure! A few months ago I was offered to write a 1000+ word article for a website for EXPOSURE, yay! Imagine how long it takes ME, a non-native English speaker, to write and proofread something of that length. Sigh.

    I think the main advice I would give to someone starting a beauty blog is this: if you're thinking of doing it to get rich, think again. The likelihood that it will generate as much income as a full-time job is extremely low, and even if you were one of the handful of lucky fews, it would take years of 60+ hours working weeks before you'd make as much as in your last job. And please, pretty please, don't write an e-book because that's what you read bloggers have to do to make money.
    My recent post Winter Beauty: 10 Makeup Favorites

    • Such a good tip, Lulle. This is definitely not the industry that you want to be in if you want to make a lot of $$!!

      I totally laughed out loud at your e-book comment. It can be a great way to make money, but it's such an odd choice for most bloggers — and for most e-book topics, for that matter!

  • esharp1978

    I agree with most of this. At two years, I'm just starting to feel able to hope for or reach out to people for press samples. I have gotten a few so far but 99% of what I review I'm buying for myself. I wish I was making money off my blog or even breaking even. Then I could upgrade my camera and get some real lights. I use Skimlinks for affilate linking just because it's very simple. I was using Chitika for a while but their ads aren't nice or topic relevant like Google, plus a friend of mine bought several tickets (12 roundtrip business class) to Paris for her students through their affiliate link with AirFrance on my blog because she thought it would help me but I didn't get a cent of commission because they deemed her as unlikely to ever purchase anything else. Because I started my blog in Germany when I lived there, I'm on Google's naughty list. I'm not sure how to get off that list and it's been a thorn in my side for a while now.

    I do a lot of exposure work for Disqus and IntoTheGloss. I need to start not doing that now that I actually have a small following of dedicated readers.

    My blog is a lifestyle blog, I just happen to have a passion for beauty and it's easier to write a review about skincare or lipstick than it is to write a recipe or travel just to write a blog post about it!

    I've been asked to do a sponsored post a few times but nothing was gelling with my brand. Gotta make sure opportunities are right for you before you take them.
    My recent post Le Pepin 2014 Chardonnay

    • Omg can I vent about ITG for a moment? I used to have so much respect for their team, but Glossier has been really pushing posts on bloggers recently — with no compensation OR product samples. I was really surprised to see that kind of marketing tactic coming from a brand that started from a blog!! I didn't know that they were also using bloggers on IntoTheGloss and not paying them. :(

      I totally agree about making sure the opportunities are right for your blog. I'd say that I accept mayyybe 1/5 of the requests that I get, but sometimes I do accept fashion/etc posts to help mix things up a little!

      That Chikita thing sounds incredibly shady — TWELVE tickets and they write her off as "unlikely to ever purchase anything else"?? That makes me feel like they never pay any of their bloggers. A sale should be counted as a sale, regardless on what the company "thinks" about a buyer! D:

      • natalieheather

        Just going to jump in here about Glossier – they recently emailed me about posting recommendations for a good skincare regime (or something similar) including Glossier products, though they wouldn't send anything for me to try. Like you, Rae, I was VERY surprised to see this sort of tactic coming from them.
        My recent post Makeup Shakeup No. 3

  • natalieheather

    I don't remember saying that, but it is exactly like something I would say. Thanks for the shout out! This post is super duper helpful and I'm sure you have helped out an abundance of bloggers with this. You're the best!
    My recent post Makeup Shakeup No. 3

  • Thank you so much for sharing. This is great advice. I really need to get my media kit set up and rebranded so it fits into my blog better.
    My recent post Mixed Metallics Messy Makeup Tutorial

  • Christine

    This is some really great advice for people looking into beauty blogging (or even blogging in the consumer fields in general). I also really love your writing style!
    While I'm still working on figuring out my voice and what my "brand" really represents, I'm really happy with my reasons for blogging at all: I just really love to talk and share! Money would be lovely, since beauty is such an expensive hobby, but the opportunity to talk about that hobby at all is really great.
    My recent post Cover Girl Clump Crusher and Learning to Love Mascara

  • I've read so many blogging advice posts and yours are some of the most relatable and measured I've come across – so thanks for that! I'm still not sure exactly where I want to go with my blog at this point, but I do want to move out of the personal-blog-only-absolutely-no-gain-whatsoever thing that I did from 2006-2014. I've started receiving a few products here and there but I need to be more proactive and reach out to brands. I guess I just lack confidence because my blog is still so small! I also want to obviously stay true to myself and only accept opportunities that fit with me and my blog – I've seen too many people sell out and I never want that to happen to me!
    My recent post Foundation for Fair Skin: Rimmel Lasting Finish 25H Foundation in 010

  • I love this! Always good when you can compare something to a boob grope in your post!
    No, but really this was very informative and helpful!
    Renee C.
    seetheworldinpink.blogspot.ca – only because you said it's okay!!!
    My recent post Manicure Monday – Scratch Nail Wraps &quot;Lips, Eyes, Trippy Lines, and Cacti&quot;

    • Hahaha yes, exactly! The ability to include a boob grope is what makes for a good post. :p

  • MissMolotov

    Hi Rae :)

    I've been really enjoying these posts. They have given me the push I've needed to really get in gear and focus on my blog again. So thank you!
    My recent post ColourPop Creme Gel Liner Review and Swatches

  • Lily @ChloeAsh

    This post is really helpful, Rae. I've been blogging for nearly 5 years, and have only JUST started to put up ads. And the reason is because I'm no longer working full time. I never have the intention to make money from my blog though, just maybe to supplement the $$ I have to pay for hosting my own site. So it really helps that you openly share this info, especially the going rate for sponsored posts. I haven't done any, and haven't felt comfortable accepting any, but you never know :-)
    My recent post Sunday Stash Shopping #62: Tom Ford x Dior

    • One day, perhaps! I'd love to see how Chloe.Ash will change over the years, now that you're mostly at home — kids take up a LOT of time, but hopefully now you'll be able to find more time to blog, too! ;)

  • Fantastic post, Rae! Gosh yes, I hate it when people just spam their link in the comments. There's a specific BOX for that, dude! Don't be rude. And show some genuine interest or don't bother. And I totally agree on the 'be funny, be quirky, be yourself' part. I think it's important to let your true self shine through in your writing. It'll make people remember you and appreciate you. And as far as getting traffic, making connections and earning moolas goes, I think you shouldn't try to force those things too much. Let it happen. That said, there are of course things that you can do to help boost your blog and you listed them all.
    My recent post Review | e.l.f. Retractable Kabuki Brush

    • Thank you, Melissa!!

      I totally agree with the "let it happen" mentality, but I think for some, you do have to choose between trying to *make* it happen & stopping blogging because you just don't have the time. I consider myself lucky in that I don't need a big income right now, so if I have a light blogging month, it's no big deal — but if I was forking over rent money every month, you can bet that would change fast. :(

      • Oh yeah, but I wasn't thinking in terms of actually making a full living out of the blog. I was thinking more like extra pocket money. Here in Europe there's only a handful of people – maybe – who can actually pay bills with their blog. If I had to pay rent with my blog I'd be living out of a cardboard box right now, lol.
        My recent post Review | e.l.f. Retractable Kabuki Brush

  • Hi Rae,
    Thanks for the information about how to monetize your blog. You often hear that one can monetize their blog but the details and process aren't clear as to how you would go about it. I've recently hopped back on the blogging wagon and am working to build and define my blog. I still feel like my focus is not as define, though I do fear being too niche.
    Anyway thanks again for the pointers and the advice.

    • I hope you find a focus that works for you soon, Natoya! Keeping your niche small can be great (you'll never find readers as loyal as niche bloggers'), but if you're hoping to have your blog as your primary income one day, you might find that you'll need diversify with time.

      Anyhow — I hope that doesn't have to happen for you, because it sounds like you've got a good thing going on at Chaos and Reason right now! ;)

  • thebeautycollection

    Such an informative post! I love writing content but I'll admit I'm not too savvy on the business side of things just yet – it's one of my goals for this year to really get it together!
    My recent post The Throw On And Go Lip Products

  • Great post Rae! A lot of new bloggers will definitely benefit from this post. I'd like to start working on doing more sponsored posts this year & I'll keep that standard rate in mind ;)

    • Thank you, Kelly! I hope you get some awesome pitches from brands soon! ;)

  • Fantastic tips, it's really given me an idea on how to do things properly for when I finally get around to knuckling down on monetising my blog. For now it's all about having relationships with other bloggers and getting a feel for my blog, as well as establishing a following. Baby steps! I'd love to sign up for affiliate marketing but I can't quite understand Rakuten, as I'm Australian and don't know what to lodge myself as, and whether I'm exempt from US taxes and stuff. So very confusing :(

    Would you be able to contact me via email and guide me through the process of signing up for affiliate through Rakuten? I'd call them but I'm deaf, and while I can communicate just fine, hearing on phones is virtually impossible.
    My recent post A RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS SANDWICH

  • Sarah M.

    Wow this blog post was extremely helpful I am so glad I found it! I have been blogging on and off for a year but this time around i'm more invested in blogging and creating a brand.
    My blog is called HerLittleSoapbox its Beauty and Lifestyle blog. If you check it out let me know what you think! I would love to get your opinion.
    Thanks again for such a great blog post!
    My recent post 5 Reasons to Try Liquid to Matte Lipstick

  • kamillionbeauty

    I love how straight forward you are,this is very helpful for a newbie like me. God,I just kind of go into this blogging recently because I have been buying so much makeup and just thought I'd share. Thank you so much for posting this.

  • Fantastic tips – I feel like my blog never really took off (for multiple reasons I am sure) but yours look so clean and polished and I love it!!
    My recent post Crushing on: Shu Uemura Metal:ink Eyeliners

  • I like how honest, and straight to the point you are about this topic. The other ones I've read (before I started my own) were a bit all over the place, before they got to the point.

    My recent post Product On My Mind

  • This was really helpful and insightful. Thanks for the write up Rae! I imagine it took you a while to write up.

  • Joleen

    It's so helpful of you to come up with posts to help aspiring bloggers! I'm Joleen from Singapore and I just started out beauty blogging not too long ago! Do visit my beauty ig: @andallthingsbeauty! :D

  • nathanielle

    Thanks for sharing! that was an awesome post! I learned a lot…. I am fairly new at blogging, it has been a year now, but I really need some tips on how to improve my blog. My blog is called curvyliciousbelle. Beauty is not only my main focus, I want to start doing fashion and food as well. Please let me know what you think Rae. My email address is elleinahtan@gmail.com