How Your Fave Beauty & Fashion Bloggers Make Money
Blogging isn’t what it was back in the early 2000’s.
I mean, this is a major #TBT but back then, personal blogs were kind of like diaries that you shared with the world. In 2003, my Alyssa Milano fan blog was my life. Bloggers could only take pics with a digital camera back then so content wasn’t nearly as media heavy as it is now. And Myspace was our only social network so you certainly didn’t need perfectly curated social media accounts to go with it. Simpler times.
READ MORE: 7 Non-Sketchy Ways To Make Money Online
Now, a blog needs to factor in branding, photography, video, social media, and content management. It’s less writing and more posting on Instagram. And blogs are a lot less personal than the OG’s were.
On the other hand, what’s good about blogging now is it’s akin to creating your own business. Blogging can be a cool way to make some extra cash and some bloggers even report making full-time income.
But for seemingly being famous for doing nothing, how exactly do they do it?
1. They take it seriously.
Blogging involves copywriting, marketing, photography, and content creation. It’s a skill that’s worth monetizing but it takes time to be successful and not just anyone can do it. Despite how much work is involved, people continuously downplay it as just some hobby that stay-at-home moms and highschoolers pick up, especially when fashion and beauty is involved.
So whether or not other people take blogging seriously, individual bloggers have to. The only way they make money is by treating it like a job. There are bloggers who do it full-time and other people just pursuing it as a side hustle, but they’re successful because they don’t half-ass it. That means they’re actually brainstorming images to use, they’re thinking of new posts in advance, and they’re creating or investing in a layout that won’t make their audience vomit. Also: modern bloggers have left unprofessional glitter cursors in the age of Myspace.
2. They pick one subject and stick to it.
Bloggers make money not necessarily because they have a large following, but because they have a loyal following. And the only way they get people to keep coming back is by creating a space that’s incredibly specific. Their audience has to know what to expect. Bloggers who create general fashion and beauty sites are probably going too broad, while bloggers doing “Skincare and Makeup Tips For Busy Millennials” might have a more loyal following.
When I started my blog, I felt like I was so multi-faceted that I wanted to include everything I liked. So I was running an astrology/lifestyle/graphic design/web development blog that wasn’t serving anyone. While some of my individual posts saw traffic, nobody was coming back or checking out other posts. Now I’m rebranding to focus on website development specifically, since I’m in school for programming.
2) They use affiliate links.
Affiliate links work by letting bloggers refer their audience to a website, product, or service, and then paying them a commission on any sales. So beauty bloggers can seamlessly link to the products they use and potentially get paid. Think about it, it’s so easy to say, “I used Urban Decay setting spray to complete this look, which you can buy here!”
Amazon has one of the best affiliate programs because they sell literally everything including makeup and skincare products. So I can link to my favorite planners for staying organized or the primer that keeps my skin the most moisturized without turning my audience off. I’m pushing actual things. I even promote web hosting through Siteground in case someone wants to create a website like mine.
I notice that fashion blogs often use RewardStyle to create style boards or sell items from their #OOTD posts, but it’s invite-only.
3) Consistent & quality content.
A blogger who posts consistently great content will attract the kind of following that keeps on coming back. It also means that if a blogger is using affiliate links, they have to be careful only to promote products that aren’t trash. Linking people to products that suck just to get your affiliate link dollars up only damages your brand.
No bloggers can be consistent all the time, though. Life gets in the way no matter who you are. So bloggers often schedule posts in advance rather than post in a giant lump when they’re motivated. Scheduled posts keep their blogs looking active even when they only have the energy to Netflix and chill with their pets (aka: me, currently).
4) They’re comfortable with self promotion.
Nobody can read a blog they don’t know it exists. Which is why a lot of bloggers say that blogging is 20% creating content and 80% promotion.
This means that bloggers aren’t afraid to pull up old posts, especially if they have quality content and affiliate links that worked well. You can breathe life into an old blog by re-posting it on social media every so often because there’s probably people who missed it or someone who wouldn’t mind reading it again. And it’s a lot less annoying and spammy to others than it is to you, I promise.
Bloggers also utilize all social media networks, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. A lot of bloggers claim that Pinterest is their largest source of referral traffic and I can definitely say that’s been true for my blog. Once I stopped being afraid to pin, tweet, and share my work, I saw that people actually liked my stuff.
5) They figure out what their audience needs and sell it to them.
Whether their audience is asking for styling advice, makeup services, or a dope clothing line, they have to figure out what ties into their brand and can make them money. That’s why you see so many sites offering business, blog, and fashion consulting. Or why your faves start selling nail polishes and bathing suits.
Promoting their own product or service is so easy to do via their blog as long as it fits with their brand. Some blogs even offer ‘freebies’ pertaining to what they’re selling, but then charge for upgrades.
6) They reach out to brands/other websites personally.
This is the only thing that’s been the same since the 2003 blogging era.
While affiliate links are an easy way to make money from a blog now, bloggers have always been able to to reach out personally to brands and get sponsored. Companies pay for ad space, the time a blogger invests in creating sponsored content, and for all-around access to their audience.
Just leaving comments on websites/blogs/social media accounts that relate to theirs means that those brands might reach out. At the very least, it familiarizes related brands with their blog, making them more likely to connect for paid opportunities later on.