How to Make Money Beauty Blogging

"Make Money Beauty Blogging" It sounds simple enough but making money as a beauty blogger is harder than ever. The market i...

"Make Money Beauty Blogging"

It sounds simple enough but making money as a beauty blogger is harder than ever.

The market is completely saturated which makes it difficult for newbie bloggers like you to get your foot in the door.

But fear not, reading every word in this post will put you ahead of the pack.

You could be one of the lucky few who generate a passive income from your beauty blog instead of putting in hundreds of hours and only making enough cash to split a doughnut with a friend.

What would an extra $300, $500 or $1000 a month mean to you?

I have been beauty blogging for 18 months.

I actually dont post all that often and spend most of my "blogging" time researching, experimenting and finding ways to promote the posts I already have.

Today, I thought I would share some of the things I have learnt to save you time. The blogging learning curve is steep when you are a newbie and there aren't many honest and realistic guides on how to make money beauty blogging.

Before I get into my tips, let me tell you about what I have learnt about beauty blogging so you can see what beauty blogging is really like before you get started.

Blogs that teach you how to make money from blogging make it sound so easy.

"Just pop up a review with an affiliate link, get some traffic and you'll be able to quit your day job, be sent all the PR samples and work from the beach"

What they don't tell you that the easiest way to make money blogging is to sell courses on how how to make money blogging.

Yeah, there is money to be made beauty blogging but are we all going to make a full time income? No.

It takes a whole lotta research, work and time to get enough traffic to your beauty blog to make a full time income.

Most of the big beauty blogs either:
a) Started 5+ years ago when the market wasn't so extremely saturated.
b) Jumped on a niche such as 'cruelty free beauty' before it got super saturated.
c) Put out very high quality content consistently - which is a full-time job.

Before I scare you off, let me tell you what I do.

Instead of blogging to make mega bucks, I aim to make a few hundred dollars a month.

When I started beauty blogging I did it because I wanted to talk about makeup but the idea of making money through my blog quickly became appealing.

Seeing other bloggers making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year made me believe there was a real possibility for me to blog full-time. I imagined rolling out of bed at 10am, making a coffee and sitting in my back yard, enjoying the sunshine whilst typing up a blog post on my laptop - yeah, no.

I posted every day for the first month or so and put in hours and hours of work.

Learning everything from web hosting and design, to building an Instagram following. I spent at least 8 hours a day working on my blog and social media.

My niche was green beauty and there was only a small community of bloggers within it so I quickly built an audience and started making about $800 a month in affiliate sales. It was very lucrative but I had to quit that niche after 6 months when I realised natural products are a marketing scam and they destroy your skin. Read my post on skin irritating ingredients to avoid if you use or are considering using any natural products.

Once I quit that niche my income quickly fell to zero dollars a month. A lot of my traffic that converted (clicked my links and bought stuff) was from Instagram and when I quit the niche, I naturally lost my followers support.

I didn't make money for ages as I started to build my blog back up as a regular beauty blogger. Now my income is inconsistent. I made $22.40 so far today from one affiliate link in a blog post. If it continues like this I will make $8176 from that one post this year but its likely I will go days without a sale and it will probably average out and be lower. I may put out some new posts that could generate sales but there is no guaranteed income which makes blogging a bit risky if you're depending on it for money.

While there are perks to making money through blogging, stability is a big issue.

For example, If:

  • Google changes its SEO algorithm, my income will go down until I can get my posts higher in the ranking again.

  • I don't post consistently, my readers may get bored and move on.

  • A company sells out of a product I make money from, my income goes down until it is restocked.

For these reasons, I decided to stop trying to make a full time income and just blog casually.

It was such a relief.

Beauty blogging is a competitive field. Some girls are pumping out two blog posts a day, several Instagram pics and snapchatting themselves posting to pinterest. I can't keep up with that - nor do I want to.

I tried to get my blog to generate a full time income and it made me miserable.

It was freakin stressful. I compared myself to other bloggers who were doing well, I put pressure on myself to werk, werk, werk, werk and it became like a job. It sucked all the fun out of posting. I actually started to hate it.

Even with all the extra work, it didn't translate to mega bucks. It may have taken me 6 to 12 months of full-time work for it to start generating 30k a year.

I could spend less time and make more money flipping burgers.

Besides, I didn't have 50+ hours a week to devote to my blog.

So I stopped working harder and started working smarter.

Instead of being a full-time beauty blogger and grinding my way into a low income (with potential to eventually make mega bucks) I kept my day job and looked at blogging as a hobby to make a bit of extra money.

I post as often as I want. Usually once a week to once a month and I make money from those posts for years to come.

If you are blogging full time you need to:

  • Stick to a blogging schedule and be consistent.

  • Get consistent sponsorship's lined up (PR samples dont pay the bills).

  • Get consistent high traffic who convert to buyers.

  • Be posting to social media daily.

  • Be producing visually appealing content that gives value to your readers.

Unless you are treating it as a full-time job, it's hard to put exceptional content out everyday.

Like I said, the beauty blogging market is saturated. There are hundreds of average beauty blogs that wont stand the test of time unless they up their game dramatically. I am not trying to kill anyone's dream. Five years ago you could take poorly lit pictures of products with your cat in the background and still get views and fans but today - it's just not going to happen.

Unless you can be objective about your content and see it's flaws, you are going to struggle to improve your blog and get it to the level necessary to succeed.

No one starts with exceptional content - we all suck to begin with. I still suck but I am always trying to improve and you really need to be constantly looking at what you can improve on if you want to achieve and maintain a popular beauty blog.

Clearly, I dont just blog for money and I wouldn't recommend that.

Your content will be crappy if you are just putting posts out to make money. You need to at least be interested in what your talking about or people will pick up on that.

So this is why I recommend blogging casually instead of trying to go full-time. If beauty blogging is your whole life and you want to put in the work then go for it. It is 100% possible to make a living by beauty blogging - these tips will work for you too but they are aimed more for people like me who just want a passive income and a hobby without too much effort.

Finally, here are my:

5 Tips For Making Money as a Beauty Blogger

1. Although it seems complicated at first: Learn SEO

If your anything like me when I first started, you have probably heard of this but don't think it's important. SEO is your bread and butter. If you depend on traffic from social media, your going to fall flat on your face when algorithms change, platform popularity changes etc, because it can happen so fast - look at vine. SEO is fairly stable and it's not too hard to update your posts accommodate any changes. It's much harder to rebuild a social media account if something happens.

The reasons I don't depend on social media for traffic:

  1. Algorithm changes, a hacked or deleted account or even a change to the terms and conditions can ruin your traffic. No traffic = no income.

  2. A social media post advertising your blog article will get buried under other posts real quick. It can be easily missed and posting it again and again and again may start to annoy your most loyal followers. You don't want to lose them. With SEO, people who are interested in your post find you.

Learning SEO and knowing how to write to get to the top of the search results will be the backbone of your traffic.

Most people dont click past page 1 on google search.

Lots of my posts are on the first page, some are above million dollar companies who probably hired an SEO expert to get them there. If you think you have no shot at getting to first page - your wrong.

I wrote a posts 6 months ago that moves between number 1 - 4 (I make changes to it a lot to see how it effects the SEO) in google search which makes me on average $8 a day. Doesn't sound like much? That's almost $3000 a year just from one post I wrote last year. $3000 a year is not mega bucks but it's not my only post making money. Spending a few hours a month working on a blog post and then spending more time positioning that post so that it can get the most long-term exposure possible, you can make money for months or even years from one post.

Quick tip: Never hire one of those crazies who will email you saying they will get you on the first page. They will ruin your credibility with scammy links. You can get good SEO by yourself. I will do a blog post talking about my SEO secrets soon.

2. Choose the affiliate link that is the better deal for your reader. 

I belong to many, many affiliate websites. I can hardly keep track of them. Some I use, some I dont.

Some affiliate companies pay better than others and some are a better deal for your customers.

For example, the most popular website in a niche offers 8% commission but only offer free shipping for orders over $100. The products I have a review on cost $60 - $120. If my readers go for the less expensive option, they may not want to pay shipping. I found another online store, selling the same products who offer 10% commission and free shipping on orders over $50. My conversions went up by 400% by simply changing the affiliate to one that benefits my reader more.

Rather than looking at the percent commission you will make, finding the affiliate link that benefits your readers will help you get more conversions which will probably make you more money anyway.

3. Choose Pinterest as Your Main Social Media Channel 

I didn't like Pinterest at first. I didn't understand it. After seeing lots of bigger bloggers saying they get most of their traffic from it, I decided to give it a go.

I have only been using Pinterest for a short time and even with a mere 180 followers, I am getting clicks through to my blog. More traffic = more sales = mo' money. It outranks Facebook and Instagram for click throughs apparently so sign up and follow me.  

Having used Instagram for some time and now focusing on Pinterest, I think Pinterest may be the better option for bloggers. You dont want to focus on too many social media channels because you wont have time to do them well. So find the one or two that you enjoy the most and put all your energy into them. Right now I am only focusing on Pinterest.

4. Sponsored posts will make you money but will probably ruin your credibility. 

Like anyone, I want to do an evil laugh, while rubbing my hands together when I think about all the cash I could make with sponsored posts.

$200-$1000 to feature a product in a post. That's how a lot of bigger bloggers make money but that's also why I don't trust their opinions. I dont mean to offend anyone but I don't see the point in lying about it. When I see #sponsored #gifted or #collab, I ignore the post. It's an advertisement and no one likes to be sold to.

I have never done a sponsored post but even working with a brand on a gifted product can suck the fun out of posting. When there are deadlines, expectations and contracts - you feel like your working for the company.

Beauty bloggers definitely fall victim to the law of reciprocity.

As humans we feel bound and even driven to repay debts of all kinds. It's almost an automatic reaction. When you are gifted a product or doing a sponsored post, you are going to sugar coat any negatives in that product and see that product in a positive light. It's so rude to be given say $300 worth of products and publicly say "these are crap". So as you can imagine if you are being paid to talk about a product, not many people are going to be 100% honest about it.

While there's potential to make lots of money with sponsored posts, there is also the potential for your readers to think your just blogging for money, a 'sell out' or they may just lose faith in your opinion. Once that's gone, there is no getting it back.

This may sound harsh but it's just how I feel about sponsorships as a blog reader.

I used to love so many beauty bloggers/ youtubers until they started doing it full time and started the sponsored posts. I stopped following them because they stopped feeling authentic.

Sponsored posts are not that common among smaller bloggers. Most companies will want to gift you products for a review because it's so cheap for them.

Bigger blogs easily make good cash from sponsorships but it takes a while to get there and when you are there - you basically sell your integrity.

5. Banner ads are annoying and probably won't make you much money.

Putting banner ads on the side of your blog is blog suicide. These may have made money in the internet stone age but they are done. They are a total eye saw and everyone hates being advertised to. They clutter up your page and literally, no one clicks them.

When I had them up, months would roll by without a click on one of those ads.

It's not worth cheapening yourself to have them there.

Basically, banner ads are the slowest and worst way to make money as a new blogger. When you hit the 100,000 views a month mark - maybe try it then but until then, leave it.

I still have my adsense ad up because I want to hit the threshold and cash out the money I have already made but once that's done, I will be removing it.

So I hope you learnt something new on how to make money beauty blogging and what to expect when you start your beauty blog.

I am going to start a mini-series of blogging tips. I will be talking about starting a blog, naming your blog (why I regret my blog name), how to get traffic and much more. My posts will  be aimed more at people who want to blog casually and just earn say $1000 a month.

*This post was sponsored by Hostgator. Just kidding, but they are a very reputable blog host provider if you are thinking about starting a beauty blog.

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  1. Thank you for your honesty and being realistic. This post was extremely helpful.

  2. Thanks Catherine!