FROM BEAUTY FASHION MAY 09
By Wendy Lewis
Blogging has become a national pastime. We are obsessed with reading and posting comments all over the web to stay relevant. At last count, there were 286,906 results for ‘beauty’ on wordpress.com, and more are added daily. To make your blog stand apart from all the rest, it needs a voice that resonates with your target audience so they come back and send their friends. The most successful blogs have a distinctly human element and larger than life personality.
Alas, after having penned ten beauty books, I too have been swept up in the frenzy. Beautyinthebag.com was born in late 2008, the brainchild of myself (MWC – Mom With Cash) and Elaine Linker (SCM – Skin Care Maven), co-founder of DDF, two beauty industry veterans who have made our presence, opinions and knowledge known online to beauty afficionados. We have grown to a team of 15 varied beauty loving “bag ladies” ranging from age 17 (TWA – Teen With Attitude) to (almost) 70 (MIC – Mom In Charge), the official editors posting content daily who are identified by their own handbag icon that links to their profile. Our vision was to create a global intergenerational beauty forum with our three daughters, but it has become a much broader enterprise which has taken on a life of its own. The dynamics of the interaction between the “bag ladies” on their posts adds to the drama. For two boomer babes, navigating the brave new blogosphere has necessitated assistance from a team of Gen Xers, who get the concept intuitively.
The reality of the exploding social networking phenomenon is that it can be pivotal to help all sorts of businesses connect with new customers, generate sales, and keep in touch with your customer base. Unlike websites where content is basically static, blogs offer a forum to add regular updates and encourage dialogue with visitors. Posting new blog-friendly content frequently will give you higher rankings within search engines, which in turn will attract more visitors. Blogs are not like print, and grammar, spelling and full sentences don’t count as much as newsy tidbits posted in witty, entertaining and eye catching formats.
Blog marketing involves a whole new set of rules that includes maximizing RSS feeds, tweeting daily (the verb derived from Twitter), facebooking, pingbacks, groups, sharing, and blogrolls to generate buzz online. Monetizing your blog is getting easier and more efficient. Affiliate programs such as Commission Junction and Linkshare offer a wide range of beauty e-tailers to choose from, including Amazon, Drugstore, Sephora. You can selectively add Pay Per Click (PPC) ads through Google and others, and/or sell ads or advertorials directly to post on your blog. Blog traffic is also highly targeted because only people who are interested in what you are blogging about will bother to visit. For marketers who want to learn what real people think about their brands, blogs offer up a world of impartial, often brutally honest views about quality, packaging, look and feel, and value for money.
To keep our subscribers curious to see what we are up to, we constantly update features in the way of interactive surveys, contests, themed product round ups, trends and innovative beauty emporiums and treatments. A new Beautyinthebag Guru interview is added every week, including Sonia Karshuk (Target), Sarah Kugelman (Skyn Iceland), Dr Audrey Kunin (DermaDoctor), plastic surgeon Alan Matarasso and cosmetic dentist Marc Lowenberg. Beauty Battles is a Q&A section where users post their queries and we respond with specific answers and product picks.
Finding time to post is a common lament among would-be bloggers. Visitors have limited attention spans and there are too many distractions online to keep them coming back unless it is current. The web is populated with countless occasional bloggers who couldn’t keep up the pace. My best advice is to make it part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth and working out. Posting is the first thing I do every morning and the last thing I do before the lights go out.