My Project Proposal
When I originally composed my project proposal, I wanted to do a blog about yoga. I had a plan to discuss different poses and talk about the history of yoga in relation to how we practice yoga today, and I named it “Namaste Up North”. However, upon my very first post about Hatha-style yoga, I realized that I didn’t have a lot to say about yoga, at least, certainly not enough to create three long posts each week. From that point, I decided to change my topic to my other passion, beauty. I deleted my yoga blog and started fresh, quickly beginning my new project by searching for inspiration from my current favorite beauty bloggers. I also spent several days trying to think of a creative name for the blog. Many beauty blogs that I follow on social media have fairly unoriginal names — All Beauty by Sarah, Beauty by Gabbie, etc. I decided that for this project, I wanted an artsy, unique name. I eventually decided on Pure Bliss Beauty; I like the alliteration and flow of the name, and it gave the blog an edge that others didn’t have.
I thought it was important that my project was in blog-form instead of a wiki-form. My idea was that I wanted my project to be a personal journey, but one that others could learn from. Also, I think Jeanna said it best in her project write-up when she said “I’m still not as comfortable with wiki as a thing yet”. And since I wanted to be fairly comfortable with my project platform, I decided against the wiki.
Along with my research, I decided to do three weekly posts — one about a certain hairstyle, one about a makeup look, and one about an outfit. I chose this format because it seemed simple and easy to follow, yet with a little variety in my posts. Within the first week, I had come to a realization: I never style my hair. I have naturally long, blonde, straight hair, and half of my head is shaved. That is basically my entire hairstyle, I rarely braid, curl or spend any time doing my hair. That’s when I decided that I didn’t have nearly enough material to write a 300-word post about hair. During the first week of my beauty blog, I decided to change that to beauty reviews, in which I buy a product (hair mask, nail polish, a new lipstick) and talk about it, discussing price, quality and generally how I feel about the product.
I was a little worried about my blog, mostly about how successful it would be. I thought that if no one viewed or liked my blog posts I would have no motivation to keep creating good content and ideas. However, I was also excited for this project because blogging has always seemed enjoyable to me, and I was really hoping that beauty blogging was going to be as fun and fulfilling as it looked.
Getting Used to My Blog Settings
After all these changes I made to my blog, I started to feel more comfortable with the project. Once I had the theme of my blog prepared, I started checking out the settings and different features. I linked my social media sites to the homepage, and changed the fonts and backgrounds. After about a week, I decided to try adding tags to my posts in an attempt to get more views. I added tags such as “beauty”, “makeup” and“fashion”, and I noticed a huge difference. I began looking at my statistics every day to see how many views, likes and comments my posts were getting. During the first week, I was getting just one or two views, but as the project progressed, my posts were being viewed over twenty times — some even as much as forty to fifty times. As a result of getting more views, I was also starting to see an increase in “likes”. I even started getting comments on my posts from other beauty blogs. Soon, the most fulfilling part of having a blog was checking my statistics to see how many views, likes and comments my posts were getting.
Things I Would Change
One thing that became clear to me early on is that I tended it get several more likes on makeup posts than outfit or review posts. I have two theories to possibly explain this. The first one is that I am better at doing my makeup than picking attractive outfits. I believe this is true because I don’t wear the most conventional clothes, and everyone has their own personal style. My second theory is that people are more interested in how to do makeup because they most likely have the materials to create similar makeup-looks at home. People may want to copy the makeup from my posts, but I highly doubt that people are going to purchase the exact outfit that I am wearing in a post. Personally, when I look at other beauty blogs, I am always much more interested in their makeup posts than their fashion posts. In fact, if I could do my blog over again, I would eliminate the outfit portion, and have the entire blog focused on makeup and beauty reviews.
Towards the middle of March, I decided to try to (once again) increase views. I thought that a good way to do so was to create an Instagram page for my blog. I named it purebliss.beauty. I created a custom profile picture using an app called “Phonto”, and I added a link to my blog on the biography. However, I only ended up posting four pictures. My first picture received seventeen likes, but my next three posts got only 5-7 likes. I really don’t know why this is because I added similar hashtags to each of my posts. I also only had three followers, and two of them were my mom and sister…
After getting so few likes and followers, I decided to stop posting. I hadn’t noticed a spike in blog post views after publishing my Instagram posts, so I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth it to run both the Instagram account and the blog. This is another thing I would change — I would either fully commit to my Instagram, posting several times a day in an attempt to increase blog views, or I would ditch the idea altogether, solely focusing on my blog platform.
Things That Went Well
The most exciting part of my blog journey was the last week of the project. This is because, one day when I checked my statistics, I noticed that I can check what countries my views were coming from. I had over 300 views from people in Canada and the U.S. However, I also had views from Australia, France, Qatar, Denmark, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Guam, Ireland, Poland, Colombia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, India, and Nigeria. It was so exciting to see that people from all over the world were seeing my posts — and it wasn’t always just one or two people from each country. I had 11 views from France, 18 from Australia, and 53 from the U.K. Knowing that people from different countries were seeing my blog made everything worth it; I always thought that the only views I was getting were from my classmates and my grandma. I believe that adding tags to my posts is what caused them to get so many views from all over the place.
What Changed and What Didn’t
The most changes to my blog occurred towards the beginning of the project. As I explained earlier, I changed the entire theme of my blog from yoga to beauty. Soon after that, I changed the format of my posts to eliminate hair posts and add beauty review posts. Those were by far my two largest changes. As for everything else, it seemed to pretty much stay the same. As time went by, I noticed that some of my posts were much more viewed and liked than others; I have already discussed how my makeup posts tended to be more popular. My most popular post was a makeup post: Makeup of the Week – Stardust, which was published on April 7th. It received 44 views, 20 likes and a comment.
Another I changed about my blog was the beauty reviews. On April 16th, I chose to do a beauty blogger Q&A instead of doing a review. The reason I made this decision is because I was browsing through beauty blogs one day, and I found a beauty blogger Q&A done by The Beauty Section . It looked interesting and fun, so I picked out my favorite questions and used them for my post. The Q&A ended up being a success — the post got 21 views, 12 likes and a comment. I thought that doing the Q&A was a fun way to take a break from my fairly monotonous posting routine.
The final change I made to my blog was the last makeup post, Makeup of the Week – everyday makeup routine with pictures. After doing the studio tours project, I noticed a comment from a classmate saying that my makeup posts weren’t step-by-step, they were just basically posts about what makeup products I use. I had tried to create depth within my makeup posts, but most beauty bloggers are actually vloggers with YouTube channels, allowing them to do a full tutorial and step-by-step. That is when I realized that I wanted to change the format of my makeup posts, even though there was only a week left of the project. For the post, I did my regular makeup routine, but took pictures along the way of my face and the products I used. I ended up being fairly happy with the way the post turned out, and if I could start the whole project over, I would do that for all my makeup posts.
Wrapping it up
In the end, I had a really interesting time managing the blog. In the end, I had 26 followers and a total of 529 blog views. However, even more important than the views is how much I learned about blogging — and more specifically, beauty blogging. Throughout the project I learned about settings, statistics, and what my followers want to see in my posts. In fact, I have even decided to continue posting to Pure Bliss Beauty even though the project is over. One of the reasons I felt that my blog was successful is because of how popular beauty has become. There are so many successful beauty blogs out there that, ironically, there are actually blog posts about the best beauty blogs. There are beauty blogs with hundreds of thousands of followers, because young people are fascinated with beauty trends and style. My hope for the future is to learn more about what makes beauty blogs successful, and to continue my blogging journey…