Exams to exfoliators: How to make it as a big name beauty blogger at uni
Charli Babb is a 23-year-old beauty blogger who recently finished her Psychology degree at Cardiff University. She started her blog highstreetbeautyjunkie.com in 2015 and taught herself how to customise her website through YouTube tutorials.
She began blogging as a creative outlet to showcase her interests and opinions, deciding to make a beauty blog because of her love of make-up and fashion. Despite having been blogging for less than two years, she already has an impressive following and has worked with some big brands.
We spoke to Charli about how she made it through the cracks to become a successful beauty blogger and the advice she’d give to all the aspiring bloggers who haven’t made it yet.
How did you get followers at the beginning?
Starting up on Twitter was where I got my main following. By talking to other bloggers through Twitter you get your name out and as other bloggers see you talking to brands they begin connecting with you.
Bloggers will also talk about other blogs they’re following. There’s this phenomenon on Twitter called #followfriday where they use the #ff to list who they’re enjoying reading.
What’s the best thing about being a beauty blogger?
The best thing about being a beauty blogger is definitely the people I’ve met through social media and also through blogging events that I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to. I’ve attended blogger events for brands such as The Body Shop, Lush, Makeup Revolution and George @ ASDA. I’d class some of the people I’ve met through blogging as good friends.
What social media platform do you think is the best fit for beauty blogging?
Twitter has been the most beneficial social media platform for me in terms of promoting posts, but also for networking with brands and other bloggers.
Instagram is great for promoting blogposts through a single photo, but I personally find it a lot harder to build up a strong Instagram following.
How do you make your photos look so good?
I just used my iPhone for the first year, and I now use a fairly cheap compact digital camera that I got for Christmas. I play around with the settings a bit but I’m honestly not professional in any way.
I always use natural light because I find artificial lighting too yellowy. It’s hard in the winter because you only have a short space of time to take the photos, but you should always try to find a space with natural lighting.
I also use lots of different backgrounds that are clean and white. Sometimes I’ll add a few props such as jewellery or a plant, but it’s important that the picture looks fresh and uncluttered.
How did you find balancing it with your student workload?
It was difficult, but I managed to keep up with it all by putting some time aside each week to dedicate to blogging, and I would also write down any ideas I had for a post throughout the week as soon as they popped in my head. I also made sure I took breaks from blogging when I felt I needed to, such as during exam periods.
How do you choose what products to review?
It’s basically whatever comes into my head. I talk about things that I think will either interest my readers or things I’m enjoying myself. I also focus on seasonal products that fit into what I’m using at the time, like autumn skincare ranges or Soap & Glory’s Christmas gift collections. This year the range is #GLITZMAS themed and is really gorgeous and glam.
After a few months I had a few brands contact me asking me if I’d like to review their products and I’ve reached out to some that I’d like to review. Brands will post on Twitter asking for bloggers to review their products, so you can find plenty of stuff there.
What do you look for in a blog?
I definitely like good, clear photos and a nice layout. It should look clean and be easy to read and navigate – I’ve got a search bar at the side so people can immediately find what they want.
If you’ve got too much on a page your readers are going to get distracted. I understand that adverts are good for revenue but if you have too many they take away from the actual content you’re producing.
What’s your favourite part of blogging?
People know I have a blog so they come to me for advice – it’s pretty cool that they trust my opinion.
I get to write about big brands that I love such as Real Technique and Soap and Glory. I love Soap and Glory products – I always use their body scrubs and shower gels, in fact I’ve got one on the go at the moment and I swear by them.
What are your key tips for becoming a successful blogger?
Keep at it and don’t put all your focus on numbers – if your content is consistent and engaging the followers and blog views will come.
I would also suggest to stay original and write about what actually interests you. There are so many beauty bloggers out there, the best way to stay unique is to fully be yourself through your blog.