We are all Digital Divas! We are the most digitally connected, socially influential people and I for one had a jolly good time at the Digital Divas 2014 Gala. Especially since, to my surprise, I left home with the 2nd Best Beauty Blog award, after receiving 1st prize last year, in the Best Newcomer Beauty Blog category.
The event itself was an opportunity to network and exchange advice with other bloggers, get inspired by entrepreneurs and learn strategies for a successful social presence. Because Digital Divas is not a blogging workshop, the amount of useful advice lacked, in my opinion.
I have to give it out to Vicki Nicola from www.vickipedia.ro for her awesome presentation, her honest voice and her advice – video content is the future and the future starts now! This is truly an important factor for a website, not just because this type of content improves the ranking factor of a post, but also because it captures the attention of your readers and – if you make videos as awesome as hers – they’re bound to make a lasting impression on them.
Personally, the event gave me immense motivation to work harder and focus my strengths in the right direction to provide my readers with a more personal and above all, educational experience.
Now let’s call things as they are. Most of you don’t know anything about me or my blog. Hell, some of the Digital Divas judges don’t even know how to pronounce the name of my blog (hint hint Dana Argesan :P).
I might not have a popular Facebook page, own an Instagram account or Tweet that often, I might not focus my blog posts on the latest beauty news available or manage to write as frequently as most of the other beauty bloggers that you follow and I honestly don’t make a point to.
I know what my blog’s strengths and weaknesses are and if you’ll have them, I’d like to share. Call me sentimental and old fashioned, but if everyone shared their true and unique way of blogging at Digital Divas, maybe we’d all have a lot more to gain than just hearing out everyone’s biographies. In my world, they have About me pages for that…
This way, you’ll know more about me and hopefully, when we run into each other next time, we’ll be able to do something other than “smile & wave!”. We’ll get to talk, share experiences and help each other out, like a blogging community should and how the lovely Lucy reminded us.
TinyTouchups.com – strengths & weaknesses
My name is Luiza Burhai, I’m 24 and I’ve been a makeup artist and a beauty editor at One.ro for almost 4 years now. It’s important that you know a bit about me and my background to understand where I’m coming from and what certifies my opinions, right?
During these four years as a Beauty Editor, I’ve developed writing skills, I’ve learned how to write reviews, do keyword research, search engine optimization (SEO), understand the importance of original content & of video integration.
After a year of writing articles on everything from fashion to beauty, health & wellness and everything that goes with it, I became fascinated with the beauty industry and makeup, thus I decided to attend a course and become a professional makeup artist. Here’s my portfolio here.
I chose the best school available at that time – which in my opinion still kicks ass – and I invested 9 months in training at the Kruger-Brent Makeup Academy, where I learned more chemistry than I ever did in school, beauty and corrective makeup, fashion & avant-garde principles, period makeup, special effects and basic hair skills. It was in school that I’ve learned not only how to apply makeup, but also about skin care products and how different types of ingredients work.
What makes my situation unique is that I also have personal experience from working as a professional makeup artist and I extensively research the cosmetics industry, beyond the hype of a new launch. I base all my comments on comprehensive interviews with dermatologists, cosmetics chemists and cosmetic ingredient manufacturers, and on information I’ve gleaned from both medical and science journals as well as cosmetics industry magazines.
I’ve written down some of the elements that guide me as a blogger, a moral code in a sense, a way of doing business in another. I can’t say whether it will help you be better at what you do, remind you why you love beauty blogging or simply leave you indifferent, but I thought it would be better to share my personal experience and values, than share some random comments about the Starbucks coffee or the cupcakes from Digital Divas. Here it goes:
#Provide Original Content
I am the sole owner of Tiny Touchups and every piece of it is comes from my personal experience with a product or state my sincere view on a matter. As I mentioned above, I do extensive research and after a cooling off period, I collage every bit of interesting information on a subject in my own words, which brings me to the next bullet on my blog-code.
#Find Your Voice
They key advice from the speakers at Digital Divas is find your voice and stick with your guns. I couldn’t agree more. No matter how many speakers mentioned the fact that a blog should be personal, I must admit that my blogging voice is neither comical, nor familiar. It’s exactly how I like to get the facts for myself, as objectively as possible and in a clear and non-bullshity manner. Although I sometimes fall truly, madly, deeply in love with a product and loose my objectivity, I still remain true to my voice and argue my point.
#Know Your Strengths
I spend a week on each story just for research, I form an educated opinion on just about everything I post on my blog and I dissect every fiber of a product and share with my readers not just my opinion on it, but also what other users – with different kinds of skin types – have to say about them.
I invest a great amount of time in researching what each and every little ingredient from a formula sets out to do, how these will in turn influence the effectiveness of that product and the different types of uses you might get from just one little product.
I have great technical makeup skills and I know how to explain the step-by-step process in clear terms, that my audience will understand. Tiny Touchups (n.a. Mici Retusuri) is where you find solutions to touch up and improve a makeup look, fix any accidents that might occur when trying out something new, you’re not yet familiar with, without developing a fear of certain looks, products or shades.
One other great strength of my blog is definitely the fact that I use if not always my own photos, professional flawless visuals. I feel very strongly about the esthetics of my blog. Personal photographs, from makeup jobs I’ve had, makeup looks I’ve tested or makeup tutorials I’ve edited for hours myself add to the strength of the blog.
#Know You Audience
My audience consists primarily in English speaking readers. The majority are from The United States and The United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. I don’t have many Romanian readers and that’s because I don’t have a personal blog, focused on my “exciting” life, but on pure and simple facts, tips & tricks. They revisit for the educational value of my posts, not because I’m somehow great, special, have had a TV show in the past or anything other.
#Know Your Strategy
My readers end up on Tiny Touchups because I invest so much time and work in every post, more so than any international Women’s Entertainment Website, that I get listed in search engines alongside internet beauty moguls like Sephora, Allure, Glamour Magazine, Elle, Marie Claire and Paula’s Choice.
That’s not as easy to accomplish as you might believe, but because I put not only hard work and the principles above, but also SEO principles into this fun mix, I sometimes, but not always, manage to be listed on the first or second page in the search engines.
#Love & reward your readers
I answer each and every comment, despite the fact that I sometimes have to copy&paste extracts from the article, because some readers don’t take the time to read thoroughly what I’ve already written down.
My readers come first and above everything else, I take gratitude from the fact that they revisit this blog for actual useful advice, rather than advertorials, cocktail parties that I’m invited to and product launching events.
To honor that, I strongly support contests, unfortunately since most of my readership is not located in Romania, this works to my disadvantage. Therefore, I strive to reward them as best as I can.
# Connect with Other Beauty Bloggers
Here is where sharing gets tough and weaknesses show through. For me, maintaining a social presence is pretty hard, since I’m not the most outgoing person in the world and I also don’t have the guts to walk up to a fellow blogger and introduce myself or suggest a collaboration with those I admire.
But because I know the importance of a strong, harmonious blogging community and that coming out of your comfort zone is the only thing to do, I’m making baby steps. Virtual, online, baby steps towards you, some of the best beauty bloggers in Romania – the nominees of Digital Divas.
It’s nice to know that the panel of judges have rewarded my blog for my passion and my hard work, my knowledge on the subject and my original photo & video content. It gives me pride and motivation, although there were plenty of other nominees whom I admire very much, that work even harder and have way more visitors per month and a fan base.
You know who you are and I hope that next year you’ll be awarded for your hard work. It might not mean anything in the real world, but at least it will give you some sort of personal satisfaction. Congratulations to all of you!