How to Start a Nail Blog

March 19th, 2015 Content, General 1 Comment

Starting a nail blog is not much different than starting any other type of blog. It all starts with a passion for a certain topic, health and in this case, discount it’s nail polish!

Nail art has been catching on like wildfire and a quick look at Google Trends shows that it is forecasted to keep building momentum. In fact, Google Trends is a tool that you may find useful in your blogging adventures, which I’ll touch on later in this guide.

 

So, if you’ve been riding this nail art wave like a colorful watermarble and want to share your nail love with the world, a blog just may be your next step! If you’re feeling lost about how to get started, try following some of the tips and inspiration below.

Research

If you’re interested in nail art, you’ve probably visited quite a few nail blogs in your day. You probably even have a few favorite nail blogs of your own. What is it about those nail blogs that you really like? What don’t you like? Take mental (or written!) notes about those things and meditate on them. Getting a feel for what you like and don’t like about the nail blog world will help you with the next step.

Set Goals and Find Your Voice

The research process above will help you figure out who you are and what you stand for… those qualities are all a part of what discovering what your goals will be and finding your voice. If you love seeing the engagement that other nail bloggers have in their comments, perhaps that might be a goal you’d set for your own blog. If other nail bloggers websites are difficult to navigate and find certain posts, maybe one of your goals would be to create a user-friendly blog.  To learn more about setting blog goals, finding your voice, and crafting a vision for your blog, I’d recommend diving into these two posts:

Unique Ways For Discovering Your Writing Voice

How to Set Goals and Have a Complete Vision for Your Blog

The Dirty Details

Choosing a domain name, a CMS (which stands for “content management system”, like WordPress, Tumblr, or Blogger), and getting your analytics set up are all a necessary part of getting your blog up and running. This could either be the fun part or the excruciating part, depending on how you look at it. Luckily, we’ve created guides for how to choose a domain, how to choose a CMS, and how to set up Analytics. Enjoy and we’ll see you back here for the next step!

Plan Your Posts

Now that you’ve got a domain name and an actual blog set up (congrats!), now comes the fun part – writing blog posts. Starting on your blogging journey can be a seemingly insurmountable feat. With all of the ideas bubbling around in your head, how in the world could you possibly decide what to write and when!?

One way to organize all of the awesome ideas in your head is to plan the post topic, the day you’ll publish it, and how you’ll promote it. Fancy bloggers like to call them editorial calendars. No matter what you call them, they’re supremely helpful for staying organized! So how do you decide on your topics and when to post them? Below are a few ideas for how to plan out your posts:

  • Look at trends – if you have an idea for a blog post, enter the topic into a tool like Google trends. For example, if you’re obsessed with matte polish (like me!! <3), seeing if there’s any trend around your topic idea will help you decide when to post it. So if people are talking about and searching for matte polish  in the winter months, maybe it’s best to save your posts about matte posts for the winter! …But I mean, when isn’t  it a good time to talk about matte polish?

  • Monitor social activity – Looking at questions people are asking or topics people are discussing on social websites is a great way to get ideas for blog content. If you’re seeing a lot of people talking about or asking about a certain topic, it means there’s demand for that topic and there’s ripe opportunity for you to answer their questions. I remember when liquid latex came onto the nail art scene for easy cuticle clean-up when doing stamping, glitter bombs, and gradients, people were dying for more information about what it was, where to buy it, and how to use it. That would be a great example of creating content based on a hot trend that’s in demand. For ideas on what types of websites to use in this research process, click here!

  • Keyword research – Keyword research is the process of finding the things that people are searching for online. It’s a straightforward process that allows you to then write content that speaks to those searches and potentially rank in search results. To learn more keyword research, read here!

Write & Publish Your Posts

Now that you’ve got some ideas and organized them all into a handy dandy calendar, it’s time to write and publish! Since nail art is such a visual medium, photography and video are critical to get right when publishing content on your nail blog. This is a topic that many nail bloggers feel very strongly about. Having clear, well-lit, cleanly-manicured nails in your photos will show off your amazing skills. Getting that right is easier said than done, so reading through the amazing tutorials, tips, and guides that some of the experts have put together will help you get there. Here are a few recommended reads from two of my favorite nail bloggers. They walk through everything from lighting, to poses, and camera settings:

The Nailasaurus: How I Take My Pictures

Chalkboard Nails: Nail Photography Basics Part 1

In addition to photos, videos are also a popular way for nail artists to show off their work. Tutorials have become an effective means to instruct others on how to create complicated designs. My favorite video tutorial within a video tutorial (how meta!) is from Simplynailogical. She covers everything you’ll need to know about how to create nail art video tutorials, and is also one of the funniest nail bloggers around. And since AmpliFound is a place to learn how to help your content get found, here’s a post about how to optimize your YouTube videos so that people can find them.

When creating original nail art and sharing photos of that nail art, it’s important to protect your artwork. To learn more about how to protect your proprietary images, read here.

Share Your Posts

To get more eyes on all of the hard work you’ve put in to create your blog posts, sharing them is vital! And since images will be such a big part of the content you’re posting, focusing on image-focused social platforms (like Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Tumblr) will likely get you the biggest bang for your buck.

Warning: DON’T BE THAT GIRL. You know, the girl who comments on hundreds of Instagram photos begging people to check out your account, your YouTube channel, and your blog. It’s so obvious that people who are overly self-promotional are out to only get their content seen. They aren’t helping other ladies in the nail art community or creating genuine connections with others.

When you truly engage with other bloggers and nail artists, your blog will naturally grow. Begging for attention will likely never get you there. Engaging with others and contributing to the nail art community to grow your blog will take a long time, but the connections you make along the way will be well worth it.

Monetizing Your Nail Blog

Now, this part is totally optional, but since many nail artists may start blogs as a way to make money (we have to pay for all that polish somehow!), I wanted to share a few types of monetization strategies that are common in the blogging world.

Swatching – many nail bloggers will receive free or discounted polish in exchange for using, photographing, and publishing the photos online. Perhaps start small with indie brands and maybe someday you’ll land a deal with a big polish brand like OPI or Essie.

Affiliate programs – many bloggers will join affiliate programs as a way to make money as well. Affiliate programs pay a percentage of sales to the blogger if someone clicks a link from the blogger’s website and purchases something.

Sponsored content – bloggers may choose to work with brands to review their products (think cuticle oil, a new polish line, charms, rhinestones, liquid latex, etc.) in exchange for free or discounted products, or cash.

The tips above are meant to help get your nail blog up and running! As with the process of dreaming up beautiful nail art and color concepts, your blog will constantly evolve. It’s up to you to “nail” down trends and report on them — or try to spark new nail trends of your own and show ‘em off on your blog.

Have you been considering starting a blog of your own? Do you have any favorite nail blogs? Share your own blog or your favorite nail blog in the comments below!

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  • Lori Clanahan Anastos

    Hi!
    I just found your article, great info! I am going to explore it more. I’m working on my nail art blog, (and have been for a couple of months now) I’ve put in Countless hours, and still trying to get it just right.
    One question I have, is how to I get in contact with different brands and gain affiliates of products I use, that I’d like to promote or put their links on my site? I’ve soo much to learn….
    Thank you!

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