Roundup: The Early Days of Broke for Beauty

Happy Sunday, everyone!

I wanted to take a look back to the early days of my blog. Yes, back when my photos had bad lighting and I couldn’t figure out how long or short to make each post. I’m prepared to show you some early posts that I wouldn’t show off, as well as some early posts that still get a decent amount of traffic.

I know what you’re probably wondering: Why show off what you just said you wouldn’t show off?

It’s important to look back for a number of reasons. First, these posts highlight the passion I had when I started, and while I haven’t lost my desire to continue working at it (obviously), taking a glimpse at what got me started is a great motivator to keep going. Second, I can uncover some great content for the future. The ones that still get traffic must attract readers for a reason. Also, some of these posts cold use a good revamp or updated photos. Or maybe my opinions have changed on a certain product. All of these things can lead to better content that I wouldn’t have thought of without looking back. Third, it’s always a motivation boost to look at how far you’ve come. I am very much a perfectionist when I care about what I’m doing, and I can be hard on myself. It’s easy to say, “I’ve been blogging for over a year, I should have more than 120 posts,” but looking at the quality of my posts from then to now will show that I actually did put a lot of hard work into those 120 posts, and I will continue to improve. Soon, today’s posts will be the embarrassing “befores” to my “afters,” and so on.

Header designs over time

I want to make this looking back public because something that was very helpful to me when starting my B4B YouTube channel was looking at the first videos of my favorite vloggers in the makeup/beauty genre. It let me see where they started, and how much work it took them to get to where they are now. It takes hundreds of videos to get where they are, and I was kicking myself for my first video not looking like theirs. Whenever we compare our first try to something long-established, we’re going to fall short. That’s just how it is. Because over time, those vloggers have  learned a few things that you can only learn by doing it yourself.  It sounds so simple in writing, but it was something I really struggled with. Now, I have almost ten videos, and I’m even working on starting a new YouTube channel to make educational videos.

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The first videos of a YouTuber with over 3 million subscribers

The most important life lesson I’ve learned from blogging is that you just have to start. A pool of content, no matter how small, gives you something to work on. And you have to accept that it won’t look like the content you see on blogs with millions of followers. Those blogs earned their stripes, and if you want success, you have to earn yours too. This is why everyone always says that you shouldn’t start blogging for the fame or the money or the freebies from brands–if you don’t love blogging, you won’t love the work it takes to get to that point. With millions and millions of blogs online, you have to work harder than ever to stand out, but finding your unique voice and style takes time. Let it.

I can only hope that by looking at my early blunders, I can help some of you feel more proud of your own work thus far. If all else fails, you may just get a laugh out of it.

Without further ado…

The Early Days of Broke for Beauty

Early Posts That Somehow Continue to Get Traffic

  • Wet ‘n Wild Highlighting Powders Comparison – This is by far my most popular early post, ranking in the top five read posts for any given time period. I guess maybe it’s a hot topic?
  • theBalm Time Balm Foundation – This one baffles me. I don’t think the review is very clear, and I took these photos on my iPhone (In fact, I took most of my blog photos on my iPhone until fairly recently, because the camera was better quality than my point-and-shoot at the time. I’ve since upgraded.).
  • YSL #5 Lipstick – This is one of my very first posts, and I kept it short because I wasn’t sure how long to make my reviews yet. Somehow, it’s in the top ten of my most viewed posts ever.

My challenge to my fellow bloggers: if you’ve been blogging for a while and are feeling brave, leave a link to one of your old posts in the comments. Let’s share what we’ve learned!

What do you think about blogging and success? Would you like me to do a post or two with blogging tips?

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