Nail art blogging is gaining in popularity at a rapid pace. There are literally thousands of bloggers out there eager to show off what's on their nails. So why do some succeed while others are struggling to find followers for their brilliant work? It's all down to the details, baby. This article will help you polish your blog and make it the best it can be.
Don't Ignore Your Clean Up
It makes me so sad when I'm browsing through tumblr and I see a really amazing mani with only 4 notes because they didn't bother to clean up their cuticles. Nobody is perfect, we all get a bit of polish on our skin when we're painting. That's fine. But before you photograph your nails, get that shit off your cuticles! Dip a Q-tip (or cotton bud, here in England) or make up brush in some acetone, swipe it over the finger and your look is way more polished. It's like wearing a short dress without shaving your legs. Doesn't matter how nice the dress is, everyone is going to be looking at your furry gams.
A while ago someone reblogged one of my mani's with the comment "I was looking at Nailart tagged posts and realized that the vast majority of these women’s hands have very unhealthy looking nail beds and I’m straight grossed out.". I'm not gonna lie, it hurt my feelings. But once I actually looked at my nail beds I realized she was right! Which brings me swiftly to my next point...
Take Care of Your Cuticles
This sort of goes hand in hand with my previous point, but seriously. As a nail blogger you are taking close up, macro photos of your nails ALL the time. You're also covering them in polish, acetone, glue and god knows what else. This stuff is all really hard on your skin, and it will show if you don't take the proper steps. You want your readers to look at your art, not the skin around it. Taking care of your cuticles sends the message to your readers that you are professional and take your nail art blogging seriously. Read my cuticle care article and get moisturizing!
The nail art blogs that I find myself always checking are the ones that are doing really creative things. Shatter polish is a cool effect, but I would rather see things like Sammi's Guitar Hero nails because I've never seen it done before. There's nothing wrong with trying out a trend, or re-creating a cool mani you saw on tumblr...just make sure you let your own genius and your own style shine through. Think of your favorite nail bloggers, they all have their own unique style. People want to be inspired! People want to get excited! If you're giving them creative, original manis they will be back.
Nearly every nail blogger I've talked to has been an absoloute doll! They're friendly, enthusiastic and more than willing to get in touch with people. So get to know them! Make some friends and make yourself known. You never know who might link to your work, or reblog you to 2000 followers. But they have to know you exist first! I really like Blog Lovin' for keeping up to date with my favorite nail art blogs.
Now, let me emphasise that there is a right way and wrong way to network. The wrong way is leaving comments like "Cool pics. Check out my blog at www.imannoying.com!". Most bloggers are just going to delete that right away because you're not being genuine. The right way is to follow lots of blogs and leave sincere comments, or at least something more than "Nice!". If a blogger thinks you're just using their blog to get your name out they're going to write you off. Same thing applies if you're constantly flooding their inbox with pictures of your nails. If you don't believe me, read this article by a nail blogger. I guess what I'm trying to say is be friendly, be enthusiastic and be yourself!
Photograph Your Nails The Right Way
The quality of your photos can really affect the impact it has on your readers. It's something I'm still struggling to perfect, myself. There's a few key things to consider. One is your hand position. With practice you'll be able to hold your hand without making it look awkward. Try resting on a flat surface like a table, or against a wall to steady yourself. Lots of bloggers like to hold a bottle of polish for the photos. That's fine with me but don't just hold any old item in your hand, it looks ridiculous. The other day I saw a photo of a really cute mani, but all I noticed was that she was holding a dirty rock. No excuse for that!
Another important factor, especially if you're swatching, is lighting. If you're posting swatches of colors, your readers want to know what they look like in real life. Sunlight, flourescent light and a camera flash will give you three different colors. I find natural sunlight gives the most accurate results, but it's something you have to play around with. One tip I've read is to put a couple post-it notes over your flash so it's not so bright. Chalkboard Nails wrote a great article about lighting your nails. Another option, especially if you like DIY, is to make a light box. There's a great tutorial on wikihow that should help you.
Understand Search Engines
This is where it gets less creative and a bit more technical, but Search Engine Optimization is essential if you want traffic. You should always, always, always include Alt and Title tags in your photos. My site gets a huge amount of traffic from google images because I take the time to alt and title my photos. If you use a platform like blogger, it's easy. Post your photo as usual, and then click the Edit HTML tab. You'll see something like this: img border="0" height="337" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-J2BK_bDqp-c/TnowQTuJfnI/AAAAAAAAAYQ/ysRU8LEmTI8/s400/mycoolnails.png" width="400" (and here there would be a close arrow). All you do is after 'width="400"' type ' alt="China Glaze Mom's Chiffon" title="China Glaze Mom's Chiffon" ' and then a close arrow. EASY! Bring on google images. Another tip is how you save your photos. If you save your photo as chinaglazemomschiffon.jpg the search engine isn't going to understand what you're saying. Instead, call it china-glaze-moms-chiffon.jpg so it knows where the words are.
Another important factor is keywords. For example, my keyword for this page is "Nail Art Blogging". That's what I've titled it because that's what I think people will search for. If your posting about a Nicki Minaj for OPI ombre manicure, don't call it "My new favorite mani!!!", nobody is going to google that. Call it "Nicki Minaj for OPI Ombre Mani". Those are words people are actually going to search for. Google "search engine optimization" to learn more about what the search engines want from you.
Don't Give Up!
You are not going to become a nail art superstar in a week. Nail art blogging takes time, hard work and perseverance. If you're feeling discouraged, or not getting any hits...that's ok! I don't get huge traffic every day. Just keep posting, keep making friends and keep being creative. If you really put your heart into it, it will happen.
Tips From Other Bloggers
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