Hi I’m Mandy, a 22 year old beauty blogger from Adelaide, Australia. I’m a complete girly-girl who loves op-shopping, blogging, and whiling away my days with a good book. Towards the end of last year I combined my love of beauty with my constant craving to write and Hello Mandy Hello was formed. I’ve been blogging for about ten months now and am loving it, and I was recently named one of the Top 40 Beauty and Lifestyle Bloggers in Australia’s Voices of 2014 competition.
Beauty blogging is a hobby for me. I really enjoy having a space to talk about the beauty world as much as I want – my friends and family get a bit sick of me going on about this lip gloss or that mascara, so it’s just fun for me to get on my blog and have a chat about it all. Plus, I really like writing and taking photos for my posts, and who doesn’t love trying out new products all the time!?
When did you get an idea to launch your own blog and how important is it for you be online?
I actually used to be a book blogger but I found that I lost motivation to talk about books quite quickly. Book blogging is very time consuming. I absolutely love all things beauty, and I had no one to discuss all the latest products and news with, so I turned to the internet. I love being online because the beauty blogging community is full of lovely, helpful ladies who like to chat about beauty as much as I do – I use Twitter and my blog to interact with people daily.
Did you have someone help you make the website or did you do it by yourself?
I did it all by myself! I know a bit about html etc. from studying it at school, but a lot is just trial and error. I’ve gone through about three or four different looks for my blog, so it’s a matter of finding what you like and then Googleing how to achieve it! I paid for the theme I have now, and edited the code heavily to get it looking the way I want. I also set up my domain myself, following instructions that you can find on the internet.
The right domain name is important. How long did it take you to come up with the domain name for your blog?
Well at first my blog was ‘The Thoughts of a Girl’, and then I deleted everything and became a beauty blog, which I called ‘Hello, Mandy!’, but then when I decided to purchase a domain name that was taken, and so it became ‘Hello Mandy Hello’. It actually didn’t take me that long to come up with Hello Mandy Hello – I thought it sounded fun and cute, which is what I want my blog to be like. And my name is Mandy!
What kind of Theme do you use on your blog and what are the “must have” plugins for a blog?
I use a theme that I bought on Etsy and then edited a lot myself. Being on Blogger, I don’t use any plugins at all.
What CMS (Content Management System) do you use on your blog? How hard is it to navigate within your CMS (making a new post, inserting images, moderating comments, etc.)?
I use Blogger and it is very, very easy to use (although their app is terrible!). It is so simple to make a post, pop your photos in there from a link or your computer, and then get it up on your blog. It’s really easy to moderate comments on there too. I definitely recommend Blogger for beginners and hobby bloggers. Everyone thinks that there isn’t the same customization capability as there is with WordPress, but I haven’t noticed that at all.
What a lot of people don’t realize about blogging is that just like any other hobby or sport or anything like that, you put a lot of time and effort into it! Planning posts, taking photos, promoting your blog, replying to comments and emails – it does take hours each week. So if you don’t love it then you will probably get sick of it really quickly! I spend hours between Blogger, Photoshop, and my social media accounts each week, blogging, editing, and promoting. I’m also beginning to learn that when it comes to blogging consistency is key, so I’ve been spending even more time blogging lately than usual.
How do you promote your blog? Do you use social media channels to attract more visitors to your blog?
Social media of course! I use Twitter for the most part (there are some great accounts on there that specifically retweet female bloggers. FemaleBloggerRT is one, and then there is also the #bbloggers hashtag). I also use Google Plus, and to a lesser extent relevant Facebook groups, forums, and LinkedIn. Twitter works the best though; there are so many beauty bloggers on there!
Is there a way to monetize (make money) through a blog?
Yes there is, but realistically unless you’ve got millions of followers you won’t earn a lot from blogging. There are sponsored posts and ads, which is the what people think of first, but most of the bigger bloggers earn their money offline – appearances, writing ebooks, running webinars, making and selling things, the list goes on. You just have to think outside of the box!Would you encourage other people to make their own blogs?
YES! Of course. There is always room for more blogs, regardless of what some people think, and everyone is different. There is always a way you can differentiate yourself from the crowd.
Please give us some advice for new bloggers and for people who are still not sure if they need a blog of their own?
Just go for it! Google and other bloggers are your best friends when it comes to the technical side of blogging, but the rest comes from you! You will gain so many new friends and so much confidence from it, so what have you got to lose? As I said before, everyone is different and you might not think it now, but you do have something to offer the blogging world. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, just do you.
Images © HelloMandyHello.com