Beauty blogging: make your blog better looking


Sometime last year, a number of you mentioned that you would like to see some blogging tips at Viva Woman and so here it is, after much procrastination. To be honest, I wasn’t too keen on writing this series because I realized that there are so many blogging tips out there and I wasn’t certain what I can contribute differently. However, after some deliberation, I’ve decided to take a more critical approach to the topic and give you deeper insights on how to become a better beauty blogger. So yeah, this is for those who are serious about taking their blogs a step further.

This will be a series but it will not run weekly. If you want more regular blogging tips, Tine of Beautyholics Anonymous has a weekly Bloggie Wednesdays that you can look up. And I expect that you are already reading some of the problogger’s tips if you’re seriously interested to beef up your blog. If you’re not, then stop twiddling your thumb and start!

So my first topic today is about creating a positive first impression if you’re into capturing new readers and retaining them for good. In our context, we can look at this like personal grooming. Your blog represents you and how do you like people to see you? Now, be very focus here. You are not blogging just for yourself if you want to become a better blogger because there is no challenge to do things just for yourself. Always look beyond the horizon girls – blog for your readers! And always know that people who read beauty blogs are mostly visual learners; they have eyes for beauty!

1. Layout
First impression counts. When someone sees you, what kind of impression do you want the person to get? Neat? Pleasant? Friendly? Interesting? Beautiful? Elegant? Modern? Similarly, your blog should convey the impression you want to project. If you cannot decide, you should at least keep it neat and pleasant. The good thing about blog templates is that they are all pretty neat. The only problem comes when bloggers start to tweak their own template and throw in too much clutter. They rearrange stuff around that contribute to mess. So look critically at your blog and ask yourself – what can I remove?

2. Sidebard clutter
A girl that overdress is an overkill. A girl that puts on too much makeup and worse, mismatch makeup is a major turnoff! So likewise, remove all those unnecessary banners and widgets on your sidebar. Having too many elements on your sidebard is just an eyesore. Keep only the essentials and put the others in inside pages. You don’t have to sell yourself all over the homepage; create inside pages! Ask yourself – who are you trying to impress? If you have awards, mention the best and keep the rest in your inside pages. Your readers will be impressed if your content is good. Brands and PR agencies will search your blog if they’re interested to find out more.

3. Navigation
Take the guesswork out of your blog already! Who wants to visit a blog and have to figure out where to click for more contents or where to click to comment? Just like how you would first extend your hand for a warm handshake, be proactive when it comes to accessibility for all your content. Locate the tabs and buttons for all your key information in prominent locations, such as in your header. If you want readers to comment on your entries, then be sure that the comment button is prominent enough. Hello, yours is not the only blog that your readers are reading and they will just move on if they can’t locate something.

4. Pictures
You don’t want to be shabby looking, do you? Then be serious about the quality of your pictures! While I won’t say the quality of my pictures are superior, but at the least, they are clear. Another thing is, please format your pictures using a standard size as different sizes make your entry look messy! This should not be a problem with pictures you take (unless you are lazy) but it might be a problem with stock pictures. I don’t use stock pictures as far as possible and even when I do, I’ll make sure I recreate them to keep to the look and feel of my blog. Honestly, with the multitudes of online photo editing resources out there, this is not difficult! So go and work on this! Decide a standard width for your pictures and keep to that for all entries!

5. Advertisements
If you are into monetizing your blog, do decide early – is making money more important or growing your readership? I started my blog with no advertisements as I focused on growing it. And personally, I cannot bear having advertisements all over my blog. Notice I only keep them to the sidebar and the bottom of the entry? While I know that putting some ads right on top can make me more but I just can’t bring myself to compromise that with the aesthetics of my blog. And seriously, I will never visit a blog cluttered with ads the 2nd time. In fact, I have even given up reading some established blogs because I cannot tolerate the ad clutter. And if you’re a relatively new blog with little readership, remove the ads from your main content and keep them to your sidebar. I mean, why compromise the aesthetics just to earn a couple of cents a day? Yes, I’m being very blunt here…I’ve said I’m going to be critical.

Let me know if these are helpful
Obviously there are more design tips to building a better blog but these are the key ones that came to my mind. Some others like designing a unique header/logo, or making your blog stick with proper color combination are almost an established fact and there’s no need to discuss that anymore. But if you have other tips to add, do share as part of my objective in writing this series is also to build a blogger community for sharing. So do let me know if you find these tips helpful so that I will at least know how far I should take this series going forward. If you’re a reader who does not blog, I certainly would like to know what you like to see in a blog in terms of visual design.


  1. Joyce September says:

    Excellent pointers! I personally detest advertisements being the *focal point* rather than the content itself.

  2. sesame says:

    Yeah, it’s very distracting and some ads are quite an eyesore themselves. I keep trying to ban some google ads from showing without success.

  3. Jyoan says:

    I like the way you do the artwork in this! Nice layerings. haha, my turn to be one of your readers to ask, what do you use? =PP

    Quite true, there is always this slight girl, slight cartoon feel in all your visuals, otherwise it’s soft country style. =)

    And the next thing that piqued my curiosity is, what palette is that? haha.

  4. sesame says:

    The background of the palette is a picture I obtained online – not my picture but it’s free to use. I use a mix of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create most of my pictures. Some of the graphics are self-created but some are just downloads. So if use these two programs, it’s not too difficult to achieve pictures like this or even better ones. ?

  5. EcoBeauty says:

    Pictures! ? Recently, I’ve been putting a bit more effort in preparing better pictures for my blog. This is a bit OT since your post focused more on the blogging aspect of good presentation:
    Previously, I was too lazy to prepare decent photos ’cause my job entails a lot of graphics vetting so I found it almost nauseating to have to deal with graphics again for my blog. But recently, I’ve been feeling a bit uncomfortable posting ugly photos considering the creative nature of my job. Although nobody among my colleagues (except one or two who saw me blogging at work, lol) knows I have a blog, I imagine how some of the young designers I’m mentoring might lose respect for me if they discovered I can’t even be bothered to take decent photos. So apart from giving my readers a better experience, I think I’m also making these positive adjustments partly to maintain the integrity of my profession. I don’t use SLR (don’t know how those big cameras work! :p) but about 2 months ago, I finally bought a cheap digicam so I won’t have to post blurred photos taken with my phone camera anymore.

  6. sesame says:

    Well, you are fortunate to have a design background so you should capitalize on that! Pictures are important and a cheap camera can do wonders too. I don’t use a DSLR and I do wonder if I can handle it too. IMO, DSLR are better for outdoor type of shots.

    Actually unlike you, I have no design training but I like to design and so blogging is my creative outlet in a DIY style. ?

  7. aibicon says:

    I like the way you blog too#k8SjZc9Dxk#k8SjZc9Dxk It’s informative, with sources too and you also uses a different box for the ingredients used in different products.It makes it easy for us readers to read your blog#k8SjZc9Dxk#k8SjZc9Dxk Most importantly, quite well organized! I can find the info I want easily! weee!

  8. mssjackson says:

    Great tips!! Yess you are right! Cluttered pages are just anoying, and dont bring me back for the second time. You have a nice balance on your blog, and I am happy to hear it will stay that way.:)

  9. sesame says:

    Thank you. Yes, it will stay this way. I am quite anal about a balanced design as a whole…cannot tolerate the idea of my own blog looking ugly. ?

  10. sesame says:

    Thank you! I’m glad the information is not too overwhelming for you…I’m still looking into how to improve some aspects so hopefully it will just get better. ?

  11. xx says:

    sesame, how did you learn how to write so articulately? (This is a huge compliment, by the way)

  12. Kim says:

    I like your blog for the tags (makes it easy to find related posts). I also like your pics, esp the first ones and they really attract attention.
    I would like to see that you remain unbiased in yr reviews ?

  13. Ningrum says:

    Very helpful! ? Thank you for the tips!

  14. sesame says:

    Thanks for your comments. I enjoy writing and I suppose the years of writing online has helped. But I certainly have lots to improve on. ?

  15. sesame says:

    I do spend a great deal of time preparing the pics so am glad you like them. As for reviews, I aim to remain unbiased…don’t see that changing.

  16. sesame says:

    You’re welcome! ?

  17. Pollya says:

    As a reader, one MAJOR factor which determines whether I’ll read a blog is ease of navigation. It irks me when the blog page (the first screen that appears) is very big/long, such that it takes me forever for me to scroll down to the bottom; then when I want to go back to read something, I find that I can’t locate it anymore cos I ‘lost it’ in the process of scrolling up and down so many times!
    Your blog is very neat and organised, Sesame! ? And I like that your replies in the comments section are in a box of a different colour — makes everything so much easier to read! Oh, and I like that in your header section (the part that says “vivawoman”, don’t know if there is a proper name for this part) the designs keeps changing — love those patterns!!! Do you create them yourself? ?

  18. sesame says:

    Oh thank you for your comments! I’m glad you like the header (yes, it’s called that!). I created them, yes. ? I just wanted some freshness to the design so always try to change them frequently.

    I think I know what you mean by taking forever to scroll and I totally understand that part about losing info while scrolling up and down. That is why I try not to keep a post too long if possible.

  19. Kookith says:

    Thanks for these tips Sesame. I feel the same way about clutter and I hate hate hate images that aren’t the same size! I am very critical about websites because my job involves them, so I guess I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my own blog!

  20. Beauty Ketch says:

    Thanks for the tips! I will look forward visiting your blog. I love freebies and hope to catch more list for freebies and giveaways you have. ?

  21. sesame says:

    Yeah, being neat and organized help a blog looks better.

  22. sesame says:

    You’re welcome. ?

  23. Swati says:

    wow…I did learn quite a few things!!! never knew about the same pic size but that’s actually true when thinking about harmonizing the blog. thank you so much ?
    Swati last post is: Importance of Oral Care

  24. sesame says:

    Same size pics will make the entries a lot neater and more pleasing to the eyes.

  25. Amanda P says:

    Good tips!
    It is useful to a beginner like me. ?
    Thanks Sesame.

  26. Sesame says:

    Glad it works for you. ?

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