It’s tempting to overlook becoming a writer in the beauty industry. There’s so much written content in the world today that writing looks like an easy job from the outside. You just have to write about your opinions and subjective thoughts, right? It’s only once you think about doing it for yourself that you realize how much work goes into creating content for the beauty industry!
Many different types of writers exist in the beauty industry. You have opinionated influencers on one side who have gained a large enough following that they can write mostly from their own experiences and opinions. At the other end, you have informational writers who dive deep into beauty topics to bring clarity on complex topics. No matter which ends you want to jump into, there’s more going on under the surface than it looks like to the casual reader.
If you want to be a content writer, you must take the job seriously. As with any other career, it takes work to build yourself up and put yourself in the right positions to keep advancing.
From my own experience starting out and growing from nothing, I want to give you a few tips to help you along. Maybe you can learn something from my advice on how to become a content writer, even if you’re just starting today without any experience at all. If you’re ready to start, here’s how!
1) Take Internships
At the beginning of your writing career, your goal is to get a byline or some sort of visible recognition as a content writer. One of the best ways to do this is to take an internship. You can get your foot in the door and start to build a name for yourself without the pressure to find all your own clients and work.
Internships may not pay well, but you’re likely to learn a lot about writing, dealing with clients, managing yourself, working with deadlines, and other important parts of the job. You may even get a byline or two, which is a real victory that’s going to help you along in your career.
There’s a lot to learn about working as a content writer. When you need a shortcut to learn the ins and outs of the industry, an internship can teach you a lot in a short time. It’s usually better to learn in a structured, established environment instead of just jumping in and trying to figure everything out on your own. You’ll be better prepared to strike out on your own and make it work.
Don’t stay in an unpaid or low paying internship for too long. If you’re not getting fairly compensated for your work and no growth opportunities are materializing, don’t give any company more than a few months of your time and your work. In that time, you’ll learn what you need to and get exposed to useful experiences that you can apply to your own career.
2) Attend Events in the Beauty Industry
What better way to meet people and network with the right crowd than to show up at the same events and introduce yourself? Show up at beauty events regularly and work on building your professional network.
The power of networking exists in every profession, even for writers in the beauty industry. You need to meet PRs, other writers, and the people in charge of the published content. Jobs can come from anywhere. Whether you get a word of mouth recommendation or a content curator you meet happens to be looking for another contributor, you could find work from anyone. Throw your net wide at the beginning of your career, meeting everyone you can and creating relationships.
Whether you make the right connections to get work or not, you should be writing about your experiences as each event. This is a source of unique content with you as the primary source. It makes great material for your portfolio and gives future prospective clients a sense that you’re serious about your work; at least, serious enough to attend industry events.
Beauty events also help you learn more about your industry. If you want to be a better writer, it helps to know your industry inside and out.
As a writer who writes about hair-styling, you should know about undercuts, braiding techniques, and popular styling products. Makeup writers should know about color theories, matching skin tones, and how to build a look. Learn what you can whenever you can so you’ll be able to expand your range of writing topics
3) Be Active on LinkedIn
As a content writer, LinkedIn can be a powerful source of connections for you. Try to add anyone that you work within a professional capacity, so you can keep in touch for future projects, recommendations, or otherwise. Keeping your profile up to date and making an effort to start connected, even if just by connecting with people and leaving it, could help you score more word-of-mouth positions later on.
When you launch a LinkedIn profile, you need to keep it up to date. Put up links to your social media or website, post a portfolio, and keep your work history as updated as possible. Make sure your profile reflects as closely as possible what you do and the type of jobs you’ve been doing.
4) Keep Connected to the Pulse of the Industry
Do you know what’s going on in and around your niche in the beauty industry? Tap into the right sources to stay connected to the latest news, trends, and goings-on in your niche. You should keep an eye on the general industry-wide trends, but focus most of your effort on knowing what’s going on in your particular niche.
If your main focus is hair, keep up with the latest hair trends, tech, styles, and methods. Same with makeup, fashion, skincare, or any other segment of the beauty industry. Whether it’s the latest hairstyle trend or an upcoming show, make a point of knowing about it. You always want to be on top of what’s happening, so you can write about it and make pitches from a place of knowledge.
In the beauty industry, product launches are especially important. Many product launches create a lot of hype and excitement, so you’ll want to know when something is coming out ahead of its launch. Make sure you’re tuned into the right sources to hear about as many of these launches as possible.
When pitching topics or ideas for articles, having an eye on trends and news helps you think of novel ideas that might catch public interest. You won’t be able to do this unless you know what people are saying, doing, and looking into at any given time.
5) Narrow Your Niche
It’s tempting to look for whatever work you can get as long as it’s slightly related to beauty. The problem is that if you dilute your work too much you won’t end up with enough experience in your preferred field. It’s difficult to specialize and get a detailed knowledge of a specific niche if you keep branching out to completely unrelated topics. A jack of all trades may be able to find more work, but specialization helps you get better jobs, consistent work, and often higher pay.
When you stick to a certain niche, you unlock a lot more work in that same niche. Getting a lot of experience writing in a niche makes you more valuable in that specific niche, helping you land better and better contracts you wouldn’t get with limited experience.
Niching out doesn’t mean choosing a very narrow topic. What it means is getting gradually more specific. In the beginning, you can define your niche in a broad term, like hair. As you go, narrow it down. For example, you can narrow down from hair in general to hairstyling (as opposed to hair care, cuts, etc.), and then again to styling curly hair. The best part about niching is that you can step back to a broad term more easily than you can step forward into a very specific niche.
If you get down to a narrow niche like curly hairstyles, you open doors to do work with websites or brands that cater to that market. Since you’ll already be familiar with the industry and the topic, you’re a better choice for them than a general hair or writer in the beauty industry. You can still do other projects that are related to your niche, but having a defined specialization helps lead your career in the way you want to go and makes it easier for you to find solid long-term contracts.
6) Stay Curious – Learn from the Best!
Always try to learn how to improve your craft. Find a few beauty journalists whose work you enjoy reading, then continue reading them regularly. You can also find beauty websites that publish articles or blogs you enjoy reading and follow along with their new content.
You can learn so much through reading work by experienced writers in your field. Observe their work closely and try to identify the pieces that you like so much. Are they formal or casual? Is the writer’s personality clear from the work, or does it take on an informative tone?
Take note of the tone of voice the writer uses, the way they structure their articles, the length and depth of their articles, and the types of words they choose throughout the piece.
7) Showcase Yourself
Even if no one is willing to give you a platform to show your work, you can make one for yourself. Branch out with your own profiles and build an online presence for yourself. You can use almost any online platform to make this work, most of which are free to use.
Try any of these:
- Launch a blog.
- Write & create YouTube videos.
- Post to social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.)
As a content writer, you have to make a name for yourself in one way or another. Selling yourself is part of the job. The more evidence you have that you’re capable of writing content that people will read and engage with, the easier time you’ll have convincing a client that you can get the same response for them.
Portfolios are a very important part of being a writer. If you don’t already have an online portfolio, start one today. Look for a free online work portfolio site, or just use your social accounts and your own website instead.
Read about how to make a portfolio and what to include if you’re not already sure of it.
8) Get Published
For the aspiring writer, having your name published in magazines and websites in the beauty industry will give you some extra credibility. From the beginning, you should try your hand at writing pieces to contribute to beauty blogs and online magazines. Start small and work your way up to more notable publications.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be paid for your work, in the beginning, so you shouldn’t devote too much of your time to writing for publications, but try to submit at least 1 article per week if possible.
To get work, you’re likely to need samples of your work to show. If the samples are already published works, that’s better for you as you can show that other publishers have already thought favorably of your work. But, even if the work is turned down for publishing, you should keep it as a sample or publish it through your own channels (your blog, social media, etc.). The more samples you have to show for yourself, the better off you’ll be when applying for future writing work.
9) Learn Your Value
The number one problem so many new writers have is underestimating themselves and giving work away for nearly free. If you do the work, make sure you’re getting value out of it. That value could be your own practice and promoting your own website or social media, or it could be a byline and an actual paycheck.
So many people are going to try to tell you the value of your work. You need to have an idea about it instead of letting other people dictate how much your time is worth. This comes into play when you’re creating a quote for prospective clients, establishing your rates, and negotiating. Don’t let anyone tell you your work is worth less than it is. Figure out how much your work is worth.
This is something I had difficulty with when I first started writing. I chronically undercharged for my work, because I had no real clue what it was worth. It took time and experience to open my eyes. Don’t fall into the same trap! Sit down now and figure out how much you need to earn to make your work sustainable, how much other people are getting paid in a similar phase of their career, and industry averages for writers.
Becoming a content writer in the beauty industry takes time, experience, and practice. If you’re willing to put in the effort and the time, you’re likely to find a way to break into the industry and make a name for yourself!