Venus D. Austin, also known as Pinkklipstick, blogs all things fashion, beauty and lifestyle. We’ve interviewed her to share all she has learned in the blogging world. We hope you get inspired and learn from her helpful tips to take your social media to the next level!

Tell our readers about yourself and your blog:

I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and moved to Atlanta, GA 5 years ago after graduating from graduate school at the University of Michigan. Most of my fashion and beauty influences come from my hometown with some influences of the South from my time of living in Atlanta. Pinkklipstick.com was created to be a contemporary fashion, beauty, and lifestyle platform that documents current and classic trends for forward-thinking people of diverse backgrounds. Pinkklipstick.com also features media coverage of local events, beauty and fashion reviews, interviews and video tutorials.
Pinkklipstick

Tell us how you first got into blogging:

I started blogging on YouTube believe it or not. I did beauty tutorials and reviews on makeup products and trends because I wanted to learn how to do makeup. I started to become a makeup junkie. When I moved to Atlanta, I decided to bring my love of fashion and really work on Pinkklipstick.com and have YouTube support the website.

How did you establish your “theme” or brand?

I’ve always wanted to have something that felt like ‘me” but relatable to anyone who is a beauty and fashion enthusiast and wanted to learn about trends and different products. I wanted something that was clean yet edgy because that represented my personality. It also kept the brand from distracting away from the content and the purpose of Pinkklipstick, which is to educate and create a community.

For your theme or brand, do you have things that you do consistently?

Yes. For every piece of content, brand collaboration, graphics or social post, I always ask myself, ‘how does this fit the brand identity, purpose and mission of my site?’ For brand collaborations, I am very particular on what I feature and who I work with. I want my readers to be able to use my site as a trusted resource when researching products or brands.

Where do you find the inspiration for your blog posts?

Anywhere, I typically get a lot of inspiration while driving through the city, whether that’s a content idea or a location to shoot. I like to look at magazines like InStyle, Allure, Essence and StyleWatch. I also like looking at other fashion and beauty blogs for inspiration.

What do you think is the best strategy to get more traffic to your blog?

I’ve seen more traffic to my site by making connections with my audience and sharing my true personality with them. I think sharing times where I may struggle and be authentically human about life. Basically, being relatable and letting that shine through each and every piece of content I release. From a mechanical standpoint and an area, I struggle with most, is consistency – consistently pushing out content that has value to my audience.
Pinkklipstick

What’s your favorite social media platform? Why?

Hands down, Instagram! I’m a visual person and I can gather so much information just from looking at a photo. I think that Instagram allows you to share so much about your brand and yourself via words and images – it’s the perfect combo and it’s effortless on this platform. Although, I’m going to need for Instagram to stop playing with the algorithm and let the connections that can be made there be more organic. These days you have to play into the algorithm to get visibility and that takes out the authenticity and fun of the platform.

How do you gain followers?

I gain followers by posting consistently good content, collaborations, features and giveaways – in no particular order or preference.

Once you have the followers, how do you keep them & engage with them?

Being consistent in content and actually talking to them (responding to comments, asking them questions). I think we sometimes forget about the social part of social media – I’ve been guilty of this. You get so hung up on posting content that you forget to be social and interact with your followers at times.

How many times a week do you post?

I post between 2 – 3 blog posts a week. I post 2 – 3 times daily on Instagram, 2 – 3 times daily on Facebook, 3 – 5 times daily on Twitter, 1 video a week on YouTube, and 2 – 3 times a week on Pinterest (I want to post more here).

Is this a part of your strategy to keep gaining followers or do you post at random?

It definitely is a part of my strategy for gaining and keeping followers. I think you have to have a schedule because your followers begin to expect certain things from you and they will keep you accountable.

What are some misconceptions about social media?

I think some misconceptions about social media is that it is superficial and not a true way to communicate to your followers. Also, I don’t think people realize how important social media is in building their brands, especially their brand identity.
Pinkklipstick

How do you find relevant hashtags for your photos on Instagram?

By looking at what other influencers that I admire and follow use. I also look at where my followers are coming from in terms of hashtags that they use as well.

Do you have photos taken professionally or do you take them yourself?

My photos are taken by my husband, he doesn’t have a degree in photography but has been asked to take photos of other influencers, magazines and companies in the Atlanta area. So, I’d consider them professional! For beauty and product shots, I take those in my home studio that I’ve mocked up.

What are some tips you can give in order to take a good photo?

Communication with your photographer is key. Learning your best angles and about lighting is important as well so that you know what locations would work for different times of the day. Also, keep your poses natural. Evoke your personality into everything that you do, even down to your poses, what you wear and the location that you choose. This will help with your confidence, which is essential when taking a good photo. For product shots, lighting is essential. For branding purposes, background and other elements that you decide to include in your photo should be consistent with your brand in a way that captures the essence of the product that you are shooting.

What’s your favorite location to take photos?

I love alleys! Urban areas are my favorite. Currently, I love taking photos on Georgia State University’s downtown Atlanta campus.
Pinkklipstick

What are your top 3 favorite emojis?

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How do you keep your website updated & relevant?

Research, research and more research. Staying on top of the trends and also knowing what my readers would enjoy from their comments and messages directly to me.

What apps would you recommend to our followers?

Tidal, Kindle and YouTube. For businesses, photography and blogging purposes I have many – hey, that may make a great post for Pinkklipstick!

What else do you want to add to help small business owners?

Keep focused on your end goal. Keep going no matter how hard it can get, even when you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you have this vision that you can’t get rid of and you think about every day, multiple times of day, your job is to push it out and make it happen.
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Blogger Insight: We're Talking Social Media With Pinkklipstick
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