I often get questions about blogging and how I’ve been so successful with my blog. Because I love helping people so much, I decided to start a blogging series on HolleewoodHair. Since this is a beauty blog, I’m going to focus on beauty blogging. However, this advice is beneficial for anyone in any niche. To kick off my “blogging how-to” series, I want to teach you how to start a beauty blog in 15 minutes.
HEADS UP: This post is quite long (almost 2000 words). If you don’t have time to read the whole thing right now, consider pinning it and reading later. You don’t wanna miss these expert tips.
What Blogging Is:
Blogging is a super awesome way for you to express yourself, learn more about things you’re passionate about, and make money doing so. It is also a great way to try new products and connect with new people and brands. It’s entirely possible for you to make thousands of dollars each month with your blog, or even a little side cash. The amount you earn is really up to you.
As of now, a big chunk of my monthly income comes from my blog. I’ve had much success with the parts of my blog that I’ve monetized and I am starting to jump into other, more powerful revenue streams.
What Blogging Isn’t:
A “get rich quick” scheme.
If you’re hoping to sit around all day while the money rolls in, then you’ll be sadly disappointed. While I did say that it’s possible to make a ton of money blogging, you need to be prepared to put in work and invest some money. I’ve spent countless hours writing content, taking pictures, editing pictures, reviewing products, researching, promoting and even fixing technical issues.
Let me tell you a story about that…
About three days before I gave birth to my daughter, I upgraded the server my blog was on at the time. I scheduled the server transfer to happen late at night since the blog would be down for a few minutes. Everything seemed good, so I went to bed (I was 9-months pregnant and exhausted). When I awoke at 1:00 am to use the restroom, I checked on the progress. Well, it turns out my site was completely offline and appeared to have been for hours… while I snoozed away.
Long story, short, I never went back to sleep that night. I stayed on the phone with technical support until the wee hours of the morning, as I panicked that my blog wouldn’t be running before I went into labor. Once it was finally up again, other problems arose like images, plugins, and redirects that were lost in the transfer. I spent the rest of the day trying to fix those problems as well.
While things like that don’t happen often, you will still need to dedicate hours to growing your blog. The best advice I can give you is to treat it like a second job. Schedule out hours to work on it each week. Dedicate some time.
So now that you have realistic expectations let’s talk about how to start a beauty blog.
How To Start A Beauty Blog in 15 Minutes:
So I do also want to throw out that my blogging experiences haven’t been all cakes and roses. There have definitely been some awesome things that I was able to use to my advantage, but I have also made a TON of mistakes along the way. The good news is that I can now tell you what not to do. Seriously, use this to your advantage.
1. Find a Blogging Host
This first thing you need to know about how to start a beauty blog is how to find a place for your blog to live.
I have always used WordPress and couldn’t imagine blogging without it. You do need to know that there are two types of WordPress and they are totally different. WordPress.com is more of a generic, super-easy-to-use blogging platform, directed at people that don’t want to do a lot of technical work. The downside is that when you go with this choice, WordPress owns your blog and doesn’t give you any flexibility. You will not be able to customize your blog, add plugins, or even monetize it with ads.
When I first started my blog, I chose WordPress.com because I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t want to spend the money to host it. Big mistake. Although WordPress did have an ad platform to monetize your blog, it paid less and less as time went on. In fact, once I switched my blog to a self-hosted blog on WordPress.org, my monthly salary increased by 600%. Side note: I don’t even know if WordPress allows you to use their ads anymore, and if they do, the program is tough to get into. Now I use Google Adsense and make much more money, plus I have options to optimize my site for Pinterest and Google which is where I get the majority of my traffic.
Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. WordPress.org is the other option. This allows you to install the WordPress blogging interface on your own host. If you aren’t very good at the technical stuff, I absolutely recommend *SiteGround as your host. It’s really fast and reliable, and you can literally start your blog for $3.95 per month. They also have an incredible support team and make WordPress really easy.
Another major mistake I made was to host my blog on Bluehost (the host it was on when that story happened about my blog crashing right before I gave birth). Additionally, my blog crashed quite frequently on Bluehost. I used to get emails from WordPress Jetpack (plugin) that would tell me that my blog was offline for 45 mins, etc. I even spent hundreds of dollars to upgrade my package, in hopes that it would stop crashing at random intervals, and add speed to my blog, but that didn’t even work. And don’t even get me started on their customer support team….
The only thing that made my blog stop crashing and made it faster was to migrate it to SiteGround. It was super easy and has never had any problems since then.
2. Pick a Theme
So now that you technically know how to start a beauty blog, you need to make it your beauty blog. There are a lot of free themes that you can get from WordPress, and some of them are pretty awesome. However, if you want to invest in something that makes you stand out from the millions of other bloggers, I suggest searching around the internet.
I personally use the CheerUp theme from *Envato Market. It has a super clean layout, is really customizable and is very well-priced (I paid double for my previous theme).
Here is my advice for picking a theme:
- Look for a clean layout. Sometimes, less is more when it comes to blogging. Imagine if you were a reader coming to your blog. Is it easy to navigate? Can you quickly find the information you were looking for?
- Is it responsive? This means that it should scale down to fit the screen of a cell phone or a tablet. A large portion of your traffic will come from mobile devices, and you don’t want to lose those people to an outdated theme. The good news is that most themes are probably going to be responsive, but double-check.
- Make sure it’s not full of unnecessary bloat and files, which can reduce the speed of your site.
- Is there a good support system? There will be times that you will need help, and it’s much easier to ask the company that makes it directly.
- Is it optimized for Google? If it uses old HTML practices, it could be penalized by Google.
- Check the reviews. See what other people say about it. They will probably mention if there is an issue with any of the above points.
If you want to install a theme that you purchased or downloaded from another site, click the “Add New” button on the themes tab within WordPress, and then click “Upload Theme.” Make sure you don’t unzip the file before uploading it.
Once your beauty blog is up and running, take a few minutes to customize it. I recommend taking some high-quality photos and designing a logo.
I totally recommend Canva for editing photos, since it’s free and super awesome. You can also use it to design a logo, and I actually prefer it over Photoshop.
3. Look at Plugins
Now that you know how to start a beauty blog and customize it, I’d suggest looking into some sweet plugins. You can get to the plugin screen in WordPress from the sidebar. You can either search for plugins or download them from a website and upload them to WordPress (make sure they are zipped like the themes).
Some free must-haves are:
- Yoast SEO – This plugin makes it super easy to optimize your posts for Google.
- Jetpack – This plugin is from WordPress and adds some additional features, like the ability to look at your stats.
- W3 Total Cache – This plugin will help your site be faster. You’ll have to research how to set it up.
- Akismet Anti-Spam – You’ll soon find out that spammers like to hit up blogs. Keep them away with Akismet.
4. Write Content
The rest of this post is really just some quick tips you can do after learning how to start a beauty blog.
Okay, so your beauty blog is up and running. Now it’s time to come up with some sweet content. I would suggest spending some time (not 15 minutes) to write at five high-quality, useful articles before launching your blog.
Think about questions people often ask and write about that. Go to Quora or beauty forums and see what people are asking about. If you want to get fancy about it, you can look into keyword research. You can do this by examining what Google or Pinterest suggest after typing in a broad keyword. The goal is to find “long tail keywords” that are easier to rank for, but still get a lot of searches. For instance, “Makeup for people with oily skin” is probably easier to rank for than “Makeup”.
If you want a cool keyword research tool, I just found KeySearch not too long ago and really like it. It’s super helpful and much cheaper than similar products (Use Code: KSDISC to get 20% off). It shows you what the monthly search volume is for specified keywords and how easy it would be to rank for them. It also suggests similar keywords you could try instead.
Once you have a good keyword in mind, you can use it with the Yoast plugin to optimize the post for that keyword. Anyways, this is all information that can be discussed at a later time. Once you have your quality articles posted, start sharing them everywhere you possibly can. The name of the game is to get your content out in the world.
Some additional tips:
- Do your research. I constantly listen to podcasts, read articles and even work through e-courses about growing blogs.
- Pinterest and Google are your best friends. Learn how to make them happy, and the traffic will come. Read everything you can about “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO).
- Be consistent. As your fan base grows, keep them happy with fresh content. Send out a newsletter each month with new posts.
Your Turn: Did you enjoy this post? I will love you forever if you share it with your friends on your favorite social media website…
I hope you learned exactly what you needed to learn about how to start a beauty blog. If you have any other questions, or even tips to add to this list, drop them in the comments section below…