I often get questions about blogging and how I’ve been so successful with my blog. In particular, people want to know how to start a beauty blog.
Because I love helping people so much, I decided to write a post about it. Since this is a beauty blog, I’m going to focus on beauty blogging. However, this advice is beneficial for anyone in any niche.
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.
Just to show you, here is a screenshot of my monthly earnings from one revenue stream.
To be 100% honest, I still work a full-time job. This is the cash I make each month from my side-hustle. And to be honest, this really isn’t that much money compared to the amount I see a lot of other people make.
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 time and invest some money. I’ve spent countless hours writing content, taking pictures, editing pictures, reviewing products, researching, promoting and even fixing technical issues.
About three days before I gave birth to my oldest 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 had been for hours… while I snoozed away (a major reason why I moved my blog to SiteGround… more about that later).
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:
The rest of this post is about the steps you need to take to start your own blog today. Here is an overview:
- Step 1: Find a host and install WordPress
- Step 2: Pick out a theme and brand your blog
- Step 3: Add plugins
- Step 4: Create content
Step 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.
While there are many other content management systems available, I’ve always used WordPress and couldn’t imagine blogging without it. In fact, most bloggers use it.
You do need to know that there are two versions of WordPress and they are totally different. WordPress.com and WordPress.org. I highly recommend going with WordPress.org.
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 Mediavine and make so much more money.
Plus, when you self-host, you have better options to optimize your site for Pinterest and Google which is where I get the majority of my traffic.
If you are serious about blogging, you need to self-host your blog. Which brings me to the next point…
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. HolleewoodHair is hosted on SiteGround and I love it.
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.
Like I said earlier, another major mistake I made in the past was hosting it with a bad company (this is when that story happened about my blog crashing right before I gave birth). Additionally, my blog crashed quite frequently with that company.
I used to get emails from WordPress Jetpack (I don’t use Jetpack anymore and you shouldn’t either) 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…
Literally, the only thing that sped up my site and made it stop crashing was moving it to SiteGround. It was super easy and I haven’t had any problems since.
Follow this ultimate guide on how to start a WordPress blog for cheap to learn the exact steps needed to set your blog up with SiteGround!
Step 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 legit. However, if you want to stand out from the millions of other bloggers, I suggest investing in something better.
This site uses GeneratePress, which is extremely lightweight (speed is super important to blogging) and very easy to customize. There are tons of premade layouts and you can further customize them with tons of different options.
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. Most 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. This is why I love GeneratePress.
- 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 banners. I actually prefer it over Photoshop. You can even buy premade Canva templates for Pinterest to help you get started!
Another cool tip to help you get started is to use Envato Elements.
This subscription service allows you to download unlimited fonts, themes, stock photography, stock videos and so much more. Packages start at $16.50/month, which is a pretty awesome deal considering all those things usually cost more than that.
Step 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).
Be careful not to go too overboard with plugins since they can weigh down your site and make it slower. Go for just the necessities.
Some must-have plugins are:
- Yoast SEO (which helps you optimize your content for search engines)
- Akismet or Anti-Spam
- WP Rocket (to optimize and speed up your site)
- Social Pug or Social Media Warfare (for social media sharing)
- Wordfence (for security)
Make sure to delete Jetpack, which comes with WordPress. It can drag down your site and you should use Google Analytics to track your progress instead.
There are a ton of different plugins you can choose from but make sure to only use what you need.
Step 4. Write Content
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 to write at least 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”.
Once you have a good keyword in mind, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to optimize the post for that keyword.
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.
- Check out my ultimate list of blogging resources to see all the tools I use on my blogs!
YOUR TURN: Did you learn what you needed to about blogging? Do you have any other tips on how to start a beauty blog? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below…