I was going to start by talking about how to establish yourself in the beauty blog niche. But it can’t really be called a niche anymore, can it?
Beauty blogging is mainstream culture, and it now has its own niches—everything from nail polish art to which kinds of makeup to use if you’re pregnant. There are even male beauty bloggers.
If beauty blogging covers such a full spectrum of interests, what is a beauty blog exactly? They’re usually blogs that focus on hair, makeup, skincare, and fashion. When they’re well done, they can also often cross over into lifestyle blog territory.
The most successful beauty bloggers can become influencers who are sought out (and paid) by brands all over the world.
If you’ve been wondering how to start a beauty blog, let’s take a look at how it’s done.
Some of the Requirements for a Successful Beauty Blog
One of Those Niches We Talked About
You may have wide-ranging ideas and talents, but the best way to gain traction for a blog is to specialize. It’s a crowded field, so it’s important to put your finger on what makes you unique and expand on that.
The things that make you different—or that you struggle with—are relatable, and being relatable builds your audience.
The more specialized your focus, the easier it will be to get a running start. Remember, there are always people dealing with the same issues you are, and they’ll form your core audience.
If blogging about beauty is an avocation rather than a hobby, your odds of success are better. Even if you live and breathe beauty products, building a blog audience is a long-term project. Be aware of that going in and you’ll be less likely to become frustrated during slow or stressful periods.
A Home Base
Since you’re blogging, your blog needs a home, and that home should be your own website. One that you control and manage. Where you build that home and which tools you make it with are vital decisions. If it sounds serious and complicated, it doesn’t have to be.
Let’s get down to business and talk about how to get started. Take it one step at a time, and you’ll be up and running before you know it.
Creating Your Own Website Can Be a Breeze
Even if you’re not especially fond of the technical bits, there are only a few steps to getting a site online. You don’t need to hire a professional web developer. If you’ve never built a website, it can feel daunting. But I promise it’s not as difficult as it seems.
First Stop, a Good Web Host
A lot of people get their blog started on a free site. Free platforms like Blogspot and Tumblr host hundreds of millions of blogs, so they must be okay, right?
Well, yes and no. But mostly no.
For a casual hobby blog, free blogging platforms are fine. For everyone else, though, the “free” price comes along with several problems.
They aren’t brandable.
Fashion and beauty bloggers put a lot of hard work into their blogs. You’re a person, yes, but you’re building a brand. A domain name like nailcrazy.blogspot.com or walkinmyshoes.tumblr.com does not promote your brand. It promotes Blogspot and Tumblr. There’s a reason there are no successful beauty blogs on free sites. Because people, your audience, don’t take them seriously.
You will be severely limited.
When your blog runs on someone else’s site, you sacrifice a lot of freedom. Whether it’s the freedom to do the kind of advertising you’d like or to deploy technical enhancements or improvements. And you’re really in trouble if your content ever oversteps the platform’s terms and conditions. Your site, and all of the work you put into building it, could disappear overnight.
Google doesn’t care about sites on free blog platforms.
In order to flourish, you’re going to need Google. But Google considers standalone websites to have much more authority and relevance than sites on Blogspot or Tumblr. Right or wrong, that’s just the way it is. You’ll rarely see a website on a free blogging platform in the first few pages of Google search results.
Eventually, you will want to move your blog to your own domain and moving sucks—a lot.
When the limitations of free blogging platforms become problematic, people move their blogs. That’s a terrible experience for a lot of reasons. None of the free blog sites make it easy to download your content. So you can look forward to hours (or days) of cutting and pasting. No, thank you! But even worse than that, when you move, your domain name is going to change. You’ll be starting over on your new domain. All of your previous SEO work will be lost.
The platform owns your site; you don’t.
Look closely at the terms and conditions for a free blog site and you’ll find that ownership is a question. In some cases, it’s stated in plain language that the site owns the content. In most cases, that ownership is implied deep in long paragraphs of legal doublespeak. But whether the site technically owns your work is ultimately irrelevant, since they can remove it whenever they’d like.
Hopefully, these points will help to convince you that you need your own website and domain. For your beauty blog to stand a chance, it has to start on solid ground.
Which brings me to my recommendation, GreenGeeks.
The perfect home for your site, GreenGeeks specializes in WordPress hosting, which I’m going to recommend in a minute. If you ever need a question answered, the knowledgeable and friendly support staff are only a click or call away.
And the best part is we’re called GreenGeeks because we are the most eco-friendly web hosting company in the world. If you want to reduce your website’s ecological impact, GreenGeeks is for you.
We match every kilowatt of power we take from the electrical grid with three times the amount in the form of renewable energy via the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. When you host at GreenGeeks, you stop being part of the problem and immediately become part of the solution.
Most importantly, when your blog is hosted at GreenGeeks, it has room to grow. And you intend to grow, don’t you?
Did Somebody Say WordPress?
WordPress was invented for blogs, and blogging is still their primary focus. And I promised that building your site wouldn’t be too hard, so I wouldn’t suggest anything but WordPress.
WordPress prides itself on being easy to install. But setting it up in your GreenGeeks account is even easier. I do a new WordPress installation on a GreenGeeks account nearly every day, and, no joke, it takes about 90 seconds.
Themes Make the WordPress World Turn
Themes are a matter of taste, and everyone’s palate is different. But I’ll make a few suggestions here to get you started. Installing themes is easy, so you can try them on for size before you decide.
Chic Lifestyle is a chic (naturally), feminine, minimalist WordPress theme. It’s fully responsive and multipurpose, enabling you to customize with a live preview. Lightweight, SEO friendly, easy to use, and customizable.
Beauty Studio comes with good social media integration right out of the box. It has all of the WordPress essentials, including custom widgets, responsive layout, featured section, custom sidebars, and more.
Savona Fame boasts a simple layout with a top bar for social links and a menu centered below the logo. The attractive color palette is the perfect start for any beauty blog. Note that Savona Fame is a child theme of Savona, so you’ll have to install both themes.
Olivie is an elegant WordPress theme designed for beauty, fashion, and lifestyle blogs. Multiple layouts, ready for ad placements, and a built-in newsletter signup form make Olivie a natural choice.
Didi is a sophisticated theme built around the needs of beauty and lifestyle blogs. Features include newsletter signup, related posts, and customizable footer widget. Didi provides sleek typography and layout that bring the visitor’s focus to the content. Multiple homepage designs and layouts and easy setup.
Plugins Make WordPress Sing
Themes are the icing, but plugins are the cake. Here are some plugins that will help make your beauty blog purr.
Social Photo Feed
Social Photo Feed displays posts from Instagram accounts. If you have more than one account, each can be made into different feeds on your website. It integrates into any website because you can customize the number of photos, image size, and background color. Displaying your Instagram feed on your website is a surefire way to increase your follower count.
Better Click To Tweet
Better Click To Tweet lets you mark a short section of any post or page and make it Tweetable. A Twitter link is good (set one up with your social links), but Click To Tweet is better.
Social Media Share Buttons
Speaking of social links, here’s a useful plugin. Social Media Share Buttons lets you add share icons for Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, and many others. You can assign multiple actions to a single social media share icon. So, for example, a Facebook share icon that can also let visitors like your page.
Mailchimp for WordPress
I’m recommending Mailchimp for WordPress even though I don’t know if you use Mailchimp. Well, one of the side effects of building a blog is it gives you a perfect opportunity to ask for email addresses and build a mailing list. Mailchimp lets you contact that mailing list. And it’s free for lists up to 2,000 recipients! Sign up for Mailchimp, and install this plugin to connect your blog to your mailing list.
My boss is going to yell at me for this recommendation. “Everyone already uses Yoast! We don’t need to recommend it!” But I feel like I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t mention it in an article about blogging. We talked a bit about the importance of Google, and this plugin helps make Google work for you. It does a few things for you automatically, but its real strength is the way it guides your SEO efforts.
Get out There and Talk It Up
If you don’t tell the world about your blog, no one will. At least not at first. Promotion never really ends, but once you build some momentum, it can practically take care of itself. That’s off in the future, though, so to get started, here are some useful tips.
For a beauty blogger, there’s no better tool than Instagram. If you can establish your brand there, other doors will open more easily. Always keep a link to your website in your bio, and hashtag, hashtag, hashtag. Did I mention hashtags? They are the key to making Instagram—or any social platform—work for you.
Similar to Instagram, yet somehow completely different, Pinterest is a valuable social media site for anyone in the beauty field. You focus your efforts on the visual side of life, so Pinterest (and Instagram) are where you’ll get the best return on your time investment.
You’ve never heard of Ello, but millions of other creative people have. It caters to visual artists, but the format emphasizes images, and that’s your sweet spot. The people who love Ello love beauty and aesthetics. They are your people and target audience.
Not every beauty blogger produces video. But if you do, I probably don’t have to suggest making the most of YouTube. One of the most popular destinations online, YouTube has built entire careers for its most successful users. It’s tailor-made for beauty tutorials, but the competition can be fierce.
Get to Know Some Influencers
If you can work with influencers in your niche, you can be guaranteed access to a new audience. This one isn’t easy. You can’t register for a website or service to gain access to high-profile bloggers. But if you’re friendly and persistent (there’s that word again), you can make connections.
Getting an influencer to share your content on their channels is a good thing. But also be on the lookout for opportunities to share their content in your blog.
What Can You Do With a Beauty Blog?
Make a Living
Goals, right? But achievable goals. It won’t be easy, but jobs aren’t supposed to be easy. If you dedicate yourself, you can make your voice heard. If you work hard and get it right, the opportunities will find you. But until they do, a lot of beauty bloggers earn referral fees from affiliate programs or networks.
Communicate With Like-Minded Souls
We talked about niches quite a bit, and the niches are where we find kindred spirits. If you aren’t approaching beauty blogging as a career, it can still be a source of joy and connection. Or a place for people with yellow hair or green shoes to share and feel the camaraderie. Giving tips (about anything) is the best way to get tips in return. You’ll likely learn more from your blog than you teach.
Improve Your Self-Image
Yeah, I said it. The truth and reality are we don’t all fall into traditional definitions of beauty. In fact, if you go by stereotypical Western standards, the vast majority of us are downright unappealing. We’re not, of course. But we live in a strange and judgmental world, and it leaves a lot of us feeling left out.
But as I pointed out in the previous section, your people are out there. There is strength in numbers, even small numbers. Surround yourself with people who provide positive reinforcement and leave the unrealistic, punitive “standards” in the dust.
Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep
They started as modest and unassuming makeup blogs, but today, beauty blogs have practically taken over the industry. There’s no doubt about the influence that beauty bloggers have.
So it’s conceivable that your beauty blog could open doors in the beauty industry (if that’s your goal). Your blog can create opportunities that aren’t available to the general public.
Whatever your goals or intentions, I hope this article has helped by providing a few tools and ideas. Now it’s your turn to get started.