Looking for a ‘comprehensive’ article about starting a beauty blog?
Don’t worry. We’ve got everything covered here. We’ll show you exactly how to start a beauty blog in only 5 simple steps.
As you probably know, the internet is flooded with people looking for beauty tips and new beauty products; and where do they turn?
Just kidding! They turn to beauty blogs.
Just a few years ago, starting a blog was much more difficult. You needed to have basic coding skills and quite a bit of patience.
One of the easiest ways to connect with your audience is through blogging. If you are looking to build authority as well as create an online business that is successful, starting a blog is crucial.
No prior experience is required to get started. Nowadays creating a blog is pretty easy, especially if you follow the steps outlined in this article. It takes no longer than 15 minutes to create a blog and it doesn’t require knowledge of HTML, CSS, Java or any other coding knowledge.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Starting a Beauty Blog
If you’re a fish out of water when it comes to starting a beauty blog, that’s fine. This guide was designed to help newbies get started.
Anyone who now has a successful blog was at one point or another exactly where you are, including yours truly. So let’s get this show on the road.
WordPress, Domain, and Hosting
You must first choose your blogging platform, hosting provider and the domain name you will be using. Let’s define each of these terms and explain how they can help you create your website.
The Blogging Platform
What we are referring to when we say the blogging platform is the program which you will be using to help design your blog as well as compile your articles (i.e., posts). If you’re thinking Microsoft Word on steroids then you’re getting the picture.
Some blogging platforms are daunting. They require that users have knowledge of HTML, CSS, and other coding languages, however, when it comes to WordPress, that is not the case. WordPress is a very easy to use platform and it’s absolutely free.
The premiere platform for blogs and websites is, in fact, WordPress. It powers over 74 million websites and counting. This program powers nearly 20% of the sites on the internet.
The reason why I always recommend WordPress is because it’s simple for beginners but powerful enough for advanced bloggers.
It also offers features that are unique such as themes and plugins which make customizing your site quite simple.
The Domain Name
What the term “domain” is referring to is a particular web address or URL which points directly to your site. For example, our personal domain name is “curlcentric.com.” It is a unique domain name that we own, similar to your house or apartment address.
A domain name only requires renewal once per year, and the price for renewal is usually less than $10. Generally web hosting companies offer a free domain name if you purchase one year of hosting, so this is an expense that you’ll pay at the beginning of year two of your blogging journey and continue each year after that.
The Hosting Service
Choosing a hosting provider is the final piece to this puzzle. The simplest way in which this can be described is with the use of yet another analogy: Hosting can be compared to renting an apartment, except that the space you are renting is on a server. This is the server which will publish your website online making sure it is available whenever your readers attempt to visit.
There is a monthly fee for web hosting. However, it’s usually not an expensive one. The fee is less than $4 per month if you use the special deal that we’ve negotiated with Bluehost.
Curl Centric recommends that for your first website, you start off with a shared hosting plan. The simplest way of going about this is to set up your Bluehost account and then your domain name is completely free. It is easy to use Bluehost, and they help you to setup WordPress, which is the blogging platform we recommend.
For those who are completely new, this is probably the fastest way you can start blogging. On top of that, if you have any issues, there are associates from Bluehost available by live chat which is great!
Starting a Beauty Blog? Follow These 5 Simple Steps
1. Purchase Hosting: Visit bluehost.com and click on “get started now”. As a new blogger, we recommend that you select the “Starter” hosting plan. To choose your hosting plan, click “Select”.
2. Pick Your Domain Name: Now, it’s time to pick your domain name (for example we chose CurlCentric.com). Type the desired domain name in the “New Domain” box and click “Next” to check its availability. If the domain is already taken, you can either type in a new blog name or use one of the suggested names by the site.
3. Setup Bluehost Account: After selecting a unique domain name, the next step is to provide your “Account Information” and finalize the Bluehost account setup process. Select the desired web hosting package and other options. For beginners, I suggest using the “Starter 36 Month” package as it is the cheapest monthly fee. You can also choose the “24 Month” or “12 Month” packages as they have the same hosting offers. The rates, however, differ because of the time commitment.
I advise you to make use of their “Domain Privacy Protection” as it ensures that your personal information is kept private. I always avoid all the other ‘add-ons.’ Finally, provide your billing information. Click “Next” and your account will be setup!
4. Install WordPress: Next, login to your Bluehost account. Look on the top right of the Bluehost homepage and click “login”. Once you’re logged in, it’s time to install WordPress. This is the software used to power the blog. Click on “hosting” on the top left of the screenshot below and the “Install WordPress” link is under the section titled “Website Builders”.
Click on “Install WordPress” and your blog setup will begin. Enter your website information, including your username, password, and blog title by clicking on “Show Advanced Options”. After you have entered all the required information, check the “Agree to Terms” box and then click “Install Now”.
It will take a few minutes for the WordPress installation to be complete. You will receive an email instantly after WordPress is installed containing your login information.
After the installation is complete, you can view your login information again by scrolling to the top of the page and clicking “View Credentials”.
Login to Your New Blog: Click the “admin URL” link in the email from Bluehost and login to your WordPress blog using your username and password. This will take you to the admin area of your blog. And just like that, your new blog is ready for action!
5. Choosing Your ThemeYour theme controls how your WordPress blog looks and feels. Select a theme that provides the design that you want for your blog. The theme that Curl Centric uses has two basic parts to it: its framework (structure) and the child theme (look and feel).
Framework: There are many different WordPress frameworks that are available. However, on almost every blog we create we use the Genesis Framework. The main reasons why Genesis is our first choice is due to the fact that StudioPress provides great support, it is well-optimized for search engines, and it loads quickly.
Child Theme: Once you have the Genesis Framework, you will then want to choose your child theme or blog design. There are numerous options. Be patient when searching through them and be sure to select a design that best suits your blogging purpose.
That might all sound great, but what does this do for your brand new blog? You are currently staring at a blank canvas, and it’s time to start painting. If you’re confused, I completely understand. That’s why we’re are going to completely break things down for you.
The following is my personal checklist for selecting the perfect WordPress theme:
The first question to ask yourself is whether the theme has all of the features you need. Make a list of everything you need your theme to do so that you can refer to this when you are searching through them.
Are third-party plugins supported by the theme? Most themes will be compatible with plugins; however you should always make sure the theme compliments the plugins you are planning on using. For example, if you are planning on installing Woo Commerce, then you will want to select a theme that is designed to work well with this plugin specifically.
Premium or Free: Both paid and free options are offered by WordPress. You can get started with a free theme and then switch to a paid one without too many problems. For newbies, I recommend that you start with a free theme, then upgrade once you start making money. However, if you would like to go with a premium theme, just know that most themes aren’t that expensive. It is critical to make sure the theme gets updated on a regular basis whether it is premium or free.
Pricing Model: There are a couple of different kinds of premium themes. Some can be purchased with one payment that will include all updates and support. Others have recurring payments. With some, you pay for a membership which provides you with access to multiple themes.
Customization Options: Usually themes are designed with at least some degree of customization in mind. It is important to consider the amount of control that you need for your blog. For some people, having only a few major options is best since they don’t have any design experience. Other people like to be able to do as much tweaking as possible.
Speed and Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The user experience that individuals get when interacting with your blog’s theme is very important. Make sure that you choose a theme that has high SEO standards and clean code. For the best results it should look great and load fast.
Want to Start a Blog for Free? I Don’t Recommend It.
Many people turn to Tumblr or Blogger when trying to start a blog because it doesn’t require any monetary investment. Who wouldn’t want to start a blog for free?
You don’t have to pay for hosting or purchase a domain name, so it seems like the perfect deal. Read on to find out why it’s not!
Even though you may not have intentions of making money or doing business via your blog, there is a very real possibility that it will start making you money.
Once the money starts coming in (even small amounts), you will be more motivated to grow your blogging income and that is when your blog will become an income producing asset for you.
Brands and marketing agencies are always looking for new platforms to promote or sell their products. As your blog grows and you become a more successful blogger, they will likely reach out to you.
As your blog readership and following continues to grow, it will become one of your biggest assets. Therefore, it is better to own and have full control over your blog.
That means you need to purchase a domain name and pay to have your blog hosted. Otherwise, you run the risk of Tumblr, Blogger, and many other free blogging platforms changing their terms, closing their doors (several examples) or shutting down your blog without explanation (again, several examples online).
Free Blogs Show a Lack of Commitment from the Blogger
Using a free blogging platform to start a blog means you can’t have a customized, branded website address. For example, with Tumblr, your blog name would read like this: curlcentric.tumblr.com.
This may not matter to you in the beginning, but once the traffic (visitors) starts to pick up, you will definitely want a custom blog name and web address. Otherwise, you’re blog looks unprofessional and shows a lack of commitment from the blogger. Said differently, you’re blog looks like a hobby, not a serious endeavor. Plus, you’ll eventually have to rebrand as your blog continues to grow.
In addition to the ownership issues, free blog hosting sites have limited design and layout options. It is very difficult to customize a free blog and give it the appearance you want with limited options.
Before you go start a free blog, let’s first take a closer look at the fine print under that promise of “free”.
You Don’t Own the Domain Name to Your Blog
The web address is the first caveat that comes with a free blog. Since you don’t pay for your hosting, you are using the free platform’s hosting.
What that means is that you use part of their name, by using something similar to the following:
Note how WordPress is part of the website’s domain name. When you use a free platform that is exactly what happens. You might also be wondering why WordPress is in the name. I will explain this to you.
WordPress has two versions: the .org and .com. When you go to WordPress.com you will be able to use the WordPress platform to create a free blog. However, you will be stuck with the limitations of free blogs.
You can download the main WordPress program at WordPress.org to use on your own self-hosted blog. Numerous hosting companies, including Bluehost, will install WordPress for you if you set up with their hosting service.
With a self-hosted blog, you have complete freedom. However, with a free blog that’s not the case. The lack of payment limits your freedom.
Although the lack of a domain can be remedied through buying one, on many free blogging sites these problems are still part of the terms of service.
To begin with, on a free blog you won’t have the ability to make a lot of money. This will be ensured by limits on things like affiliate links, limitations around ads and restrictions on topics that you’re allowed to discuss.
If you happen to accidentally break a rule that is buried within the site’s terms of service, your site could end up getting shut down and you will lose everything you have created. That’s a very scary thought for anyone who spends countless hours building their blog.
Total control and freedom are the major reasons why anyone serious about becoming a blogger decides to self-host their own websites.
You might think I’m hammering on all of this pretty hard; however, that is because I don’t want you to end up wasting your time. The reason why you are here in the first place goes well beyond just wanting to try out blogging.
The bottom line is this:
Free blogs are great for individuals who aren’t serious about blogging and don’t want to make money from their blog. If you have any thoughts of making money from your blog, don’t go the free route. You’ll regret it later.
After taking into account all the negatives of using a free platform for your blog, I strongly suggest you consider a self-hosted WordPress blog using BlueHost.
Because nearly every single popular hair blog (or other beauty blogs) with serious readership use a self-hosted platform. Simply because they understand the that you must own your blog to sustain success over the longterm.
Luckily, self-hosted WordPress blogs are very inexpensive.
With bluehost, there is a minimal investment of $3.49 per month and you get a free domain name.
Also, there are no restrictions on customizing your blog. This means you can choose your blog name, website layout, design, colors, plugins, themes and lots more.
WordPress is currently the most well known platform for hosting blogs, making it a better choice than lesser known or free blog hosting sites. It is also very user friendly, so don’t be worried if you’re a beginner.
This article was specifically designed to teach you how to start a beauty blog in only a few simple steps. However, it’s important to understand that these same steps can be used to start a blog on any topic, including a lifestyle blog, fashion blog, hair blog or weight loss blog.
By following this guide, you can start a blog right now! I’ve setup more than 50 WordPress blogs over the past couple of years. Please feel free to ask questions below as needed and I will be glad to help.