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 five simple steps.
They turn to beauty blogs like Curl Centric.
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 thriving blog was at one point or another exactly where you are, including yours truly. So let’s get this show on the road.
Table of Contents
- A Step-By-Step Guide to Starting a Beauty Blog
- Starting a Beauty Blog? Follow These 5 Simple Steps
- What Should I Blog About?
- What Camera Do Beauty Bloggers, Vloggers, Youtubers and Instagrammers Use?
- What Are the Best Lens for Beauty and Fashion Photography?
- What’s the Best Softbox Lighting Kit for Photography?
- What Is the Best Camera and iPhone Tripod for Vlogging?
- The Best Photo Editing Apps for Bloggers
- Want to Start a Blog for Free? I Don’t Recommend It.
- Free Blogs Show a Lack of Commitment from the Blogger
- The Right Way to Create Content for Your Beauty Blog
- Developing Your First Beauty Blogging Ideas (i.e., Content)
- How Success Beauty Bloggers Create Amazing Content
WordPress, Domain, and Hosting
You must first choose your blogging platform, hosting provider (i.e., web host) 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
The blogging platform is the program that you will use to help design your blog (short for weblog) as well as compile and organize your articles (i.e., posts). If you’re thinking Microsoft Word or Google Docs 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 content management system (CMS), and it’s absolutely free.
The premiere CMS 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 to use, 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 Uniform Resource Locator (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, a high quality, cheap hosting service, 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 that 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 “Basic 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 Bluehost account will be created!
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! Try it with your blog.
5. Choosing Your Theme: Your 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 for your theme 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 for themes.
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 that the theme you chose 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 theme designers, like StudioPress, 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.
What Should I Blog About?
Now that you’ve learned how to start your blog, it’s critical to determine where you should focus. Once you focus (or niche-down) creating a successful blog becomes a lot easier. For convenience, I’ve included some examples of how you might initially focus your blog on a specific niche:
- Make-up artistry. If you can beat faces (that’s slang for putting on make-up by the way), you can demonstrate your skills on your blog and build a following of aspiring make-up artists.
- Product reviews. Everyone loves good hair or beauty products. If you’re a product junkie, consider starting a product review blog.
- Nails. If you’re a fan of cute manicures and pedicures, starting a blog that focuses on nail art could be a focal point. With lots of photos, Pinterest could also be a significant traffic source.
- Budget Blogging. Since couponing is such a popular activity nowadays, starting a blog that’s focused on affordable brands or deals could become very successful.
What Camera Do Beauty Bloggers, Vloggers, Youtubers and Instagrammers Use?
While I’ve been blogging for many years, I’m definitely not a professional photographer. In fact, I use quite a few stock photos on my blogs. Although, over the years I’ve become my familiar with photography and videography equipment.
Actually, one of the biggest obstacles associated with photography and videography is the unfamiliarity with equipment. For this reason, when you’re starting a beauty blog, it’s important that you have the necessary equipment to produce high-quality content for your blog.
The equipment listed in this article has been used primarily for blogging purposes, but for amateur photographers, this could be helpful as well.
The Best Cameras for Beauty Gurus
Canon-7D: This is a full-frame camera which is helpful in capturing more in each shop. Photos it produces are clear, crisp, and beautiful.
Several of the most popular beauty bloggers use Canon cameras, although if you’re a beginner we recommend starting with your mobile phone until you start making some money from your blog.
Canon Rebel T6i: This is a great camera to learn on. It has a cropped sensor rather than a full-frame. It still captures great photos. If your newbie, with funds to invest, I think that the Canon Rebel T6i is a great option.
What’s the Best Entry Level DSLR for Bloggers: Canon vs Nikon?
Canon and Nikon are both fantastic brands. Personally, I’ve historically been a huge fan of Nikon, although most beauty bloggers (including my wife) are partial to Canon cameras.
We own both brands, although when choosing a brand, it’s important to understand that both companies produce high-quality cameras that take amazing quality photos.
However, Canon is much easier to learn (in my opinion) compared to Nikon. Choosing between the two is based on personal preference.
What Are the Best Lens for Beauty and Fashion Photography?
Since my wife and I have purchased several cameras over the years, our “camera bag” includes several lenses. The list of lenses below includes my current favorites.
The Best Lenses for Beauty and Fashion Photography
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8: Sometimes this lens can be referred to as the “nifty fifty.” Compared to other lenses, this one is affordable and captures great details in interior space pictures.
In addition, “bokeh”, the blurriness in the background with the main subject in focus, is easy with this lens and the effect makes pictures look more artistic.
For this lens, it would be best to capture the main subject rather than an entire room. The lens is more zoomed in, so to get a wider frame you would have to stand back far.
Tamron AF 28-75 mm f/2.8: This lens is primarily used for mid-range shots. This is considered a zoom lens, meaning it can take close up shots or full rooms.
Tamron SP 15-30 mm f/2.8: This lens can capture full rooms or tight space, which other lenses cannot achieve. The lens is able to capture smaller spaces such as a cramped room or a master closet.
What’s the Best Softbox Lighting Kit for Photography?
I’ve never really been a big fan of using lighting kits, but Kira (my wife) loves them. I’ve lately come around, as they do produce very nice looking photos and videos for beauty and fashion bloggers.
Actually, one of my wife’s Christmas gifts two years ago was a brand new softbox lighting kits. Our current house has quite a bit of natural light, so when possible, we still use natural lighting as much as possible.
Although, when we film at night or in rooms with poor lighting we often use additional lighting. If you need additional lighting whenever you film or take photos, below are the current setups that I recommend.
The Best Softbox Lighting Kits for Beauty and Fashion Bloggers
Most photography looks more appealing with natural lighting, but there are spaces such as closets, basements, garages, or bathrooms that may need additional light. When shooting a video or capturing a photo in these environments, artificial lighting will be necessary. Below are three lighting options that can be considered.
Neewer Softbox Lighting Kit: With this softbox lighting kit, the photos still portray the correct color of items in the space, and dark areas are lit up nicely.
Cowboy Studio Umbrella Lighting Kit: This umbrella light kit will bring out more cool colors in spaces, which will, in turn, create photos with more cooler tones.
Neewer TT560 External Flash: The aforementioned lighting kits can be difficult to lug around and may not fit into every space, so that is when this option would be beneficial.
This can be popped onto the camera. A useful way to use this and produce better quality shots is to point the flash upwards so that the light bounces down from the ceiling rather than bouncing off the subject.
What Is the Best Camera and iPhone Tripod for Vlogging?
My wife, Kira, also has a couple of tripods. One is a smaller one for her iPhone, and the other is designed for professional photography. The two options listed below are designed for serious beauty bloggers.
Manfrotto Travel Tripod: This tripod, which is similar to the one Kira uses for her iPhone, holds up in almost every situation. It is ideal for smaller lenses, as the tripod struggles with holding the weight of heavier cameras.
Vanguard Alta Pro: This tripod is a heavy duty option for larger cameras. This tripod can easily change positions, and it holds the camera in place.
The Best Photo Editing Apps for Bloggers
Canva: Canva is one of my favorite photo editing tools that I use to design blog images for Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Canva does not have all of the features of a more advanced tool, like Photoshop, but it is good for beginners and it helps with creating collages.
Photoshop: As previously mentioned, for lightweight photo editing I use Canva, otherwise I edit the remaining photos in Photoshop. There is a learning curve, but it’s easy enough to use and diverse enough for most projects.
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 long term.
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 a weight loss blog.
The Right Way to Create Content for Your Beauty Blog
There are more than enough beauty blogs that are filled with fluff, designed simply to attract readers, without actually offering their audience anything that will keep them interested and engaged.
So, where do you start?
How do you ensure that you are providing your readers with content that will prove to be valuable to them?
This is why it is so essential that you create a beauty blog that is based on a topic that you have a fair amount of familiarity with or plan to gain familiarity over time.
If you are well-informed and knowledgeable about the topic then you will be able to ensure that your content isn’t just bland and technical; it will be infused with your personal opinions and the passion that you have for the topic.
Developing Your First Beauty Blogging Ideas (i.e., Content)
Cheerful video blogger (or vlogger) recording a new video for her YouTube channel.
Your blog post ideas need to be relevant, interesting, engaging, and above all, it needs to be content that people actually want to read, and even take the time to share within their social networks.
The more that you are emotionally invested in your topic, the more you’ll enjoy writing about it. We all have our own process for writing, so it is important to develop the process that will help you to turn out good blog posts in a timely manner.
Here are some great blogging tips to help get you started with your blog’s content:
1. Target for 1,500-3,000 words.
For most pieces of content on your site, you’ll want to shoot for 1,500 words or more. Many of the articles on Curl Centric are between 1,500 and 3,000 words. You’ll even notice that some articles are more than 7,000 words.
This is mostly because there’s a lot of really strong evidence that longer pages rank better in the search engines.
Now, that doesn’t mean that just making a long page is going to get you to the top of the search results. It just means that if everything else is equal, longer pages rank better than short ones.
They also attract more natural links and traffic from other bloggers, because longer content is usually more in-depth and authoritative.
2. Always conduct keyword research.
Natural hair blogger doing keyword research for her blog.
First, you’ll want to find your primary keyword or keyword phrase. Then, find a few related keywords with very low search volume, and include those keywords in your articles (headings if possible) using Long Tail Pro.
After you’ve written your article draft, go back into Long Tail Pro and plug in your primary keyword. Set the parameters to search for keywords that get less than 500 searches (or even less!).
Poke around and try to find some keywords that are very, very related to the keyword you’ll be targeting in your article.
For instance, if your keyword is “how to start a beauty blog,” your related keywords may be “beauty blog name ideas” or “how to be a beauty blogger” (Note: These are only examples).
Then, work these keywords into your article. Even better, use them as headings and craft sections around them. The idea here is that Google will (1) see a bunch of highly relevant keywords on the same page, which helps them understand what your pages are about, and (2) you will rank in the search engines for more, small, related long tail keywords.
3. Write naturally.
New beauty blogger writing blog post ideas on a notepad.
Google doesn’t like you writing for search engines. It wants you to write for real people. You’ll be much better off if you write helpful articles targeted at real readers. It’ll also convert a lot better too!
By following this guide, you can claim your spot on the World Wide Web and start a blog right now! I’ve created more than 50 WordPress blogs over the past couple of years. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments section. I will be glad to help.
How Success Beauty Bloggers Create Amazing Content
Beauty blogger taking photos for her Instagram feed.
If you’re wondering why you should spend time creating outstanding content, it’s because great content will keep your audience engaged.
Your audience will share your content on social media networks, other beauty bloggers will link to you, people will subscribe to your blog and you’ll make more money.
Your content should be really helpful to the readers of your blog.
Here are some great tips to help you create amazing blog content:
1. Use a friendly, personal tone, but be trustworthy
Be open, honest and friendly within your content. Be willing to show your personality, but remain professional.
2. Make your content look clean and professional
This topic was discussed in a previously when I recommend that you purchase a premium theme for your blog. However, if your content doesn’t look professional, you will have some visitors leave immediately.
You want to make a good first impression and avoid that scenario.
Your pages should include more than just text – add in tables, charts, images, videos, relevant quotes, popular products, and other things that might add value to your reader within a given article.
3. Write skimmable content
Many visitors to your blog won’t read every single word on the page. Actually, it’s likely that most of your visitors won’t even read half of the words you’ve written.
What are they doing? Skimming!
So, they’ll be skimming your blog posts looking for interesting headlines or elements that look interesting. Only then will most people read in more detail.
So, structure your blog posts in a way that makes it very easy for skimmers to find what they’re looking for.
Use descriptive headlines, they should define the next section and tell a story. Break-up long sections of text with photos, tables, graphics, and videos. Paragraphs should be relatively short – just a few sentences long in most cases.
4. Deliver more than expected
This is the number one tip for new beauty bloggers. Provide excessive value and people will appreciate it and your blog will grow. Also, when you do this, people will also buy products from you, because they realize that you’re actually trying to help them solve their problems.
And, they trust you.