How to Start a Beauty Blog
Of all the niches where blogging has exploded in popularity, beauty is perhaps the most notable. It has given many beauty brands a boost, as well as providing a platform for people to become recognized for airing their views and creating tutorials. The most famous beauty bloggers earn millions of dollars each year, but they had to invest many unpaid hours in the early years.
There are already hundreds of beauty bloggers, so individuality is a big asset. The quirkier you are, the more likely it is you'll capture a niche audience for your blog. Nail art, make-up, cosmetics, and hair are all great topics to cover, whether you want to create reviews, product tutorials, or just blog about your own personal style.
Setting Up a Blog
There are two main ways to set up a beauty blog: using a blogging provider, or doing it yourself.
Setting up a hosting account for a beauty blog isn't expensive or complicated. You can get a basic hosting account for a few dollars a month, and a domain name will cost less than $10 a year.
- Self-hosted blogs consist of a hosting account and a domain name of your choice. Hosting this way gives you the power to control precisely how your blog is set up, so you can grow and develop the content with no restrictions. Starting off self-hosted also means that you can change hosts easily, so if your blog becomes popular, you can quickly upgrade your hosting to match.
- Hosted blogs are great for beginners, or for journal-style blogging. But if you want to build a brand, they are far less flexible. You might be limited on storage space, or you might need plugins that you aren't permitted to install. This lack of control will become even more of an issue if you want to embed affiliate links or ads. Most hosted blogs come with a subdomain, such as myblog.wordpress.com, which is less recognizable than a domain name. Sure, you can add your own domain name, but it costs money, so you may as well go for the self-hosted option from the start.
Before buying a domain, check your name on a website like Knowem or Namecheckr to see whether it's also available on social media sites. This will help you to create a recognized brand across every site you use.
5 Tips When Creating Content
There are thousands of beauty blogs already publishing thousands of posts each day. You're going to need to make yours stand out. This is perhaps the most important part of beauty blogging, aside from getting your hosting right.
There are 5 key things you must do:
- Write great content that makes people sit up and listen. That means you must invest lots of time in each post. The beauty bloggers who are most popular (and well-paid) put several days into every post they create.
- Publish regularly and consistently. This will help to build your following, because people will keep checking back for new posts. Mr Wharff publishes a men's cosmetics review every 3-4 days, which is a good interval to aim for.
- Be unique and be yourself. This can't be underestimated. If you review basic drugstore cosmetics that everybody uses, you're in for some tough competition. The more unique you are, the more chance you have of carving a niche that's unique. It takes just one killer idea for a blog to go viral, but copying other people won't cut it.
- Make your blog beautiful. People looking for beauty tips want big, gorgeous photos. They want to see the blogger's style reflected in the graphic design on their blog. Don't throw up a post with a single smartphone snapshot. Invest in a camera, or get a designer to help.
- Don't give up. Most blogs don't gain traction for months — or years. In the meantime, you have to keep creating the best content you can possibly come up with.
You may eventually be sent freebies to review. You might be invited to collaborate with a brand. To get to that stage, you need to develop your own platform and find your own niche.
Growing Your Beauty Blog
Beauty bloggers need to publish content regularly; at least once a week. It's essential to keep up with new products and trends, and give your readers plenty of new updates to look forward to.
You can also mix up your blog with video content; start a YouTube channel and experiment. Look at beauty vloggers like Jeffree Star for inspiration; he covers his own products, but also reviews others. He's enthusiastic about the products he likes, and honest about the ones he doesn't.
Also, try to branch out and write about other things related to beauty. Monami Frost vlogs about a mix of tattoos, cosmetics and vegan food. Zoella writes about beauty, but branches out to cover lifestyle, holidays, and books. Strive to make a personal connection with your audience, and tell them why you're unique. That will help readers to get to know you personally.
Finally, there's the issue of making money, which is definitely something to aim for when blogging. While few beauty bloggers can live entirely off their blog, many are making a reasonable part-time wage. As a first step, join an affiliate network or two, and embed affiliate links each time you mention a product. Over time, as you build up the content on your blog, all of these referrals can generate enough cash to cover your costs — and more.
Beauty blogging is a crowded market, but there are many examples of successful bloggers who are paying the mortgage off the back of their blog. Just like a costmetics brand, you're going to need to market yourself, and that means lots of time and dedication. Start today. Get a great domain name, develop fabulous content, and make your own unique voice heard above your competitors'.
Further Reading and Resources
We have more guides, tutorials, and infographics related to blogging:
- 7 Common Blogging Mistakes to Avoid: don't get trapped blogging the wrong way.
- Blogging for Beginners: this is our ebook that tells you everything you need to know to start blogging.
- How to Produce a Chart-Topping Music Blog: if music is your passion, this is where to start.
Secrets of a Killer Blog Post
Want to know how to create a great blog post? Check out our video, Secrets of a Killer Blog Post.