learn the business of blogging – always free
If you’re ready to start a beauty blog, then bravo! You’re taking the first step towards entrepreneurship and financial freedom. Blogging is something that has not only changed my life but countless others as well.
Starting a beauty blog is a great idea for people who are passionate about makeup, skincare, and haircare. There are an endless amount of topics you can cover with a beauty blog and people like Emily Weiss from Into the Gloss show that beauty blogging can be an extremely profitable business idea.
Beauty blogging has become popular in the last decade and video-sharing platforms like YouTube have only increased the tools available to beauty bloggers for giving tutorials on how to do makeup.
Now, before you go and launch a YouTube channel (which isn’t a bad idea), know that you do not own that channel and thus, it’s very risky to put all your eggs in that basket. Many digital entrepreneurship experts agree that putting all one’s energy into social media is a bad idea because you never know when that platform could shut down. Investing time and energy into a platform you own like a blog and email list is a much smarter way to go about growing an audience.
While platforms like YouTube and Instagram are definitely useful tools for beauty influencers, it’s important to maintain a spot on the internet that you and only you own.
That’s where blogging comes in!
Now, is beauty blogging a get-rich-quick scheme? Absolutely not! Beauty blogging can be extremely profitable in the long run, but make no mistake: it takes a lot of up-front effort to see a return on your investment.
Here is how to start a profitable beauty blog today!
PS. If you aren’t sure you want to start a beauty blog, then head over to my How to Start a Blog guide to read about starting a blog when you aren’t sure of what your topic will be!
Find a Beauty Blogging Topic
The best idea for a beauty blog niche is one you are passionate about. When it comes to beauty blogging, you’ll never succeed unless you write articles and post them consistently and it’s easiest to keep a steady writing flow about a topic you are passionate about.
When choosing a topic, it’s helpful to think about the following:
- What kind of make-up and beauty tutorials am I good at?
- What do I enjoy when it comes to beauty?
- What kind of makeup and skincare tips do I want to learn better?
You may want to consider topics that serve a particular niche like makeup for people with dry skin, cruelty-free beauty products, beauty subscription boxes, or haircare tips for people with curly hair. Each of these topics could be a great starting place for your blog.
Eventually, you will want to establish yourself as the “expert” in this field, but don’t worry if you’re not right now. Many people love reading about the journey to expertise in a certain subject, too!
Because beauty blogging is so popular nowadays, you’ll want to find a way to stand out from the crowd. If you can find a beauty topic that is a bit more narrow, then you’re much more likely to find success faster due to lower competition on that topic.
It seems counterintuitive but trust me, writing about a niche topic works.
Successful Beauty Bloggers
If you’re stuck on a topic or are skeptical that it’s really possible to make money from beauty blogging, then take a look at these successful beauty bloggers for some inspiration! Each of these beauty bloggers has found a way to share their beauty tips and favorite products with an eager audience.
- Into the Gloss
- Michelle Phan
- The Skincare Edit
- Cruelty-Free Kitty
For a full list of beauty blog income reports, visit my blog income reports by niche list!
Start Writing About Beauty
I recommend writing the first 10 articles for your beauty blog before you even set up your site. This is good for a few reasons:
- You can see just how passionate you are about a topic, and how much you really have to say.
- It will help you come up with names for your blog.
- You will realize if there are any other topics you want to cover that you may not have thought of originally, and it may shift the direction of your blog!
At first, the important thing is to just write. Aim for at least 1,000+ words per article but if your articles are image-heavy, then you can get away with as little as 300 or so words. The more the better when it comes to blogging!
Over time, you’ll want to start to pay attention to the structure and organization of paragraphs within your blog posts, especially if they are long. Be sure to read my guide on how to structure a blog post when the time is right.
Choose a Name for a Beauty Blog
Once you’ve written the first few articles of your blog, you’ll need to choose a brand name. Maybe you even thought of one as you were writing your articles! Whatever you choose, the name should be short, catchy, and easily memorable. Be sure to verify your name is available as a domain before settling on it!
Purchase Your Domain & Hosting
If you’re serious about blogging, then a custom domain name and web host are a must.
Using a free Blogspot blog or WordPress.com blog domain isn’t professional and won’t allow you to work with a lot of the major advertising networks and affiliate marketing networks (where the big bucks are made). Furthermore, you technically don’t own your blog when you host it with a free blog provider like Wix, Blogspot, and WordPress.com. These companies can shut your blog down on a whim!
You’ll want to invest in a web host to store all the files, images and text associated with your blog in one place. The good thing is that hosting is the only major expense you’ll have when starting a blog!
Many hosting providers offer free domain names when you purchase your first hosting plan like Bluehost. If you’re a first-time blogger, then this is a great deal!
As mentioned above, the purpose of a host is to securely store your blog files. They serve these files as necessary to your website visitors from their servers as quickly as possible. Good hosts will back up these files regularly so you don’t lose all the work you’ve put into your blog in the event of a hack! Generally, it’s best to choose a host that is located in the country where your visitors reside.
Hosting really isn’t that expensive. It can be as cheap as $3 per month! That being said, you want to choose a host that is reliable and helpful. I recommend hosting with Bluehost if you are a brand new blogger since you will receive your domain name free of charge with a 12-month plan. Bluehost is based in Utah and is the first web host recommended by WordPress itself.
While it’s possible to run a casual blog with a custom domain using a free service like Blogspot or WordPress.com, I highly recommend against it if you are serious about creating a profitable blog. You may get by for the first few months, but after your blog takes off, you’ll wish you had set up a self-hosted blog in the first place!
Visit Bluehost and click Get Started Now to begin.
From there, I recommend choosing the Basic plan. You can always upgrade later if you need to!
As far as the length of your hosting plan, I highly recommend choosing 12 months or longer. Blogging is something you need to dedicate yourself to for at least one year. If you don’t think you can commit to blogging for that amount of time, I don’t recommend getting started at all because it simply won’t be a good investment for you.
Now, I know I just told you not to sign up for a free WordPress blog, so why am I telling you to “install” it now?
Well, there are actually two WordPress systems: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is for free blogs hosted on WordPress servers. These blogs typically have WordPress.com attached to the end of them (sampleblog.wordpress.com). WordPress.com is meant for casual bloggers who don’t want to make a profit with their blog.
WordPress.org is a self-hosted, content management platform for publishers and serious bloggers who want to turn a profit. It’s a backend content management system that allows you to easily control the content put forth on your blog.
WordPress.org is the golden standard when it comes to blogging. In fact, it currently powers around a third of the entire web!
I highly recommend WordPress.org due to its numerous integrations, plugins, and advanced features. Plugins are essentially add-ons created by thousands of developers that improve your blog in a simple, easy way. If you want your blog to do ___, then there’s probably a plugin for that!
WordPress.org is totally free to use on the majority of web hosts, too. It’s so popular that you can most likely log in to your hosting admin panel and have WordPress installed for you automatically as I explain here.
Choose A Theme
A blogging “theme” is just a set of files that make your blog look pretty and easy to navigate! The theme determines how information is presented to your readers on the front-end portion of your blog. There are themes that are better for visual content, and other themes which are better for written content. Most themes are pretty good at managing both, of course!
There are many great themes you can get for free through WordPress and various developer websites.
If you’d like to purchase a more advanced theme, then I recommend looking through Creative Market and Etsy.
To add a theme to your website, click over to Appearance on the black lefthand admin panel. From there, you can either upload a theme, or search for one that exists in the WordPress repository.
Start Posting Your Beauty Articles
Once your theme is installed, it’s time to start creating your posts! You can do this by clicking the “+New” button on the top navigation bar, or from the lefthand admin panel, you can mouse over “Posts” and then select “Add New.”
Now, you can paste in the body of your pre-written article and give it a title, too.
Before hitting “Publish,” you will want to assign the article a Category and a Featured Image.
Categories are basically sections where groups of articles are filed within your beauty blog. Here are a few examples of Categories and the articles that might be filed under them for a beauty blog:
- 10 Best Waterproof Mascaras
- How to Apply Foundation
- Why I Stopped Using Concealer
- The One Dry Shampoo You Need
- Aveda Deep Conditioner Review
- Hair Masks: Do They Really Work?
- 10 Best Moisturizers for Oily Skin
- French Skincare Products Parisians Swear By
- How to Get Rid of Blackheads
As you can see, Categories are broad topics which can hold a variety of blog posts. You may only have 1-2 categories at the beginning of your blog, but over time you can add more.
As for the Featured Image, this is one image assigned to your post that provides the reader with context as to what your post is all about. It usually appears in a few places around your website, like the home page, depending on your theme. Sometimes it appears within the blog post itself, and other times you may wish to manually add it within the text yourself.
Taking Photos for Your Beauty Blog
Since beauty blogs tend to be visual in nature, your blog photography is going to have a large impact on your success.
You’ll want to aim for at least one high-quality photo per blog post, but the more the better. Especially if you are writing a tutorial, multiple images showing every step of the process can be useful. Images that are well-lit and show your face, hair, or skin (depending on the subject of your blog post) will perform well.
You can shoot quality images yourself with a smartphone camera like the iPhone, or you can invest in a digital camera like the Sony Alpha, which many bloggers swear by to craft beautiful photos for your blog. Don’t be intimidated by a professional camera, even if you have no experience using one. The majority of DSLR or Mirrorless cameras often have an “Auto” mode for beginners to use. The lens should do all the work for you.
You’ll also want to consider purchasing a tripod to take photos of yourself wherever you are. This little iPhone tripod might be all you need, but many beauty bloggers swear by this facial ring light to take perfectly-lit selfies.
If you have the budget, you may want to hire a professional photographer to shoot your photos. Another option is to ask a friend or family member to shoot your photos. If you don’t feel comfortable doing either of those, then try to team up with another blogger in your area and shoot each other’s photos. This is what I do, and we both save time and money by working together.
Lastly, if you’re not able to shoot any images yourself then you can find a variety of free, non-copyrighted images from websites like Pixabay and Unsplash. Keep in mind that these photos should be used as a last resort, and original imagery is always preferred when it comes to blog photography!
Drive Traffic to a Beauty Blog
Once your beauty blog is set up you’ll need to find a way to get people to visit your site! There are many ways to drive traffic to your site including:
- Writing guest posts for other blogs
- Leaving comments on other blogs
- Sharing your posts on social media
- Improving your Google Search presence
- Optimizing your content for Pinterest
Personally, I have succeeded at getting traffic to my site by optimizing my content for Google and Pinterest, two of the most popular search engines in the United States. On this blog I share several ways to drive traffic using some strategic methods.
I highly recommend reading these articles about getting traffic from Pinterest and SEO Basics, which is the method I used to optimize my content for Google search results. SEO stands for search engine optimization.
Google and Pinterest are businesses themselves, so relying on them for traffic is never going to be 100% secure. Their algorithms are constantly changing and you can easily gain and lose traffic from one month to the next.
For this reason, many people choose to create an email list to which they can always market. While you cannot change the whims and interests of Google and Pinterest, you own your email list and no one can take that away from you. It’s important to sign up for Mailchimp, Mailerlite, or another email newsletter service so you can start collecting your readers’ email addresses.
Develop a Monetization Strategy
Once you’ve got your blog set up, and a few posts published, you should start thinking about how your blog will earn income and developing a monetization strategy.
There are a few key ways to monetize a blog. Depending on your audience, you’ll need to figure out the best way for you to make money. Is your blog product-focused, or more informational?
The easiest way to start making money with informational beauty blogs is often by using display ads.
Google’s AdSense program is an easy way for new bloggers who want to put ads on their site and start earning some money.
Once you get more than 25,000 sessions per month, you can apply to join a premium ad network like Mediavine.
Another popular way to make money with a beauty blog is through affiliate marketing, a strategy where bloggers link to products they love and earn a commission when a reader makes a purchase. These links are found in general articles on the site, but they convert really well when placed in in-depth product reviews and product round-up posts.
Most bloggers join one of the major affiliate networks that gather up big national retailers, provide the cooking technology for you to create links, negotiate a higher rate for bloggers to earn, and manage your commission payments.
Making money with affiliate marketing takes time but the payoff can be huge.
Personally, ads and affiliate marketing are where I’ve found the most success on my journey to make money blogging!
Beyond ads and affiliate marketing, you could also pitch yourself as a freelance writer to larger publications, sell products like ebooks and courses, or offer consulting services to your readers around your blog’s topic.
These tend to be monetization strategies for more experienced bloggers but it’s great to keep them in mind even during the beginning stages so you can start brainstorming about products you can sell in the future!
Go through the Newbie Blogger’s Checklist
Now that your blog is set up and ready to go, head over to my newbie blogger’s checklist to sign-up for social media accounts and services that will ensure your online presence is complete. These tips aren’t immediately necessary, but they should be done as you have time to really give your blog an edge.
I hope this post has been helpful to anyone who wants to start a profitable beauty blog. Making money from a beauty blog may seem like a dream, but trust me it’s not! Just take a look at my income reports for proof.
That being said, making money blogging about beauty, haircare and skincare takes a lot of hard work and dedication. It won’t come easy, but it will be worth it!
Be sure to sign up for my mailing list below as I’m always sharing new ways to optimize your blog for success!