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How to start a beauty blog and make money? It’s every beauty blogger’s dream. Let me tell you that it’s possible. The road can be slow and confusing, and it will be a lot of work. So get your hustle mode on!
I will tell you everything about starting a beauty blog and monetizing it in this post. Do not believe all these clickbait posts on how to start a beauty blog for free. If you want to take your beauty blog seriously and do business out of it, you must spend some cash.
Every business has an investment to make. And who knows? You might be one of the top beauty bloggers in the beauty industry! Let’s get started. Follow this guide on how to start a beauty blog, and you’ll be up and running in no time!
Define your beauty niche
Hold on. Define my niche? I already have a niche! True. But let me explain. Having just a beauty blog is too generic. There are so many sub-niches within the beauty niche.
The more defined your niche is, the easier it will be for your target group to find your blog.
Think about it. If someone types in “beauty tips” on Google, it will generate millions of results. It will be pretty impossible for a new blog to rank high. Even older blogs will find it tough to compete with big, established beauty blogs.
Defining your blog will give Google a better image of what your blog is about. Making ranking higher less complicated.
Think about how to define your niche even further. Are you a student? What about “a budget beauty blog for students”? Is your specialty hair? You could start an “easy hair tips blog”. Or maybe you want to create a skincare blog?
Here are some ideas I came up with from the top of my head in 30 seconds (they might not all be good, but that’s the idea of brainstorming).
- Budget makeup tips for black women
- Makeup tips for acne-prone skin
- K-beauty skincare
- Skincare tips for women 40+
- Luxury makeup reviews blog
- Makeup & skincare for busy moms
- Beauty for the busy career-driven women
- Vegan beauty
Do you see what I did there? Make it as defined as possible. You should be able to come up with at least 12 high-quality blog posts within that sub-niche of at least 2000 words each.
Later on, when you’ve established traffic to your website, you can continually expand to broader topics when things get going.
Decide on a name for your beauty blog
The name is one of the hardest things to decide. It’s a name you’re stuck with. The first possibility is to use your own name or a variation of your name. Same as yours truly did with this blog😉
Another option is to look for a powerful adjective and combine it with your niche. For example, luxurious budget beauty, my bubbly skincare, effortless beauty above 40, glowing for K-beauty or brilliant mommy skincare.
You could also combine two nouns in your niche—for example, lipsticks and college or mindset and makeup.
There are also name ideas generators out there that can help you decide on a blog name or spark your creativity.
I recommend keeping the name of your blog pretty general. If you want to expand into other topics, you still have the possibility later on. If you name your blog the budget lipstick student, it will look strange to blog about luxury makeup later on. Keep this in mind when you decide on a name.
Another crucial thing is to check if your blog name is available as a .com domain and on the social media accounts you want to use. Having the same name on all your different platforms makes it easier for your readers to find you.
Related post: The best equipment for serious beauty bloggers!
Buy your domain name
This is step three on how to start a beauty blog! Once you’ve figured out a name for your blog, it’s time to claim the domain. There are many domain registrars, international and local ones. If you prefer customer service in your language, it’s better to look for a local company.
If you’re choosing a domain registrar, look at the price, the customer service and the option to keep your details private. The registry of domains is public, and frauds, we’ll spam you with emails if you don’t take the privacy option!
Namecheap domains come with free domain privacy, which means no spam! You can buy your Namecheap domain for $8 for the first year or buy multiple years in advance.
It’s also better to keep your domain name and hosting separately. If you’d like to change hosting later on, it’s easier.
Set up hosting for your beauty blog
Although it seems tempting to use a free blogging platform like WordPress.com, I do not recommend this if you’re serious about your beauty blog and making money with it.
WordPress.org is a self-hosting content management system, which means you have total control over your blog. It may look daunting initially, but it’s not difficult to learn the basics to start out. There are excellent guides that can help you through the basics of WordPress.org, for example, wpbeginner.
I recently switched to Bluehost; an official WordPress-recommended hosting and one of the largest hosting companies in the world. The price offer is competitive, and the customer service is easy to reach through a live chat. You can have your beauty blog up and running for only €2.60 per month for hosting, including a free SSL certificate!
You can get the Bluehost package for 36 months right away. And with the easy WordPress set-up tool, you can have WordPress installed within minutes.
Pick a theme
Your WordPress beauty blog automatically comes with a standard WordPress theme installed. If you want to make your blog your own, I highly suggest looking for a premium theme that suits your style and needs.
You can quickly look for premium themes within WordPress or find one from a design studio.
The premium theme I’m using for this blog is the Olsen Pro theme from CSSIgniter. I chose this theme because of the endless layout options for beauty/lifestyle bloggers.
There are so many ways to customize this theme to your liking. The Olsen Pro theme is also compatible with Woocommerce (if you want to add a shop later); it’s mobile responsive and has excellent customer service.
If you’re looking for something else, Creative Market has a bunch of themes, font bundles, and more.
Set up your beauty blog
Well done! You’ve completed all the basics of how to start a beauty blog! You can access your blog through “www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin”, which is your central hub. It’s where you access your website’s back end and where you create and design your blog.
Next is to set up the style and customization within your theme and the essential plugins. Look around and make yourself known with the WordPress interface.
If this all seems like too much to handle, which I surely can understand, you could have your blog set up for you. On Fiverr, there are many WordPress gurus who can help you set it up.
Start working on content
Your beauty blog can look neat and professional, but nobody will give a damn if you’re not providing high-quality content. You have to write blog posts solving your readers’ problems so they will want to come back. You want them to trust you and, even better, sign up for your email list.
The key is to talk about your readers and not about yourself. Think of 12 high-quality articles within your sub-niche and research keywords for SEO. Writing good content is not easy and will take time.
Think of blog posts with the idea of monetizing in the back of your mind. Some posts are great organic keywords but aren’t the best for affiliate marketing.
Content is not only about writing. Do you have all the equipment for beauty bloggers to start? Good writing needs proper images or videos to visualize what you want to tell your reader.
Especially in the beauty niche, you’ll need good makeup photos, product photos, and even better, how-to videos. Do you have everything that you need? Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get great beauty bloggers’ gear!
To create cool thumbnails as featured images, Canva is your best friend. Canva is the best tool out there to make almost everything you want from thumbnails to mood boards to Instagram posts to Pinterest pins. The paid option comes with excellent features and is, in my view, absolutely worth it. I have been using the Pro Canva membership for years.
Unless you’re a graphic designer or know your way around Adobe Photoshop, you’ll need a design program like Canva as a blogger or content creator.
How to make money with your beauty blog
As soon as you’ve written your 12 high-quality blog posts, it’s time to explore the ways to monetize your beauty blog. There are different ways for a blog to do this. Don’t get discouraged if you’re not making any money in the beginning.
Your blog needs to get traffic going first. Your beauty blog’s SEO needs to kick in, and ranking by Google can take some time.
Let’s go over the ways to monetize a blog!
Affiliate marketing is the best way to start monetizing your blog since it doesn’t require a lot of traffic to apply. It’s how I started and how I made my first sales!
Affiliate marketing is where you link to a product from a seller. If someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you’ll get a small commission.
If your blog is getting a lot of traffic, all these tiny commissions can quite add up. They are making you a passive income from posts you only have to write once.
But don’t just randomly add links to your content. You have a reputation to uphold. When writing your content, only link to products you know. This is how you build trust with your readers.
In my most popular post, the best MAC NC42 foundation dupes, I explain all the foundation dupes I have used and linked them. This makes it easier for readers to check out the products you recommend, and it doesn’t cost your reader anything to purchase through your link.
For beauty bloggers, there are many affiliate programs you can join. You can also reach out to brands yourself and ask them if they have an affiliate program.
Beauty bloggers’ most extensive affiliate programs are Amazon, Sephora, and Target. But most beauty brands have their own affiliate programs, like Sigma Beauty, BH Cosmetics, and Beauty Bay. Just type in “brand name + affiliate”, and you will find the corresponding affiliate program.
All these different affiliate programs and networks are sometimes a pain in the ass. They all work differently, and it can be super confusing at first. I know I was and still am sometimes.
Ads are one of the leading passive income streams behind a blog. All those ads you see when scrolling through a website are paid ads.
It means you’ll get paid whenever someone scrolls through an ad and even clicks on it. The more traffic you have, the more you’ll earn.
Google Adsense is the best network to apply for when you’re just starting. It doesn’t require a minimum of page views before you can apply.
Other networks like Mediavine require 100k unique monthly page views. However, payments for these kinds of ad networks can add up if traffic is good. Working your way towards that is essential if you want to monetize your blog.
Related post: The best beauty gift sets from Beauty Bay!
Sponsored posts are posts where you get paid to promote a product. Usually, with collaborations, brands will ask for proof of your blog’s stats. You can create a media kit where you include your blog’s statistics and specify your target audience when negotiating a sponsored post.
The more traffic you have on your blog and social media, the more you can charge per post. A sponsored post is a way to monetize when you’re already gaining some traffic.
You don’t need massive page views to start sponsored posts. If your blog has a well-defined sub-niche with a small loyal following, you can easily reach out to brands yourself.
Create digital products
Digital products are online products you create and sell. Many bloggers make ebooks or e-courses to generate another passive income stream.
Digital products can be everything! From ebooks to planners to wall art to an e-course. The great thing about digital products is that you only have to create them once, and they can generate income for years.
Do you want to create a digital product for your beauty blog? Maybe a 6-week e-course with hands-on makeup videos? You could create wall art beauty quotes and sell them as digital prints if you’re good with calligraphy.
Besides the occasional update, you don’t have to do anything else once made. Creating a digital product takes some time and effort, but it’s worth it.
Offer your services
Starting a beauty blog means you have some expertise in the beauty niche. Don’t think you don’t because you always know more than someone else out there.
If you’re starting a blog about easy hairstyles, you could offer a hair service to the readers in your location. If you have a lot of knowledge of vegan makeup and skincare, you could offer your readers a customized product recommendations list.
How to get traffic to your beauty blog
We are at the final step of starting a beauty blog and making money! When everything in the previous actions has been set, the big question is how to get readers to find your blog.
Your beauty blog looks professional. You have a beautiful theme installed, and you have written 12 high-quality kick-ass beauty articles. How will we get traffic to your blog so you can make money?
There are different free ways to get your name out there. Let’s go over them.
Social media like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter are great ways to get your name out there. Especially with creating reels, it’s a bit easier to have videos go viral.
Content these days is more focused on video than images. If you’re camera-shy, you have to find a way to get over it. Or think of cool ways to create content without showing your face, like product review videos, behind-the-scenes and eye makeup close-ups.
It’s best to focus on two social media platforms to not go crazy. Getting your content out on too many platforms simultaneously might get overwhelming.
Decide which platforms are the best in your niche and for your goals to use. You could also cross-post between platforms using a scheduling tool and create a social media content calendar to keep track of your content.
My most popular posts come from organic traffic. SEO is fundamental, and it will help your blog posts rank higher in search engines like Google. There are different ways to improve SEO, and one of them is keywords.
As a blogger, it’s a must to understand SEO basics. An essential WordPress plugin is Yoast, which does some SEO work for you. Their guides are very informative, and the plugin is a lifesaver if you’re starting.
The more defined your beauty or skincare blog post is; the easier it will be found by your target audience. Articles about the best beauty products for 2024 are fantastic. But it is somewhat impossible to rank high when competing against big established beauty blogs.
But getting organic traffic from a post called “the best vegan makeup brands for dry skin” is a lot easier.
If you’re serious about making your beauty blog work from the start, I recommend investing in a Keyword Search tool! These tools will save you so much work in figuring out how to use the right keywords. One of the main tools that helped me improve my ranking is RankIQ.
This tool has been a lifesaver to create new posts and update older posts. I’ve seen a spike in traffic on my older posts since I’ve been using RankIQ to update them. It’s an investment for sure, but it’s totally worth it. You can also look for your niche and see which keywords are easier to rank for. Research that has already been done by the RankIQ team.
Pinterest is a search engine that often gets overlooked. However, Pinterest has been my primary source of traffic referrals! A social media post gets lost in cyberspace after 24 hours; Pinterest works like Google.
Once your content is out there, it can gain traffic all over again, even after years. This is the main reason why my popular blog posts are getting traffic on and off. I have old pins that are still getting a lot of new traffic.
Pinterest’s target audience is mainly women looking for ideas, inspiration, and information. This audience is gathering information to make a purchase.
Start a beauty blog for free on Instagram or Youtube
I can hear you think. But Sarah, why do all this when I can start a beauty blog for free? I can start a beauty blog for free on Instagram or YouTube!
You’re right. Amazing top beauty influencers started their careers on Instagram or YouTube, making money. The thing is that all these beauty bloggers don’t own these platforms.
Both YouTube and Instagram can suspend your account. You have to do something that violates their guidelines, but still.
Accounts can get hacked. I recently saw a story from a social media expert whose account got hacked at 500k followers. There goes your full-time job!
On your blog, you have total control. You can sell products, you can write about whatever you like, and you can sell ads.
I hope this post on starting a beauty blog and making money will help you get everything going. When I just started, I collected information from everywhere.
I learned everything along the way by trial and error. If only there were a good guide out there like this one! And because I couldn’t decide between the beauty or travel niche, I’ve made it even harder for myself by doing both.
All these steps to start a beauty blog are from experience and theory. I learned the hard way for many things, and at some point, I even had to hire an expert to fix some mistakes.
Now, go and create your beauty blog! Tell me about your blog in the comments below. I would love to check it out!