how-to-start-a-beauty-blog

Starting this blog was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! I’ve been blogging for over 2 years now and it’s been a blast.

It allowed me to unleash my creativity, connect with awesome like-minded people, and make money in the process.

In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to build your blog from the ground up without spending a ton of money (there’s also a big discount for you if you want to start your blog right now!).

Can you REALLY make money blogging?

Yep. I’ve been making over $10,000 every month for a few months now. Check out my latest income report here.

If you’ve ever wondered whether you should have a blog of your own, I’m here to encourage you to do it!

I know there’s something you’re passionate about, whether it’s makeup, fashion, fitness, or whatever else you’re in love with. Follow your creative dreams. You never know where they could take you!

Here’s what I’m going to cover:

content

The Basics

Getting your own domain and hosting is the way to go. This means you’ll have your own site, like crueltyfreekitty.com.

I also strongly recommend WordPress to build your blog. It’s easy and free. WordPress trumps Blogger/Blogspot. If you don’t know how to install WordPress, don’t worry! I’ll show you exactly how to set it up in this post.

If you already have a blog hosted on Blogspot or Tumblr, making the switch is totally worth it. You get to keep all your existing posts and transfer them.

Myths And Facts

There are a few myths about having your own domain and hosting, so let me set them straight right now.

Myth #1: Running your own blog is expensive.

You can have your own, self-hosted blog for under 4$ a month. Don’t go with anything more expensive than that, because it’s unnecessary. BlueHost offers the best prices, and you get a free domain. Score!

Myth #2: It’s hard and confusing to set up!

I’m not particularly computer-savvy, and I still managed to do it! I’ll show you how simple it is and guide you through the whole process.

office

Myth #3: It’s impossible to make any money with a small blog.

Odds are you’re going to be making more than what you’re paying to run your blog. One of the advantages of having your own, self-hosted blog is having the freedom to monetize it.

Myth #4: It’s really hard to make a blog look good with WordPress.

There’s a ton of pretty themes you can choose from, including free ones. Installing a theme is quick and easy. You don’t even need to know any kind of coding or have experience with web design. Using WordPress will make your blog look better since it’s more customizable than Blogspot.

Boom! Myths debunked. No excuses. Creating your own blog is simple, cheap, and awesome.


What Should I Blog About?

It’s important to know specifically what your focus will be. A focused blog makes blogging easier. Here are some examples.

  • Reviews. If you’re a product junkie, you can write helpful reviews.
  • Makeup artistry. If you’ve got skills, you can show off your looks.
  • Swatches. Good swatches can be hard to find. Everybody loves dupes.
  • Budget beauty. You could focus on drugstore and affordable brands.
  • Nails. If you love nail polish and have a talent for nail art, you could make it your main focus.
  • Jane-of-all-trades. If you love ALL things beauty, you can figure out your focus as you blog.

photo

What Equipment Do I Need?

You don’t absolutely need any tools to start blogging, but this is what I recommend for a beginner:

  • A basic camera. You can use any digital camera, a DSLR, or your iPhone. Some bloggers even use their phone’s camera.
  • Photoshop or a free alternative. Editing your photos will make them look professional no matter what camera you use.
  • Natural light. You don’t need photography equipment when starting out. Natural light is the best light to shoot in. You can always buy studio lighting along the way.

The Fun Part: Your Domain Name

Once you figure out the topic of your future blog, you’re ready for one of my favorite parts: picking a domain name!

Start thinking of a potential domain name by brainstorming and expanding on your subject. Your domain name should be memorable and brandable above all.

Enter your ideas below to check if they’re available.

In addition to a free domain, Bluehost is now offering my readers a 25% discount on hosting, which means that you can get a site up and running for only $2.95 a month. Use the domain checker below to sign up and get the discount.

A good tip is using your first name as part of your domain. Think of blogs like “karlascloset.com”, “viviannadoesmakeup.com” or “deliciouslyella.com”. Try it with your blog!


how-to

1. Sign Up With BlueHost

The first thing you need to do is find a webhost. The most popular one is BlueHost, which I recommend going with. They offer cheap hosting and a free domain name.

Bluehost is now offering my readers a 25% discount on hosting, which means that you can get a site up and running for only $2.95 a month.

Go to BlueHost and click “Get Started Now”.

1--Get-Started

Select the basic plan.

2--Plans

You need to find a good domain name that isn’t taken. I recommend going with a .com, but whatever floats your boat. Click next.

3-Domain-Registration

Now create your account by filling out your contact info.

4-Contact-info

Pick your plan, and pick whatever additional features you want — or none at all, which is perfectly fine. Click “Next”.

5---Choose-Plan

You’ll be charged all at once, right up front. For example, if you select the 12-month package at $5.95/month, your total will be $71.40.

Important Note: If you choose a monthly term, there’s a possibility that your website could go down every month. If this site is a money-maker for you, you’ll want to make sure that you have uninterrupted service, so I’d recommend going with at least 12 months of hosting at a time.

Once your account is created, check your e-mail for the dashboard login and password. Log in to your dashboard at BlueHost.com.

2. Install WordPress

Next, you want to install WordPress. This step is super quick and easy!

In your BlueHost account, click on cPanel. Click “Install WordPress”.

6--cPanel

Click “Start”.

7-Wordpress

Select your domain and click “check domain”.

8-Install-WP

Enter your blog info and click “Install Now”.

9-WP-Login

Once it’s done installing, you’ll receive your WordPress login information by e-mail.

Go to www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/ and sign in!


Last Step: Make It Pretty

Install a theme to make your blog look nice.

On the left side, select “Appearance” and click “Themes”. Click “Add new”. You can now browse thousands of themes. Try selecting features such as “right sidebar” or colors. If you’re stumped, try searching for “themify” or “fashionista”. There’s a lot of free themes. Have fun with it!


You’re Ready For Your First Post

In the left menu, select “Posts” and click “Add new”. Write your first post and click “publish”!

post


That’s it!

If you followed this step-by-step guide and signed up with BlueHost, you just realized how easy it really is to start your own blog.

I have a ton more tips for you, so don’t hesitate to ask me anything. I’ll guide you through your next steps and answer all questions!

I hope this tutorial has been helpful. Good luck on your journey!

  • Sharon

    Thank you for the inspiration! Being a newbie isn’t easy, but it’s worth it

  • I’ve been thinking about switching to self hosting. I’ll be saving this for post for when I finally get round to taking the plunge! 🙂

  • Yep, moving to wordpress.org website was such a lift!
    I looked into bluehost, but went with GoDaddy in the end. It was just generally cheaper speaking and their customer service is top notch!

    Now, I’d love you to elaborate myth #3…
    Like how much can you make off of ads (because from the research I’ve done, it’s not much), what do you use, and what do you recommend? 🙂

    • GoDaddy’s cheapest plan is $6.99 a month and they put you on a super slow server! It’s really not something I’d recommend! They’ll offer cheap domains for the signup but bump the price to 15$ the next year.

      For ads, it really depends. The income depends either on impressions or clicks. I use Adsense but I’m not happy with that, mostly because of the random nature of the ads. There are “ad networks” you can join, but the good ones aren’t easy to join (I’m on waiting lists and the wait can be long). Those ad networks have the advantage of not having to do anything yourself, but the best option would be to sell your own ad space.

      TL;DR ad networks or selling your own ads!

  • Thank you for this post, Suzy. My blog is currently under GoDaddy, but reading what you wrote about Bluehost made me think I should probably transfer to them.

  • Companies of every size are interested in ad space though! And the rates are generally dependent on the number of impressions, so a small company or etsy seller might be interested.

    A small blog can EASILY make up for the cost of hosting + domain name. I might go over everything soon if there’s interest. 🙂

    • Oh, I’d love that! 🙂

      Also, Happy Easter!

      • Happy Easter! 😀

  • Carley Joan

    Thank you so much! I would not have been able to do that without this step by step post. Your blog is amazing and has really helped me on my adventure to switching to cruelty free. <3

    • Carley, that’s awesome! Thanks so much for your kind words, and don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any questions or issues! 🙂

  • Lucy Simone

    Great article (: it inspired me ^^

    • Hey Lucy, I’m glad to hear that! Good luck with everything. 🙂

  • Jho

    I have a free wordpress blog at the moment, would I be able to turn this into my own domain name instead of “domainname.wordpress.com” using bluehost? Thank you!

    • Absolutely, you can transfer from wordpress.com to wordpress.org pretty easily once you get your domain/hosting with bluehost.

      If you need help with that, just ask!

  • Cailyn

    about how much a month do you pay for your blog?

    • I only pay for hosting and domain name, which comes to just under $5 total per month.

  • AllyMcBeagle

    I am thinking about starting a blog and have been researching. Your article is by far one of the best I’ve read! Thank you!

    • Awesome, thank you so much and good luck with your blog! Let me know how it goes.

      • AllyMcBeagle

        I’m getting cold feet. Thinking,,,

        • Aw, what’s making you reconsider?

          • AllyMcBeagle

            The time commitment (full time job) and that I’m not a professional in the beauty world; just a user who has tried tons of products (I love products). On the positive side, I think there is blog space for mature skinned (read: over 60 yrs) individuals. This would be a hobby (no expectations for income or product endorsements). Just want to be sure I could accomplish this and have balance in my life.

          • To be honest, it sounds like there’s definite potential. You’re right that there’s a need for mature skin blogs, and you definitely don’t need any credentials as long as you have good knowledge and experience. Don’t worry about that part at all! If you decide to go ahead with it, I wish you the best of luck. I’ll be here if you want to talk about it more. 🙂

          • AllyMcBeagle

            Thanks for encouraging words and support!

  • Thanks! By following these instructions, you’ll get a self-hosted blog using WordPress. I think you’ve come to the right place. 🙂

    • bishara rahman

      Thanks Suzi. 🙂

  • Great tips! Thank you! (: I have been thinking about moving over to wordpress because I have read in many reviews that bloggers like it better than blogger. Definitely going to make the switch sometime soon.

    • Definitely a good switch to make! Do you have a cruelty-free blog?! I wanted to check it out, but the link in your profile isn’t working. 🙁

  • Hi Vaneska 🙂 You don’t need to go with that option IMO. In your place, I’d go with the basic plan and just move everything, which shouldn’t be a problem for you.

    • Ѵαиɛƨκα Ĵαƨмιиɛ

      Ok, thank you so much!

  • Rejona Saqellari

    this has been so hepful to me. i just started my beaty blog using bluehost. thank you !! rejonalovesmakeup.com

    • Awesome to hear, Rejona! Have fun with your new blog!!

  • Hi Kaitlyn! There are a lot of free themes to choose from if you’re not 100% happy with the Fashionista theme. You can browse themes easily under Appearance > Themes. If you want to tweak your current themes, you can too, but you’ll need to learn CSS basics. I hope one of these options works for you. If you want more help, feel free to ask me!

  • Victoria R

    I currently have a wordpress.com blog and have been considering upgrading to the premium plan on wordpress because i want to be able to customise my blog more and have a domain name. Do you think it is easier to just go with wordpress’s plans or use bluehost? And is bluehost pretty easy to use? because i am so confused right now haha. Thanks!
    https://victoriarelf.wordpress.com/

    • BlueHost is really simple, which is part of the reason why I recommend it for beginners! I personally wouldn’t go with the WordPress upgrades because they’re pretty overpriced for what you get. Also, if anything in particular is confusing you, I’ll be glad to help!

  • Magda Hernandez

    Hi! I attempted to follow this step by step process which really motivated to get started. Unfortunately with blue host you have to pay upfront the entire amount for a year total. You didn’t mention that. Did you have to do That as well?

    • Yes, they do require everyone to pay upfront. But you can cancel and get your full money back if you change your mind within 30 days.

      • Magda Hernandez

        okay! Do you have to pay upfront again the second time around after, 36 months for example? Thanks for responding by the way 🙂 also, what’s an inexpensive alternative to that?

        • You do have to renew for another 36 months. I know it might seem like a lot up front, but Bluehost is actually the inexpensive alternative in terms of monthly fees! If you’re serious about blogging, this is my cheapest recommendation. 🙂

  • Misha Johanna

    Hi Suzi, I really2 like your blog. I recently found it as I was trying to find list of cruelty-free cosmetic brands. Speaking about blog, I bought my own domain from WordPress for about 18 USD / year. Yet, I found it difficult to organize it. My question is, is it possible to go to BlueHost with a bought domain name already? Or how does it work? I’m totally newbie and confused with all these things about blogging, so I would really appreciate it if you help me out with it. Thank you, Suzi 🙂
    PS: Btw my blog is mishajohanna.com if you wanna have a look.

    • Hi Misha, awesome blog! You seem so interesting. 🙂 To answer your question, yes, you can definitely go with BlueHost if you already have a domain. I usually buy my domain names separately from hosting and there’s no problem. When you sign up, choose your plan and then select “I have a domain name” on the right. Hope this helps!

  • Thank you so much for supporting my site, Misha! I really, truly appreciate it! Good luck with your switch. 🙂

  • Glad it was helpful, Chelsea!!

  • Thank you Bella! Hope it’s helpful to you!

  • Glad to hear that, Kelsey. Good luck with your new blog! 🙂

  • Hey Itzel, I’m so glad to hear that! Thanks for your kind words. 🙂

    To answer your question:

    1. Follow this guide and install WordPress
    2. In Blogspot, go to Setting > Other > Export blog
    3. In WordPress, go to Tools > Import > Blogger

    You’ll get an .xml file from Blogspot that you’ll need to import into WordPress. It should be easy to do, but let me know if you have any trouble.

  • It’s definitely easier to get traffic if you have your own domain, as opposed to blogger. 🙁

  • Lauren Eva

    Hi Suzi, thanks for this post – I have a blog with blogger / http://www.thedecemberdaze.blogspot.co.uk I love the name and the theme, which I purchased – If I get my own domain can I keep my current theme? Thank you 🙂 x

    • Unfortunately you’ll have to find another theme. 🙁 Maybe the designer you bought the theme from has a WordPress version as well?

  • Congrats! Did you export your old posts from Blogger? I would definitely transfer everything, and make sure your blogspot URL redirects to your new domain. Don’t delete! This way, if anyone ends up on your blogspot link, they’ll go straight to your new site.

    Here’s how to transfer your posts:

    1. Follow this guide and install WordPress
    2. In Blogspot, go to Setting > Other > Export blog
    3. In WordPress, go to Tools > Import > Blogger

    You’ll get an .xml file from Blogspot that you’ll need to import into WordPress. It should be easy to do, but let me know if you have any trouble.

  • This looks GORGEOUS! Congrats!

  • Hi Suzi, tks for sharing such an encouraging piece! I just started dabbling with blogging. Not quite sure where this new found interest is taking me but I do enjoy the creative process and find building something from scratch both fufilling and exciting ?. I’m still learning and tweaking my site along the way. Here’s my site if u are keen to take a look: http://hausofboo.weebly.com
    If u did, would be wonderful to get some feedback on it ?

    Pris

  • Hey Mapiah! Yes, you can sign up with BlueHost and have an online store. For blogging, I make money through affiliate links and ads mostly. I wrote this post about the main ways I monetize by blog. 🙂

  • Hey Kat! That seems like an interesting blog idea, so feel free to link me once you decide to go for it! Of course it’s always a good idea to narrow your focus, but fashion and beauty are closely enough related and I feel like it’s a great asset to add your artistic spin. I feel like having one website/blog is better. You can have different “categories” on your blog when you use WordPress and add them to your menu or wherever on the site.

    Do you want to work as an illustrator/artist? If so, that should definitely be the focus of your blog. If I could draw, I would probably use my own illustrations and art within my posts about beauty and cosmetology. If you have an illustration portfolio and you’re offering your services, it should be obvious to any new reader that you’re all about illustration.

    I hope you figure it out! Brainstorming and organizing your ideas is the hardest part, but everything is doable if you use wordpress.

  • Hello! Awesome post. I recently started my blog: lifeismessyandbrilliant.com
    I bought the domain in WordPress, but not the host. I currently get around 1000 views every months. When would it be ok to buy the host, does the number of visitors matter?
    I’m not looking to make a lot of money out of my blog, but a little bit to give me some independence. Does the ads in WordPress work or how do I get more exposure for advertisement?
    Thank you!

    • Hey! 1000 visitors a month is a great start. If you’re thinking about monetizing and you’re serious about blogging, I wouldn’t wait. I’ve been self-hosted since the beginning when I had 0 visitors and I don’t regret anything!

  • Hey Tomiko, glad it was helpful!! Self-promotion might feel awkward at first, but you just have to get over the hump. Don’t let it deter you!

  • Hello! Ive been planning to make a beauty blog so I can share some of my beauty tips. Your blog helps me a lot in my ideas. Thank you

  • Jessica MacLafferty

    I already have a blog, but I want to go about getting a host. I just have the free wordpress one (https://poshpennychic.wordpress.com ) and I don’t have wordpress installed on my device. I am confused about what to do. Could someone please help me?Thanks!

    • Hi Jessica. WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two different things, which is probably why it’s confusing! If you want to get hosting, you can’t keep your existing WordPress.com. However you can move all your posts to the new WordPress.org once you have it.

      This tutorial (Bluehost and WordPress.org) is what you’re looking for, and then you can transfer your posts. Hope this helps. If not, let me know! 🙂

  • Ashley Olsen

    Great advice!! I already have a blog slowly in progress (happylifesimplified.com) but I am wondering how to mention products that I am excited about or great deals on products or clothing. I’m not affiliated with any brands or companies so I want to make sure I go about it the right way. Any info would be great. Thank you
    Ashley

    • Hi Ashley! What exactly do you mean? You’re totally free to post about any brand you want. Reviews and roundup posts come to mind.

  • angela forsythe

    What do you mean about “If you choose a monthly term, there’s a possibility that
    your website could go down every month”. Couldn’t the same thing happen
    with the 12 month plan?

    Great tips, thanks!

  • Reagan Michael

    I am 17 and really want a beauty blog as a career. I love beauty but I use more natural products and I’m not sure if anyone will want to read anything i review because there are already so many beauty blogs out there already. I have so many questions, but I’ll just ask a few. How do you keep up with beauty trends? like how often should I I review products and post about them? I Don’t have a lot tons of money to buy products, how do I start a blog without as much? also my mom is very skeptic that I can have a career blogging. Was it hard when you started out? what were your experiences? thanks so much!

    • Hi Reagan! Blogging as a full-time job definitely isn’t easy. You don’t need to publish posts daily, but consistency is important, and keeping up with trends is a daily task (I use Google Alerts). A lot of beauty bloggers publish posts daily, and I recommend posting at least 3x a week when you’re starting out.

      You can always start as a hobby and see what happens. It took me a long time (over a year) to earn a full-time income. I don’t want to demotivate you, but it’s a lot of work and research! You can check out my blogging progress here: October Income Report.

  • Sarah

    Thanks for this post, it’s by far one of the most helpful things I’ve read! I’m planning to start a blog about creating and sometimes reviewing natural beauty products soon… the only things I’m missing are a name and a host… I’ll definitely have to look into BlueHost for that.

  • Citygirl Aesthetic

    Great advice. As a new blogger, I definitely had a tough time starting out. I mean, I am still in the beginning stages of my blog, but knowing that other beauty bloggers makes it a little easier knowing i’m not alone here. Thanks! 🙂

  • Chic NotChic

    Hi, I just started blogging. Can you give me some advice on how you started to promote your blog in the beginning? Here is my blog http://www.chic-not-chic.com, feel free to check it out, and comment below to give me some advice 🙂 thank you!!!

  • Hi Stacie! Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

    I just made a free blogging course which I think might be helpful to you. It’s for those who don’t already have a blog (or who just started blogging), but I also go over more in-depth topics (traffic, monetization) and I think it’s going to answer your questions.

    You can find it on Rosevibe (scroll to the bottom of any post). That’s a blog I recently launched to help other bloggers turn their blog into a business.

  • Alice

    Hello! Thank you for this amazing post! Do you have any tips for someone who wants to start a beauty blog but is still a teenager? Will I be able to monetize my blog even though I’m still underage? Thank you in advance!

    • Hey Alice! I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t monetize your blog. When you do start making money, just keep in mind that it’s a source of income when doing your taxes.

  • Beatriz

    Hey Suzi! I just finished your blog course and it was awesome and so informative. I still had one question though, when applying to Bluehost are all those add ons necessary? Specifically the domain privacy protection?

    • Hey Beatriz, glad to hear you liked the course! You don’t need any of the add-ons, except maybe the privacy protection. If you get that one, no one will be able to trace the domain back to your name and address. I think it’s very good to have, but it’s optional.

  • Eshita Ghosh

    How can i earn money ,?who will give me? Can i know the answer please

  • Alyson

    How hard will it be for readers to find my blog? How long will it take to gain a least a handful of readers?

  • Ashley Laughlin

    I love my little blog and I’m SO happy that I decided to start it, but I wish it would grow a little faster! I’ve been at it for nine months and it’s growing a little, but not as much as I would like. Do you have any advice?

    http://thebookwormbeauty.com

  • Lizzie

    I just read the blog post and I have started my own website! I am using wordpress and a free theme that I have tweaked to my liking!

    I have been crawling the web to find all the proper add-ins and how to format the website! You can definitely do it too! This is the first website I have setup and Im super stoked and appreciate the article! I am linking to my Instagram for traffic, do you have any recommendations in this department?

    If you would check out my blog and let me know what you think I would really appreciate it!

    http://lizziesjourney.com/2016/12/30/a-christmas-date/

    xoxo,

    Lizzie

  • Kristyn Greer

    Hello 🙂 I am currently starting my own blog. So why is it important to get Bluehost and not just use wordpress on its own?

    Thanks, Kristyn

    • With WordPress.com, your blog belongs to WordPress and you have little to no control. You also can’t monetize your blog using third-party ads (my biggest source of revenue right now). With a self-hosted blog (Bluehost + WordPress.org) you have full control and your content is yours to monetize however you want.

      • Kristyn Greer

        Thanks so much! I’ll be sure to get Bluehost along with wordpress.
        Can you give me an example of how you monetize your blog using third party ads?

        • I use a company called AdThrive and they’ve been pretty good! I think AdThrive requires a minimum number of monthly pageviews to join (I don’t know it offhand, it might be between 60,000 and 100,000).

  • Lipstick On A Piggie

    Hi! I’m a newbie attempting to start a blog as well (career burnout). I noticed that you don’t use Google Adsense on your site (not listed in your income breakdown). Is there a reason for that? Just trying to learn and avoid any potential mistakes!

    http://www.lipstickonapiggie.com

    • Google Adsense is fine when you’re starting out, but you mostly get paid per click only. I also get higher earnings with ad networks, plus they pay per impression/every time the ad is viewed.

      • Lipstick On A Piggie

        Thanks for the response! Since I’m just starting out, I think I’ll probably stick with Adsense, then look into the ad networks once my readership (hopefully) increases. Hoping for the best!

  • Kat

    Besides photoshop, what are your favorite photo editing software or websites to use?

    • I only like and use Photoshop, but you can also use Canva (especially for graphics and pins). GIMP is a free option but it’s not as good.

  • Elishah

    Hi, I’ve been toying around with the idea of starting a blog for 7 years now (I know I’m awful) I’m currently working as a Hair & Makeup Artist and would like to start a beauty blog. I already have an an existing website, should I still use wordpress via BlueHost? I should be able to link it onto my website right? Also my biggest dilemma is not thinking that I can create content that will be good, resulting in writers block. Do you have any suggestions on overcoming this?

    • Write freely without backspacing or editing! Don’t overthink it. Once you’re done writing, then you can edit. This tends to work for me. I also like to plan an outline of my post and all the sections before I start. And keep in mind that blog-writing isn’t easy, and everybody struggles at first, especially if you’re used to writing essays (which blog posts are not!).

      You can definitely switch to self-hosted WordPress with Bluehost. If you have a blog somewhere else, you’ll have to export it to WordPress. If it’s a domain, you’ll have to redirect the domain to your new blog. If you let me know the details, maybe I can help!

  • Amy

    I really enjoyed this post it’s really informative… I’ve been blogging for a few months now and I love it! Although my last blog didn’t get a lot of views, likes or comments as my previous and it’s kind of disheartened me. I’d like to know what was wrong with it but I haven’t received any feed back. Kind of stuck on what to write about next too. Xx

  • I think many youtubers make the mistake of not having a blog. Youtube is a third-party platform and it’s a bit like putting all your eggs in one basket (which you don’t even own).

    BUT if you want to do youtube and don’t want to grow a blog, I don’t see why you should get a self-hosted site. Grow your youtube first, and then invest in your blog once you’re monetizing your youtube channel.