After blogging for 10+ years I get asked quite a bit, both online and offline, how someone can start their beauty blog. Now I should add that no one should start blogging with the idea to make money from it – this is never a good way to turn a hobby into a business because it will be difficult to seem genuine and sincere if you’ve only got your eyes on the dollar signs. That being said, it is possible to turn a profit from beauty blogging and I’m going to show you how in five easy steps! So here’s how to start a beauty blog and make money, with my in-depth look behind my blog:
So you want to start a beauty blog? Great! Now start thinking about what your content could be. Before you even register a domain or buy a camera, you need to think about what you can bring to the beauty blogging world.
My advice: don’t just blog about reviews and “generic beauty blogger” stuff. Why? Because there are already a thousand other beauty bloggers doing that. Think about the content you can create that’s different because that kind of strategy gets your more views and eventually, the money.
Can you do your makeup so well that you can transform yourself into Avengers movie characters? That’s awesome, build a blog around that, and then integrate posts like product reviews and stories around your main focus.
Anyone who says you need top-notch, $1000+ gear to make a good blog is lying – but that doesn’t mean you can get away with your mom’s point and shoot she’s had for five years. Here’s what you need:
- A mid-priced DSLR camera, I recommend the Nikon D5200 bundle that I’ve had for two years and it’s a great value
- Adobe Photoshop to edit your photos
- Amazon Basics tripod, for steady shots
- White Marble Contact Paper, for a cheap and easy backdrop
And that’s all I use. I don’t have big lights, a designated photography room, or anything elaborate like that, because I don’t need it yet. If you’re just starting, these are the essentials you need, all for under $800.
So you have all this great gear but you need to learn how to master it. Before you even publish a post, get familiar with your camera and how to edit photos. Spend time watching Photoshop tutorials on Youtube and figuring out how to compose your shots to get the cleanest, well-balanced photo possible. My trick is to set my camera to my current light settings and work with it as much as I can so I eliminate time spent in the post-editing process.
There are a few steps you need to take to get your site up and running:
- Think of a unique domain name (this GREATLY benefits your SEO)
- Register that domain with a domain hoster (I use GoDaddy and I have never had a problem + great support!)
- Purchase WordPress hosting when you purchase your domain
- Set up your WordPress dashboard and add a free, clean theme that fits your site’s future content.
A few things: first, most people think it’s a good idea to go with a free WordPress site or a Blogger and that’s what I originally did four years ago, but it’s not a good idea. Why? Because it’s a lot of work to switch it over to a self-hosted WordPress site, which has a lot of benefits like advanced customization and the ability to host ads. It will greatly benefit you if you just jump into a self-hosted WordPress site, then you don’t have to struggle with the technical difficulties of exporting and importing an entire site.
Start posting content and growing your “tribe” (social media followers). This takes a lot of time and work and there’s no magical method for growing overnight. Make sure you’re active on the big four: Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Get a consistent theme going for your blog and syndicate that plus your posts consistently across all of your platforms. Whatever you do, don’t buy your followers because that’s a dead giveaway that you’re struggling as a blogger.
Another important thing to remember is to perfect your SEO. If you have WordPress, install the Yoast plugin ASAP and follow the directions for focus keywords, snippets, etc. SEO is essential to how your blog is listed in search engines and it’s important to learn about it sooner than later.
If you decided to start monetizing your blog, wait until you have at least 1,000 followers across each of your social platforms and have at least 5,000 page views per month. Why? Because advertisers will take your website seriously and you’ll have built up a backlog of good content and loyal readers. Once you’ve reached that point, here are several ways you can start making money:
- Affiliate link programs: Izea, Amazon Associates, Shopstyle
- Sponsored post agencies: Social Fabric, Acorn Influence, Influence Central
- Sidebar ads
I’ve had more success with sponsored posts. The trick with these is to tell a story and to convey that well in your pitches. Affiliate links are really difficult to make a solid profit from and sidebar ads are equally as difficult to keep up a consistent income from. If I can give any tips about blogging, it’s to learn to craft a good story!
It’s not easy, and you shouldn’t go into blogging expecting that it would be. The best advice I can give to a budding beauty blogger is to stay true to you. Don’t try to copy what other people are doing, and don’t try to be more than who you are.
Just like in real life, your loyal readers will always be able to tell if you’re not being genuine and it’s going to be a thousand times more difficult to build up a reader base.
Don’t try to be a social media coach and sell courses on your blog if you have less than 3,000 followers or don’t show three hacks for applying eyeliner if I can find the exact steps on someone else’s blog. Blogging is tough, but it’s so rewarding when you have the first reader leave a comment on how much they love your blog!
I hope you picked up a tip or two!
Thanks for reading,