HOW TO START A BEAUTY AND LIFESTYLE BLOG
Starting a beauty and lifestyle blog can be a great new hobby or even a business. It’s not too expensive to get started and you don’t need to be a computer genius. So, if you’ve ever wondered how to start a beauty and lifestyle blog, look no further!
This is the complete beginner’s guide for how to start a beauty and lifestyle blog.
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DECIDE WHAT TO BLOG ABOUT
Before we get into the step-by-step process for starting a beauty and lifestyle blog, make sure you know what you want to blog about. Obviously, with a beauty and lifestyle blog, you’ll want to talk about beauty and lifestyle — but take some time to list out what that means to you.
Having a beauty and lifestyle blog is great because it gives you the freedom to blog about many topics instead of only beauty. Come up with the main categories you’ll be writing about. Focus on topics you are really passionate about and that you are interested in. You’ll want to choose a niche that you are interested in or that you are curious to learn more about, otherwise you may get bored quickly.
There are a few main blogging platforms that most people use:
- WORDPRESS.ORG (SELF-HOSTED)
You can quickly just set up a free blog through blogger or wordpress.com, but if you’re serious about starting your beauty and lifestyle blog, I recommend getting a self-hosted blog through wordpress.org.
WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms and it offers a lot of customization and plug-ins that aren’t offered on other platforms. There are two versions of WordPress — the free .com version and the self-hosted .org version. This can be confusing to some newbie bloggers. It was for me when I first started my blog.
Basically, the free version of WordPress is owned by WordPress. You don’t have to pay out of pocket, but you also don’t own your space. It also prevents you from using custom themes and restricts you from placing ads on your site if you chose to monetize your blog later on.
The self-hosted version of WordPress is owned by you. You buy hosting (more on that later) and your blog is stored on your host’s server. Because you own it, you can do whatever you want — upgrade your theme, place ads on your site to earn money, and access all available plug-ins.
WHY I SWITCHED FROM WORDPRESS.COM TO WORDPRESS.ORG
I used WordPress.com for a year before switching to a self-hosted site on WordPress.org. I chose to move my blog to a self-hosted site because:
- I wanted my blog to have a more professional look. [muffinchanel.com] looks a lot more professional than [muffinchanel.wordpress.com]
- I wanted to be able to monetize with ads on my blog. You have more freedom with a self-hosted site in terms on monetizing with ads.
- A self-hosted WordPress.org site allows you to own your blog. I wanted to be in control of my blog and own its space on the internet.
I recommend starting your beauty and lifestyle blog on the self-hosted version (WordPress.org) right from the start because it was a little annoying to have to make the switch. It wasn’t terrible, but you will probably want to upgrade to the self-hosted version in the future anyway, might as well do it once the right way.
REGISTER YOUR DOMAIN NAME
I registered my domain name through GoDaddy.com. I wanted to keep my hosting and domain registrar separate because I read that it’s more secure that way. And easier for you if you ever decide to switch your hosting; then you don’t have to mess with switching your domain over too. I recommend keeping them separate.
To register a domain through GoDaddy, just type in your domain into their top search bar.
If the domain is available, select it and continue to your cart. They ask you if you want to add the Privacy Protection to your domain — I definitely recommend this. It just keeps your personal information private so you protect yourself from scams and spam.
TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR DOMAIN NAME
Your domain name for your beauty and lifestyle blog is super important. This is the address of your website so you want it to be something that represents you. Here are a few tips for a catchy and relevant domain name:
- Make it memorable. You want people to remember your website address so they can keep coming back or refer it to their friends.
- Make it easy to say and spell. When you or others talk about your site, you don’t want to have to stop and spell it out. Don’t make it hard for people to search for you.
- Make it relevant. If possible, give people an idea about what your site is about in the address, but don’t make it so specific. Having a beauty and lifestyle blog lets you be more flexible with your content.
- Don’t use hyphens. It’s harder to remember where the hyphens go and it doesn’t look as nice.
- Try to get a .com domain. It looks more professional and it’s more memorable.
BUY HOSTING + INSTALL WORDPRESS
Now that you have your beauty and lifestyle blog’s new domain, you’re ready to buy your hosting — your own personal space on the internet.
The two main hosts that I’m familiar with are:
I personally chose to go with Bluehost because it’s the official recommended hosting by WordPress. I wanted a seamless transition between my WordPress.com site and my new self-hosted WordPress.org site.
SET UP HOSTING THROUGH BLUEHOST
Setting up your new blog with Bluehost is easy. I’m going to walk you through a step-by-step guide:
1 | Head over to Bluehost.com and click on the green “Get Started Now” button.
2 | Pick the plan you want. I went with the Plus option, but it looks like you can get the Prime package for the exact same price which is a better deal. Keep in mind though that you only get the cheapest monthly rate based on selecting the 36-month option. Bluehost will charge you the full (36-month) amount when you make your purchase. By pre-paying, you are securing the best rate. If you don’t want to go with the 36-month option, you can always choose the 24-month, or the 12-month, but the monthly rate will be slightly more.
3 | Type in your domain name if you already have one into the “I have a domain name” box. If you decide to go through Bluehost to register a new domain, enter it in the “New domain” box.
4 | Create your Bluehost account + select your package details
In the “Package information” section, you’ll be able to select the terms of your plan. Like I mentioned before, the cheapest monthly rate is available with the 36-month option, but you can also elect the 24-month, or 12-month options from the “Account Plan” drop-down.
I chose the 36-month option when I started with Bluehost because it had a better monthly rate, and also because I kew that I was serious about blogging. At the time, it seemed like a lot of money to pay upfront, but I haven’t had to worry about it or think about any changes for the last three years!
5 | Check your email for confirmation. In the email, Bluehost will take you to a page to create your account password. Then use your login and new password to log into the hosting control panel.
6 | Install WordPress. Click the link to “Install WordPress” on the control panel and then click “Install Now” on the next page. Once installed, you’ll see a notification that “Your WordPress Install is finished”. Click “View” to see your WordPress site URL, Username, and Password.
7 | Check your email for your WordPress log-in information from MOJO Marketplace. Save this email! Click on the “Admin URL” link which will take you to your admin access on WordPress. Log in to WordPress with your information from Bluehost.
CHANGE YOUR NAMESERVERS
If you bought your domain through GoDaddy.com or your own registrar (not Bluehost), you’ll need to log in and point your domain to Bluehost’s hosting. This will make it so your domain syncs with your WordPress site.
The name servers to enter are:
Nameserver 1: ns1.bluehost.com
Nameserver 2: ns2.bluehost.com
Here’s how to point your GoDaddy.com domain to your Bluehost hosting step-by-step:
1 | Log in to your GoDaddy account.
4 | Click Custom under “Setup type” and click, “Enter Custom Nameservers.”
5 | Enter the Bluehost nameservers listed above.
Log into your WordPress dashboard (using the information from the MOJO email — www.yourbeautyandlifestyleblog.com/wp-admin) and take a look around. This will be your blog’s home and where you’ll probably be spending a lot of time.
PICK A THEME
One of the first things to do is to pick a theme for your blog or to update the settings on the default theme if you choose to stick with that. I have been using a free theme for the last four years and it’s been great for me. You don’t need to upgrade to a premium theme to get started blogging.
Many free and paid themes are available, but the most important thing you want in a theme is for it to be responsive. A responsive theme will adapt to your reader’s device — so if someone visits your blog on their phone, it’ll resize and reformat your blog to look as great as it does on a computer.
You can look through the different available themes through the Appearance tab on the left side. You can also install premium themes from other designers. A popular theme site for beauty and lifestyle blogs is pipdig.
RECOMMENDED WORDPRESS PLUG-INS
There are tons of plug-ins for your new beauty and lifestyle blog, but these three are the ones I recommend you install right away:
- Jetpack – A WordPress plug-in that does a lot of things including: detailed stats on your page views.
- Related Posts – This plug-in will show your readers other posts on your site that your readers may be interested in.
- Yoast SEO – An SEO plug-in to help you structure your posts better so they rank in Google.
Before you start posting on your new beauty and lifestyle blog, you’ll want to set up your main pages.
Pages are a static, non-dated place for your content. These pages are more for content that won’t expire like an “About Me” page. Here are a few pages you may want to create for your new blog:
About Me page
Who is the person behind the blog? If people like your content and they want to get to know you more, they’ll probably head over to your About Me page. This page is very important so you’ll want to take some time to write a little bit about you or your blog in a fun and engaging way.
If you choose to monetize your blog down the line, you need to disclose that to your readers. Let them know about your ads or your affiliates or your sponsored content. The FTC has rules about what needs to be disclosed, so don’t stress about it and just make sure you’re following the rules.
Your contact page can be a dedicated page with an embedded form or just a link to your preferred email address. You’ll want to make it easy for your readers or companies be able to contact.
Posts are dated and should be more time-sensitive. Posts will be the majority of your content. Your most current post will display at the top of your blog’s homepage depending on your specific theme.
TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR BEAUTY AND LIFESTYLE BLOG POSTS
Now that you know how to start a beauty and lifestyle blog, it’s time to start posting! Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Be consistent. You want your readers to know that they can come back to your site and find new content. It can be helpful to map out what days you want to post on a calendar. I would try to aim for posting at least 1 – 2x’s a week, but whatever you decide, be consistent and don’t stress out about it.
- Know your audience. Once you get into your beauty and lifestyle blogging groove, you may realize that your readers really like when you post about XYZ. Whatever that is, pay attention. When your audience tells you what they like/want, give it to them!.
- Create relevant post titles. You don’t want your titles to be misleading, so tell your reader what your post is about in the title.
- Create great content. Take your new beauty and lifestyle blog seriously and post only great content. Anticipate your reader’s questions and answer them. Or be really thorough in your reviews. Whatever you blog about, make it something you would want to read yourself and something that you are proud of.
- Use media in your posts (pictures, videos, etc.) You want visually appealing images in your posts to aid your reader in understanding what you are talking about, or just to break up the text and add interest. We are visual people and we like to see images. With a beauty and lifestyle blog, you will want to show your beautiful images. I take all my blog photos on my iPhone, so you don’t need any fancy equipment just to get started.
Some awesome iPhone editing apps are:
When you’re ready to promote your blog and start engaging with your readers and the blogging community, create your various social media accounts. I recommend starting new accounts with your blog name as the user name across all platforms — this way it’s easier for your readers to find you and engage with you.
Make sure you respond to comments and engage with your readers. If they took the time out of their day to talk to you, make sure you respond back. Developing a relationship with your audience can help your blog grow.
Now you know everything about how to start a beauty and lifestyle blog, from registering a domain name to promoting your blog on social media. Happy blogging!
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