May 4, 2016

How to start a beauty blog and take it to great heights

A beauty blog is a regularly updating website in which beauty-related topics are discussed, products are reviewed, advice on traditional and new beauty concepts is given, latest offers and trends are brought to readers' notice. 
As beauty and fashion are closely related, fashion trends or matching fashion advice are expected too.

What makes a beauty blog 'great'?

A search on Google for 'beauty blog' gives 157 million results and that for 'fashion blog' 211 million! but if we evaluate these on high standards of content quality, regularity and blogging craft, only a few thousand blogs would remain in our list. Well, if you evaluate all these million on their earning, you'll get a few thousand blogs, many of which will be  mediocre in one or the other aspect but well-monetized. 
What we mean to say is that if money is your primary concern, yours need not be a GREAT BLOG. On the other hand, if yours is an INTRINSICALLY GREAT BLOG, it will not only earn reputation and goodwill it will also have a very high potential for earning.

A great blog in this genre has all or most of these qualities:
  • Detailed posts.
  • High quality content that is originally crafted and that shows expertise in one or more aspects of human beauty and fashion.
  • Content that is useful and informative. A variety of content.
  • Content that is without bias, and not based on hearsay or unscientific belief.
  • Reviews that are unbiased, and with a clear disclosure if these are sponsored.
  • Regular updation.
  • Good blog design and looks; fine use of colors,  spaces. 
  • Good navigation, labeling of posts, archives.
  • Use of formatting, font styles and contrast for better readability. 
  • Good use of images and videos on posts.
  • Engagement with commenters, and outreach through social networking sites such as Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter; also presence on photo and video sharing networks such as Instagram and Vimeo.      

    How to make a beauty blog? What if I want it free?

    First comes starting the blog. Creating a blog on Blogger is a child's play. Same goes for Wordpress. Both these platforms have tools enough to craft a good beauty blog, that too free!

    If you open a free Blogger blog, its name would be something like this: On Wordpress, like this: You can later map the blog to an independent domain name (e.g. so that it looks professional. If you are already a well-known industry expert or a personality, you can have the blog's name and title in your name (e.g. Lisa EldridgeMichellePhan); if you are a newbie, choose a name that has to do something with your main area of interest but don't make it too narrow (e.g. if your blog is, it will look odd when you later decide to have bridal makeup as your main theme). When it grows big and resources of free platforms no longer serve your purpose, you can decide to host it independently on a web host.

    We generally advise opening a Blogger blog as it is very easy to set up and is totally free. It can later be converted into type ii blog, i.e. with an independent domain name, with just domain charges to be paid per year. A blog too is free but Wordpress charges dollars if you upgrade some features. You also have to pay if you want to map it with an independent domain name.
    Hosting a blog independently (no link with Blogger or Wordpress) costs you money
    Top established bloggers and companies directly go for independent domain name and hosting option. If you have all the resources, start with that. Otherwise, go for the free option and then upgrade in stages.

    Video beauty blog  


    One great way to blog on beauty and fashion matters is to open a YouTube channel and keep adding videos on it. If you do not have time for that, you can occasionally put a video on YouTube and link it well on the blog and other social network accounts. 

    You don't need sophisticated video equipment or expertise on video editing; just shooting yourself at home with a mobile phone would do initially. Videos can be on how to do make up, manicure, prepare a facepack, color hair and so on. These will be small videos that you can shoot in your bedroom. Try to teach something new or doing old things in an easier way or what not to do. As there will already be thousands of videos already on YouTube on the same subject, being fresh and imaginative is important. 

    Videos get you relevant traffic. These are evergreen and visitors keep viewing them and coming back to you. If even one video is liked by people, it will pave way for your success, and fast. Once you have some small videos, you can run a series of tutorials and 'how-to's. 
    We have published a detailed article on different aspects of video blogging.  

    Any limits, investment required, pre-conditions?

    If you apply your mind on different aspects of blogging, you can have all the qualities that are listed above even in a free blog. You hardly need knowledge of web technology. Yes, if you want traffic and money, you would need to know tricks of content marketing and SEO.
    There are no pre-conditions for having a beauty blog.
    None, other than your passion for and expertise on the subject. There are advantages of having your blog an independent domain name and its hosting on a less-crowded server. But these are not pre-conditions. You can, after some time, migrate your free blog to a new name and host.  
    Brush:free photo from StockSnap

    Remember, successful blogging requires regular work on the blog and lots of patience. That also means reading fashion blogs and magazines and being up-to-date. Closely following celebrity and movie makeup and fashion trends. Maybe, investing some money on a good camera if you want to publish your own photos. Perhaps spending a little on buying a domain name. And when you have grown, definitely some investment on professional design, mail management and e-commerce facilities on the blog. If you are not blogging just as a hobby but want to earn money, you must take blogging as a business, no less.

    How do I set up a dashing beauty blog that makes money?

    Once you have at least a few dozen posts, some standalone pages and the blog has run for 8-9 months, think of earning from it.
    Beauty blogs can be easily monetized, though there is much competition. For that, you must have a plan.

    Do you have all that is needed of a beauty blogger who earns big money?

    Analyze your strengths first. Ask yourself all relevant questions, some peripheral ones too. Do you have a boutique? Have you done a beautician course? Do you have good knowledge of human biology, especially skin? Do you have  some appreciation about diet, chemistry of beauty products, etc? Do you keep yourself up-to-date on latest developments in this field? Are you in a location where women go for beauty treatments? Do you attend beauty classes, workshops etc in your area? Do you have mastery over the language in which you will blog? Can you visualize writing long posts with very useful advice that other blogs don't have? Can you take photos with your camera or mobile phone, which suit the blog? How much time can you spare for blogging? Do you understand the craft of blogging - some style, some placement of widgets, some navigation tweaks...? Do you know a bit of html, SEO, social media management? Do you have a good friendship circle? Do you have a buzzing social media circle on Facebook, WhatsApp, Google Plus, Twitter, etc? Do you know some top beauty queens and socialites or are you one of them? Are you in beauty business or are associated with companies doing beauty business?  ... and the final question: Are you really deeply interested in being beautiful and making others beautiful OR you want to do beauty blogging just to earn quick money?
    Based on this analysis, make a list of topics on which you will write and how you will compose your posts. On some permanent topics, think of making static pages and placing them prominently on the blog

    A pretty face: StockSnap
    Think of your target audience and decide how you will approach them using the blog.

    The actual task of making money from the beauty blog is not that difficult but needs systemic approach and patience.

    What content is great for making money?

    Product review is one important stream for earning dollars from beauty and fashion blogsIf you regularly do good product reviews on the blog, beauty product makers and sellers will themselves approach you for paid reviews. They will also send you samples and background information on products. 

    You can review services of beauticians, spas, boutiques, massage parlors etc also, but such reviews are best done with their permission so that they do not object to use of their photographs etc

    In all cases, you should be unbiased in your reviews; if a product or service is too bad, avoid reviewing it. 

    Why just reviews, carry comparisons among similar products. Comparisons get more visits and you'd also see more relevant PPC ads (see below) on the blog.

    Affiliate advertising is another paying stream. In this system, you put ads of affiliates (=partners) and when someone buys their product through your websites, you get paid. The payment is much more as compared to pay per click (PPC) ads described below. 

    For affiliation, you have to register yourself as a publisher by going to affiliate sites/ networks, and then they guide you how to select ads etc. Some big merchants will not put ads on your website unless you have a minimum number of page-views and when your content is relevant to their product.

    The common affiliate networks and aggregators include CJ, Amazon, Clickbank, Rewardstyle, Linkshare, Skimlinks and Chitika. Some of these might not be working in your location, some might have products not suitable for your blog (as these are not available in your country, etc) and some might not suit you for other reasons. Your country might have some other retailer chains or networks that offer affiliation. Take some time checking them to find the best suited affiliate for your blog; it is not desirable to have more than one affiliate's links on the same blog.

    Pay per click (PPC) advertising is the most common way to monetize a beauty or fashion blog. You have to put advertisements provided by the PPC ad provider (e.g. Google, for AdSense) and whenever somebody clicks on these ads, you are paid a small sum. AdSense is the best and biggest PPC advertisement service. However, for handsome earning from PPC, your blog must get good and relevant traffic.

    We'll mention direct ads here but unless one is very well established, such advertisements do not come easily. As a small blogger, you can forget them unless you know someone in a cosmetics company or a home-made cosmetics seller.

    Look at successful blogs around and see what ads they are running and what else they are doing to earn from the blog.

    Once you have run your blog systematically for about a year, you would get offers to cover promotional campaigns of beauty products. There might also be invitations to participate in beauty / fashion events. Mind it, these are not free; you have to write about them on your blog. Depending upon how well you write (that does not mean praising/ recommending the undeserving product or event), you'd keep getting more such offers and will also get offers to write sponsored posts. A few established bloggers have also got offers to write a book based on their posts.
    Don't underestimate the importance of social networking. It works great for this type of blogs. So, have a buzzing Facebook page (A page is different from timeline.), Google Plus page, Twitter handle, Instagram account (But only as many accounts on social networks as you can handle). Make friends; give advice; engage friends on beauty-related talk; link blog posts on the Facebook page. 

    Sky is the limit for beauty and fashion bloggers because of women's unending (but growing) urge to look better and chase good product and services. Unlike many other niches, visitors like to look at ads and thus help in fast monetization. Despite crowding of this niche, there is good scope for hard-working, talented and determined bloggers. This is true for bloggers sitting in New York and also for those in developing countries (very poor, conflict-ridden countries are obvious exceptions). We have many examples of people who had beauty-talk as their hobby and then became hobby bloggers and are now big beauty bloggers. We also have examples of bloggers who later branched out to beauty business and now have their own product lines. 

    So, work seriously and take your beauty blog as a business; enjoy it as a hobby and have fun; make friends; contribute your knowledge and expertise in making the world a bit more beautiful. All the best!