If you’re fascinated with beauty, or are always getting asked for hair, skin, and makeup tips, you may have thought about parlaying that experience into starting a beauty blog. However, you may be overwhelmed with the thought of a complex setup process on a platform you don’t understand.
WordPress is the perfect solution for beauty bloggers. It’s super easy to set up a good-looking website by employing one of the many available beauty-related themes. Similarly to how the right accessories can transform a person’s look, choosing a suitable theme can also make your blog look great.
In this article, we’ll firstly show you two examples of great WordPress beauty blogs, then step you through how to set up your own blog on the world’s most used publishing platform. Let’s get started!
Popular Beauty Blogs That Run on WordPress
Beauty blogging is very popular, and because of the vast number of blogs available, its difficult to choose a favorite. However, all of the top beauty blogs are content-rich and beautiful to look at (naturally!). Here are a few popular beauty sites built on WordPress that we think are worth checking out.
Run by makeup artist Cara Brook, Maskcara is a site dedicated to celebrating natural beauty. Here you’ll find useful tutorials, product information, life lessons and of course makeup for all types of women. This site is image-heavy, utilizing both stock photos and self-taken images throughout. It also features a prominent Instagram feed along the bottom of each page, further showcasing the sites many tutorials.
Don’t let the name mislead you. Fashionlush features more than just clothes – you’ll also find fantastic DIYs, health & beauty tips and travel diaries. This chic-looking blog is designed to inspire and cultivate its readers’ creativity. The professionally shot photos make this site feel like a magazine straight off the rack – a style that can work well for beauty blogs.
The Skinny Confidential is the personal blog of beauty and fitness influencer Lauryn Evarts. Here you can find her personal tip on living a more beautiful life – inside and out. Tips range from hairstyles and morning routines, to the best food in various cities around the world. While most photos are professional or candids, product heavy images cleverly help feed into the monetization of the site (a-la here is a picture of what I use, followed by affiliate links in the text).
Kate La Vie
Covering various aspects of life, Kate La Vie offer tips for beauty, interior design and general lifestyle. The fresh, clean design keeps the content front and center. Plus the easy to browse on-site shop makes it easy for followers to purchase Kate’s top picks.
How to Start Your Own Beauty Blog with WordPress
Now that you’ve been inspired, let’s move onto how you can start up your own beauty blog using WordPress. There are four basic steps to get started:
- Choose a great WordPress host
- Pick a Domain Name
1. Choose a Great WordPress Host
You’ll firstly need somewhere to host your WordPress site. We highly recommend WPEngine’s managed WordPress hosting (starting at $35 per month) as they handle installs, backups, and updates for you. Flywheel is another option offering managed WordPress hosting, it is cheaper than WPEngine (offering a comparable plat at $28, or a tiny plan for just $14 per month) – so it could be a better fit if you’re on a budget. If you’re really low on cash and want to start small, you could check out Bluehost, which starts at $2.95 per month which is a WordPress recommended host.
There are many top WordPress hosting options avaialbe to choose from. Whichever you choose, make sure you pick a host that provides you with either managed WordPress or one-click WordPress installation.
Pick a Domain Name (the URL for Your Blog)
You’ll also need a domain name. Some hosting packages include your domain name for free for the first year (such as Bluehost). But if your hosting doesn’t include this feature it’s easy enough to buy it separately. We like GoDaddy, but most registrars work the same. Search for the url you want, purchase it (we also recommend adding on privacy and a SSL certificate) then point your new domain to your host. After that you’re ready to start blogging
Note: We can’t tell you exactly how to do this since it varies based on the registry and host you’re using. Thankfully every registry and hosting company has instructions on their site for how to do this… and if in doubt ask their customer support for help.
Due to the commitment needed, you may not be ready to take the leap into online hosting, and that’s okay. You also have the option to install WordPress on your own computer. This is a great way to practice or to design your website offline. While it seems complex, it’s not really that hard. Depending on your operating system, one of our previous articles will walk you through the process:
- Installing WordPress On Mac Locally With MAMP, WAMP or Ubuntu
- Local by Flywheel to easily build your site locally
- Use DesktopServer to build multiple local sites
However, once you’re ready to move your website online, you’ll definitely need to revisit our advice above for a suitable host – there’s no way for the world to see your blog unless it’s online! With WordPress installed (either locally or on your new hosting plan), it’s time to look at themes.
2. Select a Theme
Simply put, themes govern the look of your WordPress website. There are a plethora of themes available (with many free options as well). But for your beauty blog you’ll want to make sure to choose a theme that makes the most of your content. The right theme should have a great layout that puts the spotlight on your content, and good integration with social media. Let’s take a look at three good examples.
Chic Lifestyle & Beauty WordPress Theme
Chic is a premium WordPress theme created for makeup, hair, fashion and lifestyle websites. Taking design input from industry insiders, this theme has a very professional look and feel that will take your beauty blog up another level.
Plus the theme includes full support for WooCommerce. So if you want to take your beauty blog to the next level and start selling your own products (like Maskcara with her IIID makeup) you can! If you’re someone who likes to think big and is looking a premium option Chic could be ideal.
Savona Fame Free WordPress Theme
The Savona Fame theme features a simple blog layout with two header menus (a top bar with social links and a main centered menu below the logo) and styled widgets. The minimal pink, white and black color palette is the perfect start for any beauty blog.
Olivie Beauty Blog WordPress Theme
Olivie is a very feminine WordPress theme designed for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blogs. It has multiple homepage layouts, sections ready for ad placements, and a built-in newsletter signup form to collect readers email addresses.
This theme will be great for one-person setups who have aspirations to make money from their blog in the future. With the right theme chosen, it’s time to look at some suitable plugins.
Revive Free WordPress Theme
Revive is a free theme with a beautiful magazine-style layout. There are multiple design options (including displaying social media links in the header), along with prominent use of featured images and stylish rollover animations throughout. This is a great theme for beginner bloggers who need a simple yet stylish design.
3. Install a Few Helpful Plugins
One reason for WordPress’ popularity is the wide range of available plugins. Theses are add-ons that enhance the platform’s core functionality. While plugin choice is a personal decision based on the additional functionality you desire, some are downright essential – and in fact, we’ve presented a number of them in our previous article on how to get started blogging.
No matter your blogging niche, here are a handful of key plugins we’d recommend. Please note – you only need one plugin for each purpose. For example, you only need one social plugin (no need to install all of these).
- SEO: Your blog can’t get popular if people can’t find you in search engines. That’s where Yoast SEO comes in. This plugin will help you sort out your onsite SEO helping you boost traffic.
- Security: While you can choose a full-featured option such as iThemes Security Pro, we like (and use) VaultPress. This plugin takes comprehensive website backups for you. Some hosting companies will provide daily backups of your site but VaultPress backs up literally everything (posts, images, etc) and it includes the powerful Akismet spam blocker to boot. For just $39/year that’s peace of mind you won’t want to miss.
- Newsletter: We like MailChimp – it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers. Once you signup for a free MailChimp account just install a simple plugin like MailChimp for WP to easily insert your newsletter forms. This is great to promote new content (Note: Some themes like Chic already include built-in newsletter support, in which case you can skip this plugin).
- Social: Many themes include built-in social widgets, which may be enough. But for those who want more control over the placement and style plugins like AddThis and Monarch are great options.
- E-Commerce: For any entrepreneur looking to add a store their WordPress site it pretty much comes down to either WooCommerce (a simple and straightforward option to build an online store) or Easy Digital Downloads (a bit more of a learning curve, but much more customizable). Both are great choices to monetize your site.
Of course there are ton’s of other plugins for customizing your theme, adding custom post types,
4. Take Great Photos
No beauty blog can survive without stunning images. If you’re not a comfortable with a camera yet don’t worry. It’s easy to learn the basics. There are tons of free tips and guides online (and on Instagram). You can also supplement your self-taken images using free stock photos – though for a beauty blog we’d argue that its best to take your own.
Unfortunately, some images can take a up a lot of space and slow down your website. Fortunately, there are easy ways to optimize images them to ensure you maintain quality while also compressing image files to take up as little space as possible.
Bonus Tips for Fashion & Beauty Bloggers
After you’ve setup your website there is more you can do to help your blog grow. First of all you’ve got to get out there and network! Leave comments on other beauty blogs with your backlink (just make sure your comment is purposeful and relevant – don’t spam other bloggers!). Also make sure you add your website to Bloglovin’ and consider adding their follow button widget to your blog’s sidebar or footer.
Depending on your blog you might also apply to join an affiliate network like Reward Style or Shop Style Collective. These networks allow you to create a “shop this post” gallery or carousel at the end of your articles so you can make a bit of money when your readers click on your affiliate links (just be sure to properly disclose that there are affiliate links on the page per FTC requirements). You can of course sign up for affiliate programs individually and add links yourself, but the networks just make it a bit easier and streamlined which is why you might want to check them out.
Despite the potential to be overwhelming – especially if you’re not au fait with the process – creating your beauty blog with WordPress is easy. Furthermore, if you choose a great theme and some suitable plugins, the whole process can be an enjoyable experience.
Do you have any questions about setting up a beauty blog? Or maybe other tips to share with aspiring bloggers? Let us know in the comments section below – We’d love to hear what you have to say.