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!
2 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 couple of 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. Makeup Tutorials features more than just makeup — you’ll also find fantastic hair and nail tutorials. This chic-looking blog is designed to inspire and cultivate its readers’ creativity, and takes a very different approach from the other blog mentioned. The professionally shot photos, mixed with stock images, make this site feel like a magazine straight off the rack – a style that can work well for beauty blogs.
How to Start a 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 elements you’ll need to get started:
- WordPress and reliable hosting
- A suitable theme
- Some appropriate plugins
- Beautiful images
Simple enough, right? Let’s go!
1. Choosing a WordPress Host
You’ll firstly need somewhere to host your WordPress site. We highly recommend WPEngine’s managed WordPress hosting (starting at $29 per month) as they handle installs, backups, and updates for you. Flywheel is another option offering managed WordPress hosting, it is cheaper than WPEngine at $15 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 $3.49 per month which is a WordPress recommended host.
Whichever you choose, make sure you pick a host that provides you with either managed WordPress or one-click WordPress installation. For further guidance, check out our previous article on how to choose the right WordPress host for you.
You’ll also need a domain name. Some hosting packages include your domain name for free (for the first year) like Bluehost, but if your hosting doesn’t include this feature it’s easy enough to buy it separately. We like GoDaddy, or you could also try NameCheap or another registry, then you just have to point your new domain to your host and 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, but don’t worry – 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
- Installing WordPress On Windows Locally With WAMP
- Install WordPress On Ubuntu Locally With LAMP
However, once you’re ready to move your website online, you’ll definitely need to revisit our advice above and plump for a suitable host – there’s no way for the world to see your blog without one! Once WordPress is installed, it’s time to look at themes.
2. Choosing a Theme
Simply put, themes govern the look of your WordPress website. There are a plethora of themes available (with many free options), 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.
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.
Chic Lifestyle & Beauty WordPress Theme ($59)
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.
Olivie Beauty Blog WordPress Theme ($79)
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.
3. Installing Plugins
One reason for WordPress’ popularity is the wide range of available plugins – 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.
Building an audience for a beauty blog means you are probably very active on social networks such as Twitter and Instagram. If your chosen theme doesn’t have built-in social media feeds, you can use plugins to pull in your social content. Some free suggestions are:
- TwineSocial. This free plugin displays an infinitely-scrolling list all of your social media posts on your site.
- Juicer. Juicer is a plugin that helps aggregate your social media posts on your website. While the plugin is free, to integrate more than 2 social media accounts you’ll need to upgrade to a premium account, starting at $19 per month.
Other plugins to consider should be familiar if you’ve been blogging for a while, if not here are the one’s we’d recommend:
- Jetpack. We mention this plugin a lot on WPExplorer, but Jetpack is a great all-in-on solution for many new blogs thanks to great options for social, comments, security, image optimization and more.
- Yoast 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.
- MailChimp. You will need to signup for a free MailChimp account first, but once you do you can start you own newsletter – which is great for promoting new content (note: some themes like Chic already include built-in newsletter support, in which case you can skip this plugin).
- VaultPress. Lastly we recommend VaultPress for regular website backups. Some hosting companies will provide daily backups of your site but here at WPExplorer we believe in being safe rather than sorry. VaultPress backs up everything (posts, images, etc) and it includes the powerful Akismet spam blocker too. For just $9 that’s peace of mind you won’t want to miss.
Of course there are ton’s of other plugins for customizing your theme, adding custom post types,
4. Using Images
No beauty blog can survive without stunning images. If you’re not a dab-hand with a camera, it’s easy to learn the basics. You can also supplement your self-taken images using stock photo sites such as Pixabay, and any number of other free image sources. Regardless of the source, you’ll want to use Creative Commons images (which are completely free to use for any purpose) to both keep costs down and not fall foul of copyright law.
Unfortunately, some images can take a up a lot of space and slow down your website. Fortunately, there are ways to optimize them to take up as little space as possible, and we’ve previously written a guide to help you get started. For a selection of plugins that can help, check another of our previous articles.
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.
In this post, we’ve given you the steps you’ll need to help get your beauty blog up and running. Let’s recap:
- Choose a suitable WordPress-focused host.
- Choose a suitable theme.
- Install the right plugins.
- Use beautiful images.
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.