Ever wonder how all those fancy smanchy beauty bloggers do it and how they got to where they are! Well I am here to help, give my advice, my opinion, I have been there, I have done this and let me tell you it’s not always a walk in the park, but definitely so worth it.
*All images within this blog post were downloaded off Pixabay.
Starting a blog and now being the writer of The Daily Babe too is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I love every moment of time I spend behind my laptop researching, typing and creating new content. Every part of the process is fun. I love shooting my own images for my blog and social media too. A very big part of the process is that you really want to do it and that it is something you love.
You probably want to know, well where the heck do you even start? When is the right time? How does everything work? Will I even know what I am doing? If you have a passion for all things directly related to beauty, you are already half way there! Starting a blog allowed me to unleash my creativity, voice my opinion, share things with you I love and adore and doing something I love. There is no right time so just go for it.
In this post I will briefly discuss with you how to set up and start a blog. I am not going to go into extreme detail on this as we will sit here forever and a day, but what I will do is attached super handy links throughout this post for you that will allow you to start a blog with the exact steps I followed to start Just a city girl.
Getting your own domain and hosting is the way to go. This means you will have your own site, like for example www.justacitygirl.co – Do you get what I am saying. So if you want to name your blog All about me, your domain would be something like www.allaboutme.com/co.za/co.
I strongly recommend Wordpress to build your blog. WordPress trumps Blogger/Blogspot in my opinion.
If you already have a blog hosted on Blogspot or Tumblr, making the switch is totally worth it. You get to keep all your existing posts and transfer them.
Myths And Facts
Myth #1: Running your own blog is expensive.
It isn't SUPER expensive, it doesn't have to be anyway. Go check out the pricing plans on Bluehost. They also offer 1 free domain, so score, you don't have to pay for your blogs domain if you choose to host through Bluehost.
Myth #2: It’s hard and confusing to set up!
I’m not particularly computer-savvy, and I still managed to do it! Like here and there was a bit of a struggle, and I research while my setting up process quite a bit, but I managed to get everything up and running. Even if it took watching a few tutorials.
Myth #3: It’s impossible to make any money with a small blog.
Odds are you’re going to be making more than what you’re paying to run your blog. One of the advantages of having your own, self-hosted blog is having the freedom to monetize it.
So I recommend signing up to Melyssa Griffin's free resource library! Here is SO, SO, sooo much of resources that helped me out a ton!!
Myth #4: It’s really hard to make a blog look good with WordPress.
No, it is not! There is a ton of really pretty, free themes out there that is easy to install and to set up. You don’t even need to know any kind of coding or have experience with web design. Using WordPress will make your blog look better since it’s more customizable than Blogspot.
Here is one of my FAVOURITE advice givers and ladies I follow and turn to for any questions link to her blogging advice archive! Here ANY of your questions regarding blogging will be answered. Not only is her advice gold, but she is so funny and real!
Now you ask me can you REALLY make money blogging?
Well, I am not there yet, but that is the goal. Again I will attach a link or 2 for you by some of my favourite how to bloggers to help you out on this. If your are wanting to monetize your blog you need a business plan, after all that is what it is then. Read this article by White Oak Creative, another fav blogger of mine! And on HOW TO monetize, read this! This is also a great work book to download - From blog to business!
What Should I Blog About?
Uhm, ANYTHING you damn well want to! That is the beauty of it. You can blog about reviews, beauty tips and advice, hacks, interviews, monthly favourites, new product launches, makeup wishlists, high end vs. Drugstore, ANYTHING beauty. Your topics are endless.
What Equipment Do I Need to start a blog?
Here is what I recommend :
A laptop OBVS! You would need to work off something, right!
A basic camera. You can use any digital camera, a DSLR, or even your phone, as long as it is good quality images.
Photoshop or a free alternative, Canva is great as a free alternative, but you will have to be connected to the internet whilst creating your templates and images. Editing your photos will make them look professional no matter what camera you use.
Natural light. We all have that! This is a great source of light and beats any paid for lighting equipment.
Now you’re Ready For Your First Post
Read this post on writing your first post in Wordpress - How to write your first blog post!
Once you are ready to launch, read this!
Now over to what I have learnt from my experience and tips I would love to share with you that I didn’t know a few months ago. These tips will also help you establish yourself online and become better know in the world of bloggers.
My top 6 tips to establish yourself online after doing all of the above is :
Guest post on other blogs
To spread your message, you need to target the top blogs in your industry and guest post on them. There are a few different ways to collaborate with brands. They can send you products to review, you can write a sponsored post where they will pay you to write about them, brand ambassadorship or via an affiliate programme. The most popular is gifting bloggers, which of course is a great perk to the job! But don't be disheartened if some brands reject you - you have to remember that they get inundated with blogger requests and have to be quite picky on who they work with. Guest posting is writing blog posts for other bloggers and then it gets published on their blogs saying you are the author, this you can also get paid for. Study the blogs you’d like to appear on, come up with relevant pitches and ideas, email them with a professional set out proposal hope for the best. Collaborating is also another option. It is similar to guest posting, but 2 or more bloggers write blog posts that intertwine with each other and mention each other in these posts and share it all over social media tagging you and promoting your name too. This is also a great way to connect and make friends in the blogging world and have your name become a bit more known in the blogging circles. Another form of collaboration is contacting a skincare specialist or makeup artist and interviewing them, agreeing they would promote your post on their social media accounts and their followers would then be introduced to you and you may gain more followers.
Youtube is the next best thing right now! It is getting bigger and bigger by the minute, everyone wants to be a Youtuber and every wants to watch Youtube videos! As a beauty blogger – yea have a blog too, where you can feature your videos in, but have videos too! Becoming a Youtuber won’t happen overnight and with that being said it may not be for everyone! It is a good way to show whom you are and add a personal touch to your otherwise faceless blog or business. In videos, you record yourself demonstrating how products works, how to do different makeup looks etc. Anything that relates to your niche. For example, if you were a MUA’s, could do a weekly video demonstrating how to achieve a specific look or different ways to apply foundation or how to apply liquid lipstick perfectly. You don’t have to have a whole video crew on hand though, you can simply hit “record” on your smart phone or computer and then post it to YouTube, it is really simple to record, and edit it a bit to spice it up, to make it unique and different, you don’t have to go big right away, but if you want to be seen and noticed, you gotta go the extra mile, honey! You’ll also want to keep your video short, because most users don’t want to spend 30min watching 1 video! You know what I am talking about, we all watch Youtube!
Produce a company blog
A well-done company blog will drive traffic to your website. Once customers are there, they might explore the products you have to offer them, or they may share your posts within their networks. Similar what we are doing with The Daily Babe, looking at our products might get you to read an article or 2 and vice versa, reading our blog may get you shopping or even help you discover a brand you didn’t even know existed.
Be active on social media
Have you ever discovered a blog, loved what you saw, then follow them on all social media platforms possible, but they only post twice a week? Such a shame right. I wanna see my fav blogs and youtubers be active, engaging, being friendly and helpful. I love browsing through Insta or FB and seeing content being posted by my favourite bloggers and youtube! Even if it’s not a post and it is just a quote or a tip of the day. Most of the time I will then also go into their profiles and blogs or channels to see if I have missed anything and catch up. Staying active and engaging with quality content and consistent activity is a great way to get noticed.
Also, be a part of Facebook groups and engage and learn. Facebook group are great for learning from others, asking questions, promoting yourself, etc. Here is a list of some Facebook groups worth joining. I, myself am a part of most of them!
Create content worth reading
Nobody wants to see on your blog what they see on every other blog. Whether you’re posting a blog post that’s 300 or 1,200 words long, it should be engaging, informative and appealing to your audience. What’s the point of reading various blogs if everyone has similar posts? Or reading a whole post and not learning ANYTHING from it AT ALL! A waste of your time, damn straight!! Be different and unique. Stand out as much as you can. It’s hard obviously, diving into a see full of bloggers that have been blogging for years, but plan your content and think it through and always remember quality over quantity. Blogging is SO easy if you love what you talk about.
My TOP tip
I read and saw NO WHERE on my journey to becoming a beauty blogger is to not come across as the newbie that has no idea what they are doing or that can't be taken serious. Technically you are a newbie, but you don’t have to be lame or unprofessional. Don’t be that blogger that takes bad photos and writes irrelevant content, because the FACT of the matter is no one wants to read bad content or like low quality photos AND who is going to want to collaborate with you, send you products to review or even remember you if you don't work hard to stand out and show all the effort you have put into your blog and content? Come across as if you have your shit together, even if you don’t. Fake it till you make it. No one likes the lame newbie that is, well, lame. This is sad but true, if you want to make it out there in the blogging world, you have got to write quality content that consists of quality images and/or videos, read this article on tips How to take images. Plan, plan and plan! This is key! Really. And constantly look for ways to better your blog as you go, you can never stop growing and learning!
Now, don’t think all of this is just going to happen, that’s what I thought, well I atleast thought it would be an easier process and uhmmm, no, it took me nearly 4 months, that felt like an eternity to set up my blog, get a theme, design a logo, prep launch content, because you also can’t launch a blog without any content on it for your first readers to read. It’s a process, but if it is what you want to do, then believe me, you will do it! Even at times you want to pull your hair out cause none of the tutorials are making sense, tomorrow you will wake up and watch more until you have figured out to do whatever you are stuck on. All the links I have shared within this post, are links that had helped me tremendously to set my blog up and get me going, the best articles I could find every step of the way, all compiled for you in 1 post, all together, yea, you can thank me later! I guarantee you these tips and tricks and post links will get you through the whole process, mostly sane and satisfied.
Please let me know if you enjoyed this post and if it was helpful babes!
Lots of love