If you’re reading this, you’re probably considering starting a blog. I’m so happy you’re here and including me in your research to begin your journey blogging. Because let me tell you, blogging has given me so many different opportunities I never thought were possible. And the best part is that every blogger has his or her own voice and way of creating content. So there’s room for everyone and anyone in this space.
Today I’m going to show you a step-by-step guide on how to start a fashion blog the right way and set you up for success.
How to Start a Fashion Blog
Pick Your Blog Name
To be honest, I picked the first name that came to mind and created my blog in a day while I was bored over Christmas break, which is totally fine! But if you want to give it some thought, here are some points to consider when picking your fashion blog name.
- Pick a name that will grow with you. Don’t pick something that only relates to your life now. For example, you might have blonde hair, but one day you might change that up. If your blog name revolves around your hair color, then that may confuse people. Think of something that means something to you and makes you smile. Pick that and don’t overthink it!
- If you want to go with your name, remember it may change one day from marriage or even maybe divorce. I don’t say that hoping that happens, but it’s just something to keep in mind. I know more than a handful of bloggers that are divorced, and they usually don’t change their blog name because it can stall your traffic and SEO. If you really want to use your name, I’d recommend using your first and middle name.
- Pick something short and memorable. If you pick something similar to other people, it’ll be hard to stand out against the crowd. Many bloggers have done the “Sparkles and Donuts” combination for years, but think about how easy it is to mix up those words. You want a name that’s easy to spell and remember!
- Research the name you’re thinking. Make sure it’s, most importantly, not already taken, and that you can use the same name across the social media platforms you want to use.
Create an Email and Social Channels
Once you decide on your name, I recommend claiming the name across the social media platforms you plan to use. I’d also claim the name on social media platforms you think you may not use just to be safe too!
Make a separate email for your blog to keep things organized. I kept it simple with a free Gmail account.
Create a Free Blog – Is It Worth It?
If you want to keep it 100 percent free, you can go to wordpress.com or blogger.com and set up a free webpage that will give you a free domain like www.yourblogname.blogger/wordpress.com. I started on Blogger and eventually switched to WordPress.org once I knew my blog was sticking around.
Just know, Blogger, WordPress.com or any other free blog space technically owns your site and can shut it down without asking you. And ideally, you want your domain name to be as simple as possible, without any other words besides your blog name. You can’t get that unless you pay for your domain name.
When your web address is simple, it’s much easier to promote. Someone can remember www.yourblogname.com, but potentially not – www.yourblogname.blogger/wordpress.com.
Whether you’re wanting to make money from your blog or keep it a hobby, it’s worth making a small investment in yourself to make it official, in my opinion. It also helps to keep you motivated when you’re paying for it! For under $200, you can get a pretty blog template, your professional domain and reliable hosting to get your blog started off right.
Just be sure to weigh the pros and cons of both free and paid sites to make the best decision for yourself and this new adventure.
Purchase Your Domain Name
The first impression of your blog is your own domain name. I thought this was intimidating and a large commitment to buy my own domain name. But in fact, it’s relatively cheap to create your own webspace! I use NameCheap for my domain name, and it’s under $10/year.
I’ve also seen hosting companies include the domain name in their purchase package, at least for the first year. So be sure it’s not included in your hosting package before purchasing it somewhere like NameCheap.
Owning your domain name will help people discover your site in search engines, and it will also look more professional.
Select a Web Host for Your Blog
If you want to own your site and have a simple domain name, here are the steps to create your website. First, pick a hosting company for your blog. Web hosting is just a fancy name for “renting” a space on the internet.
I use SiteGround to host my site and have never had an issue with it going down. SiteGround reps are available 24/7 for assistance too! I highly recommend them for reliable hosting. They have a variety of hosting plans, and you can start off with the most affordable package. Then you can upgrade as needed, based on your site traffic.
According to the WordPress website, the other two reputable WordPress hosting companies that work well with WordPress sites are Bluehost and DreamHost.
Once you have your domain name and web hosting company chosen, you’ll want to install WordPress, which is where all the magic of content creation happens. WordPress is ideal for blogging because it has so many opportunities for customization. They have over 55,000 plugins to choose from to fit your vision for your website.
One of the top plugins I recommend is the Yoast SEO plugin. This helps rate the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your blog posts, which is essentially how people find you from an organic search. You want your posts to rate well in search engines, so you can show up on the first few pages (ideally the first) of someone’s search. Yoast SEO gives you recommendations on how to improve your SEO if there’s room for improvement.
WordPress sites also do well with mobile devices. Since the majority of people today read from their phones, it’s important that your site showcases well on a phone screen.
Find a Blog Theme
After you install WordPress, you’ll want to choose a WordPress theme. The theme is your overall design of your blog.
WordPress offers many different themes. Some are free and some you have to pay for. But you don’t have to choose a theme specifically from WordPress. Personally, I love the design and branding behind blogging and create all my own graphics and logos on Canva.
You can find relatively cheap blog templates on sites like Etsy or Creative Market. You can also use Pinterest to find free blog templates. I recommend putting a little money into it, if you’re wanting to make money from your fashion blog down the road.
Create Your Google Analytics Account
This is an easy step that gives you vital information when it comes to your blog traffic. Don’t worry about the numbers too much in the beginning, but it’s helpful to see what’s working for future content creation.
If you’re going to niche down in the fashion industry, you’ll want to know what type of posts your readers enjoy the most. Google Analytics will give you that information, so you can cater to your specific audiences’ wants and needs.
Fill In Important Information on Your Blog
When someone lands on your blog or social media channels, it’s important for them to easily find out what they’ll discover and learn from you.
Make sure to include the following information on your blog and social media accounts:
- Photos of You – they don’t have to be professional right off the bat. However, people need to put a face to the name of your blog, and get a feel for your sense of style.
- Blog URL – always include this on your social media accounts to help drive traffic. Social media is a wonderful tool to help promote your blog, so make sure your blog URL is always front and center and accessible.
- Contact Information – include your new blog email so people can easily contact you. I see many bloggers not include that in their bio. I know you can be contacted via direct message, but sometimes things get lost in there. Plus it’s more professional.
- Short bio – include the important stuff here. Instead of saying you like coffee and puppies (most people like those), explain what your blog is about or what problem your blog can help the viewer solve. That way, they know why or if they should follow you.
- Location – always include your location to connect with local followers and brands. If you don’t live in or near a large city, you can simply put Southern California or East Texas, etc.
Start Creating Content
A blog is always evolving, but you should really focus on one or two topics, so new readers can learn what to expect from your site. Before you launch your blog, be sure to have a few posts already live, so readers checking out your new site have posts to read and browse.
One easy way to start making money relatively quickly is through affiliate marketing. After you launch your site but before you start sharing your site with the world, I’d recommend applying to an affiliate program like LiketoKnow.it. That way, the content you create before you launch can already have affiliate links within the posts. I have lots of tips on How to Grow Your LiketoKnow.it here if you’re interested.
Share Your New Blog
Now that everything is ready to go, share your new site! Share it on your social media channels, text your besties, tell your mom and be consistent with your content creation. I know some can be intimidated by this process, but the only way to break the ice is to just start. 🙂
The most successful people have one thing in common that I’ve either read about or listened to on podcasts. It’s that they weren’t afraid to just start even when they weren’t 110 percent ready. You have to take that leap, which could end up being the best leap of faith in your life. You can always rebrand your name down the road, too!
That’s everything you need to get your fashion blog started and set up for success. If you’re willing to invest a little into your blog upfront, it will pay off in the long run. It will look professional, be more secure, and more user-friendly. If you want to read more of my blogging tips, head here!