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Have you been wanting to know how to start a fashion blog? If so, you’re in the right place. I’ve been fashion blogging for over 3 years now and absolutely love it.
Being a fashion blogger will give you a voice, open yourself up to new opportunities, and provide yourself a creative outlet. You can even earn an income as well!
While this guide is primarily focused on starting a fashion blog, you can use it to start any type of blog.
Step #1 - Choosing your blogging platform
While you can blog on a variety of platforms, I recommend and use Wordpress. It's trusted by governments worldwide, powers nearly 34% of all websites, it's available in more than 70 languages, and has free community based support that you can turn to for help.
Why do you want to use Wordpress?
I've blogged on lots of different platforms and I always come back to this one because it's my favorite.
Here are 7 reasons you should use Wordpress:
- Easy to customize with themes and plugins. Over 55,000 plugins to choose from
- Google loves WordPress
- Easy to manage
- Safe and secure
- You can make any type of website with it, especially e-commerce
- Easy to learn
- You have full control of your website
If you’re not wanting to spend a lot of money, you can always start your site on a free platform now and switch it to being a Wordpress blog later. Here is a great list of free blog platforms.
Step #2 - Get a domain name
The name of your website is your domain name. Before you buy one, make sure it's one you really love. It can really hurt your website traffic if you change it.
Here are 6 tips for choosing a domain name:
Keep it short. If it's short, the likelihood that people will mistype or misspell it goes down significantly. The most common length is 12 characters. My site - cleomadison.com is 11 characters.
Make it easy to type. If it's easy to type, people will have an easier time finding your site.
Avoid numbers and hyphens. It's best to not have a hyphen or number in your domain name. When you tell someone your domain name and it has these, it is really hard for them to know if they need the hyphen and if the numbers are written out or not.
Act fast domains because sell quickly. If you see a domain that you love, buy it before someone else does.
Able to own your brand across the web. We've all made this mistake and sometimes it can't be avoided entirely. You'll want to register your brand for all the major social media websites. Use a free tool like KnowEM to see what's available.
Research it. Make sure what you want isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or used by another company. KnowEm helps you do this as well!
Use this handy tool to see what's available. You might have to try quite a few and get creative with your domain name.
Did you find a domain name that you like? Hopefully it meets my 6 criteria and is available. When you purchase a web hosting plan (more about this in Step #3) through Bluehost, you'll get a free domain.
Step #3 - Find a hosting provider
Because there are lots of hosting companies to choose from, I've gone ahead and researched them all to find you the best one. When you're starting out, you're not making money so it's best to keep costs to a minimum.
For this reason, I recommend Bluehost. By signing up here today, you can host your website for $2.75/month, instead of their normal $7.99/month price.
Top reasons to go with Bluehost
- Bluehost powers more than 2 million websites
- They will give you a free domain name for your 1st year
- 24/7 customer support
- 1 click Wordpress install
Step #4 - Install Wordpress
This step is a tiny bit technical, but you can do it. If you get stuck, contact me and I'll help you!
Follow these steps to install Wordpress inside your Bluehost account:
- Log in to your Bluehost cPanel account.
- Find the Website section and select Install WordPress.
- Click the Install button.
- Choose the domain name to install it to. Leave the field next to the domain blank.
- Read through the license and service agreements and check the boxes.
- Select the Install Now button.
Step #5 - Find & Install a theme
Now that you've installed Wordpress, your next step is to find a theme for your new fashion blog. Finding a theme for your site is pretty important, so let's make sure you get one you really love that will impress your audience.
What do you want in a theme?
Ultimately, you want a theme that you like because it fits your vibe. Here are 6 things I believe every theme should have:
Looks great on mobile and desktop. In 2016, traffic from mobile devices and tablets surpassed desktop traffic for the first time. Your readers will most likely be reading your blog on their phone. Also, Google prioritizes mobile friendly websites in their search results.
Loads quickly. Ideally, you want your theme to load within 5 seconds. Use a free tool like GTMetrix to test your theme.
Simple. A lot of themes come with all sorts of fancy bells and whistles. These aren't necessary. A simple theme allows your readers to focus on your message and isn't distracting.
Updated often. A good theme developer will update their theme often to fix bugs, keep it secure, and add new features.
- Good reviews. Just like anything you buy, you want to make sure you're buying something good!
Support. You'll likely run into issues that you need help with. A lot of themes will come with a year of free support and can be extremely helpful especially when you're new to blogging.
Places to get themes:
There are tons of places to get themes! These places to get themes are trusted by fashion bloggers worldwide.
- Elegant Themes
Free Wordpress themes. You can always start with a free theme and if it doesn’t have all the functionality you want, then look into buying a theme.
Follow these steps to install your Wordpress theme:
- Log into your site by typing yourdomainname.com/wp-admin into your internet browser and entering in your login details.
- From the left sidebar, click Appearance, then Themes, then Add New, then Install, then Activate.
Step #6 - Install plugins
Now that you've found and installed a theme, it's time to add some plugins that give your site some extra must-needed functionality.
What plugins should you have?
Before you go adding a ton of plugins, please keep in mind that too many of them will slow your site down.
Shortlinks by Pretty Links. You'll use this free plugin create pretty URLs. This will come in handy when promoting affiliate products. Instead of linking to a long, ugly URL, your link will look something like cleomadison.com/bluehost. It will also let you see how many people are seeing and clicking on your links.
Akismet. Blog comment spam is a thing and this free plugin will help cut this down for you.
W3 Total Cache. This plugin will create a cached version of your site and display that to repeat visitors and make the site load quicker for them.
Contact Form 7. Every website should provide a way for their visitors to contact them. This free plugin allows you to create a contact form.
Yoast SEO. You may not know anything about SEO (search engine optimization) yet, but you'll want to start learning it right away. This plugin will help you optimize your site and posts for search engines.
Google Analytics by MonsterInsights. This free plugin will connect Google Analytics and your website. Google Analytics is a free analytics tool that will tell you everything you need to know about the people who visit your website.
Follow these steps to install plugins on your site:
- Log into your site
- Click Plugins
- Search for the plugin you wish to add
- Click Install Now
A word of advice about plugins
Out of date plugins can cause security vulnerabilities that provide an access point to people who might want to get inside your site. To prevent this from happening to you, always make sure you update your plugins.
Congratulations if you've made it this far! I hope you have a successful fashion blog and like fashion blogging as much as I have. The next thing you should do is start planning out how you're going to make money with your new blog. Get started by reading this post to see how fashion blogs.
What questions do you have for me?
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