Successful fashion and lifestyle blogger, Louisa, walks us through a detailed step-by-step guide on how to start a fashion blog on a budget in 2021 and make a living following your passion and helping others.
What to know how to start a fashion blog on a budget but at a loss of where to even begin? I got you!
When I started my fashion blog in college, I had no clue where to start or what to do. Plus it’s easy to assume that you need technical knowledge to be able to run a successful fashion blog. False!
The truth is, if people already ask you questions about your outfits or where to find certain clothing you’re wearing, you might as well become their go-to resource for all thing fashion (and make money pursuing your passion).
Psst! Text BFF to 833-900-2556 (US & Canada) to join my exclusive besties list.
Chances are that you already follow some influencers and digital content creators that inspire you. And you, my friend, can think of so many different ways to re-style certain pieces you’ve seen them wearing.
I had no idea that starting a fashion blog would turn out to be one of my most profitable ventures. And eventually, earn me more money than my six-figure pharmacist career. Crazy right?
- How to Start A Fashion Blog on A Budget in 2021
- Step 1: Choosing Your Fashion Blog Name And Niche
- Step 2: Choosing Your Web Hosting Service
- Step 3: Setting Up Your Fashion Blog
- Step 4: Choosing A Blog Theme For Your Fashion Blog
- Step 5: Supercharge Your Fashion Blog With WordPress Plugins
- Step 6: Creating Content For Your Style Blog
- Step 7: Writing Your First Blog Post
- Step 8: Promoting Your Fashion Blog
Fashion blogging provides people like you and me the opportunity to share our voice, help others, partner with dream brands, and earn a decent living.
And I can tell you that there are a plethora of ways to fashion bloggers to earn money! Did you know that fashion brands are projected to spend almost $15 billion by 2022? (source). From sending free PR packages to influencers, paid sponsorships with bloggers, and to the coveted PR trips for their top influencers!
So if you’re ready to just do it and learn how to start a fashion blog on a budget, like I did, you’ll find all of that in this article.
How to Start A Fashion Blog on A Budget in 2021
Step 1: Choosing Your Fashion Blog Name And Niche
Before we take it any further, you need to know what your blog name will be. But don’t let deciding on a name stop you from getting started. You can always change your name in the future to suit your style, preference, or lifestyle.
To check if your potential blog name is available, use this tool. Once you type out your new blog name, you’ll either get a success message that your name is available or a message telling you that your name is taken.
I like to encourage members of my free blogging course that it’s a good idea to have a few names in mind.
Need a little helping hand? Try:
- Missing and matching words like fashion, style, look, outfit
- Playing with words like passion, career (stylist, pharmacist, doctor), fashionista.
- Look at the Instagram handles of influencers you already follow for inspiration
- Think about your fashion niche: sewing, thrifting, luxury, budget, college style, affordable fashion, traditional fashion (Asian, African, Native, French…)
Step 2: Choosing Your Web Hosting Service
If “web hosting” sounds like Latin to you, I totally get it. I also had no clue what it was when I started my fashion blog. For simplicity, here is a straight to the point definition of all these blogging lingos:
- Your domain name is your URL/blog address – which you chose in step 1. For example, mine is www.bloggerazzi.com. (You can get your domain name for free when you get a Bluehost hosting plan.)
- Your WordPress website displays the content of your fashion blog. For example, this blog post you’re reading is content on my blog. WordPress.org is a free, open-source platform that powers 39.5% of websites in 2021 (source).
- Your web hosting is where your blog’s content is stored (kinda like the storage space of your smartphone).
While it’s inexpensive to start a fashion blog on a budget by going with a free host like Blogger/Blogpost, Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress.com, don’t do it.
Take it from me, I did that in college and my fashion blog gained little to no traction for four years! A few more reasons to avoid free hosting:
- You get a terribly long blog name like: yourblogname.blogspot.com.
- You still have to pay for your domain name from a registry (~$10).
- You don’t own your content! Blogger, Wix, Squarespace own your content and can take it down at their discretion.
- You can’t place ads on your site. But WordPress.com (the free version) places ads and makes money off your content.
- You’re limited in what you can and cannot do. Need fancy functionality? You’ll have to learn how to add HTML codes to your Blogger account or worse, just not have that option.
Take it from me: Want to start a fashion blog on a budget? Go with Bluehost! Once I got off Blogspot, Bluehost was the most affordable service provider I could find that still offered a great user experience.
Yes, I do make a commission by talking about Bluehost but you can see that I’ve walked the talk. And I only promote services that I’ve tried, I love, or I highly recommend.
Here are a few more reasons why I recommend Bluehost to new fashion bloggers on a budget:
- Ease of use: Follow my detailed tutorial below to launch your style blog in as little as 30 minutes.
- Affordability: Having a web host for your style blog is a fundamental step in getting your blog from hobby to side hustle but it shouldn’t break your budget. You can get a full month of Bluehost for less than the cost of a cup of coffee (just $3.95/month with my link).
- Free Domain Name: You get a free blog domain name (i.e. yourblogname.com).
- Automatic Installation: Bluehost has been a partner of WordPress since 2005. With Bluehost’s Bluerock experience, you now get automatic, hassle-free installation of WordPress.
- Self-hosted: You own your content.🎉 I’ve read so many horror stories of people losing years of their work after Blogspot (owned by Google) decided to shut them down. Poof! All that work.
Now that you know why Bluehost and WordPress are the way to go, let’s get started. I WordPress with Bluehost.
Step 3: Setting Up Your Fashion Blog
As we discussed in step 2 above, your fashion blog needs three things to get it up and running:
- Your unique blog name (aka domain name)
- Your blogging platform (like WordPress.org NOT WordPress.com)
- Your web host (like Bluehost to store all your content)
EXCLUSIVE OFFER FOR BLOGGERAZZI READERS
We’ve partnered with Bluehost to offer Bloggerazzi readers a discount on hosting. Plus you also get your FREE domain name for a year when you launch your fashion blog with Bluehost.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Once on the Bluehost website, click Get Started.
Next, select your preferred hosting plan. The Basic plan is the cheapest option. The Choice Plus plan typically offers a better value.
For new bloggers looking to start a fashion blog on a budget, I recommend starting with the Basic plan of $3.95. This adds up to $71.40/year for 12 months or $47.40/year if you choose the 36-month plan.
When I moved from Blogger/Blogspot to WordPress, I went with the Plus Plan since I had been blogging for a few years and had over 330 published posts.
You can start with the plan that fits your budget and upgrade your plan at a later time if needed.
Next, type the unique domain name you want into the “create a new domain” field. Double-check to make sure you spelled the name correctly.
If you have previously paid for your blog name from a domain name registry like GoDaddy or Namecheap, type that blog name into the “use a domain your own” field.
And if you need time to decide on a blog/domain name, click on “I’ll create my domain later.”
Now complete your “account information”, “package information,” “package extras” and “payment information“.
Under package extras, uncheck all the selected options except “Domain Privacy Protection”. This protects your information from marketers and creeps on the internet. Instead of your contact details (and possibly your address) being listed publicly, people will see Bluehost’s information.
Confirm and click “Submit”.
You might be asked to create a username and password for your account. Write that down as it will likely be used to verify your account.
Once you’re done signing up, you’ll receive an email (sent to the email address you provided) with information on how to sign in to your control panel for your Bluehost web hosting account.
Log into your Bluehost account and look for WordPress under the My Sites navigation.
Click on “Create Site” to set up your new fashion blog.
All you have to do is type the name of your fashion blog (e.g. Your Fashion Blog) which matches your domain url (e.g. yourfashionblog.com).
Hit the Next button to select the doamin name for the drop-down menu.
Then click Next again to start the installation process. The Bluehost WordPress installation wizard will do the heavy lifting for you. This should be down in a few short minutes (typically under 5 minutes).
Go grap a drink!
Once the installation is complete, you’ll see a success message and also get an email confirmation with a link to log into your WordPress site.💃 You won’t have to go through Bluehost again to access your site.
The admin login url for most WordPress sites is www.yourfashionblog.com/wp-admin/ (replace yourfashionblog with your blog name).
That’s it BFF, you’ve successfully launched your fashion blog on a budget in under 30 minutes!
Step 4: Choosing A Blog Theme For Your Fashion Blog
Now that you’ve launched your fashion blog, what’s next?
Glad you asked!
You want your blog to look as fun and exciting as the styles you plan on sharing. And BFF, there is no shortage of free, paid/premium themes on the internet.
You might be tempted to want to use the boring themes that comes pre-installed on your blog. But those my friends are an eye-sore. I tried!
To be honest, when it comes to fashion blogging, noy all themes are created equal. There are themes made with food bloggers, travel bloggers, finance bloggers, and fashion bloggers in mind. Our needs and desires are different that’s why you need a fashion blog theme.
On a budget, you can do like I did and get a $25 theme from Etsy.
But now that I know better, I opt for premium themes for all my blogs. They are faster, secure, lightweight, updated for security, have more functionality, and offer hands-on support should you need it. I’m not technically-savvy!
These are the best theme options for fashion bloggers:
- Astra <- what I use on almost all my blogs including this blog (truly lightweight, superfast, customizable, and loaded with functionality)
- Empress Themes
- 17th Avenue Designs
- Pipdig <- I used Pipdig for a long time
- Hello Gorgeous
I would definitely stay clear of investing in a custom theme. They are nice and all but when you’re just starting out, it’s hard to know exactly all the features you need in your fashion blog. Plus these custom themes cost anywhere from $500 to $5,000+.
I got a quote once because I really loved the theme a famous fashion blogger had on her site. And when I heard the number, I was like, “Nah, I’m good!”
And some of these custom themes break when WordPress releases an update which means you may have to spend more money having the custom theme designer fix your codes. It just goes on and on!
I make a full-time income from blogging and I use Astra for my blogs. You don’t have to break the bank to get a “close-enough” look and feel that you desire for your website.
Trust me, you can use that money towards time-saving tools, courses, ebooks… that’ll move the needle faster for you to make your fashion blog profitable.
Step 5: Supercharge Your Fashion Blog With WordPress Plugins
Remember earlier when I said that WordPress allows you to add almost any functionality with the plugins? This is the beauty of going self-hosted. You don’t need to be a computer programmer or a coder to click and activate plugins that will supercharge your fashion blog.
Depending on the theme your choose, the designer will recommend a few plugins to get your blog up and running. Instructions are also provided. In addition to these plugins, I recommend the following for fashion bloggers:
- Yoast SEO or RankMath (avoid JetPack) – These plugins guide you with SEO
- Wordfence – Keep the bad guys aka hijackers out
- Akismet Anti-Spam – To prevent getting 100’s of spam blog comments
- Grow Social Pro by Mediavine – Lightweight social sharing button so others can share your content online
You can also install a Google Analytics plugin (like Analytics Plugin) so you can keep track of your website growth/traffic. I prefer going straight to the source, Google Analytics, for this information.
Step 6: Creating Content For Your Style Blog
Now that your blog has taken shape, it’s time to start creating your fashion blog content. Before you jump right into writing and publishing posts, you want to map out your plan first.
You’ll need to create your core pages to help new readers and Google understand who you are, what kind of fashion content you create, and how to reach you. These are the pages you may need for your fashion blog:
- About page
- Contact page
- Disclosure page
- Terms and Conditions page
- Partnership page
Create these as a Page instead of a Post. Pages are timeless content that helps organize your content. While posts are simply your daily posts.
Once you’ve created your pages, you want to add some of them to your menu. I recommend adding the About Me and Contact Me pages to your menu.
Whichever theme you use will have specific instructions on how to get this done. But for the most part, adding your pages to menu can be done by navigating to Appearance -> Customize -> Menu.
Step 7: Writing Your First Blog Post
This is the section we’ve all been waiting for. This time, you navifgate to Posts and click Add New. Not sure where to write about? Try these blog post ideas:
- How to XXXX – How to Style A Piece of Clothing
- A List of XXXX – A List of 10 Winter Must-Haves
- Comparison/Versus – Louis Vuitton vs Chanel
- Sales – Latest Sales From Your Favorite Retailer
- Review – Review of Your Chanel Boy Bag
- Guide – A Guide To Making The Perfect Front Knot
- Personal Post – Sharing A Bit About You
These are amazing blog posts topics to start with. Feeling inspired? Starting writing!🙌🏾 Once you’re done writing your blog post, hit the Publish button to make your first fashion blog post available to the world.
Step 8: Promoting Your Fashion Blog
Now that you have content on your blog and you’ve published your new blot post, it’s time to share it with the world.
If your friends and family do not know you have a fashion blog, they will not be able to share it. The goal is to get eyeballs (traffic) on your content. So how do you promote your content for traffic?
- Social media Platforms – This is one of the biggest drivers of traffic for fashion bloggers. Pin your images on Pinterest and add your blog link to your Instagram/TikTok bio to drive traffic back to your blog. Share on all networks. Don’t forget to snag all your blog’s social media accounts including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube…. even if you’re not to use that social media channel!
- Search Engine – Well-organized (aka optimized posts) sets you up for success with Google, Bing, and other search engines. There’s a lot that goes into SEO that will be covered in a separate post.
- Newsletter – It’s never too early to start building your email list of raving fans interested in hearing from you. While I wouldn’t sweat it if you’re not ready, keeping this at the back of your mind is a plus. Most new fashion bloggers, myself included, started with FREE MailChimp. I eventually ended up with Flodesk which was built with creatives in mind (the templates are stylish, the platform is intuitive, and the price is only $19/month for unlimited email subscribers).
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For a limited time, Flodesk is offering Bloggerazzi readers 50% off for life. Try Flodesk FREE for 30 days (no credit card required) and lock in your 50% discount with code LOUISA. So you only pay $19/month for unlimited newsletter subscribers.
In follow up posts, we’ll discuss how fashion bloggers make money. The ins and outs of affiliate links, affiliate programs (e.g Amazon affiliates), what exactly affiliate marketing is, the best fashion affiliate programs and more.
We’ll also get to the roots of sponsored posts, the pros and cons, where and how to find brands. And how to secure long-term partnerships.
You’ll still get insider info on how I was able to turn my small blog from hobby to profitable fashion blog without selling my soul.
Related post: Best Blogging Tools For Fashion Bloggers (Tools I Use + Recommend)
Don’t think it’s doable? Think again! Have you noticed a wave of successful fashion bloggers, Instagram influencers, and YouTubers building their dream houses and retiring their husbands from a traditional 9-5? How do you think they were able to do it?
You may never have heard of me, may have seen my “impressive” 90,000+ Pinterest account, or seen my sad Instagram engagement and immediately written me off. But like these ladies, I do earn a healthy income blogging.
If I can do it, you can too! You don’t have to be famous or have tons of money; that’s the beauty of the fashion blogosphere. Follow this guide on how to start your fashion blog on a budget so you can get started sharing the things you love and get paid to serve your audience.
Want to hear more from me? Sign up for my newsletter below (see what I did there?) to join the list of other goal-digging fashion-loving entrepreneurs like you.
Sis, have you started your fashion blog yet? What’s holding you back? Drop a comment below. I read and respond to every comment.
As always, thanks so much for stopping by! And I hope you found this step by step guide about how to start a fashion blog on a budget helpful. Cheers to your success!
xo ~ Louisa