This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

So, you want to know how to start a lifestyle blog? Starting a blog is super simple, and if you’re a creative or entrepreneur, I highly recommend having a blog!

Whether you want a little place of your own to express your thoughts or want to create a blog you can turn into a business, the first step is, of course, getting started.

I started my blog about three years ago and have switched from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, bought my own domain and customized my website template design! I’m no computer whiz, and you don’t have to be either! All you need is basic computer knowledge (literally just typing and clicking), some great ideas, and motivation to write.

Let’s do this!
how-to-start-a-lifestyle-blogImage via ashleycreatesthings.com

1. CHOOSE YOUR FOCUS AND AUDIENCE

Choosing your focus is an essential part of starting your lifestyle blog. The thing about the “lifestyle” category is that it can cover SO many things, so it is important to narrow it down. I’m not recommending you choose a niche (unless you want to of course) but there are other ways to focus your content.

For example, perhaps you want to be a mommy blogger. You can talk about all things lifestyle, from a mom’s point of view. My Life and Kids, Living for Naptime, and Busy Blogging Mom are great examples!

Or, maybe like Lydia Lois you want to focus on how to survive a certain decade. She focuses on content for people in their twenties, but talks about everything from budgeting to relationships to personal development. The age group is her focus, so she’s still able to write about lots of different things!

Very Erin focuses on self-improvement and personal growth, and covers a range of topics including how to prepare for a move, 10 things every woman should have in her purse, how to beat the afternoon slump, and so on. There are ways of writing about a lot of topics but still having a focus.

See what I’m saying? You don’t have to ONLY write about fashion, or only food, or only budgeting. If you want to start a lifestyle blog, chances are you want to write about a bunch of different things. You can SO do that, just make sure your audience is targeted so you’re writing for someone in particular.

2. CHOOSE YOUR BLOG/DOMAIN NAME

Choosing your domain name will be one of the most important things you do for your blog. It should also be your blog name so you want it to be something you love and want to stick with! Many people choose to use their full name as their domain name and there are many positives of doing so. Check out Melyssa Griffin’s post on why she switched over to MelyssaGriffin.com from TheNectarCollective.com.

Perhaps one day I will switch to KateBialowas.com, but for now I’m happy with my blog’s name! If you’re having trouble thinking of a name, your full name might be a good option.

3. CHOOSE A BLOG PLATFORM

There are a handful of blog platforms out there to choose from, some of the most popular being WordPress.org and Blogger.com. Here’s a rundown on how to choose the best platform for your blog from The Collective Mill. Marianna gives an overview of each platform and the pros and cons of each.

I started out with WordPress.com, but when I wanted to get more serious about blogging, switched to being self-hosted on WordPress.org. To buy a domain and actually own your own blog you must have WordPress.org – that’s why when I first started my url was www.layeredindulgence.wordpress.com instead of www.layeredindulgence.com. The second one is more professional, so if you want to get serious about blogging, and eventually start monetizing your blog, I would suggest WordPress.org.

There is a fee if you go this route, but it’s definitely worth it to own your own site. Otherwise, free sites have full rights to your content.

Some other things I love about WordPress are that they make it easy for you to optimize SEO, there are tons of free plugins and widgets, and you can easily customize your blog the way you like!

If you’re looking to start a successful WordPress blog, check out this step-by-step checklist. You’ll learn my best resources, tips and ideas on how to start a lifestyle blog. Plus, I made you a handy dandy workbook you can use to get started! Sound like your cup of tea? Click through to read the post now and save this pin for others to read too!

PLUGINS I SUGGEST:

Yoast SEO: Allows you to optimize SEO for each of your blog posts, making them more searchable.

Jetpack: I use this to check my blog stats. Google Analytics is the best option to see stats and referrals and so on, but Jetpack gives you a quick look in WordPress, which I love!

Asikmet: This plugin keeps your blog safe from spam! It protects your site so you don’t have to worry about pesky comment spammers.

Instagram Feed: With this plugin, you can display your Instagram pictures right on your blog. For mine, I have it displayed at the very bottom as the footer, but you can choose where you want it!
start-a-blog-instagram

Easy Google Fonts: I recently installed this plugin and it’s so great! Your blog template will usually come with some fonts, but this gives you so many ore options to choose from.

WIDGETS I SUGGEST:

Image widget: Having a headshot on your front page is a great way for your readers to connect with you and put a face to the blog! You can put a little blab about yourself with the image so people can learn about you and your blog!

Social media icons: Always make sure you have your social media icons visible! That’s one of the first thing I look for when I go to people’s blogs. It makes it easy for people to follow and connect with you!

Email subscription: Make sure people can subscribe to your blog by email! This way they’ll get notified whenever a post goes live.

Search bar: Make it easy for people to search your website! A search bar is the simplest way to do this.

4. CHOOSE A HOST
Do some research on which host you want to go with for your site. I went with SiteGround and have had a really great experience with them so far. They have 24/7 customer service and are always helpful when I need anything – although I’ve only had to reach out to them a couple times.

Web Hosting

SiteGround offers 3 awesome plans to choose from, depending on your needs as a blogger! Here are some of the differences:

  • Priority support available on GrowBig and GoGeek: although they have insanely fast response times, the GrowBig and GoGeek clients are handled with priority
  • SG Optimiser: One of the most important things for every serious blogger is how fast his website loads for keeping readers on your site and SEO rankings. Their WordPress caching solution (the SG Optimiser) is available with the GrowBig and GoGeek plans and it helps speed up a website up to several times faster

You can see a full list of the differences here!

how-to-start-a-blog-siteground

Choose the package that best suits your needs and click “Get Started.” You will then be able to sign up your domain name. And voila, after you make your payment, you will be the proud new owner of a lifestyle blog and domain!

Do you want to start a lifestyle blog? This step by step guide shows you exactly how to do it from choosing your blog focus, to setting up WordPress, to finding a gorgeous template. I create this guide with beginners in mind. It will give you all the info and ideas you need to start a successful blog! Click through to get started or save this pin for when you’re ready to start your lifestyle blog!

RELATED POST: How to Brand Your Blog (An Epic Guide to Branding)

5. PURCHASE A WEBSITE TEMPLATE/DESIGN

Now comes to fun part! You get to create your blog! If you really want to go all out you can hire a web designer to design a website for you. These can be pricey, but definitely worth it if you want a really professional-looking blog!

WordPress has some free templates, but I bought my blog template from A Prettier Web and couldn’t be happier! Mel’s customer service is incredible and there are so many amazing features and ways to customize the templates to make them your own!

start-a-blog-pipdig

Then you can customize, customize, customize to make it your own! You can change the colours, fonts, layout, side bar, menus, widgets, pretty much everything! Get creative! Once you have your template, you can invest in a stock photo membership like Haute Stock to enhance the aesthetics of your blog and social media. Haute Stock has helped me grow my blog so much with their stylish, affordable and totally gorgeous photos.

Here are 6 other places you can find feminine, lifestyle blog templates: Creative Market, BluChic, Blogzilla Studio, Maira G, The Blog Stylist and Pipdig.

If you’ve been thinking about how to start a lifestyle blog, now is the time! Follow this step-by-step guide and you’ll have your lifestyle blog up and running in no time! Good luck!

PS. Want to join a supportive, encouraging tribe of bloggers and business owners? Hop over to my Facebook group (The Boss Up and Blog Tribe) to ask questions, get support and become inspired to reach your goals and dreams!

If you found this post helpful, make sure to share it on Pinterest so others can start a successful lifestyle blog too!

Do you want to start a lifestyle blog? This step by step guide shows you exactly how to do it from choosing your blog focus, to setting up WordPress, to finding a gorgeous template. I create this guide with beginners in mind. It will give you all the info and ideas you need to start a successful blog! Click through to get started or save this pin for when you’re ready to start your lifestyle blog!

Do you want to start a lifestyle blog? This step by step guide shows you exactly how to do it from choosing your blog focus, to setting up WordPress, to finding a gorgeous template. I create this guide with beginners in mind. It will give you all the info and ideas you need to start a successful blog! Click through to get started or save this pin for when you’re ready to start your lifestyle blog!

For more blogging tips, don’t forget to follow along and say hello on Pinterest|Instagram|Twitter

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Leave a Reply

43 thoughts on “How to Start a Lifestyle Blog: The Ultimate Guide

  1. I found you on Pinterest and I was self hosted before, starting again with wordpress.com because of finances but I think I can afford $6.95 a month. Thanks for the reminder.

    Posted on October 6, 2016 at 9:02 am
    1. No problem! Glad you enjoyed the post and good luck with your blog 🙂

      Posted on October 6, 2016 at 11:01 pm
  2. Hi! Thanks so much for the mention! – Chantal from Busy Blogging Mom

    Posted on October 6, 2016 at 3:35 pm
    1. My pleasure! I love your blog 🙂

      Posted on October 6, 2016 at 11:05 pm
  3. Hi, oh my goodness I am so glad I found you! I have been planning to start a blog but I could not figure out how to finde my focus. I read the first part of this post and it helped me so much. I wanna start a lifestyle blog, but didn’t want to focus only on one thing.

    Posted on October 20, 2016 at 5:46 pm
    1. Hi Miriam! I’m so glad I could help you out at the start of your blogging journey! You definitely need to write about just one thing, but having a focus is important 🙂 Please let me know when you launch your bog, I would love to take a look 😀 Have a wonderful Friday!

      Posted on October 21, 2016 at 11:36 am
  4. Hi! Thank you so much for this post… I’m thinking to start my own blog and this really helped me

    Posted on December 9, 2016 at 4:50 pm
    1. I’m so happy to hear that this post has helped you! Good luck with your blogging journey 🙂 I highly recommend starting a blog, it is such an amazing creative outlet! Xx

      Posted on December 12, 2016 at 5:08 pm
  5. Thanks for your sharing. I also start my blog from WordPress.com and last month I decided to change my own domain but still hosting in WordPress.com. I still confused to change it by WordPress.org self hosted or keep it hosting by WordPress.com

    Posted on December 26, 2016 at 11:13 am
    1. Hi Allaely, thanks for reading! It is ultimately up to you, but if you want to get serious about blogging and make an income from your blog, I would recommend going self-hosted through WordPress.org. If your blog is more for fun, keep it with wordpress.com 🙂

      Posted on December 27, 2016 at 10:06 am
  6. Thank you for sharing! Your post helped me narrow my focus for my blog lifeasjackieo.com Now I’m going to expand and talk about relationships, Nutrition, Self awareness or self improvement haven’t decided yet, growth, wandering, and travel. I’m also hoping to monetize it but do you have any suggestions on this? Or do you think I should focus on building a following and creating quality content first?

    Posted on January 11, 2017 at 4:37 pm
    1. Hi Jackie! It’s so great to hear that this post helped you narrow your focus 🙂 In terms of monetizing, the way I’ve gone about it is to first start out creating great content and growing my following and engagement!

      Posted on January 11, 2017 at 9:10 pm
  7. Hello, Im from Honduras, and im really interested in starting a blog,and it was very difficult finding what topic should i focus and you have help me so much!! Thank You, and Blessings

    Posted on January 17, 2017 at 10:58 am
    1. Hi Allison! Your comment has made me so happy! I’m so glad I’ve helped you find a focus for your blog. Please send me a link once you’ve launched 🙂 Xx

      Posted on January 17, 2017 at 11:14 am
  8. Thank you so much for the tips I just started a new blog and I’m trying to do all the research I can! blogs like this are very helpful

    Posted on January 18, 2017 at 11:28 am
    1. Hi Kayla! Thank you so much for stopping by and I’m so happy you find my blog so helpful! Good luck with your blogging journey 🙂

      Posted on January 18, 2017 at 5:00 pm
  9. Kate,
    Thank you for this. It was affirming for me because so many recommendations out there say you won’t be successful without a niche and I just couldn’t subscribe to that. I’m planning on launching my new blog (justsimpleheath.com) soon on very simple changes that can lead to a healthier lifestyle. My question is, do you have any recommendations for training using WordPress dashboard? It’s a bit overwhelming to me and currently my blog does not look good enough to launch. Thank you so much for your time.

    Posted on January 24, 2017 at 12:47 pm
    1. Hey Leah, thanks so much for your comment. Like I said in my post, I definitely don’t think you need a niche! But make sure you have a focus and target reader 🙂 Krista Dickson at Blog Beautifully has an awesome course called WordPress in a Weekend. It’s not open for enrolment right now, but it should be opening up again soon! Here the link: http://blogbeautifully.com/wordpress-in-a-weekend/ and you can check back to see when she opens the doors 🙂

      Posted on January 25, 2017 at 6:08 pm
  10. This post was so helpful! I just started a blog but I am still having trouble narrowing down what to talk about and how to reach out to a specific audience. thanks!

    Posted on February 2, 2017 at 5:36 pm
    1. Hi Maria! Thanks so much for reading and commenting 🙂 That’s so exciting that you just started your blog, I hope this post has helped you narrow down your focus and target audience! Once you have that down you will be set! All the best! xox

      Posted on February 3, 2017 at 10:00 am
  11. I’m so glad I found you, I was planning to start a blog on lifestyle but did not really have a niche or my mind had more wide ranging ideas. This post really helped me list my main focuses and I can now start my blog very soon. I’d really appreciate if you check it out and let me know where to improve.
    My Blog- https://fanartisteek.wordpress.com/

    Posted on February 19, 2017 at 3:13 am
    1. Thanks so much for such a lovely comment 🙂 I’m happy this post has helped you narrow in on a focus! I look forward to checking out more of your posts 🙂

      Posted on February 23, 2017 at 3:22 pm
  12. This is really helpful, love. I’ve been wanting to self-host but still don’t know where to start or how to start. You mentioned wordpress.org. Could you elaborate more? I can’t seem to understand how it works. Is it a hosting company? How can I self-host through that? I want to try ehost.com, do I still have to use wordpress.org after using ehost? I’m sorry but I’m just out of sorts.

    Posted on February 21, 2017 at 9:58 pm
    1. Hi Anne! WordPress.org is a blogging software, you still have to go with a hosting company as well ( I use Siteground :)). With WordPress.org you are self-hosted and own all of your content,but you still need a host company like ehost.

      Posted on February 23, 2017 at 3:20 pm
  13. Hi! LOVED this post it was sooo helpful. Quick question – I want to get the most simple siteground account that is 4 dollar a month and that includes the free domain. If I were to ever end things with Sitegroikd would I still own that domain name? Thanks!

    Posted on March 7, 2017 at 6:44 pm
    1. Thanks so much Taiya 🙂 If you decide to leave Siteground at any point, you can transfer your domain name to a new hosting company! They make it pretty easy to transfer, just make sure to ask your new hosting company the step-by-step process when you change. Although SiteGround is one of the best so I wouldn’t worry about switching 🙂

      Posted on March 7, 2017 at 8:11 pm
      1. Awesome thanks for replying Kate!

        Posted on March 10, 2017 at 11:52 pm
  14. Thanks a lot!
    Trying to start my own site 🙂

    Posted on March 9, 2017 at 5:09 am
    1. Hi Inga, you’re so welcome 🙂 Good luck with your site!

      Posted on March 10, 2017 at 9:07 pm
  15. Hi Kate! Those are all great tips! I just started my blog and published my very 1st post yesterday! I love that you suggested siteground because that is who I am using and their customer service is awesome. They even help with setup if you need it which I think is priceless for people who are totally overwhelmed with the concept of starting a blog. I mean, who wouldn’t be? I know I was! Thanks for the helpful post and keep up the good work!

    Posted on April 21, 2017 at 8:54 am
    1. Hi Crystal! Congrats on starting your blog and publishing your first post! I love Siteground and am happy to hear you’re using them as well 🙂 Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment and good luck with your blogging journey 🙂

      Posted on April 24, 2017 at 8:58 am
  16. I love the look of your site! I am a lifestyle/everything blogger and I blog about travel, poetry, friendly debatable topics, printables, blogging tips, writing tips, etc. I still use a WordPress.com hosted site, so I can’t really get pluggins.

    Posted on June 24, 2017 at 1:58 pm
    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment 🙂 Are you looking to switch to wordpress.org? I would definitely recommend the switch, there are so many benefits if you are looking to continue on with blogging 🙂

      Posted on June 27, 2017 at 12:54 pm
      1. Thanks for replying! I was blogging with WordPress.com for almost 2 years (the anniversary is in 2 days haha), and I love the nice community there. I followed a lot of bloggers that went self hosted. Some of them posted about it beforehand, some didn’t. I eventually lost touch with most of them, but I still follow 2 or 3 self hosted sites. I couldn’t reach their site easily, or something went wrong. It’s not as easy to comment on their site, because you would actually have to go to their site, not from the Reader. I’m tentative to switch to .org because it’s a big step honestly, although I was debating it for a couple of months. I would love the control over my site – the theme, ads, html stuff, etc. Although I’m afraid I’ll lose contact with my readers and lose them. Some people told me to switch to .org – I want to, but I’m not sure if I’m ready yet.

        Posted on June 27, 2017 at 1:05 pm
        1. You definitely make some great points, and it’s important you feel ready before you make the switch! If you’re not feeling ready then I say hold off, but going self hosted is awesome if you want to eventually monetize your site, and like you said, you have complete control 🙂 But I’m sure you’ll know when you feel ready and can make that decision confidently!

          Posted on June 27, 2017 at 1:11 pm
  17. I currently have a wordpress.com account for my blog, but have been looking at switching over to wordpress.org. How difficult was that / did you just have to pay for a hosting site, and the wordpress.org account is free?

    Posted on July 1, 2017 at 5:36 pm
    1. Hi! There is a fee for WordPress.org as well as hosting, but it’s definitely worth it! It was quite a while ago that I switched over but I remember it being quite any easy process 🙂

      Posted on July 12, 2017 at 10:17 am
  18. Really helpful post!

    Posted on July 4, 2017 at 3:14 am
    1. Thanks, Jona!

      Posted on July 12, 2017 at 10:18 am
  19. Great tips! Thanks so much 🙂

    Posted on July 23, 2017 at 7:08 pm
    1. You’re welcome Susan! 🙂

      Posted on July 23, 2017 at 9:34 pm
  20. Hi! I just started my own lifestyle blog but I’m not sure how to get my first few viewers? Its not like if you search up my content it will come up on google so how do I get people to learn about my blog?

    Posted on August 5, 2017 at 10:41 pm
    1. Social media! Facebook and Pinterest get me a lot of views 🙂 Here’s my post on how to use Pinterest to grow your blog: http://www.layeredindulgence.com/2016/07/12/use-pinterest-grow-blog/

      Posted on August 7, 2017 at 3:28 pm