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!
Image via ashleycreatesthings.com
1. CHOOSE YOUR FOCUS AND AUDIENCE
As I talked about in this post: How I Plan to Grow My Blog, 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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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 media company’s Facebook group (Lipstick and Muffin Community) 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!