How to Start a Lifestyle Blog

May 28, 2017

You’ve been wondering how to start a lifestyle blog but you just don’t know where to begin?

There is a TON of information out there and it can get pretty overwhelming! If you’re anything like me, you just want a clear and concise guide that will teach you how to start a profitable blog from start to finish.

Well congratulations, you just found it!

Whether you are completely new to the blogosphere or you have a blog that you want to improve on, this guide will help you learn how to start a lifestyle blog in minutes.

Are you in a rush? 

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to start a lifestyle blog:

  1. Choose a blogging platform. I recommend WordPress.
  2. Decide on a domain name for your blog. Check if it’s available using my tool below!
  3. Choose a hosting platform. I recommend Bluehost for their low prices.
  4. Install everything. I have screenshots for you!
  5. Familiar yourself with WordPress.
  6. Create a strategy on how to get traffic and make money blogging.

If you’re ready to start your own lifestyle blog right now, read on for my full tutorial. We can have you up and running today!

HOW TO START A LIFESTYLE BLOG: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE

How to Start a Lifestyle Blog | Want to start a profitable blog quickly and without spending too much money? This guide for entrepreneurs and new bloggers to help you set up a successful blog step-by-step and then make money from your blog. Plus get your free blogging printables and exclusive content! Click through to read all about it.

This post contains affiliate links, to find out more information, please read my disclaimer. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me.


But first, what is a lifestyle blog and why should you start one?

The great thing about a lifestyle blog is that you can write about almost anything. And as long as you are writing about something that you’re passionate about, you can be successful. When you are actually interested in the topics you’re writing about, you will naturally create valuable content. And believe me, your readers will notice that!

Starting your own lifestyle blog will not only give you a creative outlet to share your passions, it will also give you the opportunity to connect with like-minded bloggers, develop your personal skills and collaborate with companies you love. How amazing is that?

Step One: Choose a Blogging Platform

When you’re first starting out your blog, you have the choice between using a free or self-hosted blogging platform. And while everyone likes getting something for free, having your blog on a free platform isn’t the best idea.

Reasons to avoid using a free platform:

  • Ability to run ads and monetize your blog is restricted or forbidden
  • The URL looks unprofessional (like www.myblog.blogspot.com)
  • Many free platforms will run their own ads on your blog
  • There is virtually no support available and the design options are limited
  • You will not own your blog or the content

That last point is the most important! If you use a free platform for blogging, you do not own your blog or the content.

And that’s not what building your own lifestyle blog is all about, is it?

If you want to have a profitable lifestyle blog, make sure it is self-hosted. And personally, I think WordPress is the best blogging platform out there.

Reasons why you should use WordPress.org:

  • WordPress is perfect for beginners
  • There are tons of free themes and plugins
  • Everything is customizable (no coding knowledge required)
  • It is the most popular blogging platform and has the most resources
  • You will own your blog, all of the content and you can monetize it

What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

WordPress is essentially a software for bloggers. And if you were under the impression that WordPress is free, you’re not completely wrong. Check out this blog post that details the exact differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Step Two: Choose Your Domain Name

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term domain name, it is your website’s URL. For example, mine is www.mayamaceka.com.

Choosing your domain name is like choosing the name of your company, it requires some serious thought and consideration.

You can always do what I did, and just use your own name as a domain. Or you might want to pick something that relates to what you will be writing about.

Here are some tips on how to pick a domain name for a lifestyle blog:

  • Keep it short and make it easy for people to type
  • Avoid using numbers, hyphens, and slang
  • Have it reflect you and your brand
  • Make it memorable and don’t copy someone else

Step Three: Choose Your Website Hosting

Now that you know why you should use WordPress and how to pick up a domain name, it’s time to get hosting.

If you’re anything like me, you want to start a blog for cheap, but you also want decent services and customer support – Bluehost is your answer, hands down.

Bluehost comes highly recommended from a lot of lifestyle bloggers, including myself.

My favorite feature is their customer support and 24/7 live chat. When you have any issues or questions (and believe me, you will), their knowledgeable staff will fix your problem in under 5 minutes. Also, Bluehost plans start at just $3.95 per month, which is one of the cheapest out there!

For some people, $3.95 per month is a serious expense – I mean you can buy an entire drink at Starbucks with that kind of money! But hear me out. That $3.95 per month guarantees that you own your blog and your content. And once you start blogging, you can easily make this money back!

Also, you get a free domain by signing up with Bluehost! No need to purchase one for an additional fee.

If you’re still on the fence about paying for hosting, try to remember that you need to spend money to make money. And if you want to make money with a lifestyle blog, you need to put a little money into it.

What is running your own lifestyle blog worth to you?

Benefits of using Bluehost: 

  • Free domain name
  • 24/7 customer support including live chat, email, and phone
  • Free WordPress installation
  • Automatic website caching and backups
  • Fast loading times

This last point is extremely important. Have you ever visited a website only to click out of it because it doesn’t load fast enough? You don’t want that to happen with your blog.

Yes, there are other web hosting options out there. But you want one that will have the best support and the fastest loading times. That’s Bluehost.

Step Four: Sign up for Website Hosting

Visit Bluehost, click “get started now” and then select the plan that works best for you. The cheapest way to start a blog will be to select the “Basic” plan, which is really all you need. So skip the “Plus” and “Prime” plans as they are more expensive and unnecessary when you’re just getting started.

Bluehost Pricing Plans

After you choose a hosting plan, you will enter the domain name that you want to use for your blog. Bluehost will check to make sure the domain is available. If the domain you wanted is already in use, no worries! Bluehost will give you some different variations and you can just go with something similar. I also highly recommend using “.com” over any of the other options, since it is easiest for people to remember.

Sign up for Bluehost

Now you’re ready to complete the sign-up by entering in your account and payment info. Before you hit submit, make sure you review the package information.

Under “Account Plan”, you’ll notice four different pricing options that vary depending on how many months you want to pay for upfront. The 36 month and 60-month plans are $3.95 per month or $47.90 per year, which works out to be the best value.

what is the cost of bluehost

bluehost account plans pricing

If you’re not ready to make that kind of commitment to blogging, I completely understand. You might want to sign up for the 24-month or 12-month plan, which is slightly more expensive per month but less of an upfront cost overall.

The 12-month plan is $5.45 per month or $65.40 per year. This plan is still extremely affordable, considering you also get a free domain and free WordPress installation.

You also might want to consider paying $0.99 per month for Domain Privacy Protection, which ensures your contact information stays private. But you can uncheck the other extras because you don’t need them for your blog.

If you need help on deciding which plan to choose, send me an email! I’m always online, literally.

Step Four: Install WordPress on Bluehost

The process of how to setup a WordPress blog on Bluehost changes often. And in order to keep this post updated, I am always checking to ensure that I have the latest information.

As of September 2017, this is the exact process on how to setup a WordPress blog on Bluehost:

  1. After purchasing your hosting plan, select a password and click on “Log In”
  2. Once you are on the “Pick Your Theme” page, you can either purchase a theme you like or skip this step to upload your own theme or use a free one.
  3. Click on the “Start Building” button.
  4. You’ve reached the WordPress dashboard. Click on either “Business” or “Personal” to start setting up your site. If it’s for a lifestyle blog, you can go ahead and choose personal.
  5. You’ve reached the Bluehost dashboard on WordPress. At the moment, your blog has a “Coming Soon” page listed online. So, the next step is up to you. You can start building content for your site or launch right away!

wordpress bluehost 2017

Guess what? You just learned how to create a lifestyle blog.

It’s online and ready for you to use. Give yourself a pat on the back and pour yourself a drink – you deserve it. Congratulations friend!

But now you might be wondering how to use WordPress, how to write a blog post or better yet – how to make money with a lifestyle blog.

No worries, I’ve got your back.

Step Five: Getting Started with WordPress

Log into WordPress through your Admin URL using the credentials that were given to you after installation.

Take a look around your WordPress dashboard. It might be overwhelming at first, but I promise all of this will look familiar to you in no time at all. The left-hand side of WordPress is where you can access most of your tools. Let’s start at the top.

wordpress dashboard 2017

Posts

This is where you can organize all of your blog posts, categories and tags.

By clicking on “All Posts,” you can view/edit all of your published posts and drafts.

To add a new post, click on “Add New.” Here you can type out your post, add images, videos and whatever else you need. You can also manage each post’s categories and tags from here.

Categories are, as the name suggests, the categories of your blog. You can have these show up at the top of your blog, which makes it easy for your visitors to find what they’re looking for. My categories, for example, are travel, lifestyle, and blogging.

Tags on blog posts are like hashtags on Instagram – they should be relevant to your content and help other people find your post.

Media

This section is fairly simple. It stores all of the media files you upload to your blog, including images. Click on “Library” to see what media you already have stored and click on “Add New” to add a new photo to the library.

Once you upload a new photo, you can change the size, titles and alt text. I would highly suggest making the image title and alt text something relevant to the image, as it will help your website rank higher on search engines.

Pages

Pages are an essential type of content for your blog. These will vary with every person but you may want to start out with an “About Me” page and a “Contact” page.

Comments

This section is pretty self-explanatory. You can read, reply and manage all of the comments that you get on your blog posts.

Appearance

If you’re anything like me, you are probably really excited to learn how to style a blog. When I was learning how to start a lifestyle blog, I would browse popular sites and drool over the beautiful layouts and color combinations. Now is your time to shine!

Click on “Themes” and you can select one of the free WordPress themes that are available to you or you can purchase a paid theme. Paid themes vary in cost and they will give you more freedom when it comes to the customization of your blog. A website called My Theme Shop has a huge selection of responsive blog themes. Oh, and you can view speed tests and demos for free.

Click on “Customize” to change the fonts, colors and overall layout of your site. I know you want to make sure your blog looks beautiful but don’t get too caught up in the design when you’re just getting started. It’s easy to spend hours trying to find that perfect shade of pink but you have more important things to be doing – like building up your content.

Click on “Menus” to arrange your menu structure and settings. The menu will be found at the top of your blog and will allow your readers to easily navigate through your content. You can add various Pages and Categories.

Plugins

This is one of the reasons why starting a WordPress blog on Bluehost is so much better than using a free hosting service. Plugins will help your site run better and allow you to customize your software. Similar to apps, there is a plugin for almost everything. I use a plugin to showcase my Instagram photos, add Pinterest buttons to my images, help out with my SEO and send out newsletters.

Check out my Ultimate Toolkit for Bloggers which features an entire list of must-have blogging tools, including plugins and other free services!

Step Six: How to Make Money Blogging

Can we just take a moment to appreciate everything you have learned so far?

You learned how to start a lifestyle blog, how to setup a WordPress blog on Bluehost and how to use WordPress. I admire the way you are investing in yourself! I think you have the drive and passion to become a successful blogger.

And now you probably want to learn how to make money with a lifestyle blog? Well, when you figure that out, please let me know!

Just kidding. If you can believe it, I was able to make over $200 in my very first month of blogging. Check out my income report to find out exactly how I did it!

But before you can make money with a blog, you need to:

  • Build up your blog with interesting and informative content. Use clickable headlines and high-quality images. When people read your stuff, you want them to be inspired by you and share your content with others. This is the key to growing your website traffic and audience. And use SEO keywords to ensure people can find your content online.
  • Connect with your community. Give your readers the option to sign up to your mailing list. Send them newsletters and exclusive content. Most of all, learn how to build up your social media as a blogger. Focus on a few networks at first like Facebook and Pinterest. Join groups and connect with other bloggers.

Once you have created helpful blog content and built up your social community, you’re ready to monetize your blog. If you work at it hard enough, you might even be able to turn your blog into your full-time job.

Check out this post to find out how you can monetize your blog five different ways.

Final Notes

Ok, if you read through this entire post, I just want to say thank you. A lot of time and effort went into writing this guide and I hope it helps you create something special!

As I mentioned earlier, if you get confused at any point during the process of starting a lifestyle blog, please don’t be afraid to reach out and send me an email.

I also offer blog audits and coaching services. I can even set up your entire blog for you!

Honestly, I would love nothing more than to help someone else reach their goals!

Share:
Previous Post Next Post

42 Comments

  • Hira Ahmed

    Thank you for sharing this. Very helpful. If I had read this before setting up my blog I could have avoided a lot of mistakes.

    May 29, 2017 at 13:52 Reply
    • Maya

      Same here Hira! Hopefully this post can help someone when they are getting started!

      May 29, 2017 at 14:02 Reply
  • Liz

    This is very helpful! I wish I saw this before I started a blog, it would have helped so much.

    May 30, 2017 at 16:52 Reply
    • Maya

      Thanks Liz! I tried to cover all bases.

      May 30, 2017 at 16:54 Reply
  • ryan

    very thorough! Well done. It is crazy how easy it can be to get started if you actually know what you are doing.

    May 30, 2017 at 16:53 Reply
    • Maya

      Thanks Ryan. I think the trick with blogging is that you have to be very committed!

      May 31, 2017 at 17:47 Reply
  • Daisy

    Thanks Maya… It’s a great post!! And very useful.

    May 30, 2017 at 20:35 Reply
    • Maya

      Thanks Daisy! Glad you found it useful.

      May 31, 2017 at 13:12 Reply
  • Dionna Nicole Chambers

    Making money with my blog is the hardest part for me right now. I really want to create an online course because that is what my blog is – motivational content! So the next step is a course. Would love your insight and help !

    May 31, 2017 at 00:28 Reply
  • Rachel (LittleChefBigAppetite)

    This is such an awesome post, Maya!! Really helpful and easy to understand for newbies.

    May 31, 2017 at 15:18 Reply
    • Maya

      Thanks Rachel! Yes, I hope some newbies find it useful! 🙂

      May 31, 2017 at 15:35 Reply
  • Christie Moeller

    Great breakdown on the process! Super helpful for those just starting out!

    xoxo Christie

    May 31, 2017 at 16:03 Reply
    • Maya

      Thanks Christie!

      May 31, 2017 at 16:28 Reply
  • Ana

    This is a very handy post for those who are starting out. It’s a smart idea to start self-hosting from the beginning to avoid 3rd party restrictions which is the case of free and some paid platforms. WordPress is a great way to get a self-hosted solution up and running with basic knowledge. Super helpful for new bloggers.

    May 31, 2017 at 16:16 Reply
    • Maya

      My thoughts exactly Ana!

      May 31, 2017 at 16:32 Reply
  • Andrea Florescu

    Great advice and explanation of what it means to start an blog and how to start it. Super important for people to get the right advise. You did a good job explaining everything. I also agree WordPress is the best blogging platform and anybody can start a blog even if they don’t have experience.

    May 31, 2017 at 17:18 Reply
    • Maya

      WordPress is the best, isn’t it? Thanks Andrea!

      May 31, 2017 at 17:45 Reply
  • Mary

    This is helpful information and easy to follow. The recommended products are also of high quality. Thanks for sharing!

    May 31, 2017 at 17:39 Reply
    • Maya

      Thanks Mary!

      May 31, 2017 at 17:45 Reply
  • elena

    These are all great tips. When I was starting my blog I had to go through lots of post in order to learn the most important things I need. Thanks.

    May 31, 2017 at 20:12 Reply
    • Maya

      Thanks Elena! Starting your blog can be a little complicated, but very rewarding!

      June 1, 2017 at 04:42 Reply
  • Jenn

    This is a really thorough and useful guide! I like that you mentioned the importance of owning your content. I think that’s something people don’t realize enough.

    May 31, 2017 at 22:09 Reply
    • Maya

      Yes Jenn! And it’s important to do it from the start.

      June 1, 2017 at 04:43 Reply
  • shannon

    look at you! i would not have the patience for this! but what great information for everyone!!! xo

    June 1, 2017 at 12:54 Reply
    • Maya

      Thanks girl! It was definitely time consuming but totally worth it if I can help even just one person start a blog! 🙂

      June 2, 2017 at 05:54 Reply
  • Bethany

    Extremely thorough how to guide. I wish I would have read this before I started my blog. I did it the hard way!:)

    June 1, 2017 at 14:05 Reply
    • Maya

      Thanks Bethany! Same here. I’m going to try and document everything that I learn, make posts about it and (hopefully) help some other newbies!

      June 2, 2017 at 05:55 Reply
  • Courtney

    I love how detailed this post is! Great read 💗

    June 1, 2017 at 14:39 Reply
    • Maya

      Thanks Courtney! 🙂

      June 2, 2017 at 05:55 Reply
  • Emily

    You have so much valuable information here! Such a wonderful resource for anyone who’ wants to start blogging!

    June 3, 2017 at 01:47 Reply
    • Maya

      Thanks Emily!

      June 7, 2017 at 08:49 Reply
  • Josh

    Great advice for beginners!

    July 1, 2017 at 16:34 Reply
    • Maya

      Thanks Josh!

      July 1, 2017 at 17:20 Reply
  • Claire - Heart Handmade UK

    Congrats! Where did you find most of your Bluehost affiliate sales came from? Was it a certain post in particular? Does your sidebar button get clicked much? Sorry lol I’m just curious 🙂 That’s a great amount of money for your first month

    July 2, 2017 at 15:33 Reply
    • Maya

      Thanks so much Claire! And that’s a great question. I got the majority of clicks through my SEO Tips for Bloggers post. That landed me two Bluehost sales and then I got one from the sidebar ad. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask! 🙂

      July 2, 2017 at 16:06 Reply
  • Erica M

    When I first started my website, it was so confusing. I didn’t understand anything. This is really helpful because it breaks everything down. I would have loved something like this at the beginning. I don’t have a lifestyle blog, but I think this applies to any blog. Or for me, I started my business first, and my blog shortly thereafter.

    July 23, 2017 at 18:56 Reply
    • Maya

      Thanks so much Erica! I hear ya. Starting a blog can be pretty overwhelming!

      July 25, 2017 at 20:36 Reply
  • Leslie D

    Hello Maya,
    Love the article. However, i had a question. After i login i’m directed to what looks more like a dash board with a lot of app-like icons. I’m not directed to a “Pick Your Theme” page. There is a button further down the screen, under “Website,” where i have the option to install WordPress and another button “Themes and Templates.” A bit confused here.

    September 7, 2017 at 17:59 Reply
    • Maya

      Hi Leslie!

      Did this happen today?

      The reason I ask is that Bluehost just changed their sign up process yesterday – and that’s when I updated this post. It sounds like you were taken directly to the “cPanel” on Bluehost, in which case, you’ll need to install WordPress. I can send you step by step instructions if you like?

      Just let me know!

      September 7, 2017 at 21:16 Reply
  • Greg

    Thank you. I really like how you explained it. I am very new to this and look forward to it.

    September 22, 2017 at 16:18 Reply
  • Paula Czerniavski

    Thank you for sharing this post, I found it really helpful!

    October 12, 2017 at 07:35 Reply
    • Maya

      Glad you found it helpful Paula!

      October 12, 2017 at 23:59 Reply

    Leave a Reply