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 lifestyle blog from start to finish.

…well congratulations, you just found it!

Whether you are completely new to the blogging world or you want to improve on your existing blog, this guide will help you learn how to start a lifestyle blog in just minutes.

Or, take things at a slower pace and sign up for my free 5-day start a blog email course! It covers all of the steps in this guide, plus I share my insider blogging tips and tricks!

Now, read on for the full how to start a lifestyle blog tutorial!

I’ll take you step-by-step through the process of getting hosted, using WordPress and making your first dollar. So, open up Bluehost in a new tab and sit yourself down. By the end of today, you are going to have your very own blog! Let’s get started!

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. Regardless of which one you choose, I recommend using WordPress.

But you should know that having your blog on a free platform isn’t always the best idea. Let me explain why.

Using a free blogging platform will:

  • Restrict your ability to run ads and make money
  • Leave you with an ugly URL
  • Provide virtually no customer or design support
  • Mean you don’t technically own your content

Going self-hosted will do the exact opposite. It means that you will actually own your blog and can monetize your content. Plus, you’ll have total freedom when it comes to the design and customization of your site!

Step Two: Choose Your Domain Name

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 for choosing the perfect domain name:

  • 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

Experiment with some ideas and see what domain names are available using this tool:

Step Three: Choose Your Blog Hosting

Now that you know how to pick a domain name, it’s time to get hosting.

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

Not only is Bluehost an official WordPress partner, but they also come highly recommended from thousands of bloggers, including myself.

Here are some things you can expect to find with Bluehost:

  • 24/7 customer support and live chat (all of their reps are US-based)
  • Fast loading times even with high traffic
  • Free domain names, WordPress installation AND SSL certificates

Plus, their plans start at just $3.95 per month.

To put that into perspective, I just bought a drink at Starbucks for nearly double that price! And it only lasted 15 minutes. By paying less than $4 a month, you can own your own blog. And trust me, with the right strategy, you can easily make that money back!

If you’re still on the fence about paying for hosting, think of it this way – you need to spend money to make money. And if you want to eventually make money with your lifestyle blog, you should put a little money into it.

What is running your own lifestyle blog worth to you?

Step Four: Sign up for Website Hosting

Visit Bluehost, click “get started now” and select the plan that works best for you. The cheapest way to start a blog will be to select the “Basic” plan, which all you need for now!

Bluehost Pricing Plans

After you choose a hosting plan, enter in the domain name that you chose for your blog. If the domain you wanted is already in use, no worries! Bluehost will give you some different variations and you can go with something similar.

Tip: Try using a “.com” over any of the other options. This looks more professional and it’s easier for people to remember.

Sign up for Bluehost

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

Under “Account Plan”, you’ll notice four different pricing options. These 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.

Uncheck all of the extra boxes except for the Domain Privacy Protection. I recommend keeping this option because it ensures all of your contact information stays private.

If you need help on deciding which plan to choose, send me an email!

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 November 2017, this is the exact process:

  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 all ready for you! Congratulations, my friend.

Now, it’s time for the fun part. You get to learn how to use WordPress, write your first blog post and better yet, how to make money blogging!

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. Click on “All Posts” to view and edit everything. If you want to add a new post, click on “Add New.” From there, you can type out and create your first your first post! Don’t forget to create your categories and tags. These make it easy for visitors to navigate through your blog.

Media:

This area stores all of the media files and images you upload to your blog. Click on “Library” to see what media you already have stored and click on “Add New” to add a new photo to the library. After uploading a photo, you can change the size, titles and alt text.

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:

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 Theme Forest 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! Check out my Resources Page for an entire list of my blogging tools and plugins.

Step Six: How to Make Money Blogging

Going through all of the steps in this guide further prove that you have the drive and motivation to become a successful blogger!

Here are two important steps to follow before you start trying to make money from your blog:

  1. Write genuinely helpful content. Be a resource to your readers, not a sales pitch. Give them content that helps solve their problems and makes their life easier!
  2. Connect with your community. Build up your social media platforms, join blogging groups and build your email list!

Once you’re doing that, there is no reason why you shouldn’t monetize!

You can make money blogging several ways, including:

  • Displaying ads on your blog
  • Writing sponsored content (read this post to find out how)
  • Selling your own products and services
  • Affiliate marketing

The last one, affiliate marketing, is my personal favourite. You don’t need tons of traffic or a huge following in order to get started. In fact, I was able to make over $200 in my first month blogging!

If you want to learn my fail-proof affiliate marketing method, sign up for my Build a Booming Blog email Course below.

Final Notes

I hope this guide helped you set up your lifestyle blog. This is just the beginning of a very exciting journey and I can’t wait to see what you’re able to accomplish!

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 emailI also offer a number of services like blog audits and coaching services. I would love nothing more to help you create an awesome blog.

Make sure you leave me a comment and let me know if you liked this guide and what you plan to accomplish with your new blog!

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44 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
  • Connor Arsenault

    Hey Maya what’s up?
    I remember seeing this post a few months back and I searched it up again because I’ll be starting up a blog real soon. This post is very informative and I’m sure I’ll be referring back to it lots over the next while. All of your blog posts are super readable too and provide lots of relevant links. Good luck in Poland! We should talk soon!

    November 12, 2017 at 22:10 Reply
    • Maya

      Hey Connor!

      What a pleasant surprise to see you in the comments! 🙂 Thanks for the kind words, that honestly means a lot! If you have ANY questions at all about starting your blog, definitely send me a message. I’d be happy to help! And send me a link to your blog once it’s up so I can follow it.

      Heading out to Poland today! Hope you’re having an amazing time in France. We definitely need to catch up!

      November 14, 2017 at 14:40 Reply

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