You want to start a lifestyle blog.
But there is a ton of information floating around online and you’re feeling a little lost on where to begin!
Sound about right?
Well congratulations my friend. You’re in the right place!
In this clear and concise guide, I am going to walk you through the process of how to start your own lifestyle blog from scratch. The entire process is broken down into six simple steps and I’ve done my absolute best to make it quick and painless for you!
Today, we are going to go over things like finding your focus, choosing a name, setting up hosting, using WordPress and writing great blog posts!
So, get comfortable! Grab yourself a big cup of coffee and a notebook. Just imagine that by the end of today, you are going to have your very own blog!
Ready? Let’s do this!
How to Start a Lifestyle Blog In 6 Simple Steps
- Step One: Find Your Focus
- Step Two: Choosing a Domain & Blog Name
- Step Three: Setting Up Your Blog
- Step Four: Getting Started With WordPress
- Step Five: Designing Your Blog
- Step Six: Blog Baby, Blog!
- Final Notes
- Share this:
Step One: Find Your Focus
A great blog is one that is written with a particular audience in mind. So, before you decide on the name or design for your blog, spend some time deciding what topics you want to write about and who you will be writing for.
Essentially, you want to identify your niche and target audience. The ideas might come to you immediately, but it’s okay if they don’t!
If you’re anything like me, you might be passionate about a few different topics and want to write about them all. In that case, just go for it! That’s one of the great things about starting your own lifestyle blog; you can write about almost any topic under the sun.
As long as you can say yes to these three crucial questions:
- Am I passionate about these topics?
- Will these topics help my audience solve a problem?
- Can I write high quality posts about these topics?
A lot of people start blogging with the intention to make money and quickly become burnt out when they realize how much work is actually involved with running a blog! If you can inspire an audience and write lots of content on your chosen topics, your blog will be as good as gold!
Related Reading: How to Choose a Focus for Your Blog
Step Two: Choosing a Domain & Blog Name
Choosing a name for your blog is like choosing a name for your business. It requires some serious thought and consideration!
In a perfect world, your domain name (the URL that people type out to visit your site) should be the same as your blog name. Mismatched blog and domain names can result in confusion and less traffic to your site! Just try your best to keep them the same!
Ideally, your blog name should reflect what you write about and who your ideal audience is. It should give new readers an idea of what your blog is all about before they even land on it!
Here are a few tips you should follow when choosing a name for your blog:
- Keep it short. You want your blog’s name to be memorable, but you also want it to be relatively easy for people to type out! Long and complicated blog names are never fun.
- Use Keywords. If you are writing about a specific topic, try including a related keyword in your blog name. If you write about budget fashion tips and your target audience women in their twenties, you could include words like “savvy” or “millennial” in your blog name.
- Go with .com. When you get your own domain name, you’ll have the option of choosing a custom domain extension, which is the last part of your domain. I always recommend sticking with the classic “.com” as this is what most people will type in when trying to find your website.
If you’re struggling to come up with a name for your blog, you can always do what I did: just use your first and last name as your blog name. There’s nothing wrong with it! Plus, it happens to be perfect for those who want to offer one-on-one services through their blog and/or write about several subjects.
Want to see if your blog name is available as a domain and on various social media channels? Head to namechk.com and enter the desired name in the top bar. Scroll down to see which domains and social media channels are available.
Step Three: Setting Up Your Blog
This step is all about getting your blog set up online! To do that, you’ll need to choose a blogging platform and purchase website hosting.
While it is possible to start a blog for free, it will be better for you in the long run to go self-hosted with your own domain name. Otherwise, you won’t technically own your blog. So, this step is essential for those of you that plan on turning your blog into a business or making money with your blog.
For your blogging platform, I recommend using WordPress.
WordPress is easy to use, allows you to customize your site entirely and gives you access to some great plugins. And because it’s the most popular blogging platform, there are a ton of tutorials online to help you get started and learn the ropes.
How to Set Up Blog Hosting:
To get set up with blog hosting, I recommend using Siteground.
It’s the company that I personally use to host all of my websites and it’s the one I recommend to all of my fellow website-owners. In fact, Siteground is the #1 rated website hosting provider. And I think it all boils down to these three reasons:
- Speed. People do not like slow websites! If you want to ensure that people are reading your posts and actually staying on your blog, you need a website that loads fast. Siteground has some of the fastest speed loading times in the business!
- Safety. Due to their top security measures, Siteground is one of the official hosting company recommendations from WordPress. So, you can feel secure knowing that all of blog content is safe from any hackers or viruses.
- Customer Support. This is reason enough to choose Siteground over any other hosting provider. With 24/7 live chat support and virtually non-existent wait times, their customer support is like a dream! So, when something goes wrong with your website, you can rest assured knowing you’re in good hands.
The Siteground StartUp Plan only costs $3.95 per month. It’s the ideal plan for anyone receiving under 10,000 visitors per month.
And follow these steps to set up your account:
1. Choose your ideal plan. If you’re a beginner blogger, I recommend going with the StartUp Plan.
2. Register your domain name. Enter your desired domain name into the box. If it’s available, you can register it with Siteground for around $12 per year. If you already have a domain name, plug that into the box instead. For those of you who already have a website under a different platform, you can take advantage of Siteground’s free website transfers by clicking off the little box.
3. Enter your information. This is where you will provide all of your contact and payment information. You will also have the option of purchasing optional services. Decide at your own discretion, but I recommend keeping the privacy protection.
How to Install WordPress:
Once your hosting is all paid for and you receive a confirmation email from Siteground, it’s time for you to install WordPress! Log into your Siteground account and you should be prompted with the Website Setup Wizard. It looks a little something like this:
Click “Proceed” to start the WordPress installation.
If you don’t see the Setup Wizard after logging in, click on “My Accounts” in the menu bar of your Siteground account and then click on “Go to cPanel”. Next, click on “Wordpress Tools” and then “Wordpress Installer”. From here, you can click on “Install Now” to prompt the WordPress installation manually.
Continuing with the installation, you will be asked to enter in a username and password. Then, you will need to choose a theme – we will talk more about that in a minute. Pick any theme for now, you can easily change it later.
Once the account setup is complete, you will be shown a summary of all your information. Keep a record of this! You don’t want to forget your login information or admin URL.
How to Create a Custom Email with Siteground
Every Siteground hosting plan comes with an unlimited number of free email addresses for your domain name! To create one, log in to the User Area, click on “My Accounts”, go to your cPanel, click “Mail” and then “Email “Accounts.”
Type in the email address you want and create a strong password. You also need to set the mailbox quota, which if you went with the StartUp plan, should be 2000MB per account.
When you’re finished, click “Create Accounts” and your new email address will ready for use.
You can access your mailbox through Mac Mail, Outlook or online through Webmail. To learn more about setting up the mailbox, check out Siteground’s helpful guide.
How to Set Up a SSL Certificate with Siteground
Another great thing about using Siteground to host your blog, is that you can take advantage of their free SSL certificates!
To install an SSL certificate onto your website, visit this tutorial and follow through with all of the instructions.
Admittedly, this part can be a little complicated. If you’re having trouble setting anything up, be sure to reach out to the Siteground support staff through online chat. They’re always available to help!
Step Four: Getting Started With WordPress
Log into your new WordPress account through your admin URL. It usually looks something like www.yourblog.com/wp-admin.
Enter in your username and password. If you don’t remember your login credentials, check the welcome email you received from Siteground or contact them through live chat. They will be able to help you login!
Once you’re logged in, you will see the WordPress dashboard. It might be overwhelming at first, but it will become familiar to you quickly!
On the left-hand side is where you can access most of your tools. Let’s go through a quick explanation of how to use some of the basic WordPress tools.
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.
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 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.
This section is pretty self-explanatory. You can read, reply and manage all of the comments that you get on your blog posts.
This is where you can customize the appearance of your blog by uploading a theme, designing the site and organizing menu bars. We will talk more about designing your site in the next step.
You can install various plugins to help your site run better and customize your software. Similar to apps, there is a plugin for almost everything!
Related Reading: 15 WordPress Plugins Every Blog Needs
Step Five: Designing Your Blog
At this point, your blog is all set up and ready for you to use! But, before you start telling all your friends and family about your new site, you should probably style it first.
That means it’s time to choose a theme. If you don’t know what a theme is, it’s basically like a template for you to use on your blog. Themes make it easy for you to design your blog!
The only problem is, there are literally thousands of themes for you to choose from. It can be a little overwhelming.
So, before you decide on just any ol’ theme, you might want to consider a few things first:
- Do you want a slider on your homepage?
- Where do you want your navigation bar to be located?
- Are you going to add a shop/store feature eventually?
- Do you want to create landing pages on your blog?
The list goes on.
But, I’m all about keeping things simple! So, in an attempt to prevent you from feeling too overwhelmed – I am just going to recommend one specific place for you to look for themes.
It’s called Bluchic and it’s one of the best places to find feminine WordPress themes that are geared towards bloggers and solopreneurs.
All of their themes are mobile responsive, e-commerce ready and beautifully designed. And all customers get access to personal service and support from Kathie and Andrew, the duo behind Bluchic.
After you find and purchase your perfect theme, it will be delivered to you as a ZIP file. Do not unzip it! You will need to upload this file to WordPress. Here’s how:
- Click “Appearance” on the left-hand menu.
- Click “Themes” and then “Add New Theme”.
- Select the ZIP file, upload it and click “Activate”.
Now, your theme is installed and you’re ready to start customizing your website! Under “Appearance” in the left-hand menu, you will also find the “Customize” screen. That’s where you can update all of your preferences and change the colours and fonts.
And remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be done. You can always go back and improve your blog later down the road. For now, just focus on getting your blog up and running!
Related Reading: Best Themes for WordPress Blogs
Step Six: Blog Baby, Blog!
By this point, you know how to start a lifestyle blog, technically. We’ve gone over the process that’s involved with setting everything up, but we haven’t talked about one hugely important aspect of blogging: writing content.
Your first blog post doesn’t have to be anything special. Just write whatever you feel comfortable with! Remember, the great thing about starting your own lifestyle blog is the freedom that comes with being able to write about anything.
To help you stay productive, I highly suggest keeping a list of any blog post ideas. Anytime you feel inspired, write down all of your ideas. So that the next time you sit down to write a new blog post, you can refer to the list!
I actually keep a duplicate version of the blog post planner spreadsheet that I use in my free resource library. You can download it for free by signing up for my email list.
When you’re ready to start writing, click on “Posts” in the left-side menu and “Add New.” If you’ve used Microsoft Word or Pages in the past, this text editor looks similar. Use it to write, style your text, embed links and add photos.
Before hitting publish, remember to select a featured image for the post and add it to the appropriate categories.
Think of categories like broad topics for your blog. On this blog, I use the categories blogging tips, income reports, lifestyle and travel. All of my blog posts fit into one of those 4 categories. You can access them all from the menu bar above.
To help organize your posts in, even more, you can also add tags to your post. Tags are like words/phrases that describe your post. On this post, I could use tags like how to start a lifestyle blog and beginner blogging tips. Tags aren’t as necessary as categories.
Once everything looks good, you’re ready to hit publish!
Don’t forget to set up some basics areas on your blog too. You might want to consider doing some of these:
- Write an about me page to describe what you and your blog are all about.
- Put up a contact page that let’s readers know how to get in touch with you.
- Write a small introduction for the sidebar. More on organizing your sidebar here.
- Include a copyright in the footer.
Most importantly, have fun with your writing style! It’s totally acceptable to use abbreviations, slang and break some grammar rules in the blogging world. It’s all about letting your personality shine.
Related Reading: How to Write with Purpose, Poise and Passion
You’ve officially learned how to start a lifestyle blog!
But remember, this is just the beginning of a (hopefully) long and exciting journey. It’s up to you to continue to grow your blog!
I suggest that you focus on writing helpful content, using social media to begin driving traffic and start building an email list. If you do that, you will be well on the road to being a professional blogger in no time at all.
To help you continue on your journey, I’ve rounded up some helpful posts:
- How to Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
- Beginner SEO Tips
- Affiliate Marketing Guide for Bloggers
- How to Land Your First Sponsored Post
If you haven’t already followed through with all of the steps in this post, make sure you bookmark it for later or sign up for my free email course, which goes through all of the steps at a much slower pace.
Have any questions? Post them for me down below so I can help!