How to Start a Lifestyle Blog
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
I get asked how to start a lifestyle blog all the time, and honestly it’s one of my favourite questions because I love blogging and the opportunities it’s created for me! If you have ever wondered how to get started, I’m going to break it down in the easiest way possible, because that’s something I wish I would’ve had when I first started blogging. This will help save you lots of time, money, and yes… even frustration.
© Working place image via Shutterstock
How to Start a Lifestyle Blog
1. Naming Your Blog
Everyone says this is the most difficult part of starting a blog: the name! It’s kind of like naming a baby. You’ll be using this name for the life of your blog, so choose carefully. Once you’ve made a list of name ideas, check Google, Bluehost, and all social media outlets (Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram) to make sure your name is available.
Was your name taken? Time to get back to brainstorming.
Brainstorming Tools for Naming Your Blog
Thesaurus.com – Believe it or not, a Thesaurus can be a valuable resource. What do you plan on blogging about? What are some words that describe your personality? Plug those words into the Thesaurus and see what it comes up with!
Examples: parenting, food, recipes, fun, silly, funny, outspoken, introvert, bookworm.
2. Domain + Hosting
My domain name is simplystacie.net. Yours should reflect your blog name as well, for branding purposes. Anything you sign up for in regards to your blog should be as close to the same name as possible, so your readers can easily find you anywhere online. You don’t want to be “Suzy Q’s Kitchen” on Facebook, and SkateboarderGirl88 on Instagram.
Domains are generally $10-$15 per year. However, if you use Bluehost for hosting, you’ll get a free domain. What I love about Bluehost is they offer a money-back guarantee. So while you do pay for a year of hosting up front, if for some reason you’re unhappy, just send them an email and they’ll give you a refund. I use Wired Tree for hosting my blog because I’m not on a shared server anymore. As a beginning blogger, I used shared hosting though!
Optional: Choose Domain Whois Privacy to keep your personal address and phone number private while registering your website. I always opt for this option when I buy a domain.
3. Installing WordPress
If you’re not very technically inclined, installing WordPress might sound scary. Quite frankly, it used to be! Now, not so much.
Installing WordPress is SO easy with Bluehost. Simply click “set up your website”.
Click “Install WordPress”.
Next, you’ll want to fill this section out using the tips in the screenshot above.
Do not leave your site as “My Site” – name it your actual blog name: Suzy Qs Kitchen.
Do not leave your login name as “admin” – that’s the easiest way to get hacked.
Create a password with letters, numbers, and symbols.
Write this information down. Save it in a notepad (handwritten), or in a notepad (file) on your computer.
Click on your admin URL or copy and paste it into your browser. Enter your username and password on this screen, and you’re in!
This is what your screen should look like as soon as you log in for the first time. There are several things you’ll want to customize, but for the sake of simplicity I’ve shown you where you click to add a post, and to install your theme.
4. Pulling It All Together
You’ve got a blog. Now what? There’s so much to learn! Don’t get overwhelmed, just take it one step at a time. I recommend choosing a theme first. You can use a free theme, so don’t stress about the cost of a theme right this second. However, if you plan on making money with your blog, you want it to look as professional as possible. Usually, that means paying a blog designer or at least purchasing a premium theme like these options below:
- Genesis – One of the best framework options, with free and premium “child” themes. I have used Family Tree and Crave in the past.
- Thesis – Another great framework options.
- My first theme, Solostream, is simple to customize and looks really professional.
- Elegant Themes – lots of options here!
5. Additional Blogging Tools I Love to Use
- PicMonkey – Free online editing tool. No need to download anything to your computer.
- Tech Support – When something breaks on my blog, I don’t always know how to fix it!
- Affiliate programs – To earn money with your blog, you’ll want to join a few affiliate programs.
Madmimi – Start a newsletter from the get-go. Do not wait! Growing your email list is the best way to help your blog be successful.
Books for Lifestyle Bloggers
- How to Grow Twitter for Bloggers
- Skyrocket Pageviews with Google Analytics
- How to Monetize Your Food Blog
- Tasty Food Photography
- 31 Days to Build a Better Blog – This is one of the most well-known, helpful ebooks about blogging on the web right now!
- ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging
- The Food Photography Book
Courses for Lifestyle Bloggers
There’s a lot that goes into creating – and maintaining – a successful lifestyle blog. Did you create a blog using my tips? Tweet me at @simplystacienet so I can check it out!
©Coffee cup image via Shutterstock