Today I want to share with you how to start a lifestyle blog.
Blogging quite literally changed my life.
This website you are reading right now has been my online space for 8 years, it started as a hobby and it is now my full-time job. Every single day I feel incredibly lucky to be a lifestyle blogger, creating content and connecting with my awesome audience.
If you have ever thought about starting a blog, or even a lifestyle blog specifically (although this guide should help you whichever niche you choose), this how to start a lifestyle blog guide should help you get started.
I also have loads of beginner blogging guides coming up so keep visiting the blog tips section of this blog to help you on your way.
Before you begin:
Ideally you want to start with a good old brainstorming session. Get yourself a pen and paper or open up a fresh document, and start scribbling down what you want your blog to be about.
I have blog tips posts coming up on:
- How To Define Your Blog’s Core Purpose
- How To Brand Your Blog
- How To Create a Content Strategy
- How To Create an Editorial Calendar
If you work through each of these exercises your blog and content will be off to a flying start.
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How To Start A Lifestyle Blog – First steps
Essentially you need to decide what your niche is – a lifestyle blog is a wide-reaching niche but you might want to have a theme that ties your content together or establishes your voice and style in the blogosphere.
Choose a domain name
Next you need to come up with a name. Choosing a blog name can be tricky, I should know I’ve picked a few! Ideally you want a memorable name that is easy to spell and will grow with you over the years.
Choose a blogging platform
The blogging platform is essentially the framework that holds your blog in shape. It is where you will login and write your blog posts.
There are a few blogging platforms to choose from but I recommend choosing wisely as it can be a bit of a pain to transfer platforms once you get started.
The free blogging platforms include Blogger (the platform where I started) which is run by Google. There you can sign up with your chosen name and start blogging almost immediately. It won’t cost you anything but your URL (the unique link people use to find your blog) will end in blogspot.com – for example, mynewblog.blogspot.com
You can set up your own domain name on Blogger – for example, mynewblog.com – but you are limited with your design and functionality on Blogger.
I recommend starting as you mean to go on and start your lifestyle blog with on the WordPress platform. It is one of the most popular blog and website platforms in the world and it comes with loads of features and plugins that allow you to create the blog that works for you.
WordPress.org is the version I recommend. It is a powerful platform that allows you to create a flexible and functional blog not to mention it looks more professional.
It means that you do need to purchase your own hosting (which we will walk through below) but in the long run you will be pleased that you started on WordPress.
What is hosting?
Every website on the internet is hosted somewhere. This means the files that make up a website live on a server belonging to a hosting company. They manage the server and keep it all ticking along.
You as a website/blog owner pay a monthly or annual subscription to the hosting company for your files (website/blog) to live there.
It might sound a little overwhelming if you are just starting out blogging, but there are affordable options such as Bluehost which cost around the price of your favourite cup of coffee per month.
Below I will go through exactly how to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog. This is a technical tutorial walking through each step to setting it up on Bluehost.
This tutorial doesn’t teach you how to write content, I have some useful tutorials for that coming up.
What you will have by the end of this tutorial is your very own corner of the internet, a lifestyle blog with a powerful framework and reliable, affordable hosting. Essentially the bones of your lifestyle blog will be ready for you to fill with amazing content and your own unique style.
How To Start A Lifestyle Blog – The Technical Bit
1. Go to Bluehost to get your web hosting.
2. Choose the best web hosting plan to suit your needs.
3. Choose a domain name. For example, mynewblog.com
4. Fill in your information on the sign up form.
5. Pay for your hosting
6. Create a good strong password. I recommend making it as difficult as possible to avoid any hacking or security breaches. You can use a strong password generator to help.
7. Choose a theme – this is the overall look of your lifestyle blog.
You can change this at any time and most bloggers go through several themes over the years. I am on my 4th theme in 7 years.
8. Now it’s time to get started on WordPress!
9. Log into WordPress. From now on, to get into the dashboard (or backend) of your lifestyle blog you will usually go to www.domainname.com/wp-admin using your username and password.
Note: I recommend choosing a username that is NOT ‘admin’. It’s too obvious to bots and hackers. You can always change your username and password at a later date if necessary.
10. Add pages to your lifestyle blog. Pages are the permanent, non-date specific webpages. Whereas posts are where you blog and are time specific.
10a. I recommend creating at least an ‘About’, ‘Contact’ and ‘Disclosure, Privacy, Comment Policy’ pages to start with.
10b. Create a navigation menu to list out your pages. Maybe add your categories in if you’ve picked these already.
10c. Finally, it is always worth launching your blog with at least one new post. WordPress usually creates a template post labelled ‘Hello World’ I usually delete this and write my first introductory post.
10d. I recommend installing some key plugins at this stage. For starters try:
– Akismet – protects you from spam
– Yoast SEO – an awesome SEO assistant
– W3 Total Cache – helps your website run faster
– Wordfence – keeps your website secure
11. Launch your lifestyle blog! Make sure you label the name of your blog plus the site description (e.g. UK Lifestyle Blog)
12. Familiarise yourself with the Cpanel. This is where the ‘hosting’ details are situated. It is where you can create a domain specific email, look at the hosting files, and update your billing and settings as necessary.
That’s it! Now you just to get started with creating awesome content. You now know how to start a lifestyle blog.
How To Start A Lifestyle Blog – Further reading:
Good luck! And let me know how you get on with your new lifestyle blog.
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