If you’re thinking about starting your own lifestyle blog but have no idea where to begin, then this post is for you! Blogging is a brilliant way to share your passions and interests with others. Whether you’re planning to blog as a hobby or earn an income from your blog, I’d recommend it to everyone. I started this blog towards the end of 2012 and I’m so glad I did! It’s something I’ve become very passionate about. Not only is blogging an amazing creative outlet, it’s very rewarding and can bring many opportunities your way. So, let me encourage you to take the plunge and start your very own blog today!
Setting up a blog can be challenging, especially when you’re a beginner, which is why I want to show others how to start a lifestyle blog of their own.
This is a step-by step guide and I’m going to walk you through it – let’s do this!
This post is split up into five sections:
- Choose Your Blog Topics
- Choose Your Platform
- Get Your Domain + Hosting Package
- Install WordPress
- Choose Your Theme
Ready to start your own blog?
How to Start a Lifestyle Blog
1. Choose Your Blog Topics
Before you start your own blog, it’s a good idea to think about the topics you plan on writing about. Your blog is more likely to be successful if you write about the things you’re passionate about in life, so take some time to brainstorm all of your interests. Lifestyle blogging doesn’t have to mean writing every single detail of your life. You could write about style, beauty, motherhood, cooking, travel… the possibilities are endless! Exploring your mission and vision for your blog will help you narrow down your focus.
2. Choose Your Platform
There are a variety of blogging platforms available, so it can be super hard to figure out which one to go for. I’ve tried a few different platforms, but my favourite by far is self-hosted WordPress, and it’s the one I recommend to others. Why?
- Self-hosted WordPress gives you the most control and freedom over your site, whereas free platforms restrict you.
- It’s super easy to customise, even if you don’t know how to code.
- It’s much easier to optimise for SEO, which leads to more traffic.
- There are countless free plugins available to suit your every blogging need.
- It comes with a lot of support, should you need it.
- With self-hosted WordPress you actually own your site, whereas with free platforms, you don’t. If you own your site, no one can take it away from you.
Due to my love for WordPress, this guide on how to start a lifestyle blog will focus on setting up your blog on there. To set up your self-hosted WordPress blog, you’ll need to get your domain name and hosting package.
3. Get Your Domain + Hosting Package
If you haven’t thought of a domain name yet, now is the time to start brainstorming. Try to think of one that is unique and fits you and your blog. It’s best to keep your url as short as possible, so that it’s memorable for your readers.
When you purchase a hosting package with Bluehost it comes with a free domain – which is great! I’ll be showing you how to get your free domain with your hosting package, as well as what to do if, like me, you already owned a domain (I bought mine from GoDaddy.)
- Excellent Prices (Through my discounted link, you can get hosting for just $3.49/£2.41 a month!)
- Outstanding customer service. (You’re able to speak to someone over the phone or via the live chat service if you’re in need of any help with your site. They’re known for their excellent support.)
- It’s very user friendly.
- Your site will have a fast loading time.
- Your hosting package will come with a free domain.
- If you decide that blogging is not for you, they’ll issue you a full refund for the months you have remaining.
Here’s what to do…
Click here to get the discounted hosting price. It will take you to this page:
Click on the big green button that says ‘get started now.’
You will then be taken to the price plan page. Seeing as you’re just starting a blog now, I’d go with the basic plan, which is the least expensive option and will have everything you need. What’s more, it will save you a lot of money as it’s one of the most cost-effective hosting plans available!
You will then be brought onto the domain page. To register your domain name with Bluehost, write it underneath the “new domain” box and then click “next” to see if it’s available. If you already own one, then write it in the “i have a domain name” box.
Next, fill in all of your personal details.
Scroll down to the “package information” section. The longer the hosting service you purchase, the cheaper it is. But like I mentioned before, Bluehost offer a money-back guarantee, so you won’t be taking any risks. Whether you get the other extras that are available is totally up to you. “Site Backup Pro” regularly saves a backup of your site, so I would recommend that one. But there’s no need to worry about these options too much as you can always add these at a later date.
Enter your billing information and then agree to the terms of service.
Congratulations – you now have a hosting account!
You will then be asked to create a password (make sure you pick a strong one!) and a confirmation email will be sent to you.
Once you’ve confirmed your email, login to your account. It’s now time to install WordPress!
4. Install WordPress
It will take you to your account dashboard. Click on ‘Install WordPress’, which is underneath the ‘website’ section.
Next, you’ll be taken through the steps to install WordPress. You’ll be asked to select your domain and then a bar will appear, showing your loading status. It only takes a few minutes to install. After it’s done, a message will appear that says “Congratulations on the installation of your new WordPress site!” and you’ll be able to write down your login information.
Your login page will be at www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin. Here’s a screenshot of what it will look like:
You can now login to WordPress for the first time – congratulations! You’ve made it!
5. Choose Your Theme
Now that your blog is set up, the next step is to choose a theme that is right for you. Although there are free themes available, I would recommend purchasing a premium theme as they are more functional, reliable and secure. They also look a lot more professional. I highly recommend the Genesis Framework and getting a child theme.
The Genesis Framework is one of the most respected and popular theme frameworks for WordPress. It’s a powerful, premium parent theme with excellent functionality, search engine optimisation and security. In addition, it’s easy to customise, fairly priced and simple to use. Genesis also has a great supportive community surrounding it.
If you’re confused about parent and child themes, then let me try my best to explain it to you. A parent theme provides the functionality of your website, whereas a child theme enables you to customise the design without touching (or messing up!) the parent theme. So, the Genesis Framework gives you the building blocks for a strong site and the child theme makes your blog beautiful!
Here are some of my favourite blog design shops that offer beautiful genesis child themes:
The design shops above offer top-notch themes that come with excellent service and support.
And that’s how to start a lifestyle blog! Congratulations, I wish you good luck with your brand new blog! Take your time getting to know the WordPress dashboard and it will soon become second nature!
Did you find this guide on how to start a lifestyle blog helpful? If you have any questions, then please feel free to ask away!