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From beauty to fashion, health to nutrition, personal development to mental health, there are tons of niches to get started in as a lifestyle blogger. But first you need to know how to start a lifestyle blog that will attract readers and make money.
In this step-by-step guide, I’ll teach you how to set up your blog, register your domain, and design a gorgeous site. After that, we’ll look into how to write outstanding content and grow your audience.
And last but definitely not least, I’ll go over how to monetize your site, from affiliate marketing to sponsored posts to selling your own products.
If you’re ready to make your lifestyle blogging dreams a reality, read on to learn how to launch your inspiring (and profitable) lifestyle blog.
How to start a lifestyle blog
- Come up with your big picture vision
- Brainstorm a catchy name for your blog
- Sign up for web hosting and register your domain
- Install WordPress
- Pick an eye-catching theme
- Create your essential pages
- Download a few important plugins
- Write your first 5 – 10 blog posts
- Master the basics of SEO
- Promote your blog on social media
- Make money with your lifestyle blog
1. Come up with your big picture vision
The first step of starting any business is planning, and starting a blogging business is no different. Before you register a domain name or publish your first article, spend some time defining your vision for your lifestyle blog.
What will you write about? What type of content will you create (e.g., articles, photography, videos)? Who exactly is your ideal reader, and what are their interests?
These days, it’s a good idea to define a niche for your blog, or a specific focus that you can position yourself as an expert in. The same goes for starting a lifestyle blog, but with one main difference: a lot of lifestyle bloggers put themselves and their stories at the forefront of their blog.
In fact, MediaKix defines a lifestyle blogger as someone who, “Creates content inspired and curated from their personal interests and daily activities. As such, lifestyle blogs are oftentimes highly personalized to the author’s location, life stage and experience.”
If you’re planning to put yourself as the face of your lifestyle blog, you’ll need to figure out exactly what story you want to share with the world. It can help to define your core values and what focus will inspire you to keep blogging and growing your online business.
2. Brainstorm a catchy name for your blog
Once you’ve come up with the vision for your blog, it’s time to name it. I recommend simply sitting down with a pencil and piece of paper and letting your ideas flow in a long list or mind map.
Use an online thesaurus or a name-generating brainstorm tool such as Dot-o-mator or Namemesh to expand your ideas.
A few tips for coming up with a domain name:
- Make it unique. Not only can you not register a domain that’s already been taken, but you also want a name that’s different enough from other lifestyle blogs so you can differentiate yourself.
- Keep it snappy. Avoid going beyond 3-4 words.
- Ditch confusing slang. Since you might get readers from all over the place, you should probably avoid regionally-specific slang that some people might not know.
- Go with a “.com” ending. Although you can choose alternatives like .org or .io, a .com ending has a tried-and-true legacy with Google.
You can also use your own name as your domain name. For instance, lifestyle blogger Akansha Redhu uses her name for her blog at https://akanksharedhu.com/.
Once you’ve come up with your domain name, check that it’s available with this handy tool from Bluehost:
3. Sign up for web hosting and register your domain
Now that you’ve got your sweet domain name, your next step in starting a lifestyle blog is signing up for hosting.
There are lots of web hosting sites, but I recommend Bluehost for beginning lifestyle bloggers.
It’s affordable, secure, easy to set up, and integrates seamlessly with WordPress (more on this below). I’ll show you how to get started with Bluehost, but first let me explain why I don’t recommend a free hosting service for your lifestyle blog.
The problems with free hosting for your lifestyle blog
Although it is possible to start a blog for free, there are major downsides to choosing a free hosting plan, such as:
- No ownership of domain. On a free hosting plan, you won’t own your domain. If the host decides to remove your website, it’s gone.
- Unprofessional domain name. You won’t get your own domain name. If you went with a free plan from website builder Weebly, for example, your domain name would be something like, mylifestyleblog.weebly.com instead of mylifestyleblog.com. Not very professional for a blogging business, and it won’t do your blog’s SEO any favors.
- Unwanted ads on your site. On free plans, sites like Weebly and Wix often put ads for themselves on your blog.
- Limited features and customization. You won’t have nearly as many options for features, customizations or plugins, so you’ll have a lot less control over the look and feel of your lifestyle blog.
- Few options to make money. If you’re not already convinced about the limitations of a free plan, consider this one: You’ll have very few options when it comes to advertising or making money off your site. So, a free plan isn’t the way to go if you’re serious about starting a lifestyle blogging business.
- Less customer support. Finally, you might not get much technical support on a free plan; that’s usually reserved for customers who purchase hosting.
To overcome all these limitations, I recommend purchasing a hosting plan. Luckily, you can get started with Bluehost for only $3.95 per month. Here’s how.
How to start a lifestyle blog with Bluehost
To get started, head to Bluehost.com and choose your hosting plan. The basic plan is good for new lifestyle bloggers who are only looking to create one site (and it’s the most affordable).
Next up, choose your domain name. A Bluehost plan comes with free domain registration for a year, so it’s included when you sign up. If you already have a domain name, you can also transfer it easily.
Third, fill out your account details and choose your plan. You can choose a 12-, 24-, or 36-month term. As with most other hosting providers, you’ll get a better price if you go with a longer term.
In this next step, you can choose a few add-ons. I recommend getting Domain Privacy & Protection to protect your personal information, but you can leave the rest blank.
If you did choose another feature, make it Codeguard Basic. This offers backups of your site (but you can find a different plugin later for backups if you’re looking to keep costs low).
Finally, enter your credit card information and hit submit. If your plan is set to auto-renew, add a reminder in your Google calendar so you know when this will happen. Bluehost will also email you to let you know if your plan is about to renew or expire.
Congratulations, you’ve just set up hosting for your awesome new lifestyle blog!
Click Here to Sign Up for Bluehost
4. Install WordPress
Now that you’ve learned how to start a lifestyle blog by signing up for web hosting, your next step is installing WordPress.
While your web host provides space for your lifestyle blog to live on the internet, WordPress is responsible for your site’s design and blog content.
It’s a content management system (CMS) that powers 39% of all websites on the internet! And, it’s 100% free to use.
You can create your WordPress account on WordPress.org. If you purchased Bluehost hosting, Bluehost will automatically install WordPress for you.
Note that if you went with a different hosting provider, it’s also easy to install WordPress. Simply look for directions in your account dashboard or contact customer service to walk you through it.
Once you’ve installed WordPress, you can sign into your site at [yourdomainname].com/wp-admin.
Familiarize yourself with the dashboard, including where your themes, pages, posts, and plugins live.
5. Pick an eye-catching theme
WordPress comes with tons of free and paid themes to help you design a gorgeous blog. You can browse themes under “Appearance” in your WordPress dashboard.
Here are a few examples of its free themes:
Although the free themes can help you design a beautiful site, they can be somewhat limited in terms of customization.
If you want even more features, and want to make sure your lifestyle blog has a unique look and feel, you might consider purchasing a theme instead.
I’m a big fan of the Divi theme, as it’s easy to customize and has lots of options for designing your site. If you purchase the theme, you also have access to hundreds of beautiful pre-made templates.
If you’re interested, click here for a free demo of the Divi theme.
Note that it might take some trial and error to get your design just right, especially if you’re new to blogging. Don’t stress — a lot of blogging is figuring it out as you go, and there are tons of YouTube explainer videos to walk you through the steps.
6. Create your essential pages
As you’re designing your site, don’t forget to include the essential pages. These include,
- Home page: This may be the first impression for some new visitors, so make it a good one! Focus on making an eye-catching design, and think about what you want visitors to do when they land on your page. Should you feature a few core articles? Should you include a button at the top that takes readers to a specific page or blog post? Think about what action you want your readers to take and how to direct them to it.
- About me page: Here’s where you can share your story and all the wonderful things that make you you! People connect with stories, and this page is your chances to share yours. Lifestyle blogs tend to be personal, so make sure to include at least one photo of yourself, too.
- Contact me page: Add your contact information or a contact form so your readers know how to get in touch.
You can find free templates online, but my favorite legal pages come from Amira of A Self Guru. She’s a lawyer and blogger, so she understands exactly what blogging businesses need to protect themselves.
When you purchase her templates, you simply fill in your name and blog name and then upload them to your site. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes, and you can rest easy knowing that you and your blog are legally protected.
While you’re unlikely to run into any legal issues when you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to treat your blog like a business from the get-go and start off on the right foot. At the very least, make sure to add an affiliate disclaimer if you’ll be including affiliate links on your lifestyle blog.
To learn more about protecting your lifestyle blog legally, head to Amira’s site here.
7. Download a few important plugins
Before you put the finishing touches on your website design, I recommend downloading a few plugins for your lifestyle blog.
Plugins add features to your site without you having to do any manual coding. To add a plugin, just go to “Plugins >> Add New” in your WordPress dashboard.
A few that I recommend to start are,
- Under Construction plugin. There are several options for these (under construction, coming soon, maintenance mode, etc.), and they simply make your site invisible while you design it. When you’re ready to launch your site, simply deactivate the plugin and your site will be live and visible to the world.
- Yoast plugin. This plugin is great for checking your article’s SEO, or search engine optimization. It lets you set a meta-description for your blog posts and gives you a keyword and readability score for each article.
- MonsterInsights. This plugin connects Google Analytics to your lifestyle blog (you can sign up for free). With Google Analytics, you’ll get in-depth insight into how many readers are visiting your blog, which pages they’re looking at, and where they’re coming from.
- W3 Total Cache. This handy plugin helps your blog load faster. No one likes a slow site!
There are tons of plugins for adding any number of features to your site, but you also don’t want to download too many, as some plugins can slow down your site. Feel free to download what you need, but deactivate ones that you’re not actively using.
8. Write your first 5 – 10 blog posts
Before launching your lifestyle blog, I recommend preparing five to 10 blog posts. That way, you’ll have content to share with your first visitors; they won’t be heading to an empty blog.
Your first posts can be the foundational or cornerstone articles that are most important to your blog. Maybe you tell your story or create helpful posts most relevant to your target readers.
If you’re new to blogging, spend some time learning about how to write a good blog post.
A few best practices include,
- Making your writing engaging and easy to understand. Write as if you’re speaking to a friend.
- Using headers to organize your thoughts. It’s a good idea to use H2s for your main points; then H3s or H4s for any related ideas within each category. Think of it as a hierarchy of ideas, with H2 being the main points, and H3s or H4s as sub-categories within each point.
- Make it digestible. Along with using headers, make your posts digestible by including paragraph breaks after every 2-3 sentences.
- Add visuals. To avoid a wall of text, consider adding images, screenshots, infographics, bullet points, or any other visual elements to keep your readers’ interest.
9. Master the basics of SEO
As you keep practicing and improving as a writer, you’ll also benefit by learning the basics of SEO, or search engine optimization.
If you can figure out how to get your articles to rank highly on Google, you could bring in free, organic traffic to your blog month after month.
One way to do this is to write articles that target certain keywords. Keywords are words and phrases that people are searching for, such as “how to start a lifestyle blog.”
As a new blogger, you’ll have the most luck targeting long tail keywords, or keywords of 3-4 words or more that have a decent amount of search volume but a low competition.
For a list of my favorite keyword research tools for bloggers, head to this guide.
Once you have your keyword, Google it to see what articles are currently ranking on page 1 of Google.
Read them over, keeping an eye on their strengths and weaknesses. Your goal is to create an even stronger piece of content that has the potential to outrank these articles.
Note that in-depth articles of 2,000 words or more tend to perform best.
Focus on building backlinks, too
Besides writing outstanding, keyword-driven content, you’ll also need to build backlinks to your site. A backlink is a link from another website, and it increases your blog’s authority in Google’s eyes.
Try to find a community of other bloggers and ask if you can write a guest post for them that includes a link back to your site. You might also find bloggers who are interested in a link exchange.
You could also try signing up as a source on Help a Reporter Out (HARO) with the hopes of getting links back to your lifestyle blog.
10. Promote your blog on social media
Whether you’re an individual blogger or a big online business, SEO takes time. It can take several months to rank on Google and start bringing in organic traffic to your blog.
In the meantime, you can grow your site’s traffic in other ways, like posting on social media.
Lifestyle bloggers tend to do especially well on Instagram. If you’re going to use Instagram, do a little research on the platform to see what other lifestyle bloggers are doing and what hashtags are most popular with your audience.
Besides posting great captions and content, spend some time commenting on other people’s posts, reaching out via direct message, and building your community.
Another great outlet for lifestyle bloggers is Pinterest. You can create a business account for your blog and upload gorgeous pins that link back to your blog posts.
You might also try paid ads eventually to boost your posts and bring in more traffic, but I only recommend doing this once you have a monetization strategy in place.
In other words, there’s not much point paying for traffic for your blog if it’s not going to make money for you.
11. Make money off your great content
As you’re thinking about how to start a lifestyle blog, chances are you’re not solely looking for a creative outlet. You also want to make money off your blog, hopefully enough to quit your day job and work as a lifestyle blogger full-time.
To that end, you’ll need to start thinking about how to monetize your blog. Here are a few top strategies:
One major way that lifestyle bloggers make money is through affiliate marketing. As an affiliate, you get a special link for products and services, which you then review or recommend to your readers.
If your reader clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you’ll receive a commission. For example, Amazon Associates is a huge affiliate marketplace, and you can generate a special affiliate link for any Amazon product.
If you make a list of the best fleece leggings, skin serums, travel gear, self-help books, or whatever else on Amazon, you can make money when a reader buys one of your recommended products.
Some companies run their own affiliate programs, or you can find affiliate partnerships on marketplaces, like ShareaSale or FlexOffers.
Once you’re approved as an affiliate, you can generate your unique affiliate link to use on your blog.
Note that some posts that work best for making money are “best of” lists (e.g., best moisturizers for dry winter skin) and product reviews.
Once you’ve built up an audience, you can snag sponsored posts from brands. You’ve probably seen lots of influencers creating sponsored posts on Instagram, where they show themselves using a product with a caption that includes #ad.
Companies pay for sponsored Instagram and blog posts if they feel you’re a right fit for their brand and can bring in paying customers. So it’s up to you to show that you have the skills to promote their brand and a relevant audience.
It helps to create a media kit that shows your blog stats, including your monthly traffic and any demographics you have about your audience. There are lots of free templates for creating a media kit, but some of my favorites come from Canva.
With Canva, you can use its media kit templates to share who you are, what your blog is about, and any metrics or analytics that will convince a company to work with you.
Coaching, consulting, or other services
Another way to monetize your blog is to offer coaching, consulting or other services.
Maybe you’re a personal development or life coach who works one-on-one with clients. Or perhaps you consult clients on health and nutrition.
Or maybe you offer freelance writing and blogging services on the side as you work on growing your lifestyle blog.
Whatever it is, you can offer your services directly on your blog and work with clients to boost your income.
Another way to make money from your lifestyle blog is to use ads. However, I don’t really recommend using Google AdSense unless you have hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors, because it’s hard to make much money from it without a lot of traffic.
However, once you reach 50,000 monthly visitors, you can sign up for an ad management service like MediaVine. MediaVine is much more hands-on and has the potential to make you a lot more money.
Selling your own products
Finally, you can consider selling your own products on your lifestyle blog. This could be physical products, like branded merchandise, or digital products, like ebooks or an online course.
I recommend that you start with affiliate marketing so that you can learn how to market products and figure out what works and doesn’t work for your audience. But as you grow, you might try your hand at creating and selling your own products to your adoring fans.
As you can see, a lot goes into learning how to start a lifestyle blog and make money from it. Blogging is by no means a get rich quick scheme; it takes time and effort to build an audience and establish your brand.
But if you commit to your blog for the long term, you could create an amazing online business that lets you share your passion and creativity and have unlimited earning potential.
Want to learn even more about how to make money blogging? Head to this guide for an in-depth look at all the strategies successful bloggers use to make money!