So you’ve heard you can make money with a blog and want to get started.
There are a ton of bits and pieces of information out there and it’s kind of hard to know where to start.
That’s why I’ve put this guide together for you!
It doesn’t matter if you are a veteran blogger or you are just getting started for the very first time, there are plenty of takeaways in this guide.
If you’d like to come back to it or put ‘finally start my blog’ on your to-do list you can either bookmark this page or pin it here!
Let’s get started!
How to Start Your First Profitable Lifestyle Blog
But wait, why a lifestyle blog?
A lifestyle blog is awesome because you can write about almost anything you can think of (that falls under your general lifestyle category).
This way you won’t work yourself into a box, you have more options, and you don’t run out of things to blog about while making money in the process.
It’s the perfect set up for new bloggers to find their voice and find their strengths as they grow and learn more about blogging.
Not to mention, when you actually care about something, you’ll have a much easier time creating kick ass content your audience wants to read.
Are you ready?
Let’s start your first blog.
Step One: Choosing Your Platform- Paid vs. Free
When you start blogging for profit, you’ll be tempted to go the FREE platform route. And I wouldn’t blame you. Who doesn’t want something awesome for free, right?
But it turns out, it’s not the best idea!
Here are some of the downfall of choosing to go the free route:
- Your personalization and design options are really limited
- Your URL isn’t really professional ( viviansblog.blogspot.com)
- You can’t monetize with ads (if you choose to go that route)
- There isn’t great support for free blogs
So, what’s the better alternative?
A self-hosted blog using WordPress.org (not wordpress.com- the free version).
To be able to use WordPress.org for free to create your blog, you’ll need to get hosting— but more on that in a minute!
Step Two: Choosing A Solid Domain Name
This is where many people spend way too much of their time! And understandably so! It can be hard to make such a commitment.
For me, it didn’t take too long to come up with Teal Notes because I had kept a journal of brainstormed names for when I was ready to start a business (I just had no idea which kind of business I would start— enter blogging!)
A domain name is just a fancy way of saying your website’s URL. For example, my domain name is tealnotes.com.
Some people choose to use their own name as their domain name, which is great. Others tend to get a little more creative.
It’s entirely up to you.
Check out if your domain name is up for grabs below:
Some important tips for choosing the perfect name:
- It is always best to keep it short and memorable
- Make it something that won’t change in the future e.g. avoid numbers if you can
- Make it so that it reflects your brand and style (everyone’s is unique!)
Step Three: Sign Up for Web Hosting
On to step three. Are you following me so far?
What exactly IS hosting?
Hosting simply means buying server space from a company for your site to be stored in and displayed whenever someone visits it.
With hosting, you want to get reliable service while taking care of your budget at the same time.
This is why Bluehost is what I recommend you start with.
Bluehost is great for beginner lifestyle bloggers because of a bunch of its features.
It’s what I’ve started my lifestyle blog with, paying less than $4 bucks a month, and I’ve never had any problems with their customer service.
What stands out to me from Bluehost is their 24/7 support feature that you can tap into every time you have any questions or concerns or if you’re ever confused about something.
On top of that, you also get a FREE domain name when you sign up with them here.
Paying $3.95 a month can still be expensive for some people (after all, it’s one whole burger and fries combo per month).
But once you get started blogging and find your way, you’ll see that the expense will be worth it and you’ll be able to make it back.
Believe me when I say, investing in your blog will be worth it.
How To Easily Sign Up for Bluehost:
After you get on Bluehost.com, click on Get Started Now.
Then It’ll ask you to pick a plan. For blogging beginners, the best plan is the basic plan. For now, it is all you will need to get started successfully.
Next it’ll ask you to choose a domain name. Plug in your name to see if it isn’t already being used by someone else. If it is, it’s not the end of the blogging world, Bluehost will help you generate a variation of that name or you can choose a different one all-together.
The cool thing is, with Bluehost, you get a domain name for FREE. 😊
Once you’ve secured your domain name, it’s time to enter your account information.
Now, after entering your account information, you get to review your package info and pick the one you like best according to your own blogging goals.
You can either choose to uncheck the check boxes or leave them, as a beginner, I’d say you don’t need all the extra additions for now, and you can always go back and add them later.
Now, after processing your payment with your order, you’re ready to start installing WordPress.
Step Four: Install WordPress With Bluehost
To install WordPress, after processing your payment and accepting their terms and conditions, Bluehost will prompt you to log back in.
…And you’ll be met with this dashboard:
If you scroll down, under the Website section, click on Install WordPress.
Then It will ask you to verify your domain name. Click install and then click install again.
After WordPress is Installed, it will say Installation Complete and it will ask you to view credentials.
That is where you’ll get the login info to login to WordPress, along with your username and password to start publishing your first posts!
It will all be listed right there for you. You can’t miss it. 😊
Step Five: Picking A Theme
Now you get to pick your perfect theme.
There are thousands of theme options out there and it can take hours to decide which one you want that will be the best for your blog.
Hold on: What is a theme?
A theme is a framework for your blog. It’ll be the framework for how your site looks and functions. After you buy it you will upload it to WordPress account and you’ll be ready to publish your very first post.
If you want to go the route of using a free WordPress theme, once you’re logged in to your WordPress dashboard click on Appearance > Themes.
The downside with free themes is that you can’t customize them much, and you’re pretty much stuck with what you get.
But If you’d like to invest in one instead, there are plenty of places to find affordable themes.
A theme publisher I like is WPZOOM. That’s where I got my blog’s theme. They’re super responsive and help you customize the theme you choose. Another good option is Divi themes for feminine themes.
If you do purchase your own theme, it’s just a matter of uploading it to your WordPress account under Appearance > Themes > Add New and voila!
Step Six: How to Publish Your First Post
You’re now ready to publish your first post!
Here is a quick run through of the WordPress Dashboard:
P.S. Don’t worry if your dashboard doesn’t look exactly like mine. I’ve personalized some of the colors and added some plugins to the list on the left. Soon, yours will be personalized for your blog as well! ☺
This is where all your blog posts are kept. Think of it like the pages in your blog diary.
This is where all the blog images you upload are kept. Think of it like a photo album.
This is where all the part of your blog are separated into categories. For example you’ll have a home page, an about me page, a contact page, etc.
This is where you can manage all the comments people leave on your blog.
This is where you can customize your theme further by changing the Menus, the Widgets, etc.
How To Publish Your First Post
To publish your first post, make sure you are logged in to your WordPress. Then, go to Posts> Add New and you’ll be met with a blank page.
After you are done whipping up your kickass content for that post, you can click the ‘Publish’ button so your content is now live for the whole world to see.
You can click ‘Preview’ To see what it will look like to your audience.
Finally: How the Heck Do You Start Making Money with Your Lifestyle Blog?
Before we get into that, let’s take a minute to reflect back on how much you’ve gotten done!
If you’ve made it this far down, you are serious about making this blogging thing work for you.
It’s the first of many steps you’ll take to create your first profitable lifestyle blog.😊 You should definitely congratulate yourself for that.
To start making money with your blog, there a few steps involved to make it all work for you. But the simplified (very simplified) version is:
- Write GREAT content that people want to read and that SOLVES problems
- Put it in front of people that want that problem solved
On writing great content
It takes practice and it’s something you’ll get better at as you go. There is no other way around it. So just keep writing, even if you feel like you are burning out and losing motivation. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
On putting it in front of people
Your lifestyle blog is a business. That means you are better off treating it as such. A business needs to make sure people know about it, and that’s where Pinterest comes in.
It’s a blogger’s ultra-secret (well not that secret) weapon to getting people to read your blog and grow your blog audience.
To help get you started on the right foot, here are some in-depth guides I’ve put together for beginner bloggers to learn how to create a profitable blog:
- Here’s how to get started monetizing your blog with affiliate marketing
- Here is how to master Pinterest as a powerful blog traffic tool
- Here is the type of content you should be writing from the very beginning
- Here is one on an effective blogging strategy to get noticed
- Oh, and here is how to format your content!
These are all things I wish I knew when I first started blogging, compiled into comprehensive posts (some longer than others). So grab some coffee and read on. 😊
Your Next Action Steps
You are seriously off to a solid start and I’m excited for you! Here is what you should do next:
- Ideally, if you have the money to invest in blogging education, you should start by educating yourself properly as much as possible. It will hands down give you a head start in monetizing your blog faster.
- Read the guides I’ve provided to set a solid base for your blogging strategy.
- Start creating as much value-filled content as possible without sacrificing quality, publish it, and promote it with Pinterest
- Really really make sure you take the time to set up your Pinterest correctly, learn about that more here (it’s super important).
- Stay motivated and remember that slow and steady wins the race!
- If you have any questions/anything you think I can help you out with don’t hesitate to send me an email!
Lots of time, drafting, and effort went into creating this guide so that it helped you start a life changing online business.
It’s a great feeling when you have gone through it and you can help someone else reach their goals!
Remember to shoot me an email with any questions you may have.
And lastly, did this comprehensive guide bring value to your life? It would make my day if you pinned it! 😊