How To Start Your Lifestyle Blog
To start your lifestyle blog, it’s best to start a self-hosted blog using WordPress.org (not wordpress.com- the free version).
To be able to use WordPress.org to create your blog, you’ll need to get hosting— but more on that in a minute.
Step One: Choosing A Solid Blog (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 go with more creative blog names.
It’s entirely up to you.
Blog names and blog name ideas can be easily overcomplicated, but as long as it fits your overall blog theme, you’ll be good. Try making a blog names list to brainstorm some lifestyle blog name ideas.
You can also 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 Two: Sign Up for Web Hosting
On to step three.
What exactly IS hosting?
Hosting simply means buying server space from a company for your site to be stored in and up and running for people to visit.
With hosting, you want to get reliable service while taking care of your budget at the same time.
When I started this blog, I had come across Michelle’s Making Sense of Cents blog and decided to use her tutorial to get started (especially because at the time it seemed so thorough). She recommended Bluehost as an affordable option for new bloggers and its what I’ve been using ever since.
It’s a good option for beginner bloggers because of a bunch of its features.
It’s what I’ve started with, paying less than $4 bucks a month, and I’ve yet to have problems with their customer service or my site.
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.
Investing in your blog will be worth it in the long run.
If you aren’t ready to financially invest in your new blog business, then you might want to reconsider blogging as a way to make income.
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 Three: 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 Four: Picking A Theme
Picking a theme is one of the fun parts of creating a lifestyle blog, especially because there are tons of lifestyle blog ideas out there.
Hopefully, by now you have picked your blog name out of your lifestyle blog names list and can pick a nice theme to match that.
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.
Elegant Themes is a solid theme builder I like a lot. Check out their blogging themes to see if any catch your eye.
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 Five: 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.
You’ve started your first lifestyle blog!