How to Start a Lifestyle Blog: Step by Step

by | May 29, 2020

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Why Start a Lifestyle Blog?

The reasons you might want to start a lifestyle blog could be endless.  Think about what life would be like if writing about your interests was your full-time job.  That’s exactly the life of a lifestyle blogger.  My first introduction to this type of “career” came from my good friends Lauren and Alex with CreateandGo, who started from nothing and now earn over 100k per month! Nothing is better than profiting off of your lifestyle.  So let’s dive in and learn how to start a lifestyle blog: step-by-step. 

What is a Lifestyle Blog

A lifestyle blog is simply a blog created by someone to document their life.  While it’s not necessary to profit and monetize a “lifestyle blog” many successful bloggers do and can make a really good profit.

Maybe you’re a busy mom with 3 kids and a husband that works too much, perfect! Write about it and chances are there are other moms with 3 kids out there that can relate.  Or maybe you’re in college and you’re fighting the delicate balance of sleep, partying, and homework. Write about it!  Even if you think you live a boring life, there are other people that can relate.  

 Before we dive into the actionable steps you can take to start your lifestyle blog, it’s important that you understand the commitment it takes to make a blog succeed.  Your blog is probably not going to be very good at first, that’s ok! Keep writing and STAY CONSISTENT!  This is the most important factor when it comes to blogs that fail, and blogs that succeed.  Make the commitment and don’t look back. 

FREE 7-DAY BLOG BUILDER MASTERCLASS

Step 1: Choosing a Blog Topic

The possibilities here are truly endless.  I once came across a blog that was entirely about Bananas.  Anything you could think of that relates to bananas was on this blog:  types of bananas, places they grow, healthy facts and they were profiting by selling banana decor, apparel, and even an entire banana cookbook!  As I’m sure you can imagine, there are not many blogs out there specifically focused on bananas.  “Dogs” on the other hand is a very popular and broad topic.  Don’t be too broad with your chosen niche, pick something that differentiates you from the rest.  

Whatever you choose just make sure it’s something that gets you excited and anxious to talk about.  It’s ok to take your time with this step, but try not to overthink it!  If you need help thinking of topics a good rule of thumb is to pick something you know well.  As long as your writing from a place of passion, you can profit off the ANY niche.  

Word of Caution on Choosing a Topic to Blog about…

There’s a fine line between choosing a blog topic that you know well and a topic you’re interested in.  If you’re interested in something but don’t know anything about it, I would wait. Claiming yourself as an authority in any niche you’re unfamiliar with is a great way to ruin your reputation and lose people’s trust.  When you start a lifestyle blog,  authenticity is huge.  

Step 2: Market Research

Now that you have an idea about what you’d like your blog to be about it’s time to research who’s already in your niche.  This step is vitally important and will provide valuable insight as far as how to monetize, what to write about, and how to set up your site.   You should have 2 or 3 blogs that you’d like to emulate.  Obviously, you want to be unique and have your own unique content, but for now, as we’re just starting out give yourself a roadmap to follow.   If you want to be next level I encourage you to fill out your business model canvas and start building a picture of how you’ll eventually monetize your blog.  

Tip #1 – Find Competitor Blogs

Google your “niche” + Blog.  For example “fitness + blog”  the results will be fitness blogs you can steal ideas from.  

Find Dog Training Blogs

Tip #2Network on Popular Forums

Google your “niche” + forum.  For example “fitness + forum.”  Forums will have commonly asked questions from people in your niche.  Take note of some of the questions so you can use them as ammo when you write content.  

Market Research Dog Finding Tips

Tip #3 – Reverse engineer your Competitors Sales Funnels

Look to the back of your competitor’s sales funnel to see what it is they’re trying to promote.  Are they selling a program, e-book, courses, t-shirts? Once you identify what products or services your competitors are selling you can reverse engineer their sales funnel.  If it works for them it’ll likely work for you, especially if you do it better!  Use a tool like similar web to see where their traffic is coming from.   

Example of Lifestyle Blogs

Example #1 –  Barefoot Blonde

Barefoot Blonde Lifestyle Blog

Hair, fashion, style, and beauty is the name of the game for Amber Fillerup Clark.  What started as a way for Amber to document her life has over the course of 10 years evolved to be her full-time job.

Example  #2 – Navid Moazzez

Navid Moazzez Lifestyle Blog

Navid is a high-performance business coach, lifestyle entrepreneur, and the world’s leading virtual summit strategist dedicated to helping people build, grow, and scale their online business FAST no matter where they’re starting.

Example #3 – Confused Millennial

Confused Millennial lifestyle blog

Rachel created this lifestyle blog to help millennials embrace more of who they are while navigating this whole #adulting thing.  She knows exactly who she’s targeting and how to appeal to her audience.    

Step 3: Create a Brand Identity

Colors – Use a tool like Visme or Coolers ideas for different color schemes you could use on your website. 

Coolors Website Color picker

Font https://fonts.google.com/ has plenty of options that are friendly for search engines

Create Logo – A couple of recommendations for how to get your logo set up.  The first is to hire someone to do it.  Freelancers on a website like Fiverr charge extremely cheap rates and can provide a quick turnaround.  Or, you can do it for free with a little bit of work.  Websites like Canva.com allows you to create a logo using their free icons.  You can create a logo in minutes and even download it with a transparent background.  

Step 4: Pick a Platform

At this point, you’ve chosen a topic to blog about.  You’ve researched the other players in your space and have a good idea about what to write about, what to sell, and how to structure your website.  Now it’s time to choose a platform to blog from.  This is a highly debated topic so please take our recommendations with a grain of salt. 

What are the options?

Option #1 WordPress CMS 

If you’re serious about blogging full time and hope to generate full-time income, WordPress will be your best bet.  WordPress powers about a third of the internet and was originally created as a blogging platform.  Some of the biggest brands you’ve ever heard of have their site built on WordPress.   In this post, we will be setting up a WordPress website.  

Choosing platform to start a blog

Option #2Website Builder

Website builders are all the craze these days.  Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace take the lion’s share when it comes to website builders.  They’re great if you want a no-thrills, easy to set up a website.  The downside is they’re typically more expensive and they’re limited in terms of functionality and design.  Check out my WordPress vs Weebly post and you’ll understand the big differences between the two.  

Option 3 – Free Blog Publishing Sites

Websites like blogger.com and Tumblr allow you to start a blog for free, without much front end work.   This would be my last option when you start a lifestyle blog, the simple reason that it’s very difficult to move your blog off these platforms.  There’s also limited functionality and design.  

Step 5: Purchase a Domain Name

Now the fun part begins! Most of what we’ve done so far has been getting our minds right and coming up with ideas.  Now we can finally put our thoughts into action and purchase a domain name!  Domain names can be purchased all over the web, my recommendation is Godaddy.  A good rule of thumb with domain names: have a .com, .net, or .org extension;  should be between 6-14 characters, and please make sure your domain name has relevance to your topic.  

See here for ideas on how to choose a domain name.  

Search Godaddy for the domain name you’re looking for.  Once you find one that’s available add to your cart and check out.  Be careful as Godaddy will try to upsell you other packages with your domain name, you don’t need this! All you need is the domain name which is roughly $12-$13 per year.  

Step 6: Buy Hosting

If this is your first time setting up a website the concept of hosting might be confusing, It was for me.  Think of your WordPress website as your storefront that everyone sees and interacts with.   Hosting is the warehouse that stores all of your goods (website files).  A good hosting provider is essential for running a proficient website.  There’s plenty of good ones out there.  Personally, I use Siteground for my hosting.  Bluehost and Hostgator are also popular choices amongst the blogging community.  See here for a comparison of each hosting provider.   

You can always upgrade your hosting plan once you get rolling.  For now, sign up with a shared hosting plan that should cost somewhere between $5 – $15 per month.  

Step 7: Install WordPress

From your hosting control panel, you can now install WordPress. This isn’t as terrifying as it sounds.  Luckily, most hosting providers make this step very simple.  When you’re in the control panel of your hosting, search for “install WordPress”, from there the steps are very straightforward.  

Step 8: Choose a Theme & Customize

Now that you have WordPress installed it’s time to start building it out.  I struggled with this step for YEARS.  This is my advice, pick a theme, and be ok with it.  Don’t worry about the subtle changes you’d like to make.  For now, just pick a theme, write content, and share.  Don’t worry about how your buttons look or how your sidebar looks.  Aesthetics will come, for now, it’s important to get content written and shared amongst your community and get noticed.   We love the Divi Theme, however, there’s a huge marketplace out there full of really high-quality theme providers.  Avada and Elementor are some other popular themes among bloggers.  

Step 9: Link all your Social Profiles 

While your blog is in its infancy it’s not likely to get any traffic from Google.  Linking your website to all your social media profiles will help grow traffic.  Social media is a great tool to promote your content and get eyeballs on your website.  Find popular groups and pages within your niche and start conversations.  As you start to engage with more and more people you’ll naturally start driving more traffic to your blog.  

Step 10: Create a Content Calendar

Content Calendar Example

Staying consistent when writing in a blog can be a challenge.  Especially if you live an active lifestyle.   Create a content calendar in advance so you know exactly what you need to write about and when it’s due to be published.   Staying consistent with your posting is a great way to keep your followers engaged and build trust with the search engines.

Step 11: Publish your first Post

Now it’s time to publish your first post! By now you should know exactly what your first post will be about because you scheduled it in your content calendar.   A rule of thumb I use when writing a blog post – create more value than anyone that’s writing about the same topic.  The search engines will reward you for it.  Content should always be the best quality possible.  This is why I’d recommend using tools like Grammarly and Worddrake to proofread your work.

How to Publish a Blog Post

Step 12: Get Eyeballs on your Blog

The million-dollar question – how do I drive traffic to my blog?  Aside from writing, promoting your content should take up about 50% of your time.  There are a plethora of different ways to capture the attention of your audience and grow your subscriber lists.  If you don’t have money to spend on paid advertising I would suggest networking online wherever your audience hangs out.

Even though you have no followers or subscribers (yet).  You should still have an idea of who would be interested in your blog.  Create a hypothetical person in your head and try to put yourself in their shoes.  Where do they hang out online?  Find common blogs, forums, or social media platforms you think they’d be spending time.  From there just spark up a conversation and introduce your blog, assuming you’re talking to the right people they should find your content interesting.

Step 13: Monetizing a Lifestyle Blog

Again the topic of “monetizing a blog” could go on forever.  So without diving too deep I’ll share some common ways blogs become profitable.

  1. Ads – Place cost-per-click or cost-per-mile ads on your website and get paid.  Google Adsense is a popular network for placing these ads.
  2. Private Ads – private ads cut out the middleman and work directly with you at whatever rates you charge.  This can take many forms.  You could accept a one-time payment for placing a link in your content.  Or you could write a sponsored post and get paid for writing a review of your sponsor’s product or service.
  3. Affiliate Links – Affiliate links are links in your content that link to other business products or services.   The affiliate company will cut you back part of the commission if someone from your website purchases the affiliate product or service.
  4. Sell Digital Products – Selling digital products can be an extremely lucrative endeavor.  A digital product could be in the form of an ebook, online course or workshop, images or videos, apps, plug-ins, etc.
  5. Offer Services – If you have a service you can provide – sell it!  Just make sure it’s relatable to your niche.

Tips for Blogging Success

Believe in what you know

It can be intimidating writing consistently and being an authority.  Just believe in what you know and always keep an open mind that you’re only getting better the more you write.  People usually underestimate their own knowledge, don’t fall into this trap.  Share what you know and surely you’ll be helping someone out.  So keep those fingers busy and keep writing! 

The more videos and images, the better

Blocks of text are not easy on the eyes.  Break up your content with images, infographics, videos, or graphs.  As seen throughout this post, I consistently use how-to videos, infographics, and images regularly to make the concepts as easy to understand as possible.    More images and videos also help with SEO.

Create punchy titles that make people want to read

It might be tempting to optimize your titles for SEO sake.  In my experience, a punchy headline that draws curiosity wins at first when you’re just trying to generate traffic from Social Media.  As you start showing up more and you can start adjusting your titles to optimize for the search engines.  

Continuously update your content. 

As your blog matures you’ll run into an issue of having old, irrelevant content throughout the site.   Try to consistently revisit the posts and update the content, or redirect the older pages to newer more relevant pages.  Be sure to look at all of your external links and make sure they’re linking to pages that are providing up-to-date content.

Summary

In this article, we summarized how to start a lifestyle blog.  We conducted market research, developed our brand, started a website, and published our first post, congrats! Your blog is now on its way to success!  Just remember consistency is king, keep writing and providing value to your readers and you surely won’t fail.

Please let me know your thoughts! Was this article helpful?  Leave a comment and let me know!

 

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