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How do I start a lifestyle blog?
If you have asked yourself that question, you came to the right place! And, you definitely have a a good idea.
Not only is blogging a creative outlet, it can also be a money-making business. It takes very little overhead to start and run one.
It does take some time and effort, but it is well worth it. Imagine making over $1.5 Million in one year!!
That is what Michelle Gardner of Making Sense of Cents did. While her blog is more financially-focused than lifestyle, it is still a good example of a money-making blog.
If you are interested in starting your own lifestyle blog and making money this guide should help!
In this guide on how to start a lifestyle blog we will cover:
- What is a Lifestyle Blog?
- What are Some Lifestyle Blogs that Make Money?
- Step 1: Choose a Blogging Platform
- Step 2: Pick Your Blog Name and Register the URL
- Step 3: Purchase Web Hosting
- Step 4: Choose a Design
- Step 5: Install WordPress
- Step 6: Create Must-Have Blog Pages
- Step 7: Start Writing Blog Posts
What is a lifestyle blog?
A lifestyle blog is really just a blog where you write about your life and interests. Most lifestyle blogs cover many everyday life subjects such as recipes, home decor, fitness or even just your personal thoughts and ideas.
In many cases, a lifestyle blog refers to a blog that is less niche-specific since it covers many subjects.
But, of course You can still choose a subject theme for your lifestyle blog if you want. A good example of that is Hollie Elizabeth whose blog focuses on beauty and fashion.
What are some lifestyle blogs that make money?
One of my favorite examples of a lifestyle blog is Cup of Jo which covers many subjects such as style, design, relationships and food. While I’m not sure of the income she makes, her blog receives around 5 million views a month!
Chasing Foxes is a lifestyle blog that makes money. While they haven’t published an income report in a long time, at last record few years ago they were making over $10k a month. Needless to say, the husband and wife couple quit their day jobs and spend their lives traveling now!
Abby Lawson of Just a Girl and Her Blog makes over $40,000 a month! So yes, you can make money from a lifestyle blog. A lot of money!
Most of these bloggers make their money from ads, affiliate marketing and sometimes digital products and courses.
How do you start a lifestyle blog?
Here are the main steps to follow for starting your own lifestyle blog:
Step 1: Choose a blogging platform
Before you can start a lifestyle blog, you need to decide where you want it to be. All you need is a platform, or “host” for your blog site. It needs a place to live just like you!
There are many free blogging platforms out there like WordPress.com (this is different from wordpress.org and what most bloggers refer to as WordPress), Blogspot and Blogger but using one of these is not a good idea.
First of all, you won’t own your blog if you use a free blogging platform. They will.
In addition, you won’t be able to have a nice, clean url for your blog. Your web url will be your blog name tagged onto the end of their company name. For example, www.myblog.blogger.com, instead of just myblog.com.
The best platform to use to set up your blog is WordPress.org.
You should choose WordPress.org as your platform. Do yourself a favor and take the easiest route for this!
It will only cost $3.95 a month for the basic plan. In addition, if you use this link to purchase a plan, you can get your blog name registration for free.
Blue Host will set up your blog with the correct WordPress automatically, making it an easy way to start your own blog.
Using a blog platform like WordPress with Blue Host gives you a lot more options for the design and look of your blog. You will ultimately have more control and flexibility.
In addition, you will be able to add important plug-ins for additional features you may want later for your blog, like ads that can help you make money blogging.
Choosing a web host like Blue Host will make starting your blog an easy process!
Step 2: Pick your blog name and register the url
One of the fun parts of starting a lifestyle blog is picking the name! You have to purchase it and get a url assigned before no-one else can.
You should take some time on this step. Choosing a name is an important step in starting your own lifestyle blog.
There aren’t any set rules for blog names. It is a good idea to choose something that is easy to spell and remember.
If you already know what name you want, put the name into the tool below to find out if the .com url is available!
But, if you are really stuck choosing a name for your blog, you can try a name generator for help. Satori Studio also has a blog name generator which narrows the results even more to ones that have available .com urls.
Once you have decided on a name for your blog, you have to register the domain. Basically claim it as yours so no one else can.
Blue Host makes this easy to do. You can actually do steps 1 and 2 all at once on Blue Host.
If you purchase your url from a different company than the one hosting your blog site, you will have to get the blog domain transferred which is a pain.
Plus, if you sign up for a year of web hosting with Blue Host, they will give you your domain name for FREE for a whole year. This leads us to step 3!
Step 3: purchase web hosting
In order for your lifestyle blog to be seen by the world, you need someone to host it on the internet!
Now, to be honest, I don’t really know what web hosting means exactly, just that it has something to do with the mysterious way the internet work. And, that it is one of the necessary steps in starting a lifestyle blog. Or any type of blog really!
As Step 1 details, it is easier to sign up for web hosting and register your blog domain in one step with Blue Host by clicking here.
And, it is super affordable at only $3.95 a month for the basic plan. Blogging is a great way to try and make money since you can start one with little-to-no up-front investment.
You don’t have to feel stressed about your business succeeding because you’ve invested money. And, you don’t have to go to a bank for a business loan to start your blog.
So basically, you’ve got nothing to lose! Take the first step to your own lifestyle blogging business to make money by signing up for a url and web hosting.
Step 4: Choose a design and look for your blog
Now comes the fun part! You get to design the look of your blog. And, it is super easy!
You don’t have to know fancy computer coding. You won’t need to program anything or hire a graphic designer.
The main look of your lifestyle blog will be determined by something called a “theme.” There are literally tens of thousands of possible blog themes.
Blue Host will offer you the chance to pick a theme as part of your lifestyle blog set-up. You can choose one of their options during set-up, and then later spend more time choosing something else from other vendors if you want.
blog theme options
There are many free themes out there if you want to keep your blog set-up costs low. Or, if you don’t mind spending a little money, can purchase an upgraded theme.
I recommend going with a paid theme. Mainly because they come with support from the people selling it. You are able to ask questions about the theme and get help when you want to change a design element or run into issues.
When you are a newbie blogger this can be a lifesaver!! I used it many times.
Elegant themes is a company that offers some beautiful design options for blogs. They have a theme called Divi that has a drag and drop builder that makes it easy to design as you go.
The nice bonus with them is for one price, you get access to all their themes options and even plugins!
Divi comes with many pre-made templates as well, below are just a few of the many options available.
Another company I recommend for blog themes is StudioPress. Their themes are built on something called the Genesis Framework. Genesis is known to be better for your blog site performance and speed. Both important factors in your SEO.
Studio Press is owned by WP Engine, another web hosting site like Blue Host. WP Engine however offers something called “managed” Wordress web hosting instead of the cheaper “shared” hosting option.
Managed WordPress hosting is a better way to go if you can afford the price bump as it enables improved speed for your blog and features advanced support. If you sign up with WP Engine with this link for your web hosting, you also will get all the StudioPress themes for free.
Here are a couple of examples of Studio Press themes:
Step 5: Install wordpress on your blog
You have to install WordPress so that you can start building your lifestyle blog and adding actual blog posts. WordPress is actually the content management system you need to support your blog.
It allows you to apply a theme and design how your blog looks, post blog articles and even create ads so that you can make money with your lifestyle blog.
The nice thing about Blue Host is that WordPress installation is a part of the set-up process.
Once you have input your lifestyle blog domain name, chosen a web hosting plan and set up an account with password, all you have to do is click a button and Blue Host will install WordPress on your blog.
Step 6: Create must-have blog pages
Once you have set up your lifestyle blog with a url, a blogging platform and web hosting, you need to actually start building out the structure!
All the work of building your blog will happen in your dashboard which looks like the picture below. From here you can create pages, write blog posts and even create ads to display that will help you make money!
There are some essential pages you will need on your lifestyle blog which are easy to create. Creating blog pages is very easy, you just need to click on “Pages” and then “Add new” from your dashboard.
When people visit your lifestyle blog, they want to know the back story. They want to know who you are and what your blog is about. Your About page is a must-have for this.
It doesn’t have to be that long, just some general information about you and your blog Telling a personal story can help create connection with your blog readers, and keep them wanting to come back.
Check out this in-depth tutorial on how to create the best about us page.
Contact Us Page
This is an extremely important page! Your readers need a way to contact you. Plus, eventually when you start making money potential sponsors and advertisers may want to reach out as well.
So, creating a contact us page when you first start your lifestyle blog is crucial. The best way to build your contact page is to include a pre-made contact form.
This allows people to quickly input their information and a message, click send and it comes straight to your inbox.
There are many contact form options out there, WP Forms and Ninja Forms are two that work well. They both offer premium versions that you have to pay for, but when you are first starting your blog the free version is all you need.
I know, this doesn’t sound very exciting. But it is something you are actually legally required to have.
It doesn’t have to take up valuable real estate in your blog header though, you can set this page to show in the footer (the bottom of your blog.)
Step 7: Start Writing Blog Posts
Of course, once you have set up your lifestyle blog you have to start writing!
Content is key, so publish blog posts as often as you can. But make sure you are following the rules of SEO in order to make your blog posts rank.
Here are just a few blogging SEO tips:
- Do keyword research
- Write epic content
- Get backlinks to your lifestyle blog
If you really are serious about making money blogging, I suggest making one key investment as you get started. Purchase the course Stupid Simple SEO.
While it is a little pricier than some other options, it is packed with absolutely essential information to develop a successful blog. And, buying it when you first start your blog will help you give yourself the best chance for success. It is the ONE investment you most need to make in my opinion.
What to do after you’ve started your lifestyle blog
Setting up your blog is just the beginning. And, writing blog posts is only part of the blogging business. There are some other key elements you will need to pay attention to.
Promote your blog
You must also work on promoting your lifestyle blog if you want to make money.
The more traffic you have, the more successful it will be.
Here are a few tactics for blog promotion:
- Building relationships with other bloggers
- Growing your social media following
- Media outreach
- Gaining backlinks to your blog from other websites
MONETIZE your blog
Once you have started your lifestyle blog, you have to figure out how to make money from it!
Of course as mentioned, building traffic will help but you want to make sure you are taking advantage of that traffic.
And, turning visitors to your blog into dollars in your pocket.
Here are a few ways to make money blogging:
This is where you promote products and basically get a commission when someone clicks through your affiliate link to that product and they buy it.
There are many companies out there that offer you money to be an affiliate. Amazon is a big one! If you include affiliate links in your blog posts to any amazon product and someone clicks through and buys, you will make money! You just have to sign up to be an amazon affiliate.
You should be including affiliate links in every blog post you write in order to give yourself more chances to make money blogging.
Take the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course for an in-depth guide on how to make money as an affiliate.
Another way to make money blogging is of course with ads. You can place ads on your blog and every time they get seen or clicked on, you will make revenue.
But, I do recommend you wait on placing ads until you are getting some decent traffic. Ads can slow down your site, and in the beginning when you are working on your SEO you need your blog to be as fast as possible.
Mediavine is one of the most popular ad networks to join that provides good revenue. However, they have a minimum traffic requirement of 50,000 sessiosn per month for you blog to be accepted. #goals!
You can sell your own products to make money blogging. Digital products can be anything from a day planner pdf, to Pinterest templates for use on Canva.
There is a lot of demand for digital products, and a lot of potential money to be made for something with low overhead.
Another way to make money as a lifestyle blogger is by creating and selling courses. You can make your own course on everything from how to blog, how to knit, or tips for entrepreneurs.
Whatever your area of expertise is, make a course and sell it. It will take some time to write and create one, but then you can make money off of it for years to come.
Teachable is an excellent site to get set up on to host and sell your online courses.
Another money-making opportunity for bloggers is something called a sponsorship. A sponsored blog post is simply when you get paid by a company to write a post about their product or company.
It is like an ad, but written to be a blog post. It could be a recommendation or a product review and there are a few things you can do to get them.
Whatever the sponsoring company might be looking for, but it is money in your pocket! As your blog grows, you may even want to create a page advertising paid sponsorships.
The most important part of starting a lifestyle blog and making money is that you start TODAY! So, what are you waiting for?
If you are looking for more tips on how to blog check out my Blogging category!
Tools you need for blogging:
- Constant Contact
- Stupid Simple SEO Course
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course