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Are you interested in starting a blog but don’t know where to start? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to start a lifestyle blog that makes money.
As a full-time blogger in both the travel and parenting (mummy blogging) niches, I have learned a lot over the years about what it takes to make a successful lifestyle blog. As well as the many things I would have done differently were I starting from the beginning today!
In this how to start a blog tutorial, I will cover topics such as choosing a niche, the basic tech requirements, designing your blog, and creating content. Plus, I will give you tips for monetizing your blog and turning it into a successful business.
So if you’re just starting out or are looking for ways to take your blog to the next level, this guide is for you!
How To Start A Lifestyle Blog And Make Money
Lifestyle blogging has become increasingly popular in recent years. And it’s no wonder why!
Lifestyle blogging is a great way to share your life with the world, connect with like-minded people, and even make some money in the process.
Although the key to a profitable blog looks very different to how it looked back 10 years ago. No longer are lifestyle blogs and mummy blogs focused on just sharing their own diary-style life updates.
These days the goal is to create content that is valuable, shareable, and helps your reader in some way – after all, they are the ones we want visiting our blog!
This means the bar has been raised when it comes to what makes a successful lifestyle blog.
Fortunately, starting a lifestyle blog in 2022 is easier than ever before.
Thanks to technology like WordPress and drag-and-drop website builders, you can easily get started in a day and build your blog into a profitable business that you love!
What Is A Lifestyle Blog?
Before we get into how to start a lifestyle blog, let’s first answer the question – what is a lifestyle blog?
In short, a lifestyle blog is a type of blog that covers topics related to your everyday life. This can include everything from fashion and beauty to food and travel or parenting and hobbies.
And while some bloggers choose to focus on just one or two of these topics, others opt to write about a range of different things. After all, our lives are varied and interesting!
The great thing about starting a lifestyle blog is that you can really make it your own. You can share on a single, narrow niche or topic or you can take it wider and write on a range of topics that interest you. The choice is yours!
Why Should You Start A Blog?
Everyone’s reasons for starting a blog are different! Whether you’re looking to make some extra money, have a creative outlet, or connect with like-minded people – starting a blog can help you achieve your goals.
For me, I started blogging as a way to document my personal goal of becoming more organised at home and making life easier with a baby. It was also a place to share my creative projects, as an avid scrapbooker. But it quickly turned into so much more than that!
These days my blog is one part of my business, alongside my family travel website Four Around The World. It’s how I make a full-time income from home and contribute to our household.
It isn’t my first blog either, nor will it likely be my last. I have dabbled in a few different niches over the years – craft blogging, business blogging and of course, mummy blogging which certainly fits with my goal of helping other busy families to simplify their lives!
So if you’re thinking about starting a lifestyle blog but are still undecided, ask yourself this – what do you hope to gain from it? Once you know your answer, you can tailor your blog content and strategy to help you achieve your goal.
Now let’s move on and look at how to start a lifestyle blog in just a few easy steps!
How To Start A Lifestyle Blog In Five Easy Steps
If you’re ready to start your own lifestyle blog but don’t know where to begin, follow these five steps and you’ll be up and running in no time!
Step One: Choose Your Blog Name & Niche
The first step is to come up with a name for your blog. This can be your own name, a play on words, or something entirely unrelated to your niche – it’s up to you!
Once you have a few ideas, do a quick Google search and check that there are no other blogs out there with the same name. Make sure the domain is available (more on that shortly).
It is also worthwhile checking all the different social media platforms to see if your username is available. While it is possible to have variations across platforms, it isn’t ideal!
Unless you’ve come into your plan to start blogging with a name already in mind, naming a blog can be one of the hardest parts of the process!
Always keep in mind that your blog name is something you need to love years from now. While you certainly can rebrand, it will set you backwards drastically so try and pick well right at the beginning.
My tip would be to aim for something not too long that is easy to remember.
It is also a good idea to narrow down your niche. While you might be happy to write about anything that interests you, your blog will have a better chance of success if you narrow the focus to a few main topics.
An example of a more general niche is family travel, like my second website. It could have been more narrowly focused such as family travel in Australia or travel with toddlers.
For food blogging, vegan recipes or dessert recipes are examples of more narrow blog niches.
Tip: A narrow blog niche can often help you grow more quickly!
If you do choose to have a few topics on your blog, just as I do on this blog, make sure they are complimentary niches – for example, I share about decluttering, cleaning and organising the home, parenting, recipes and special occasions. While this is a broad lifestyle blog, the topics are targeting busy families with kids at home.
Step Two: Choose Your Blogging Platform
The next step is to choose which blogging platform you want to use for your blog. WordPress.org is the most popular choice for lifestyle bloggers but Squarespace, Blogspot, Wix and Weebly are also popular options. There is also a free wordpress.com option.
I personally use WordPress.org for all my blogs as it gives you the most control over your blog design and functionality. It is also very easy to use once you get the hang of it!
If you are planning on making money from your blog, I would recommend using WordPress.org from the beginning. While other blogging platforms might be easier to use, they are more limited in terms of what you can do with them and how you can monetise your blog.
WordPress.org is free to install but you will need to pay for hosting and a domain name.
This can be done by using sites like Bluehost for an affordable option to get you started. Although there are many other hosting companies to consider.
As my sites have grown, I have moved them to BigScoots which is a great premium hosting company for once your site is more established.
You can start hosting your lifestyle blog from only $3.95 per month with Bluehost which is a great lifestyle blog beginner hosting option. You can also purchase your domain from Bluehost, or from a site such as Crazy Domains or BigDaddy. Sometimes you can get a free domain name with your hosting.
Check your domain name availability here:
Your domain is your website address. For example, for this site my domain is www.simplifycreateinspire.com and you can also get country-specific domains such as .au or .uk at the end. You might like to get both your country-specific and the general .com version of your domain.
Step Three: Setting Up Your Lifestyle Blog & Choosing A Theme
Most web hosting companies will offer a one-click WordPress.org install for your self hosted wordpress blog. This makes it very easy to set up your new blog!
Once you have finished installing WordPress, it’s time to choose a theme for your blog.
Your website will be a blank slate and you will need to install a theme to get you started. The theme is essentially the styling and appearance of your blog.
There are free and paid themes available. You can browse through the free themes in the WordPress directory or purchase a premium theme.
To start with, using a basic free wordpress theme is absolutely fine! Appearance is a small part of blogging and not anywhere as important as we often think it is. Quality of content and ease of use are much more important than how pretty it is!
We recommend starting with a free WordPress theme until you become more familiar with the platform!
To change your lifestyle blog theme:
- Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
- Hover over “Appearance” in the sidebar and click on themes.
- Activate the WordPress Twenty Twenty Two theme if it isn’t already, or choose a different theme instead.
From the WordPress themes tab, you can explore other free and premium themes.
For premium themes, the options are endless. Make sure you choose one that focuses on page speed and is very lightweight as these are essential ranking factors for websites. Premium themes come with an additional cost for use. This can be a once-off cost or an annual subscription cost.
These premium themes are highly rated for page speed:
- Generate Press
Once you have chosen and installed your theme, it’s time to start customising it to suit your blog! Have a play around in the customisation settings until you like the look. You can always change this again later.
Step Four: Plugins and Tools
You can start a lifestyle blog on a very low budget and we recommend you start out using as many free or low-cost tools as you can until you start to gain some traction with your website and build out some content. Keep it simple!
There are several WordPress plugins we recommend for beginners that are completely free:
- Rank Math SEO – This will help you write search engine optimised content and the free version is all you need. (An alternative is Yoast SEO).
- Wordfence – This free plugin will help protect your website from malware and online attacks.
- Antispam Bee Spam Filter – This helps prevent spam comments on your website.
You will find plugins in your WordPress Dashboard within the Plugins tab.
These are completely free and two of the best tools for lifestyle bloggers, no matter your experience level.
As your blog grows, you might like to consider adding some plugins and tools to help with things like email marketing or social media scheduling. These are not essential when you first start blogging but can be very useful once your blog is more established.
An image compression plugin such as ShortPixel is also a great idea to keep your images small. This helps with load time and also saves room on your server.
Step Five: Adding Content To Your Lifestyle Blog
Now that you have installed WordPress and chosen your theme, it’s time to start adding some content to your blog.
Content comes in two forms on a blog: pages and posts.
Pages are the static content on your blog that don’t change very often. These might include an “About Me” page, a contact page or a resources page.
It’s a great idea to get an about me page and a contact page set up right at the beginning. Later you might like to add a page with your recommended resources or a Work With Me page for example.
Posts are the articles or blog posts that you write and publish on your site. These will be displayed in reverse chronological order on your blog home page.
When you are first starting out, I recommend writing at least 15-20 blog posts quickly so that your readers have something to read when they visit your site. You might like to do this before you officially launch your lifestyle website.
This is a great time to do a content brainstorm and come up with a list of topics you can write about. Once you have your list, start writing!
If you get stuck, here are some article ideas for a beauty blog brainstorm:
- What’s in my beauty kit
- Best skincare for women in their 20s, 30s, 40s etc
- How to clean makeup brushes
- How long can you keep makeup
- Trending make-up colours for fall 2022
- Trending hair colours for summer 2023
- How to apply smokey eye make-up
- And so on…
A basic google search can be fantastic for brainstorming! Type a keyword or the start of your search query and see what suggestions come up.
Aim to have a list of at least 50 blog post ideas before you start so that you can be confident that your niche is one that you can easily write a lot of content on and that it is content you are excited to write about!
If you are planning to write on more than one topic or niche, it’s a great idea to have a list of blog post ideas for each of these topics so you can create ‘silos’ or ‘content buckets’ to strengthen these areas of content.
You might choose to write about birth, pregnancy and babies, so each of these niche areas will have loads of topic ideas that fit underneath that general topic.
Writing Your First Blog Posts
Start with one of the content ideas that you feel most comfortable and confident writing about. This is a great place to start with creating content for your new lifestyle blog.
You can type directly into the WordPress editor in the WordPress Dashboard or use an external document editing program such as Google Docs, Microsoft Word or Grammarly.
Any that autosave is a great option to avoid losing your work!
Create your first draft then go back in and edit it, doing any research you need to make your blog content most accurate.
Images & Media
Make sure to add an attention-grabbing featured image to your blog post as this is what will show up on social media and in search engines.
Using your own photos is always great if you are a confident photographer. Aim for clear photos with natural light.
You can also download free images from sites like Unsplash or Pixabay, or you might choose to purchase some stock photos from a site like Deposit Photos or Ivory Mix.
If you want to make sure your blog article is super shareable, you can also create some easy graphics using a free program like Canva. I always create a shareable Pinterest graphic for each blog post.
Make sure all of your images are optimised for the web before you add them to your blog post and be mindful of file sizes to ensure they don’t slow down your site’s load time. A plugin like ShortPixel can help with this.
My process for optimising images is to resize each image at 1200px wide (the height does not matter) and then run them through an image compressor such as Tinyjpg.com.
If you are adding videos to your blog posts, I recommend using YouTube or Vimeo and then embedding the video into your post.
This way, if the hosting site has any issues, your video will still be viewable on your blog post and you won’t be using up all of your server space by installing videos directly to WordPress.
Plus, growing a YouTube channel can be another way to monetise your blog!
Finally, add in any links that you need to direct your readers to further resources or helpful blog posts on your own website.
If you are linking to an external site, make sure it is a high-quality site that provides value to your reader as you don’t want to be sending them away from your site only for them to never return!
Getting Your Lifestyle Blog Ready To Launch
Once you have the essential plugins, a theme and all the basics sorted, it’s time to add some personality and branding to your lifestyle blog niche.
About Me Page – This will be your first page on your website and it should introduce you to the readers. The page is also where people can find information about you, such as who owns the blog and what your experiences are or the reason you chose this niche. This page should build trust so share a little about why you are an expert on this niche.
Site Logo – When you are just starting out, consider creating your own simple blog logo in a program such as Canva or Photoshop. Or have someone create one for you. For a budget logo option, check out Fiverr for affordable outsourcing. You can always have a different logo created once your website is more established.
TIP: If you are creating a DIY logo, go for something very simple. Take a look at other lifestyle blogs in your niche for inspiration, but make it original!
Brand Colours – Just like your logo, you can change your brand colours later. To start with, search for brand colour palettes or check out the colour palette ideas on Canva to help you find complementary colours. Stick with no more than 2 to 3 colours unless you are confident with branding and can work more colours in.
Growing Your Brand
Now that you’ve learned how to start a lifestyle blog, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty and start growing your blog so you can make some money from it!
Building an engaged readership takes time and effort but there are things you can do to speed up the process.
Social media is a wonderful free way to promote your content when you are starting out and even once you are established! Each platform has a different audience and responds to different types of content better than others, so its all about experimenting with what works.
The best social media channels to start off with are:
For video creation:
Even if you don’t think you will be using a certain social media platform, get the account just in case you change your mind later. This will minimise the chance of regret if someone else creates an account with your preferred username!
Optimising Your Lifestyle Blog Content For Search Engines
To get your blog posts to rank in search engines, you need to make sure it is optimised for the keywords that are relevant to your post.
This is called Search Engine Optimisation and it essentially means how well you are being found in Google search results. Social media traffic is great when you are getting started but organic search traffic is the ultimate goal!
Many new bloggers aren’t aware of this and tend to catch up later. I was that blogger so I know how it feels to feel like I was way behind where I should have been a few years ago in terms of running a successful lifestyle blog!
There are many free and paid tools that will help you analyse and find the best keywords for your content. They will show you how competitive the keyword is and give you an idea of how easy they are to rank for.
For free keyword tools, you can use :
- Answer the Public
- Google Keyword Planner
- Keyword surfer Chrome extension
- Google search – One of the best ways to assess what people are searching for is to use the Google search bar. Type your keyword and see what Google suggests. These are terms people are regularly searching for!
For paid keyword tools, you can use:
- SEMRush Pro Plan
- Keysearch.io – This is our favourite keyword research tool
- Keywords Everywhere – Very affordable chrome extension!
I highly recommend the Rank Math SEO plugin which will analyse and provide feedback on how well your content matches these terms so you can improve them if needed.
Rank Math also provides a handy optimisation bar at the side of your WordPress blog dashboard, telling you how well optimised each post is for SEO when you’re writing it.
Although don’t feel like you need to have 100%. SEO plugins are quite aggressive with their optimisation recommendations and this should only be a guide.
Other Simple Ways To Optimise Your Lifestyle Blog Posts
Here are several more ways you can optimise your lifestyle or parenting blog content to make it easy to read so that visitors fall in love with your writing and want to come back again and again!
- Title: A catchy, relevant title will help you get more clicks. Check out Headline Analyzer from Coschedule to help write headlines with a big impact.
- Meta Description and Headline: You should include a meta description and headline with your post which are brief but descriptive. This way people can decide whether they want to read the article or not before clicking through as this is what shows up in search engines.
- SEO Friendly Images: Include images in your posts to make them more engaging. Search engines also love images so it helps with SEO too. Be sure to add an alt text description for your photos to describe the image. i.e. family sitting at the dining table eating dinner together rather than just family dinner.
- Engaging Content: Add content that is valuable and accurate. This will help attract readers back for more of what they like! Create shareable content by using eye-catching images, infographics and videos.
- Short Paragraphs: Most people read on mobile devices these days so create your content to make it easily digestible and skimmable on a mobile device. Limit paragraphs to 1-2 sentences rather than huge walls of text.
- Large Clear Text: Use an easy-to-read font in a large size. No smaller than 16px is ideal for easy reading. 18px or 20px is great. Make sure you adjust the line spacing to match.
- Interlink Your Content: If you are publishing an article about the best side dishes for turkey, it makes sense to also link to your roast turkey recipe and turkey stuffing recipe in this post so that readers can easily navigate between related content.
- Use calls to action: Add a call to action at the end of each post so that readers know what to do next (such as share this to Pinterest, join our email list, or comment below).
My Favourite Blogging Tools
Once you get your lifestyle blog established, there are so many options for tools to streamline your workflow and promote your content.
There are a few tools that we use that save me a load of time which is essential when I have two main websites to maintain. Many of these tools also create a better user experience for my readers.
Here are my favourite blogging tools:
- Flodesk – Starting an email list right from the beginning is something we wish we had done and Flodesk creates the most visually stunning emails so easily with their drop and drag templates. Plus you can sign up right now for their lifetime deal of only $19 per month. This is a gazillion times cheaper than any other email marketing service!
- Tailwind – Tailwind is a social media scheduling platform that we use for Pinterest since it allows us to schedule loads of pins within minutes, at times you would not typically be online. They also offer scheduling options for other social media platforms as well.
- PlannThat – For Instagram, I prefer to use the PlannThat app for scheduling and you get 10 free social media posts per month. On their paid plans you can also schedule Instagram stories, Instagram Reels and Tiktok videos.
- Tube Buddy – For keyword research and topic ideas, we use Tube Buddy for YouTube. They have a free plan that gives you some of the basic features but if you get in early before you get 1000 subscribers, you can get their pro plan for 50% off which gives some fantastic extra tools! It also means you get to use their App which is great for keeping track on the go.
- RankIQ – This keyword tool finds low competition keywords and also helps you write content that will rank quicker by analysing top competitors for the search term and making it super easy to create outlines with all the essential information.
FAQ About Starting A Lifestyle Blog
If you have more questions about how to start a lifestyle blog, I am more than happy to answer them. Here are a few common questions I get often about blogging:
How do I make money with a lifestyle blog?
You can monetise your new blog in a number of ways. One of the most popular options is by hosting ads on your website. For anyone just starting out, Google Adsense is an option, or wait until you have higher traffic to apply for a premium ad network such as Mediavine, Adthrive or Monumetric.
Other ways I make money with lifestyle blogging is through sponsored posts working with brands and through selling digital products in my online store.
How much does it cost to start lifestyle blogging?
What are the best lifestyle blog topics?
There are so many different niches and topics for lifestyle bloggers. Some of the most popular include food blogging, beauty and fashion blogging, parenting and family, pets, home decor and travel blogging.
Quick Tips For A Successful Lifestyle Blog That Makes Money
- Find your niche: Don’t try to be everything to everyone. It’s better to focus on a specific lifestyle niche and narrow in on a target audience, then grow from there.
- Create great content: This is the most important part! Write helpful, engaging and shareable content that your readers will love. Quality over quantity always!
- Use social media: Platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are great for driving traffic to your blog. Make sure you are using high-quality images and helpful descriptions to get people to click through to your site.
- Do keyword research: Don’t underestimate how important this step is! There is no point in writing about something that no one wants to read. Target keywords that are in demand. Ideally, start with low competition keywords and work your way up as your authority grows.
- Network with other bloggers: Collaborating with other lifestyle bloggers in your niche is a great way to get exposure for your blog and also build relationships with others in your industry.
- Be patient: Growing a successful lifestyle blogs takes time and effort. Be patient and keep at it!
- Start guest posting: Guest posting is a great way to get your name and your blog out there and build links back to your site. Reach out to other successful lifestyle bloggers and see if they’re open to featuring guest posts on their sites.
- Create products or services: Offer products or services that are related to your niche. This could be anything from an ebook to an online course or printable checklists. If you have something of value to offer
- Grow an email list from day one: Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to make money from your blog. Collecting emails from your readers from the very beginning will help you build a list of potential customers down the road.
- Use affiliate links: Use relevant affiliate links to products and services that you love and recommend. This is a great way to monetise your blog and earn a commission on products and services that you would recommend anyway.
Starting a lifestyle blog can be a great way to share your unique skills and perspective with the world, as well as make some money in the process. These are just a few quick steps to get you started on your lifestyle blogging journey. Learning how to start a lifestyle blog was life-changing for us and I love sharing this journey with others!
Don’t forget to focus on creating quality content that is helpful and engaging for your readers. Be patient and keep at it – growing a profitable lifestyle blog takes time and effort but trust me, it’s really worth it!
What lifestyle niche would you like to start a blog in? Share in the comments!