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Starting a lifestyle blog can be SUPER scary, especially if you’re one who stays closed off from the outside world. Sharing your life, what you’ve learned, mistakes you’ve made, literally putting yourself on blast is intimidating.
As a four-year blogging veteran (hahaha … for real though … never thought I’d be saying that!), I’ve learned so much and grown so much and I’m here to tell you that, if you’re committed, starting a lifestyle blog will change your life.
A lot of people look into starting a lifestyle blog to make money. So before we go any further, let me just say this… if that’s you, go ahead and press the back button on your browser.
There are 29,610,573,007 other ways to make a quick buck. Starting a blog requires consistent effort, a lot of work, and a truck-load of passion, all for little-to-no reward in the beginning.
Now, I’m not saying you’ll never make money with a blog, because who knows what a little consistency and effort could bring you! However, I am saying that making money should not be the reason you start a blog.
You need a passion.
A passion is the thing that will get you motivated every morning to sit down and write. You need a strategy and an end-result for your audience that brings value. You need thick skin, a little bit of knowledge, and a whole lot of grace. Starting a lifestyle blog is not for the weak, my friends. But it is something that could make you a better person while giving you the opportunity to change the world, one reader, at a time.
So, if you’re still with me, I can only assume that you’re ready for the challenge! That you’re committed for the long haul and ready to get started!
As promised, this isn’t a fluffy, step-by-step, what everyone else tells you in a “starting a blog” kind of post. I’ve got 10 things to share with you that they don’t tell you about starting a lifestyle
Here we go.
Your domain is the website address that will showcase your blog! Pick something fun and creative, but easy to comprehend (and say). You can use your
My favorite way to check the availability of domain names is by using GoDaddy Who Is. You can type something into the search bar and it will tell you if it’s available. If it’s not, it will suggest other variations! When you’ve figured out what you want, you can also purchase your domain from GoDaddy!
Hosting, in layman’s terms, is the service that works behind the scenes of your blog to make it show up on the internet. It’s a necessity if you want to start a blog, there’s really no way around it. I personally love BlueHost They have super affordable options for hosting and is a great hosting service for bloggers! You can click this affiliate link to learn more about them and check out their plans. CLICK HERE.
Next, you’ll need a platform to create your blog on. Personally, I use, and will only ever use, WordPress. It’s professional, simple, and easy to navigate. It has everything I need to create a successful blog and I think you’ll be quite satisfied, too! There are other platforms out there, but you’ll need to research those. Basically, I’ve just listed the best one for you. You’re welcome!
There are SO many themes to choose from. You can use free themes, paid themes, make your own theme (if you know someone techy), the options are endless.
The thing to remember about themes is, when you’re looking for one, look past the colors and photos. Those are customizable and will not download with the theme anyway. When looking at themes, you’re looking at the layout of it, what features it offers, whether it’s responsive or not. You’ll get to design it later!
Plugins are miniature “add-ons” to enhance the theme you’ve chosen for your website.
- JetPack simplifies your website analytics, which is super important for you to learn to navigate and know if you want to build a successful blog.
- Yoast helps you learn how to optimize your blog so that it will show up higher in Google’s search results. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is crucial to the success of your blog.
You’ll want to create a list of pages that you’d like to showcase on your blog, then start creating them!
To start out, I would create an awesome “About Me” page, a “Contact Me” page, and a “Freebies” page. The first two are pretty self-explanatory, but the freebies page may need a little explanation.
Basically, you’ll want a page that has nothing on it but a sign-up form for your email list. This way, when someone clicks the “Freebies” link (or whatever you want to call it) at the top of your website, in the MENU section, they’ll have no other option but to hand over their email for the super valuable freebie you’re offering them!
Lastly, starting a blog actually means you’ll need to write some blogs! The Yoast plugin will have you aim for anything over 300 words, which isn’t a problem if you love to write, like I do 😉 However, for the best opportunity to get your blog seen by more people, you need to create something valuable, that’s worth the read and shareable. I would personally aim for 750 words or more.
You’ll want to create a few evergreen posts that will become the pillar for your blog before doing anything else. An evergreen post is simply a post that never dies. It will always be something that someone can google and get value from regardless of how old it is, what season we’re in, etc.
For example, this post is one of my evergreen posts! I will update this from time to time to make sure it stays relevant and on-trend, but for the most part, this content will stay the same for years and will always be valuable to whoever reads it!
Whew! So much already and we haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet! Now, grab a water and let’s get to it!
Here are 10 things they don’t tell you about starting a lifestyle blog.
1. Your website does not have to be 100% complete to launch
SAY WHAT?! Yes, friend. This website, as a matter of fact, is nowhere near the way I want it to be. But that’s okay because it looks decent, is easy to navigate, and has valuable information on it already. So it’s good to go! I mean, you’re here, right? 😉 Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Just create some valuable content and get it out there! The world needs to hear your story!
2. Traffic is better if you launch with five or more posts
The more content you have on your site when you launch, the longer your audience will hang out to see what you have to say. Never ever never launch your website with one generic “Hello, this is me” blog post. IF people click, they’ll leave as soon as they realize you’ve not completed your site. Bummer!
3. Establish your social media before you launch – and, ideally, start getting email signups from a MailChimp landing page
Create your social media accounts and start connecting with people! Reach out to your target audience, build relationships, develop your tribe BEFORE you launch, so that you have some support when you do!
Until you’re ready to launch, put up a landing page with MailChimp, create a freebie, and start sending your friends and followers to the page to join your email list! This is another really great way to gain support for your launch since you can just email them when it goes live!
An email list super important because it’s a direct way to get in touch with your tribe. Don’t wait until you have traffic on your blog to create your email list. Rookie mistake number one! Start it now and grow it big!
Also, you need high-quality freebies. Someone’s not going to hand over access to their personal inbox unless you have something irresistible you want to send them! Make it juicy and make it relevant to your audience! If you need help coming up with a freebie, check out this post The top five freebies that convert on any blog!
Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Create your own path! Think outside the box and share candid photos you’ve taken yourself.
Now, with that being said, I do think its HIGHLY important to share photos that have SUPER high quality. A picture is worth a thousand words, so you want it to clearly define what you’re trying to express.
Also, if you want great stock photos, you can check out IvoryMix! She gives out free stock photos every month! And they are stunning!
When you’re thinking about what you want to blog about, try to narrow it down as much as possible. If you want to create a food blog, GREAT! But how can you make sure to stand out in an already crowded food blogger space? It’s in the niche!
Narrowing down your food blog is crucial to your success. An example of narrowing down a food blog idea is: Food Blog > Dessert Blog > Paleo Dessert Blog > Paleo Dessert Blog for Mamas > Paleo Dessert Blog for Busy Mamas. Boom! Just like that you’ve narrowed your competition from over 100 million to more like 25,000 (these numbers are obviously exaggerated, but you catch my drift, right?) Narrow, narrow, narrow, and then narrow again to have the ultimate success when starting a blog!
7. Blogging is a process – don’t expect to make anything in the
Like I said
Speaking of making money, ads and affiliates are great, but ultimately, you’ll want to start developing your own products and services to sell in order to truly make an impact on the world and your bank account. Whether it’s coaching, graphic design, sewing classes, whatever your niche, there are options for you to monetize your blog with
9. Don’t waste time reading fifty million blogs on the same thing.
I can’t stress this enough. Learn from my mistake! If you spend all of your time reading HOW TO do something for your blog, you will never actually DO something for your blog. Read one or two articles, if you find something that resonates with you and your niche, then begin to develop your strategy and start to execute it well.
10. Imposter syndrome hits everyone.
I saved the best for last, right? It’s so true. Even I still have days when I think to myself, “Who am I to be writing about this or speaking about that? What could I possibly have to share that is of value to someone else?”
I once taught a free workshop on branding yourself on Instagram in my Brand Like a Mom Facebook Group (it’s still there if you want to check it out!) and I had these exact thoughts. But, I did it scared. And you know what? After the workshop was over, people were thanking me for what I shared and telling me that THEY TOOK NOTES!
Not only was what I had to share valuable, but it resonated so much with them to actually wanted to write it down. I say all of that to say this… D
Now that I think I’ve shared some pretty non-fluff, high-value content (and I think I’ve hit my 750-word goal…), I get to leave you with one thing.
You can do this.
If you’re passionate, and I don’t think you’d still be reading if you weren’t, you can absolutely rock out starting a lifestyle blog. And if you need help, I respond to every comment – so go ahead and pop it in the box below!