Starting your own blog can be intimidating or thrilling depending on how you look at it. Back when I was a junior in college, I got the idea to start my own blog. I couldn’t tell you where it came from, or how I even started it. But, a few hours later I was knees deep in creating a platform to share my journey. Years later, I still love it just as much.
If you’re contemplating investing your time into creating your own platform, I’m spilling the beans. Here’s how to start your own lifestyle blog in 6 steps.
Step 1: Find a niche you’re ready to explore
When you got the idea of starting a lifestyle blog, you probably have some ideas already in mind. Even though lifestyle is a topic, it may not be niche enough. When you thought about creating a blog, were you wanting to share your health and fitness tips, or your life as a travel enthusiast?
Figure out what the special niche topic is for you and run with it. I highly suggest writing out at least 20 title ideas before you settle on one blog topic. From there, your domain, brand, and content are fixated on that one niche/idea.
If you choose to switch down the road, it can be done, but it can be a pain to rebrand your platform (and rack up a bill depending on how you do it).
Step 2: Brainstorm and purchase a domain that fits you and your “brand”
Once you’ve figured out what you’d like to share with your soon to be audience, brainstorm different domain names. I created Kayla’s Diary simply because it was my diary. I wanted to share every stage of my life, what I learned from it, and what you, too, could learn from my wins and losses along the way.
For instance, The Skinny Confidential started her blog hoping it would be similar to sitting down with the girls and having a skinny drink — it’s all things girlie. Still do this day, she’s been able to take that brand and branch off of into different business endeavors.
Find your niche, figure out your branded domain, and purchase it right away. Most people suggest writing out 5 different domain names, checking to see if the domains are for sale (at a reasonable amount), and give it some time to see which one sounds the best after a few days or months.
Below are a few sites that help you search, and purchase, domains:
Step 3: Research the perfect host for you and your content
Good work! Figuring out the right direction to take your new blog can be one of the hardest parts. Now that you’re ready for stage three, research different web hosting sites to see where you’d like to start yours.
When I first started my blog, I used Wix. I loved how Wix allowed me to craft my blog exactly how I wanted. After a few years, I moved to WordPress and bought a template to go along with it. Since then I’ve bought a few different templates and would love to eventually hire a web developer to create a handmade site just for me.
Weird fact; my WordPress experience lended a helping hand when winning over my past internships and post-college job. Here are a few of my favorite templates/websites are:
- Wix Templates
- Squarespace templates (via a questionnaire)
- WordPress templates (some are free!)
- Etsy website templates (buy based off your host)
Step 4: Pick your theme (+ be extra with it)
Now, move on to your website theme. This may be present in your website template/host already, but I would always exercise my ability to follow it. For instance, Kayla’s Diary represents light tones, neutrals, and lots of black and white — exactly how I want it.
Over the years, I went back and forth with different color schemes and tones. Once I knew exactly what I wanted my blog to represent, theme and brand wise, I created a brand kit that makes up one page. Not only does this help when brands approach, it easy for me to update colors on marketing graphics on the go.
The only tool I use to create this is PicMonkey — it’s been my right-hand woman throughout this journey. I use PicMonkey for just about EVERYTHING marketing related. From Instagram graphics to YouTube banners, it was all created on PicMonkey.
Step 5: Plan your content w/ your unique spin
If you followed my first step, you may already have your content ideas on paper. If not, start brainstorming ideas you’d like to see come to fruition. Then, put each idea on your calendar for the next couple of months.
When brainstorming, are there any holidays or events you could build on? For instance, fashion lifestyle bloggers prioritize Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas to come out with gift guides for everyone in their audience’s family. If you think of a few ideas, add them to your calendar at least a month or two in advance to ensure you’re prepped and ready. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, check out my 63 blog ideas to boost traffic.
Along with everything else, I would suggest prepping your blog a few months before your launch date. Make sure you have a fair amount of content stored on your blog to position yourself as the expert and hit the ground running at full speed.
Step 6: Promote, promote, and promote
Before you launch create an Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin’ and any other platform you’d like to consistently showcase your work. Personally, I have seen significant traffic via my Pinterest and some extra love from my Instagram family. Bloglovin’ is something I came across while working at my regular 8-5 and thought it would be a nice added touch.
Once your blog is up and running, you’ll have everything figured out and your platforms eager to post your new pieces. To make things easier, I schedule my Instagram posts on Planoly so I don’t have to strictly manage my Instagram posts.
Cheers to you and your new-found interest in blogging — I hope these tips were helpful!
XXXX – Kayla