So you want to know how to start a lifestyle blog? Starting a blog is such a big and amazing project. But it can be hard to know where to start, and how to do things the right way to create a profitable blog. I know, I’ve been there! Whether you are a newbie who doesn’t know where to start, or a more experienced blogger trying to grow their blog, this guide help you start a successful blog.
I took that big plunge into the blogosphere not so long ago, with no prior experience, and it has been such an amazing experience so far. Anyone can start a blog. That’s why I like blogging so much; You can start from literally nothing, build your own blog, and start making a living from it. Seriously, this thing changes lives.
1. Choose a web hosting
The first thing you have to decide when starting a blog is if you should go self-hosted or free hosted. I know it sounds kinda technical if you’re a newbie, but no worries, this is much easier than it seems.
What is a web hosting?
If you want to start a blog, you’re going to need a web hosting, which means the “place” where your blog lives. Kinda like renting a parking spot for your car, except you’re renting a space on the internet for your blog. Every website needs a web hosting.
When it comes to web hosting, you have two options: being self-hosted, of being free-hosted.
Since we’re going to talk about wordpress in a minute, you probably heard about WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The main (and only) thing that you have to know about these two, is that :
- WordPress.com is to create a free-hosted blog
- WordPress.org is for those who want a self-hosted blog.
And NO, the paid version of WordPress.com is NOT the same thing as a self-hosted platform. You’re just paying for them to allow you to do more things, but they still own your content and they still get to decide what you can do or not on your blog. Please, PLEASE don’t pay for WordPress.com.
Ok, so what’s the difference between self-hosting and free-hosting?
In order to start a blog that you can monetize (that brings you an income), you need to be self-hosted. You might be thinking, “Why would I pay for a blog when I can have it for free?”
There are several reasons why going free-hosted is the worse thing you can do to your blog:
- You do NOT own your content with a free-hosted blog
- There are restrictions to monetize your blog (Ads, for example, are not allowed)
- You have to adhere to you host’s Terms and Conditions
- You won’t be able to customize your blog as much as if you were self-hosted
- No one is going to take you seriously with a free-hosted blog (forget about working with brands)
And so many other reasons. In other words, you’re just allowing someone else to control all of your blog, and you can forget about ever monetizing your blog if you choose to go with a free hosted site. Free-hosted blogs are free because they were made for those who do not want to turn their blog into a business, those who are just blogging for fun.
That’s why starting a self-hosted blog is a must if you’re serious about blogging. The small investment ( $3.95 / month here) of creating a self-hosted blog is really worth it. Plus it will be quickly reimbursed if you monetize your blog from day 1 (and you should really do this).
I am going to guide you through the process of creating your blog with Bluehost and WordPress. Don’t worry, it really is the simplest thing.
2. Set up your hosting and domain
I am self-hosted with Bluehost, one of the top web hosting companies in 2017. There are many reasons why I chose to go with them:
- It is easy to use
- their technical support is great
- it’s affordable
- you get a FREE domain + 50% off hosting with this link !
- They have been working with WordPress for a while now, making WordPress.org completely free if you choose to go with them.
- Not to mention that you will look so much more professional to your readers and to any brand that could want to work with you.
In order to set up your hosting account, just follow those simple steps:
1.Go to Bluehost and click on the “Get Started Now” button.
2. Click on the package you are interested in.
Their hosting prices allow you to start a blog for as low as $7.99 / month, and you can have a 50% discount when you use this link to sign up! The basic plan is probably enough for you (that’s what I have).
3. Sign up for a new domain name.
You can check if the domain name you want is available here:
4. Enter your personal and payment information.
5. Next you will be asked to enter a password.
Congrats, you now have a hosting account ! ♥︎ The next step will be installing wordpress.
4. Install WordPress
Let’s talk about WordPress.org for a minute. I am a WordPress user, and always have been. Honestly I heard so many bad things about Blogger and other platforms when I started my blog, I just couldn’t take that risk, and in the end I’m still convinced that I made the right choice !
WordPress.org is free with Bluehost, easy to use, and the options are infinite. It is what the majority of full-time bloggers use, essentially because WordPress.org allows you to own all of you content, which is super important if you ever want to turn your blog into a business.
You can install WordPress directly from your Bluehost control panel, and this is honestly the simplest thing to do.
- When you are in your cPanel, click on “Install WordPress”
- Click on the “Start” button.
- Once in the installation starts, you will have to decide which domain you will want to install WordPress on. Click the dropdown menu to the domain you just created on Bluehost.
- Now, you will see “Advanced Options.” This is where you choose your username and password for your WordPress website. (You should choose something secure.) You will want to check “Automatically create a new database for this installation” as well, unless you already have a different database (if you don’t know, then you probably do not).
- Click “Install Now.”
- You now have a WordPress blog !
5. Appearance Matters
Congratulations, you have a blog ! But the process of creating a blog doesn’t stop here babe. Everything that turns a random blog into YOUR blog is yet to do. As soon as you created your blog, you’re going to need a theme. WordPress has some good free themes that you can use, but you can also buy you own theme if you’re not satisfied with those. Etsy is great to find a theme for your blog, I always find super pretty themes there. Just type “wordpress theme” in the search area and choose the perfect theme for your blog !
I like Etsy because it is a grouping of thousands of shops, and therefore offers you so much choices. It is a HUGE time-saver, imagine if you had to go to all of those shops individually to find what you want…
One thing you must be aware of when choosing your blog theme, is that the appearance of your blog matters… A lot. Writing great blog posts don’t make everything, your readers will also be (un)attracted by your blog’s visual. You might think that’s unfair, but that’s the way it is; people will be more likely to read a blog that looks pretty, that is ergonomic, easy to run through, than a blog that has quality content but looks like a mess.
If I could give you just two more tips about choosing your blog theme, I’d say find a theme that reflects your personality, and choose bright colors, it will make your blog so much more appealing. I stumbled upon a blog the other day. Its theme was all in a dark brown. It wasn’t easy to find anything on it. It took me like three minutes to find the “categories” section, and those weren’t even organized. I left that blog and never visited it again.
6. Create Your Blog’s Social Media
Hold on, I’m almost done. The last thing you absolutely need to do when starting your blog, is to create your blog’s social media. You’re going to need a place to promote your blog posts and build your community, and that’s what social media are there for. I’m mostly using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Stumble Upon. Those are according to me the most important ones, I wouldn’t want to delete any of them if I had the occasion to, because each of them benefits my blog in a different way.
Pin me for later ?♥︎ .
Your blog is ready now! I mean, not exactly. There are still tons of things to do before you launch it: prepare a couple of blog posts in advance, create a monetisation strategy, etc… But that will be for another post !
If you already have a blog but want to now create a self-hosted blog, know that you can easily transfer all of your content (posts, pages, comments and followers) to your new blog. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any help during the process! I’ll be glad to help.
Check out my Blogging Resource Library to find the tools you need to grow your blog. Everything I use is there!
You can subscribe to my Newsletter to get your exclusive printable blog planner, it was designed especially for ambitious bloggers, who want to make their blog bigger, better, and increase their income and traffic.
Please don’t forget to share / pin this post if you found it useful!