Before I actually started my blog, I was definitely scared. In addition to being scared, I was completely confused. None of my friends or family had ever blogged (that I know of!), and really relied on the internet to get me going. In case you are in that very situation, I have compiled a guide on how to get your lifestyle blog started in just a few steps! Keep reading, and let’s get you blogging!
Things to consider before starting your blog
Some bloggers have really cute names, but I decided just to go with my own name. If you are not keen on using your own name, then spend some time brainstorming as to what you would want your blog name to be. A big key is thinking about your personal interests, as well as what your topic is going to be. If you are thinking of a food blog, then you probably want to go down a related list of words that you associate with. For example, if you are all about cupcakes, then savory is most likely not where you want to be.
I chose my name so that I can blog about anything I wanted to, and was not limited to just talking about lipstick or shoes. If you are in this stage, then right down 7 to 10 names that you would like for your blog name to be. Check the internet to see if any of these names are already in use. If you still cannot decide on one, as your friends in family for their input too! The hosting site that I use for this blog has a feature that allows you to check their database for your potential blog name. I am all about saving time!
PRO TIP: Check social media to see if those handles are available as well!
Where do you fit into the blogging world?
What are you adding to the internet? Make sure that it is original, interesting, and if this is important to you, something you can monetize. You have probably heard the phrase “find your niche”, but honestly I don’t think that is an important part of starting out. As long as you have a vision of what you are wanting to do, that is a great starting point. There are a variety of different blog “niche” that you can belong to, and to be honest, I am not even sure if I have picked my own yet!
One important thing to remember when starting a blog is to stay on just a few topics if you do decide to blog about more than one thing. I stay on some lifestyle topics such as beauty, blogging, food, and sometimes travel and fashion. All of which are pretty standard topics that most lifestyle bloggers choose to talk about. This part is completely up to you, so make sure that you cater that to your needs.
Choose which platform best suits your needs
I have been a WordPress lover for quite a while. It was something that I learned in school, and have been using since then. Not only is it incredibly user friendly, but I personally think it is the most customizable. It is definitely worth looking at the various platforms to see what is the best for you. Most of the templates that you can find are going to worth with either WordPress or Blogger. Past that, it can take some serious research to get the perfect layout, but that is something that is really worth it!
I love WordPress because I can completely control every single aspect of my site. Having the control to make it exactly what you want is a blessing, seriously! There can be a slight disadvantage if you are do not understand it, but it really is easy to learn. There are some many resources available to you through WordPress and various sites. Plus, you have me to help with whatever I can!
Here comes getting your blog live!
While you can have a blog hosted through your platform of choice (Blogger, WordPress, Etc.), there is nothing like having your own name. Self hosting does cost additional money, but a “.com” instead of a “.wordpress.com” usually is going to not only be more professional, but easier for your audience to remember you. I personally use GoDaddy to host my domain. You can add your preferred website name, they will authorize it, and then you just have to pick out your plan.
It is definitely a money saving tip to go ahead and pay for your full year in advance. Not only can you get the best deal, but it protects your blog just in case you forget to select automatic payment. Any time that your blog is down is not only turning away any potential audience, but it is also turning down potential money, or opportunities that could be coming your way!
Finding the perfect blog template
This is the point where you need to decide what you want your blog to look like. Most of the platforms that you are using for your blog have some free templates to get you set up, and they work perfectly fine. If you are looking for a more professional, or unique template, then spend some time shopping around. I finally took the plunge and purchased a blog layout which I am seriously in love with. I love Pipdig, and think they have some of the best looking templates. The prices are also really accessible, and their support forums are actually incredible. They can help with any technical issue you have, and can even install your template for free if you are unable to.
Pipdig has worked with some bloggers who you probably already love, and have a ton of customizable features to make sure your blog is going to look exactly how you want it to look. They also update their templates to keep them as up to date and perfect as they day that you installed them. I highly suggest checking them out if you are looking for a new template, or ready to update an existing blog, I highly suggest this website! Take some time with choosing your layout, this is what people are going to see.
Are you thinking about starting a blog this year, or how long have you been blogging? I would love to know!