Lifestyle blogs are tucked around every corner of the internet these days. You click on a delicious looking recipe on Pinterest and it directs you to a lifestyle blog. You scroll through Instagram and stumble upon photos from a lifestyle blogger. You do a quick google search for apartment decor ideas and get lost in the many pages of a lifestyle blog.
It can be intimidating how many lifestyle blogs are out there, but each is unique and one of a kind. If you have ever considered starting a lifestyle blog, now is the time to take the plunge and go for it! You can only sit on the sidelines and watch others for so long. I never imagined I would learn so much when I started blogging a few years ago. As a seasoned blogger, I am excited to start sharing my best blogging tips and tricks. Let's start at square one, the very basics of how to start a lifestyle blog.
Spend Time Brainstorming
Starting a lifestyle blog takes commitment. There are many details and intricacies that can easily intimidate new bloggers. Before tackling the ins and outs of your lifestyle blog, spend intentional time brainstorming where you want this endeavor to lead. Explore your mission and vision in the context of lifestyle blogging. Take notes to reference in the future and ask yourself big questions.
Ask yourself these questions: What interests you about having a blog? What kind of blogs do you follow or enjoy reading? What are your goals for blogging? What do you need to learn more about before starting? What creative ideas do you want to explore further? Who is your audience? Why is this important to you?
Choose a Name
Maybe you have had a name picked out since the first time you considered starting a blog. Most often, however, this can be one of the largest barriers to starting. As you brainstorm name ideas, keep your purpose and content in mind. It may seem obvious, but it is best to develop a name that makes sense with the direction of your blog. Think beyond the first few weeks and months of your blog and choose a name that will remain relevant throughout the years and different seasons of blogging.
It is also helpful to keep branding in mind as you consider names. Creating a consistent brand throughout your blog and social media sites is an important topic for another day. In the meantime, think of names that will distinguish your blog or "brand." This will cause readers to remember you by your name and content. Lastly, consider buying a domain from day one. This helps establish your brand and distinguish your corner of the internet. There are many places to buy domains online for a reasonable price. I use GoDaddy and have had no problems.
Ask yourself these questions: What are some notable words or characteristics of your blog? What makes your blog different than other lifestyle blogs? Does your envisioned content line up with your name options? Will I like this name two years from now? Has this name already been used (do a quick Google search to verify)?
Set it Up
Here is where it all comes together - setting up your lifestyle blog. The first step is to choose a platform. The platform you choose is essentially the background and behind-the-scenes of your blog. I personally use Blogger for my platform. I have since day one and enjoy how user friendly it is. WordPress is another common platform lifestyle bloggers use. It has great options for plugins and search engine optimization tools. Finally, Squarespace is the up and coming platform that provides ease for building a website in a fun and relevant way.
After choosing your platform, it is time to make it look like home. As with choosing a platform, you have a few options for designing your space just the way you want it to look. If you have graphic design skills, this is your opportunity to take off and run with your expertise. If you are like me and try to do everything yourself, Google and Pinterest will be your best friends. If you would rather leave the tedious work up to someone else, hire a graphic designer to collaborate with and make the space look like you envision. Some of my favorite blog designers include Grace + Vine Studios, Maiedae, and Rachel of Oh Simple Thoughts.
Ask yourself these questions: What is most important to you when it comes to the functionality of your blog? Is there a blog platform you are already familiar with? What would you ideally like your blog to look like? What color schemes represent your brand and creative ideas? How much time are you willing to invest in your blog design?
What questions do you have about starting a lifestyle blog?
If you are a seasoned blogger, what tips do you have for beginners?