Have you been inspired to start a lifestyle blog? But now you have absolutely no idea where to begin.
…or where to get a domain name
…or which host to pick
…or plugins to install
…or all the endless possibilities of blogging goodness the internet is offering.
Mama I hear ya!
In 2018, I was in the same boat and was totally overwhelmed with blogging information. I read countless ‘how to start a blog’ articles and was oftentimes left with more questions or missing steps.
The good news for you is I developed a blogging superpower.
I have the gift of being able to take all this complicated, confusing techy stuff and make it into something simple that you can understand.
To do this I created this 3 Part Boss Lady Blogger Series. By the end, you’ll have a blog that’ll be set-up for money making success!
Boss Lady Blogger 3-Part Series
- Part 1: How to Start a Lifestyle Blog in 2020 for Beginners
- Part 2: 6 Things to Do After Installing WordPress
- Part 3: 7 Tasks You Need to Complete Before Launching Your Blog
Moving Past Fear to Get to Success
Are you excited to start this new blogging journey? I’m sure you are but most people also experience a bit of fear.
Especially, if you’ve never done anything remotely similar.
“Success is on the other side of fear”
Blogging is a marathon not a sprint. As long as you commit to taking action on your blog every day then you’ll make it to your personal finish line.
So, put them big girl panties on and let’s get started on this blogging journey.
Why Should You Start a Blog?
There are various reasons that I could list for why you should start a blog.
- Earning money from home
- Having adult interaction
- Being recognized as an expert in your field
But let’s be real…none of those generic reasons are going to light a fire under your ass.
You need to find your own personal ‘why.’
- Why you would work a full-time job during the day then blog at night.
- Why you would wake up at 4am to write a new blog post before getting your kids up for school.
- Why you would step out of your comfort zone to do a Facebook Live.
- Why you would sacrifice binge watching your favorite Netflix show to complete blogging tasks.
When you figure out your ‘personal why’, make the decision to commit to it fully. Then work your ass off until you reach whatever success looks like to you.
What is a lifestyle blog?
A lifestyle blog is basically a broad niche blog that talks about creating a specific type of lifestyle. The topics can be about cooking, being a stay-at-home mom, health & fitness, beauty, travel, or any number of other topics.
As a lifestyle blogger you have creative freedom to write about anything that you’re passionate about. Making the possible topic combination infinite. Which is why I love having a lifestyle blog!
Choosing a Blog Niche
When I first started blogging, I followed the blog expert’s advice and created a niche blog, Cruelty-Free Mom.
It ticked all the boxes they talked about…passion, audience, good for Google rankings, and all that jazz.
But the Gemini in me was bored as hell talking about one topic day in and day out. Even though I ranked on the first page of Google within 4 months, working on my blog became a struggle.
The joy that I had of writing dwindled and I honestly wanted to give up blogging. Then I realized what the problem was. For me that niche blog was like being put in a box.
I’m definitely, more of an out of the box person. So, I took that blog and incorporated those topics into a lifestyle blog format.
This blog right here…Rambling Gemini.
It fits who I am, and I rediscovered my passion for blogging.
I said all that to say this…
You do you boo! Cause nobody knows you better than yourself.
Lifestyle Blog Topics Tips
The majority of lifestyle blogs are organized under a core theme. Kind of like an umbrella. Then the topics branch off like spokes, but they are all related to one overarching purpose.
For example, my blogs mission is to inspire moms to create their best life. For me those topics include:
- Eco-friendly living
You could possibly have the same exact mission, but your topics could be completely different than mine. And include:
- Whole 30 Recipes
- Vegan Beauty Tips
- 15 Minute Exercise Routines
No matter the topics that you choose to have on your blog just make sure that it meets the following:
- You are interested and passionate about the topic
- Can put your own unique twist or spin to the topic
- Peeps are already spending money on products related to the topic (there’s an interested audience and you can make some money)
So, should you pick a niche or not?
That’s a personal decision that you need to make. Yes, on paper having a niche blog does tick all the right boxes but if it conflicts with who you are or what you’re trying to achieve then don’t do it.
And guess what its ok.
If having a blog with multiple topics is your thing then I suggest you check out this course. It helped my blog not be a hot ass mess of randomness but something cohesive. Also, this eBook helped me learn how to write niche specific posts for a lifestyle blog.
Picking a Blog Name
Now it’s time to choose your blog name. This will be your virtual address on the internet. But unlike a real home address, this can be literally anything you can think of!
Blog Name Tips
This is a cautionary tale on what not to do.
A few years ago, I heard about a lady who loved tofu and decided to get a license plate to reflect that.
Well, when you put it all together it looks like this:
Ilovetofu…for us that have dirty minds that translates into I love to F*ck U.
So, here are a few tips so you can avoid being like the tofu lady!
- Make sure your name is easy to spell and pronounce
- Avoid vulgar words or phrase (even if accidentally created!)
- Ask a friend or family member about the name
- Keep it short and sweet
- Avoid trademark names like Starbucks or Amazon no (nobody wants to be sued)
- Try to get the .com version if available (it’s more recognizable)
Need help choosing a blog name?
If you’re struggling to find a domain name that is unique or not taken, then check out these websites for inspiration!
…then step back and meditate on it. You don’t have to pick something at this very moment. Remember everything always reveals itself in perfect divine timing.
Hosted vs. Self-Hosted Blog
Imagine that you are building a house. Before you can build the actual structure, you need to have a solid and strong foundation.
Hosting is basically the foundation of your new blog.
Many peeps start their blogs using free sites like Blogger, Wix, Weebly, or WordPress.com.
Don’t do it, mama!
Those are hosted sites meaning you don’t own your content. Also, they can shut down your blog for violating their terms and conditions.
It’s similar to renting an apartment. You’re bound by the terms of your lease and are limited on the changes you can make.
Hosted sites make you look unprofessional. You’ll end up with a name like:
Who’s ever going to remember those names?!
…but a self-hosted blog is like you owning your own home.
You can paint the walls bubble gum pink or have an indoor cat playground (check out Netflix Amazing Interiors) and no one can say jack to you.
Click to tweet- Be a buyer and not a renter…don’t start your money-making blogging journey on Blogger, Wix, or WordPress.com
Since you’re on this journey to become a boss lady blogger then invest in self-hosting.
You’ll have complete control over your blog and won’t have restrictions with affiliate links or using ads.
WordPress .org vs WordPress.com
There are two different versions of WordPress. The WordPress.com version is a free hosted platform that many hobby or personal bloggers use.
WordPress.org is a free software that you will install on your self-hosting account. I’ll be showing you how to install this by the end of this post.
Blog Web Hosting
As a recovering ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’ sufferer I’ve tried countless different hosting companies.
My favorite two are: Bluehost and SiteGround. As a brand spanking new blogger, I suggest you pick Bluehost. The plans are cheap, you get a free domain name, and they make the whole starting a blog process super simple.
I’ve heard the talk about Bluehost and their lack of customer service skills. I’ll be honest the only problems I’ve ever had with them had to do with a domain name. They kept charging me for one after I canceled my account. I called them and the issue was fixed. Which is why I keep my domain and hosting accounts separate.
Other than that, I wouldn’t have a problem starting a new blog with Bluehost today!
But to be completely transparent, all of my current blogs are now hosted on SiteGround. However, my very first blog was hosted on Bluehost.
- It’s the #1 recommendation of millionaire bloggers such as Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, Pat Flynn, and Melyssa Griffin
- The #1 recommended web hosting company by WordPress.org
- You get a free domain name and SSL certification with your hosting account.
- They have a 1-Click WordPress installation
- Bluehost is super affordable and you can start today for as low as $2.95 a month.
- Bluehost offers 24/7 support and a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not happy with their software.
Ready to start your blog on Bluehost? Then click the button below and jump to that section.
You can get 60% off using my partner discount if you get started with Bluehost today.
- One of the three Recommended Web Hosting company by WordPress.org
- Average page loading speed 1.68 (Google likes fast pages)
- 99.9% Website uptime
- Free website transfer with the GrowBig & GoGeek plans
- 24/7 support and a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Free Let’s Encrypt SSLs
- Unlimited Email Accounts
- Free Website Builders
- Free Auto Daily Backups
Ready to start your blog on SiteGround? Then click the button below to jump to that section.
Sign up for SiteGround here using my partner discount and getting hosting for $3.95 a month.
It’s finally time to get your blog up and running. Here are the step-by-step instructions for starting your blog on Bluehost.
Step 1: Go to Bluehost and Click the “Get Started Now” Button
Step 2: Now it’s time to buy hosting for your new blog
But first, let’s go over the different pricing that Bluehost has to offer. As you can see below Bluehost offers three plans: Basic, Plus, and Prime.
As a beginner blogger, all you need is the basic plan. Once your traffic increases or if you decide to create additional blogs then you can upgrade to one of the other plans.
Step 3: Now you need to enter the domain name that you chose here and select next
Step 4: Enter all your personal information, select your package, and enter payment information.
Getting the best price
As moms and budding business owners, we are always trying to get the most bang for our buck. Well with Bluehost you will get the cheapest & best pricing by signing up for the 36-month basic plan.
Also, uncheck the package extras. You don’t need those right now but, in the future, you can purchase them through your Bluehost dashboard.
Tip: If money is a bit of an issue for you then I suggest you start with the 12-month plan. You will still receive the free domain name and SSL certification all for under $60.
Step 5: Select submit and once your order has been processed you will be asked to enter a password to finish the account set-up process.
Step 6: Install WordPress on Bluehost
Now the final step…installing WordPress.org to Bluehost. If you haven’t realized it yet…Bluehost makes everything super simple and this is no exception. Just follow the steps below to get everything set-up
- After you set up your password you can log into Bluehost.
- In your dashboard under the hosting tab, you want to select cPanel
- Scroll down to the website area and you will see the Install WordPress icon.
- Select the icon and you will be asked to fill out your WordPress account information. Pick a username other than the generic admin
- They may prompt you to pick a theme. Don’t worry so much about this right now you can choose one later.
- Once WordPress is installed, you’ll be taken to your blog’s sign-up page.
- Then enter the username and password from step 4 and you’re all done!
Are you ready to start your lifestyle blog on SiteGround? Below you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to do just that.
Step 1: Buying Your Domain Name
You can buy a domain name with SiteGround but I personally like keep my hosting and domains separated. Also, its less expensive to buy your domain name with Namecheap than SiteGround. However, if you want to purchase them all together then go ahead to step #2. Otherwise, keep reading.
Reasons I Recommend Namecheap
I have multiple domain names registered with both Namecheap and GoDaddy. I highly recommend both companies but have to admit that Namecheap is a less expensive option. Their domains cost about $10.98 a year which is super cheap. (really good!)
One of the main reasons I love Namecheap is because they include privacy protection for free. It’s called WhoisGuard privacy protection and it keeps your personal information like name, email, address and phone number safe.
I just recently renewed on of my GoDaddy domains and it was an extra charge for that protection.
Getting Started with Namecheap
- Go to the Namecheap homepage and type in the blog name you choose earlier
- Confirm that the spelling is correct, and it shows .com then click add to cart
- Select view cart and confirm the order
- Create an account and complete the checkout process
- Leave your Namecheap dashboard up because we’re going use it in step #3
Step 2: Getting Started with SiteGround Hosting
SiteGround has three hosting packages that you can choose from:
I’m personally on the GrowBig plan because I have multiple blogs. However, I do recommend that you also choose the GrowBig plan even as a new blogger. You see once your traffic reaches over 10,000 a month, you’ll need to upgrade your hosting package, but you won’t get the discounted rate.
For the best deal, I would suggest signing for the 24 or 36-month plan. The 60% off rates are a one-time deal and you’ll be paying full price when you’re up for renewal.
- Open up a new tab in your web browser.
- Go to the SiteGround Homepage and select sign-up
- Choose your hosting package and select order now
- If you are going to purchase your domain through SiteGround select ‘Register a New Domain. Otherwise, keep reading.
- Select ‘I already have a domain’ and enter it into the box. Then select process.
- Enter all of your personal and payment information.
- Double check your order and select pay now.
- You’ll be taken to a thank you page and given access to your new SiteGround account.
Step 3: Connect Namecheap Domain to SiteGround
Alright mama, now you have your domain name and hosting account. It’s time to get them to talk to each other. We are going to update your DNS servers in Namecheap to make that happen.
This portion is a little more techie but I’m going to show and explain each step. You got this mama!
If you registered a new domain with SiteGround then you can skip ahead to step #4.
- In your SiteGround account select the orange cPanel button. This is like the control center for your hosting account.
- Under the ‘Domain Section ‘select the addon domains icon.
- Then enter your full domain name and a password. Leave everything else alone. It will populate. Then select add domain. You’ll see your new domain add the bottom of the page.
- Click the orange cPanel Home button.
- On the left side, you will see your account information. Copy and paste the nameserver information in a Google Doc or something similar.
- Now click back to the tab that shows your Namecheap Dashboard.
- Select the manage button by your new domain name.
- Scroll down to the section that says ‘nameservers.’ Click the little arrow on the right to open up the menu and select ‘Custom DNS.’
- Now past the two Nameservers that you saved in your Google Doc. Then click the green check mark to confirm. You should see a message at the top stating the changes have been made. You can now logout of your Namecheap dashboard.
Step 4: Let’s Encrypt SSL Certification
When I come home the first thing, I do is close and lock my front door. For your new blog, you do this by installing an SSL certificate.
This will allow you to securely log into your blog and helps prevent hackers from gaining access to your account information.
Also, Google now marks any website that doesn’t have an SSL as not secure. Even if you’re not processing payments you want to reassure your blog visitors that their information is secure and protected.
SiteGround gives you a free SSL certificate from Let’s encrypt with your hosting account
- Go to your cPanel and find the security section
- Select the Let’s Encrypt icon.
- Scroll to the bottom and choose the domain that you want to install the SSL. Then click install and you’re done.
- You get a message stating the order has been placed in a queue. It can take up to 10 minutes for you to see your new domain listed. But it normally happens pretty quickly.
Step 5: Install WordPress on SiteGround
This is the last step. It’s like seeing the walls go up on your new house.
- You can find the WordPress installer in two sections in the cPanel of SiteGround. Just click either one or it’ll take you to the next step.
- Once selected you will find yourself at the WordPress installation screen. Select the install now link.
- Now choose the domain name that you want your new blog to be installed. Make sure the Choose Protocol option is https:// so that your blog is installed with the SSL certificate that you installed earlier.
- Go to Site settings and enter the name of your blog and the site description. Don’t worry if you can’t come up with something good right now. This can be updated later.
- Now, look at the admin section. You want to choose a username and password that you can remember. Be sure you pick a username other than admin. You don’t want your website easy pickings for hackers now do you!?
- Then put your personal email address and hit install.
Once the installation is complete you will be given a link to the backend part of your new blog. Save that on your web browser for quick reference.
SiteGround will also send you an email with your log-in details.
Wrap Up: Start a Lifestyle Blog
You have done all this amazing work. It’s time to give yourself a pat on the back! You have built your own home on the internet by buying a domain name, a hosting account, installing an SSL certificate, and installing WordPress.
You now have the basic foundations to start a blog that will reach the people you were meant to help.
But hold on mama we’ve got more work to do before you launch your blog to the world.
In Part 2 of this Start a Boss Lady Blog Series…you’ll learn all the things to do after you install WordPress. Just click the button below!
Did you got stuck or need help on anything please leave a comment below. I’m pretty good a troubleshooting as long as it isn’t too techy!