This post contains affiliate links. That means Kay’s Life may earn commission on items purchased through the links provided at no extra cost to you.
Step One – URL Selection & Blog Hosting
The first step is purchasing your URL, otherwise known as your domain. This is your www.blogname.com. So, for instance, I purchased kayslife.com when I started my blog. I would highly recommend purchasing your domain name from your hosting provider if you can. That way you do not have to transfer your domain name to your new host. I made this mistake when I first started blogging because I started out using Wix and then had to transfer it to Site Ground to host my WordPress blog which you’re reading now!
Quick Tips on How To Choose a Domain Name/URL
Don’t Mispell Words
I get it. It’s hard not to want to use phrases like “Kay’s Korner” instead of “Kay’s Corner.” In fact, some bloggers do this and are successful. But a general rule of thumb is to keep it normal and simple. You want your audience to be able to find you easily. If they have to search you out further than just typing your name into the search bar you may lose possible readers.
Keep Your Niche In Mind
I knew my blog was going to be a lifestyle blog that covered at least two topics so I kept it simple and chose Kay’s Life. Many bloggers just use their name or think of a title that encompasses what their readers will find on their site. One of my inspirations and favorite bloggers just uses her name – cassiescroggins.com. Another blog I love came up with a domain name separate from her own name but it’s obvious she’s a mommy blogger – twinsmommy.com.
How-To Choose a Blog Hosting Provider
Bluehost Versus Site Ground
Almost every big blogger out there will tell you to host through Bluehost – I think this is mostly due to their affordability and affiliate program. However, I chose Site Ground because they have a monthly payment plan. When I started blogging I wasn’t able to shell out hundreds of dollars to purchase hosting. And if you would like the opportunity to partake in an affiliate program then no worries because Site Ground has this option too. In fact, if you’re interested in Site Ground my affiliate link is here. If you would like further instructions on how to sign up with Site Ground make sure to check out my blog post on How To Start a Blog with Site Ground.
Step Two – WordPress, Themes, & Plugins
Why Use WordPress?
When I started blogging, as I mentioned above, I used Wix. Wix is a good option for those who want a drag and drop design platform. It is important to note though that blogging is much more about creating comprehensive content and not about simply making a pretty website which is where WordPress comes into play. WordPress is a platform specifically made for blogging and you will find that the vast majority of big bloggers use it and for good reason. WordPress allows you to focus on content creation and makes the front-end experience for your users somewhat easy and automatic for beginners. You just have to select a theme and begin creating content for the pages, categories, and tags you create.
The Best Themes for Beginner Lifestyle Bloggers
There are about five million lists of free WordPress themes on the internet so this is incredibly free data I’m about to share. But my personal top five free lifestyle blog themes are:
- Fashion Diva
- Fashion Blossom
Must-Have WordPress Plugins for Beginners
This one may be debatable. It essentially gives a nice little SEO checklist for you to complete before publishing. However, please do not rely on this solely for your SEO keyword research. Just because Yoast gives you a green light doesn’t mean you are going to rank on Google.
Cookie Notice & Compliance for GDPR/CCPA
This gives that little pop-up at the bottom of your screen when you click on Kay’s Life. It will say, “This site collects cookies. Is that okay?” It’s important to get your reader’s permission to track their cookies and this is an incredibly easy way to ensure you have it.
Jetpack offers blog security, analytics, and marketing tools. They also have a plugin called AMP which optimizes the experience for mobile readers.
Google Site Kit
I would highly recommend activating this plugin. It allows you to review and analyze the Google Analytics for your site. You can also review your Adsense conversions and analytics as well. It’s all in one place.
Step Three – SEO, Pinterest, & Social Media
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is incredibly important. This is what drives readers to your blog. Don’t make the mistake (like I did) of creating your entire blog and then writing and *crickets.* SEO is important from day one. Google is grading you from the day your domain is up and running. To start, I would seek free resources. I started with Mike Pearson’s Stupid Simple SEO free course and webinar. He does have a paid course that I’ve heard is complteley worth it as well. I’m not a master at SEO so I would take your advice from the pros. I also invested in SEO 2022: Complete SEO Training + SEO for WordPress Websites by Arun Nagarthanam on Udemy.
One of the biggest social media outlets connected to blogging is Pinterest. In fact, maybe you got into blogging because of Pinterest, like me. I don’t blame you. Seeing all those income reports from big bloggers is mind-boggling and inspiring! Make sure to create pins and get your content out there! Pinterest is a visual search engine. In my Blogging Free Together course launching February 1st, 2022, I will cover how to create an eye-catching pin and what size your pin should be.
Tailwind is a web application that allows you to schedule your own pins as well as others. This is important because Pinterest rewards users for utilizing around a 80/20 split of re-posting others content versus you posting yours. Jennifer Maker has a wonderful course on how to master the Pinterest game when it comes to blogging.
Social Media & Branding
Branding is important because it gives your blog and social media platforms a nice, cohesive look. If someone is reading your blog and then goes to follow you on Pinterest, or Instagram, or Facebook and your social media accounts don’t look the same as your blog – guess what happens? They don’t follow you. They might think you’re someone else or they may not trust fully that it’s the same person. That’s why having a brand is important. I’m not a branding expert but having a logo and using the same colors and fonts across the board can help!
A simple way to keep your branding items together is to create a brand board. This can be super simple and you can do it for free! I use Canva to do this. An example of my brand board is below.
How To Make Money with a Blog
The top two ad newtwork companies most bloggers join are Mediavine and AdThrive. Mediavine requires at least 50,000 viewers per month and AdThrive requires 100,000 viewers per month. Ezoic and Newor Media are alternative ad network companies that don’t require so many monthly viewers. However, Ezoic still requires 10,000 and Newor Media requires at least 30,000. These numbers are much more attainable for a smaller or growing blog though and can be great alternative ways to make revenue off your site while working toward Mediavine or AdThrive.
Affiliate sales are another great way to make money off of your blog. Many companies have affiliate programs. I mentioned earlier that Bluehost and Site Ground both have affiliate programs. This means that if someone uses your link to purchase something from their company, you are paid for sending them there. Amazon also has and affiliate program as does Target. It is worth it to start poking around your favorite websites and brands to see if they have affiliate programs. That way you can promote services and products you really love!
Many bloggers sell items on their blog like courses, templates, or printables. This can be a great way to make some money off of your blog if you have a decent following.
Is it worth it to create a blog in 2022?
As long as Google and other search engines are still a thing blogs will still be relevant. People are constantly looking for quick information and it’s a site owner’s job to provide that to their reader. It is still 100% worth it to start a blog in 2022!
What do you write about on a lifestyle blog?
The term “lifestyle blog” is pretty general but it is what it says it is. That person is writing about aspects of their life. The main aspects of my life are blogging, motherhood, and my two Australian Shepherds. If you decide to start a blog you can choose any niche. It could be about one topic like crafting or finance or it could encompass topics that relate like fitness and weight loss. What you decide to write about is entirely up to you!
If you are interested in becoming a part of my Blogging Free Together course please register below! The first part launches on February 1st, 2022. This course is COMPLETELY free to you! The only thing you will ever need to purchase while following the course is your domain and blog hosting. All resources and web applications I point you to are free in the truest sense of the word – they don’t require any trials or credit card information. Once you register below the first course will be sent to your email on February 1st!