I started my motherhood and women’s lifestyle blog in March of 2018 and have had great success in getting started pretty much self-taught using lots of many great online resources found on Pinterest and online searches. I have had many days when I wanted to give up and cry, when I couldn’t read an HTML code to save my life and when my pop-ups didn’t work on the day I launched! Woah- so many mistakes that I am glad to have put in the past but I am always learning and growing and that’s what matters most. I often get questions from friends and other new bloggers about how I got started, what I am doing and using so I wanted to pull together a post as a resource for new bloggers with 5 steps for starting a lifestyle blog in 2018!
Now you’re probably thinking about starting a blog, you see Instagram photos online and think you can do this and now you’re ready to quit your job and make this a full-time thing. Well, I’m here to tell you that it might all seem easy but it takes a lot of hard work, consistency, time, patience and a little money!
Blogging full-time has allowed me to be able to stay home with my children (although they are in school half the time) spending my time working on a craft I love and still being able to pick my kids up from school has been such a blessing for me.
Like I said in my intro when I first started it wasn’t easy and I made many mistakes, I highlighted my mistakes in one of my very first posts. Knowing where you’ve gone wrong and learning from is the perfect attitude to take with you on your blogging journey because there will be plenty of mistakes made especially just starting out.
Why I started a Mom & Lifestyle Blog & You Should Too?
There are so many great reasons to start your mommy or lifestyle blog today! Some people want to start because of the MONEY- Yes, you can earn money blogging and there are many ways to do this, which we will discuss in another article!
But before you start thinking that you’ll be raking up don’t let anyone try and tell you blogging is an easy, make money fast & quick thing. Blogging for money takes a LOT of work, but I when you love what you’re doing there are no days that it feels like WORK. It’s honestly the best self-starter business because of the endless potential and LOW cost to get started.
Every day I am able to wake up knowing that I am doing what I want to do, make money doing it and can inspire other women, and help some moms along the way. I started because I love to write and people would constantly ask for tips on parenting and things I do/did as a young mom and I felt blogging was the perfect platform to share.
If you’ve made it this far, are you ready to start your blogging journey?
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Step 1: NICHE IT
A niche is a topic, a category in which you will write about on your blog. This post is about starting a lifestyle blog but all of these tips can be applied to any niche you choose so don’t get discouraged. Writing in a niche is nothing more than writing about a set of problems that people are having (ie. how to potty train, best breastfeeding positions etc.) and how YOU as the blog writer can help them solve those problems.
Being a mom blogger is a very popular niche, which also means it can be profitable in many ways. If mom blogging isn’t your thing then I recommend choosing a niche you are passionate about and can maintain with lots of great content.
If you’re looking for ideas on what to blog about, here are some suggestions:
- Health and Fitness
- Healthy Eating
- Home Decor
Whichever niche you do choose to go with the writing should be fun to you and it shouldn’t feel like something you need to struggle with or something that’s hard to find content for.
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Step 2: Choosing a Platform
WORDPRESS ALL THE WAY! To be fair there are other platforms out there to choose from but if you’re starting your blog out and want to start it in the best way possible then going with WordPress from the very beginning is the way to go. If you have begun to think about monetizing your blog in the future then you are going to need to start out using the right platform which will allow you to earn money from the very beginning.
WordPress has many great qualities which is why I went with it from the beginning.
- Great for beginners
- Various free help and guiding resources
- Tons of free themes to choose from
- Easily customizable without needing a ton of tech experience
- Free plugins that make starting up easier to navigate
BUT WAIT… don’t go running off to wordpress.com to sign up for an account, in the next step we will get into getting started & set-up with your blog.
But what about a free platform?
Here’s the thing about using free platforms when starting out, YOU DO NOT OWN THE CONTENT. This is something that is well known within the blogging community when you go with the free option, you do not own your domain (shocker!) And because you don’t own your site if at any point they want to shut you down, they can. Some of the other highlights as to why you need to stay away from the free platforms are:
- Low ability to make money
- Some free platforms put their own ads on your site
- Most free platforms restrict your ability to put ads on your site
- No support available
- Making changes will cost you (thus becoming not free)
- www.yourblog.blogspot.com – aka don’t look official
So while you may think you are saving by going the way of free platforms, you truly are shooting yourself in the foot!
Step 3: Domain & Hosting
Domain: Domains are website names think .com, .net, .org!
At this point, you’ve got your niche down and you know the pros of making sure you start off on the right foot with a WordPress platform but let’s get into domains and hosting!
Click here to read my free step by step guide to setting up hosting through Siteground in a matter of minutes.
- Start with a list of ideas for your site and what you want to call it
- Edit the list to narrow it down
- Ask a friend or family member their opinion on the name (Does it sound catchy? Is it readable?)
- Check google to make sure your idea isn’t already out there or use this free source!
Now that you’ve chosen a site name you’re ready to move on to find the best hosting option.
If you already have a domain that you would like to use and need help setting it up with a new host through Siteground click here for detailed instructions on switching over.
Now it’s time to get web hosting through SiteGround!
What is a host?
A web host is a business. It provides the technologies and services that are required to have a website accessible over the internet. Special computers called servers are owned by the hosting company and they are used to host (store) the website. Your web host essentially rents space on their computers to house your site. We like to say, “a host is where the site lives.” (from trevellyan.biz)
When I was first learning about blogging I had no idea what it meant to self-host, what a host was or what the hell I was doing. You can get started on a blog without choosing a host but self-hosted websites provide the ultimate in flexibility and customization. When going with a host there are fewer restrictions to the changes you can make to layout and design, and you can add any functionality you choose
Here is where I will walk you through getting started using SiteGround very easily.
Step 4: Themes
Themes baby Themes! When you are choosing a theme there are some things to consider to make sure you are choosing the right one for your branding and concept designs.
By now you have your domain, host and have installed WordPress in your cpanel – if you haven’t begun to set it up you can review the steps here.
Searching for New Themes
When navigating to your WordPress dashboard go over to the appearance section and click the add new button, from there you can begin to choose different kinds of themes for your preference.
I went with a theme from Lucid Theme because I like the ability to fully customize the page display, colors, the relatively low costs and the support her team offers. There are literally hundreds of options out there that are easy to use, many of the themes you’ll find that are free have limited options for customization but if you are counting coins there are some out there that are free and can still be used to make a great site. Some that I recommend for free are:
- Crimson Rose
If you need help setting up a theme or have issues installing, your host support service should be able to provide this easily. Siteground saved my site 3x in the very beginning when I had no idea what I was doing, their quick support is the reason I highly recommend using them.
Step 5: Social Media
Do not underestimate the importance of social media when it comes to blogging, getting and staying social for your personal life is one thing but when you begin your blogging journey it is essential to utilize social media as well. When creating a blog post you want to make sure your readers have a way to share your blog with other people, for this I use the Shareaholic plugin. The plugin is available to download right within your WordPress dashboard.
Social media is a great way to connect with your readers and promote your blog content or products. Blogging in a successful way is all about building your traffic and doing that through social media is one of the best ways to doing that.
When you are just starting out you will want to be on all social media platforms but I’ve learned the hard way that this is an easy way to get burned out quickly. When you begin to think about your audience and what type of readers you’re looking to attract to the blog it will help you to narrow down your target social media platforms so you can focus on 2-3 and build a great following.
I use Instagram to promote my blog and have seen great success in increasing my following from 0-1700 in a matter of 3 months without using those wacky pay for fake follower methods. If you are looking to monetize your blog and to get paid sponsorships DO NOT pay for followers. Companies and pretty much the whole world can tell when you have fake followers so just don’t do it.
Pinterest is the best, it is a site traffic generator and any serious blogger will tell you that it is a MUST.
If you want to increase your blog traffic, one of the best ways to do this is by using Pinterest. As a blogger, please do not ignore Pinterest. It’s free traffic to your blog. You can’t beat that!
Currently, I am using Tailwind to schedule my pins on Pinterest. After giving the free account a try, I was really impressed and made the decision to upgrade to a paid account.
If you are into videos and want to capture an audience with a channel, tutorials, and vlogs then it is likely you’ll want to get set up with a youtube page. Youtube channels are free to sign up and fairly easy to manage!
Don’t discount Facebook, using Facebook is a great way to gain traffic to your site and is still one of the top social sites in the world. Facebook allows you to create a business page which you’ll want to get started with as soon as you launch. Growing your audience on social media has many advantages including getting your brand out to new audiences, posting ads to earn income, and blogging groups!
Blogging groups are the absolute best, the people in blogging groups are there to support and help new bloggers get started. Look around in the group’s section and join a few that you feel match your market and get busy blogging!
In my Facebook blogging group, you will get unlimited access to tips, advice and social media growth strategies daily! I started the “Get Busy Blogging” group as an outlet to share with my personal friends and family my tips for getting started as a blogger and now I am sharing with my readers as well so join the tribe.
TIPS FOR BLOGGING SUCCESS
- HAVE FUN!
- Write about what you love.
- Be consistent.
- Make your blog beautiful!
- Be active on social media.
WOAH! I know that’s a lot to take in and it may all seem daunting but once you get started and you find your groove it does get easier.
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