How to Start a Lifestyle Blog

Are you thinking of starting a blog? Here are three simple steps to help you start a blog today!

A lot of my readers have reached out to me over the years that I’ve been in the blogosphere asking about starting a blog, running a blog, and if all of the work that goes into it is really worth it. The answer to all of those questions is – YES! Once you decide to start a blog, and you decide on your niche (the topic(s) you want to blog about and/or the people you want to target) you’re all set to get started! 

To make it extra easy for you, I put together this free 16-page workbook that will walk you through the entire process, everything from finding your niche to setting up your social media accounts.

Before you start your own blog there are a few very important things that you have to do.

Buy your Domain Name and Choose a Web Host

Your domain name is critical and it’s really important that you think it through before committing to a name. A few general rules are:

  • Keep it short and simple
  • Make it easy to spell
  • Relate to your blogging niche
  • Allow flexibility to grow

You can buy your domain name when you set up your hosting plan and currently, there is only one company I would recommend. In the past I’ve used GoDaddy, HostGator, and BlueHost but I’ve used A Small Orange for the past year for all of my sites and I don’t have a single bad word to say about them.

I use the shared hosting plan which you can get for as low as $5 a month. It’s their “most-loved plan” and they offer “24/7 E-Mail and Live Chat Support” which is incredible for people like me who work on their blogs at 2am.

You can check out A Small Orange here and they make it really easy to install WordPress by clicking on the WordPress icon from your cPanel. If you need more help installing WordPress on A Small Orange I have you covered, right here.

Host your blog on A Small Orange

Design Your Blog

There are a lot of free themes to get you started but I recommend the themes from either from Restored 316 Designs or StudioPress.

My first theme was Delightful Pro from Restored 316 Designs and I customized it to suit my preferences. I then changed to a theme from StudioPress which was built on the Genesis Framework. I switch back and forth frequently (which I definitely do not recommend) but you can’t go wrong with either company.

Psssst – for even more themes see my blogging resources page.

I then learned how to use Canva (pay for Canva for Work, it’s worth it!) and PicMonkey for to create other graphics and blog post content images.

Set Up Your Social Media Accounts

If you don’t already have them, please make sure you set-up social media accounts immediately.

I know bloggers who waited until they had a following but if you do that you are missing out on the people who connect with you at the beginning of your journey. Set up a Facebook page, add your blog to BlogLovin’ and connect your Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to your blog.

I use CoSchedule and HootSuite to help manage all of my accounts and schedule posts and MailChimp for my newsletters. If you want a lot of flexibility and extra features then I recommend Aweber for your newsletter because they allow flexibility in design, content and have other features like auto-responder emails and confirmation pages.

Then, all you have to do is start writing and connecting with your fellow bloggers.

There are millions of people out there just waiting to welcome you into the community and help you be successful.

Ready to get started?

Ashley LaMar
Ashley bounces between Atlanta, GA + Charleston, WV with her husband and two small dogs for life and work. If she’s not writing or blogging, she can usually be found cooking, reading, or watching baseball. Follow her on Twitter @ashleyfromfbl

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  1. Great post! What does your weekly newsletter usually consist of? Full posts or summaries? I used to have Jetpack’s automatic email list, but I didn’t like it because if I caught any mistakes late or accidentally posted, my subscribers got the original in an email.

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    • Hey Becca! My weekly newsletter is always a personal note from me with a quick note about what’s going on in my life, a helpful link or two to non-Forever Ashley content, sometimes a surprise giveaway and then, at the very end, a quick list of posts that were published in the last week in case readers missed it. I write it every Monday for release on Tuesday.

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  2. Great post! I’m just getting started in the blogging world and was curious what StudioPress theme you started with to customize? I’ve been struggling to find a theme that fits what I like. Thank you in advance!

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    • Hey Robin! I was on Foodie Pro by StudioPress. It is designed for food blogs but you can use it for any niche. It’s highly customizable and I loved it! I recently moved to a theme by Restored 316 b/c I wanted a strong landing page instead of having the blog page as my home page.

      I hope you find something that suits you. Good luck and please come back and drop a link once you’re set up. I’d love to check it out.

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  3. Ashley,

    Thanks so much for this helpful information. Honestly, I am new to the blogging world and thus far have only subscribe to the blog host through google but I am finding that I can’t add a lot of third party buttons (excuse me if i am not even using the right vocabulary LOL) so I have learned so much just reading this and have subscribed to your newsletter and the free workbook!

    Again thanks and Merry Christmas!

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    • Thanks Terri! I’m on WordPress and so everything I write is geared that way. If you signed up through Google you’re probably using Blogger (which is a bit different) but I still hope my workbook gave you a bit of direction. XOXO

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    • Hi Emma, that has to do with how much data you can store on the server and how much traffic your server can handle at one time. If you’re brand new you should be totally fine on the tiny or the small plan for now. You’ll receive warnings if you grow quickly and are getting near maxing those out.

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