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Sunday 10 March 2019

How to Start a Lifestyle Blog Successfully

How to make your new blog a success

Blogging as a lifestyle choice is growing in popularity due to the freedom it offers people and earning potential from home. If you are thinking about jumping into blogging, I have created a post all about how to start a lifestyle blog and make it a success from day one.
Laptop, donuts and coffee flatlay

Why I started a lifestyle blog

I am the Alice behind ‘Alice in Sheffield’ and I have been blogging on and off for the last decade across various platforms and pseudonyms. These include Myspace, Bebo, and Piczo. I decided to take blogging more seriously in 2019. I realised that I could work on my blog in an evening around my full-time job and earn extra income which let’s face it everyone likes extra money! 

I started my Lifestyle blog from scratch. As I have completed this journey thought I would create my first blog post detailing exactly how to start a lifestyle blog

Why do you want to start a lifestyle blog?

Before you get started with deciding anything further you need to understand your why. Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme, nor is it easy. You will be doing ten jobs at once (you will be the copywriter, the proof-reader, the graphic designer, the social media executive, and many many more). You need to be going into this with a passion for writing and a love for your topic areas. I decided to niche down and follow a route of becoming a Sheffield blogger because of my love for my hometown. I am in an excellent position to write about Sheffield and will not ever run out of content around what’s on in Sheffield, where to go in Sheffield, where to eat in Sheffield plus so much more. 

If you have a strong idea of what you want to write about and a love and passion for writing and creating content, then you have the cornerstones to dive right into how to start a lifestyle blog.

How to start a blog

There are so many elements to starting a lifestyle blog. If I am honest there are always tasks you can complete to make your blog better. These range from increasing domain authority to registering self-employed. Not to mention the daily blogging tasks you will need to do to make your blog a success. Before you get into the deeper tasks here are my top 5 tasks for getting started on a brand-new blog

[1] Blog Hosting

First thing you will need to do is decide where you want to host your new lifestyle blog. There are a few avenues you could go down, but the most popular choices are or Blogger. If you’re brand new to blogging I’d suggest trialing both free blog options ( is the free option but if you do plan on turning your blog into a side hustle, paid WordPress is the recommended version. You should start on as you cannot use plugins or monetise on the .com version).

You will find many people saying you absolutely MUST use WordPress. It is popular for a reason, but I would recommend looking at both systems and having a play around before deciding which way to go

WordPress does offer a wider format for customisation and a plethora of helpful plugins such as Yoast SEO which will help you craft your posts. I use Blogger and have always preferred the cleaner interface. I use a vanity URL from 123reg to direct my content and lose the element of my URL giving my website a much more professional look.

Do not feel stuck with your first decision if you start a blog on Blogger and find your feet there are plenty of opportunities to migrate across to WordPress as you grow and develop

[2] Deciding on a brand

If you have decided where you are hosting your blog, it is now time to decide on a blog name. This element is one, if not the most important step. Your blog name is going to be the ever-present it’s going to be your branding and unless you decide to have a rebrand, your blog name will stay with you for the entirety of your blog.

You want a short and snappy name that describes what your blog is about. My blog is all about me and Sheffield so AliceinSheffield was born. Have a brainstorm of ideas based on what you want to write about and name ideas. Make sure the name can grow with you, I have seen a few that are Single girl X (what happens when they marry?) or cringe names that in ten years’ time you would be embarrassed about. If you need a little inspiration, then check out a name generator for ideas. 

Once you have a name you should get started setting up your Social Media accounts. Blogging transcends publishing a post and leaving it, social media is crucial to promote your new posts and generate traffic. You should create profiles on all the social media channels you can think of to help create brand consistency, even if you’re not planning on growing that social media yet it helps secure your name for the future. 

Use Namecheckr to ensure the username you want is free on all channels and start creating the ones you think you will need. I recommend Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest to begin with. Maintaining a consistent URL and Social Media Profile you will start developing a brand and become recognisable which will help with traffic and promotion

[3] Blog Design

You should now have a base of your blog platform and name, so it is time to make it a little bit prettier. There are countless designs both free and premium which you can have on your blog. You need to decide what elements are an absolute must for you such as social media widgets, a high focus on pictures, or a more text-driven design. 

One element you absolutely do need is a responsive design, a lot of traffic now arrives via a mobile or tablet so your website being responsive keeps this traffic and makes your blog look its best. It is crucial for SEO and performance; without a responsive design your blog will really suffer. 

I recommend looking at Etsy or Themeforest to find a design. It does not need to break the bank, I got mine for less than £10 which came with a ‘how to guide’ and I think it looks just as good as more expensive options. You should also check out my post on free stock images to help you compliment your theme.

[4] Google Analytics

While it may not seem important right away due to smaller traffic numbers it is really important you install Google Analytics as soon as possible. It has recently been updated to GA4 so make sure you set up the newer version correctly. It will provide so many insights into how people are reaching your blog, which blog posts are doing well and bringing traffic, and which search queries people are using to reach your blog. This will help you decide what content to produce more of and learn about your audience and their needs. 

I would also recommend setting up Google Search Console as this is invaluable when creating content and deciding on the best keywords for your new blog. GSC works really well in showing how you are gaining traffic, what keywords people are using which you can then use to help inform your upcoming content. It also helps create your site map which informs google on how to navigate around your blog.

[5] Content is King

You can have the most professional looking blog in the whole world but the most important thing to focus on when looking to start a blog is your content. Content is the driving force of your blog; it is the reason people are visiting and ultimately, it is the reason whether traffic stays or bounces straight off your blog

Before you launch your blog have a strong plan and editorial calendar. I recommend having 10 posts ready to publish as soon as you launch, this gives your readers a good feel for the content you are going to produce and whether they want to subscribe to your blog. 

It gives readers something to read, somewhere to go and a reason to return to your blog. Once you have your 10 posts it is important you develop a schedule for your posting. A regular post timeline means your readers know when to expect something new to read. 

Once you've established a post timeline and schedule focus in on an editorial calendar, I try and plan a month ahead with any key posts I know I want to write, evergreen content that will keep readers returning and any key holiday dates that will drive traffic so I'm prepared well in advance on what I need to write

Are you ready?

You should now be at a point where your ideas on how to start a lifestyle blog have taken shape. You have a host and a pretty design, your social media profiles are set up and your Google Analytics is active. You have also got a bank of 10 high quality blog posts ready to publish – now it is over to you launch your blog and watch it flourish and start building your domain authority.

What else would you like to know about how to start a lifestyle blog?

Starting a lifestyle blog

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