How to Start a Lifestyle & Travel Blog | Krista Aoki, a lifestyle & travel blog - become inspired to start a self-hosted Wordpress blog for bloggers | blogging, new

How to Start a Lifestyle Blog

January 28, 2017
How to Start a Lifestyle & Travel Blog | Krista Aoki, a lifestyle & travel blog - become inspired to start a self-hosted WordPress blog for new bloggers!
How to Start a Lifestyle & Travel Blog | Krista Aoki, a lifestyle & travel blog - become inspired to start a self-hosted WordPress blog for new bloggers!How to Start a Lifestyle & Travel Blog | Krista Aoki, a lifestyle & travel blog - become inspired to start a self-hosted WordPress blog for new bloggers!

Do you want to start a lifestyle blog, yet you don’t even know where to start? I felt the same way when I started this project. But whether you are a new blogger with no idea where to start, or an old-school blogger trying to figure out how to grow, this guide will help you start your blog.

As a beginner, entering the blogosphere can be overwhelming. But, anyone can start a blog – even you! And once you do, you can write about anything. Suddenly, you have your very own space to write about whatever you want. And, before you know it, others will stumble upon your blog. Even better, they will love what you have to say.

I started my blog in February 2017 and I have enjoyed every moment of it. So much so that I started a second blog. And in my first six months blogging, I made over $2,200

A decision you will have to make when you start blogging is whether or not to pay for a host. It seems obvious. Why would anyone pay for hosting? But, having a self-hosted blog is essential to those who would like to monetize their blog.

Start a blog so you can share everything you're passionate about, and make money from it. Click To Tweet

The world of blogging is nothing short of incredible. And the benefits to starting your own self-hosted blog are endless:

  • Create a space where you can share everything you’re passionate about;
  • Start writing amazing, influential content;
  • Connect with the supportive blogging community;
  • Empower you and give yourself confidence;
  • Inspire others through your content;
  • Grow your skillset, including social media management;
  • Open up a world of opportunities to collaborate with other businesses.

The benefits are tenfold, and starting a blog is easier than you think. This guide will walk you through starting your very own self-hosted blog. If you ever run into any questions at any point during the blogging process, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

This post contains affiliate links to help keep this blog running.
To learn more about affiliate links, click here.

Learn the Difference Between Free Hosting & Self-Hosted

When you have the choice between a free hosted or self-hosted blog, it sounds obvious, right? Everyone likes the word free. But, free hosting isn’t all that it’s cut out to be.

  • If you use free hosting, you do not own your content!
  • You have to adhere to your host’s Terms and Conditions.
  • There may be restrictions when you want to monetize your blog.
  • With a self-hosted WordPress blog, you appear more professional, which makes businesses more keen to work with you.

If you’re confused, yes, and a self-hosted WordPress blog are different!

  • starts as a free hosting service.
  • refers to a very similar software that can be installed to your very own self-hosted WordPress website.
  • With software, you have more control over the customization of your blog.
  • You also own your content!

Get a self-hosted WordPress blog!

If you are serious about blogging, you should make the small investment to start your own self-hosted blog. Personally, I love the WordPress software and once you learn about its functions it becomes very easy to navigate.

The two best hosts online are Bluehost and Siteground.

Because Bluehost offered my readers (aka YOU) a phenomenal deal for starting up your own blog (seriously – it’s the best price you’ll find), I am going to guide you through the process of purchasing your self-hosted blog with Bluehost, and setting up WordPress on your blog (believe me, it’s easier than you think!).

Set up Your Hosting & Domain

To start your self-hosted blog, you will first need two things: a domain and hosting for your domain.

Bluehost is a popular website host with 24/7 customer service. Not only that – they make getting WordPress on your blog totally easy.

  • 24/7 customer service
  • 1-click WordPress installation
  • Free domain
  • Free website setup and transfer
  • Upgraded servers that increase your website uptime

Bluehost offers three options for hosting plans. When you use this link to sign up, you can get your hosting plan for as low as $2.95/mo! This discount only applies to the number of months you pay for upfront, so I recommend paying for as many months in advance as possible.

Most websites can only offer you a hosting plan at $3.95/mo. But, using my link, you can get a Basic plan at $2.95 per month with Bluehost.

Plus, with Bluehost you get a domain for FREE! You can even use the little widget below to see if your domain name is available.

How to Start a Lifestyle & Travel Blog | Krista Aoki, a lifestyle & travel blog - become inspired to start a self-hosted WordPress blog for new bloggers!

After you select a plan and purchase your domain, all you have to do is take a few minutes to fill out your information.

Because you only get access to this deal when you sign up, I recommend paying for as many months in advance as possible.

How to Start a Lifestyle & Travel Blog | Krista Aoki, a lifestyle & travel blog - become inspired to start a self-hosted WordPress blog for new bloggers!

Seriously, you can start your own blog at only $2.95 per month! That’s cheaper than a Starbucks drink.

Set up WordPress

Immediately after you set up your domain and hosting, you can set up WordPress!

Once you set up your account, you can take advantage of Bluehost’s one-click WordPress installation.

How to Start a Lifestyle & Travel Blog | Krista Aoki, a lifestyle & travel blog - become inspired to start a self-hosted WordPress blog for new bloggers!

Once you install WordPress, you can access your WordPress Dashboard by typing in http://YOURDOMAIN.COM/wp-admin.

Learn to Navigate WordPress

If you’re new to WordPress you might be overwhelmed by its Dashboard. Don’t worry, once you learn all the terms, you’ll realize how simple it can be. Let me walk you through the WordPress dashboard options on the sidebar.

How to Start a Lifestyle & Travel Blog | Krista Aoki, a lifestyle & travel blog - become inspired to start a self-hosted WordPress blog for new bloggers!


The “Posts” option helps you organize your posts, including your post categories and tags. You can view “All Posts” including drafts and edit your posts from here.

When you add a new post, you can also manage its categories and tags.

Please, please make sure “Uncategorized” is unchecked. Give each post the love and recognition it deserves. Assign it to a category.

Categories are your blog’s overarching concepts. Like, for example, my categories are lifestyle, travel and blogging.

As for tags, you can think of them like subcategories or hashtags. If you link your blog to Bloglovin, your tags will show up whenever you post a new post!


The “Media” section showcases files you upload, including images. You can see what you’ve already opened by clicking Library. To add a new photo, click “Add New”. You can also add to your media library when you are editing a post.

You can title your images, edit their sizes, and update the Alt Text. Make sure you update the Alt Text on every image. This will contribute to your website’s search engine optimization and will help your articles rank higher on search engines.


Different than posts, Pages do not show up on your blog’s feed. You can get creative with the type of pages you make, but essential pages to write are an About Me page and a Contact page.


This section is where you can manage the comments on all your posts. You can approve comments, mark them as spam, and even reply to them!


The appearance section of your Dashboard is where you can select or upload your theme, and customize the look of your blog.

Believe me, I really like the idea of being frugal. So, I tried finding a free theme. But, the customization that paid themes allow is tenfold. You are more likely to find the theme you want if you’re willing to spend $20-50 on a theme.

  • Themeforest has a huge marketplace for themes and it’s quite easy to navigate their website. While you’re searching for themes, all you have to do is hover over an image and it shows you that theme preview.
  • Cityhousedesign is an Etsy shop with phenomenal and feminine WordPress themes.

Plugins are an additional way you can customize your blog. Think of them like apps that help you make your blog do what you want! Plugins are what make software so much better than free hosted blogs.

Now What?

Do you want to start a lifestyle blog, but don't know where to start? If you're a beginner blogger looking for tips on how to start your first blog, you'll love this guide! You even get an exclusive deal that you may as well start a blog for free. #startablog #blogging101Now your blog is all set up and ready for you to start building it! But, where do you go from here?

Like I said, I made $2,200 my first six months after starting this lifestyle blog. Because I learned so much from the blogosphere and I’m all about givin’ back to the community, I created a couple resources for you to continue your blogging journey:

  • A totally free Facebook group full of goal-getters just like you who want to make money blogging, reroute their lifestyle, and become the CEO of their own lives.
  • Reroute Lifestyle, a free website for goal-getters to learn everything they need to start a profitable blog.
  • Career in the Making, an ebook which goes into the exact marketing and monetization strategies (the flops and the successes) I used to make $2,200 in my first six months blogging.

Remember – Bluehost offered YOU, my incredible reader, an exclusive starting deal of $2.95/mo. Click here to take advantage of it if you haven’t already.

There is so much to learn from the blogosphere, and I’m so excited for you. I’ve put in a lot of work for my blog, but I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. If you ever have any questions as you begin to start your blog, please feel free to contact me, or comment below!

Well, you can learn about making your blog your pay-thing, too!

If this guide helped you out, please pin or share!

Do you have any questions about creating a blog? What surprises you about blogging? 

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  • Heather Bailey

    Awesome! As always Krista!

    • Thanks Heather! YOU are awesome! xx

  • Noveen

    Hi!! I stumbled across your article on pinterest,very in depth and thorough.I’m thinking of starting my own blog as a creative outlet and I was having some of the inhibitions that you felt initially,you have some very good ideas on how to tackle them keep up the good work!.

    • Noveen, thank you so much for the very kind words! If you ever have any questions once you start blogging, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  • Who knew starting a blog was so easy! Great and informative post! : )

    • Thank you so much Hayley! Let me know if you ever have any questions. xoxo

  • Thank you for sharing this!!! I have recently started my own self host blog and I am trying to learn all of it on my own. I learned so much from reading your post.


  • This is really helpful for newbies! I started just a few months ago and I remember how difficult that initial stage was. I’m still really struggling! This blog looks fantastic though! Good job!

  • Hello! Thank you for the post! I have my own blog using blogger but can I purchase the host and will it still connect with my blog with blogger? Or will it give me a whole new blog using WordPress?

  • Oh man my head is spinning. How do I get people to visit my site? Is WordPress business plan necessary ?

    • Hey there Sarah, and thanks for your comment! I think you are referring to the Business Plan. Actually, I recommend going self-hosted, which is what this guide is intended to walk you through. If you need any help making the switch, please either A) let me know, or B) chat with a Siteground representative during your transition to self-hosted. Cheers, and don’t hesitate to reach out in the future!

  • Your blog has been so helpful! I would’ve been completely lost in this whole process. I am still a little lost, but it gets easier everyday. Thank you so much for sharing these tips!

  • Krista,
    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I have been wanting to start my own blog, but it felt to overwhelming! You have broken many of the steps down into “do-able” portions, and I am excited to try some of your suggestions!

  • Rose


    Thank you for this wonderful information! Love your blog! So, I just installed word pressed through SiteGround’s Softaculous. However, when I get to my url/wp-admin/ page, it says that my browser can’t open the page because it can’t connect to the server. How long should I wait after installing WordPress?

    • Hey Rose!!

      I’m not sure about that one. It took me a few days for mine, because I had to connect my domain to my hosting account. Not sure if this is the same for you. I would contact Siteground’s customer service to make sure everything went right, and to get a time estimate on when you can access your WordPress panel!

      • Rose Navalta

        Gotcha, will do! Thanks!
        Also one more question, are you from Hawaii? I noticed the “Aloha”. I’m from Hawaii too! ^_^!

  • Curious what plugins you use for email lists and newsletters?

    • I use Mailerlite. It’s free for your first 1,000 subscribers and sooo easy to use!

  • Thank you so much for all your help with blogging.

    • Girl you are so welcome. Let me know if you ever have any other questions. <3

  • I love how detailed this post is, not come across one that talks about the different page types before. love it

  • Sarah Thomas

    So good! Setting up, right right now! :p