Lifestyle blogs cover a wide range of topics, which can make it difficult to get started in the face of so many possibilities. As fellow human beings, we all wear clothes, decorate our homes, eat food, and go on trips. Alas, those are extremely broad topics. Ask yourself how you’re going to own your lifestyle niche. What makes you unique and what angle can you use to filter how you approach writing about various lifestyle topics?
Tackle Technical Tasks
Take the time to do some brainstorming before committing yourself to any new blogging endeavor. Starting a free blog on a platform like WordPress.com may be a possibility, but advertising and affiliate marketing will be out of the question. While the switch can always be made to a self-hosted WordPress site in the future, a lot of hassle can be saved by starting with a low-cost web hosting package.
Keep in mind the primary lifestyle you intend to draw attending to when picking and registering your domain name. It should be short, memorable, and easy to spell. At the same time, focus on creating a tagline of ten words or less that contains important keywords to help visitors and search engines know what your site is about. Finally, do your homework when it comes to settling on a hosting package in terms of average site loading speed and quality of customer service.
Hone Your Niche
When it comes to how to start a lifestyle blog, narrowing your niche down can help you write more focused posts that will reach a certain audience. If you love the city you live in, perhaps your blog could focus on lifestyle factors related to the city or region. Or maybe you live out in the country, you could focus on rural living or simple living. Perhaps you are divorced and dating again after age forty. That’s another niche option.
Once you’ve honed your niche, post ideas tend to come much more easily. Providing cooking tips will look a lot different if a blogger is focused on single-living, large families, or perhaps even polyamorous relationships. In the same vein, fashion tips for Baby Boomers or Millenials will have significant differences. Don’t ever fool yourself into thinking that your blog is for everyone. The world is full of potential readers. Go and find the ones interested in your niche.
Add Standard Pages
While it is possible to start blogging without so much as an about page on your website, that’s not the best approach. You’re raring to go and have a lot to say, but visitors to your site will want to know who and what you’re all about. At the bare minimum, don’t start publishing blog posts until an about page is in place. This page may or may not contain contact information, social media links, and advertising policy, which can be pages of their own if desired. Always keep user experience in mind and how visitors will click through your website. It’s also imperative to have a privacy and disclosure policy in place.
Also, consider how you will highlight recent posts. This can come in the form of a menu bar that features each category or featured categories from your site, or a list of recent or popular posts in your sidebar or web page footer. Never forget that you are the face of your lifestyle blog. As such, be sure to draw attention to who you are on the landing page with a blurb and photo, or perhaps even a short video.
Devise an Editorial Calendar
The temptation may exist to challenge yourself and post five days a week, but burnout will come hard and fast—especially while you’re learning the ropes. Once a week is more than sufficient. Pace yourself. As site visitorship and income grow, consider adding a second weekly post as well. More power to you if three posts can be managed per week! Always keep in mind that some posts will be more popular than others, and many readers will only be interested in certain categories.
Aim for post variety. It might be great if you do a sponsored post to review a certain brand of shoes, but post after post on any topic gets old quickly. Rotate through your core categories on a regular basis. If you can manage to post more than once a week, that can provide the chance to do a series of related posts on a certain topic. Keep in mind, too, that you might want to write posts that can eventually be packaged as a download freebie for new subscribers or perhaps even a book at a later date. Google also favors longer posts over shorter posts. Give readers content they can really sink their teeth into.
Grow Your Readership
Make sure you are implementing a way to collect email addresses by using MailChimp or some other type of email marketing software. Newsletters can be a great way to offer bonus material and deals to readers but focus on your blog first. Take the time to figure out what social media sites and groups are likely to bring new visitors your way.
Be sure to work guest posts on popular blogs into your rotation as well. By posting on established sites, you will be able to reach readers who are already interested in your topic and likely to click over to see what you’re all about. Be wary of doing product giveaways to get subscribers, as they often never end up reading your content.
Your lifestyle blog will change and grow right along with you. It may take awhile for things to get off the ground, but in time, a dedicated readership will evolve.
What other advice might you add when it comes to how to start a lifestyle blog? Leave me a comment below and let me know.