I love being able to share my opinion and I love being able to write. It’s a fun creative outlet for me. If you think it would be fun to write, maybe it’s time you start your own blog and a lifestyle blog is one of the best ways to go.
What is a Lifestyle Blog?
The best definition of a lifestyle blog I found on the site Media Kix but I can share what I think it means to be a lifestyle blog.
A lifestyle blog is a blog that typically covers home decor, fashion, food, DIY, and home life.
For some people, it’s a mom blog and all things that have to do with being a mom including making dinner, keeping the kids entertained and juggling everyday life. For others, it’s fashion and beauty and home decorating.
Really, a lifestyle blog is just any combination of things that you choose.
Common Lifestyle Blog Topics
Some of the most common lifestyle blog topics cover one or more of the following topics:
- Hobbies (Photography, Woodworking, Crafts, etc.)
- Do It Yourself (DIY)
- Finances/Saving Money
Choose two or three of those topics that you’re passionate about. The best bloggers are ones that are blogging about something they love. When you blog about something that you truly love, your writing is genuine.
How to Start a Successful Lifestyle Blog
To make your lifestyle blog successful, you need to do more than just write blog posts. You also don’t have to be a great writer!
Build an Instagram Account or YouTube channel First
Lifestyle bloggers seem to do really well on both Instagram and YouTube.
Now the reason that you start an Instagram or YouTube channel first is that the blog is harder to grow at first. There are millions of users on social media who can find your accounts and you’ll have an easier time growing your brand right away. You want to start building a following and then can notify your followers that your blog is coming soon.
Which one should you choose, Instagram or YouTube? If you are camera shy, try Instagram. If you are somewhat comfortable recording videos, create a YouTube channel.
YouTube is one of the largest search engines after Google and can bring tons of traffic to your lifestyle blog. It also is a way to get paid. Learn more about getting paid to post videos on YouTube.
If you choose to start an Instagram, pick a few other influencers that you follow and notice what it is about their style that you like. Are all of their photos one particular color scheme? Do they post photos mostly inside their home? on Adventures? What type of style do you think you will have in your photos?
If you can pick a style and a consistent theme, you’ll get followers faster on instagram. Read more about how to become an Instagram influencer here.
Coming up with your theme and getting some followers on social media ahead of time will help you when you decide to actually launch your blog.
You can name the Instagram or YouTube accounts after your own name or after your future blog name.
Pick a Blog Name
The blog name is the representation of your entire blog. It’s the first thing people see and it’s what people are going to remember when they talk about your blog or share posts from your blog.
It’s the start of your brand.
That’s why it’s so important to get a blog name that doesn’t suck. I have a whole write up on that right here: How to Pick the Best Blog Name.
The skinny on picking a blog name is that you want to pick something that is easy to spell and for people to remember so they can type it into their browser.
Pick a Platform
There are plenty of sites that will help you design, create and host your lifestyle blog, you just need to decide which one is right for you.
WordPress is the most popular of all of the sites. Be aware that there is a wordpress.org and wordpress.com. Both are run by the same company, but the .org site will let you create your site for free and the .com site requires a monthly or annual subscription to use.
Wix and SquareSpace are other options for website creation, though they both require subscriptions as well. I don’t recommend using Wix or SquareSpace because you’ll have more options down the road with WordPress.
Even though WordPress.org is free we recommend going with a paid host because if you want to monetize the lifestyle blog later with brand partnerships for example, it will be easier to do that on a hosting platform that is not free.
Pick a Web Host
Creating and designing your site is one thing, but you also need a web host. A web host is a place that houses the information for your site. It’s the actual location that your page design, photos, blog posts, etc. is stored.
There are no free web hosts so be ready to pay a small monthly fee.
One of the easiest ways to pick a web host is to host with the platform that is also helping you create your website.
In the case of WordPress, the platform doesn’t have a web host, but we recommend Bluehost on this site.
Millennial Boss created a free course on how to start a blog, click here to find out more, but there are some basics below.
Pick a Niche
Once you’ve chosen two or three topics to center your blog around, find out where those areas overlap. If you like fashion, gardening, and DIY, find something that works with all three. Maybe something along the lines of DIY Gardening Hacks that Don’t Look Like They Were DIY.
The absolute best lifestyle blogs find their niche and then stick to it. If you try to do too much, readers don’t get a full sense of who you are and they lose interest. Your lifestyle blog is your brand. You don’t stray from your brand.
You also need to be reliable. The best way to make your blog successful is to offer valuable content consistently.
You need to have posts that are useful to your readers and they need to be posted on a fairly reliable schedule. If you post once or twice a week, that’s great. If you post four times a week, make sure you’re doing that regularly.
The best way to make sure you’re posting frequently is to start slow and work your way up. By starting slow, you won’t put undue pressure on yourself and you’ll work out some of the kinks along the way.
As you get comfortable with blogging, you can start to post more and more content to your site.
SEO is Essential
SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, is the most important thing you need to drive people (often called traffic) to your website. You need those people if you want to monetize your blog.
SEO will help you get ranked higher on search engines and that means it’s more likely that people will see and click on links to your posts.
That Millennial Boss course I told you about earlier, it goes in-depth on how to perfect your SEO game.
Another way to get ranked on search engines like Google is to make sure you include two different types of links in each one of your posts.
Internal links connect to previous articles that you’ve written for your blog. You want to include at least two internal links in all of your blog posts. The idea is that a reader will like what you’ve written and want to see more of what you’ve written.
In an ideal world, those internal links will be worked in organically and flow with the blog post you’re writing.
External links connect to pages on other websites. You want to include some external links in all of your blog posts, but more than that you want external links to link to your blog posts. The more websites that link to your awesome blog posts, the more likely you are to appear on the first page of Google searches.
Do Bloggers Really Make Money?
The website blogging.org surveyed more than 1,000 bloggers to find out the answer to that question. Just 8% of them say they make enough money to support themselves and their families.
81% say they have never made more than $100 blogging.
While the numbers are discouraging the truth of the matter is you get out of it what you put into it.
Through a lot of effort and work, Millennial Boss has become a profitable blog, so it’s something you can make money doing if you put the work into it.
How to Work with Brands
There are multiple ways that blogs make money. Below is a look at the most popular methods.
Advertisements are one of the most common ways to make money off your site. When you start out, Google AdSense may be your first and best option.
You add a Google AdSense ad space to your site and then Google uses its algorithm to decide which ad will fit best on your site. Google does the work to find advertisers and includes them on your website, you just need to add the Google AdSense code or plug-in.
You make money based on the clicks your ad gets.
The one downside is that the algorithm isn’t perfect so sometimes the ads that appear on your site don’t fit your site’s theme as well as they should.
Note: In my course, Blogging for Profit, we recommend waiting until you get 25,000 sessions per month and applying to Mediavine for Display Advertising instead of doing Google AdSense when you have less traffic.
When you get more traffic to your site, it’s possible to start working directly with brands. Once you have a proven track record of site visits, you can take that record to companies and offer to sell them private advertising. If your site gets big enough, brands may end up approaching you.
With private advertisements, you can charge a per month or per-click fee, but you get to create the pay structure yourself.
You often have to pitch the brands yourself so don’t be shy about putting yourself out there!
Paid Reviews or Blog Features
Advertisers may also pay you to review or feature their product in your blog. If you do this, make sure you tell all advertisers you will offer a completely honest review no matter if it’s good or bad.
The worst thing you can do is review something and tell your readers that it’s good when it’s really not. You lose credibility and then you lose readers.
Many bloggers put what’s called affiliate links in their blog posts. The affiliate links are unique links connected to the seller that readers can follow and then purchase. If the reader purchases something after following the affiliate link then the blogger gets a small finder’s fee.
One of the most popular sites to be an affiliate of is Amazon. Many bloggers are Amazon Sellers, so they recommend products in lists or reviews and make money when people buy what they recommend.
If you decide to go the affiliate links route (and there’s nothing wrong with that) then you want to be honest with readers. Just like paid reviews or blog features, it’s very important that you tell readers upfront that you may make an affiliate fee if they click on one of your links.
If you want to learn more about using affiliate links to monetize your site, I recommend this course I took: Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Downside of Lifestyle Blogging
There are a few downsides to lifestyle blogging that you should know about.
- One, you have to be careful what you say on the internet. Employees have been fired for posting offensive statements so be sure that you always keep your blog and social media super clean.
- Two, there can be pressure to spend more money to make sure that your home or clothes look good “enough” for the social media world. Try not to fall into this pressure for extravagant things.
- Third, people are mean on the internet and you will get trolls.
- Last, you can lose perspective on what is helpful and what is self-promotion. Here is an article criticizing bloggers for self-promoting during the Australia fires.