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So, you’re thinking about starting a lifestyle blog eh?
I don’t blame ya. In fact, I think it’s pretty damn awesome! There’s no better time to get on board the blogging train and share your passions with the freakin’ world. And when I say the world, I mean THE WHOLE WORLD. I still can’t get over the fact that there are people scattered over every continent viewing my content and seeing what I have to offer to them. Since I am approaching my one-year “start” of blogging (I did a lot of switching and rebranding, so I use that term v loosely), I decided to create a blog post series on how to start a lifestyle blog.
When I started entertaining the idea of starting my own blog, I was rather lost. Sure, I considered myself technically savvy enough, but could I learn to create my own freaking website? The self-doubt was oozing out of me like an oversaturated sponge.
However, I remained very curious about blogging. How could I not be?! I kept seeing stories about bloggers quitting their full-time jobs, working from exotic locations, and living the good life in all their free swag. I wanted that lifestyle. Let’s be honest, I think we all want that lifestyle lol.
While earning a full-time income sounds SuPeR DrEaMy, I was more than fine with a little extra cash flow each month. At the time I was a horticulture grad student and ironically, money wasn’t growing on trees. I would have EASILY taken an extra $10 a month for Chick-Fil-A or booze.
So, I started doing my research and began sifting through pages of Pinterest reading all the ‘how to start a lifestyle blog’ posts I could find. They got me excited. I was ready.
Well…I thought I was.
4 name changes, 6ish niche switcharoos, 70+ blog posts, and several social media account creations later, I am here today with my lifestyle blog ‘Inspiration Cove.’ My friends, what a ride it has been! If I could go back in time and tell myself the things I know now, my blog would have grown at an exponentially faster pace. Smh at my spontaneous blog creator self.
Which all circles back to why I want to create and share this blog series with you all. Welcome to Part I of my ‘How to Start a Lifestyle Blog’ series! I’m so glad you’re here, and ready to virtually set sail on your own blog adventure!
‘How to Start a Lifestyle Blog’ Series: Part I – Brainstorming.
The first thing I recommend you do before you start a blog on a whim is to get brainstorming! By allowing yourself to write out your ideas, you’ll have a clearer path in knowing where you are on your blogging journey–even if you haven’t started yet. Allowing yourself to craft your ideas early on, will give you a chance to build a stronger blog foundation.
To help you get started, I’ve created a few questions for you to answer as you are getting your blog creation juices flowing. To keep things simple, I used questions that stem from the Five W’s (plus the H lol) – Who, What, When, Where, Why & How.
Who is your blog audience?
Your blog audience should be an ideal demographic in who your posts are created for. Similarly, as products and consumer goods are marketed towards a specific type of person, your blog should do the same. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting a lot of time promoting to the wrong crowd who, TBH, couldn’t care less about your content (how sad, I know).
When learning how to start a lifestyle blog, to grow your blog to its fullest potential, write each post with your specific audience in mind. Creating a blog audience ‘mold’ works by inspiring you to create content that benefits your target demographic and ultimately improves their lives.
For example, let’s say you want to create a lifestyle blog about college life with relationship ideas, feminine dorm room décor, and other study tips. While as much as you want everyone to love your content, I really don’t think a 78-year-old man cares to read about the best dorm room floral decorations from Urban Outfitters.
To find your audience, create an ‘avatar’ of your ideal reader. Rather than creating it for a large group of people (i.e college women), narrow it down to one specific person. Create a name for them, and list their age, hobbies, and interests. Write out where they spend most of their time on social media, and what problems they may have and are trying to solve. In the future, when you are creating posts, make them with that specific ‘person’ in mind.
Bear in mind that as a lifestyle blogger, it’s may be slightly more challenging to narrow down your readers since you want to write about more than one topic. Creating more than one ‘avatar’ may help to alleviate that problem, however, I would only suggest creating two.
What do you want to write about?
Yassss the meat of your blog. So, you know you want to create a blog, but what the f do you want to write about?!
By now I’m sure you have seen a million people write about the need for a blog niche. While I do think choosing a specific blog niche has its benefits, I don’t think going nicheless (lol) will automatically take you out of the blog game. There are SO many successful lifestyle bloggers out there, and that number is only continuing to grow as blogging becomes more and more popular.
However, I do agree with those that do say you can’t write about anything and everything under the sun. If you want to gain a consistent following, focus on 3-5 topics.
Back to, “what the f should I write about?!”
To answer this, make two lists:
- One of the things you’re passionate about/ your talents.
- One of the things you’d think you’d enjoy writing about.
It’s important to make these lists separate because something you’ve got a knack for does not directly translate to something you want to write about. You may be a math wizard, but the idea of writing about math 24/7 makes you want to vomit. With your two separate lists, you can find what you want to write about, and see how your talents and passions can be translated into your writing.
As you start your lifestyle blog, it’s okay to have too many topics. As you continue to post and increase audience engagement, you’ll learn more about yourself and find your blogging voice.
Start broad and as you continue to grow narrow down your topics to the ones you find your calling for. What’s great about owning a blog is that it moves with you. If you decide you no longer want to write about a topic, don’t! Simple.
P.S – do NOT write about a topic you are not passionate about!! You will end up being miserable and blogging will seem like a chore…and we want no mo chores.
When do you want to blog?
Everyone starts their own lifestyle blog for different reasons. Some are looking to grow it at an exponential pace and make a full-time income from their laptops. Other people just want a tiny space on the internet to use as a creative outlet.
Based on your end goals (which I will talk more about later), determine how much time you have to dedicate to your blog. Create little weekly/monthly goals for yourself. Challenge yourself to see how much you time you can donate to your blog. You might surprise yourself with the amount of free time you have instead of mindlessly watching The Office for the 18th time in a row. Self-discipline is a major key.
One thing is for certain–the more time you put into your blog, the more you get out of it. If you put in an hour a week, the chances of you growing your blog to 10 million viewers a month are like .00000001. One of the most important lessions in learning how to start a lifestyle blog: set your goals high!
Where Should You Promote Your Blog?
I’ve read SO many blog posts about where to promote your blog. Newbie bloggers typically try to utilize every platform you could imagine (and I’m pretty guilty of this myself). However, using 20 different social media platforms to promote your content can and will get overwhelming, fast. As you are just starting out, it’s important to ask yourself where you should promote your blog and limit it down to only a handful of different platforms.
To do this, circle back to your blog audience avatar, and determine where your readers are hanging out. For example, I have a lifestyle blog dedicate to twenty-something women wanting to learn about blog life, as well as read up on beauty reviews, yoga, etc. I know that most people my age are getting a ton of ideas on Pinterest and spend most of their time rockin’ Youtube and Instagram. While I don’t have a YouTube channel at the moment, I spend most of my time promoting on my Instagram account (@theinspirationcove) as well as Pinterest.
Whichever platforms you pick is totally up to you, but this chart may help you narrow things down. Whatever you decide to utilize, SIGN UP FOR PINTEREST ASAP. Most bloggers get their traffic from Pinterest and that will only continue to grow over time. Pinterest is the GOAT.
Why Do You Want to Start a Blog?
‘Why’ is one of the most important questions to as yourself when you’re researching how to start a lifestyle blog.
You’re here in the first place because you’re entertaining the idea of starting a blog and I think that’s amazing. Starting my blog is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. Of course, my ‘why’ will be different than your ‘why,’ which is different from the next blogger’s ‘why’ and so on.
Ask yourself why you want to start your lifestyle blog. Write it down on a piece of paper to refer to as needed. Some potential motives include:
- Looking to make a side income.
- The desire for a flexible workplace.
- A means of self-improvement and development.
- A space to share your ideas with people.
- To build relationships, skillsets, and networking potential.
Just like any new skill/hobby, blogging takes hard work, motivation, and self-discipline. As you start your lifestyle blogs, I can almost guarantee you will hit some small bumps in the road. When things get frustrating and tough, always remember to refer back to your ‘why.’ Your ‘why’ is there to keep you motivated and always moving forward.
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HOW TO START A LIFESTYLE BLOG
Who, what, when, where, why and HOW!
Congrats! You’ve made it through Part I of my ‘How to Start a Lifestyle Blog’ Series! Easy enough right? In the next posts, I will dive into the technical parts of blogging, and how to get your blog on the web and moving– so stay tuned!
Have any questions or comments? Write them down below!