How To Start a Lifestyle Blog

Starting a blog is one of the best ways to build an audience, get your ideas out into the world, and possibly make some (or a lot) of money while doing what you love. Everyone has different reasons for beginning a blog and different goals in mind when they do so. Your personal path will dictate some of the choices you make along the way. One thing that is true for everyone, however, is that the only way to succeed is to get started.

Taking that first step can be a huge challenge, but by the end of this article, you should have the tools you need to feel confident and prepared to start your lifestyle blog today.

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This article is a great place to learn the strategy of a lifestyle blog. If you want step-by-step instructions on how to start your own lifestyle blog, check out our free blogging course. 

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What Is Your Blog About?

Since you are reading this, you almost certainly know the basics of what you want your blog to be about - you are going to create a lifestyle blog! But having a topic in mind is just the first step on your journey. To succeed, you need to know what, specifically, you want your blog to accomplish. Are you writing a lifestyle blog for teens? A lifestyle blog about living in the country? A lifestyle blog for male professionals?

You want to know on a deep level what type of content you want to create because it will help you focus and stand out from the crowd.

There’s a quote that fits this situation perfectly:

"If you try to be everything for everbody, you will be nothing to no one."

Establish Your Niche

When creating a new blog, you need to find your niche. This is the corner of the market that you have the most knowledge about, the place you can establish yourself as an absolute authority. If you try to take on Cosmopolitan all at once, you will find that the competition is way too fierce for you to make any headway.

You need a subject that is not too narrow and not too broad, something preferably somewhere in the middle. “Lifestyle” is too broad and will be prohibitively difficult to make a mark in. “Teas that provide energy” is so narrow that you would run out of things to say very quickly. “Lifestyle tips for single moms” falls in the middle.  

Some examples of niche lifestyle blogs are:

  • Lifestyle Blog for Mothers - A Cup of Jo
  • Solo Female Travel Lifestyle Blog - The Blonde Abroad
  • British Countryside Lifestyle Blog - Hunters & Heels

Name Your Blog

Once you’ve found your niche, it’s a great time to start brainstorming a name for your blog. You’ll want to pick a name that’s brandable and available. Use our domain name tool to check if your name is available. If it is, scoop it up before someone else gets to it first.

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Finding Your Audience

Having a good sense of who is going to be reading your blog is one of the best ways to know what type of content to create, how to shape it, and, ultimately, how to grow your following. With a clear understanding of your niche, understanding your audience should come more naturally.

Finding your target audience - the people you want hanging out on your blog - isn’t only statistics and demographics. It requires a deeper understanding of who these people are and what they want. Your target audience is the people you’re writing to when you write your blog.

Are you writing a lifestyle blog for married women with children, or are you writing a lifestyle blog for male teens? Each of these audiences is quite distinct and will require a different tone and type of content to attract. Whatever you want the focus of your blog to be, you will need to think about the people you are hoping will read it.

Create a Persona

One way to understand your audience is to create a persona of your perfect target audience member. This essentially means creating a mock-up of the ideal person you hope to reach with your blog.

Here is an example of a target audience persona:

Tony Trusk Persona

Having a persona for your perfect audience member helps you to visualize and understand who you are writing for and provides important direction to your content.

Be Your Own Persona

Another popular way to find your perfect target audience is to be your own persona. Many of the best products and services come from scratching your own itch. It’s possible you’ve searched for the perfect lifestyle blog to read, came up short, and decided to create it yourself. This makes you the perfect audience member for your own blog.

This can be a great strategy for creating highly effective content. If you’ve noticed a meaningful omission in blog content, chances are you are not alone. By writing personally satisfying content you are likely to reach an audience in search of the same things.

Where Is Your Audience Hanging Out?

No web content exists in a vacuum. While you should strive to create uniquely entertaining content for your blog, your target audience is almost certainly already out there reading other blogs, engaging on specialized forums, and using social media. Finding the sites where your audience already mingles is a great way to discover what topics they are most interested in, what language they are using, and what valuable content you can add to that mix.

Some examples for your lifestyle blog may include:

  • NextLuxury.com
  • KatieDidWhat.com
  • EmmasEdition.com
  • TheElginAvenue.com

Visiting these sites is also a great way to begin engaging with your audience before your blog has even gone live. Jump into conversations on forums and in comments sections and get to know the people you’ll be writing for. This is a great, organic way to build relationships and direct people to your blog in its early days. Sharing your passion with like-minded people will make them more excited and passionate about supporting you in your blogging endeavor.

How Will You Present Your Work?

Traditionally, when most people think about a blog they picture written content on a page. However, there are several different ways to present your ideas on your blog, depending on your subject matter and target audience. Every blog will thrive with different formats, so it’s important to think carefully about how to best showcase your content before you start.

There are several effective methods of presenting the material on your lifestyle blog. They include:

Evergreen Articles

As the name suggests, evergreen articles are composed of content that lasts. These articles are designed to have a long shelf life and continue drawing readers to your blog over time. They are typically long-form, text-based articles that delve more deeply into a particular topic.

You can decide what types of content will be evergreen by looking at your niche and the kinds of evergreen content other lifestyle bloggers create. For something to be evergreen, it needs to be relatively constant - like basic decorating strategies, the foundations of a healthy diet, or makeup essentials. Choose topics that you know have been tried and true for a while now, or that you at least expect to remain the same for several years into the future.

Videos

While the video format is not new, the explosive growth of YouTube and the advent of new and innovative video-based tech like Snapchat and TikTok have shown the true power of video as an online medium. While you may think that creating video is much more difficult and expensive than writing your content, you have access to all the technology you need to make high-quality video content right on your smartphone.

You can create compelling video content for your lifestyle blog - you just need to find topics that in your niche that lend themselves well to video format. Many lifestyle bloggers use video to teach audiences how to do certain things, such as applying makeup, build a wardrobe, learn a new workout, and so on. You can make your own how-to videos based on the subjects your blog covers. Don’t worry about your videos not being professional in quality. You will improve your video skills over time.

News-type Articles

News articles or other “announcement” type content can be a great way to gather new readers. One benefit of news content is the short-term but powerful increase in search volume during an event. While this bump may be temporary, it can be a great tool for grabbing new readers who end up coming back for more.

Writing about current events or new happenings also means there will typically be less competition for readers. Other blogs and media sources are all getting the information as it develops. Since the base of knowledge available is smaller, this gives you a good opportunity to add your own flavor to the article.

The downside to news-type articles is that they tend to lose popularity much more quickly than evergreen content. While the interest for an event may be very large one day, the next day people may already be moving on to the next shiny object.

Lifestyle bloggers tend to have an easy time coming up with news-type content because there is always something new coming up. You probably already have your finger on the pulse of what is happening in your niche. You only have to write content about those topics to have some news-type posts for your blog. New fashions, new study results on health and beauty, upcoming product releases - just choose the things that interest you and let your readers know about them.

Image-heavy Content

While most people expect to be reading when they visit a blog, image-heavy content can be very appealing and break up your text-focused posts to keep people’s attention. Depending on the topic of your post, displaying multiple images per page on a single subject can give your audience a better sense of what you are trying to convey.

While some topics may take to images very easily, like a car blog or a celebrity gossip site, others may require some deeper thinking to make this strategy work.

A lifestyle blog is a perfect place to include image-heavy content. Whether you like to gather images from around the internet, take your own photos, or both, you can quickly learn how to collect images for your blog posts and incorporate them as needed. 

If you like to teach your audience how to do things like try new styles or explore new recipes, you can take photographs of your projects and include them in your blogs. If you write about trends that you are interested in, you can collect images that show those trends in action and include them in your content. Eventually, you will develop a system for collecting images during your research so you will always have something to show along with your writing.

Mix and Match

You may have one type of content delivery strategy that you are most comfortable with - most bloggers do. You could prefer news-type stories, long-form articles, short-form blogs, or video. It is great that you have strategies that you like, but it is important to stretch yourself and go outside of your comfort zone regularly to keep your content fresh. You will attract a bigger audience and gain more confidence if you try out different types of content and gain skills in different areas.

How To Make Money From A Lifestyle Blog

One of the main reasons people start blogs is to generate some sort of profit. Whether you’re looking for a few hundred dollars per month or a job-replacing income, blogging is still an excellent way to make those dreams a reality.

There are a few great ways to make money from a lifestyle blog:

Display Ad Networks

Display ads are the simplest way for websites to generate any sort of income. Ad networks, like Google Adsense, are fairly simple to be accepted into, and implementation onto your site is streamlined and clean. If you’re just beginning to see some traffic to your blog and want to turn this into dollars, display ads are where most people start.

There are a few downsides to display ads, however. The first is that some feel they detract from the user experience on your blog. Most people have been to a site where large ads pop up and block the content in the middle of reading. This can be distracting, frustrating, and even drive people away from your blog. While it’s possible to clean up and control the type of ads you use, it can be a constant battle to balance effective ad placement with aesthetics and readability.

The other main downside is that they don’t pay a lot. These networks generally use a pay-per-click (PPC) model which, depending on the niche, can pay anywhere from $0.01 to $1.50 per click, most on the lower end.

While display ads are a great way to make your first dollars, you’ll want to make sure any negatives they bring are worth the profits they provide. Once you develop a solid following, you can consider moving on to more lucrative and effective profit-making options.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing programs like Amazon Affiliate have become much more popular over the past few years, as they take the payment model from pay-per-click to cost-per-acquisition (CPA). This means you can refer as many users to an advertiser’s product as you want, but will only get paid when the user makes a purchase.

Both advertisers and publishers benefit from an affiliate marketing setup. The advertiser pays nothing until a sale is made and the publisher enjoys much higher commissions than the pay-per-click model.

ShareASale is a popular affiliate program for lifestyle bloggers. It allows you to choose the merchants that you want to promote on your website, including brands like Jillian Michaels and Warby Parker. 

ShareASale gives you a commission on all sales that you facilitate through your blog. You are in control of who you want to promote, so you can stick to brands that you want to stand behind and encourage your audience to purchase from. 

Amazon Affiliates is another big affiliate program that you can take advantage of. You can link to products on Amazon and get a small commission from every sale made through the link. While small blogs may make a few dollars a month from the program, bigger blogs with plenty of traffic can bring in thousands.

Sell Digital Products

Digital products are an online entrepreneur's dream. You create the item once, then sell it as many times as you can, with little to no cost of reproduction. This means that you can scale your business to infinity.

Examples of digital products are:

  • Ebooks - A piece of writing, generally in PDF format. These can contain literally anything that your audience would want. They can either be true book-length all the way down to a few pages of content. Depending on your niche, audience, and subject, these can run from $1 to $100 per sale fairly easily.

  • Gated Content - This is content that is served on your website just like any other article, except that is behind a “paywall”. If you are creating content that you don’t want to be released to anyone but your true followers, you have them sign up for an account on your site and charge them a subscription fee for access. Generally, authors charge anywhere from $5 to $200 per month for access to gated content.

  • Online Courses - If you can teach a skill that your audience wants to learn, you can create an online course to sell to them. These courses can be formatted in whatever way makes the most sense to you, but most nowadays are video courses. Online courses can sell from $10 to well over $10,000 per course, obviously depending on the subject matter and audience.

As a lifestyle blogger, you have multiple options for creating digital products for your audience. You could create an Ebook that shares your favorite healthy recipes. You could also create an online course based on your niche, such as a course on transforming your style - including makeup and wardrobe transformations. Get feedback from your audience to find out the things that they want help with most and then design your course accordingly. A quality course in this niche could sell for $250 or more.

Sell Physical Products

Selling physical products is the original money-making strategy. You gather an audience that is hungry for something, you sell it to them, and everyone wins. You don’t have to be an inventor, designer, or manufacturer to sell products. Sites like Alibaba and AliExpress import already-made items into the United States and sell them for a markup.

The two main methods for the distribution of these items are: dropshipping and self-fulfilled.

Dropshipping is a method where you advertise a product on your site that you do not own. Once you make the sale, you inform the manufacturer, who will handle the shipping and handling to the end-user. While this is simple because you don’t have to worry about storing or shipping any items yourself, you’ll find that the margins can be quite slim.

Self-fulfilled sales are much more of a hands-on approach to sales. You buy the item from the manufacturer, store it, then ship it to the end-user once you have made the sale. While there is much more work involved, you’ll find that the margins per sale are much higher.

A lifestyle blog can make product sales a breeze, especially if you learn what your audience wants most from you based on your niche. You can start off with something easy, like journals and water bottles with your logo - which you can buy for a few dollars and mark up considerably. When you become more popular, you can design your own product line and sell it through your site.

While it can be very profitable when done well, selling products is not generally recommended for the beginner blogger. It’s best to secure an audience that you know will be receptive to the product before making a large investment in product development or acquisition.

Create A Service

Providing a service is another very basic money-making plan. If you can provide a service that you know your audience needs, you have a viable business on your hands.

Whether this service is delivered through one-on-one interaction with the user, through a piece of software that you develop, or by directly completing a task for the user, this is a great way to monetize your skillset and your blog.

As the popularity of your lifestyle blog grows, you will find more and more opportunities to offer services to your audience. Based on your niche, you can determine in what ways you can best serve your readers by providing your expertise, skills, and experience on a more personalized basis. 

If you help your readers transform their homes into more comfortable living spaces, you could offer group seminars or one-on-one coaching. You can charge a premium for your services. Just be careful to guard your time appropriately, as it is easy to overcommit yourself early on. Your blog is what drives your business, so you want to be sure to stay focused on making your blog as good as it can be - even as you expand your service to serve more customers.

Next Steps To Get Your Lifestyle Blog Started

Now that you have the strategies in place to build and grow your own blog, check out our free course: How To Start A Blog.

This course includes all the essentials on how to get your blog out of your head and onto its own website. Starting a blog is simple and inexpensive, so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t start today!

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