Do you have a deep love for writing?
Do you enjoy reading magazines and websites that highlight lifestyle topics? Do you want to share your lifestyle expertise and experience with others? If you say “yes” to all of these, starting your own lifestyle blog is not a farfetched idea to have.
If your hobby is your passion, why not turn it into something inspiring, and possibly lucrative? If you have the knowledge and skill to influence others, carve yourself a creative career to turn your talent into something worthwhile.
Starting a blog is a good way to share your talents, express your thoughts, and eventually gain profit. A lifestyle blog is an exciting avenue because it is a broad niche. A blog can serve as your personal hub to share your passions, feelings, and adventures. To sweeten the pot, it is also a clever way to mix pleasure with business. Online advertising is a lucrative business and bloggers around the world take advantage of this.
Starting a Lifestyle Blog
Deciding to start a lifestyle blog is easy. Setting up the actual blog is when the real work begins. There is a lot to do to get it up and running, but it will be worth it in the end.
One thing you can do prior to setting up your own blog is to check other lifestyle websites. Reading stories from bloggers is also a good motivation. Take the interview of Charlie Hughes from firstsiteguide.com as an example. Learning from other bloggers will help you manage your expectations and figure out what will make yours stand out.
It’s likewise important that you don’t get overwhelmed in the process. Don’t let yourself be pressured by the magnitude of the task at hand. Pace yourself and really think about how you want to create and launch your blog. It doesn’t have to be perfect all at once. You can tweak and polish your blog as you go along.
Five Steps to Launch a Lifestyle Blog
It’s easy enough to get lost in the million things you’d want to do (and will have to do) to set up a lifestyle blog. But everything boils down to these five fundamental steps.
Step One: Choose Your Niche
A successful blog is uncluttered. Regardless of how many categories you want to explore, you still must have a specific niche. Choosing one is important because it helps in identifying your target readers, pinpointing what categories you can use, and connecting with other like-minded bloggers.
You can figure out what niche to explore with these two questions:
1. What are your interests?
Blogging about what you’re interested in is very important. If you enjoy writing about lifestyle-related posts, your readers will easily pick up on that positive vibe. Also, it can be your source of motivation, especially when you have a hectic schedule offline.
2. What is your expertise?
If you have a special skill that you want to share with the world or think others will appreciate, a blog is a perfect way to share this. If you’re a food enthusiast, make a food blog. If you like covering local events like concerts and plays, start an event blog. If you’re particularly good with fashion, create your own fashion blog.
If you’re able to share tips and help people out based on your skill or talent, readers will flock to your blog in no time.
Answer these questions truthfully. Review your answers afterward. Look for patterns and topics you can write or talk about repeatedly. Lifestyle blogging is a broad niche so it’s okay to have more than one topic. If you find multiple patterns emerging, try to relate and connect them to one another. Different interconnected categories make up a well-curated lifestyle website.
Step Two: Pick a Platform
There are several blogging platforms available for you to use (for free) or buy. A quick search online will give you a rundown of the best ones out there. Arguably, the most popular and most used is WordPress. Often, it’s the go-to platform for bloggers, especially for the newbies.
WordPress is a common choice for several reasons. It’s great for beginners. It provides a huge selection of free themes. Even if you don’t have any background in coding, you won’t get lost customizing your WP account. It also offers a ton of free plugins to make the day-to-day blog tasks easier to accomplish. And because it’s the most commonly used platform, WordPress guides and resources are everywhere.
On the question of opting for a free platform or buying one, it’s wiser to make the purchase. There are several valid reasons why opting out of free blog platforms is a good choice.
Among them are the following:
• Most free platforms will require you to post their own ads on your blog.
• Most will limit your ability to put your own ads on your blog. Some will make it impossible for you to generate income.
• Free platforms usually mean limited to non-existent tech support.
• No-charge blog platforms mean generic URL.
The real issue with a free blog platform is the ownership of the site. If you choose a free platform, you’re essentially building your website on loaned space. This means all your hard work goes down the drain when your host shuts your blog down. And this happens at the drop of a hat, with no warning at all.
Even if you’re still undecided if you want your blog to eventually turn into something profitable, paying five bucks (more or less) a month will secure all your hard work.
Step Three: Decide on a Domain Name
As an online reader yourself, wouldn’t you trust a website more if the URL looks and reads like an actual site? There is power in a name. And deciding the right domain name for your lifestyle blog is important.
The domain name you choose will be the address of your website. Consider and remember the weight of this when you choose the name of your lifestyle blog. Here are tips on how to pick the right domain name for your website.
• As much as possible, create a short domain name. The rule with URLs is this: the shorter the address, the better. A short URL is easier to remember and type.
• Make it easy to say and spell. During blog promotions, you will say and spell your URL often. Don’t make it hard for you to promote it and for your target audience to find it.
• Let the name mirror the core message of your blog. While trying to keep the URL short, make it a point to include something about your blog’s message or yourself in the address.
• Make it unique. Copying someone else’s domain name, and tweaking it just a little, is never a good thing. Also, avoid using brand names in your blog URL.
• Allow flexibility to make it “brandable.” When your blog gains a solid following and attracts the attention of brands related to what you post, chances are these companies would like to collaborate with you. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity just because your URL is too specific that there’s no way around to make the collaboration work.
Step Four: Choose a Theme
If you’re looking for a huge variety of themes (free and paid), you can’t go wrong with WordPress. The blogging platform offers hundreds of themes to choose from. It also supports forums where you can ask questions about customizing a theme. To use non-WP themes, there are also other websites that provide free blog themes you can customize.
When choosing a theme, think about these considerations:
• Homepage display. Do you want your visitors to see your most recent blog post or a static landing page?
• Ad factor. Is the theme you want to use advertiser-friendly?
• Technical support. Can you ask for help from tech support if you work with a free theme or not?
If you have the money to spare, purchasing a premium theme for your blog is a better option than using a free theme. Often, premium themes offer more fluid functionality. They are also more SEO-friendly.
WordPress’s most popular paid theme is called the Genesis. It provides better functionality and ease of use at a reasonable price. The Genesis is also user-friendly for bloggers who are not that familiar with coding or website design. If you have limited knowledge about codes, this premium theme is right up on your alley.
Now, if you want to pull all the stops for the launch of your website – and if you have the funds – you can hire a website designer to make your theme as unique as you like it to be. Just inform the designer what you envision and what your blog is all about for him to come up with an apt blog theme.
Step Five: Write Blog-Worthy Posts
You can have the coolest URL and the grandest blog theme, but if your blog content is fluff and uninspired, you have just defeated the purpose of having a blog.
The name of your blog and the design of your website – these are just trimmings. Important ones, yes. But at the end of the day, they're not the top priorities. The essence of your blog is its content. If what you present to your visitors is worth reading, they can overlook a hard-to-spell website address or a boring blog theme.
Make your blogs informative, fun to read, and shareable. Even if everyone else online is discussing the same thing, find a way to make your take on it unique or compelling. However, do it in a way that you can defend your stand. Creating a buzz on something less scrupulous won’t do you any good. In fact, it can create a backlash you may never recover from.
designer working with a laptop
Also, make sure your posts are easy-to-share online especially on various social media channels. Most websites these days have the Facebook and Twitter share buttons. Don’t disregard the power of these buttons because it only takes one reader to share your post to make it a viral hit.
Aim for Success
Regardless if you’re starting a blog to express your thoughts or to generate income, always aim for a successful blog. This means trying to gain readers and visitors. This is possible with these surefire blogging tips:
• Write what you love. Your blog readers can feel if what you wrote is something you’re passionate about or something you’re forced to do. Whatever feelings you have when you create a post will be projected onto your readers.
• Be consistent. You don’t need to post a blog every day. You can post new content twice or thrice a week. Whatever schedule you’d want to have will do as long as you practice consistency.
• Have good business principles. If you’re being paid for a post, disclose the right information about the product or service.
• Use captivating photos. As much as possible, use original photos. If you have to learn how to take beautiful pictures for your site, do so. If you can spare it, you can also buy photos from stock photo agencies.
• Avoid blog drama. Yes, your blog is an extension of your thoughts and feelings, but it’s not your personal diary. If you have nothing nice to say, then find another topic to discuss.
• Have fun. This is the most important rule of all. There’s no point starting or continuing a blog if you’re miserable doing it.
If done right, blogging can be the start of your new career. A well-written and smartly curated medium-sized blog can effortlessly generate up to $100 through passive advertising, about $200 for sponsoring posts, and an average of $300 via affiliate sales per month.
More than the monetary gains, blogging can also provide you a sense of kinship with the other bloggers in your chosen niche. Blogging conferences and forums are always organized. Bloggers’ events and meetings are also a common occurrence in just about every niche out there.
Follow these steps and tips and you’ll be on the way to owning a blog you can be proud of.