Lifestyle blogs are fast becoming recognised as a niche to stamping authority in the blogging world. Adding to the fact internet users find it valuable to learn life’s complexities from experienced figures, lifestyle blogs are climbing the popularity ladder.
I have had many people asked how to start a lifestyle blog, and I have often replied that the steps are quite simple. Many people assume it’s a heck of work to start blogging and have such have abandoned their vision.
Blogging transited from a hobby into a career in recent years, and several people are making a living by simply sharing information with others. The era of the hobbyist blogger is fast disappearing as people now capitalise on the rising demand for quality information on the internet to earn real income.
Do you feel the drive within you to guide others from real-life experiences you’ve had? And do you find it difficult to go about starting a blog? Then, in this post, I will take you through the 13 steps you need to start a successful lifestyle blog.
So, what’s a lifestyle blog?
It all begins from what interests you. What you really like doing, and probably plan of doing. From cooking, travelling, reading, watching movies, social media, likes, mentors, and so many others possible interest areas.
It’s all about your lifestyle.
A lifestyle blog is one that represents the everyday life and interest of the owner, in this case, you. It epitomises your activities, views, experiences, creativity, and many other things about. However, these are creatively published to visualise the essence to the audience and followers.
In a lifestyle blog, you can share your opinions and thoughts on food, fashion, relationships, home décor, your professional work, and your personal life goals – wikiHow
Collectively, it’s a wonderful experience to talk and write about the things you love doing. I find this aspect of blogging to be quite interesting. You can easily create contents – albeit after quality keyword research – on what you’ve done or plan to do, and leave the observations to your audience.
Generally, lifestyle blogs allow bloggers to bond with followers as they share their stories from both practical and theoretical point of views.
Before the steps, know this
By now, I know you are eager to get a hold on the steps, but there are things you need to know. So, let me quickly run through some vital things you should keep to heart as you begin or continue with lifestyle blogging.
You’re not the only one who’s a lifestyle blogger out there. Hence, you must discover your strength, determine the scope and outline the approach for success.
Don’t underestimate the role of real-life information. You will mostly be discussing your life, and trust must be built with those who accept your blog. Publishing contents that symbolise real-life scenarios tend to drive meaning and create the empathic bond between lifestyle bloggers and their followers.
Be creative with what you publish. Having a great story without the creative edge is synonymous to having a building with a solid foundation but unattractive elevation. No one loves a boring blog or a content that fails to pull any form of interaction.
Ok, we’re done with these tips, and I believe they are core in attaining success with your lifestyle blog. So, let’s grab the topic by the throat now!
Do you want to start a blog?
Read this guide to get comprehensive approach on how to start a successful blog today.
How to start a lifestyle blog
Starting a lifestyle blog isn’t a grave thing to do as some persons often tend to say. Just a simple guide like this one is enough to aid set your foot on the mark the proper way.
1. Discover yourself and interest
Mistake number one is failing to discover yourself and interest before jumping into starting a lifestyle blog. Everyone has an area – if not areas – of interest and things they really love doing. This defines what your blog will portray to others in terms of content and ideas.
So, discover your area(s) of interest, and additionally what you love doing as this will aid your choice of a blogging topic or niche. Something that gives you joy or find pleasure doing. It can be cooking, internal decoration, fashion, social hangouts, watching movies, among many others.
Avoid the illusion of being like every other lifestyle blogger. Uniquely identify the things that define your person. This enables you to write and talk freely on specific topics because they are the things you do.
I have come across people who find it hard to point out the key interest areas in their lives. My counsel is often for them to carry out a retrospective analysis of their activities or bit-by-bit capturing of their activities.
This can help you to easily pinpoint the things you love doing and thus set the tone for discovering yourself.
No doubt, it’s not all your interest and life you want to discuss on the internet because you owe yourself the right to privacy.
Therefore, this step is very important. You need tot spell out the aspects of your life – and interest – you want to publish on your blog to avoid divulging confidential and derogatory information about yourself.
For instance, you might decide to publish contents about your travels, books, movies, fashion, and leave out charity work, social media presence, profession, etc. You are in charge and have the authority to decide what people must know about you and your activities.
If you feel safe to just discuss everything about your life and activities, it’s up to you. However, from experiences of other lifestyle bloggers, not everything is worth discussing on the internet.
The internet is a global village with different categories of users. So, in as much as you desire to start blogging about your activities and interest, consider safety, privacy and your image first.
Doing so will provide you with a guide from which you can choose the areas you should discuss or publish contents on.
Ok, this part is often less regarded by a many a blogger, and it’s rather consequential to do so. Though you have your own area(s) of interest, considering the nature and type of audience you have plays a great role.
You can build an audience on social media, but you will start from those you know and have bonded with already. So, be sure to study them and assess what turns them on. You can do this via chats and make it as open as possible.
If it is a group, then you a good ground to assess. You can, for instance, raise a discussion with the topic, “let’s discuss what you like reading on the internet, or what you love doing generally”.
You will receive a handful of responses.
Now, analyse these responses by categorising them. Let’s say cooking, reading novels, watching movies, travelling, baking and singing were highlighted are responses. How many, each of these were stated.
Of those stated, how many were relative to your shareable interest and activities. If you can get a number that relates with your interest, start from there.
The bottom line here is that you will get early visitors and followers who will love what you publish and be willing to return for fresh content.
4. Set your goals and vision
Without a vision, purpose fades and efforts become a waste. Just like every other project you intend to carry out in life, you need to have a vision that drives what you do on your blog. Don’t just turn on your PC and start blogging without a template or a vision you can refer to.
Goals help you to be committed, manage your blog closely and compare results with efforts. With a vision or mission statement, you will probably be tossing your content strategy every now and then.
Think of a vision as the travelling guide that ensures that you don’t go of course. It’s helps you clearly sieve procedures that are relevant from the irrelevant. Being able to pick out topics, strategies and procedures that are relevant to your lifestyle blog will aid you to curtail jargons and inappropriate contents.
Therefore, take a pause and conduct a mental perusal of what you want to achieve with your blog. From there, write out your vision and set overall goals. Subsequently, these goals can be broken down to bits to drive objectives.
5. Research your niche
I can’t imagine a warrior going into a fight with an opponent without assessing the abilities of that opponent. Similarly, you don’t jump into doing anything without first obtaining relevant information about it.
Though you’re going into a physical fight with someone, you’re somehow into the fight to maintain quality and relevance, and that demands excellent knowledge of your chosen niche. I am not stating that you have to be an expert before getting started. My point is that you should have baseline information that will help you start firmly and build from there.
Your niche – lifestyle and its sub-categories such as cooking, books, movies, etc. – should be thoroughly researched. Get vital information that will make you vast in the subjects you will be discussing.
What are the key topics established lifestyle bloggers are focusing on? What innovative approaches are available to make you stand out. Generally, you should be able to respond, at the optimum, to basic questions in your niche.
Common tools or platforms such as search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo), forums, social media platforms, groups and blogs can help you to get needed information. Equally, engage those in such niche and the sub-categories in discussions aimed at unearthing the information you need.
6. Decide on a name
Choosing a name shouldn’t be a complicated thing to do. However, not just any kind of names should be chosen. You understand much better the picture of what the blog you are working on, and have a target or goal.
This should inspire you to come up with a name – mostly a unique one – that summarises your blog. Though any name can be used, I have provided a few guidelines for picking out a name for your blog.
ü Consider using a short name rather than a long one. It’s never a bad idea to use your name or combination of your names, but try keeping things short, maybe within 10 to 15 words.
ü Use words that can be easily pronounced and spelt. This is very important when considering verbal communication to someone over the phone. Never use names with silent letters, or difficult to remember. Long names can be shortened into acronyms.
ü Prioritise uniqueness as using already existing names could be to your disadvantage. It’s even worse when the name you choose has been used by a top brand or highly-ranked blog. A quick search on Google, Facebook, and other social media platforms can help avoid using already existing names.
ü Understand scalability – expansion is something that you need to consider because your blog must grow. For instance, you might start your lifestyle blog with a focus on travels. Don’t choose a name to reflect your interest in travels alone. You might later want to introduce other topics such as movies, books, fashion styles, internal decorations, etc. So, come up with a name that is smart enough to accommodate future expansion.
7. Choose and buy a domain name
Once you have chosen a name for your blog, the next thing is to choose and buy a domain. Most times, and of course the preferred approach, domain names are the same with the name of a blog. Only on a few occasions will you see otherwise.
Domain names are unique to each web resources such as your blog. There are great tips for you to choose an excellent domain name. The key tips focus on easy to pronounce and write, not being long, and smart enough to summarise your blog.
There are several internationally recognised and authorised domain name vendors from where you can buy yours. I mostly recommend GoDaddy and NameCheap as the former offers a very special feature that suggests names in case you need help coming up with one.
However, both vendors provide excellent services with good features to manage your domain name(s).
8. Choose a hosting plan
Though you can run your blog on platforms such as blogger, WordPress.com, WordPress.org, or Joomla, I highly recommend that you start a blog on a self-hosted WordPress platform. There are many advantages attached to this approach. Overall,
ü It is cheap and easy to use.
ü You will have complete control over your blog and its features
ü It’s quicker and flexible to set up, and no expertise is required.
You can find out the step-by-step guide on how to start a self-hosted WordPress blog here.
Well, for those not ready to get serious with blogging, but desire to try out a few things, you can start with a free platform such as WordPress.com and Blogger. Any of these platforms will help you understand the art of blogging before committing yourself to professional hosting.
For those going into real blogging, you need to first choose and buy a hosting plan. However, you must understand the basic features a good hosting plan and industry should offer before you buy the plan.
Bluehost, SiteGround and DreamHost are WordPress recommended hosting companies that offer flexible plans with awesome features. Bluehost provides rich features to help you get started. More so, you can install and setup WordPress within a few minutes
9. Set up WordPress
Though there are several ways you can install and setup WordPress to start your lifestyle blog, I will love to stick with the CPanel method. If you read the post on how to start a self-hosted WordPress, then you will have gotten a method of installing WordPress on your Bluehost account.
For the benefits of those who intend to use other hosting plans that do not provide support for one-click install, watch the video below.
Alternatively, the blog post below for a comprehensive guide on how to install and setup WordPress on your hosting account.
10. Publish quality content
A major purpose you have decided to start a lifestyle blog is to share information with your audience by publishing contents. But not just any content is worth publishing. Publish quality content. By quality I mean contents that meet the demands of your audience, provide comprehensive guides and solutions, well researched, engaging and creatively drafted.
Most lifestyle blogs fail to meet expectation because quality has been compromised. So, don’t just think of writing. Instead, think of writing relevant contents that your audience will appreciate, and that stems from effective keyword and content research.
Keyword research is an indispensable part blogging, and you need to understand how it is carried out. This will help you write SEO-driven contents that attract organic traffic from search engines. For starters with an insufficient budget for pro keyword tools, use free ones such as Google Keyword Planner, Google Suggest, and equally, find out how to find Long-tail keywords with Google Search.
For those who feel their pockets are big enough to advance their keyword research levels, then pro tools such as Ahref, SemRush, LongTail pro, Moz Keyword Tool, and HubSpot blogging tools will be just enough for you.
On the other hand, research relevant ideas on the content you create to keep your own ideas fresh and all-encompassing of the latest in your niche. Internet users appreciate contents that help them overcome challenges, invest properly or achieve their goals – looking good, cooking good meals, purchasing movies that are interesting, and many others.
Therefore, take your time to read materials and blog posts on each topic you intend to publish on your blog. Additionally, write contents that go viral from both ends of search engines and social media.
11. Publicise your blog
So many factors combine to determine how well your blog is optimised, and you definitely have a part to play. From on-page SEO to backlinking, there is so much you need to do to let people be aware of your and blog.
It all begins with keyword research, utilising SEO and mobile-friendly themes and plugins, creating quality content, and improving the user experience of your blog.
Then, comes the sharing of your blog posts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, and many others. Groups and pages can be created on these platforms to strengthen interactions with your audience.
Conversely, use webinars and podcast to provide real-time interaction with them and display your mastery of the niche.
The focus is to increase the traffic your blog receives, from where you can use marketing strategies to improve conversion and make sales or profits blogging.
12. Monetise your blog
Though there are several blogs and niches out there, lifestyle blogs present a very good opportunity for you to earn income. Right from day one of your blogging vision, instil the goal of earning from your blog.
There are quite a number of ways that lifestyle bloggers can earn money from their blogs, and they are all legit. But, the biggest monetising funnel for lifestyle blogs is affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is an approach in which you promote goods and products of commercial entities, who in turn pay a particular amount of money (called commission) which those you refer via your blog purchase their products or services.
Next to affiliate marketing is ad networks such as Mediavine, AdSense and many others. Direct ads can equally fetch you a huge of money, and grants you control over pricing and placing on your pages.
There are other monetising options at your disposal such as selling courses, hosting paid webinars, launching a subscription strategy for premium contents.
13. Monitor the performance of your blog
Watch closely how your blog performs over time, and make evidence-based decisions with the information provided by the monitoring tools. Monitoring allows you to understand your audience very well, and as such aid you to determine the best approach for increasing their loyalty.
A major tool that can help you monitor how your lifestyle blog is faring is an analytics tool such as Google Analytics. Key metrics from an analytics tool you should consider are:
ü The devices used in accessing your blog such as smartphone phones, PCs, PDAs, etc.
ü Contents mostly viewed
ü Entry and exit pages
ü Bounce rate
ü Keywords your rank for
ü Average page load time
ü Average session duration
The above metrics will provide vital information to help you grow your blog.
Lifestyle blogs are emerging and portray huge prospects for serious bloggers to earn a living blogging. While many lifestyle bloggers have failed because of their approaches, this article has provided you with a perfect bedrock for getting started.
Though there are times when the zeal and passion would become dry, never give up. Instead get motivated and encourage yourself. This is what other starters like you have experienced, yet they determined to scale through.
These 13 steps are excellently presented with loads of experience in them and are tested approaches for starting a successful lifestyle blog.
Remember, you have to start the right way, then build on that, and eventually unlock the golden room to blogging success.
Well, my friend, I’m glad you made it all through to this point. Help others become good with their lifestyle blogs by sharing this resourceful piece with them.
Use comments to help me understand how to serve you better with my posts and contents.