Lifestyle blogs, they could be considered the most basic blog because they are prevelant. Why do we consider common things to be basic? I personally love reading Lifestyle blogs because they’re so informational and encouraging.
But, what is a lifestyle blog??? Why are they so well known? How are so many people writing them? In such a diverse niche is it possible to be different as a new blogger???
Today I’m going to answer your questions about lifestyle blogging and teach you how to set one up in just a few hours!
What is a Lifestyle Blog?
Lifestyle bloggers write about life, productivity, recipes, fashion, and more. Typically, their posts consist of tips and tricks to help the average person in their day to day life. Often, people use the term ‘lifestyle blogger’ when they don’t want to be limited by a specific niche and that’s totally okay. We need them in the blogging world.
Sometimes you just need one person to go to when you need a recipe for salsa, tips to organize your desk, and decorating inspiration for your nursery.
Fun Fact, Daring to Inspire Started as a Lifestyle Blog
Back then, it was called ‘Heather’s Ambitions’ and I shared lots of recipes (boy do I mean a lot) as well as tips and tricks to simplify your life, and inspirational posts like ’10 Things Every Girl Needs to Hear Today.’ But why did I change to writing about blogging, SEO, branding, social media marketing, productivity and all that stuff? Well, turns out I’m a nerd at heart. (Hah, you always knew that Heather, you were just denying it back then.) (I don’t know why I’m talking to myself in third person in a blog post)
Anywho, back to my story. Well as time went on, I realized how much I loved learning about blogging and trying different tactics to grow my blog. And, I loved sharing what I learned on here. The more I shared, the more I loved sharing and one day I decided to completely rebrand this blog.
April 27, 2018 I relaunched my blog as Daring to Inspire a place where I’m inspiring and equipping today’s dreamers to be tomorrow’s innovators.
The Fun Part, Starting the Blog
It’s effortless to start a lifestyle blog and you can have one completely up and running in about an hour if you understand how to use whatever platform you go with. (Albeit, I’d recommend giving yourself a day or two to have a successful launch.)
Before you jump into building your blog, here’s a few things to remember:
- Your passions will probably change and your writing will reflect that
- Your first blog posts will probably be pretty bad, that’s okay, the only direction to go is up.
- Don’t give up, it takes time to build an audience and change the world.
- If you decide to change your blog completely in the future, that’s totally okay. (P.S. I even have a whole blog post about rebranding if you ever need it.)
My favorite “B” Word – Branding
Your brand consists of your message, mission statement, colors, fonts, and your blog’s overall feel. Deciding these things before you build your website will help your blog grow even faster.
Understanding your ideal audience is hard yet also rewarding. Asking yourself questions will help you recognize your ideal audience. What do they look like? How old are they? Do they have any hobbies? What do they aspire to be? Do they have kids? What do they struggle with? What are they tired of?
When you know who reads your blog, you know what to write about, what pictures they’ll be interested in, and what mediums they prefer to get information through. You can always use yourself as your ideal audience and write your blog like you’re writing to yourself. Or, your ideal audience could be a friend, your mom, your sister, etc… Or it can be someone you don’t know. Take the time to understand who reads your blog. I promise you will appreciate this later.
How to Build your Lifestyle Blog Today!
Now we’re going to get into actually building the blog!
Building a blog can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be. First, you need to decide if you want to pay money to set up your blog or if you want to start with free blogging platforms. If this is your first time building a website, using a free platform might be best. That way, you can play around with things and learn how to build it without wasting money on things you don’t understand.
Some of the best Free Website Platforms:
Side note, wordpress.com is a free platform that anyone can build a blog on. WordPress.org is a more advanced version that costs money. If you’re unsure about what platform to go with for your free blog, I’d highly recommend WordPress.com because it will make moving your site to self-hosting and such a million times easier.
It’s simple to build your own website on WordPress. They have countless themes that you can choose from and personalizing the themes is effortless.
To read more about free website building, check out this post by Beautiful Life about 15 Best Free Website Builders of 2018 and this post by Website Builder Expert about The 10 Best Free Website Builders in 2018
Self-Hosting a Website
If you want to invest the money necessary to build an even better website, you’re going to need 3 things to get started: A Domain, a Hosting Service, and the Program to run the website on.
A Domain is Your Website’s URL.
Ever site on the internet has a URL. Before you can build your site, you have to decide on it’s name, then see if a corresponding URL is available.
The Hosting Service
is the server that you pay to run your lifestyle blog on. These are necessary if you want your website to be fast and responsive. It’s easier to pay a company to run your site on their server instead of trying to build your own. I use SiteGround to host Daring to Inspire on. In the future, I might look into getting a hosting service that’s a bit faster, but SiteGround just makes everything so easy.
Lastly, the program you run your website on.
You need a program to simplify editing your website’s backend. I personally use WordPress for this and I love it.
Once you have your website up and running, it’s time to jump into content creation!
Content is the writing, pictures, and videos that tell your message.
Brainstorming a content plan before you start producing content will save you so much stress in the future. This is where you brainstorm blog post ideas, social media posts, and more.
If you’re struggling to come up with blog post ideas, read my post about 88 Blog Post Ideas for When You Can’t Think of Anything to Write. To be honest, I find brainstorming blog posts to be the easiest part now. The hard part is scheduling them in a way that isn’t overwhelming.
Tags and Categories
If you’re running your website on WordPress, you can use Categories and Tags to organize your blog posts quickly. When I started blogging, I thought that the tags on my site were like hashtags for the internet and the more you used, the more likely people were to find your posts. Turns out, they’re only useful on your website and the internet doesn’t care about them at all.
(Other website platforms probably have categories and tags or something similar, but I’ve only used WordPress so far. If you’re not using WordPress, maybe do some research into what your platform uses to organize blog posts.)
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is complicated to understand. However, it’s effortless to practice once you get it.
Simply put, SEO uses specific keywords on your website’s the posts and pages to help those pages rank on search engines. When your pages rank for certain keywords, they get more traffic.
Yoast SEO saves me so much freaking time. (This isn’t sponsored at all, I just love this.) I use it on every blog post and page on my site. I can’t recommend it enough.
Monetizing your Blog
5 basic ways you can monetize your blog:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored Posts
- Own Products
Running Ads on Your Lifestyle Blog
Google Adsense and other ad services will pay you to run ads for other companies on your website. This is similar to using your website’s sidebar like the billboards you see when you’re driving on the highway. Personally, I despise these on websites, I find that they distract from the site’s content. But, it’s totally up to you if you want to use them.
If you want to learn more about Google Adsense, check out this article from Top Hosting Net about How to Make Money with Google AdSense Step by Step Guide 2018.
Affiliate marketing is similar to running ads on your site but you can generate more money with it and you’re in control of the content and how it looks.
You can sign up for the affiliate programs on countless websites. When you do, you’ll get a specific code. Now any time you’re talking about anything related to that site in your blog posts, just link to pages on that site and add your code to the link’s end. Now, anytime someone clicks your link and then buys something from the site, you will make a small commission.
Countless companies use affiliate marketing to promote their products. Did you know that Etsy even has an affiliate program?
Sponsored posts are when companies pay you to talk about their products on your blog. To get sponsored posts, you can either email companies and pitch your blog to them, or you can wait for companies to reach out to you.
Selling Your Own Products
You can sell countless products on your blog no matter your niche. Deciding what products your audience needs and how to package those products (whether it’s an ebook, a real book, a course, etc…) is a hard process but one that is worth it. You can sell countless types of products through your blog.
To Learn more about selling Digital Products, check out In Search of Sheila’s Post about How to Create and Sell Your First Digital Product
Now, this could fall under the ‘selling your own products’ part of monetizing your lifestyle blog. But when you sell a service, your time and knowledge is the product. You could easily take any niche and find some service to offer through it. Whether that’s being a virtual stylist, a virtual vacation planner, etc… Get creative!
If you want to read more about monetizing a blog then check out this blog post about 33 Ways to Monetize a Website (or a Blog).
Social Media Marketing
Lifestyle bloggers, can also be called ‘Influencers’ and social media is a HUGE part in today’s digital world. I could spend countless articles going into great detail about social media marketing. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc… These platforms have different algorithms and audiences, thus requiring you to use different strategies to succeed at them.
To read more about Social Media Marketing check out these blog posts:
If you don’t do anything else to build your traffic for your lifestyle blog, please, please, please, use Pinterest. Trust me, you will fall in love with this amazing traffic building machine. Pinterest and Search Engine Optimization actually go hand in hand because they both optimize: Search Engines! When I started blogging, a big mistake I made was treating Pinterest like it was another social media account instead of the search engine that it is. Pinterest is similar to Google, not Instagram.
Before you dive into using ANY platform to drive traffic to your blog, you need to research everything about it. Trust me, this will pay off so much in the future.
Taking blogging courses will help you grow as a blogger. But, you don’t have to spend money on these. Take the time and research different blogging tactics and take free courses. If you decide that a course will help in the long run then go ahead, take it! They are definitely worth it IF you can afford them. If you’re on a tight budget, your money might be better spent on tried and true things that will grow your blog – things like email marketing, blog hosting, etc… In the future, you will have time and money to take courses.
My Favorite bloggers to learn from about Lifestyle blogging, SEO, Branding, making money, etc…
Sheila – In Search of Sheila
Pay Flynn –Smart Passive Income
Jon Morrow – Smart Blogger
Helene from Helene In Between
And that’s all of the information that have to share about lifestyle blogging, today! What are you going to do with this information? I hope you’re going to go set up a lifestyle blog right now! I promise you won’t regret it! If you do set up a blog, tell me all about it in the comments below and link to it! I want to read it! (And, if I like it, I might share it in my Blog’s I Love series!)
Soli Deo Gloria