When I first started a blog, about four years ago, the topic was photography. No other niche was a good fit for me – mostly because I just follow other people’s recipes, I don’t shop or wear couture, and my DIY projects are usually Pinterest fails. But I like taking pictures. So photography won.
Then I noticed there were blogs out there with lots of different topics to offer. One blogger called hers a “lifestyle blog.” I assumed that a lifestyle blog meant write about whatever you want, and I liked that idea. So I created a new blog, and labeled it “lifestyle”.
My thinking wasn’t necessarily wrong. You can find lifestyle blogs with all kinds of different topics, because everyone’s lifestyle is different. When I started mine, everything was fair game – my weekend, outfits, Pinterest attempts, a really yummy dinner I made, random thoughts. While it was fun for me, and maybe a few family and friends, it ultimately wasn’t a blog anyone would want to read.
If you can technically write about anything, then what makes for a lifestyle blog? Or more directly, what makes a successful lifestyle blog?
Know Your Audience. A successful lifestyle blog knows the kind of readers who will be interested in their material, and will write to that audience.
What is the fastest and easiest way to figure out who your audience is, or should be? Tell me about yourself. What are your interests? What kinds of blogs and posts do you like reading?
If you don’t know where to start, build your blog around things you like. You will gather readers who are interested in the same things. Plus, you won’t be building your blog on what you think other people want to read (or worse, what you think will make you successful), which can come across as insincere.
Have a Set List of Topics. Lifestyle blogs don’t have one specific niche – they have several categories they cover. If you’ll notice, mine are the following:
These topics keep me from being too random (except for the “Life” topic…shh…), and helps me come up with content. If I haven’t written a marriage post in a while, for example, I’ll know to schedule one. Narrow your interests down to specific topics, and gear your posts towards those things. You’ll attract an audience that is interested in one or more categories, and they’ll know what to expect from you.
Make Your Posts Useful. Here’s the key that brings it all together. While you absolutely can and should share your life with us, the most successful, shareable posts are ones that are useful for the reader. Don’t necessarily cut out your weekend summary posts, but up the ratio of tutorials and informational posts. Or even better, incorporate your life into your informational posts. Write about your weekend getaway, and give tips on how the reader can put together one of their own.
For some examples, here are some of the most popular posts from What You Make It:
The ones that are popular just aren’t the ones that are talking about whatever. It’s the ones where the readers leave informed or inspired.
There are lots of other ways to make your blog successful. But if you’re wondering why your blog feels so scattered, or you’re having trouble building traffic, start with these basic points.
What do you like in a lifestyle blog? What do you dislike? Is it right for you?
For more blogging tips, follow my “To Blog” board on Pinterest!