If you’d love to know how to start a lifestyle blog and turn your passions into profits, you’re in the right place!
Not only am I going to walk you through the process and give you 10 fundamental tips to start your own profitable lifestyle blog, but you’re basically reading a lifestyle blog in action right here!
The clue is in the title right ‘Your Lifestyle Business’. My goal is to help you build an income doing something you love to do, that gives you the freedom to live the lifestyle you dream about!
Whether that’s travelling around the world like me, spending more time with loved ones, working from your local coffee shop, whatever freedom means to you. And quite frankly, starting and growing a lifestyle blog is up there with the best business models of them all!
To be able to talk, write about and share your passions all day every day, from where you want to be, with who you want to be with, and doing what you want to do, is a dream come true!
And totally doable by the way.
So let’s stop talking about it and get started!
How to Start a Lifestyle Blog – TL;DR
Before we get into the nitty-gritty and the main step by step content walking you through how to start a lifestyle blog, here’s a summary of the key steps for the fast action readers who just want to know how to get started right now!
- Decide your blog’s lifestyle niche
- Choose your lifestyle blog name & domain name
- Sign up with a hosting platform & create a self-hosted WordPress blog (I explain why I favour WordPress below)
- Create a very simple lifestyle blog design (focus on content first, you can improve the design as you grow)
- Create content! Lots of it!
- Promote your lifestyle blog content across the web
- Monetise your lifestyle blog
I go into more detail on each of these steps below, plus give 10 fundamental tips for ensuring your lifestyle blog stands out from the crowd and takes off like a rocket!
How to Start a Lifestyle Blog – The Long Version
Anyone can start a lifestyle blog.
Sign up to WordPress … Write about what you ate this morning … Upload a few nice pictures … DONE!
And perhaps 10 or 15 years ago, this would have been enough.
Nowadays, however, even though we’re pursuing our passions, we need to approach our lifestyle blog more like a business if we want to make money from it.
Below, I will take you through all the critical steps and the top tips you need, to show you how to start a lifestyle blog that generates an income.
First up let’s define what a lifestyle blog is.
What is a Lifestyle Blog?
A lifestyle blog is a website that blogs about various topics related to everyday living. The critical difference between a lifestyle blog and a corporate or company blog, is that a lifestyle blog tends to contain more storified content based on the creator’s life and interests.
It’s far more personalised content where you get to know the person behind the brand. Many of the best lifestyle blogs are named after the lifestyle bloggers themselves.
There is no exact formula for what constitutes a lifestyle blog or what subjects they cover.
Instead, they are a unique mix of content, discussing various topics that all fall under the broad umbrella of “lifestyle”.
- Home decor
- Arts & crafts
- Animal / Pet Blogging
They usually include a rich mix of multimedia, including photos, video blogs, podcasts, and text-based blog posts.
Lifestyle bloggers are often early adopters and trendsetters, buying and showcasing the latest products and merchandise.
But what they talk about is mainly dependent on the views and habits of the author behind the site. And will also be affected by things like their age, gender, relationship status, nationality, and income level.
Successful lifestyle bloggers have found their voice and aren’t afraid to share their opinions with the world. As a result, they tend to attract audiences who benefit from the information, education, entertainment or tips the lifestyle blogger is publishing and who also resonate with the blog creator in some way and share their worldviews.
Examples of Lifestyle Blogs
Here are a few examples of some of the most successful lifestyle blogs on the web today. I recommend following them closely to see what they have done and continue to do to be successful.
Initially started by Katie as a one-woman blog, this has evolved into a much larger lifestyle blog with a whole team of writers. Covering topics from parenting to natural living. It’s a great example of a blogger who took a CEO approach and has brought others in to help grow a much larger business.
Founded initially as a travel blog, Kiersten grew her site into one of the biggest lifestyle blogs on the web. Though it is still largely travel-based, it also covers a range of topics, including health and wellness and design ideas. She has managed to monetise in various ways, including hosting retreats where she teaches other young women how to build successful travel blogs.
Here’s a great example of a lifestyle blog geared towards a male audience. Its mission is pretty straightforward: offering practical health and wellness tips to help men feel more confident about their image.
Asim, a serial entrepreneur, acquired the domain in early 2020 with thoughts in mind to start a lifestyle blog. It has now transitioned into a platform offering friendly advice to its readers, managed by a dedicated team of writers and editors. They publish frequently about the benefits of being fit and earning a passive income. And let’s not forget their engaging pieces on beauty, travel and art.
How do Lifestyle Blogs Make Money?
Before we dig deep into how to build a profitable lifestyle blog, let’s first take a quick look at the different ways lifestyle blogs make money.
In the same way that no two lifestyle blogs are the same, neither are the exact methods they are monetised.
Monetisation can include:
- Paid brand collaborations – Brands pay you to promote their products across your blog and social media channels.
- Affiliate income – When someone clicks an affiliate link on your site and makes a purchase, you earn a percentage commission from the sale.
- Courses – Creating premium courses where you offer insight into achieving a specific result. This would include content not published elsewhere on your site.
- Books – These can be on anything, such as a personal autobiography or a “how-to” style book.
- Your own products – The sale of anything physical, such as your own branded gym wear or a line of shampoos.
- Coaching – Offering 1-on-1 coaching for people looking to improve their lives in some way.
- Gated content – A monthly or one-off fee to access blog content not open to the general public.
- Organised boot camps/retreats – These are hosted events where you get together with a group of readers for a week or weekend.
- Sponsored content – When people pay you to publish content on your site. This is different from paid brand collaborations in that the person paying you may only be interested in getting a link back to their website. Not in you selling a product.
- Advertising – I put this last for a reason; more on why below.
Are there even more ways to make money not listed above? There sure are! But these are most of the more popular options.
So, now you know what a lifestyle blog is and how you can make money from starting your own, let’s walk through the main steps on how to start a lifestyle blog today!
How to Start a Lifestyle Blog Today; 7 Key Steps
1. Decide Your Lifestyle Blog Niche
I think this is one of my favourite things about blogging. Over my years of working with people to build their own online lifestyle business, one of the biggest things that hold solopreneurs back from getting started is choosing their niche.
They’re constantly trying to answer questions like;
- What am I passionate about?
- What am I an expert in?
- How can I stand out and be unique in that niche?
- Why would anyone listen to me anyway????
Blogging allows so much creative freedom and is a great testing ground to see what your audience resonates with.
Sure, you still have to choose a niche to start, but it doesn’t have to be a micro-niche. You can begin pretty broad and narrow down (or start narrow & expand) as you get to understand the topics your audience love!
For instance, in the examples of lifestyle blogs I gave above, the Blonde Abroad started as a travel blog and grew into health, wellness & design.
Fantastic blogger Adam Enfroy who is generating over $100k/month started by writing about software, travel & mindset and, over time, focused on becoming a software review & blogging site.
My site is all about building lifestyle businesses, travelling the world and living your best life!
So, this might be the only time I say this as I’ve always been known for being pretty stringent on picking one niche, but don’t box yourself in!
If you’re crazy about health and want to talk about diet and exercise, do it! Let your audience tell you what they enjoy hearing about more.
If you love marketing and want to cover all the different methods available, try it!
If you’re a fantastic home cook and love to try a variety of cuisines, showcase them all!
Once you start promoting your blog posts and your audience gets engaged, you’ll soon see what works and what is less popular. That’s when you start to create more content around what your audience wants to consume.
If you’re really not sure what niche you want to explore, here are three great questions to ask yourself;
What do I love to read about, talk about, or chat with my family or friends about regularly?
Remember, you can monetise almost anything if the market is large enough, so don’t be afraid to get too weird here. Perhaps you love to build model animatronics, like a good friend of mine. Maybe you’re sports mad, like my husband, who’s growing a blog about the history of soccer!
Perhaps you love to bake or cook, are passionate about health & fitness, have a fascination with vintage fashion, make your own jewellery, or are a burgeoning photographer.
As long as there are enough people who share your interests and passion, you’ll be able to build a lifestyle blog and monetise it.
If you’re not sure of the size of the audience for your niche, head to the google keyword planner, punch in a few keywords about your topic and see what the monthly searches are. You’ll soon see if there is enough interest in the kinds of things you want to talk about.
What audience would I like to attract?
Who are the kind of people you want to be communicating with regularly?
- What is their worldview?
- What do they believe in?
- How can you help them?
Determining who your ideal audience is, helps you with the language you use, your tone, your voice and the topics you tackle on your lifestyle blog.
For example, my audience is most likely 40+, married (or divorced) with teenage or grown-up children, has led a professional working life and are now looking to pivot into a meaningful location independent small business, turning their passions into profits and having the freedom to work from anywhere in the world.
By knowing this, I tend to steer clear of travelling with young children type posts or how to become a bikini-clad youtube influencer (although every single one of us 40+ beauties could totally pull off a bikini ladies!)
Please note, this is your target audience and those who will most resonate with you. Of course, you will always also attract people outside of your ideal avatar, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time, so it’s a good idea to have a clear picture of your ideal audience to perfect your voice and message.
Here is a customer avatar diagram you can complete to help you decide who you’re trying to attract.
Where are you now, and where do you want to be?
What are your strengths, skills and interests?
- What years of experience can you bring to the table to help others?
- What are you so interested in that you’re willing to immerse yourself into learning and developing skills around?
- What current niche could you focus on that has the space to expand into more of what you’re learning about now?
You don’t have to know every single thing about your niche when you get started. Share your journey with your audience. You’ll build a loyal following of people invested in your progress, learning from both your triumphs and your mistakes.
Assess your current strengths and what you add to your niche, plus what you are interested in and want to learn more about yourself.
Thinking about where you’d like to be and the skills you need to get you there, will go a long way to deciding what niche and content to pursue.
2. Choose Your Lifestyle Blog Name & Domain Name
Your blog name and domain name are the same things. For example, my blog is called Your Lifestyle Business, and my domain is https://yourlifestylebusiness.com.
The easiest route to getting started with your lifestyle blog is to call it your own name. Plenty of people have gone down this route, with the benefit that no matter what you write about, you’re never governed by the name of your blog. Calling it your own name gives you more creative freedom and allows you to pivot as and when you want to.
If however, the thought of being the public face of your blog is as attractive as jumping off a cliff, you’ll need to think of a name and domain for your site.
The obvious choice is to pick something that says what it does on the tin. For inspiration, you can use a business name generator tool like namelix.com.
I love this tool because you can enter your main keywords and then select the length of the name you’re looking for and the style.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell you whether the domain name is available, so once you have a couple of options you’ll have to use a domain registrar like Bluehost to check its availability.
Once you’ve selected your domain name, it’s time to sign up to a hosting company and launch your blog!
3. Sign up With a Hosting Platform & Create a WordPress Blog
Signing up to a hosting platform and building a WordPress website isn’t your only option to start your lifestyle blog; however, it’s the one we’re going to start with as it is the most common route and if you’re starting from scratch, is likely the path you’ll take.
I’ll discuss the other options below.
Sign up to a hosting platform and launch your website
Almost all blog posts about starting a blog recommend Bluehost as the best web hosting platform. This is because they pay great affiliate commission and are the recommended web host by WordPress, a free blogging platform I highly encourage you to use.
Sure, you can go down the Wix route or Squarespace route, but there is a reason that WordPress powers over 42% of the web.
The goal here is to make launching and growing your lifestyle blog as easy and pain-free as possible, so do yourself a favour and choose the largest, easiest, most SEO friendly and widely used free web platform to build your site on.
So, back to hosting, as I said, WordPress themselves recommend Bluehost and for a cheap route to getting launched fast, they’re a safe bet.
I, however, for my blog, use WPX Hosting. It’s fast, reliable, the customer support is second to none, and for $24.99, I get a fully managed WordPress hosting solution. So they’re certainly my recommendation.
Either way, signing up for a hosting platform is easy. Simply follow the on-screen instructions, add all your details and away you go!
For more details and instructions, see the following;
How to install wordpress in 3 clicks with WPX Hosting
How to install wordpress in 4 clicks with Bluehost
If you don’t want to go through all the rigmarole of setting up your own self-hosted blog, another option is to buy an existing one!
Purchase an existing website
The benefits of buying an existing website are that it has already been built, designed, and launched; it’s likely already got some content and has built up some domain authority.
Domain authority is crucial as it’s how Google measures your website’s authority. Therefore, the higher your domain authority, the better chance you have of ranking your articles.
When you launch a brand new site you’ll start with a domain authority of 0. This will grow over time as you publish content and build backlinks from other websites and social media sites.
However, it takes time. Quite a lot of time. It can take years to build up your domain authority unless you’re engaged in quite an aggressive backlinking strategy, which can, by the way, get very expensive.
Bu purchasing an already existing site with a domain authority in the ‘20s or ‘30s gives you a springboard and will ensure many of your articles will likely start ranking from Day 1.
Visit sites like flippa.com or odys.global to see what’s available in your niche. Don’t let the domain name put you off as you can change that to your site name and keep the link juice, although that starts to get a bit technical, so I’ll save that for another blog post!
Another alternative to starting or buying your own blog, which is super fast, completely free, and a great testing ground, is to start publishing on Medium.
Start by publishing on Medium
Lifestyle blogging doesn’t have to mean building and launching your own website. In fact many lifestyle bloggers start on YouTube, Instagram, Tiktok or Medium.
If your long-term goal is to start and launch your own lifestyle blog, a great place to start testing your market and subject matter is publishing on Medium.
Medium is a completely free blogging platform and is a great starter alternative to a wordpress blog.
With absolutely no hosting or technical knowledge requirements whatsoever, you can create a Medium account and start publishing blog posts today!
With an audience of over 60 million/month, this is a great place to get your brand off the ground and to see which topics resonate the most with your potential audience.
If you’ve chosen Options 1 or 2, please continue with the next step. If you’re going to get started on Medium, head straight to Step 5.
4. Create a Simple Lifestyle Blog Design
If you’ve chosen to go down the WordPress route, the next step is to create yourself a simple lifestyle blog design.
Years ago blogs were judged on how pretty they were, with lots of images and videos looping in and out of our screens.
These days however speed trump’s aesthetics and therefore, it’s important to keep your blog design super simple, user friendly and easy to read and navigate.
My blog was designed by a good friend of mine using the DIVI theme; however, I wouldn’t recommend this as it’s quite a heavy theme and creates lots of code Google has to sort through before it can load the pages.
Many lifestyle bloggers these days use simple WordPress themes like Astra or Kadence.
These simple themes allow even beginner bloggers with no technical knowledge to create, attractive & user-friendly designs easily.
5. Create Lots of Content!
So now we’ve come to the most important part of starting launching and building your lifestyle blog. This is why sometimes it’s a good idea just to get going with a platform like Medium or even posting on social media.
Many bloggers, lifestyle or otherwise, get held up by the technical process of purchasing hosting, buying a domain name and launching a WordPress site.
The most essential part of building your lifestyle blog is to publish content, be seen, and start adding value as soon as possible.
In an ideal world, no matter which option you choose, your goal is to start publishing content from day one and then consistently publish content on either a daily, a weekly, or biweekly basis, whatever publishing schedule you can commit to.
I think this is the part where so many bloggers, influencers, solopreneurs, etc., trip themselves up.
They have a great idea for a blog, a brand, or a business, and they tie themselves up in knots building their website, course site, or product. But they forget that the most important part of building your online business is growing your audience.
To grow your audience, you must be publishing valuable, entertaining, educational, or informational content as often as possible.
So decide how often you’re going to post every week, make a list of all the different article headlines you can write about, and get creating.
Don’t worry about what you think will or won’t work with your audience in the early days. Your audience will soon tell you by views, by shares, and by feedback which posts are the ones that resonate with them the most.
Once you have some consistent data, you’ll know what kind of subjects and topics are the most popular, and you can focus more of your efforts on publishing content around those.
Get to work!
6. Promote Your Lifestyle Blog Content Across the Web
There are many ways to promote your blog content across the web, including joining blogging groups, forums, subReddits, answering questions on Quora, etc.
I’m going to focus on what I think are the most significant five routes to getting as many eyeballs on your blog posts as is humanly possible.
Build an email list
Without a doubt, the fastest and most profitable route to building your online business is to build an email list.
Even today, in 2023, most of the biggest blogs, and the biggest companies, generate their income via their subscribers.
Once again, however, this needs to be a fast and simple operation. As with building and launching a blog, creating a free offer and an email funnel is a bottleneck for many lifestyle entrepreneurs.
The ideal method is to create a free digital product such as a PDF, an e-book, a free video course, a template of some kind, a digital printable; you name it. However, you can simply invite readers to join your newsletter for a quick and easy start.
Start by signing up to an easy to use email platform. Most email platforms are free for under a certain number of subscribers, usually around 2000. I’ve just started testing out Flodesk which is only $19 a month for unlimited subscribers and emails, but you could also signup to platforms such as Mailchimp or Mailerlite, which are very good for beginners.
Create a simple signup form that says join my email newsletter to get exclusive content published for my email subscribers only and get it live on your website or medium account.
Then be sure to send out exclusive content once a week to those who sign up. This could take the form of another blog post not published publicly, or you could send some weekly inspiration with quotes or ideas, book reviews or whatever works in your niche.
The best thing to do is to sign up for other email funnels to see what other people in your niche and in other industries are doing as far as weekly newsletters are concerned. Then, find something that resonates with you and create something along those lines that’s unique to your industry.
As your website and your brand grow, and you start to get more views and more people subscribing, you can add a more targeted free offer such as a PDF or e-book and attract even more signups.
It’s best to keep it simple and start building your email list from day 1. For more details, check out my blog post, How to Build a Huge Email List of Hot Leads for Your Lifestyle Business.
If your goal is to build your lifestyle blog alongside your influencer social media account, search engine optimization is less important. However, if your goal is to build your lifestyle blog and start to rank on Google, you need to think about SEO from day one.
SEO is a huge topic, and there is no way that I can cover everything you need to know in a short paragraph in this section of this article.
However, here are the most salient parts of search engine optimization that you should be considering from the minute you launch your website.
If you’re just starting and have no domain authority, you’re going to need to be targeting low competition keywords. Depending on the niche that you’re in, that likely means they will also have low volume.
Do not let this deter you.
If you are publishing 2 to 3 blog posts a week, it’s incredible how fast you will start to gather views from low competition, low volume keywords. Now and again you will find a gem with low competition and higher volume. If you do, jump on it and write a superb article to take advantage of those extra views.
The best place to start learning about keyword research and SEO is to sign up for Ubersuggest by Neil Patel.
Not only is this a fantastic & competitively priced SEO tool, allowing you to do comprehensive keyword research, competitor analysis, and to monitor your own domain authority and traffic growth, Neil has hundreds of helpful videos on the keyword research and SEO process.
Publishing content on your website is the most important part of SEO. The entire point of building your lifestyle blog is to publish useful and valuable content that attracts an audience who will eventually purchase your goods and services.
Do not get so caught up in other processes that you are not consistently publishing blog posts on your blog. Instead, be sure to make publishing your blog posts your number one priority.
I’m not going to deny that I dislike link building intensely. I am a content creator at heart, so the process of sending out hundreds of emails essentially begging other bloggers for links or guest posts, chills my soul to the bone.
Therefore I don’t do it. Instead, I regularly respond to HARO requests. HARO stands for help a reporter out.
Once you sign up, every day you receive emails detailing content requests from journalists, bloggers, medium writers, news outlets, etc., looking for quotes or paragraphs of content in response to a question they may have for an article they are writing.
My link rate is anywhere between 10 to 20%, meaning that I may get one or two links for every 10 requests I respond to. I have found this to be a faster, easier & more pleasurable route to generating links.
If you think that you might be attracted to guest posting, I’ve included it as a separate point below as it is a powerful route to generate backlinks and increase the traffic coming to your website.
Lastly, speed is now a huge factor in SEO as I’ve mentioned before. In 2021 Google ran an algorithm update that included your ‘core web vitals’.
These are the time it takes for your page to load, the time it takes for all of your page elements to situate, and the time it takes for the user to interact with your page.
Put simply, the faster your site, the better chance you have of ranking.
In summary, your SEO strategy is to keep your site lean and mean from the word go, then regularly post well keyword researched content, coupled with generating links.
I’ve included guest posting as a separate traffic driver because it is beneficial for SEO purposes, and if you guest post for a popular publication, you are also going to drive traffic to your own site.
Guest posting is quite simply you writing a unique post for somebody else’s blog or website and including a link back to your site somewhere in the post.
Usually, guest posts have an author bio that’s published either at the beginning or the end of the post, which has a short blurb about you and a link back to your site or landing page of your choice.
You are also generally allowed to add one or two links back to your site in the body of your post.
Not only is this a great way of showcasing your writing talent and your brand to someone else’s trusted audience, but it’s also a superb way to build relationships with other bloggers in your niche.
The downside to guest posting is that thousands of bloggers attempt to secure guest posts on other people’s websites every day. Unfortunately, most email requests are under-researched, poorly written, and poorly targeted.
This means that your well researched, well written, and well-targeted email can sometimes get completely lost in the deluge of spammy emails bloggers are receiving.
For example, I receive around 10 emails a day from people asking for guest posts on my site. But, unfortunately, 99% are automated emails and irrelevant to my niche. Plus, I don’t even accept guest posts at this stage!
Although this will take time and work, the best route to guest posting is to make a list of all of the bloggers that you would love to write a guest post for.
Connect with them first on social media, like, comment and share their posts and their content, and start to build a relationship.
By ‘digging the well before you are thirsty’ as Jordan Harbinger says, you are more likely to get a favourable response when you reach out with an email or an instant message on social media to ask for a guest posting opportunity.
Also, check out my comprehensive blog post on guest posting for more tips and ideas.
How much attention you pay to posting regularly on social media depends on your blogging strategy.
If your goal is to start building your lifestyle blog via searches on google, then social media is less important. Instead, your main priority should be keyword research and all of the SEO practices I spoke about above.
If you want more creative freedom and are looking to build your lifestyle blog around your personality, stories, videos, podcasts, photography skills, etc., social media is a vital part of your long-term plan.
My best advice is to pick one social media platform that you will master. If you try to tackle more than one, you will diversify your efforts and struggle to build an audience.
Choose the platform you believe your target audience frequents and post your content on that platform as a priority.
Nothing’s stopping you creating a system whereby what you post on one platform gets shared on another, but your focus needs to be on the first platform and build your audience on that account.
Once you have built a significant audience on one social media platform, you will find it easier to expand to other social media sites and take your audience with you/build an even bigger audience base.
As Seth Godin says, “the shortcut is usually the longest route“.
The fastest route to success is to master one platform first.
Content syndication is simply a fancy way of saying re-publishing your content on other websites and platforms.
For instance, let’s say you start your lifestyle blog and re-publish your blog posts on Medium, (which, by the way, is a great idea). That is content syndication.
Similarly, if you re-publish your blog posts on LinkedIn articles, that is also content syndication.
However, the goal is to syndicate your content to publications with large audiences. For example, James Clear, author of ‘Atomic Habits’ started his hugely successful blog jamesclear.com back in 2012.
Immediately seeing that the guest posting landscape was saturated, James immediately engaged in content syndication with prominent publications like entrepreneur.com and lifehacker.com.
We’re not all about to become the James Clears of this world, who, alongside being probably one of the best selling authors of the last decade, recently reached over 1 million email subscribers.
However, we can learn from his strategies and reach out to publications open to re-publishing posts with a link back to the original author and publication.
For a detailed guide on getting started with content syndication, check out this blog post.
Please note if you are a solo lifestyle blogger, you will find it impossible to focus on too many different things at one time.
Therefore, choose only 1 or 2 strategies for promoting your blog and stick to those until you get some traction. Then, once you have a working system in place that generates results, you can start implementing other strategies.
7. Monetise Your Lifestyle Blog
It’s crucial to start monetising your lifestyle blog as early as possible. There is no doubt, even if you’re passionate about your niche, that your motivation will quickly wane if you’re not seeing any results.
Therefore no matter which monetisation route you choose, try to get it in place as soon as possible.
For example, if you want to make money via affiliate offers, start adding your affiliate links as soon as you have posts ranking.
If you’re going to be adding a course, create a minimum viable product that you can put on your website at a lower price and develop it as you grow with feedback from your audience.
If your goal is to generate income via advertising, check the traffic requirements for programs such as mediavine or adthrive; then, when you reach those traffic levels, strategically place ads and begin to generate revenue.
You’re not going to start seeing tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars come flying in overnight; however, even just seeing a trickle of income in those early days will give you the boost you need to keep going.
Knowing that you can generate money from your blog, even in small amounts, will bolster your confidence and give you proof that you’re in a money-making niche and can build a lifestyle business from your lifestyle blog.
For more tips on monetising your lifestyle blog, check out, How to Make Money Blogging.
10 Fundamental Tips for How to Start a Lifestyle Blog (that makes money!)
Now that you appreciate the awesome potential behind starting a lifestyle blog and the key steps to take to get it off the ground, let’s dig a little deeper into how to make it profitable.
1. Be Authentic
If you look at examples of successful lifestyle blogs, you’ll quickly realise how authentic they are.
They offer their readers insight into their lives and are open and honest, not merely superficial.
This is a crucial skill to stand out in the lifestyle blogging market, which is saturated with many bloggers seemingly out to make a quick buck, promoting products they don’t believe in.
Be someone who puts yourself and your life at the forefront, showing how your past experiences have moulded you.
This will build trust and, you’ll find it far easier to monetise your brand when it comes to it.
2. Focus on Your Readers
One of the most profitable ways to make money as a lifestyle blogger is by promoting products.
When telling your stories, be sure to focus on how products you’ve used or consumed benefit your target readers.
Even when you’re not talking about specific products, always maintain focus on how you’re benefiting your readers.
How do your stories & information add value to their lives?
3. Ensure Your Brand Has Room to Grow
Earlier in the section about choosing your niche, I talked about starting broad & narrowing down, or starting narrow and expanding.
Whichever route you choose as your audience grows and your blog builds traction, you’ll quickly discover what your audience most wants to hear about.
If you’ve started by calling yourself something like mariasgymexercises.com, but your audience prefers your diet advice and you want to expand into becoming more of a cooking blog, your name hasn’t left much room for creative expansion.
Instead, many lifestyle bloggers choose to brand the blog after themselves, like jennakutcher.com.
This gives you the ultimate in creative freedom. However, even if you prefer a name that’s more representative of your worldview, like mine, ensure it has space to grow in the future.
4. Pick Only 1 or 2 Lifestyle Blogging Promotional Strategies to Start With
It’s easy to think you need to be everywhere online to gain traction and try all the different promotional strategies.
The truth is, if you’re a solopreneur, you can’t take on lots of different tasks & hope to do all of them well.
Your best bet is to focus on 1 or 2 main strategies & as you build systems and see results, slowly expand over time.
- If your key strategy is SEO, focus on content & links.
- If you’re going down the social media route, pick one platform to master.
- If you like the sound of content syndication, become an expert at that.
Layer your promotional strategies as you generate income and are able to start outsourcing some tasks.
5. Up Your Photography Game
Depending on the niche you choose, you’ll likely need great quality visuals.
Whether these are pictures of you working out, playing with your kids, or redecorating a room in your home.
Quality images will take your content to a whole new level, no matter which platform you’re publishing on.
These days modern phones take amazing photos & videos, so you don’t need any specialist equipment.
Basic editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Snapseed are great for enhancing pictures and bringing them to life. However, if you are new to this, it may be worthwhile to take a course to help get yourself up to scratch.
I recommend Emil Pakarklis for incredible iPhone photography.
6. Collaborate With Other Blogs to Build Visibility
When you first start your lifestyle blog, it is natural to see other lifestyle blogs as competitors.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Instead, the sheer number of lifestyle bloggers out there indicates the demand for content and the opportunities around.
I encourage you to reframe your thinking and see other blogs as a way to help you succeed.
This means building win-win scenarios with other bloggers and helping to build your audiences alongside each other.
The best way to get started is to join groups & forums with other like-minded bloggers and join in some conversations.
Who knows what opportunities will pop up.
Here’s some groups I found;
7. Build an Email List From the Start
No matter which promotional strategy you choose, there is only one traffic source that you have complete control over.
Your email list.
If you’re reliant on SEO and Google changes their algorithm, you could lose traffic. If you’re reliant on social media and your account gets shut down, you could lose traffic. If you’re relying on syndication and your main partner publication stops publishing your articles, you could lose traffic.
If, however, you start building your email list from day one, you can amass thousands of target readers to whom you can promote new content with just the click of a button.
Also, an email list allows you to build a much more loyal following, as they regularly read your content each week.
These people are the ideal audience to whom you can sell new products or promote affiliate links.
For more guidance on this, check out my guide on how to build an email list.
8. Understand the Intent Behind Your Posts
To grow a blog that makes money, you need to understand the different types of content you will be publishing.
These can be broken down into:
- Entertaining – Getting to know you & your brand in an entertaining manner
- Informational – People looking for advice on a topic
- Transactional – People ready to make a purchase
Entertaining articles might include titles such as;
- Meeting Mark Zuckerberg on the Great Wall of China
- 10 Things About the UK I Didn’t Realise I Missed
These articles are the ultimate in creative expression and help your audience get to know the person behind the brand. They’re rarely for SEO purposes and are much more suited for sharing on social media or with your email list.
Informational articles might include things like:
- How to Start a Blog (and Make Money)
- How to Start a Life Changing Online Lifestyle Business
If people read these articles, they are not usually looking to buy. Instead, they are looking for helpful, valuable information.
However, please note that informational content is a great way to generate affiliate income, as people read your article and then follow your recommendations.
Transactional content tends to look like:
- Best Shopify Alternatives for Bloggers
- Best Travel Accessories for Solopreneurs
When searching for and reading this content, the reader is more likely to make a purchase.
Understanding this difference is key, as it helps you with your content plan.
I recommend writing a mix of these types of posts. Not everything on your review blog site should be a buying guide or product review, but at the same time, people do want your advice on what they should buy.
At the same time, your audience wants to know you better and is also looking for your knowledge and wisdom within your lifestyle niche.
Knowing the difference between the types of posts will help you choose where to place product links, affiliate offers or advertising.
9. As Soon as Possible Start Display Advertising
One of the best ways to start making money blogging is through ad revenue. The sooner you get this set up the quicker you can start to see some revenue and results from your efforts.
The faster you can do that, the more motivation you’ll have to keep going.
The immediate route is to use Google AdSense. This doesn’t give the best user experience however, so as soon as you get to 10,000 hits a month I recommend you sign up to Ezoic, then when you get to 50k+ you can apply to Mediavine and eventually at 100k+ AdThrive.
10. Approach Blogging Like a CEO
I first heard this tip from successful affiliate blogger Adam Enfroy.
If you want to build a successful lifestyle blog, you can’t just be a blogger.
Being a blogging CEO means taking a top-level approach to your business as early as possible.
This could mean bringing in outside help to deal with things you simply don’t have the time or skills to do, such as:
- Creating graphics
- Fixing site bugs
- Improving site speed
- Writing content
- Responding to emails
It’s doubtful that the most popular bloggers have built their successful blogs independently.
Instead, they’ve built a team around them who take care of the day-to-day tasks, freeing up their time to focus on the bigger jobs at hand, such as diversifying income streams, finding new brand collaborations, or speaking at events.
Blogging like a CEO also means investing both your time and your money.
While you don’t need to spend a fortune to get started (and can get going entirely for free if you choose the Medium route) you will, (eventually) need a decent theme, hosting, and domain name.
It may also make sense to spend money educating yourself by purchasing online courses or attending events as you progress.
How to Start a Lifestyle Blog Summary
When my husband & I set out on our online adventure 11 years ago, I had no idea we were building a lifestyle business. We were simply not sure if blogging was still relevant or dead, or if we could make money from it.
We simply wanted to travel the world & generate an income online to give us the freedom to do so.
Even though we have had great success and have built 6 & 7 figure life-changing businesses along the way, if I could go back & start again, I would have started with a lifestyle blog.
Creating a ‘home’ that showcases your journey over time as both you & your business grow, gives you longevity, a recognisable brand and a loyal audience who feel they’ve been part of your adventure.
Follow the tips above and don’t delay. Start your own lifestyle blog today!