In the summer of 2019, I started a brand new lifestyle blog. It was my summer challenge: “Can You Make Money With A Lifestyle Blog?” Here I talk about how I got on over the summer months and what’s happened since.
I reveal all about what to expect when you start a lifestyle blog in my video… Making Money Blogging With A Brand New Lifestyle Blog (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly).
Niche Or Broad Topic Blog
I’ve always had the view it’s better to start a niche blog than a broad topic blog. This is the advice I give to my students. But what if I was wrong?
Now some people may be happy to leave their convictions untested but I’m just not one of those people. I always need to know. So this is how my summer challenge came about.
What if I set up a broad topic lifestyle blog to test out all my assumptions? Find out what it’s really like to blog about lots of different topics?
Can You Make Money With A Lifestyle Blog?
To find out how I got on it’s best to watch the video:
I got some amazing traffic in just my second month of blogging and my first sale in just 41 days.
You can read all about it in these posts:
My lifestyle blog had it’s ups and downs over the first summer. It’s like that with all new blogs. One minute you’re elated when you get your first sale or a big hike in traffic to your blog.
The next you’re on the verge of giving up when your affiliate sale is refunded or Pinterest has changed their algorithm AGAIN and your traffic has taken a nose dive!
Starting a lifestyle blog is definitely about playing the long-term game. Unlike a niche blog, lifestyle blogs are generally high traffic sites making money from advertising and low commission Amazon affiliate sales.
It is possible to get some incredible traffic from social media from almost the word go but this traffic can be unreliable. Achieving the growth you need to make a full-time blogging income will take up to a year for most bloggers. It will depend on the popularity of your posts on a platform such as Pinterest and your success ranking your posts on Google with SEO.
Did My Lifestyle Blog Make Money In Just 4 Months?
Yes, but not very much. I was thrilled by my traffic in the first few months but wanted to hold off putting adverts on my blog. Instead I waited until I could sign up with MediaVine.
MediaVine is an advertising network that typically pays out at least double the amount you can make on AdSense. Realistically most people can make around $600 to $1000 per month from advertising once they hit the MediaVine threshold of 50,000 sessions.
For a blog that’s mainly making an income from advertising and Amazon Associates, expect to aim for a traffic level of 100,000 to 250,000 monthly sessions to hit a full-time income. It’s certainly doable if you’re writing frequently about popular topics. It all depends on the income level you’re aiming for.
Just about all my effort in the first few months went into growing traffic. I failed to focus on affiliate sales until 3 to 4 months in and never really made a success of affiliate marketing until I hit the 12 month mark.
You need to write articles that fulfill a need and offer a solution to make money from affiliate marketing.
These types of articles tend to draw less traffic. I found it made sense to play the long game – focus on the high traffic articles first and then write the type of posts that convert for affiliate income.
Conclusion. Can You Make Money With A Lifestyle Blog?
Niche is best.
I still think niche is best. You have better focus and it’s easier to attract followers interested in your subject. It’s easier to dominate on Google in organic rankings with a niche blog.
Niche blogs are also terrific if you want to create products or sell services.
Yet it can be a lot easier starting out with a broad topic blog… you just blog about popular topics and promote them on social media.
Update February 2020
I first wrote this post in September 2019, gave my talk at the Blogging Mum’s Conference and stopped working on my lifestyle blog. I did absolutely nothing except keep my Tailwind feed for my Pinterest pins topped up.
You would expect my traffic to die off completely. It dropped to about 9000 sessions in October and stayed consistently at this level until the end of the year (not a great time of year for fitness posts). Yet in this time my organic traffic from Google jumped 240% as my posts started to get traction in the search rankings.
It was interesting to see what happens when you leave a blog alone and do nothing! Finally, after 3 whole months, I cracked and wrote four short new posts at the start of January.
Even before I wrote the new posts, my traffic from Pinterest in January had started to pick up. It was January – all those new starts and fitness resolutions.
My January 2020 traffic almost matched my September 2019 at 13,223 sessions but 20% of my traffic came from Google. This has continued to grow and Google is now by far my main traffic source.
Update August 2020
My lifestyle blog was accepted by Mediavine part way through May 2020. At the time I had around 30,000 monthly traffic sessions but by June 2020 this had jumped to 50,000 sessions with almost 70% of this traffic coming from Google.
I have been blown away by the income I’m making from this blog with very little effort. I cut back on the number of topics and made sure all my topics are related focusing on health and fitness. Most of my successful posts are about running.
This seems to be key – you can make money from a lifestyle blog but it needs to have a strong focus. Start with no more than 2 to 3 topics and make sure they’re related – likely to appeal to the same readers. For example I’m mainly writing about running, yoga, healthy eating and weight loss.
Social media will generate traffic when your blog is new but for long term growth you need to learn SEO. The aim is to write posts you can rank with a new blog on Google. Target achievable keywords and write great content. Find out more in my first blog income report.
Update December 2020
My blogging income from my lifestyle blog continues to grow and you can read all about it in my latest blog income reports. If you’d told me after my summer experiment in 2019 ended I’d be making so much money from my lifestyle blog I would have been sceptical.
No doubt you’re sceptical yet I’ve grown my lifestyle blog without advertising, just using Pinterest and Google SEO. Writing the posts people want to read, answering the questions people are searching for.
Elsewhere on the internet you’ll find people talking about “Blogging is dead”. It’s so competitive, no-one can possibly get ranked on Google or make any money.
Well hopefully I’ve shown you it’s not true.
Maybe it’s a little harder than 10+ years ago and the focus has changed. Blogging is not longer the romantic “I’ll just write about anything I feel like today”, instead it’s creating content. Writing targeted posts at a targeted audience. This gets results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes definitely but it takes time and hard work to make a good income from a lifestyle blog. There are many different ways to add income to your blog. The easiest, when you’re a new blogger, are advertising and affiliate marketing.
This is a tough question to answer. A lot of lifestyle bloggers don’t disclose their income. There are a few very successful bloggers who shout a lot about the huge amounts of money they make. For most people it will take time to build up a modest income. From my recent challenge of setting up a lifestyle blog, I believe you can expect to make $500 to $1000/month within a year if you work consistently on your blog and write about popular topics. Some people will be more successful but this is a reasonable target for most people.
Think of a lifestyle blog as a restricted window into the author’s everyday life. It’s a blog about their interests but very different to a personal blog. The blog is written for the benefit of the reader rather than a diary about what the blogger does everyday. It may include personal insights but it’s mainly a blog full of how-to articles, advice and inspiration.