Last summer, 2019, I started a brand new blog. It’s a lifestyle blog and I was breaking my own rules. The plan was to test out what works and what doesn’t to update my blogging guides.
The challenge was to launch and build a lifestyle blog as quickly as possible. To find out just how long it takes to make your first $500.
The Lifestyle Blog (Full Disclosure)
I’d had the blog for a while, nearly 7 months before this “new start”, so technically I was cheating. But before you click away, here are the organic visits to the blog for the last 3 months before my new start:
16 in total. A few people have wandered on to the site by accident.
When I bought the domain from SiteGround I didn’t realise it had some history and I’d picked up a few visits from people looking to build big muscles. I’m afraid they were disappointed.
Back in November 2018, I added two rambling posts and an about page and that was it. The Pinterest account I set up remained completely blank with zero followers.
Starting A Lifestyle Blog From Scratch
Last May, (2019), I installed the plugin WP Reset and used it to wipe my blog back to a blank WordPress site. The site is hosted with SiteGround. I installed the Mai Pro Lifestyle Theme available through StudioPress.
I spent a day setting up the blog and 2 weeks churning out posts. By the end of May I was ready to launch with 30 posts to promote on Pinterest.
Why so many? It was an experiment. Usually I recommend writing posts around 1000+ words. (I’ve since worked out that your post length needs to match the average length of the top 10 posts for your target keyword on Google).
The first 30 posts on my new blog LoveLifeBeFit.com were all short list posts that were easy to write. The average word length was just 300.
I also broke my rule about categories. Normally I suggest going for only two or three categories when you first start a blog. For this lifestyle blog I started with six!
Yes it’s a lot but it’s a magazine style site and with the aim of producing frequent new content – short posts for a high traffic volume site.
Income For My Lifestyle Blog
I set up Amazon Associates and added a few links to books and relevant items. The aim is to eventually add adverts.
Yes I know! I don’t like adverts. But they have their place. It can be something that works for lifestyle blogs because they lend themselves to high volume traffic.
The plan is to add other affiliate schemes as the blog grows, for example, recommended favourite items to entice visitors to buy.
Traffic For My Lifestyle Blog
It was Pinterest all the way starting out. Short 300 word posts don’t make much of an impact on Google. Two months in and I started writing longer posts, typically around 1000 words.
The topics I chose all get a huge following on Pinterest, especially healthy eating and fitness. I used to write about these topics with my last business, (an outdoor ecommerce store), so I have some idea how popular they can be. (I wasn’t disappointed – some of my posts took off big time!)
As soon as I launch my blog properly I spent a lot of time pinning. I also installed Social Warfare Pro on my blog so my visitors are be tempted to save my pins with the Pin It feature.
I set up a Public Group on FaceBook but I haven’t put much effort into it. As far as social media goes it’s been Pinterest all the way.
In terms of traffic the blog is a success, hitting almost enough sessions to apply to MediaVine in it’s second month. Traffic nose-dived last August with Pinterest algorithm changes (or maybe it was just the summer recess) and picked up again in September.
I talked about my challenge at last September’s Blogging Mum’s Conference and then moved onto other challenges and interests. The blog lay idle…
Find out how I got on! There’s been some surprising results after I left my blog idle over the winter. It just goes to show a blog can really be a long-term investment.
I may not have made much money from my lifestyle blog just yet but it’s slowly growing a presence on both Pinterest, (1,500 followers), and on Google. All with very little effort in recent months!