Soft focus pictures, cute babies and envious locations…welcome to the world of lifestyle blogging. So what is a lifestyle blog? Is it really just a blogging version of an Instagram feed?
Let’s dig into some winning examples and find out what it takes in 2020 to make it as a lifestyle blogger…
Definition Of A Lifestyle Blog
There’s no official definition of a lifestyle blog. It’s not surprising when blogging is such a new activity. It wasn’t until Blogger arrived in the late 1990’s that blogging really became a thing.
Tweaking the blogging definition from the Collins Dictionary gives me this:
A lifestyle blog is a website where someone regularly records their thoughts or experiences or talks about aspects of their daily lives.
And that’s about as clear as mud!
If this was true you could write about anything and everything… and it would still be a lifestyle blog. It just has to relate in some way to the life you live.
So lets bring the definition of lifestyle blogs into the current decade and provide some clearer guidance.
What Exactly Is A Lifestyle Blog?
It some ways it’s easier to talk about what doesn’t count as a lifestyle blog.
A lifestyle blog isn’t a personal blog.
Once upon a time it might have been okay just to blog about yourself, your personal life story and what you got up to everyday.
There was a period before 2010 when these types of blogs could be really successful, even if you had an ordinary life. Wife in the North is a good example.
The writer Judith O’Reilly started her blog in 2006. She does write extremely well, about her horror of suddenly finding herself living “Up North”.
It’s amusing, in a distorted and totally offensive to the locals kind of a way, but I doubt the same approach would work today. (Tip: If you’re going to dish your neighbours, make sure they can’t work out you’re writing about them).
Instead they’d be shots of cute kids running through fields of flowers, seascapes at sunset and lists of 10 things to do on a day out in Northumberland.
Most personal blogs started in the last few years are hobby blogs, written mainly for enjoyment and have a small following. Few make the jump into income generation.
Those that do tend to focus on a niche.
Now don’t get me wrong. There’s still a place for personal blogs but they’ve changed. You can blog about how you overcame a difficulty or faced up to a challenge – excessive weight loss, mental health issues, walking to the North Pole… these are all popular topics that attract strong followings. Just don’t call them lifestyle blogs.
A lifestyle blog is reader focused.
It may seem that a lifestyle blog is about your life, but at best it’s about your interests, with personal views and thoughts sprinkled on top.
Little pieces and glimpses of your life scattered like hundreds and thousands adding color to information and activity posts.
Of course there are exceptions. Some bloggers manage to pull off a heady mix of deeply personal posts alongside your must-do list for a trip to New Zealand. Yet it’s still a bit like reading about your friends through the peephole of a FaceBook feed.
I could recall my walk around Berwick earlier today by recounting the seal I spotted from the pier, my fav Lowry view out over the ocean and drinking oat milk latte with my guy at our local cafe.
Only one of those statements happened this morning and it leaves out the coke heads still in party mode at 11am, the rows of boarded up shops or the debris of a town in the aftermath of a typical Friday night.
The successful lifestyle blogs are inspirational. Reality is air-brushed out. Instead, you’re providing the information and tools to help your readers shoot for their dreams.
I don’t know if anyone still buys printed magazines but your lifestyle blog is the modern replacement. If Elle started out today it would be a lifestyle blog focused on fashion and beauty.
Lifestyle blogs are easy to read and full of images to attract attention. Your readers want to be that woman with the happy child standing in the field of flowers.
Lifestyle blogs often start as niche blogs.
It’s a lot easier to grab attention in an over-crowded blogging world with a niche blog. Many lifestyle blogs will start out this way.
A blogger starts a fitness blog. When it starts to take off she adds a section about her latest travel adventures or her favorite weight loss tips.
It’s far better to write convincingly about two or three topics than fail to maintain a blog covering several interests.
As a rule, if you’re going to cover lots of different topics, you need to be posting frequently, several times a week. New posts to engage returning followers. Just like writing a magazine.
Your Lifestyle Blog Is Unique.
Your writing may not be heavily founded in reality, but it will reflect your story.
It would be hard to pull off a family focused blog if you don’t have children or a blog about life as a 20-something party goer if you’re in your forties and living in the country.
The mix of topics will represent your interests but it’s best to stick to those topics with broad appeal – food, travel, fashion, home decor, beauty, fitness and family.
A Lifestyle Blogger Can Be Incognito.
This can be a little hard to pull off but it’s not impossible. There are quite a few bloggers who manage to stay anonymous.
It’s trickier once you’re earning income from your blog. You’d need to give your real name to sponsors, PayPal, affiliates and anything with legal implications.
There’s also a requirement to disclose your company name and contact details on your blog. You can choose to hide your identity on your actual blog, but it just takes a quick check on Google to find the Company details along with the names of officers.
Instead of trying to be fully anonymous it’s probably better to be open from the start about who you are. You can still choose to keep images and personal details you share to a minimum.
How Do Lifestyle Blogs Make Money?
Successful lifestyle bloggers normally build high traffic blogs by writing about popular topics. They are often trend setters and influencers, engaging loyal followers across social media (Instagram, FaceBook, YouTube, Pinterest).
This makes a lifestyle blogger really attractive for advertising partnerships, sponsorship and sponsored content.
This is probably the most obvious income source for a high traffic lifestyle blog. The holy grail for new bloggers is MediaVine, an advertising network that pays out at a much higher rate than AdSense, but you do need to hit a threshold of 50,000 sessions/month before you can apply.
This is a way of making money that’s ideal for lifestyle bloggers. As you start to build a following, you’ll often be approached by companies wanting you to promote their products.
It can be a really good way to build an income provided you approach it the right way. You don’t want your blog to become dominated by sponsored posts and it’s best to make sure you have editorial freedom. This way you can make sure your reviews are always believable.
There are so many opportunities to talk about products you love when you’re a lifestyle blogger. Make the most it by promoting affiliate products.
Every time some one buys a product via a link from your site, you earn a commission. How good is that! The commission can vary from around 4% with Amazon to as much as 50% or more for some digital products.
Setting Up A Store
Once you have a following the possibilities are endless. Your lifestyle blog is a source of traffic to direct to your very own store. Beauty products, jewellery, clothing, home decor or just mugs and t-shirts!
You can even combine your blog with a printable store, write a book or create a course. Launching your products will be so much easier with a strong audience.
Starting Your Lifestyle Blog
It’s easier enough to start your lifestyle blog and my start a blog guide will walk you through each step. Hit pause a minute before you make a commitment and give an honest answer to these questions:
- Are you always “that person” snapping pics wherever you go and are they amazing?
- Can you pull off the “beautiful person” image…even managing to look your best when you’ve got free range toddlers to control.
- Are you and your family okay with having their day-to-day life exposed to the world (even if it is in a controlled way)?
You can choose to limit the information you share. Chasing Foxes does and I take the same low key approach on my own lifestyle blog.
It’s okay to do this but if you’re going to do the whole family expose thing make sure you’ve checked in with everyone first. (Don’t forget those cute little kids who love posing for shots can turn into camera shy teenagers).
When you start a lifestyle blog it doesn’t have to be about the life you have right now. It can be about about your ideal life.
Writing your blog will be an inspiration for you as much as your readers. You’ll be building this “ideal life” through your blog.
Your Blogging Blend
The best way to come up with your blend is to start off by analysing the blogs you admire and enjoy.
Pick three to five blogs and note down their main topics and type of content. Come up with some adjectives to describe each blog.
Answer these questions:
- Is there an overlap between the blogs you’ve chosen?
- Which topics can you really relate to?
- Do some descriptive adjectives appeal more than others?
Take you answers and use them to come up with two or three topics. You can always add more later as your blog fills with content.
Decide the tone of you blog. Is it formal or friendly? Elite or recommending budget friendly products?
Write one sentence describing your new blog.
Remember the tone must be something you can maintain. It’s easier if it truly reflects you.
Picture how you want your blog to look in five years time. Build an image in your head of your fabulous lifestyle blog. It’s your unique work, your life – not a copy of your favorite blog.
Think about the posts you’ll be writing. Are these posts you can happily write for the next three to five years? Topics you love and obsess about.
If the answer is yes, you’re ready to start.
15 Successful Lifestyle Blogs
I’m sure you already have your own set of favorite lifestyle blogs, but here are some terrific examples you can check out to for inspiration.
A Beautiful Mess
A Beautiful Mess by sisters Elsie & Emma writes mainly about craft, home decor and recipes. The site is mainly how-to posts with a little style advice written around their family lives in the Midwest.
Cupcakes & Cashmere
Cupcakes & Cashmere by Emily Schumann has grown from a blog about fashion, food and beauty to a business empire with its own clothing store!
Love Taza, a blog by Naomi Davis covers family adventures, food and travel from their base in New York City.
A Cup Of Jo
A Cup Of Jo uses as very simple but effective layout. The author Joanna Goddard writes about style, food, travel and relationships. The blog started as a side hustle and now employs a team of writers.
Chasing Foxes is a mixture of style, travel and food with some life skill tips thrown in. The owners Grace & Silos keep their full identity under wraps writing easy to read posts full of lifestyle tips and advice.
Happy Grey Lucky
Happy Grey Lucky writes about home decor, motherhood and lifestyle tips from author Sina’s base in Toronto.
Aww Sam is an upbeat blog about baked goods and crafts. The author Sam Ushiro is an industrial designer, stylist and donut lover!
Bright Bazaar by Will is mainly about home decor, style and travel. His refreshing approach to color is guaranteed to bring a smail to your day.
Camille Styles has evolved into a comprehensive lifestyle blog with a team of writers. Topics include food, style and travel.
Quintessence exposes the discerning taste of author Stacy Bewkes. The strongest categories are architecture and interior design.
Barefoot Blond by Amber Fillerup writes mainly about haircare mixed in with posts of motherhood, fashion and travel.
Happy Fit Mama
Happy Fit Mamma is a blog about fitness and food. Angela Bekkala is a running coach posting wonderful recipes and ideas for fitness workouts.
Wit & Delight
Wit & Delight was started by Kate Arends and has evolved into a blog with 3 million+ followers covering just about everything lifestyle related.
Deliciously Ella is a wonderful example of how a personal blog can evolve into something much much more.
Love Life Be Fit
Love Life Be Fit by yours truly. Yes I know it’s a little cheeky adding my own blog to this list. I’m not even sure if it’s strictly a lifestyle blog but it relates to my lifestyle and interests of fitness, healthy eating and outdoor adventure.
Conclusion – What Is A Lifestyle Blog?
Lifestyle blogs tend to be a reflection of both the writer and the followers aspirations. It’s presenting the best take on your life to inspire your readers.
These types of blogs are image rich with easy to read posts.
The style of blog can vary greatly – some are focused purely on the author’s day-to-day life, others on how-to articles and information posts.
Often followers will influence the mix of topics as authors respond to popular posts with similar content.
Authors can choose to share personal details or keep incognito.
Frequently Asked Questions
A lifestyle blog is a type of website where a blogger regularly records their thoughts or experiences or talks about aspects of their daily lives. Lifestyle blogs are normally image rich with easy to read posts.
Being a lifestyle blogger means you’re creating content inspired by your day-to-day experiences or interests.
It’s definitely possible to be an influencer without a blog. It’s possible to gain a following and make a living through social media platforms such as Instagram or YouTube. Having a blog creates an extra income stream and it can be more effective promoting products on a blog rather than social media.