Lifestyle blogs are a popular medium today, allowing writers to connect with readers about beauty, style, fashion or family. They often provide readers with helpful tips about improving their appearance or health.
When writing a blog that focuses so much on style and image, it’s important that the blog itself also focuses on style and image.
The best blogs focus on three core areas – branding, design and writing. Focusing your blog on these core tenets ensures that you’ll attract more readers and more income.
Here are tips for how to improve your blog in each of the three areas.
Branding Blog Tips
Know Your Audience
Who are you trying to reach with your blog? Knowing who your audience is will help in each of the three main areas. It’s essential to understand your target readers and the characteristics that they have in common. Pinpointing the audience, or audiences, helps you determine how your blog looks and what to write about.
Establish a Hook
There are thousands of lifestyle blogs out there. So even after you pick a broad topic to focus on, you’ll need a hook – a niche or focus that stands apart from the competition. Your hook should be compelling, and can be related to the content, your expertise, your desired audience, or another specificity related to the topic.
Determine a Frequency and Stick to It
Decide how frequently you can write your blog and then stick to that schedule. Readers will expect regular, consistent content from you. There’s nothing worse than going to a blog website and seeing months or years having gone by between posts.
Be careful not to bite off too much. Blogs take some time to craft and you do not want to overextend yourself. It’s far better to add more blogs later rather than promise content and not deliver.
How often should you post? Best practices recommend at least weekly blog content. That schedule will keep readers bought in. Also consider how often you’ll have news or updates to share, how often your competitors post and what resources (mostly time) you have to commit to the blog.
Pick a Name … and a Domain Name
Your blog will need a catchy, memorable name, one that relates to your hook and areas of expertise. If your lifestyle blog is also going to tie into an e-commerce business you run, you may be able to use the company name in your blog name. Otherwise, consider a name that readers will be able to recall and share easily.
When deciding on your name, research possible domains at the same time. A good domain name makes it easier for readers to find you and share the link with friends.
Make sure your name and domain name are memorable and easy to type in. Consider using keywords related to your hook as part of the name and keep it short, ideally 6 to 14 letters.
You’ll also need to decide on a platform and host for your blog. There are many free blogging sites, but if you want to monetize your blog, you probably want your own domain. Be sure to learn about which platforms are easiest to use and have the design features you need.
Build Your Audience
A blog needs readers and that means spending time to grow your audience. You’ll want to build an email list of subscribers that allows you to notify them of new content, pitch them products or services you’re promoting and connect to them directly.
One way to grow your audience is to have a strong social media presence. Research the social media sites that your readers frequent and establish your own presence there. Your blog can be repurposed for multiple social media posts, drawing in new readers.
SEO – search engine optimization – is a practice that helps your blog rank higher among those using various search engines. SEO plugins can help to optimize your blog with keywords and other elements that make your site stand out each time you publish new content. You don’t need to be a pro, but it’s great to get to know the basic elements of SEO, while making the most of automated plugins like Yoast.
Design Blog Tips
Consider Site Navigation
Site navigation is a basic element of any good website, but often is an overlooked element that bloggers neglect. Be sure to create a layout and stick with it. The layout and navigation should be, above all, reader-friendly. You want people to be able to find what they need, have an easily accessible menu and a simple navigation. If your blog is confusing for readers or difficult to read, viewers will click away and find what they need elsewhere.
Create a Strong Logo
A logo is a graphic element that complements your brand. For a lifestyle blog, a logo is a memorable component that is a clear visual indication of your blog, what it’s about and grabs a reader’s attention.
A strong logo is a great way to build a powerful first impression, telling readers what your blog is and why they should read it. It’s a core element, along with the colors, fonts and graphics that combine to form your blog’s visual identity.
A great logo can separate you from your competition and forge stronger brand loyalty. When you use your blog logo in other places, such as social media sites, newsletters and emails, you reinforce what makes you … you.
Remember, your audience, especially in the beginning, will expect the familiar. A great logo is a smart way to build that recall and connect with your readers. You can create a logo with an online logo tool to get a head start on your blog branding with minimal effort.
Use Scannable Formatting
You want to create a blog that people can scan quickly and pick up on the key ideas. While you hope that all your readers will read every word you write, the reality is that many readers won’t take the time to do so.
Scannable formatting has many elements, but the key is to use them consistently and where appropriate. Among the best scannability elements to include are:
- Short sentences
- Short paragraphs of 1-2 sentences
- Subheads that deliver key points
- Bullet points
- Judicious use of bold and italics
Add Images to Deliver and Reinforce
Images are an essential part of your blog. Images can provide depth and reinforce your points. Be sure to choose images that are bold, well-framed and relevant to the topic of your post. Finding free photos is simple to do or you can subscribe to one of several services that provide royalty-free access to thousands of pictures.
Don’t limit your visuals to photos only. Infographics, charts and other visuals can also enhance your blog.
Remember Tools, Especially Plugins
There are hundreds of free or inexpensive tools that help to integrate your blog with other sites and functions. The best tools will save you time and effort. Consider tools that will schedule your social media posts or provide plugins to sites like Instagram or Pinterest.
You also want tools that will help market your blog. Email marketing is a great way to expand your blog’s reach and notify subscribers that new content is available.
Writing Blog Tips
Write for Relevance
While your blog will have a hook, you also need to determine what content works best for your audience. You need it to be relevant and effective for getting your point across.
Determining what to write about can be a challenge, especially for new bloggers.
One way to think about what to write about is to use keywords. Google Trends is a great way to get a handle on what’s trending around the world. You can plug in keywords related to your blog idea to see how relevant your topic is.
Write What You Know
Blog readers expect authority from the content they consume. They want authors to know what they’re talking about.
Imagine writing about the lifestyle elements that you care about, have deep knowledge about and are interested in. If you can bring that passion to everything you write, you will convey confidence and deliver engaging, insightful blogs every time.
Conversely, if you are unsure about what you write about, it’s likely to come across in your writing. If readers are not convinced you know the subject matter in your blog posts, they are less likely to return.
Focus on Headlines
Want to grab your readers? Be sure your headlines are dynamic and catch readers’ attention. You want to use active words and keywords to inspire readers to read more. There are online tools available that will track the readability and how effective your headlines are, which can help to refine headlines to attract readers.
Invite a Guest Blogger
Occasionally, you may want to have a guest write your blog. Subject matter experts, fellow employees or partners or other guests can add credibility and context to your blog.
Guest bloggers can also help with cross-promotion, expanding the reach of your blog by connecting your writing to the followers of your guest. Choose a well known influencer in your niche for maximum results.
Your lifestyle blog is an incredible opportunity to share with readers your perspectives on how to lead better lives. Having the right brand, design and writing approaches will give your blog the sparks that lead to publishing success.