As each new generation grows up versed in digital content creation tools, more people are posting their content to blogs each day. Sometimes it can feel like a flood of voices online. Your blog might be unique, but how can it really be heard amid all that cacophony?
The truth is that not all blogs exist in the same space. Some, like travel, are highly crowded. You’ll struggle to compete with established travel bloggers who already have thousands of followers and have logged way more trips than you.
Others are very niche. An example would be blogs dedicated to fans of TV shows. They have limited competition and are bound to resonate with a particular audience. But where do they go with their content once the series is over?
In between those extremes, you’ll find a range of lifestyle blogs. These can give you the right balance in terms of flexibility, diversity, and audience reach. Here are the elements you need to get right to carve out your space in this blogging realm.
All blogs offer a form of content curation. Readers know what sort of articles, promotions, or other media features they can expect when they subscribe to your site.
Thus, every successful blogger knows that looking good in photos or videos isn’t only for dating services. If they make an appearance, they make an effort to be presentable while also remaining authentic. They spend extra time editing articles and images for cohesion.
However, curation is the very essence of a lifestyle blog. It’s the actual value proposition you deliver to your readers. You are offering them a lens through which to view the world and shape their personal lives accordingly.
Understanding that might make you think twice about what ads you allow on pages or which affiliate marketing campaigns you want to work with. You might want to reconsider having a certain guest on your podcast or featuring an establishment you wouldn’t really patronize.
For a lifestyle blog, curating content is inseparable from authenticity. Sure, you might want to make some money from blogging, if only to offset the costs invested. But don’t let that dictate or compromise the unique lifestyle perspective you’re presenting.
When it comes to engagement, marketers love to emphasize the impact of videos and images. And there’s no doubt that pictures do paint a thousand words. In a medium like the Internet, which is notorious for its brevity, using effective visuals is a great way to communicate a lot of information quickly.
At the end of the day, however, blogging is still all about the written content. Your followers will want to see inspiring lifestyle images, but they can just as easily head over to Instagram or Pinterest for the same.
What truly sets you apart is your skill at the craft of writing. That’s a mix of technical qualities, such as grammar and vocabulary, and more intangible stuff like style and personality. Your topics have to hit a niche and have a readership, giving people what they want.
Whether you want to be intellectual and factual or keep it real, practical, and simple, the choice is yours. But you have to be consistent. People will subconsciously respond to that because it comes across as a single voice.
Even in the virtual world, content doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You curate the topics you find interesting and the media you upload. You write with a specific slant and express your own ideas. But if you ignore the final element of the puzzle, you’re doing your readers (and ultimately, yourself) a disservice.
That element is the container. It’s the design of the blog itself. Think of it like a magazine. After all, what is a lifestyle blog but an online evolution of the lifestyle mags of yesteryear?
Magazines are helmed by editors and written by contributing journalists, but the entire presentation is thoughtfully and tastefully designed. Of course, most bloggers will definitely spend a lot of time choosing a theme with a clean layout and typography.
But have you considered the entire user experience? For instance, how easy is it for a user to find related posts on a certain topic? If your content’s verbosity varies greatly, do they get an estimate of how much reading time a piece involves?
Some user experience elements of a blog are ported directly from its print ancestors. But others are unique to the format. Take the time to explore the options in depth. And just as your lifestyle content and writing skill can evolve, see to it that you do the same with the design itself.