Tuesday, 24 February 2015

How to be a great lifestyle blogger - Part 1

Hey Lovelies
I've had people ask me quite a lot about how/why I chose lifestyle blogging as opposed to the regular entertainment, news and gossip blogging styles.



For me it was easy, the motive with starting a blog was to talk about my personal experiences and things that interested me.

I just called my blog a personal blog and decided I would keep it personal until I discovered that it was actually a blogging style where you share bits about you.
In the past, I used to see it as a 'janylbenyl's private space' where I was just documenting these things for the fun of it but when I understood it better, I rebranded to 'janylbenylshares' because quite frankly, the idea isn't for me to come here and sit around and talk to myself. In that period of trying to figure out what I was really doing and rebranding, I picked up a few notes that I think would be beneficial for everyone who wants to take a chance with lifestyle blogging. Since JanylBenyl loves to share, I thought I might share these tips with y'all :)

First off, what does lifestyle blogging entail? 
Lifestyle blogging simply means that you blog about aspects of your life. 
Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Find a good name
For me, I simply thought that changing my URL to www.janylbenylshares.com would throw more light on what my blog was about. I share snippets of my life (I do not share everything) and my tagline completed it with 'No dull moments with Janyl Benyl'.
I thought with these, it's easy to have an idea of what my blog could be about. And then I have the description right at the fore front to confirm everything when you get here. When you see a blogger use his/her name/pseudonym for her blog, it will most likely be a lifestyle blog. I know this is not always the case, but it is more practical to think that if someone is using their name, then you should most likely be expecting that they would be keeping things personal or at least try to come from a personal perspective.

2. Find a niche
I think this can be restrictive - It can be good, it can also be bad. It is good because people can easily categorize your blog as a travel blog for instance, if you love traveling and you love to talk about your trips. In that case your blog would function as a travel blog and a lifestyle blog.  However, if things change and you no longer love to travel again for instance, then you realize that your blog loses its essence. After building a followership of traveling enthusiasts for a while, it might be hard to start to talk about your pets for instance without it feeling different and you losing people. However, there are so many people that have been able to carve a good niche for themselves through lifestyle blogging. J'adore Fashion loves to share her outfits. It is a lifestyle blog but over the years, people easily file it under a fashion blog. I think if she stopped sharing on fashion, she would lose a whole chunk on her readership.
I on the other hand, I decided not to have a clearly spelled out niche but I try to keep my posts within context. My particular target is to inspire people with my posts and it doesn't matter what angle of my life/interest I want to share, if it fits the scope, then it goes. And sometimes, I just believe that people are bored and require a safe haven somewhere to head to and I know my blog is pretty safe. No matter how much you indulge, you can only gain and not lose :)

3. Try to get personal
Nobody wants to come and read loads and loads of thoughts from a 'strange and magical' person on the web. Try to be relatable. Firstoff, put a face to it. People may want to read about your trip to the best island in the world, but it is only interesting when they can see photos. If you want to just have photos of the place without you, then your best bet is to have a travel blog and not a lifestyle blog. A lifestyle blog is principally about you, everything else is an add on. I was personally guilty of this. I used to be camera shy :)
Actually not, I just never loved putting my pictures up here but I would tell you categorically, the more photos the better. Your readers want to know you and your pictures are more visual than the words you write. The visual posts are more relatable, if you get what I mean. Once in a while, pop in your photo to remind them who they are talking to. Yea, when people read your blog, it could feel like they are having a real conversation with you, if you play it well.

4. Do not share everything
Yes, this is the bit that I wanted to add that is very important. As personal as you want your blog to be,  you have to be very pragmatic. On the top of everything is being security conscious. Someone should not be able to stalk you just by reading your blog. If you can't ensure that, then you are not blogging smartly. Also, people should not be worried of hanging with you because you report everything that happens in your life on your blog. While you think everyone might want to read about how great your life is, putting it all out there is so unnecessary. You might want to tell everyone how amazing your husband was last night, but you should also understand that it might be too much info. Everyone should have a private life, if you think you do not deserve one, then I'm sorry to tell you that you might not get too lucky with the consequences. If you are trying to play it low - that is your blog is just for friends and family, then you are fine. If you intentionally or carelessly allow for a wider audience, then it means that the more successful your blog is, the more more and more total strangers get to read about these details. The problem is that most people do not weigh out the consequences until it shoots them right in the foot. Please, be careful out there. This is a very wicked world, not everyone is as nice as you think.

Be careful. Never share your address. Never give details on your family. Never share what your spouse considers the best treats by you, the struggles you're having as a couple, you might be training your side and have no idea LOL

Never give your work details. Never give details on your children, spouse...
I make a mental note of things I consider sensitive details. If you want to write it out and keep it somewhere easily visible, do that and always scrutinize your posts for those.

5. Be yourself
If you want to put up a front because you think that is what sells, good luck with that. All I can do is point you to a lot of bloggers who packed up because they couldn't keep up LOL
Be yourself, really, It's enough. There is nothing wrong with being different. You do not have to do what everyone is doing. There are no rules. I know someone who was saving to buy louboutins before she starts her fashion blog because according to her, every successful fashion blogger she knew showed off one. Please, you are not in a competition with anyone (one of the reasons I don't mention who I'm wearing in my style posts). Find what you're comfortable with and just do you.

I decided to share ten tips in two parts.
Here is the first part, be sure to check back for the concluding part.

Love always 
JB 


13 comments:

  1. Great posts dear, so on point!
    The point about "Try to get personal" is so true, people like to associate a face to the content that they read. It's also very important to find a nice balance between being personal and being safe on the web, like you highlighted, one cannot overlook the possible dangers that be on the internet. Good job, love it!

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  2. I totally agree with not sharing everything. Everyone is not as nice as they seem

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  3. good tips..you are one hundred percent accurant, its really hard to find a good name.x
    www.deemako.com

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  4. True Talk. Gossip is not my thing either. Lifestyle more likely my niche. Anonymity used to be my thing but I am slowly snapping out of it. Thanks for stopping by. Now I'm off to read your archives. Enough bedtime stories! :)

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  5. True Talk. Gossip is not my thing either. Lifestyle more likely my niche. Anonymity used to be my thing but I am slowly snapping out of it. Thanks for stopping by. Now I'm off to read your archives. Enough bedtime stories! :)

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  6. Oooossssshhheeeeyy... Turn up! mama have you ever read a post and your heart starts to go Kpo Kpo di Kpo Kpo di Kpo Kpo di Kpo Kpo di Kpo! Kpo!! Kpo!!! out of VERY guilty conscience?! I mean you feel so "Chei JdB i don make too many mistakes already ?!" heheheheh and you start to **in www.sophsinspirations,blogspot.com feel guilt tripped in real life?! Cc. www.toinlicious.blogspot.com.. lmao.. Well this post did that to me in a plenty plenty kinda way... Janyl, i just think blogging is a very strange but interesting platform.. Somedays you are king, others days you are but slave, but I believe that above whatever restrictions we choose yeah, OUR WHY SHOULD DRIVE AND STREAMLINE US? As nothing is more important than the reason that we have chosen to become Lifestyle bloggers. I keep saying I dunno what tha hell i am doing on here most times, well, cause its true.

    Making reference to the strange but true fact that half of the time in my online Young and Confused life that i have refused to listen to your words Blog mother, i have actually **In Janyl's voice "shot myself in the leg" "twice sef", hence i will just take this post and use it to stay sane on here... But Mother i have to ask, doesnt having all these restrictions take away the flare in blogging?!.. i mean in my young 23 years 3 months and 14 days confused head yeah, it kinda makes it all too formal, but like i said, i have learnt to NEVER doubt you. hehehe but to take your every word seriously **Searches for journal.. Its time to take several notes like they advice on www.bellanaija.com...

    Nice one Janyl, this was an insightful yet guilty-FULL read heheheheh. i do hope no body gets scared of hanging with one young and confused brother cause i have no filter though.. but all in all yeah, we learn everyday dont we... **Wears Mr Nigeria smile... **Singing ...dont you wish your mama was Smart like mine?! Dont you wish your mama was Dope like mine?! Dontcha?! Cc. www.icelaw.me (Cant touch this) Cheers Blog mother and the crowd goes... YYYeeeaaaahh mehn. :)

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  7. This is a beautiful post, important lessons for any blogger. The last point cracked me up, buying a louboutin just because you want to be a fashion blogger, funny thing is she doesn't realise that her enthusiasm, passion and knowledge of trends will bring much more traffic to her blog than showing off the louboutins and Jimmy Chos in every post.

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Thanks for your feedback!
I enjoy reading them :)

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