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?
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.
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.