Recently, if you have been researching further into how to start a blog, you might have felt a little disheartened. People always talk about how a blog – especially a lifestyle blog – is hard to do now. Too much competition, they say. What the problem with this kind of thinking is, though, the defeatist mentality.
Yes, there is more competition. The very tools we are about to talk about make it easy for anyone today to start a blog. And, with enough hard work and enjoyable, worthwhile writing, you can become successful. It might take a lot of social media work and interaction, and it might take longer than some would be willing to put in, but running a lifestyle blog can be lucrative.
Blogging isn’t weaker; it’s as strong as it arguably ever has been. The difference now is that the days of being able to blatantly duplicate others’ work and/or stuff your content with keywords to the point of losing legibility have been and gone. If someone does want to know how to start a blog today, then, they need to understand that:
- It takes a lot of hard work and it will require you to treat it as a side project for some time.
- If you are short on money and want to make your blog your full-time income, you need to be good to make that possible fast.
- This means being wholly unique and having a totally different take on a subject than anyone else.
- Naturally, that’s something that only a few people, in any industry, have the capacity to do – so instead, you have to accept that it will take hard work and development.
- This means developing yourself as a writer, too. Your lifestyle blog will improve in credibility and quality as you gain experience and learn from your mistakes.
If you can appreciate all of the above, then perhaps there might be a future in blogging for you yet. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you blogging is ‘too hard’ though – those who find it hard want it all done for them.
So, with these myths in mind, what other tall tales exist about blogging?
Myth A – Lifestyle Blogging is Dead
We’ve heard this one before, usually form people who have run out of ideas on the lifestyle blog department. If you are serious about wanting to learn how to start a blog, then do not discount the idea of a lifestyle blog. It is very much alive and well – it’s been greatly exaggerated that it is ‘dead’ when in reality it is nothing of the sort.
Today, lifestyle blog owners are seeing excellent interaction with brands and businesses. As brands realize themselves that competition means that they need to connect more than ever with their potential clientbase, why would the lifestyle blog be dying out?
They are the perfect conduit for any brand with its head screwed on to thrive. The idea that one should be discouraged from blogging at a time when partnership and collaboration – even at low levels of lifestyle blogging – are commonplace is madness!
Instead, keep your eyes on the prize. The difference is that like many forms of blogging today, running a lifestyle blog is changing. You need to be ready to adapt – and it will all change again in the future, too. Blogging is a world apart from its old self, so take advantage of change, new trends and technological adjustment and run with it.
There is no reason at all why you should not be utilizing everything from new hardware for better blogging to social media advertising and SEO optimization. The future is very bright for the owner of a lifestyle blog; you just have to be ready to do something about being part of the changes.
Keeping this in mind, you should be much closer to asserting yourself at the top of the food chain, so to speak. Changes happen with regularity; don’t fear them, instead, embrace the opportunity.
Myth B – Looking Good is too Expensive!
This particular myth is one of the worst that you will hear in the mean. The idea that looking good is too expensive is a common misconception, though. People think that to get a blog design that looks good and slick that they need to reinvent the wheel. Or they need to hire a web designer and pay thousands in fees to get a custom theme made.
Not so, instead you can turn to the many sources of themes out there. Forget about any kind of snobbish stigma, either; themes are professional looking, easy to manage and can give you a look that would cost you thousands elsewhere. People fret about the idea of being caught out with the same design as someone else, but it’s both unlikely and immaterial in the first place.
Installing a theme, also, is very quick. When purchased or downloaded, a theme can be uploaded to the WordPress platform in minutes, installed and then customized in a matter of a couple of hours. Most themes come with a very cool interface within WordPress that allows for total customization and editing, so make sure you keep that in mind!
Since WordPress is far more customizable than Blogspot and the like, we recommend you go for WordPress and take things further that way. In terms of getting a good look for your lifestyle blog to begin with, we recommend that you check out the ErisLite free WordPress theme. It’s entirely free and looks far better than the basic WordPress designs that you can get. It’s a professional theme handed out for free, and can show you the quality of themes out there if you are willing to look around.
Don’t listen to the myth, though, that quality looks cost too much.
Myth C – You Need a Category to be Successful in Blogging
This is a rather strange myth, but one that has persisted for many years despite never really being truth. In the world of the lifestyle blog, though, you are far less limited. People believe that you need to be in the most micro-sized niches possible to succeed. Yes, you could dominate in tiny niches with marginal sized communities online without too much effort. However, in a lifestyle blog you have no need to be so specific.
Lifestyle, after all, changes all the time!
If you were to run a blog on anything in life, then you can expand it out a bit further. If your lifestyle blog was taking in sports and fitness, then you can cover everything on your blog to travelling to sports games to fitness routines you carry out. The door is open for being as expansive as you can imagine, so don’t ever close doors off.
Sometimes, even the most outlandish of topics can fit once in a blue moon with a lifestyle blog. There are few limits, so long as you don’t just try and be a general news curation site. Find a group of key topics that you cover, but when something else might makes sense as a fun little subtopic then you should have no problem making that change for the day.
It’s always nice to have variety. Any lifestyle blog that closes itself isn’t really replicating lifestyle itself then, anyway, is it?
If you are asking people to read your blog because you can help them open their mind to new possibilities, how is it productive to then close yourself to only one or two topics? Be broad, let your blog be exploratory. Like life itself, minimize boundaries.
Myth D – Shortest is Sweetest
We aren’t really sure where it stems from in the world of content marketing, but an awful myth appeared and stuck where shorter content was winning content. It appears to be built off the odd scientific articles that tell us that due to technology and consumer lifestyles etc. that we are shortening our attention spans. More or less, these studies equate to saying that people no longer have the mental maturity to read long pieces of content on the internet or in literature.
While that can obviously be true of some people, to tar everyone with the same brush is rather rude. It’s grown legs thanks to the growth of Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest which are all about media, images and short posts. Yes, a short post does have its position – posts about company news, announcements, new releases, and posts where there isn’t a whole lot to say are still worthwhile.
What we are saying though is that on a lifestyle blog, people are reading your blog for entertainment and education. To cut things short and be vague because ‘studies say people don’t read’ is negligent. Never cut your blog short because of a myth like this; instead, make it for the situation.
Posting an information piece on your lifestyle blog about how to eat better when out and about at night? Then make it enjoyable to read. Telling a story about a recent trip to a faraway land? Don’t cut that short. Posting a message to thank your 10,000th social media follower? Keep that nice and succinct.
There’s a time and a place for long reads, as there is more succinct content. Longer posts over 1,000 words easier to optimize, get more shares, engage people and ask more questions. That is what gets you noticed, not writing lots of tiny posts!
Add variety; never have a set word count for every post. Some things need more, others less. Variety is more important than uniformity, especially with a lifestyle blog!
Myth E – Traffic = $$$
This is probably the most frustrating myth in the world of knowing how to run a blog. People presume that if people keep putting together lots of posts that they will get traffic, and then the Traffic Man comes around to your house and pays you lots of money. Jokes aside, traffic does not equal money. It never has, and never will most likely. What traffic does equal, though, is an opportunity.
With every person who comes to visit, you have the chance to convince them to stick around, to sign-up, to buy something or to hire your/another affiliate service. However, someone turning up does not just make you money. At the very least, they need to use an on-site advert or something similar: there has to be some kind of action for that person to turn into actual money for you.
However, this is why you need to have a good, meaningful and exciting lifestyle blog. You slowly build up and cultivate a relationship with the reader, you get them to see that you are someone who can be trusted and is engaging, and most importantly you show them you are genuine. High traffic numbers can spike and fade away for any number of reasons.
What cannot fade is a loyal customer base who return to your blog because they like what you offer. Concentrate on the quality and depth of your writing and engagement than trying to get people to turn once and never return.
A smaller number of loyal return readers (and hopefully buyers in some way) outstrips larger volumes of one-hit traffic visitors by far. Concentrate on engagement rather than trying to be seen by as many as possible. Usually, aiming for the latter creates high quantity, low quality blogging. Aim for the former, though, and your quality will bring people in as much as anything else.
So, as we hope to have illuminated for you, blogging today is full of myths. It’s also full of people who once found it easy to dominate until competition came along. Most people who naysay blogs didn’t have the passion or interest to their lifestyle blog – or any blog – to make it successful.
The blogs that make you money and are capable of creating a future for you are thought-out, passionate and personable. They also utilize all of the ideas above. So, the next time someone tells you that starting a blog is ‘too hard’ come and re-read this!