“If you’ve ever thought about starting a lifestyle blog, now is the perfect time to do it!"
We all know how difficult it is being in lockdown. Like many people, there are elements of lockdown I have struggled with: Not seeing family and friends, not having a ‘normal’ routine, not knowing what’s going to happen next. On the other hand, there have been some wonderful things to come out of lockdown. I’ve seen people getting fit, taking up old hobbies, getting into cooking, starting small businesses, enjoying going for walks and trying lots of new things. In fact, it’s because of the summer lockdown that I am writing this very blog post!
‘Little Miss Yorkshire’ is my lockdown baby. Like other lockdown babies, she was created out of boredom. (Just kidding.) I actually started my blog because it was something I’d always wanted to do but hadn’t quite found the courage. As tempting as it was to spend all my summer binge watching Netflix, I decided to be brave and give blogging a go. It's quite intimidating sharing you work with the world but it can also be very rewarding! (Little Miss Yorkshire actually helped me secure my grad job!)
So, if you’ve ever thought about starting a lifestyle blog, lockdown 2.0 is the perfect time to do it! You have nothing to lose!
Below are my top 7 tips for getting your blog started and writing the best engaging content.
1) Decide what you want to write about
This is important and the very first thing you need to think about. What is your blog going to be about and who is going to read it? For a lifestyle blog, I recommend picking 3-5 lifestyle topics you are interested in. You can choose to focus on just one of these or dip in and out of all 5. Here are just a few examples:
- Sustainable Living
I decided to focus on fashion, home decor and travel as they are three of my favourite interests and are topics I would want to read about myself. I later added in a health section to my blog as it's a goal of mine to get fitter and eat more healthily. You should pick topics you're going to enjoy writing about but also feel inspired by. If you enjoy writing your content, then your audience is far more likely to enjoy reading it!
2) Pick a domain name
This needs to be something fun, original and you. Think of keywords that represent who you are and what your blog is about. It needs to be short, easy to type and memorable. (You can use domain name generators if you're really stuck!) I decided to buy my domain name through Wix but you absolutely don't need to spend any money on your blog if you don't want to. I definitely recommend working with a free domain name until you're sure blogging is your thing.
3) Choose a website builder
Now I am no expert on building websites, which is exactly why I chose to use Wix. It's a great service for first time bloggers! They have tonnes of ready-made templates to choose from that are all very easy to customise. It's also relatively cheap to purchase your domain name and you can do this at any time. For those interested in the analytics side, Wix SEO features are built in and easy to access. I try not to get too hung up on numbers (as this is just a hobby) but it's always interesting to look at.
4) Get writing
Similar to choosing your topics, you need to write about what you find interesting. This is my number one tip whenever anyone asks me about writing a blog. Blogging is predominantly a hobby, so it's got to be something you enjoy doing. Don't feel the pressure to write content that doesn't interest you just because you think someone else will enjoy reading it or it'll get you lots of likes and views. If you don't enjoy what you're writing, it will 100% reflect in your blog post, particularly in a lifestyle/ personal blog. I also recommend keeping you blog posts under a 5 minute read (around 1150 words). I know that when I'm reading blog posts and articles, I always check the estimated reading time. Anything under 5 minutes will encourage your audience to read instead of clicking away because its too long.
If you are wanting to increase your site traffic then you should use keywords. Using the best keywords for your topic will make your blog posts easier to find in search engines like Google. For example, for this blog post I used 'google trends' to find what keywords are popular in the UK when searching 'how to start a blog.' I made sure to include these keywords, where possible, so that my post will appear higher up in google search.
5) Use photos
Ever heard that age old saying, 'a picture is worth a thousand words?' Well it's true! Make sure your blog posts have exciting images. It's always best to use your own, so never go anywhere without your phone or camera. If you're really stuck for images, you can use websites like shutterstock for free photos. Be careful though, as these can sometimes look a bit gimmicky.
6) Don't be afraid to post
As I mentioned earlier, posting your work online can be scary. (Sharing my first post on here was terrifying!) But what's the point in working so hard for no one to read your content. Be brave and share your work. I promise that most of the feedback you receive will be positive! Once you've got the first one out of the way it gets easier and easier to share. I feel stressed out now if I don't have content to share!
Which brings me to my next tip. Don't feel the pressure to write daily/weekly/monthly. Post when you feel like posting. I am still trying to work on this as I feel I owe my readers weekly content. But sometimes it's just not doable and your readers understand that! If you need a little break from blogging (as we all do sometimes) that is perfectly acceptable.
7) Share, share, share!
Once your blog is live, you'll want to get as many people reading it as possible. Share your blog over all social media and encourage your friends/ family to share it too. I advise setting up seperate social media pages for your blog and linking them to your website. Not only will this allow your blog to reach more people, it can also help grow your following and help you build friendships with fellow bloggers. I am part of several blogging groups on facebook and twitter where I can share my work, receive feedback and learn from others. If you grow a decent following, it can open up a whole world of opportunities for working with small businesses and bigger brands.
I hope this advice is helpful! If you would like any more tips, let me know!