A few days ago I stumbled upon a thread of tweets in my feed where someone had posted a question which went like this, “How can one be a fashion, travel, lifestyle, food blogger at the same time? I find these multiple hashtags amusing.” The person who had posted the question had also tweeted earlier that they found it insulting to be called a blogger because a lot of bloggers had started blogging on multiple categories these days. The thread culminated into a string of snide remarks from other bloggers which sounded rather condescending to me. People actually mocked the bloggers in question and suggested that people who write on a variety of subjects are basically Jack of all trades and master of none. Some called their blog an equivalent to Cosmopolitan magazine (wow!). Someone even implied that these bloggers enjoy flaunting the exotic places they’ve traveled to, the fabulous clothes they wore, the yummy food they ate, then they blog about all of that and become ‘Khichdi (a one-pot meal with multiple ingredients), bloggers!’
Incidentally, for the whole of this October, I had been blogging and chronicling my travel experiences in Canada after I returned home the previous month. Ironically, the tweet and the corresponding comments were made by seasoned bloggers from a few blogger support communities that I belong to and were pretty much familiar with my blog. It seemed obvious that I was one of the bloggers they were hinting at. So I responded to the query by elaborating that everything that falls into the category of a person’s lifestyle, be it food, fashion, travel or any other interest that is specific to the blogger can be written about by a lifestyle blogger. Also adding to that, anyone who knows how hashtags work will know the reason behind the usage of multiple hashtags which is to attract the right traffic or audience to your post. If only people could get their facts right before passing a judgment on someone’s work!
That brings me to the topic in question. What is a lifestyle blog? Who is a lifestyle blogger? According to mediakix.com:
A lifestyle blog is best defined as a digital content representation of its author’s everyday life and interests. A lifestyle blogger creates content inspired and curated from their personal interests and daily activities. As such, lifestyle blogs are oftentimes highly personalized to the author’s location, life stage, and experience. For instance, a former food magazine editor, married, in her mid-30s with a 1-yr old child residing in Nantucket will blog on vastly different categories than a single, 24-yr old lifestyle blogger living in San Diego, who designs bikinis for work. Both are considered lifestyle bloggers, but there will be little if no overlay in their lifestyle blog content.
Lifestyle bloggers share a broad variety of content centered around and inspired by their personal lives — most notably family, home, travel, beauty, food, recipes, fashion, makeup, design, and decor. This style of broad content sharing inspired directly from their lives differs drastically from fashion blogs, mom blogs, and other more segmented, niched blogs in that they tend to always share a wide mix of content across other blog categories.
Because of their audience reach, lifestyle bloggers are prodigious social influencers as well, commanding large influencer outreach across social influence channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other emerging social media channels.
Says Ashley on her blog honeyandpine.co:
“I’m quite sick of hearing that a lifestyle blog is not a “niche” and that you have to “niche down” in order to be successful. It’s a lie that needs to stop being perpetuated. So long as you own your lifestyle you are going to be absolutely fine as a lifestyle blogger. In fact, there are quite a lot of very successful lifestyle bloggers and there’s no reason why you can’t be one of them.”
Sure, there are advantages of having a niche blog but that definitely doesn’t indicate that writing about multiple categories is disadvantageous or off the limits. It is absolutely a matter of individual choices and aspirations. If you feel that a niche subject would keep you focused and consistent in your approach towards writing you might as well stick to it. You don’t need to be a fashion designer/stylist to be a fashion blogger, a chef to be a food blogger, a travel guide to be a travel blogger or an author to do book reviews on your blog. A lot of brands seek a generic review if you have an eye for detail and strong opinions that you can express eloquently.
If you are a blogger or wish to be one and are unable to figure out the niche that you should pursue because you have more than one interest that you wish to write about, I’d suggest that you consider writing a lifestyle blog. The following tips might help you in getting started.
- Jot down your top five interests – the ones you’d like to write about. For me, it is Fashion, Food, Travel, Parenting and Creative Writing (fiction and poetry). Yours could be different according to your own lifestyle. These could be broad categories that can further be broken down into sub-categories, but overall the crux of your content remains consistent.
- Decide on the tone of your content. For example, do you want it to sound formal, informative, friendly, casual or simply reflective? It could be one of these or a balanced blend of some of these. However, I’d advise picking a certain style to keep it consistent and focused. The voice of your content is vital in developing a connection with your readers.
- Read a few successful lifestyle blogs and study the ones that you connect instantly with. It helps you identify and shape your own distinct style. I personally love cupofjo.com for its elegant fashion, finger-licking food, and traveling experiences. I also like the simplicity of wishwishwish.net which is about food and fashion from all over the world. The blogger writes about her personal style and her lifestyle in London. I like the direct manner in which these bloggers engage the readers as though they are having a real conversation.
- Once you’ve started, write with conviction without getting influenced by negative comments and opinions of people who themselves are confused or insecure. Of course, the feedback of your audience matters but learn to identify genuine feedback as opposed to toxic ones that are aimed to pull you down. Don’t forget, it is a competitive world out there.
This blog started as a personal blog and will remain so. The topics I choose to blog about are connected closely with my lifestyle. Therefore I’ve always considered myself to be a lifestyle blogger who takes the liberty of indulging in creative writing as well. I love writing on a variety of topics. I enjoy writing short stories, poems, and experiences inspired by day-to-day instances in my life. I attribute it to my Gemini characteristics that I tend to delve into so many things at a time. By the merit of my academic qualifications, professional experience, and personal background there is a wide array of topics that I can put my two cents on, namely Fashion, Retail, Art, Design, Travel, Parenting, and Food. I could easily make any of these subjects my niche genre. But the thing is that I prefer not to let any one facet of my lifestyle rule my life. I detest monotony. I have multifarious interests, a truckload of opinions and enough passion to write about each of them. And guess what? On good days I get paid well to write some of these posts! I am a published author and although the volume is small my works have been received well.
I’ve taken the liberty of being a narcissist here coz there are times when one needs to be their own cheerleader. I know I still have miles to go and I’m raring to go that extra mile to reach there. Interestingly, I’ve followed the same route throughout my corporate journey as well and it has helped me reach places I had never imagined I’d ever go. I’m the Jack who did end up mastering a few trades along the way! So there, I’m sure I’m doing something right.
How about you? Are you a blogger or simply someone who loves reading blogs. What are your thoughts on lifestyle blogging and blog niches? Do leave me your thoughts in the comments section below.
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge at Write Tribe.