The blogging world is growing exponentially. Everyone and their mother is starting a blog. What is a “lifestyle blog,” really? A bunch of ramblings from people who think they have their life together enough to share their advice on how to live? Don’t be one of those blogs. No one has their life together! No matter how perfect it may seem on Instagram. I fully support lifestyle bloggers and applaud anyone who is making a contribution to the book of stories that the world is filled with. But let’s push the movement of ‘Lifestyle Blogging’ towards sharing real down-to-Earth stories about life and advice that you actually have to give… and away from giving meaningless advice made up on the spot like ‘how to take a selfie’ or ‘top 5 things to do for girl’s night.’
So what should you be writing about? The one thing that is unique to only you: your perspective. You have the ability to write about every day life and make it unique and intriguing. How do I know that? Because no one has experienced the things you’ve experienced in the exact same way that you have. Those are the kinds of blogs that I love to read the most. If you have a specific passion or expertise to write about, even better. Be genuine, don’t sell out, and you will contribute endlessly to the lifestyle blog world.
Don’t pretend to be an expert on something that you’re not.
You certainly don’t have to be a doctor to write about health or an expert chef to write about food. But no one wants to hear about how some supplement you took one time changed your life. And quite frankly, you are an N of 1, so no one should believe you either. If you barely passed freshman year biology, maybe don’t write about how ‘vaccines are evil’. Granted, I may have a stronger bias against pseudo-scientific health claims than the average blogger. (For those of you still wondering about the vaccine debate, check out howdovaccinescauseautism.com.)
Same goes for a travel lifestyle blog. Visiting a city for one day doesn’t make you an expert on that city. Especially if that city is full of culture that has been developing for centuries or longer. However, traveling somewhere, even if only for a little while, is still an experience! I want to read about your experience in that city that you only had 24 hours to visit. What did you decide to do? What did you decide to skip because of time… and why? THAT is what I want to read.
You’re not that important. I’m not that important. Remember that.
For goodness sake, be down-to-Earth. To everyone who is living their life in a cloud thinking that they are that better than everyone else: How is it up there? fulfilling? full of meaningful relationships? Please enlighten me as to what the appeal is. …When you’re writing a story for your lifestyle blog, be real and honest.
Let’s talk about sponsored posts.
This is where you might be tempted to sell out. Collaborating with companies is totally fine if you are transparent and stick to what your lifestyle blog is all about. Be picky about what companies you choose to work with. Make sure that your collaboration is mutually beneficial (and not just financially). For example, companies send me wine to try out and write about on my blog. I also collaborate with companies when I travel and clothing companies for my fashion posts. Just keep in mind that when you collaborate with a company, you are essentially advertisement for them, so you have more of an incentive to say something nice. This is totally fine, definitely say nice things, but only if it is honest. If you feel like you can’t honestly write a good blog post for a company, tell them. Don’t fake a good experience just because you got something for free. Either way, you are helping the company out; either by sharing their company with your readers or not sharing and letting them know what wasn’t up to par.
When you start to accept too many paid posts or write good reviews just to make a buck, you are losing your credibility. If you want people to respect your lifestyle blog and value your opinion (though always taken with a grain of salt), then be honest and reputable. Which brings me to my last point…
Take everything with a grain of salt.
The internet cannot be trusted. Don’t believe the first thing that came up on your Google search. Don’t take everything I say to heart if it doesn’t line up with what you believe and think. Understand that your blog (and my blog) is just another measly opinion on the internet. The only thing novel that you have to offer is your perspective on your experiences. But alas, THAT is what blogging is about, and THAT is what I want to read. Taken with a grain of salt, of course ;)