Woman's hands typing on a keyboard - can you make money with a lifestyle blog?

This question always pops up when I speak with a new blogger: “Can you make money with a lifestyle blog?” The hard truth is that a niche blog is best when you’re launching a new blog.

Starting and growing a lifestyle blog is a painful, long process and a limiting one as well. It used to be easier to do this a few years ago when Pinterest was a goldmine of blog traffic. Today, not so much.

It’s fun to write on many topics and create a magazine-style site that people check out for inspiration.

But there are several issues why general lifestyle blogs are a bad idea if your goal is to make money sooner than later.

I know this from experience, as Suburban Tourist, my lifestyle blog, really was a great experiment in what NOT to do. It took me a long time to make it successful.

Before you go too deep down the rabbit hole that’s lifestyle blogging, read this post to see if you want to subject yourself to the struggle.

You’ll also learn a strategy that may work for you if your goal is to make money with a lifestyle blog.

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click on a product or service, and decide to purchase it, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All recommended products and services are based on my positive experience with them. For more information, please read my Disclaimer.

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What Are Lifestyle Blogs In The First Place?

When somebody says they are a lifestyle blogger, what comes to mind is somebody who is writing on several topics relating to people’s lives.

What is a lifestyle blog?

It can be a blend of any of these lifestyle blog niches:

  • Travel
  • Parenting
  • Self-Development
  • Luxury Style
  • House & Home
  • Sustainable Living
  • Recipes
  • Fashion & style

You get the picture! Many more blog niches fall under the lifestyle category.

Usually, there is a key audience that’s chosen – e.g. Millenials or Gen-X, or “modern women”, “moms”.

This kind of blog is more of an online magazine than a true blog.

Unfortunately, going this broad has some limitations when it comes to SEO, personal branding, growing one’s audience and monetizing your blog.

| READ MORE: Top 10 Lifestyle Blog Niches And Sub-Niches

Niche Blogs Are Better For SEO

One of the reasons why you can’t make money with a lifestyle blog is blog traffic.

The primary way general lifestyle blogs make money is from ads and affiliate links. But to do so, you first need people to visit your site.

While Pinterest can drive some traffic, in recent years, its become more difficult to do so with a new account.

Google and search engines are still the best options for organic traffic. Focusing on SEO is a priority, no matter what.

It’s important to blog on a niche topic for search engines to understand your site when they crawl it. It’s easier for Google to figure out what you are an authority in if you write on topics in one niche.

So publishing a recipe one day, and a listicle on the best travel destinations to travel to with kids the next day confuses search engines.

With Google’s recent move to index and rank content that’s “helpful” to readers and more niche, it’s never been more important to “niche down.”

| READ MORE: Choosing The Right, Profitable Blog Niche For Your Site

Personal Branding Isn’t An Easy Thing For A New Lifestyle Blogger

It’s common knowledge, that if you’re known as an expert in a topic, you’re bound to be building credibility. This leads to more trust in you and what you’re sharing with your audience.

The end result is that somebody is more willing to pay for what you’re offering because they see the value.

But what happens when you are a “master or mistress of none?”

You want to make money with a lifestyle blog, but you’re stuck wondering how to position yourself as a niche expert.

What do you call yourself?

See what I mean?

I’ve seen somebody call themselves a midlife happiness expert. That’s to the point, and they focus on one thing: a positive mental state of being. They don’t write on recipes, style tips etc.

The topic is niche.

Sure, you can probably fudge things a bit and position your lifestyle blog for the over-40 crowd. However, truthfully, it’s still not something that defines you as an expert.

How Many Lifestyle Bloggers Started Out

Many successful lifestyle bloggers and experts started with a niche blog.

They focused on one dominant niche and built up their personal brand, enabling them to expand into more lifestyle topics.

Let’s look at some bigger names out there in lifestyle blogging:

Jillian Harris – a Canadian lifestyle blogger, well-known originally as an interior designer. She’s only recently pushed herself into other areas of the “home” life.

Amber Fillerup Clark – known as a beauty blogger, but now writing on other topics including travel

Joanna Goddard – Her Cup of Jo blog started as a mom blog and has expanded to several lifestyle topics. It’s technically an online magazine, with a staff of columnists and writers.

The primary reason why these blogs are a success is that they have been around for a long time (they have good Domain Authority).

Their founders have done a great job positioning themselves as experts in usually one key niche. They’ve built up trust over the years and awareness for themselves.

This is why I always coax my blog coaching clients who want to blog about everything they are interested in, to get focused and niche down!

Lifestyle Blogs Can Confuse Audiences

Want to keep your audience coming back for more of your content?

If you’re writing about too many different topics, it’s going to be hard to keep them coming back. They may not be interested in travel tips if they are moms who loved your tips on dealing with newborns.

Show them you can provide value and answers to problems on a specific topic, and they will keep coming back.

They’ll sign up for your newsletter and follow you on Facebook or Instagram.

I’m tying this back to personal branding.

You want to be known for one key thing – the expert in your chosen niche. Stick to it and you’ll see the results!

Here’s a good exercise for figuring out how you can niche down for your new blog. I’ve developed a mini-workbook to help you write your About Me page.

This will guide you through the thought process and help you articulate your blog niche:

It Takes Time To Grow Blog Traffic

It’s hard to make money with a lifestyle blog when you don’t have blog traffic.

Google Adsense doesn’t reward you with much if you don’t have traffic. Even with traffic, it’s abysmal. With the more lucrative Mediavine ads, you have to be at 75,000 pageviews a month to be accepted into the program.

Affiliate links? To make money with affiliate links, you better be writing AMAZING content that converts and generates enough traffic to have click-throughs on those links.

And for paid sponsored posts, brands want to work with sites that have blog traffic.

Again, it all comes back to building your trusted audience around a specific niche. You want to keep them coming back.

It will take time to build traffic for your lifestyle blog. It’s going to lots of diversified blog promotion.

As I’ve noted before, with SEO, it will be confusing for search engines if you’re writing on several topics. The same applies to Pinterest.

You’ll miss out on growing your email list because many will unsubscribe when you write a newsletter on a topic of no interest to them.

A few tools that can help speed up blog growth require an investment. These are:

  • Later – a scheduling tool that helps you organize all your content for promotion for various social media platforms
  • Tailwind – for scheduling pins, promotion within Tailwind Communities (at least for one year)
  • Social Warfare – quality sharing plugins that help readers share your content
  • SmarterQueue – put your new and old blog posts on automatic post schedules, freeing up your time to do other things!

While you can see success with your blog traffic with a lifestyle blog grow within one year, you may need to set your expectations lower.

| RELATED: Over 15 Smart Ways To Promote Your Blog For Free

Can You Make Money With A Lifestyle Blog?

Yes, it’s doable, but it’s like trying to scale Mount Everest with just a pair of hiking boots and your winter coat. No other gear.

Many blogs don’t make a penny in the first year of blogging, let alone a few years. Blogging stats show that those that spend much time on their site, eventually do see success.

But this is highly unrealistic, even if you are blogging full-time.

How do lifestyle blogs make money?

That’s about it!

You’ll need blog traffic, and plenty of it to see success from any of the above.

| RELATED: Top Affiliate Marketing Programs For Bloggers

| RELATED: How To Turn A Personal Blog Into A Business

A Strategy For Starting A Lifestyle Blog That’s Successful

It’s going to take time, planning and goal-making to make money with a lifestyle blog. And strategizing!

Before you start, I recommend reading this post on what you should know before you start a blog.

Here’s my step-by-step strategy for success with a lifestyle blog:

  • Start with a niche blog in the lifestyle category
  • Create amazing content that attracts and delights your readers
  • Keep your readers coming back for more: create a community (newsletter, Facebook group, etc.)
  • Focus on your personal branding and position yourself as a niche expert
  • Grow your niche site by giving yourself two to three years until you see traffic success and profits growing
  • Promote yourself outside of the blogging community: get interviewed as a niche expert. If your niche works with visual segments, promote yourself on YouTube, do TV and media interviews, guest write articles, etc. Use HARO!
  • Continuously network and make a name for yourself. Be helpful
  • Learn everything you can about blogging, but also master the basics of good business
  • After a few years, consider whether you are ready to expand into an “online magazine” style lifestyle blog

This is a very simple strategy for growth as a lifestyle blogger. Does it look difficult? Heck yes!

However, as I say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is a successful blog.

Take your time, and don’t burn out. Think long-term strategies and you’ll see your lifestyle blog succeed!

Read more on this subject:

Do Blogs Still Make Money – The Real Truth & Strategies For Success

How To Make Money With A Travel Blog

Tips For Monetizing A Food Blog

QUESTION: Do you think it’s generally easy to make money with a lifestyle blog?

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