First things first, let me say that I definitely used to make the exact SAME mistake. Ha!
I thought somehow I had a lifestyle blog until I realized what a lifestyle blog actually entailed. It’s an honest mistake and yet so many of us are still making it. We think that if we talk about life or just don’t want to hammer down a niche that voila, we have a lifestyle blog and that just ain’t the case.
So what’s the deal? Why is it even important to know which type of blog you have? Well, just like anything, people want to be able to know how to digest things. Sure, none of us want to be put into a box, but the reality is, boxes are really the only way that we understand things as people. We understand that a girlfriend is different than a wife. We understand that a chair is different than a table. We want to understand that the music we’re getting is pop or rock or R&B. That’s just how our brains work. We need classifications in order to understand what we’re doing.
CLICK TO TWEET /// Sure, none of us want to be put into a box, but the reality is, boxes are really the only way that we understand things as people
So, when it comes to your blog, it’s the exact same thing. How can you market something if you don’t even have an understanding of what it is? Let me tell you, I didn’t even realize I had an inspirational blog until I saw myself in a blogger roundup where they listed me under inspiration blogs. Can you say duh? LOL. But for so long I was just writing and not thinking about what category I fell under or any of those things. But last year when I decided I wanted to really reel in what the heck I was doing here, I had to ask myself important questions about what this blog really was.
I’ve mentioned before that without a shadow of a doubt I still consider myself a personal blogger. Though I talk about a variety of things on the blog, they are all really rooted in my personal experiences and my personal story. Whether I am teaching you guys about writing and blogging or talking about love or spirituality. They are my personal stories looped in hopefully with what you think are some actionable steps you can take in your own life. Personal blogging, in my estimation is really where it all started. People putting their thoughts and fears and emotions all out on the internet. Personal bloggers are the digital storytellers. And sure there are still a variety of personal blogs. I think about some of my colleagues and fave writers like Shefon Nachelle, Tyece Wilkins, and GG Renee. They are great examples of personal bloggers and all very different from one another.
Then there are lifestyle blogs. These blogs still have a lot to do with life clearly, which is where I think so many of us get mixed up. But these blogs are a lot more focused on personal interests as opposed to personal stories. Now does that mean that lifestyle bloggers never incorporate personal stories? Of course, they do. BUT, they have a lot more of a “magazine” style in look, feel and tone. With lifestyle blogs, you are going to see a lot more visuals. But there is still variety in the types of lifestyle blogs out there where people may cover recipes, fashion, home organization all those types of personal interests and tools of living everyday life. Some lifestyle bloggers include Mattie James, Emily Ley, and Francheska Medina
When you look at these examples, where does your blog measure up? Personal blogs will rely heavily on personal narrative, essay, opinion. Lifestyle blogs include personal elements but often give you some really tangible things to take away. How to make a great cake. How to design your workspace. Meanwhile, personal stories will either inspire you, inform you, or maybe make you laugh.
Often times, we are relying on “Lifestyle” as way to be generic instead of digging deeper into the content that we create. Remember, niche is not a dirty word. It’s so important if you want to grow your brand to narrow down your content and audience. This does not mean you can’t write about multiple things, but it does mean that people need to know what they are getting from you. There is a reason, believe me, that most people do things a certain way and it’s because it works. You can try to re-invent the wheel or you can come to terms with the fact that people cannot focus on 101 things at once. Get a focus, narrow your content and determine whether you are really a lifestyle blogger or a personal blogger.
To put it most simply when we talk about lifestyle or personal blogging, we are talking about personal stories vs. personal interests. It may seem slight, but it will make all the difference in your marketing.
Have you been confusing your personal blog for a lifestyle blog? Don’t be shy about it, drop me a line in the comments below.
Together with GG Renee of All The Many Layers, I created a Masterclass called Digital Storytellers for writers who blog on storytelling, style, and strategy. If you been looking for help in developing your personal blog, look no further.