Friday, August 16, 2013

Hey there fellow Ruchettes! Jenni, of Story of My Life here. What an honor to be here chatting with you today. The lovely ladies behind the scenes at Ruche asked me to summarize the Life Blogging 101 workshop I held at Texas Style Council a couple weekends ago, so if you're interested in learning more about what it takes to have a stand-out lifestyle blog, read on!

Photo Credit: Julie Edmonson

I began the workshop with the disclaimer that I DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING. If you were to ask 10 different bloggers for their best advice on how to have a fabulous lifestyle blog, you'd likely get 10 completely different answers! So all I can give is my opinion and what I've learned in my own journey. ;)

First I recommend that bloggers embrace the fact that they ARE writing for an audience. So often I hear others say "I blog for ME!" when in reality, they desire a large readership, wish to make money off their blog, and would love to use it as a platform for other things they may pursue (like starting a business or writing a book). If any of those things sound familiar to you, my best advice is to embrace your audience and keep them in mind every time you hit "publish." It's not selling out to want to put good quality content out there that people will enjoy!

In the workshop, I went into depth on five things I think are super important to having a great lifestyle blog (or any kind of blog, really!). You need:

1) Something of value
2) Great writing
3) Attractive aesthetics
4) A unique voice
5) TIME.

If you'd like to read more about all that, I have it all explained nicely over here on my blog!

Another major point I made is that you don't necessarily even need a "niche" to succeed. Your personality and your life is its own niche, as long as you continuously offer your readers something of value to them.

I also encouraged the attendees at my workshop to get out there and DO STUFF that will create content for their blog. Bloggers aren't just people with weirdly exciting lives - they make conscious decisions to do fun things, create cool stuff, and produce great writing that they can then turn into blog posts!

And finally, I reminded the ladies at my talk that lifestyle blogs are like a reality show on the Internet. Don't be afraid to post photos of yourself and let your readers in. The more you do so, the more your readers will relate to you and grow invested in your blog.

Now since this is getting lengthy, I'll cut it off there. Feel free to visit my blogging tips page for lots more info! Happy blogging! :)

--Jenni, of Story of My Life