When I launched my blog, Stylenik, I had never heard of lifestyle blogging. It was fashion blogging all the way. And back then I was younger with no kids and living in the city. Getting dressed for work or a night out were some of the most important things in my life.
Six years later, I live in the suburbs with two kids and it's a good day when I manage to wear a bra. But I still like getting dressed up when I can, I cook a lot more, fitness is more important (and more of a challenge), and the stuff my kids get up to can be pretty great fodder for blog posts.
Perfect recipe for a lifestyle blog, right? I thought so! I still think so, actually. But if you happen to be in a similar position with your blogging, know that your readers/fans/users may not love your new focus.
People hate change.
Back when I wrote for Wired, every time we redesigned the page, readers FLIPPED OUT. The comments blew up with anger towards a moved button, a sans serif font, that line that's now blue instead of red. Then a year later it would happen all over again.
So don't expect that changing the focus of your blog will seem as natural to your readers as it does to you, or that they will share your excitement. Expect plenty of unfollows the first time you post a photo of your kid or your living room.
Former travel blogger turned lifestyle blogger Sabina of Girl Vs. Globe ran into this problem when she began transitioning to lifestyle blogging. The beauty of the term “lifestyle blogging” is that it's so vague as to encompass pretty much anything you feel like writing about: style, travel, fitness. kids, relationships, beauty, etc. But that's also the danger. When readers no longer know what to expect, they get ornery. Here's what one commenter had to say to Sabina:
Would also be good to see some actual travel experiences, becoming disappointing in content and writing style in general. Lifestyle blog not travel blog is really more what is happening here now.
Handholding is necessary.
Ease your readers into the transition. Take advantage of the space Instagram allows for captions and say something like: “You might be seeing a little more of THIS lately, hope you enjoy…” Or ask for reader input and see if that can help guide you in your transition.
Unsurprisingly, superstar fashion and interior design turned lifestyle blogger Aimme Song had the perfect touch with her transition last year. She redesigned Song of Style, simultaneously expanded the focus of her coverage, and announced the changes with this lovely video:
Update your tagline.
Obvious, maybe, but a few words can go a long way. Cupcakes and Cashmere's description, for example: “More than a lifestyle blog, Cupcakes and Cashmere is a mantra and an aesthetic that celebrates the little pleasures in life. The goal of Cupcakes and Cashmere is to inspire readers through fashion, food, beauty and interior design.”
Mine (currently, it's a work in progress) is: “California style, motherhood and boho beach life.”
Finding a short description for your blog can also be a great exercise in helping fine-tune what you really want to focus on. You may be broadening your focus, but that doesn't mean you want to seem scattered.
Lastly, and I am very guilty of not following this one, pick your topics of coverage and be consistent, every week. If you have a week full of posts and photos of just your kid, then a few days of outfits, followed by a recipe or two, people will get confused and/or annoyed and unfollow you. I try to devote each day of the week to a topic (Mondays are outfits, Tuesdays are beauty, Wednesdays home, etc…), and sometimes I actually follow through with my plan. And I can say that my blog is the most successful when I do.