Starting a blog is much easier than it used to be a decade ago. The process of actually building a website is far more streamlined, and as you work through the steps, you’ll find that launching a digital home for your brand is fairly easy. The hard part is creating content, narrowing your market, marketing your brand, etc. The old saying, “If you build it, they will come”—doesn’t work when it comes to lifestyle blogs. Men’s lifestyle blogs are a dime a dozen. Simply launching a site isn’t enough. If you really want to earn a living, generate traffic, and create a community among your market of men, there are several important steps you need to take. Here’s what you need to know about starting your own men’s lifestyle blog.
Find Your Niche
So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and create a men’s lifestyle blog of your own. You have plenty of ideas stirring in your head and believe many men will find your content valuable and useful. Idea generation is a great first step. But with so many men’s lifestyle blogs out there (including this one), you’ve got to come up with a creative way to separate yourself from the pack. What makes your site different? A niche is what differentiates you.
And fortunately, there are plenty of niches to choose from. For example, perhaps you want to focus exclusively on male business travelers. This allows you to cut through the noise in the blogosphere and get straight to the point. Or, you might even want to focus on men who assume the stay-at-home dad role—a role that’s increasing in popularity, which could make this a good time to capitalize on a trend. Think about what you’re passionate about, and hone in on it.
Plan Your Content
Before you launch, planning is crucial. You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you without putting in the groundwork during the planning stages first. Think of your blog as a strong commitment. You should begin thinking about all the potential copy you can post. Use an editorial calendar to help cement your ideas and steer you in the right direction. An editorial calendar is just a high-level calendar-view of everything you plan to post. This helps you stay consistent, which is key for a successful blog. It also gives you a more concise overview of what type of content you’re pushing out, which prevents you from writing about the same topics over and over and keeps your posts diverse.
Don’t Forget About SEO
There’s a bit of technicality and science involved in blog writing today. Not only are you writing to please your readers, but you’re also writing to please major search engines like Google. And great content alone isn’t going to cut it. Search engine optimization is necessary for you to take your blog to the next level. If you’re using a platform like WordPress, you can utilize plugins such as Yoast to make the SEO process much easier. Yoast will provide the framework for you, reminding you when to put keywords in certain places and helping you better understand what search engines are looking for.
Build the Website
Easier said than done of course. But while the content is everything that’s inside your car, the website is the engine and body; it drives the vehicle forward. One of the first major decisions you’ll have to make is what platform to use. There are plenty of options out there: WordPress, Wix, Magento, and many more. If you plan to incorporate ecommerce, Shopify is another contender. As a newbie, WordPress is a great option because there are plenty of theme templates catering to all types of niches, which eliminates the need to spend so much time on design. With a theme, you’ll be up and running after a few hours of tweaking. Here’s a handful of men’s lifestyle templates to get you started.
If you already have an existing website and are renovating or rebranding, think twice about your hosting. Shared hosting is a solid choice for new websites, but if you’re already seeing a nice flow of traffic, a virtual private server might be the better option. You can check out this VPS guide for more details on how hosting works.
Learn From the Pros
A little research goes a long way. When it comes to building a new lifestyle blog, you’ve got to know your competition. What blogs are most popular in your category? What about your niche? Once you’ve identified a list of some of the best, start taking notes on what puts them at the top of their A game. How can you replicate that success without duplicating it?
Eventually, after you’ve got a steady stream of content and have set up your social pages, you can even start hiring additional writers and some influencers to take your blog to the next level. For now, focus on building out that initial batch of loyal readers.