Home Blogging How to Start and Grow a Successful Lifestyle Blog in 10 Steps

How to Start and Grow a Successful Lifestyle Blog in 10 Steps

March 14, 2017

Work laptop flatlay | How to start and grow a successful lifestyle blog in 10 steps | Happy Grey Lucky

I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails and Instagram messages lately from fellow bloggers or people who are thinking of joining the blogger ranks about how to start and grow a successful (lifestyle) blog. I never thought that, less than a year after launched my blog (9 months and 4 days, to be exact), I’d be able to call it my full-time job and earn a living off of it. I find there aren’t that many resources out there that go through all the steps involved in starting a lifestyle blog (apart from the technical aspects), so I wanted to write up a detailed post about my experience and what has worked for me personally.

Let me preface this post by saying that I am by no means an expert on lifestyle blogging. There are many, many examples of more successful lifestyle, home decor, and motherhood blogs out there that I (and millions of others) love to read and that I can only dream of one day joining the ranks of. However, as with all of my blogging / photography tips posts that I do on here, I’ve noticed an interest in this topic as well as a general lack of information online, so I wanted to help bridge that gap by sharing my personal experiences over the past 9 months.

Just a word of warning: this is definitely a lengthy post. I wanted to make sure I went into enough detail for each of the 10 steps I’ve laid out below to truly help anyone who’s interested in blogging professionally.

[ Step 1 ] Find your niche

The very first step to starting a blog is figuring out what you want to blog about. The blogging world is very saturated but there is absolutely still room for you to carve out your own little niche. Take a look at your passions. What do you like to do in your free time? What are you good at? You want to pick something that you’re passionate about so that creating content comes easily to you. You want to stick with 1 or 2 main topics, although the term “lifestyle blog” allows for a little more freedom with regards to that. Nevertheless, try and create a niche that isn’t too broad and is also unique in some regard. If you want to blog about home décor, what could your unique twist be? Is it affordable style? Minimalist but still kid-friendly? With a lot of DIY elements? If you want to be a mom blogger, what sets you apart? Do you want to take on a humorous approach? Being an active family? A world-travelling family? Finding that unique twist to your blogging topic(s) will give you an edge and make you stand out in the crowd.

Once you’ve picked your niche, try to stick with it consistently. Write the majority of your blog posts related to your niche. Of course there will be posts here and there that will be off topic because it’s part of your life and you might want to share it. But make sure that your blog readers who come to your blog because your niche speaks to them get plenty of what brought them to your blog in the first place.

For me, personally, I have way too many hobbies (a jack of all trades but a master of none haha) but two of the biggest (and most fun) are interior design and photography. I started Instagram 5 months before I launched my blog in the hopes of creating an online presence that would translate into my first few blog readers. I initially thought my blog would be mainly a mom blog (“momming” is what I do for the majority of my day, after all), but through sharing little bits of our life on Instagram, I noticed that people really loved seeing interior shots of our house. So when it came down to picking a niche for myself, I decided to combine motherhood with interior design. There are a lot of great home decor blogs out there and there are a lot of great mom blogs out there. But the combination of the two was something I hadn’t found all that often, especially a minimalist, Scandinavian take on child-friendly interiors as well as translating that love for modern, minimalist style into the world of parenting (baby products, kids clothing, etc.) Now, those aren’t the only topics I cover. I naturally cover the occasional travel as well, since we love travelling as a family. Blogging and photography tips have also become a big part of my blog in recent months because I’ve seen a lot of interest in that. But, no matter the topic I choose to cover, I always try and tie it into my particular niche – which is modern, minimalist lifestyle and parenting.

[ Step 2 ] Find your name

Before you start your blog, you’ll need to come up with a name. My two biggest tips for coming up with a name are ( a ) make it easy to remember and ( b ) make it easy to spell. You want something catchy, unique, and nothing too long (or it will be too hard to remember). You also want it to be easily google-able, so resist the urge to use unique spelling. And make sure the domain is available as “.com”, ideally without dashes or any other specialty characters. Just your name, no spaces followed by “.com”. (You can check domain availability at domain.com). I know those are a lot of requirements, which might seem next to impossible with so few short domain names left these days. But spend the time now to get your name just right. Changing a blog or domain name down the road is not ideal if you’ve built up an audience who will be confused by the change.

If you’re still struggling, try this little exercise: write down several words that describe your niche (so “home decor”, “motherhood”, “Scandinavian”, “minimalist”, “monochrome”, “affordable” for me). Then write down words that are related. Use thesaurus.com if you need help and don’t be afraid to get a bit abstract with your related words. For me, I wrote down (amongst others) “house, home, interior, design, nordic, bargains, grey, black, white, love, kids, littles, mini, mama, bird, beautiful, habit, life…” and so forth. I tried hundreds of combinations (all not available as yourblogname.com) but this exercise made me decide I wanted the word “grey” in my name. I thought it perfectly summed up my minimalist, monochrome, Scandinavian style. I also decided I was okay with my name being a bit of a more abstract reference to my niche as long as the name was still short and catchy. My husband actually was the one to come up with my name. We tried switching up popular phrases by swapping one word out and using the word “grey” instead. So instead of “happy go lucky” we have “happy grey lucky”. I feel like my approach to life and parenting is very easy-going and the phrase “happy go lucky” goes well with that laid-back attitude.

[ Step 3 ] Set up a self-hosted WordPress site

WordPress can be confusing at first. There are actually two sites – wordpress.com and wordpress.org. The first is a free blogging platform (much like blogger.com) that hosts your website (blog) on their server and doesn’t require any setup on your behalf apart from signing up, picking a blog name, and choosing a theme (from a limited collection of presets). It’s completely free unless you choose a custom domain name (so happygreylucky.com vs. happygreylucky.wordpress.com) for $3 a month. The second is a piece of software that you need to install on a web server yourself (self-hosted) and allows you to completely customize your website (blog) using a very user-friendly interface. It gives you complete control, from using custom themes and installing plugins to using Google Analytics and the ability to monetize via ads. It’s the pricier option (you’ll need to pay a monthly hosting fee in additional to your yearly domain costs) and also takes more time to setup and customize, but I absolutely feel it is the better platform for serious bloggers. Take the time to learn WordPress and, trust me, you won’t be disappointed. For a great tutorial, check out this article. It dives deeper into the difference between the two sites, how to install WordPress, as well as how to move from .com to .org, if you’ve started with the free platform but want to switch to self-hosting.

In terms of choosing a hosting service, there are plenty of good options out there. I personally use eHost.com and have had a good experience with them. I purchased my domain name from domain.com but I know godaddy.com is another popular option.

Side note: If you’re self-hosting (wordpress.org), make sure to install the Google Analytics plugin so you can get access to your blog’s traffic information. Here is a great article that takes you step-by-step in how to install the plugin.

Work flatlay | How to start and grow a successful lifestyle blog in 10 steps | Happy Grey Lucky

[ Step 4 ] Design your blog’s aesthetic

Now that you’ve set up WordPress, it’s time to pick a theme. WordPress gives you a selection of themes to choose from but you can also find one elsewhere online. ThemeForest is a great source for themes, as is Etsy. The theme I am using is Soledad. I love clean, bright monochromatic design and I wanted my blog to reflect that. The Soledad theme is a great basis for the look I was going for – a lot of white, clean lines, and simple elements.

A premium (paid) theme has several advantages over a free theme. Apart from more customization options (usually), premium themes generally have a support team that you can contact directly and they offer more regular updates. Most themes are in the $40-80 range. You can customize any theme with custom CSS as well. I’ve done quite a bit to mine but my background is in computer science and I have a lot of web development experience. If you’re a newbie in that department, make sure to pick a theme that allows enough customization via the interface so you don’t have to touch the CSS code.

Apart from a theme, you’ll also need to design a logo. I designed mine myself – I used Photoshop and just played around with different fonts and combinations of black and grey. If design is not your forte, however, you can always outsource your logo design. 48HoursLogo.com is a great way to go. It allows you to create a logo contest and have designers create designs for you. You can rate submissions and let designers know if they’re on the right track. You’ll pick a winner at the end of your contest window and pay the designer a minimum of $99 (plus a $29 listing fee) – a bargain compared to professional graphic designers.

Now, whilst I am a firm believer that your blog name and domain name shouldn’t change over the years, I think switching up your logo and theme is not a problem, as long as you aren’t making any drastic changes (at least to the logo). If you want to create your own logo for now and then wait a bit to hire a professional, by all means do so. Some of my favourite blogs switch up their look every couple of years and I don’t see any issue with that. In fact, I think it’s a good idea since web trends are constantly changing.

[ Step 5 ] Plan your content

Okay, so now that you’ve got your blog up and running, it’s time to think about content. Start off by putting together a list of blog post ideas that relate to your main topics (your niche). When choosing blog topics, always try and ask yourself “will this help someone”? While it’s great to just write a journal about your life, this is usually not that interesting to others. There are a number of personal blogs out there that are very successful (Love Taza, for example), but it’s definitely much easier to build a successful blog if you’re offering readers something that is helpful to them. Remember, most people read blogs to make their own lives better, whether it’s home decor inspiration, parenting tips, or researching an upcoming trip. If your blog post is helping them in some way, they’re more likely to read the post as well as come back for more.

Once you’ve made a list of blog post ideas, try and put them first under one of your main categories (your niche topics) and then further into subcategories. Try and add a few more ideas to each category. For me, my main categories are “home”, “motherhood” and “lifestyle”, and my subcategories include “home décor inspiration”, “DIY”, “room tours”, “tablescapes”, “photography and blogging”, “parenting tips”, etc. Under each subcategory I’ll have several blog post ideas. For example, for “DIY” I currently have some Easter egg crafts, a couple of IKEA hack ideas, and an easy sunglasses storage project that I’m in the midst of making right now. If you always have several future blog post ideas written down, it’ll be easier, in that moment, to pick a topic to write a full post about – depending on your mood, what you’re working on, what your readers have shown interest in, etc.

Site note: you definitely don’t need as varied categories and/or subcategories as I have. If you want to start a simple home decor blog that focuses on modern, Scandinavian design (which is just a single category on my blog), you might divide your posts into inspiration posts (where you post other people’s homes), product finds (your favourite throw pillows, for example), house tours (aka showcasing parts of your own home), and decorating tips (where you share tips for creating a certain look).

[ Step 6 ] Create your content

Now that you’ve planned your content, it’s time to start creating! This will be a highly individualized process since everyone has a different writing style, but my main two tips are ( a ) when I doubt, keep things short and to the point and ( b ) use high-quality images. Clearly I’m not taking my own advice in terms of brevity here, but since this is meant to be a highly informative post, I think it’s fine to write a lot. My tutorial posts are usually quite lengthy as well since I want people to have as much information as possible. But, in general, people have short attention spans these days ( I blame social media) and, if you ramble on too long, they might just click away. So keep it long enough to give readers the information you want to get across, but also short and to the point enough to keep readers interested until the end.

As for posting pictures, high-quality photos (or even any photos at all) are definitely not a requirement for a blog, but if your niche involves something visual (home decor, fashion, etc.), your images should be high quality. Nothing turns me off more than a blog that has good content but terrible photos. I personally only post photos on my blog taken with a “big” camera (aka my Nikon D610 SLR or Sony A6300 mirrorless camera) since I want crisp, high-quality, professional looking photos for my blog but that is a personal choice since my blog is very visual and I want my photos to reflect that. You definitely don’t need to invest in an expensive camera, the latest phones have great cameras these days and even inexpensive point and shoots can produce high-quality images. What’s more important is learning some photography basics. Make sure you only photograph in good light, learn the basics of photo composition (you can find a great article here), and then learn how to edit your photos in a style that find appealing. Editing is definitely a highly personalized process and there’s no “right” and “wrong” way edit photos. If you’re interested in my own editing process, I wrote a post about how I edit my iPhone photos here as well as my SLR photos here.

[ Step 7 ] Find your first readers

The first thing you should do is search engine optimize (SEO) your blog content. People aren’t going to find your blog if it doesn’t show up in any (Google) searches. SEO could be an article all on it’s own, so I won’t go into too much detail. Instead, make sure to check out this great article, which really dives deep into SEO within the WordPress framework.

Within SEO, I think one of the most important elements is your title. And not just for being found by Google. Having the right title helps potential readers decide whether or not they are going to commit to reading your post. Your title needs to convey exactly what the post is going to be about in the 1-2 seconds it takes to read the title. Don’t leave your title too vague. “Top 10 tips for adding Scandinavian style to your home” is a much better title than “Scandinavian design”. The latter could mean so many different things vs. the former lets you know exactly what to expect when you start reading. In general, blog titles with a number in them (“Top 5…” or “10 steps to…”) seem to perform better than posts that don’t.

The next step is focus on quality content. If your blog doesn’t have great content, even if you get readers to your blog once, they won’t become regular readers unless what they find is good to begin with. Rather than trying to keep up with a blogging schedule (aka churning out several posts a week), focus on making each and every blog post great. It’s better to post only once a month but have that post be fantastic than to produce 10 mediocre posts in that same timeframe.

Linking is another great way to get readers to your own blog. Sounds backwards, right? By including relevant links to great content in your own posts, you are ( a ) showing your readers that you want them to find the best possible content, and ( b ) you are participating in the blogging conversation. Bloggers who you link to will usually get notified so they might check you out. Which in turn could bring some of their readers to your blog. Getting your link on other people’s blogs is the flip side to this and is also very helpful. Contribute to the conversation by leaving thoughtful comments on blogs that hit a similar niche to yours and people who read the comments might just click through to your website and become readers themselves (don’t be spammy though).

Interacting with your own readers is another important aspect of starting a blog. If you get a comment, e-mail, or link from their blog, make sure to respond back. If people take the time to visit and write you something, responding makes it all that more likely that they will return since you are showing you care. This gets harder and harder to do the more you grow since there are only so many hours in the day, but I personally always try and respond whenever I can. I truly appreciate it when people (you) take the time to write me an e-mail, send me a DM, or comment on one of my posts. So thank you!

Work laptop flatlay | How to start and grow a successful lifestyle blog in 10 steps | Happy Grey Lucky

[ Step 8 ] Utilize social media channels

With having gone through several ways of bringing initial readers to my blog in step 7, the best strategy for me personally has actually been social media. I started my Instagram account in January 2016 and spent the first 5 months growing it to 10K followers. It was then that I decided to launch my blog, which did get those first readers to my blog that I wouldn’t have gotten there otherwise. Every time I wrote a new post, I would post to my Instagram account and include a call to action to click the link in my profile. I also switched my personal Pinterest to a blog one (aka changed the name and added my blog info) as well as set up a Facebook page and Twitter account. I would post to all four channels and even though I didn’t (and still don’t) have a large following on any of those channels, I did get consistent click-throughs from those platforms that contributed to those early pages views.

I don’t just use social media as a way of sharing my posts, I also use them (mainly Instagram) to gauge the type of content to post. For example, I was getting (and still get) a lot of questions about my IKEA-hacked learning towers as well as my Instagram photo editing process which is why I decided to write those posts last fall. They’ve become my two top performing posts to date. Pinterest as well has been fantastic for my blog growth. Whilst initially Instagram referrals made up the bulk of my blog traffic, Pinterest is now my number one traffic source, bringing me roughly a third of all of my web traffic, which is about 3 times the traffic that Instagram brings (even though I have something like 5% of the number of followers on Pinterest than I do on Instagram). I get Pinterest traffic both from my own blog post pins (aka when I create a Pinterest-specific pin and link it back to my blog post) as well as readers who pin my photos, which in turn get repinned by others. I now actively take Pinterest into consideration whenever I think of new blog post topics because I realize how powerful of a platform it is for blogs that create visual content, like I do.

I know a question many of you will be asking is how I’ve been able to grow my Instagram account to over 41,000 followers in a little over a year. Since Instagram has been vital to my blog growth I definitely want to talk more about that, however this post is about starting and growing a lifestyle blog and Instagram is by no means necessary for that (even if that is what has helped me so much personally). I absolutely will be covering that topic in the near future in a separate post. There is a lot of ground I want to cover on the topic of Instagram, so a separate post makes sense as well. Be on the lookout for that in the upcoming weeks!

[ Step 9 ] Growing your audience

Okay, so all of this is great and all, but the goal of starting a blog (if you’re looking to turn it into a business) is to bring more and more eyes to your blog, isn’t it? First of all, realize it does take time. That’s what every post about growing your blog says, right? Ha. It truly does though, it takes time and hard work. That said, it doesn’t have to take a large amount of time. I started my blog in June 2016 with about 2,500 monthly pageviews that month and, now, 8 months later, I’m at about 50,000 pageviews over the last month (that’s about 1,700 pageviews with roughly 900 unique visitors per day), and I’m consistently growing each month.

How have I been able to achieve this kind of growth? What has helped me the most is listening to my readers and followers. Taking e-mails, Instagram comments, and DMs into consideration when I write a new blog post. Ask your audience what they’d like to see more of and then do that. Use Google Analytics to see what your top performing posts are and write more of those. I copy my blog posts sorted by pageviews into Excel every couple of months and color code by category to see which categories are doing the best, which subcategories are doing the best. What common themes I notice in the top performing posts. And vice versa. I look at my poorest performing posts and will post less of that since it doesn’t seem to resonate with my audience.

Creating customized Pinterest pins (aka very tall “banners” with photos and text – see an example here) has also helped me a lot with growth. As I mentioned in step 8, Pinterest has become my number 1 source of traffic and creating images that pop in the Pinterest feed has really helped with growth over the past six months.

Apart from that, there are a few other strategies to help with growth. SEO optimization, which I talked about in step 7 is as important for growing your audience as it is for finding those first few readers. Last fall, I went through all of my old posts and optimized the image titles, descriptions, etc. and now my images show up high in the Google image search. If you search for “monochrome Scandinavian living room”, for example, I’m in the top 70. If you add “white”, I make it up to top 50. (I’m pretty proud of that fact lol since I’m a Google image addict, almost as much as I am a Pinterest addict.) Definitely read through this article from step 7, because SEO absolutely helps. (Google is a close second in terms of the traffic to my blog.)

Collecting e-mails is something that is often touted as a great way to grow your audience as well. I haven’t actually started an e-mail subscriber list (but will hopefully get one up soon), so I can’t tell you if it will help me personally, but I know a lot of bloggers are all about the e-mail subscriber lists. Partnering up with other bloggers is another great way to grow. Again, this is not a strategy I’ve used a lot myself but it’s part of my growth plan for 2017.

[ Step 10 ] Coming up with new content

Once you’ve been at blogging for a little while, have brought in initial readers, and are actively working at growing your audience with SEO as well as other strategies, you’ll want to take a renewed look at your content calendar. Continuously creating content that your readers enjoy and that will bring a constant flow of new readers to your blog is key to keeping the momentum going.

I touched briefly on it in step 9, but listening to your readers is a great way to figure out what type of posts to write in the future. Read (and respond to) social media comments, e-mails, and DMs to see what your audience is interested in. Or, better yet, ask them what they want to see more of. You should also be analyzing your blog’s metrics via Google Analytics to see what is performing well right off the bat, what is performing well over time, and what isn’t performing well at all. Check out your traffic sources, not just overall but for individual posts to see where certain posts perform the best. See where your audience is located to figure out the best times to post. Check out how long people are staying on your posts to gauge interest in each particular topic. A great in-depth tutorial on how Google Analytics can help you with your blog can be found here.

Also take a look at what others are posting in your niche. By that I don’t mean copy their ideas of course, just check out what other successful blogs are doing to stay on top. You can gauge audience interest by looking at the number of likes and comments a post received to see which posts on other blogs are doing really well. If another blog’s audience really likes easy DIY posts, for example, you can try including one in your blog to see how it does. I also spend time on Pinterest to see what sort of posts are consistently doing well on there. It’s a great way to get out of a creativity rut if you’re stuck on post ideas. Again, this isn’t about copying someone else’s ideas, it’s just about finding inspiration and doing research on what audiences in your niche seem to favour.

Conversely, looking at other blogs as well as Pinterest (or even just good old Google) to see what isn’t being posted is a great strategy to make yourself stand out from the crowd by filling a void that doesn’t need to be left empty. How popular Instagram influencers are editing their photos or what filters they are using, for example, is something that I tried to find when I was first starting out on Instagram but I honestly found next to no one willing to share their process. Even which filter they’re using, even though there is so much more that goes into a good photo than the VSCO filter being used. But somehow popular bloggers and Instagrammers are hesitant to share that information. Seeing that gap is what ultimately led me to write my Instagram photo editing post, which is one of my best performing posts to date. (I use VSCO A6, by the way.)

When coming up with new content, my biggest tip is to always ask yourself first – is there a need for this? Is this going to bring value to my current readers and potential new readers? Will my post help others in some way or another? Whether as home or style inspiration, as a how-to or tips post, or something entirely different, if your post has helped even just one person in some way, you’re on the right track. This doesn’t mean every post needs to follow this rule, of course. I break that every now and then but, the vast majority of my posts are written with having asked myself this very question. Even if it’s a blog post that wouldn’t traditionally be “helpful” (e.g. my vacation photos), I try and come up with an element of usefulness within the post (including tips for where to eat, what to do, where to stay, etc.).

[ Step 11 ] Monetize your blog [ BONUS ]

Okay, so I know my post title says “10 steps”. However, monetizing your blog is something that I haven’t yet talked about but, if you’re considering making blogging a career, it’s obviously a big part of that being possible. I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to monetize my blog (as well as my Instagram) to earn a supplemental income for my family. I’ve written 70 blog posts to date (71 if you include this one) and 15 of them (so about 20%) have been sponsored (you can find all of my sponsored posts here, if you’re interested). There are a lot of ways in which to monetize both your blog and social media, and (as with how to grow your Instagram account) there is definitely enough information I’d like to write down that I’ll be putting it into a separate post as well. Both of these follow up posts will hopefully be going live in the next few weeks, so be on the lookout for those!

If you’re still reading after this novel, bravo! (And thank you!) I hope this post has been helpful for you. With that said, I’d like to put the follow two questions to you:

  1. Is there anything I didn’t cover here about blogging that you’d love to have an answer to? Or an aspect that I’ve touched upon briefly that you think a more detailed post would prove helpful? I’m happy to do a follow up post to answer any lingering questions you guys might have.
  2. What would you like to see more of (or less of) on my blog in general? Any particular topic that I haven’t covered but that you would love to see more of?

Leave me a comment below!

How to start and grow a successful lifestyle blog in 10 steps | Happy Grey Lucky

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Stephanie March 15, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Love your blog! Thanks for being so open about all your magic 🙂

Sina March 27, 2017 at 9:33 am

Thanks, Stephanie! 🙂

Luciana December 26, 2017 at 4:20 pm

Thank you so much ! I read every single words and really helped and also appreciated. I am looking forward to read the other one , which is already on line so I am going straight away 😉

Meghan March 15, 2017 at 2:48 pm

This are great tips, thank you. Blogging is such an enigma to me in a way, I appreciate you being so open with your readers. Such a breath of fresh air. Very curious to read the next two posts! xo

Sina March 27, 2017 at 9:33 am

Glad you found the post helpful! And totally agree with you on the enigma part

daniele March 15, 2017 at 3:04 pm

I love your content about blog and instagram. You’re the best. Not all bloggers likes to share what they know. Thats why I stick with you always! thank you so much!

Sina March 27, 2017 at 9:34 am

Aww, thanks os much Daniele! That’s so sweet of you to say 🙂 🙂 🙂

Ulli March 15, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Liebe Sina,
dein Blog macht einfach Spaß! Du schaffst es, die Freude an deinen Kindern und dem Gestalten eures Hauses durch die Fotos (und Posts) ganz unverkrampft und völlig entspannt zu zeigen. Klasse fand ich die letzten Travel-Reportagen, vielmehr noch die Ideen, die dahinter standen. Zum einen die Mutter-Tochter-Zeit, die du deiner Tochter geschenkt hast (etwas, dass auch auf meiner To-Do-List steht) und mindestens genauso wichtig die Reise mit deinem Mann. (denn auch als Eltern ist und bleibt man ein Paar, dass auch mal eine Auszeit verdient hat).
Ich bin leider etwas unkreativ, daher mag ich auch die DIY-Geschichten oder die IKEA-Hacks: der
Learning-Tower ist super (aber mein Jüngster ist 3, der braucht ihn leider nicht mehr) und auch die umgestaltete IKEA-Küche (unsere sieht immer noch so aus wie Millionen andere) ist echt gelungen.
So, bevor das hier ausufert: ich bin gespannt auf das, was noch so kommt und wünsche dir weiterhin viele gute Ideen und natürlich viel Spaß bei dem was du tust. 🍀
Ganz liebe Grüße, Ulli

Sina March 27, 2017 at 10:06 am

Liebe Ulli, was für liebe Worte! Vielen dank! Das freut mich sehr dass du meinen Blog gerne liehst 🙂 . Die Mutter-Tochter Zeit in Florida war sooooo schön, und jetzt auch unser kids-free Trip nach Dominican Republic. Das will ich auf jeden Fall öfters priorisieren, auch mal ein paar Tage mit Nicky. Ich hoffe du schaffst es auch mal mit deinen Kindern. 🙂
xx Sina

Lauren Zolecki-Polzin March 15, 2017 at 11:47 pm

Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge! Always so inspired by your Instagram posts! One of the first people I followed when I joined Instagram!

Sina March 27, 2017 at 10:05 am

That’s so sweet of you, Lauren! Thanks for following along 🙂

Petra March 16, 2017 at 1:38 am

This is such a helpful post. Your openness is refreshing! Thanks for paying it forward. xx

Sina March 27, 2017 at 10:07 am

Thanks so much, Petra! 🙂

Charlie Holland March 23, 2017 at 5:12 pm

This is such a brilliant post Sina. The detail you go into is so helpful for a new blogger like myself. Thanks for sharing your knowledge & advice lovely. Charlie xx

Sina March 27, 2017 at 10:08 am

Hi Charlie, I’m glad my post was helpful! If have any questions, let me know. Starting out as a blogger can seem so daunting but it doesn’t have to be 🙂

Lindsay McLeod March 30, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Sina girl! Very Helpful. Thanks for being so open. I have been struggling about doing a blog for the past three years! Wavering over whether my time would be worth it as busy as it is. The money piece…is it worth it? How has that been working for you? How does that even happen?

Sina April 7, 2017 at 9:26 am

Hi Lindsay, I’m glad the post was helpful! As for the money piece, it’s definitely possible to make money blogging and I started earning money on the blog about 4 months after starting (about 9 months after starting Instagram). Not that it was a lot in the beginning, but I was able to start monetizing pretty early on. Now, 10 months after starting my blog, I consider it absolutely worth it for sure. It’s just a very slow beginning where you need to put in a lot of effort with very little outcome. I’ll be putting a post together about monetizing your blog / social media and I’ll go into lots of detail then 🙂

Laura Kleinstiver April 12, 2017 at 10:07 am

This was so helpful Sina! I am a fellow Canadian trying to start up a rustic home design and entertaining blog and really found this helpful. Finding a unique, untapped niche is proving itself to be difficult and making myself stand out from the sea of other bloggers. I love your idea on using instagram to start gaining an online presence. How did you go about getting more followers and attention to your insta page? Just using hashtags with your niche as a focus? Did you create a separate account? Any tips would be amazing! Again thanks for the great post!

Sina May 15, 2017 at 12:49 am

Hey Laura, so sorry I’m just responding now. I actually wrote up a post about growing Instagram just a couple days after your comment. Did you catch it? If not, here’s the link: http://happygreylucky.com/how-to-grow-your-instagram-account-quickly-and-organically/

Olivia Trombitas-Meissel April 17, 2017 at 10:26 am

Liebe Sina,

wirklich großartig deine Posts mit den Tipps über das Bloggen/ Fotografieren/ Fotobearbeitung. So bin ich auf deinen Blog gestoßen 🙂 Für mich werden dadurch brennende Fragen beantwortet, da ich gerade selber gemeinsam mit einer Freundin einen Mama-Lifestyle-Blog hier in Österreich starten möchte.

Mich interessiert also fast alles zu dem Thema und genau so detailliert wie du schon in deinen letzten Blogs berichtet hast. Fotos bearbeitest du am PC nur mit Photoshop, nicht mit Lightroom, richtig? Hier bei uns wird nämlich immer Lightroom empfohlen. Allerdings habe ich jetzt das von dir angesprochene Abo gekauft und da ist Photoshop ja auch dabei.

Hast du generell noch irgendwelche Link-Tipps für Foto-Anfänger (ich habe mir jetzt das neueste Modell der Olympus-Pen zugelegt). Ehrlich gesagt, fotografiere ich allerdings am liebsten mit dem Smartphone. Möchte das Fotografieren mit meiner Kamera bzw. Spiegelreflexkamera aber unbedingt lernen. Wie lange hast du dich denn in die Materie der Fotografie eingelesen, bevor du dann Fotos auf IG bzw. am Blog gepostet hast – die Bildsprache ist einfach so entscheidend, finde ich. Diese Vorlaufzeit bevor es dann mit dem Blog los geht ist einfach wahnsinnig mühsam, aber wir wollen ja auch nicht unprofessionell wirken, nachdem es ja einfach schon so viele Blogs gibt. Also du siehst, Fragen über Fragen.

Vielen lieben Dank für deine Offenheit – das ist wirklich außergewöhnlich!!! Liebe Grüße und ich bin schon sehr gespannt auf deine nächsten Post, Olivia

Sina May 15, 2017 at 1:03 am

Hi Olivia, tut mir leid dass ich erst jetzt antworte! Also ich benutzte nur Photoshop aber eigentlich nur weil ich mich noch nie in Lightroom eingearbeitet habe. Es gibt auch ein paar Dinge die mann in Lightroom nicht machen kann aber ich denke 95% meiner Fotos könnte ich wahrscheinlich genau so gut in Lightroom editieren. Ich fotografiere schon lange mit meiner Spiegelreflexkamera, aber Manual Mode habe ich erst vor ein paar Jahren gelernt und es hat mich überrascht wie schnell dass dann doch ginge. Ich denke so 2-3 Wochen lang gelesen und geübt bis ich mich in Manual Mode wohl fühlte. Mit Fotos editieren und so – da ich schon Jahre lang mit der SLR Bilder mache, konnte ich schon einigermassen gut editieren. Ich habe am Anfang ein bisschen herum gespielt bis ich den richtigen Look hatte und dann mit jedem IG Bild weiter geübt. Aber ja, Blog hat bei mir auch Monate lang gedauert bis ich den Live geschaltet habe. Ich denke aber, im Endeffekt, ist es besser mal irgendwo anzufangen und dann im Nachhinein Aenderungen zu machen. Ich verbessere mein Blog ständig. Viel erfolg mir eurem Blog!

Stanley April 26, 2017 at 11:29 pm

This is Great!!!

Sina May 15, 2017 at 1:03 am

Thanks! 🙂

Adriana May 9, 2017 at 9:14 am

What a great blog post Sina! Your honesty is refreshing. I’ll be keeping my eye out for your next post on monetizing one’s blog/ social media – I’m interested in learning the steps it takes to makes this happen in a meaningful way. Also, I live in Toronto and would love to connect/collaborate for any future untapped projects you may be thinking of or want to try out. I am a photography hobbyist but enjoy connecting with like-minded, creative moms. I have a few ideas of my own so feel free to reach out. To learn more about me and see more of my photography I can be found on instagram @meixner1024.

Sina May 15, 2017 at 1:05 am

Hi Adriana, so happy to hear you enjoyed the post! I just posted the monetization one, so make sure to check that one out. And so fun that you’re in Toronto! If you have any particular collaboration ideas in mind, feel free to shoot me an e-mail 🙂

Suzie May 20, 2017 at 1:22 am

Great Post. Just the information I was looking for. Thanks for sharing. From the blogger at http://www.comofficialwebsite.com

Susanna May 23, 2017 at 11:49 am

Hi Sina!!! Thank you so much for this wonderful inspiration – I just had to reach out and let you know that after stumbling upon your words last night they helped some lose pieces in my heads come together!!! Light bulb moment!!! Love what you are doing and your beautiful photography, home and babies!!! xxx

Sina May 23, 2017 at 11:03 pm

Hi Susanna, thank you for your sweet words! And I’m so happy to hear that my post helped you! Always great to get that sort of feedback 🙂 xx Sina

Sabine May 30, 2017 at 7:50 am

This is a great blog post! As a new blogger, I’ve been thinking of ways to grow and this is so helpful. Thanks for sharing!

-Sabine | http://www.rinnyandbean.com

Sina June 17, 2017 at 6:29 am

You’re very welcome! Glad my post was helpful to you 🙂

Kasia June 1, 2017 at 2:22 am

Thanks so much for sharing your tips! I’ve been blogging on/off for about 6 years and I’ve realized that like with anything, consistency is also key! I’m super impressed with your quick growth but I can definitely see you have the passion and talent 🙂 I saw your comments above in German (if I’m not mistaken?!) Is that where you’re from originally? I’m an immigrant myself and have a blog about the influence of culture and heritage on our lives, I’d love to connect with you maybe via email to chat some more!

Kasia 🙂

Sina June 17, 2017 at 6:30 am

Hi Kasia, thanks so much for your sweet comment! Yep, I’m from Germany originally. We moved when I was six but I’ve been back several times. It’s actually where Isabelle is born 🙂

Julia July 18, 2017 at 6:18 am

Thank you, Sina, for sharing this really useful information!

Sina August 13, 2017 at 8:24 pm

You’re very welcome 🙂

debbie July 31, 2017 at 8:44 pm

Do you have a subscribe button? I love your blog and would enjoy following you. Sharing your Instagram post with a link in my blog tomorrow. Wonderful info.

Sina August 13, 2017 at 8:25 pm

Hi Debbie, not yet! I’ve been meaning on getting on that, thanks for the nudge! Will do so soon. xx Sina

Agafia August 4, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Love Your blog! I discovered it today and spent few hours on reading. Great job and excellent photos 🙂 Greetings from Poland 🙂

Sina August 13, 2017 at 8:25 pm

Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Agafia. Happy to have you hear! xx Sina

Frank Hall August 9, 2017 at 2:48 am

Hi Sina, your blog just inspired me to be a successful lifestyle blogger. Thanks for your step by step insturction and I will follow them in no time.

Sina August 13, 2017 at 8:26 pm

Happy to hear that. Good luck in your blogger journey!

Lynn August 11, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Hi! I came upon this page from your tips about editing instagram photos. Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge. Not many are willing to be this open. You gained a new subscriber:) i think im going to spend my night binge reading your blog!!

Sina August 13, 2017 at 8:27 pm

Hi Lynn, thanks so much for your sweet comment! I love to hear feedback like this.
xx Sina

Valerie Kobylnik August 20, 2017 at 11:14 am

Wow you are the most generous blogger I have ever come across! Because if this post, you have a consistent reader in me and an IG follower. Your heart shows in sharing your journey and it inspires me to be a better person, thank you! I’m working on a starting up a blog and this is a tremendous help, it also makes me feel like my goals are achievable.

Kennedy Shae August 22, 2017 at 8:15 pm

Loved this so much! Thanks for the help! 🙂

Betty Rose August 28, 2017 at 6:17 pm

I love this! I’ve read all three parts of your series and am so grateful for the share and insight! I recently came across your IG handle off of IG’s “based on people you follow” and couldn’t be happier with this ❤️. Thank you for being a resource to other moms and families – and most importantly, being humble and human ☺️

parth rathod September 30, 2017 at 1:19 pm

thank you for sharing
hope it works for me as well
thank you

Claire Zaleski October 12, 2017 at 12:51 am

I am new to the blogging world and I just wanted to share with you that I LOVE all your content! Your blog tips are something I refer back to weekly (if not more). I love the images you post on Instagram and just the overall look of your page. Thanks for all the great tips!

Julika October 23, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Hey Sina,
I’m a little bit confused, if I should write in English or German, because I saw above that you so speek German as well, but let’s continue in English…
Thanks for all your tips and advices! Compared to other blogs, your posts are super helpful.
Thanks to this post I am now thinking about whether my content is relevant to the readers or not, since it’s mostly about my own experiences. Maybe I will have to focus on more useful content, too.
Since English is not my mother tongue I am now wondering, if I should write my posts in English to address more people or if I should continue to write in my first language to be more authentic and also because the content might be the most relevant to people from my home country (Germany). On the other hand I don’t want to exclude persons (and friends) from other countries. Maybe you do have an advice for me?

Marisa | Be the Best You October 24, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Hello there Sina. I absolutely love this post, it’s so helpful for those of us who are still learning and trying to figure things out. I will without a doubt be checking your blog out often and following the tips that you shared in this post!! <3

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Tai Stevens October 25, 2017 at 8:01 pm

This is amazing! Thank you for being so transparent, this is exactly what I need right now. I am currently trying to grow and transition my fitness Instagram (new.fit.beginning – roughly 6k followers) to a lifestyle account and I am currently in the process of launching my website. You’ve answered almost every question I’ve had to date! The one question I do have though is how you create your images for Pinterest?

I am looking forward to following your Instagram and reading all 70 of your other blog posts. I know what I’m doing this weekend! 🙂

TipsyTravelers October 27, 2017 at 12:00 am

Very helpful thank you for sharing!

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I started my lifestyle blog recently. I know it takes a lot of work and patience to stand out. I was searching for some motivation then found this post. It’s amazing. I’m surprised to know that in a very short period of (8 months) you transformed it into a brand. Nice blog.

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I just want to say that this has been the most accessible how to post that I have ever read. It actually felt like you care about other people starting their blogs, and I really appreciate it. I am just generally obsessed with you anyway, but I loved this in particular.

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Ting January 17, 2018 at 9:35 pm

Thank you for this post. It is very helpful. I’ve been blogging for a long time but I’m still finding my blog growth happening really slowly. You said you started Instagram account first and then started blogging after. I was the opposite. When I started blogging, Instagram hadn’t even existed! I wonder if there’s any advantage in starting one first over the other. Love you pictures and posts. Keep up the good work!

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This is such a well-written post. I have wanted to get into blogging to supplement my family financial (like a part-time job) for such a long time but I could never find a way to begin. I have started and stopped a number of times. After reading this post, I think I have a checklist of items that I can plan and implement and see if that works. It is no doubt very difficult to find that inner voice that is coherent to the blog theme and fresh.

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Deniece Chatman February 9, 2018 at 12:15 pm

Sina, thank you soooo much for this information. I’ve been seriously obsessing over starting a blog and today, I finally made the jump and purchased my domain name on domain.com! ( I used your site as a reference) 🙂

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Hey,I’m so excited my broken Marriage has been restored & my husband is back after he left me and our 2 kids for another woman. After 5 years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and kids for another woman. thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr DAN can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a (Love spell) for me. 3days later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before,All thanks to Dr DAN. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr DAN real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact: Email him at: blessedspellhome@gmail.com you can also call him +1(310)-751-7818 fb.me/BLESSEDSPELLHOME


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