Sara and I wanted to be NYC lifestyle bloggers because we have a love affair with New York. But there’s a lot more that goes on behind-the-scenes than you think – both good and tedious. If you’re thinking about starting a lifestyle blog it’ll interest you to know what goes into each seemingly candid Instagram photo and well-crafted article. We’re summing up the down and dirty of what the other bloggers won’t tell you.
Let me first say this…the lifestyle in New York City is like living on speed. Everything is go, go, go. Without a doubt New York is one of the coolest places to live and I count my lucky stars to be here.
But it’s no lie when they say that it’s the city that never sleeps. Thanks to its diversity and magnetism, there’s an infinite amount of cool things to do, see, and eat.
As a result, the New York lifestyle blogger life is a constant push and pull of wanting to be everywhere at once. It’s both exhaustively exhilarating and laboriously rewarding. That’s why what you’re blogging about needs to be your passion. Without that you’ll never get far; it’s way too hard. Here’s some other things to look out for.
1. Lifestyle Blogs – It’s A Long Way Up
It seems like everyone is a travel, lifestyle blogger nowadays. So the first thing you should know is that the competition is fierce; we’re all drowning. There’s thousands of websites created daily and there’s only a few spots where your link can serve on the first page of Google (let’s face it – no one is going passed the second page).
And it’s not like you just launch a site and suddenly get traffic. If you can’t figure out how to make your content unique, valuable, and optimized for Google’s algorithm, no one is seeing your stuff.
So you need to love your blog niche and not do it for the money, recognition, or free “stuff”. It’ll be a long time before you see those things if that’s what the goal is.
2. Opportunity Cost
Blogging consistently is a huge time suck. You’ll be sacrificing a lot of time to knock out an article with photos. Think about what you’re giving up. Is the time working on the blog worth what you could be doing instead?
3. Get Ready To Learn New Skills
Have you heard of SEO? Do you know what it means? I know – most of us didn’t in the beginning either. For now just know that SEO (search engine optimization) will have to become your new best friend. Google likes content written and formatted in a certain way. It’s their playground, we just live in it.
It also takes constant research of social media tactics, photography, photo editing, upcoming events, writing, actually doing the things that you’re blogging about, beauty prep, and more to spend your time on and get good at. If only we could clone ourselves. Sara and I are two people and our blog to-do list never shrinks. How we find time to learn how to do all that and then actually execute it (while working a full-time job) is beyond me. But we get it done.
4. Writing & Photo Editing Take Forever
This is true a lot of times. When I first started I couldn’t believe how long writing an article and editing photos took. But believe me it does.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Time is the most precious commodity, but it seems that in #NewYork it’s even more so.” quote=”Time is the most precious commodity, but it seems that in New York it’s even more so.” theme=”style4″]
5. People Will Commend and Condemn You
What I always thought was great about blogging and social media is that it lets us get an insider’s look into the lives of the people that we find interesting. No other time in history was this done in such a granular way. Movies and books used to be the only ways but those are finite. Social media is updated daily! That’s what I love about lifestyle blogs and how Living Charm was born (and here’s our first article – we had no idea what we were doing!). We were both inspired by my friend’s amazing blog and we wanted a way to pursue our passion for travel.
So now we have our stuff out in the world and take whatever comes our way. That includes dealing with other lifestle bloggers who do exactly what we do. Most are nice people, but there are some people who don’t like when others eat a slice of the pie. And life in New York is no joke. People here can be ruthless. Like Sinatra says, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere.
So what this actually means for you is that as a blogger you have to grow a thick skin and maintain confidence in your goal. Good things will come. But as you know, once you enter the internet ring everyone has an opinion.
Brush off the naysayers.
6. Your Personal and Professional Life Gets Blurred
When you can’t stop taking pictures for the blog that will annoy the people that you’re around. On many occasions my boyfriend point-blank asked me to put my phone and camera away.
I get it. We all want the people that we’re with to be present in the moment. It just gets tempting when you see something cool and can’t wait to share it. And living in NYC there’s so much going on every day that Sara and I want to share it all! So it’s a balancing act.
7. Lifestyle Blogging Can Get Expensive
Since becoming New York bloggers we’ve stepped in front of many step and repeat banners, rented a slew of dresses at Rent the Runway, and got to go to some awesome, exclusive events. But even if we get a press passes we’ve still got to look the best we can for photos. That takes a lot of time and money! Plus some of the most fashionable lifestyle and beauty bloggers live in NYC so going “all out” is taken to a whole other level.
We’ve paid more than I’d like to count for clothes, hair salons, makeup artists, etc. And that’s us still being more down-to-earth in our styling than many other bloggers, especially the beauty-oriented ones. Who knows how much they spend.
There are standard costs to blogging and then there’s how much you put into your look. At the end of the day you don’t want the pressure to look good to take the fun away. So stay true to why you started your blog. People appreciate authenticity as opposed to perfection.
8. Don’t Get Fooled – Everyone Uses Photo Editing Apps
There are plenty of physically attractive bloggers in this world. But I can tell you without the shadow of a doubt that even the prettiest touch-up their photos. Do a Google search for photo editing apps and you’ll be amazed at how you can manipulate photos.
You can change your skin tone, hair color, eye color, or height. You can shrink your waist, nose, and enlarge your eyes. Combine that with the physical beauty prep done before the photo is taken and you’ve got a highly dolled-up version of a person. So keep your chin up and don’t get discouraged at seemingly perfect-looking bloggers out there.
9. Life As NYC Lifestyle Bloggers – There’s An Expectation
New York is an iconic city which means sometimes there’s a demand to see it represented in a certain way. For NYC we’ve found that people sometimes expect constant high-fashion, exclusive invites, and celebrity events. But if you want to be unique you’ve got to find a different angle to your city just like we have to for New York.
The backdrop of NYC is unparalleled in its soulfulness, richness, and layers. That means there’s a lot of things hidden under the surface waiting to be discovered. That’s what Sara and I love to do with this blog. Because along with the exclusive events and parties is a city based in history and culture. So figure out what people expect in your blog and mix it with the unique aspects of the place that you’re blogging about that. That’s what people are actually interested in.
10. Our New York Lifestyle Blog – Better Together Than Solo
When Sara and I teamed up we did it because we’re passionate about the same things: traveling, a flexible lifestyle, and adventure. The latter usually means seeking out new events, restaurants, and social activities to explore. We’re in sync in this way and it’s great to share the workload with someone else. Doing it solo is a lot harder.
Plus, our differences complement each other: I love writing and history while she prefers social media, photography, and food. So my advice to you is get a partner that’s laid-back but diligent. That way you can split the load and achieve your goals that much faster. A lot of your favorite blogs have a lot of help behind the scenes. But if you can’t nail down a partner get ready to work your butt off all by yourself.
So if you’re willing to bear all the good and bad things that we’ve covered, go for it. It’s a cool feeling to create a website that is shared with the world. Take a chance – get your voice out there!