Heather Bien

writing and designing a colorful life

Do We Really Need to Find a Niche? Is Lifestyle a Niche?

As any of you who have been following this blog for a while likely know, I cover all aspects of lifestyle. Home, travel, entertaining, style, beauty, personal development, wedding. I've never had a desire to do daily outfit shoots or to limit myself to only posting travel photos – even when I'm not traveling, or to skip writing about something that strikes my fancy because it doesn't fit within a particular, and perhaps lighter, vertical.


Yet, sometimes the decision to cover lifestyle in a broad sense can be overwhelming. It can seem like it's impossible to find the right balance when there isn't enough time in a week to touch on each of the verticals I write about. I don't want to publish more than one post a day for fear of putting out more content than most readers have time to consume. I neglect to give posts their fullest exposure on social media, particularly if there isn't a contract dictating that I need to do so.

I suppose it's one of those problems that isn't really a problem to feel like I'm in a place where I am thinking up more content than I have the time or space to actually put out there onto the internet. But it has me thinking about what exactly lifestyle blogging means and if it's possible for the entire category of "lifestyle" to be a niche.


So, that's the first question we need to address. Is lifestyle blogging actually a niche? Often when I'm asked what I blog about, I answer "lifestyle," and I'm met with a perplexed look on the other end. What exactly is lifestyle supposed to encompass and can a blogger cover it all? 

You'll always hear that the key to success in blogging is finding and carving out your niche, but what does that mean for all of us lifestyle bloggers? I suppose it's different from person to person, but I like to think of lifestyle as anything you would read in a women's lifestyle magazine, and, to me, that covers home, style, beauty, travel, entertaining, and, really, any issue that effects women. When I was younger, I thought that I wanted to work in magazines, so I suppose it makes sense that's how I would reconcile the idea of lifestyle with the world that first introduced me to bringing together all the areas I loved reading about.

If there's been a successful category of magazines covering these topics for over a century, then, yes, lifestyle is very much a niche category without having to pigeonhole into just one of the verticals covered within lifestyle. By focusing on the broader lifestyle category, I'm able to have my hands on anything that makes life a little more colorful.


If lifestyle in an entire niche, however, you still have to carve out your own space within the blogging community to set yourself apart. Just because you don't consider yourself only a beauty blogger or only a travel blogger doesn't mean you can't create your own individual identity. You have to define the lifestyle that you are putting out into the world.

Back to the women's magazine comparison. Think about the different aesthetic, articles, and lifestyles that take up the pages of magazines like Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, or Southern Living. In theory, they all cover the same topics, but the end result is completely different. And this is where you set yourself apart in lifestyle blogging. Think about as in the differences between the magazines I just mentioned. When you open up Real Simple, you're going to find a clean aesthetic, sans serif fonts, and articles that all point back to living an easy, simple life. With Southern Living, on the other hand, you're going to see much more copy, traditional magazine layouts, classic typefaces, and rich photos, all with a Southern flair. These magazines may cover the same topics, but they go about it in different ways.

Similarly, when I think of true lifestyle bloggers I follow, I think of the minimalist black and white aesthetic of Danielle Moss or the classic New England style of Carly Heitlinger. They aren't just blogging about style, yet their style permeates the entire lifestyle that they cover on their blogs. They touch on all issues that come up in their day to day lives, but from the angle that they live every day which in turn creates a cohesive brand. Whether it's a thirty-something just married woman in the city or a twenty-something who prefers her quiet life near the water, you know that everything you read on their blogs speaks to the lifestyle they actually live

And that's the key in carving out lifestyle blogging as a niche. You have to write what you're living and create content that speaks to that lifestyle. For me, I'm an engaged woman living an urban lifestyle in the city. I love color, I love traveling on the weekends, and I love making the most of every day. Regardless of what I'm writing about, whether it's the book I read for book club or the winter getaway I took last month or how to build a perfume wardrobe, it's all going to come back to that lifestyle and that unique spin.


Of course, just in case you're curious, I wanted to include outfit details. This sweater is from J.Crew Factory a few years ago, but they actually still carry the exact one. It's a steal and actually really great quality. It's also a great weight that I wear fall through spring. The coat is from Zara this past fall, but here's a similar-ish one from Revolve. Also, these pictures were taken at my trip to the Greenbrier earlier this winter – still one of my favorite weekend trips.

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