So you’re done twiddling your thumbs and finally want to execute that genius idea you’ve been sitting on for years. You also want to keep your bank account happy. We get it—bills have to get paid and who says you shouldn’t be compensated for doing something you genuinely love? When it comes to pursuing blogs that make money, remembering your why is everything, even if one of your main objectives is turning a profit.
“While there are certain niches that may be more popular or profitable, beginner bloggers should always choose a topic that resonates with them in some way,” says Xaviera Bryant, CEO of Ice Cream Convos and former BlogHer speaker. “If they are inspired or passionate about their blogging topic, it will keep their creative juices flowing and keep them motivated to keep pushing forward in their blogging journey.”
Of course, there are some tangible steps worth noting, too. First, Bryant recommends writing in threes. Specifically, start by writing down three things you love, three things you enjoy, and three things that fascinate you. Regardless of how long this part of the process takes (don’t rush it, BTW), you now have nine different topics to choose from. And if you find that you’re incredibly passionate about more than one topic, weigh the pros and cons of each one. Will it resonate with others? Is it a topic already over-saturated in the blogosphere? If it is, how can you make it fresh and exciting?
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“The biggest misconception about blogging is all you have to do is create a site, publish content, and the money will roll in,” says Bryant. In other words, don’t skip your homework. Educate yourself. Skipping this step is just one of many mistakes she sees newbie bloggers routinely make. “When I began blogging 10 years ago, I was as green as Kermit the Frog. I didn’t educate myself and I suffered greatly for it. I complicated my journey, crippled the growth of my site, and ended up facing several copyright infringement lawsuits for photos used on my site,” she adds. “For a very long time, I didn’t even know I could monetize my site. I thought blogging was just creating a site to share your voice with the world.”
As far as determining the monetary value of your chosen blog niche, Bryant advises against basing it on someone else’s success because they could be the exception. Instead, she says to research niches you’re interested in. “There are plenty of resources that will give you an idea and/or ranking of how well is niche is performing,” she adds. “Don’t be discouraged if a niche you’re interested in doesn’t make the lists or top rankings.”
Alternatively, you can ask yourself these questions:
Will this niche answer a question or need of the masses?
Will this niche open the door to other opportunities like sponsorships, speaking engagements, and guest appearances?
Can I monetize this niche through online courses, webinars, e-books, and/or merchandise?
For example’ Bryant’s Ice Cream Convos focuses on entertainment and celebrity news, which isn’t considered a top niche. However, because she sincerely enjoys and is fascinated by the topic, she moved forward anyway and soon enough, the money followed.
“My blog is profitable. I have had sponsorship and influencer opportunities, partnerships, and speaking engagements. I’ve been given the opportunity to travel to places I’ve never been and experience things you can put a price on.” She’s also monetized her blog with the “Scoop On Blogging” online course to help steer novice bloggers away from the pitfalls she made while getting her start.
If you’re more than ready to bank on a blog idea, here are the topics getting the most buzz (and $$$) right now, according to Bryant:
How to Make Money Online: “Everyone wants to make money. Tell people you can teach them how to make money online and you’ve got their attention, simply because it sounds easy. People are creating huge streams of revenue by packaging and selling their online success to others who aspire to attain online success too!”
Lifestyle/Influencer: “…will always be a profitable niche, especially for those who have the gift of connecting and building trust with complete strangers. People want to be told about the latest trends, best products and services before they spend their money.”
Health, Fitness, & Beauty: “… are blue chip niches (collectively or individually)! Health and fitness are extremely important to the world as we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic. Last, but certainly not least is beauty. Who doesn’t love to look good? There is an audience of people who are obsessed with beauty products, tips and tricks. Then, there is audience of those (like myself) who have no clue about how to apply makeup or what products to buy. We rely on beauty bloggers!”
Investing: “…is huge right now due to the downturn in the economy because of the pandemic. People are searching for ways to sustain and increase their finances during these unprecedented times.”