What types of blog niches make money? A freelance writer recently asked how my blogs are doing financially. She wants to start blogging but knows it’s a huge time commitment. She also heard that it’s impossible to make money writing for your own blogs.
I heard the same rumor! Many professional SEO (search engine optimization) professionals, blog experts and online writers say that blogging is the side business. The “real” business is selling a service or project; the blog simply drives traffic to the thing you’re selling.
This has not been my experience. I started my “Quips and Tips” blogs in 2008, and have been earning money as a blogger for more than 10 years. I’ve experimented with more than a dozen different types of blogs, and know which ones make money. I also tried co-blogging (blogging with a partner), creating specialized blogs (such as The Dog Blog), and even hiring writers to write blog posts.
Yes, certain types of blogs and blog niches make more money than others. Even more important is that certain types of blog posts make money! This is exciting because it doesn’t force writers to blog about things that don’t interest them. We don’t have to start a specific type of blog to make money.
“I’ve been playing with different ways to make money off my blogs for the last couple years,” says Shae on 6 Tips for Starting a Self-Help or Inspirational Blog. “Despite trying everything, the two places I still make the most from are Google and Amazon. I tried Commission Junction and in three years made about $50. Google Adsense is so easy to use and seems to produce the best results. I think making money blogging depends on consistency.”
Yes, it’s important to blog consistently; Google likes websites and blogs that are updated often with fresh content. But there’s more to the story. I essentially stopped blogging for a full year so I could work at Big Brothers/Big Sisters (the non-profit mentoring organization). I also wanted to go back to school to pursue my MSW (Master of Social Work). I stopped blogging full-time for that year, and still earned around $60,000.
Here’s the general breakdown of my blog earnings for that year:
- Google Adsense $20,475.55 (CAD)
- ebooks & Suite101 earnings $11,309.12 (US)
- ClickBank, ShareaSale, Mort Fertel, and Amazon $31,905.65 (US)
If you want to know how I did it, read How Do Bloggers Make Money? How My Blogs Pay the Bills.
The take-away? Making money blogging doesn’t just depend on the type of blog or even how often the content is updated. There are many, many more factors involved. Earning a sustainable full-time living as a blogger is a full-time job.
10 Types of Blogs That Do — and Do Not — Make Money
- Fashion – A fashion blog has the potential to make a lot of money, but it’s extremely competitive. This is the type of blog that women who love shopping, clothes and fashion trends want to start. A fashion blog never appealed to me, but if I were to start this type of blog to make money, I’d focus on at least two niches. A fashion accessories blog for women 50+, for instance, or a female lawyer’s clothing blog (which actually exists! A lady lawyer started a niche clothing blog for her peers; it’s very profitable).
- Entertainment – An entertainment blog doesn’t solve problems for readers. Thus, it’s not a blog niche that makes money.
- News and Politics – A current affairs-type blog also does not solve readers’ problems…and thus writing about news and politics does not make money for bloggers. Unless, of course, they’re freelance journalists who use their blog to find article ideas to write for magazines and newspapers. But this isn’t a blog niche that makes money on its own.
- Communication/Writing/Blogging – Some bloggers claim that online writing and blogging blogs are good ways to make money. It never worked for me! Quips and Tips for Successful Writers was never a financially profitable blog, but I love writing about writing and blogging so I’ve stuck with it. It’s emotionally rewarding 🙂
- Social Media – Yes, a social media blog can be a very profitable way to make money blogging. But, this is a competitive niche. It may also be difficult to keep coming up with blog posts that solve readers’ problems.
- Environment – An environmentalist can start a niche-specific blog and make money, but it really depends on the topics she tackles. She’d have to start a blog that addresses a felt need or real problem readers face – and that she can help solve. Otherwise she won’t earn enough to pay the website fees.
- Business and Employment – Business and job websites – especially if they help readers find work, get organized, stay motivated and productive, save time at work, etc – are definitely the types of blogs that make money. The problem is that this, too, is a highly competitive niche. Refer to the first type of blog (fashion) for a tip on how to deal with that problem.
- Lifestyle – It’s very hard to make money with a general lifestyle blog. I tried with Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals (one of my first blogs), and quickly realized I needed to drill down into a specific type of blog or niche if I wanted to make money.
- Hobby – It depends on the hobby, but generally speaking hobby blogs can be extremely profitable. For example, a photography blog helps readers take better photos, find and use good equipment, and connect with other photographers (which Darren Rowse of ProBlogger has been doing for over 15 years; he makes millions of dollars).
- Health – Can your physical or emotional health become a type of blog that makes money? It depends on the topic and how well it solves reader’s problems. Health blogging is incredibly competitive, which decreases your chances of being found on the internet. My infertility blog did really well for a long time, but I abandoned it because I’m not interested in writing about infertility. I’m also not a health expert, and didn’t feel comfortable writing about reproductive issues.
My most successful blog is Quips and Tips for Love and Relationships, because love and relationships are at the forefront of most people’s lives. Love and relationships are a felt need that readers need help with.
Three things you need to know about the types of blogs that make money:
- The most profitable types of blogs are in a specific niche.
- The most interesting blogs combine two or more specific types of niches, topics, or audiences (eg, a fashion blog for male lawyers, or an online writing community for females over 60 who are starting their first blog).
- The most profitable and popular blog posts help readers solve a specific problem. For example, 8 Ideas for Halloween Blog Posts and Magazine Articles is popular every September and October.
If you’ve been researching the best type of blog to start, you’ve already been advised to write about things you love. The more passionate you are, the more vibrant and alive your writing will be! And the easier it’ll be to keep blogging even when you’re tired and unmotivated.
Another thing you need to know…
Choosing the right type of blog is just the beginning. More important than what you blog about is writing posts that are consistently found by readers is a whole new ball game.
Read books like Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. Learn how popular bloggers, best-selling authors, public speakers, entrepreneurs, musicians, and other creative types write blog posts and keep readers.
Remember that if you’re relying on the most popular blog posts to tell you how to blog, then you’re just doing what everybody else does. And that won’t put you ahead of the game.
The most important thing is to solve readers’ problems — and offer resources that they need! Starting a specific type of blog is less important than helping people find solutions to their problems. For more specific tips on monetizing your blog, read 10 Tips for Making Money Blogging.
Enjoy your journey as a blogger. Make it interesting, fun, meaningful and heartfelt. Then it won’t matter how much money you make or what type of blog you start! You’ll love what you do.