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Starting a blog is easy. Getting a blog to the level of being able to monetize it? Definitely not as easy, but definitely possible – and it's one of those things that you can rinse and repeat after you've done it once. Even if you create blogs in different niches, the overall idea of how to monetize a blog is the same regardless of niche.
How to use this post
Grab a pen and paper, or your phone if that is how you prefer to take notes. Either way, have something handy to brainstorm ideas. This list will get you started but chances are, an idea on this list will simply spark an idea in your head, and you will run with it.
If this post helps you out, please pin it!
How to choose a profitable niche
Choosing a profitable niche isn't something you need to overthink too much. Yes, you need to choose a topic that other people will be searching for… but don't let the fear of “choosing the wrong niche” scare you off. Today, your assignment is to choose a niche. Tomorrow, you can set up your blog.
Think about anything you've accomplished in your life: losing weight, running a marathon, giving birth naturally, you name it and it can be written about. If you can inspire others to accomplish something, your blog will have meaning and purpose. Knowing that I have helped so many women make money is what gives me the motivation and energy to write 4,500+ word blog posts like this one!
Another way to see if a blog niche is profitable is to look around and see if there are other blogs on this topic. Are there magazines? Facebook groups? Are people talking about it?
Still need something more concrete to validate your idea? Look it up on Google Trends. You can compare keywords and niches you have on your brainstorming list. You don't always want the one with the highest volume, but trends are an indicator of possible profits. Don't choose something that is trending right now but hasn't in the past or won't in the future!
Do you have to be passionate about a topic to blog about it?
While you don't have to be in love with your topic, being passionate about what you're writing about is going to make your blogging journey much easier. In many instances, it also makes your path to monetization much shorter.
How to get started blogging
I do not write about how to get started with blogging because it's a topic that quite honestly drives me nuts. You've gotta weed through all the BS folks saying they're making six figures a month (which they are, because they're selling hosting and the “dream”), and it's just an icky niche that I don't want to be a part of.
With that being said, Sherry over at Easy Blog School is an honest blogger who teaches you step by step not only how to set up your blog but also all about understanding your blog analytics, which is an important piece of the success puzzle. She even covers how to submit your sitemap to Google. Don't forget to submit it to Bing as well! (Shout out to Jason from TastyCoders for this tip!)
Best niche blog ideas
Each of these ideas are from the top of my head, either niches I've had experience with or ones I would like to get into. I did a little keyword research on some of them to make sure they were good options, but I truly believe as long as it's a topic you can write 100 blog posts about, you can monetize it.
Your hobbies and passions are other people's hobbies and passions. Choosing a tiny niche like underwater basket weaving isn't going to make you six figures straight out the gate, but if you make videos of you weaving baskets under water, I can see that being pretty darn profitable. 😉
People will click through, even if just for curiosity's sake. I mean, the term does get more than 8,000 searches a month. See? Anything can be profitable! Need more proof? Check out this underwater basket weaving video that has more than 80,000 views (on a channel with 30 subscribers).
If you live in a touristy area or know a lot about one, this is a golden niche that can be pretty easy to dominate – even as a beginner. Now we do have to be realistic, so I don't want you to go after a local New York City niche and expect to rank on the front page within 3 months. However, there are many, many local cities that get tons of search traffic each month. Plus, local sites are simple to monetize with ads from local businesses.
No matter what, make sure the domain you choose is easy to remember, simple to spell and say, and includes the name of the city, region, or state you are covering.
Even if you're writing about a big city, you can rank if you find your special spot. This could be an angle, a type of blogging, or even just a unique perspective that only you can deliver (like if you've lived in the town for 20 years).
I like to take local blogs from a “things to do” perspective. If you can deliver value in this way, saving your readers time and money, it won't take long to rise to the top of search.
Pssst…! Hey, you! Yeah, you. 😉 I'd love to have you over in my free Facebook group. It's called Passive Income Pathways and it's where I teach you how to make money from home – without scams, spam, or bullshit. Hope to see you there!
A few ideas for local niche sites
You'll need to do your own keyword research (learn the basics of SEO if you aren't familiar), but these are a few ideas off the top of my head that I would use if I was doing a niche site. For the purpose of this post, “local” could mean city/town, state, or even region.
I love Sedona and we even got married there! It would be at the top of my list if I was choosing to create a local niche site. The search volume is through the roof, but the competition is also pretty high (55 out of 100), so you'll need to get pretty specific with it.
Sedona is known for their multiple vortices as well as other metaphysical stuff like crystals, meditation, healing, and psychics. Featuring local businesses and pop-up shops, vendor fairs, farmer's markets, etc would be a great place to start.
How to become an authority: Create a landing page for vortexes with a bit of information about each, what a vortex is, etc. Then, create a blog post for each specific vortex and interlink them all.
St. Louis, Missouri
I'm from the STL so writing about it would be a breeze, but the reason I'm suggesting it for you is because there are so many free things to do in this beautiful town! Families travel from all over the country to see the St. Louis Zoo and Science Center – both are free. Plus, you've got the Gateway Arch as well as multiple farmer's markets and events to keep your site's calendar full.
How to become an authority: If you're starting with a big city like this, begin by focusing on the suburbs or cities near St. Louis, such as South City or St. Charles. Create a pillar page for each, and then be sure to interlink all of the related posts.
Keep up to date on local events and design an LGBT-friendly page to grab that traffic. Pride is especially a big deal, as well as the Pagan Picnic, so keeping up with events like these can help your blog have high traffic (and money) all year long.
Tacoma is 40-ish minutes outside of Seattle, so it would fit in with a Seattle blog as a local town you dominate in search, which can help your articles on Seattle rank better as well. Alternatively, you can focus specifically on Tacoma and the events in the area. Either way, it is a profitable option.
Only about an hour and a half from Mt. Rainier, Tacoma features museums, a zoo, apple picking, trails, beautiful scenery, and a nice local vibe that tourists seem to enjoy.
The search volume is decent on top level keywords, though the competition is in the high 40s.
How to become an authority: There are many options here! I would create a Washington blog and then break it down: “Washington Bucket List” and then go from the state down to the city level “Olympia Bucket List”. For a unique spin, I'd add in “Fall Date Ideas in Washington” and talk about what to do as a couple or a family.
What should local blogs write about?
Local sites and travel sites can have some similarities when it comes to what you should blog about. I love this list of 100+ blog post ideas for travel bloggers. If you are in need of a jump start for your creative juices, be sure to read and bookmark it!
How can I monetize a local niche site?
There are multiple ways to monetize a local site, including ads from Ezoic or Mediavine, depending on how many pageviews you have. You can also monetize with:
- ads from local businesses (plumbers, electricians, etc*)
- partnerships with local realtors
- being an affiliate for local events
- product recommendations (like hiking shoes for Sedona, for example)
- be an affiliate for Groupon, booking.com, and other event/travel sites
*How to find local businesses that want to advertise with you: search sites like Groupon. Why? Because if they're using Groupon they are losing a shit ton of money and will be more open to affordable advertising platforms. I worked for a local bakery once and the Groupon deal they got was so awful, they almost went under. Local news sites and blogs helped bring in more customers so we could get back on track.
Travel Niche Site Ideas
Similar to local niche sites, travel sites are set up to cover multiple locations as the person travels – but you can write a travel blog even before you travel (or based on past travel). Always be authentic in telling your story, but you can definitely use stock photos to talk about places you want to go and even create itineraries that others will be excited to try out and share.
Travel to National Parks was up 20% in 2020 (from 2019), and even more in 2021. The parks are so over-crowded with travelers, van lifers, and folks who have never even visited parks before, that you will never run out of people wanting to read your website.
Travel along the coast and document it via written blog content and video. Take it up a notch by purchasing a drone (this is the one we use) so you can create some awesome videos for YouTube (which you can also monetize!).
Great Smoky Mountains, New England, East Coast, West Coast, etc are all options for travel blogs. They are big enough areas that the search traffic will keep you busy creating blog posts all year, but they're niche enough that you won't be competing with everyone in the country.
Type of Travel
You can also create a travel blog based on the type of travel you're doing. Are you jet setting around the world with kids? Are you flying first class with your BFF? Are you living in your van? However you're traveling, it may be unique… think about including that in your niche selection.
Our travel blog is just getting started, so I won't link it here yet but our goal is to do a deep dive into every city we visit. We spent a month in San Diego, so we have blog posts about the best coffee shops, best places to do co-working, and even our favorite farmer's markets. These will be relatively easy to rank for, because even local bloggers aren't necessarily targeting this angle.
How can I monetize a travel blog?
Look at the list above that shows you how to monetize a local site, because those can also work on your travel site. Only instead of local businesses, you may find yourself advertising for travel insurance companies or bigger event planning companies.
Another way to monetize a travel blog is to sell travel itineraries. These can be custom that you create for a user 1-on-1 and charge a premium for, or they can be longer versions of your blog posts. For example, if you create a 3-day San Diego itinerary, you can have a 10-day version for sale in your shop (and link to it in all of your San Diego posts).
Food and recipe blog ideas
I grew a lifestyle blog to six figures, and my husband rinsed and repeated my process with a food blog in about two years. The key with a food blog is to have amazing photos (or be great at repurposing PLR – that's what we do) and be enthusiastic about teaching people to cook.
Food blogs can be extremely profitable, but the competition is stiff in some areas. Look at blogs like Pinch of Yum for inspiration for a food blog. Their photos are literal perfection, and Lindsay's storytelling is on point – she tells a story without dragging it on and on and on.
You can look at Food n Service to learn more about storytelling, posting recipes with pretty pictures, and creating super shareable blog posts. David's Instant Pot Wine post is a perfect example of all three.
I took their photography course and it was pretty good, but unless you are able to invest quite a bit into artificial lighting, you may want to check out free YouTube videos about food blog photography instead.
Vegan on a Budget
Vegan recipe blogs are a dime a dozen nowadays, but meat and milk alternatives can get expensive… fast! Creating a food blog where you share vegan or vegetarian recipes on a budget can help you get an edge on the competition.
How to become an authority: Create delicious, mouthwatering recipes and publish the best photos you are capable of shooting. Published is better than perfect, but you must work on your food photography if you want to be a top food blogger.
After you have dozens of recipes, you will be able to create round-ups. A round-up is a blog post of your recipes that are related in some way. Maybe it's a list of the best Weight Watchers soups, or holiday dessert recipes. Whatever it is, the recipes need to tie in in some way so you can create a round-up. These are like landing pages and they help with SEO.
Keto Recipe Blog
I originally was going to warn against starting a keto food blog, but after doing some keyword research, I can see that as long as you have an angle (organic, on a budget, easy and fast, slow cooker), you can do well in this niche.
Monetization will come from traffic and ads, menu plans and recipe ebooks, and perhaps even brand deals and sponsored posts.
Recipes for Two
Most recipe bloggers neglect individuals who are just cooking for one, as well as couples without children, and single parents with one child.
This is going to be the perfect niche for you if you already do freezer cooking. I'm sure you have tons of tips, tricks, dos and don'ts, and loads of knowledge to share around the topic of freezer cooking. I would definitely write a cookbook (ebook) and publish it on Amazon if I was going to create a freezer cooking blog!
I know nothing about homebrewing, but it always pops up in forums and groups when people are talking about choosing niches. Yet I've seen very few go after the niche themselves. If you know how to do homebrewing – or want to learn – this could be a neat niche to dive into. Would be great to blog about this as a couple, too.
Cast Iron Cooking Blog
While the competition is a little higher than I like for the top level keyword (52), you can dominate this niche by creating cast iron desserts, campfire recipes, and diving deep into the cast iron skillet care topic.
How to monetize your food blog
Food blogs have the potential for crazy amounts of traffic, so ads will be your top revenue source in most cases. You can also create ebooks using the recipes you've already published on your blog.
Menu plans are another option for monetization. You can create menus based on a type of diet, type of cuisine, or type of lifestyle (like for busy moms or single dads) and sell them for a few bucks a piece.
If you don't have the time or energy to create all of your own content, it's okay to buy recipe PLR! The key to using PLR successfully is to mix up the content – that means adding your own flair to it as well as your story (at least a little bit). People want to hear from YOU, so give them YOU. 🙂
Lifestyle blog ideas
I love lifestyle blogs, even though I know evvvveryone says you must pick a niche. Instead of choosing a niche based on topic, you can choose a niche audience with a lifestyle blog. If your target audience is stay-at-home moms, there are many topics you can talk about and weave them together in a cohesive way.
A lifestyle blog should be about – you guessed it – your life. But nobody cares to read your diary or about you potty training Timmy, unless you are delivering massive value to them while storytelling. If you're potty training, talk about how you are doing it! What has worked for you? What hasn't? Get unique and write a post on your methods, such as this article on Montessori toilet training (it's completely different than what I did with my kids!).
Your blog should have an angle, and an audience. Are you a 50-something who is just getting back into dating? Are you a 20-something who is into high-end fashion on a budget? How can you stand out amongst the gazillion other lifestyle bloggers?
Lisa from Fun Happy Home is a lifestyle blogger who is currently remodeling her Airstream. This is a blog I follow and read regularly, because the vibe is super upbeat and Lisa is an awesome friend.
René from Black Girl, Lost Keys is a top ADHD lifestyle blogger and provides resources to the neurodiverse community. She writes fun, helpful posts like 100 no-cook meals for when you don't want to adult.
She always publishes posts that make me go “wow!” because she writes about topics that are so important. Do you have ADHD? Have you heard of vertical heterophoria? René wrote a post about it that has helped thousands of ADHDers that had no idea that is what was causing so many headaches and eye issues! That's what it's all about: serving your audience.
How to monetize lifestyle blogs
Using the example above, the blogger behind Black Girl, Lost Keys monetizes her site in multiple ways.
Ad revenue and affiliate earnings will be a big part of your lifestyle blog's monetization strategy. You may also want to create digital products (like ebooks and workbooks) and courses. Lifestyle blogs do well with courses because your audience gets to know you, trusts you, and then you can take them on that journey.
Financial niche blog ideas
Finance is one of the most competitive niches on the internet, because they're so easy to monetize. This means you definitely need a unique perspective. Did you go from homeless to six figures like I did? Are you on food stamps and in debt but working to get out?
The most profitable blogs are ones that show a transformation. Whether that's losing weight, increasing income, or digging out of debt, people want to read your story and learn how to accomplish their goals.
Budgeting is a very personal topic, but one people are always curious about. One way I'd set myself apart from other bloggers in this niche would be to publicly post my budget each month. Most people don't like putting real numbers out there, so being authentic and putting your numbers up will encourage a loyal following.
Getting out of debt
Were you in debt up to your eyeballs, but you've dug your way out? Are you an expert at using the envelope system? How can you teach others to get out of debt? Whatever you did, write that system out and turn it all into blogs posts – and eventually digital products and courses.
Side hustles and making money
Admittedly, this is one of the most competitive niches on the list, but it really just depends on your angle. If you're a single mom who raised 3 kids while building your empire, people are going to ask how you are doing it and how they can duplicate it.
Financial Blog for Single Parents
Being a single parent brings on a whole bunch of financial issues that many people don't think about when they are married, or before they have kids. Publishing tips and tricks that helped you become financially free as a single parent will inspire others to take similar actions.
Any time you can inspire, you can monetize. We don't do it just for the money, of course, but it's nice to get paid for the work we put in.
How to monetize financial blogs
Whether you're writing about budgeting, getting out of debt, or making money, the monetization options with financial blogs truly are endless.
Stock apps like Robinhood, Stash, and Public all offer stocks or cash for getting people to sign up through your link. If you're already using these apps, even better! You can show your readers the progress you've made over time, which builds trust and inspires them to sign up and follow the road map you lay out for them.
DIY/Crafty blog ideas
Are you obsessed with jewelry making? Are you an expert at sculpting with clay? Show others how to do crafty things and you will have a loyal following. Take Jennifer Maker, for example. She runs a 7-figure business that all started with playing around with a Cricut, right?
Craft Show Tips Blog
Teach others how to make money with their crafts, and then create unique tutorials for items they can sell at vendor shows. You can also do craft shows and set up at farmers markets with your own business, take photos of your set up, and write blog posts about how others can repeat your success.
Become an authority by making money with your craft business and recording the income, expenses, what works, what doesn't, etc so you have plenty of blog content.
If you use your Cricut, Silhouette, or really any other craft machine on a regular basis and you know how to take decent photos, you can create a craft tutorial blog.
Not nearly as much competition as the Cricut or Silhouette, the Glowforge is an excellent niche for a blog. If you don't have one yet, be sure to read my post on why you need to buy a Glowforge. I think I've talked at least five of my friends into buying one so far, and they are all busy with orders with minimal advertising via Facebook groups.
I tell them it is the closest thing to a money printer you will find! Even if you only buy a small amount of supplies to start, there are plenty of projects you can make with the Glowforge and wood scraps.
It's not all rainbows and unicorns, though. Do your research: 7 things I wish I knew before I bought my Glowforge.
Document everything. Take the knowledge you gain while learning to use the Glowforge, and turn it all into tutorials, videos, and eventually a course. Each project you make for your customers can double as content for your Glowforge blog!
You can monetize a Glowforge blog by linking to blanks you buy on Amazon, or even little odds and ends like keychains etc that you are going to show your readers how to turn into items they can sell in their own businesses.
This is a great example of being “in the middle“. If you haven't heard me talk about this concept before, it basically means you are serving an audience who is selling to their own audience. Being their source of knowledge and/or supplies is going to keep you in the middle as long as they are in business.
Dating and Relationship Blog Ideas
One of my favorite topics now that I finally manifested the partner of my dreams, writing date night ideas for couples is so fun to me! My husband and I started a dating blog when we first met, but we got busy and let it go. It's definitely on the future “to do” list, though. We love dating and even though we are married, we prioritize spending time together.
How to monetize a relationship blog
You'll need to get creative to monetize a relationship blog. I have never monetized one but when we create ours, we will be selling date night kits.
Dating blogs should be pretty easy to get traffic to, especially with SEO and Pinterest. Even though Pinterest is pretty crappy lately, this is a topic that can still perform well on that platform.
Can any niche be monetized?
Pretty much any niche is monetizable as long as you're passionate and/or disciplined enough to put the work in. My blog is in the “work from home” or “side hustles” niche and I never worry about competition – even though it's one of the most competitive topics out there – because my focus is delivering value to my readers.
I know as long as I deliver massive value, I will make enough money to pay my bills without having to work 100 hours a day. That's the goal: time freedom as well as financial freedom. That is what my blogs provide me and if you put the work in, they can provide for your family as well.
Some topics I'd steer clear of are anything that is or could be deemed illegal or sketchy. Even essential oils can be iffy. Google doesn't like homeopathic remedies very much, and you want to win the heart of Google so you can get traffic as quickly and steadily as possible.
What are you waiting for?
We've already talked about what a niche is, how to choose one, and which ones are most profitable. Now it's your turn: choose a niche and start a blog! Let me know which niche you chose in the comments, and then come back and leave your blog link so I can follow you. 🙂