Bloggers are a pretty chatty bunch, so it’s not surprising that the Internet is littered with advice(and gripes) about setting up and running personal and professional blogs. No one blog article can possibly hope to cover all the bases for aspiring online scribes.
You’d need an ebook for that, at least.
One step at a time. Before you write a single line of copy on your brand new blog, you need to make a fairly consequential decision: what to write about.
If you plan to monetize your blog, it’s helpful (though not essential) to have a tightly defined niche. These four are among the most popular, lucrative, and easy to turn up.
1. Crypto & Blockchain
You’ve heard of crypto. Blockchain rings a bell. But what are they, really?
This is an “if you have to ask” situation — unless you’re willing to immerse yourself in the already voluminous and rapidly expanding literature on the (potential) underpinnings of our post-fiat future. The key here is legitimately knowing more — or at least being better equipped to relate — than the average crypto-blockchain booster. (And there are a lot of them.) If you can’t add value to the conversation, stick with what you know, no matter how enticing the payoff appears.
2. Travel Blogging
You definitely don’t need an advanced mathematics degree to make a living as a travel blogger. All you need is an eye for detail, an unquenchable wanderlust, a way with words, and perhaps a premium airline credit card.
Travel blogging is a competitive space, to be sure. You’ll want to think carefully about your niche; the path of least resistance is rarely the most lucrative. Most successful travelistas play up the lifestyle aspects of their travels: think #vanlife (ethical and practical issues notwithstanding). Without a tightly defined niche, effective monetization is elusive. Plan accordingly.
Like crypto and blockchain, cybersecurity is a technical, timely topic. The barriers to entry are a bit lower, though, since the broad-spectrum concepts underpinning digital security are intuitive and don’t require specialized training to understand. And there’s enough material to run a thousand spy novel imprints. If you’re intrigued by the ongoing arms race between white hats and black hats, the involvement of criminal rings and nation-states, and the pitfalls of seemingly sound cyber-defense strategies, this domain is fertile ground.
4. Personal Finance
Personal finance is that rare blogging domain that’s both insanely popular and extremely lucrative for those who do it right. The secret sauce: monetization opportunities galore, from partnerships with financial advisors to affiliate relationships with credit card issuers to value-added content and products for sale through your blog and third-party platforms like Amazon. Find your niche — frugal homemaking, credit card hacking, early retirement — and you’ll go far here.
Find Your Niche
A lot flows from your blog niche. While it’s not impossible to reorient or expand once you’ve chosen an area of focus, it’s not always easy: you may need to register new domains, rework your themes, rejigger your site’s layout, and put up a slew of new pages.
Do yourself a favor and take your time with this decision. You’ll be thankful you got it right.