Earning a good living through writing about a topic you are passionate about is many people’s dream. While it is possible to make money blogging about something you enjoy, selecting a profitable niche is one of the most important determining factors in the long term financial success of your blog.
Here, we will show you exactly how to create an enviable lifestyle for yourself by creating a “hobby blog” that is profitable enough to make you a good passive income. We will cover:
- How to determine the profit potential of any given blog topic.
- How to brainstorm topics that are both profitable and in line with your interests.
- How to write about your passion in a way that makes you money.
How to determine the profit potential of any given blog topic
The profitability of any given topic or niche depends on three factors:
- How much interest there is in that topic
- How much competition there is for search engine position in that topic
- Whether there are sufficiently expensive things to sell in that topic’s wider industry
The level of interest in a topic determines the level of demand there is for anything that you choose to sell on your blog. This includes advertising space, affiliate offers, sponsored content, or your own products. If there is little demand for the type of content that you produce, then there will likely be sufficient demand for the products that accompany it.
This interest can be measured in a number of ways. Keyword research tools can be used to see the monthly search volume for the most obvious keywords in your niche. It is also worth looking at the number of social media followers of the bigger websites in your niche. Most passionate fans of a specific niche will follow the industry’s biggest websites on social media, so these figures can give you an idea of demand.
While higher numbers are better for these two metrics, there is no minimum number of searches or social media followers that can confirm that a niche has enough interest to build a viable business around it. Topics that have higher ticket items associated with them will require far less people to have an interest in it than niches with a lower customer value.
Competition for search engine traffic can be analysed by typing in some of the titles that you would likely use in a blog on a specific topic and looking at the types of websites that rank at the top of Google.
An independent blog will be very unlikely to outrank big media sites or the websites of corporations. If all the titles you analyze are dominated by these types of sites, your chosen niche is too competitive. That does not mean you should abandon this topic altogether, but rather you need to find a more narrow “subtopic” to base your blog around.
Ideally, you want to be competing with other personal blogs and local businesses for search engine position.
The lucrativeness of a niche on a sale-by-sale basis can be analysed by brainstorming all the items that are associated with that topic. These are all items that you could sell through your blog. Given that affiliate commissions tend to run between 5-25% you will want a good selection of items over $100 apiece in order to make good money from your blog.
As well as selling other people’s products, you can also sell your own informational products through your blog. If your chosen topic is one that other people can make money from (sales or marketing for example), then people will be willing to pay good money for educational information on that topic. Any topic that falls into this category could make you good money.
It’s important to combine these three factors when evaluating the profitability of a niche as they affect each other. The more interest there is in a niche, the lower value items you will need to sell, and vice versa.
How to pick profitable topics out of your interests
When thinking about which one of your interests you could turn into a profitable blog you should always start by looking at what you spend your money on.
The more money that you are willing to spend on a passion, the more other passionate people are likely to spend. Look at your outgoing expenses and group them together by category. If you see that you spend over five hundred dollars a year on one interest, then this is a highly viable topic for a blog.
It should be emphasized that when doing this exercise, categories of expenses that the vast majority of people incur should be discounted. This includes activities like eating out. These topics will have far too much competition (think about how many restaurant review websites there are) and it will take too long to become profitable if you ever do.
Interests that can be classed as “hobbies” such as outdoor activities are good topics to choose, assuming that you spend a fair bit of money on them each year.
How to write about your passion in a way that makes you money
The key to making money out of your blog is to draw as many interested people into your blog as possible, and to build trust with these people.
You will attract far more people to your blog if you write content that is relevant for beginners to a specific topic. In any industry there are always more beginners than advanced people, so articles relevant for beginners will always have the most interest.
Trust comes from writing honestly in your authentic voice and writing from experience. Readers can spot speculation from a mile off, so only write what you know to be true, and if you are speculating, then be honest about it. This need for authenticity makes having a genuine interest in your chosen blog topic a massive advantage. Even if you outsource a lot of your content to a blog writing company, having genuine expertise in your chosen blog topic will help you a lot when editing your blog.
The best performing blogs are ones that teach their audience. Your blog should chronicle every lesson that you have learned about your topic during the time that you have spent pursuing it. Documenting your exact path from being a beginner to being well versed in a topic will always lead to engaging, useful articles, even if you only write this retrospectively.
Remember that blogs need to be 80% engagement and 20% monetisation. Build a rapport and trust with your readers and only sell products that you would recommend to a friend who was pursuing your chosen topic. That way trust will continue past the initial purchase and you are far more likely to have repeat business with your readers.
Finding topics that are both profitable and enjoyable to write about is possible, especially if you have interests that take a decent amount of money to indulge. Look at what you spend money on to see if you have any such hobbies and build a blog documenting everything you know about that hobby. If you do not have such an interest, then it might be worth teaming up with someone who does and drawing on their expertise to write your blog, as authenticity is essential to build the trust necessary to turn readers into customers.