A lot of beginners have a lot of difficulties when they are trying to decide what kind of blog they should make. The problem is that there is a way too much information about blogging and you can get easily overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options you have. Having a lot of options is good, but not all blog types or niches will be good for you, some take a lot of monetary investment while others are way too competitive.
Before deciding what kind of blog you should start you have to set yourself a goal of what you want to achieve with the blog. From there on you have the option to make a passive income blog, niche blog, general blog, affiliate blog, personality blog, or a blog with a community.
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Before jumping on the bandwagon and creating a random niche you should think of what your goals are. Now you will most likely say that your goals with the blog are to make some additional income, and who knows you might even be able to quit your 9-5 job. If you have been blogging for a couple of years than you have most likely found your niche, but for beginners, this decision will either make them or break them.
One extremely important aspect of blogging which not a lot of people are talking about is the time investment, as it will take a lot of time until you see a return on your investment and even if you put in a lot of work into your blog you are still not guaranteed to be successful at it. Generally speaking, a blog starts to rank after 6-8 months, but there are a lot of variables that will determine the actual timeline.
The problem is that most people think that they will start earning after 6-8 months, although in some cases this is true but for the wast majority of blogs, this is when the blog starts ranking and it will take a couple of months in addition to rank top 3. This is why it is extremely important to make the right type of blog, and with good keyword research, you will be able to rank a lot faster. Targeting low competition keywords makes it extremely easy to rank your blog, even without backlinks for more information check out my recent article Can you rank a website without Backlinks? ( Fact or Fiction? ).
Set your goal
The first thing that you need to do even before you pick a niche or what type of blog you want to do is to set yourself a goal. Time is money, you can always make more money but you can never get back time.
- Long term blog: If you want to make a blog that makes you money in the long term than you should know that it takes either a considerable investment in time or money to achieve this. But once the blog is ranking and getting traffic then you will earn from it for several years, and it will be mostly passive. Generally speaking the bigger the blog the better it will rank, although it also depends on the quality of the blog.
- Short term blog: These are blogs that earn money fairly fast, although there are a lot of risks involved in it. Usually, people who do blackhat tend to favor these blogs, and their name is churn and burn. The churn and burn basically means that you focus on off-site SEO, basically building backlinks to rank the website. You can see these websites all over the internet and the quality of the blogs tends to be fairly low.
- Authority blog: Even niche blogs can turn into authority blogs with time. All blogs have started out as small ones, but with time they have started to get more and more mentions from other websites in their niche. Generally speaking, authority blogs tend to be fairly large with hundreds if not thousands of articles.
Passive income blog
This is by far my most favorite type of blog, and the best part about this type of blog is that it is excellent for beginners as well. Passive income blogs generate money passively, which means that after you put in the work you could earn significant money even years later. For passive blogs, content is definitely the king and you will spend either most of your time writing the content or spending a lot of money on outsourcing.
The idea of a passive blog is to write the articles today and earn from them in a couple of months, once they are ranked you do not have to even add new articles, although if your blog is successful you should probably add new articles to make the blog even bigger. The problem with passive income blogs is that you will need to do a lot of work, especially in the first couple of months. Successful bloggers tend to write 50-100 blog posts and then let the blog rest for a couple of months during which time they start working on other blogs.
To make a blog truly passive you will have to find evergreen niches, these are niches that will always be searched for and your content will be always relevant. Blogs that target niches that are always changing will not be passive as you will constantly have to add new articles to stay relevant. Evergreen blogs are around outdoor activities, hobbies, and everything you can think of which does not change with time.
Blogs that target niches like technology, apps, video games, movies, fashion, and so on will be extremely hard to make them passive. You write an article today about a video game and in 8 months when it ranks it is no longer relevant, so you should probably avoid these types of blogs.
Even if you are new to blogging you have most likely still heard of niche blogs, these are blogs that focus on a particular topic or niche. Some bloggers focus on “how-to” style blogs while others focus on niches like pets, gardening, fashion, and so on. The problem is that most niches have a lot of competition so you will have to niche down, which means that you have to find a niche within a niche.
I am going to use the pet niche as an example, instead of going for a generic pet niche you can niche down to specific types of pets, like fish, birds, dogs, cats, and so on. From here you can niche down even further, targeting specific breeds of the types of pets, if you go with the dog’s niche then you can target specific breeds like labradors, german shepherds, and so on. Niching down is extremely important, due to the high competition of most niches, the lower you can niche down the better your odds are for ranking.
General blogs are usually blogs that are not targeting any kind of niches, instead, they have articles from a lot of different niches. There are some extremely big websites that are extremely successful, but you need to understand that these general blogs tend to be run by large companies that have hundreds of writers, and they are doing this since a long time. Basically, anything they write will most likely rank, I mean just look at vice.com and Buzzfeed.com.
A lot of beginner bloggers make the big mistake of making a general blog, without any kind of aim or goal other than making some extra money. You can see these sites sold on several marketplaces, most of them will never rank, google simply doesn’t trust them and you can simply not compete with companies that have hundreds of writers.
Everybody has heard of affiliate blogs, if you didn’t then I will sum it up for you. Basically, affiliate blogs are blogs that promote products or services from which they earn a commotion if somebody coming from the blog makes a purchase. These types of blogs are excellent for beginners, and if you have picked a good niche then you most likely make a nice profit every month. One of the best affiliate programs is the Amazon affiliate program.
The problem is that a lot of beginners think of affiliate blogs as amazon product blogs, but the truth is that there are plenty of other affiliate programs that you can use, some have higher commissions and some convert even better, although it depends on your niche. A lot of people make the big mistake on focusing only on reviewing amazon products, these tend to be extremely competitive terms to rank for and google is not a fan of them.
The main reason why Google doesn’t like these types of websites is that they do not offer any value to the user, and the blogger has most likely just listed the most expensive items in order to get a higher commotion. This is why a lot of people are starting to have more and more difficulty ranking these websites, and Google has even started to rank actual reviews that are found on the amazon product listing.
Once you have picked your niche you have to start writing informational posts, rather than targeting reviews. You can add a couple of reviews, later on in your blog’s life, but do not overdo them. If you make a website in the dog niche then 90% of your posts should be informational which actually gives value to your visitors. The rest can be about reviews, although you can still add a link or two from the affiliate website in all of your articles, and yes that includes the informational posts as well.
These are blogs that are based on your personality, and they can be extremely profitable once you have a following. The best part about them is that you can write on your blog about anything you want and your followers will still read it, the bad news is that you will not be able to make this a passive blog, you will constantly have to add new content. Most of the traffic for these types of blogs comes from social media, and the odds of ranking on google are fairly slim.
Don’t get me wrong these blogs can make a lot of money but if you want to make a portfolio of several blogs than you will find it extremely difficult to manage them all. Generally speaking, personality blogs tend to have a lot of opinionated content like, “why I love driving during the night” and so on, these will be extremely hard to rank on google as nobody is writing in google “why Jessica loves driving during the night”, and yes now your name is Jessica.
Blog with a community
A lot of beginners want to make a community with their blog, adding a forum, and spending a lot of time on social media promoting their blog. This can be extremely profitable, but I do not recommend it for new bloggers, as it can be an extremely large time sink and you don’t have any guarantees for success. If you are making a simple niche blog and you want to attract a community than this will be extremely difficult.
The truth is that the vast majority of people who will visit your website will never come back once they get the information, they simply have no reason to do so. On the other hand, if you have a blog based on your brand and personality than you can make a community a lot easier, but for that, you will have to get a fairly large following.
As you can see you have plenty of options when it comes to blogging, although you should be extremely careful what kind of blog you make. Some blog types are simply not worth pursuing, due to the competition, due to the EAT, and due to the YMYL factor, which basically means that unless you are a real doctor you will find it extremely hard to rank for health-related terms.