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How To Start A Blog In 2024 [Step-By-Step]

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  1. The Basics Of Blogging [Start Here]
    8 Topics
  2. How To Research & Select A Blogging Niche
    3 Topics
  3. How to Come Up With A Blog Name: An Easy, Proven Formula
    8 Topics
  4. Choosing a Tech Stack [The Right Way]
    9 Topics
  5. How To Set Up & Configure Your Blog [Step-By-Step]
    6 Topics
  6. How To Create The Most Important Blog Pages
    1 Topic
  7. How To Create A Professional Brand & Design
    5 Topics
  8. How To Create Blog Content
    6 Topics
  9. How To Publish A Blog Post: Optimization & Going Live
    1 Topic
  10. How To Get Your Blog Noticed [Quickly & Effectively]
    4 Topics
Lesson Progress
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90% of your initial blogging success comes down to choosing the right niche, then writing about the “right” topics within that niche.

Choosing a niche is incredibly important. Go with the wrong one and you’ll have a hard time getting traffic or revenue.

The “right” niches are ones that have lots of Google (and Pinterest) searches, which means there are a lot of problems people are looking to solve online.

For example, anything related to travel, money, fashion, fitness, etc. Each of these niches have millions of searches. That means there’s plenty of opportunity to create content.

If I put the root keyword “travel” into the Ahrefs keyword explorer, you’ll see what I mean. The volumes on these keywords are off the charts:

a screenshot of the "travel" keyword within the Ahrefs keyword explorer

However, as a general rule of thumb, the higher the search volume, the more competitive the industry becomes. This is not always the case, but it is in niches that have both high search volumes and lucrative commissions.

But, there’s more to it than that.

As a blogger, your goal should be to help solve people’s problems with helpful, unique content. And you can do that best when your niche has a ton of questions to go around.

Take the personal finance niche, for example. Every day people look up thousands of very specific searches, like:

  • how often can you refinance student loans?
  • can you rent an apartment with no credit?
  • how to change homeowners insurance with escrow
  • what to do with old debit cards

This niche works well because when there are thousands or millions of specific searches, that’s more opportunity for the small or beginning blogger to get their slice of the pie.

But be careful which niche you choose. If you choose the most lucrative ones, you might be facing heavy competition.

For example, if you try to rank for competitive finance terms, you’ll be going up against the biggest content sites on the planet – Nerdwallet.

screenshot of the nerdwallet homepage

This website is SO big that they not only rank for nearly every finance-related keyword on the internet, but they are also heavily diving in to branding.

We touch on how to do this in our course “How to Build A Brand” course, but for now, just understand that unless you have access to huge amounts of capital, it’s going to be hard to compete with a website like Nerdwallet.

They’re so big that they’re even running commercials:

In a small niche, on the other hand, where there are fewer searches and questions, it’s harder to get your slice of the traffic and revenue pie.

Take the keyword “basket weaving” for example. Unless you’re ranking for “underwater basket weaving”, which has a search volume of 6,000, there’s really not a lot of opportunity to get search traffic for this niche.

And, when you add competition into the mix, things become even harder. Even if there was just one or two other websites focused on this niche, you’d find it harder to outrank them as a new site.

a screenshot of the keyword "underwater basket weaving" in ahrefs search volume tool

It’s possible to go too big and too small with your niche, so try to find a good in-between where there’s thousands of questions being asked, but not so many that you’ll get lost in the shuffle.

If you decide on a niche like personal finance, then consider finding a “subniche” within that topic, like creating family budgets, or couponing, etc…

Even if a niche seems ultra-competitive, there are usually tons of terms that are lucrative enough for a small-time blogger to make money in, while not valuable enough for a site like Nerdwallet to try to rank for.

This is the sweet spot that I like to try to find. And it’s not hard to do, but it does take a considerable amount of time, effort, and critical thinking.

Blog Niches That I Recommend to New Bloggers

Here’s a list of some great niches for beginning bloggers to work in. It’s not comprehensive, but in my decade-plus of blogging, these are some of the niches I’ve seen be very profitable for bloggers of all levels:

  1. Budgeting and personal finance
  2. DIY and crafts
  3. Home improvement and/or decor
  4. Travel and outdoors
  5. Food
  6. Lifestyle

While these are great niches, there are SO many more to choose from. I’ve put together additional resources that will help you see what is available and select one that you love:

I highly suggest reading these guides and familiarizing yourself with the various options available. In these guides, I’ll not only present you with a list of options, but also provide advice on which niches to avoid.

An Important Note to Keep in Mind While Choosing a Niche

Part of the success of your blog comes down to you being an online “authority” in your niche.

So if you go with a lifestyle blog, try to pick one angle and stick with it for awhile before you expand. It’s going to be a lot easier to gain authority, traffic and momentum if your lifestyle blog focuses just on one thing, like fashion or fitness.

If you have a catch-all lifestyle blog that jumps around too much from fashion to food to fitness to travel to parenting, Google will have a more difficult time understanding where your authority lies, so you may have a harder time ranking well and getting organic traffic.

If you go with a lifestyle blog, try to focus it as much as possible.

Do You Have to Be Passionate About Your Niche?

There are two schools of thought here. The first is to work on your passion, whatever it is.

I don’t necessarily agree with that 100% – if your passion is collecting pogs, you probably won’t find very much success, traffic or income. On the other hand, don’t recommend choosing a niche simply because it will be profitable.

In my experience, the balance has always come somewhere in between: something I could learn more about, see myself being interested in for a few years, and has good potential to make money and improve the lives of my audience.

I’ve worked in niches I strongly disliked, and I wouldn’t do that again. But I’ve also worked in niches just for the money, and I didn’t have the same drive when I worked on something I really enjoyed.

Find somewhere in the middle, but remember that your passions may not be profitable, and profitable niches may not be sustainable if you’re just there for the money.

Quick Recap

  • success comes from the right niche + the right topics
  • choose a niche with lots of questions and searches
  • try to find a “subniche” within your larger niche
  • balance profit and passion to find your sweet spot

Homework

Research and pick a large niche like personal finance or travel, then think about what “subniches” you can explore within that area.

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