There are millions of blogs out there on the internet, and that number is no exaggeration. If the most recent reliable statistics are to be believed, there are more than thirty million bloggers active in the United States of America alone. The figure for the whole world is believed to be closer to five hundred million. That's a lot of people doing a lot of writing.
Not all of those blogs are intended to generate commercial revenue, though. The majority of them are just people writing about their everyday lives, either for the purpose of keeping a diary, or providing inspiration or insight to others. Their blogs are personal rather than business, and so they shouldn't be considered commercial bloggers. If you take them out of the equation, it means that even though the numbers are increasing, it's still possible to make money out of blogging if you're good at it.
Before we go any further, we should stress how important the 'being good' aspect is. Not everybody has it in them to write, and the internet doesn't need any more misspelled blogs or poorly-researched articles. If you want to reach agreements with commercial partners, or be paid to review products, the quality of your writing has to be excellent. The other side of this is that if you're a good writer, you can write about anything. That's good news, because you'll probably need to!
Not every topic out there is a potential moneymaker when it comes to blogging. We have plenty of guides on our website about how you can make your blog more attractive, or how you can use language to connect with your audience, but that's not as important as the topic you're blogging on. If you get that wrong, you'll be working for free. Choose one of the topics below, however, and you're more likely to find an audience in the right places.
If you're in a position to blog about parenting, then it's still the safest bet when it comes to making money for your thoughts. There are several examples of parenting bloggers who have gone on to be millionaires, and there's a simple reason for it. Nobody knows what they're doing with parenting until it happens to them, and everybody panics. The first resource that most people turn to is their parents, but that's not always possible. Some people's parents aren't around anymore. Some people didn't enjoy the way they were brought up, and so they don't want to copy their parenting style from their parents. In some cases, people just want a second opinion! Authenticity is crucial if you're going to go down this route though; don't even consider it if you're not a parent yourself. You'll be expected to post pictures and videos, and you can't do that if you're not a parent. Because of that, you also need to be comfortable with sharing intimate details of your life with complete strangers. It's not for everyone - but it's a good revenue source for those who feel comfortable with it!
- Casinos and Gambling
Never has gambling been more fashionable than it is right now. Thirty years ago, gambling was something that either happened in smoky bars or casinos, and was done only by people who knew what they were doing. Now, casino games are everywhere. The internet has made mobile slots websites possible. On a mobile slots website like Amigo Slots, you'll find hundreds of different slots, along with every variety of other casino game you can think of. That's exciting if you know how to play mobile slots. If you don't, it's a little intimidating in terms of knowing where to start. People will always need somewhere to go to find out how poker, roulette, mobile slots, and all the rest of the games work. They also like to feel like they're getting inside information that increases their chance of a win. Not only that, the companies that operate these websites need somewhere to advertise. Your blog is as good a place as any!
- Personal Development
For all of its horrors and terrifying comments sections, the internet is still an aspirational place. If you type 'how do I' into Google, you'll find that the most popular suggested searches relate to people trying to improve their lives. They want to know how to become more productive, or more confident. People search for tips on how to get better at dating, or how to put themselves in pole position for a promotion at work. What advice do you have to impart in this area? If you're starting a blog to make money, you have more entrepreneurial spirit than most people do. What persuaded you to do it? What gave you the confidence? Is it something you could help to instill in others? Daily motivational posts always go own well, and you can put motivational quotes on t-shirts, or mousepads, or other items. Can you tell people how to focus on their work and get things done? If you can, you might be able to sell a training course through your blog.
Travel broadens the mind, but also makes people nervous. That's why people spend hours reading reviews of hotels and tourist attractions before they spend money on a vacation. Most people are savvy enough not to believe the glamorized description of a vacation they'll see on a travel agent's website or the hotel's official material, so they like to go looking for an independent voice. Travel bloggers are the people who provide that independent voice; they offer the wealth of their own experience, and tell people where to go and where to avoid. As with running a parenting blog, the key to success in this field is authenticity. You can't write about somewhere if you've never been, and don't have evidence of your trip. Familiarity with your subject matter is an absolute must. If you get it right, you'll soon find travel companies approaching you, wanting to put a paid booking link under your articles so people can make reservations based on your recommendations.
"Who are you meeting for lunch this week?"
Without fail, my former boss would ask me this question in every weekly status we had. And I dreaded the question. Because my answer was generally a stammering "Umm… No One." Occasionally I could remember what I actually had for lunch. And almost always it was sitting in my windowless cube eating a soggy sad sandwich.
I didn't understand why "who I had lunch with this week" was worthy of being a topic on our weekly status. After all, I was only 6 months into this new job. I was still figuring out how to pull data from Nielsen. I was still figuring out how to write an innovation brief. I was still trying to figure out where the bathrooms were in this maze of a building.
And despite knowing this question would come up in every weekly status, I was reluctant to change my behavior. I didn't see the value in the question. I didn't see the importance of it in my career. I didn't understand why I had to have lunch with anyone.
Because I hated the idea of having to network, to meet people, to put myself out there. Because networking was something slimy and strange and weird and scary. It made my stomach hurt, my throat go dry. And I could feel a faint headache coming on.
Even Oxford's definition of networking only reaffirmed my fears of what networking looked like: the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.
Because please don't ask me to walk into a room where I don't know anyone. And stand in the corner sipping a bad glass of Chardonnay. Please don't ask me to slide my business card out and not so subtly shove it in your face. And ask you to do something for me. Please don't ask me to network. Because I hate networking.
And I used to hate networking (okay, maybe hate is too strong.) I still really dislike the term. "Networking" seemed about getting something from someone. Or someone getting something from you. A favor, a job, a referral. "Networking" seemed very transactional. And someone shoving a business card at you (which happened to me recently at event) only solidified by feelings.
And over the years, I came to really understand that networking wasn't about "the action or process of interacting with others." It was about building authentic connections. It was about meeting people who were different than you. It was about expanding my community. And creating new communities. It was tapping into more and more communities I could belong to.
And as I slowly started to change my view on networking- I mean building authentic connections- I started to realize my communities were more inclusive than I thought. My best friends from middle school. Former bosses. College Alumni I met after we had graduated. Colleagues from past companies. Vendors and agency partners I had once worked with. Colleagues I had once managed. As my family expanded, my husband, my two sister-in laws and my brother in-law. A whole host of fabulous cousin-in-laws. My baby brother as his career skyrocketed. And fellow parents in my kids' school.
I still hate networking. And I love building connections. And helping to build connections and be a bridge for other people.
Now, when I go to a large event, I try to go with a friend. We have a drink at the bar and then part ways to try and make new friends. If we don't authentically connect with other people, and we have made the effort, we always have each other to back to.
Now, I try to meet one new person a week at my company or in my broader community, or reconnect with someone I miss seeing. (This doesn't always have to be in person, can be text, Zoom or Facetime.) And if you can't commit to doing that, that you should seriously relook at your schedule. I thank my former boss for that constant reminder.
Now, I joined Luminary, a women's collaboration hub in NYC, which has been life changing for me. I am also on the advisory board. It's all about women supporting and lifting each other up- to get more money, get that next big promotion, or start their own venture. It's a built-in community of unwavering support.
Now, I am working on expanding my community of moms. Not too long ago, I worked up the nerve to ask a fellow mom in my daughter's class if she wanted to get together. She thought I meant a playdate. I meant drinks. And after one late night out drinking, I have bonded with a whole new set of badass women.
And all of these communities. I am there for my communities. And they are all there for me. Referral for a job at my company. Coaching on how to survive a bad boss. Advice on how to ask for more money. Supporting each other as we care for aging parents. Candid feedback on why they didn't get that promotion. Commiserating over a cocktail on which working parent had the worst week ever.
So please don't ask me to network. Because I hate it. And well actually I don't have a business card to give you. I haven't printed one in four years.