Why start a blog in 2022? I started a blog with Siteground a few years ago and have never looked back! In this post I talk about how blogging can help you build wealth and be a new revenue stream for you.
Hi there! My name is Chantal and I’m the fitness blogger behind this site. I’m a mom, personal trainer, and I truly enjoy blogging.
But why start a blog? Especially now?
As I’ve talked about before, seven years ago, I discovered blogging for the purpose of earning an income. Before that I knew that blogs existed, but I considered them online journals rather than businesses.
I had no clue that some people were making six-figures monthly with blogs.
If you’re like me, you found out about blogging for profit on Pinterest. I was researching ways to make money online, which is what you may have done, too.
Once I saw just one pin about how much someone was making with their blog, I was hooked. I became obsessed with income reports that showed a given blogger’s monthly revenue and growth. I saw people making a little, and I saw people making a lot.
Then I saw people who were making money after several years blogging, and people who were making money after just a few months blogging.
But they were all making more than I was, so I wanted in.
That’s, I’m sure, how many people became convinced to join the blogging world.
But is it real? Can you really make money blogging? Why Start A Blog in 2022?
Is it a legitimate business? Can you really write about whatever you want, whenever you want?
I could tell you the answer, but you might still doubt me.
If you’re already convinced (all of those bloggers can’t be lying, after all), then maybe you just need a little more motivation. If you don’t even know what I’m talking about, then prepare to be amazed. My answer to, “Why start a blog?” is going to baffle you.
Let’s take a look at some inspiring cases in which blogs of different niches have had great success. Here are three different blogs in three different niches, all making full-time incomes. I’ve provided summaries of their niches, monthly income, the way they earn most of their money, and the amount of time each blog has been alive. There are many, many more examples to be found online, but I think you’ll get the gist if you take a look:
Case 1: Create & Go
Blog Type: Business/Blogging
Current Monthly Income: $67,000+ (source)
Main Revenue Streams: Affiliate marketing & courses
Blog Lifespan: 3.5 years
Case 2: Making Sense of Cents – Personal Finance Blog
Blog Type: Personal Finance
Current Monthly Income: $200,000+ (source)
Main Revenue Streams: Affiliate marketing & courses
Blog Lifespan: Nearly 8 years
Case 3: Mommy on Purpose – Mom Blog
Blog Type: Mom/Parenting
Current Monthly Income: $18,000+ (source)
Main Revenue Streams: Affiliate marketing & courses
Blog Lifespan: Approx. 4 years
Incredible, right!? Maybe that answers your question, “Why start a blog?”
I mean, is that crazy or what? We have three different types of blogs that are different ages, all making at least $15k per month. They are different niches yet they use the same main types of monetization (which we will discuss later). If they can do it, so can you!
If you don’t already see the obvious answer to, “Why blog?” something is wrong!
Two of these blogs were making over $15,000 per month within about two years of launching. I know it’s hard to look ahead that far, but if you could be making that much in even five years, would it be worth it?
That’s more than I could ever make as an elementary school teacher, which is what I was studying to become before having my daughter.
Actually, that’s more than most people make across any field that requires a traditional college education.
But is it realistic to make that much money blogging?
That honestly depends on you. The harder you work and the more time you have to commit, the more money you will make. That’s the truth in most businesses!
Of course by now you’re probably wondering how much money I have personally made while blogging. Let’s just say that when I working hard and treating my blog like a business, I have thus far been able to break through to four-digits per month. But I have had my fair share of smaller months and have yet to spend any forty-hour weeks on my blog.
Let me ask you this: if you totally sucked at blogging or only spent a little time on it each month but still made $100/month doing it, would you do it?
What would an extra $100/month mean for you? How about $500? What would an extra $1000/month do for your family?
I am not able to make you any big promises in terms of how much money YOU will make as a blogger. It is entirely possible to make as much as those “big” bloggers I mentioned, but you have to build your blogging empire first, of course!
So I will leave you with these important points:
- Blogging is most definitely a legitimate way to earn money.
- How much you earn is up to you.
- Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
- If nothing else, blogging can be an outlet for anyone who needs a place to focus their creativity.
Why Start A Blog?
New Revenue Stream With Huge Potential
Now that you understand the motivating factors for most bloggers, let’s get on with building your blog.
In this chapter, we discuss the importance of having a niche, honing in on a specific audience/target market for marketing purposes, and choosing a blog name wisely.
If you’ve already established your blog, you may choose to skip this chapter, but please consider reading about defining your ideal audience. You may find that it helps you get the right people to your blog, thus influencing your conversions and increasing your income.
Part 1: Choosing a Blog Niche
A niche is a term that, in marketing, refers to a unique portion of the general population. Typically, we know that blogs that do well are often considered “niche” blogs. This is because when you’re trying to sell something unique to someone, the people that are part of that niche (your target market) are the most likely to buy those items.
For example, conversions on maternity clothing sales are more likely to happen on a pregnancy blog than on a “general” or “lifestyle” blog. The idea is that if you know what you’re writing about and you are targeting a specific group of people, you’ll be more likely to sell to them and have repeat customers.
The beauty of blogging, however, is that you can write about whatever you want. Why start a blog about things you don’t even enjoy? You don’t have to choose only one topic – but you should have an idea of who you’re writing to.
Sometimes this is one group of people – sometimes it’s more. But it shouldn’t ever just be the general population, A.K.A. anyone.
I personally write about fitness and fitness business/blogging. While these are my main topics, I am more specifically targeting women.
To take it further, I am targeting moms above everyone else. I am also targeting other fitness professionals with an emphasis on helping them establish a presence online, but I consider this my secondary audience.
So my overall niche is “fitness” but I also “niche down” into smaller groups. Here are some other examples of niches in blogging:
- Weight Loss
- Vegetable Gardening
- Whole 30 Recipes for Weight Loss
- Parenting a Child With Special Needs
- Art Projects for Children
You can see that your niche can be either very general or very specific. You can also see that some niches may interconnect with others. That’s okay. (I’d actually say it’s a good thing!)
Do Some Niches Do Better Than Others? Which Niches Are Lucrative?
I’m glad you asked. Here’s the thing: all niches and all blogs can make money. I truly believe that, and I have seen it happen. I don’t believe that any one type of blog is unable to make money. The thing is that if you “niche down” too hard, you might have issues.
For example, if you choose a niche that is overly specific, it might be limiting. Let’s say that I choose a niche about living with Keratosis Pilaris (a skin condition). If that’s all I write about, I’m limiting my audience to only people who have that skin condition.
No one else is going to care. But if I open up my niche to let’s say, living with any skin conditions, I am going to reach many more people. I hope that make sense. Your audience and the group of people you target must be large enough for you to grow.
I also believe that there’s no such thing as an “overly saturated” blogging niche. Yes, there are tons of people who write about fitness. Yes, there are a lot of people writing about blogging. We all know there are a million mom blogs out there.
But I still have an audience because of my unique perspectives and my personal experiences. Your story matters and your experiences and voice can reach people in a way that is unique only to you.
That’s why I choose to write about a few select topics that can be connected. I use my identity as a mom, blogger, and personal trainer to choose blog post topics. And it works.
However, there is some balance to found here. I personally believe that as a blogger, you’re able to pretty much dabble in whatever you want and make money. (You are reading a book about blogging that came from a fitness blog, after all!) But if you’re all over the place and are generally inconsistent, that’s where we run into trouble.
All of that being said, there are some affiliate programs that are more lucrative than others.
And honestly, why start a blog if it’s not going to at least pay for itself?
If you are going to sell your own products on your blog, how much you earn is ultimately up to you. You set your own prices and you do the product creation. I believe that bloggers who sell their own products do best because they don’t suffer huge cuts in profit.
But if you are marketing the products of others as an affiliate (as a partner for brands), you can earn in a vastly wide range. (Don’t worry, we will get into detail about affiliate marketing later.)
It has become extremely popular to write about blogging because being an affiliate for big-ticket courses and hosting companies pays a lot more than being an affiliate for say, the dollar store (as a frugal-living blogger).
For example, when I first started blogging, I started referring readers to some of the survey sites I use. It earned me about $50/month even after I had over 500 referrals.
But then I figured out that helping people start a blog earned me $50-150 per sale. That meant that if I only had one person buy a hosting package using my link each month, I was making as much as I had with the surveys. You can see why this is a big deal.
So if you only write about blogging and position yourself as an expert on blogging and related topics alone, it can be easy to rake in the money. But there are a lot of other things to write about and a lot of other ways to make money blogging.
If you’re like me and like to dabble and have many interests, writing only about blogging will get boring. But don’t despair, you can definitely make money with other topics. There are affiliate programs for every niche, and there are many more ways to earn. Again, more on that later.
These are things to keep in mind as you go forth.
One more important note about choosing your niche.
If you have any passions at all, I will always recommend focusing on them as you enter the blogging world. The same goes with your expertise or education. Why?
Because readers, despite the virtual nature of it all, can see right through fake claims. They can see it through your writing voice, your blog’s style, your social media personality, etc. Trust me, they can sense genuine people among the insincere.
There are people who want only to make money, and there are people who want to help others as well as make money. And they are surprisingly easy to spot.
While there is nothing wrong with wanting to make money (we all do), you’ll see a bigger, more loyal following when you are real and relatable.
So, are you ready to choose a niche?
Remember that you are the gap in the market and there is always room for your unique perspective.
Here’s how I would personally recommended that “sweet spot” that is best for your blog niche:
- Create a short list of your true passions, your education, and your expertise that comes from life experiences.
- Take a look at the demand, market size, and profitability of the niche you’re interested in. Don’t worry if you don’t see a lot of potential if you’re a new blogger. You’ll quickly discover that the possibilities are endless.
- Consider how your unique mix of education, passion, and experience could fit into that market. That is your “sweet spot.”
Now, keep in mind that once you’re in a niche, you do have quite a big amount of “wiggle” room as far as what you can write about. Don’t overthink your niche, but definitely consider it in order to identify your audience. The first thing that pops into your mind instinctively is probably your best bet.
Part 2: Choosing & Clarifying an Audience (A.K.A. Target Market)
We’re going to go a step further now and nail down the actual individuals we want to reach. We want to know more about them so that we can genuinely help and interest them. Then we are more likely to convert them to true followers and ultimately, customers.
I personally have really studied my audience, but it’s not hard when I AM exactly who I am targeting. I’m trying to reach people like me – moms, personal trainers, bloggers, etc. I know by now that I am most likely to resonate with these people and gain them as “true” followers.
If you are trying to reach people who are just like you – or at least people you have a lot in common with – this should be easy.
If you’re not sure who your audience members might be, maybe it’s time to reconsider your niche.
So, let’s take a look at what knowing your audience might look like:
- Knowing what the target audience does for money
- Knowing what the target audience enjoys doing for fun
- Understanding what problems the target audience faces
- Knowing the target audience emotionally
- Knowing what the target audience is demographically
- Understanding what the target audience values on a moral level
- Knowing where and when the target audience hangs out in person and online
- Knowing the target audience’s consumer tendencies, i.e. are they frugal? What do they spend money on?
If you don’t consider these things, your marketing efforts will be very hit and miss, even if you have a defined niche. It’s important to learn more about the people who hang out in your niche, too.
Let’s dive into an example. Let’s say that I am a mom blogger writing about ways to make money online. My niche could be considered blogging, which is pretty specific.
But my target market goes beyond the niche, even if my blog posts reach bloggers who aren’t moms. If I am targeting moms, the ones that are looking for ways to make money online are probably also:
- Stay-at-home-moms or;
- People who hate their jobs or;
- Having financial problems or;
- In debt or;
- Only online at odd times of the day or for very short periods or;
- Very busy or;
- Any combination of these things and perhaps more.
The point is that knowing these things, I can more accurately pinpoint what my reader needs. This not only helps me choose blog post topics that will help my reader, it will also help me choose products to sell that they would actually be interested in. On top of that, I am able to focus social media marketing efforts on times of the day that are typically “high volume” for moms.
Knowing all of these things, I can also appeal to emotion when I am writing, which is important from a business perspective. Instead of titling a post, “10 Blog Tasks You Need to Complete ASAP,” I might title it, “10 Super-Quick Blog Tasks to Complete This Week,” instead. Why? Because I know it is more likely to appeal to a busy mom.
Hopefully by now you get the gist. Now it’s your turn to do a little work. Grab a pen and paper (or your notebook) and answer these questions:
- Does my audience hang out online? If so, where?
- Where does my audience shop?
- Where does my audience spend his/her free time?
- What does my audience need? How can I help them?
- What does my audience look like demographically? Are they female? Male? Head of household? Age? Etc.
- Where is my audience financially? Do they have expendable income?
- What are my audience’s values?
Use the things that you know about your audience to write blog posts and emails, as well as create and market products.
Part 3: Choosing a Blog Name
Now that you have identified your blog niche and the people that you want to market to, it’s time to think about your blog name.
The first thing that I will say about this is to make sure that your blog name and your site URL are the same.
This is important, but it can be tricky. That’s because there are SO MANY blogs out there already, meaning that TONS of domain names are taken.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, no worries, I’m about to explain it all.
Your URL is the FULL web address where your site can be found.
Mine is https://www.ironwildfitness.com. My domain name is only ironwildfitness.com. It’s what I chose to name not only my blog, but my domain. It’s important that these match.
I feel the like I need to talk about this because I have been to many blogs that had different names than their URLs/domain names. I show up to a site via a certain web address, but the site header, logo, or other graphics are something different. Maybe the owner did it because the domain name they wanted wasn’t available for use, who knows.
Why This is a No-No
It doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal to have different stuff on your site, but if you want your blog to grow, it is. First of all, it’s confusing to readers to show up to a site with one domain name and a different name on the actual blog (visually).
Like imagine that I’d picked womensfitnessblog.com for my domain name but still called it Ironwild Fitness when I referenced it and created graphics. That’s confusing and I’d probably miss out on a lot of blog traffic from people searching for the wrong name.
If you want people to find you directly, they need to be able to type in, “Ironwild Fitness” in Google or other search engines. Why? Because search engines are using the data from your domain and your site and social media accounts.
So what do I do if the domain name I want isn’t available for purchase?
If this is the case for you, try the many variations that are available. Your hosting company will often suggest some alternates. I would recommend staying with a dot com (rather than .net, etc.) if at all possible because it is the most accurate match for a blog that’s a potential business.
You will probably find that the name you want is already taken. I have had this happen, but it’s not really a big deal. You will find something that works. As long as you can commit to it, you will be fine. Your name isn’t the defining factor in your blog’s success.
Important things to consider when choosing a domain name:
- Does my name reflect my blog’s primary topics?
- Will I outgrow this name if I am still blogging in a few years, or can it grow with me?
- Does this make sense to potential readers, or is it something only I understand?
- Is my domain name unique enough to “get big” or is there another huge website with a similar name? (Something that would cause confusion.)
- Why start a blog myself? Your personal reasons matter.
Are you ready to set up your blog now that you can answer, “Why start a blog”? That’s next! Be excited!