Some people want to build influence through podcasting. Others prefer the YouTuber route. There are many that try to become a social media influencer. Compared to all of these, once you understand the types of blogs that exist and follow this advice, you might find that blogging just might be the easiest for you.
Regardless of route, as you can expect, success doesn’t come overnight. But keep reading to best understand the quickest way to becoming a successful blogger.
When you think about it, blogging is a mode of expression that has almost endless possibilities. After all, there are many types of blogs, from corporate news and information, all the way to gaming or crafting how-to. You can even find people who blog about personal finance and business. Some people talk about their professional expertise, while others pursue subjects that interest them for other reasons.
Besides the different subjects treated in blogs, there’s a variety of reasons why people write. For corporate blogs, the obvious purpose is passing on information. However, there are other reasons. Some people write primarily for fun, or because they love passing on their knowledge about a particular subject. This is often the case with crafting and other hobby blogs. Another reason to write is for personal and professional development. Blogging requires learning new things and presenting them in a clear, easy to read format.
Finally, some of us blog to make money. These blogs often contain a lot of affiliate links or advertisements. Of course, any of the other reasons for blogging can be combined with profit motives. With that in mind, let’s look at the types of blogs you can write.
What Should You Blog About?
Before settling on a blog topic, it’s important that your selection is something that you’ll be comfortable with in the long term. Blogging consumes a lot of resources, both in time and (at some point) money. For that reason, you want to ensure that your efforts pay off.
Select Your Blog Niche
Your most important decision is the niche that you will write about. Typically, this means selecting a topic that you are interested in now, and that you intend to stay on top of well into the future. It can be a hobby, a professional interest, or anything that you are knowledgeable about. With that said, I offer 3 pieces of advice to help you choose:
Speak From Experience
By far the best way to stay interested in your own topic is to speak from experience. People tend to be less interested in blogs where the author simply does research and gives a report. If you have unique experience to share, you are already one leg up on the competition who don’t.
Follow Your Passion
Next, be sure to write on a topic that you are passionate about. I am lucky in that I do what I love for a living, but other people are miserable in their jobs. Those people probably don’t want to blog about their professional expertise. For them, a hobby or intellectual interest might be a better choice.
Visualize How/Where You Might Make Money
Finally, think about ways to make money off of your blog. I’ll discuss the different ways you can monetize your blog later in this post, but if monetization is your primary objective, who would pay to be mentioned on your blog or access your audience? Often if you can figure that part out, it will help you decide both what to blog about as well as help you create your initial blog content calendar.
Choose Your Blogging Platform
At some point there is technology involved in launching a blog, so you need to also decide where your blog will live.
There are several alternatives, each of which have their own advantages and disadvantages. With that said, if you are just getting started, my personal choice is WordPress.com. This blogging and website platform is one of the most popular worldwide, and it’s easy to use.
When you use the free version of WordPress your domain name will be domainname.wordpress.com. This is the same for other options like Weebly. So if you want to brand your site you’ll want to purchase a domain name for your blog.
If you are more serious about your blog, you’ll want to upgrade to a paid plan from Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly. You are paying for custom template designs and monthly hosting fees, with these platforms providing you all of the flexibility you need.
If you want to take things one step further, you’ll want to utilize the free WordPress.org, which requires you to have separate website hosting in addition to your domain name. You can then utilize free or paid themes and build your site yourself or have someone build it for you. It sounds like a pain, but WordPress truly gives you all of the flexibility and customization that you might ever need.
Further Reading: How to Start a WordPress Blog from Scratch TODAY!
How Does a Blogger Make Money?
Although WordPress and most other blogging platforms are free or cheap, it does cost money to blog. In particular, the domain name and hosting can add up. Besides this, blogging consumes time and other resources for which a blogger should be compensated. There are several ways to monetize your blog.
Displaying Ads with Google AdSense
This is the oldest way to make money off of your blog. With AdSense, you sell advertising space on your blog. In this case, all you really do is set up an account with Google, add a piece of code, and bring in money. Google then takes bids for your ad space and selects the best ones for your audience. Don’t like a particular ad? Let Google know and they’ll remove it. Simple. Best of all, it’s something you can use for all types of blogs.
Next, you can post affiliate links. In this case, you add links to shopping sites within blog posts. Then, companies pay you a commission based on the sales that you generate. This is a common monetization choice for types of blogs which have a lot of references to products and services. However, even less “materialistic” blogs can benefit from programs like the one Amazon runs.
Sponsorships and Private Advertising
If you’re more adventuresome, you can create sponsored posts. In this case, you’re participating in a type of influencer marketing, because you’re selling access to your audience. A less labor intensive option is private advertising. Here, you sell ad space on your blog but handle the client selection, payment, and blog placement yourself. Both of these approaches are more work than AdSense and affiliate links, but you keep more editorial control and in most cases money.
Selling Their Own Products or Services
Finally, authors of all types of blogs can choose to sell their own products or services. In some cases, this is as simple as a corporate blog touting what they have to offer. Or, if you are someone like me, the main product for sale is professional expertise and influence. Besides this, some people in niches such as fashion and beauty have their own products that they sell.
Further Reading: The 11 Best Ways Bloggers Can Get Paid $$$
What are the 18 Different Types of Blogs?
With all of this in mind, there are many types of blogs that you can choose to write. Each of them encompasses a range of options. In addition, most of them can be approached from different positions of affinity within the related industry.
Note that this is not an exhaustive list by any means. Research was done in the SEO tool SEMrush to find those types of blogs that are often searched for, and they are listed using this is a filter in reverse oder starting with the most popular on top.
1. Food Blog
Arguably, this is one of the original types of blogs, because it originated as recipe ideas. Whether that’s hearty homestyle meals or gourmet treats, the options are almost unlimited. Home cooks and professional chefs alike can excel in this space.
2. Travel Blog
For people who love to go places, a travel blog offers lots of opportunities to share their experiences. This can mean business travel, family vacations, backpacking adventures, or couples getaways to name a few. If you pick this niche, consider adding lots of pictures.
3. Fashion Blog
Here, you can talk about clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, and more. People love to read these because it helps them figure out what is in style, and what might look good on them. That’s especially true for people who wear special styles or like a particular look.
4. Lifestyle Blog
Next up is the lifestyle blog. This is really several types of blogs, because there are so many different people who write on this topic. Probably the most famous is a “mommy blog” where moms trade parenting and housekeeping tips. All of them, however, talk about the life of the author at some level.
5. Beauty Blog
Typically, beauty blogs talk about makeup, skincare, and grooming. These topics can be geared towards any age or gender. Some even treat specialized topics, such as theatrical makeup.
6. Music Blog
Like other types of blogs, a music blog can take different forms. For instance, some of them discuss how to play an instrument, while others might review the latest album release.
7. Fitness Blogs
Typically, fitness blogs will cover topics such as how to gain those coveted six pack abs or achieve a four-minute mile. Certain related topics such as the latest gym equipment or nutritional supplement might also be discussed.
8. Health Blog
Health blogs can be focused on a large number of topics. For instance, you might talk about beating a certain kind of cancer, advanced nutrition, or ways of coping with chronic illness. These can be written by everyday people, but they lend themselves well to professional voices.
9. Personal Finance Blog
Among the various types of blogs, these are among the more valuable because they help people get a handle on money. Topics can include retirement planning, credit cards, or how to improve your credit score.
10. Sports Blog
Two types of blogs fit in this category: talking about how to play a given sport well, and events within a sport. So, you might have one blog focused on soccer in general, while another tracks Manchester United specifically.
11. Parenting Blog
This one’s relatively self-explanatory. Here, parents dish out advice to other parents on how to raise kids. In addition, you’ll often see parents share their joys and sorrows. Some blogs treat the entire range of ages, while others limit themselves to one stage of development.
12. Home Decor Blog
A lot of people like to talk about decorating their homes. Blogs in this space might discuss the latest trends and promote professional decorating jobs. Others may choose to promote the DIY approach.
13. Business Blogs
There are two basic types of blogs in this category. The first one is corporate blogs, which are focused on the business. In addition, there are blogs on business topics that aren’t affiliated with a particular business, such as a human resources consultant sharing his best tips and tricks. Either way, they’re highly successful.
14. Political Blog
Political blogs can be focused on a candidate for office, a politician, or some sort of issue. For instance, some members of Congress have a blog where they talk about their positions. Or, a lobbying group may discuss why they’re trying to block a piece of legislation.
15. Crafting Blog
Among the types of blogs, this one is about the most diverse. Crafts can cover a wide range of hobbies, from knitting to model building. However, they all talk about things we do for fun.
16. Car Blog
Many a car blog talks about maintenance, repair, or restoration types of topics. Another way authors can go with this is reviewing new cars or discussing accessories that come out. Some blogs explore a mixture of these car-related topics.
17. Homeschool Blog
Homeschoolers are a diverse, yet close-knit group. These blogs can talk about regulatory issues, teaching materials that are available, or pedagogical techniques. With this niche, there’s typically a mixture of issues discussed.
18. News Blog
Along with politically-focused blogs, these are often controversial. Some are politically to the right, and others to the left. However, all of them discuss current events from a certain viewpoint. Many are also known for hosting heated debates.
Further Reading: 9 Types of Blogs That Can Make You Money Today
What Makes a Great Blog Post?
Now that we’ve talked about the types of blogs, let’s discuss how to write a great post. Although this is a skill which you will fine-tune over time, there are a few tips which can help you get started. At the same time, following these tips will help you build readership.
Personal Experience / Unique Approach
First, you should make the blog your own. This means speaking from personal experience, having a unique approach to the topic, or both. For example, if you are a woman who struggles with her weight, you might run a plus-sized fashion blog that discusses what looks good on you. Crafters might share different techniques they’ve developed or be known for explaining something more clearly than others.
Next, make sure that your content is something which readers find valuable because it addresses a need that they have. This can be as simple as finding out what happened in their hometown yesterday.
If your blog is “all about you,” then chances are nobody is going to listen. Even if the blog focuses on an issue you are personally facing, you can be focused on the reader by sharing things which can help them. Incidentally, this will help you become an influencer.
Easy to Read
Don’t make people wonder what you meant to say. Instead, keep people interested by making your blog easy to read. Fail in this, and you’ll lose readership fast.
You Post Regularly
Failing to post on a regular basis is a great way to make sure people don’t visit your blog. After all, would you waste time looking for something that isn’t there? Posting regularly makes your blog a place people are eager to visit. And dare I say, content sells, even if it’s just ad space?
Content is Optimized for Google Search
Finally, you need to ensure that your blog is easy for Google to find. This means at least a basic form of Search Engine Optimization. There are many blogging tools to help you, such as Yoast SEO, which are easy to use.
There’s a LOT to Think About Here!
As you can see, there’s a lot more to think about before starting a blog than the types of blogs to choose from. Blogging platforms, web hosting, and content considerations must all be addressed. Although this seems complicated, it’ll be worthwhile once you get a big enough audience to successfully monetize that blog.
Further Reading: 15 Blog Writing Tips for Before, During, and After Writing Your Post
Hero Photo by Rachel Coyne on Unsplash