If you look at any report for future job growth, remote work has been on the rise since the turn of the century.
That trend has picked up speed over the past 5 years. And lessons learned during the global pandemic have shown how much potential there is for future growth.
This intersects with the growing need to earn extra income with a flexible schedule. Working from home has a growing appeal as a side hustle. And can even potentially replace your primary income.
Then again, there is a growing trend for digital nomads. That is, people who have been able to work while traveling around the world.
Some have eschewed the 9 to 5 altogether and become freelancers. They find this gives them to most flexibility as to where and when they work.
With the freedom of movement, freelancers can live anywhere in the United States or abroad and still maintain a good standard of living.
But not all skill sets will be suited for remote work. Blue-collar work seems to be on the outside looking in when it comes to work-from-home solutions. More on that later.
For some, working remotely would require a significant investment in learning a new skill. Which presents a large barrier to entry.
However, there is a way to turn your skill, experience, talents, or interests into remote work with a relatively quick education.
You could start an amateur blog.
Getting Started – Can You Really Earn Money As an amateur blogger?
Chances are you have read claims of bloggers making 6 figures per year. Many claim that you can be making $10,000 per month.
In actuality, there are many bloggers that are making this kind of money. They have put in some hard work and are seeing great results.
However, we have to temper expectations with a little reality. While there are outliers that are making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, the vast majority never reach that level.
Recent statistics reveal that the average blogger makes about $51,000 per year (source: glassdoor). This isn’t bad considering how many people started a blog as a hobby or a side hustle.
So, depending on your goals and the amount of time and dedication, you could potentially make a few hundred extra dollars per month. And potentially replace your full-time income if you choose.
But as a new blogger, can you expect to earn money right out of the gate?
Let’s look at ways blogs make money first. This will help you to gauge if it’s the right way to start a side hustle.
There are 5 main ways to earn money with a blog. ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, producing products, and providing services.
How do blogs earn money?
You are probably familiar with ads on most websites you visit. Ad revenue is calculated by different methods. Some are simply by how many people see the ad. Others are paid per click.
With affiliate marketing in blogging, you essentially help someone sell their product. Each time someone buys something through your link, you get a small commission. It’s just like a referral fee when you get a friend to sign up for a credit card or a phone service.
Sponsored posts are similar to what print magazines have had forever. Basically, it’s a one-page advertisement or review that is just a sales copy for a product or company. Generally, they will be marked as such.
The last two ways are by making your own products or services. Think of a physical product like t-shirts and crafts.
Or digital products like printables and ebooks.
And services can cover a wide range. From teaching courses, freelance writing, web design, and consulting. There are a number of skills that you will learn with blogging that will be helpful to other people or companies as they grow their businesses.
Bonus: For a quick start to a side hustle, learn how to Earn $300 Fast
What Can a Newbie Blogger Write About?
As far as what subjects you can blog about, the sky’s the limit. If you Google any obscure fact, you are bound to find a blog dedicated to that subject in general.
Try it. Type in “Best brush for Golden Retriever” in the Google search bar. Or “best trail running shoes for toddlers”. Chances are, there is someone writing a blog about it.
As a beginning blogger, the more unconventional you can get, the better. As you will see in our next section.
How Do You Decide What to Write About When You First Start blogging?
We mentioned in the introduction that you can make an income using the skills you already have.
What experience do you have? Where have you worked in the past? What kind of schooling have you gone to? What are the hobbies that you love to do? Or, what would you like to learn about?
These are just a few examples of what you can look for when thinking about a blog topic.
Just because you’re an amateur blogger doesn’t mean you don’t have the expertise to share with the world.
But a word of warning is in order. Because of the amount of competition, you have to choose just one thing and write about it well.
Instead of writing about anything and everything that interests you, or that you have done in the past, you have to choose a niche.
What is a Niche?
So, that raises the obvious question, “What is a niche?”
If you have read anything about blogging, it is that you need to choose a niche. It’s one of the fundamental laws on writing online.
Simply put, it is your main focus of expertise. It’s the old saying “Stay in your lane”.
There is a good reason for this, though. And if you think about it as a reader it makes sense.
With so many blogs out there, and all of them claiming to be experts, you have to choose who actually knows what they are talking about.
But, it’s not out of the ordinary to choose a niche.
For example, when you get sick or have questions about your health, you might go to a general practitioner. But how many of them will diagnose the problem, administer the anesthesia, perform the surgery, and conduct the physical therapy?
You do the same thing when looking for any advice. You look for an expert in their field.
So when thinking about choosing a niche, you have to consider what you would be an expert on and stay in that lane.
A Novice Blogger, But What Are You an Expert in?
Take a few minutes and write down everything you know how to do that you could teach. What are your hobbies, what do you do for work, what do you do for relaxation and entertainment?
These are some questions to get the creative process started. Once you get that list going, take a look at it.
Is there anything that jumps out at you? Something you would love to write about? I hate to include the word “passionate” here, but it’s all the rave right now.
If you have something unique that you could cover, circle that one. Put it on your short list of possible blog niches.
What Do You Know Nothing About, But Wish You Did?
This is another angle you could go. Is there something you want to learn or try that you could document as a journey?
An amateur blog covering an amateur subject could be just the ticket for your success.
Maybe you have always wanted to learn a hobby, travel, or cook. Or you are getting your finances in order and want to research budgeting, investing, or retiring.
One blogger decided she wanted to be a digital nomad and started writing about it before she knew exactly what that was. Now she has multiple successful blogs and a podcast that covers travel and instructions on how to do that yourself.
What Are the Top-Earning Niches For Amateur Bloggers?
After considering what you are good at, or what you would like to be good at, there is one key consideration before choosing a blog niche. And that is, how much money you could potentially make on the website?
After all, you could be an expert in frog races and crank out all kinds of content. But I would imagine there is a very low ceiling on potential income.
So, you are probably wondering what the top earning blog niches are. According to numerous studies, here are the top 5 earning blogging niches:
- Personal Finance
Now, these are just statistics for how profitable a nich could be. One more thing to consider is:
How Competetive is the Niche?
This is an important question to ask. It’s not a barrier to entrance, just a marker for how long it will take to start ranking in Google and in turn how long it will take to start making money.
While the food niche is lucrative, naturally it has attracted the fiercest competition.
Likewise with personal finance. Not only are you up against fellow bloggers with a strong foothold, you’re also competing with major players like banking, investment companies, and major media outlets like the Wall Street Journal.
That’s not to say you can’t find gaps in their coverage, but they have been at it a long time and have thrown a lot of money at it to do more thorough research than you are able to overcome in a short amount of time.
However, can you find a combination of two or three of the top earning blog niches? Sort of a vin diagram of your expertise along with two or three niches.
For example, could you do a mommy blog that covers personal finance? Or a hobby blog that combines cooking with travel? Or what about starting an outdoor travel blog where you can cover hiking, camping, and travel in the same niche?
How Can You Start an Amateur Blog?
So now that we have introduced you to the world of blogging, the next logical question is “How can I start my own blog?”
In reality, you can start a blog by learning on YouTube. There are plenty of free tutorials online that make starting a blog simple.
The basic steps are:
- Sign up for hosting (this is where your website will live)
- Buy your domain name (this is the address to your website, so others can find you)
- Download WordPress (there are others, but WordPress is the most dynamic)
- Build out your pages – You’ll want a home page, an about page, and a blog page at a minimum
- Set up your email
What Do You Do After You Have All of That Figured Out?
Admittedly, this is easier said than done. Realistically if you have no experience, this will take a good week of frustration and research, followed by two weeks of frustration from all of the contrasting advice.
Eventually, you will do what all beginning bloggers do: sign up for a training course for newbie bloggers.
You can cut out weeks or even months of trying by just going straight to the course. But not all are created equal.
There are hundreds of “experts” out there that offer to show you how. And while there are many who have made a success out of it, that doesn’t mean they are good at teaching it.
Quite a few of them were able to build their sites a long time ago using methods that don’t work anymore. Competition and search engines have changed the landscape over the past 10 years, so what worked then doesn’t necessarily work now.
But because of their longevity in the space they are still successful themselves, yet have no idea how to start a blog.
The best method is to find someone who has recently gained success as a blogger. Someone who has actually found a way to navigate the changing algorithms and competition to actually earn a living at it.
Additionally, make sure it’s someone you resonate with. There are many different ways to go about setting up a profitable blog. The best is by going about it in a way that makes sense to you and explained in your own terminology.
We would be happy to help, and are available if you have questions. But, I think we have a much better offer.
How to Start Your Amateur Blogging Journey
As an amateur blogger, it’s difficult to find up-to-date and accurate advice from someone who is truly helpful.
We got lost in the weeds when it came to finding the right guides. We have read, watched, and listened to every last bit of guidance we could.
We took several courses that got us set up, but really left us with more questions than answers.
And when we would reach out in their exclusive Facebook groups, private emails, and even office hours, they simply weren’t available.
It was like being lost at sea repeatedly.
I say that because, well we can’t recommend anyone take those courses. You will just wind up frustrated. Too far invested to want to quit, but clueless what is going to get you to the next level.
That said, we did find someone that offered a course that simplified everything! No focusing on Social Media, Pinterest, Plugins, etc.
Just 100% slimmed down SEO blogging so you can start ranking right away.
But beyond the detailed and simplified instruction, they are involved and actively helping. In their Facebook group, emails, live videos.
They didn’t just make this and disappear. But don’t take my word for it.
If you’re ready to start that journey, sign up for our newsletter and we will get you set up and going from step 0.
If you want a sneak peak at the course and the instructor, follow this link to sign up for their training here.
And if you sign up for our newsletter, we will let you know when they launch their next webinar. This is where they explain how the course works, who they are, and how they grew their blog exponentially just a couple of years ago.
These webinars only happen a few times per year. So check and see if there is one opening soon. (But if you want to get started right away, we may be able to get you in sooner.)
Is amateur Blogging Right for You?
All things considered, is starting a blog the best idea for extra income or even replacing your day job?
That completely depends on your circumstances.
While there is good money in blogging, it certainly doesn’t happen overnight.
But if you are willing to grind it out for a year or two, you could potentially change the course of your career without going to night school or taking on a rigid second job.
Sound like a good challenge?
Great! Keep your eyes out for all of the resources some upcoming posts. And we will be including more details in our newsletter as well.
In the meantime, we have already outlined our own niche. Read our post on How to Start an Outdoor Travel Blog. Read this before you make the same mistakes we did!
And if you want to know more about affiliate marketing and how it works, we have an excellent guest post on a travel blogger’s guide to affiliate marketing.
Leave a comment below if starting a blog sounds like your cup of tea.