What is a Blog?
A blog is a collection of articles or posts that is hosted by an online platform (a website that stores your articles). Another word for those articles is content, which means the information in the blog post. Some blog hosting platforms are free, and some cost a yearly or monthly fee.
One of the most spectacular things about a blog, is anyone can have one! You don’t need to have experience, be a professional writer, or know a lot of tech stuff to enjoy having a blog.
How Does a Blog Work?
First, let’s talk about what types of blogs there are, some reasons why people start blogs, and various topics that many blogs cover. We’ll get to into how it all works near the end of the post.
**If you’ve already made a decision to start a blog and want to jump ahead, this complete guide for beginners is only SEVEN simple steps.
Things to Blog About
Many people enjoy starting a blog as a sort of online journal. Personal blogs are a great outlet for feelings and thoughts you’d like to get off your chest.
You could also blog about things you’re grateful for — an online gratefulness journal. Blogs can be an excellent form of self-care in this way. Writing your thoughts, whether happy or sad, on a daily basis is a great practice.
Some bloggers keep their writing private, and others share articles (posts) with family. This is a fantastic way to stay connected if you live far away. It’s actually pretty easy to see the positives of starting a personal blog and the various fun things to blog about.
Blogs can also be a great source of income. We’ll get to that in a bit.
Hobby blogs are generally for fun and can be a very enjoyable way to chronicle your life or write about things you enjoy doing, your travels, favorite foods, etc.
Hobby blogs don’t have to be about personal stuff. If you have a hobby you love doing, and like to share your knowledge and photos etc. with others, a hobby blog may be just the thing for you. There are thousands of options for hobby blogs.
Examples of Hobby Blogs
- Bullet journal blogs
- Crafting blogs
- Model train blogs
- Scrapbooking blogs
- Animal lovers or bird enthusiast blogs
- Hiking and camping blogs
- And the list goes on … you get the idea
You can blog about anything you’d like. My favorite hobby blogs to follow are travel and food blogs. Some of the photography is breathtaking. It can definitely make you really hungry or want to run off somewhere exotic. I’ll share some of my favorites at the end of the post.
Some people who blog about hobbies decide to monetize their websites. There are many ways to add income sources so you can earn money for the work and time you put into blogging.
So, it is possible to blog for fun about what you love doing, or make it into a business by creating various sources of income for your website.
Blog Topics List
Besides hobby blogging, other things to blog about might be topics you have expertise in such as a skill or maybe your current job. Many teachers have their own blogs and sell printable worksheets for other teachers to use.
Health professionals also start blogs to share their medical and nutrition expertise. A friend of mine has a blog specifically about her nursing shift work (the overnight shift).
As you can see, there are as many topics to blog and write about as there are people and things they’re interested in or knowledgeable about.
Unique Blog Topics
- Dog training
- Chicken farming
- Winter gardening
- Anime comics
- Drone photography
- Sewing patterns
- The hygge lifestyle
- Environmental issues
Popular Blog Topics
- Lifestyle (sort of like a magazine… lots of various topics)
- Health and wellness
- Nutrition or fitness
- Home life/homeschooling
- Personal finance
- Personal development
Although some blog niches (topics/categories) can be easier to make money with, everything on those lists can be monetized with some type of income stream.
**Did you know that becoming an online freelance writer can earn you a full-time income, as well? If you decide blogging isn’t for you, but you LOVE the idea of making six figures on your own time… freelance writing is a wonderful career!
As I mentioned earlier, many people decide they’d just like to blog for their own enjoyment. So, the question is…
What Kind of Blog Should I Start?
To answer that question, you’ll need to consider whether you’d like a business or a place to write simply for your enjoyment. Blogging for fun is a LOT less work and it’s just… more fun.
Blogging as a business takes a lot of work, dedication, learning, and about 1,000 other things. I’m not trying to discourage you; it’s simply the truth. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart and it’s NOT a get-rich scheme!
There’s a steep learning curve that comes with serious blogging, unless you’ve already worked online for someone else. But, if you’re not afraid of studying, taking courses, looking things up, and searching for answers when you need them, you’ll do fine. Everyone has to start somewhere.
After you’ve decided on a personal or money-making blog, you’ll want to brainstorm ideas for topics you’d like to write about. The question of “what kind of blog should I start” begins with your areas of interest and things you’re familiar with (or want to learn and write about).
Think of a broad or general category, so your blog will have a central theme. You’ll also want to cover a few smaller topics related to your main subject.
For example: A health and wellness blogger might have categories and sub-categories such as healthy eating, keto diets, low-carb foods, healthy recipes, workout plans, high-impact and low-impact exercises, types of yoga, etc.
If you’d like to write about several topics, a lifestyle blog would be a good fit. Lifestyle blogs can include topics such as organizing and cleaning tips, home decor, DIY, gardening, parenting, recipes, travel, fashion, etc. — all in one blog.
Many bloggers debate whether “an everything blog” can make decent money. If your aim is to make a good income, some pro bloggers will say “the riches are in the niches”.
This means that if you hone in on a specific topic, and write excellent content about that one thing (or very closely related things), you’ll be able to make better money.
I disagree. There are bloggers who make huge incomes writing only about knitting or crafting, and there are also wealthy bloggers who write about 10 or more topics on their one blog.
It pretty much boils down to these things:
- What kind of knowledge or passions do you have that you could consistently write about?
- Are you willing to write about something fairly popular and easy to monetize, even if it’s not your passion?
- What do readers or internet users want to know more about? What are some popular Google searches?
- How hard are you willing to work, either way? Whether you decide on a smaller-topic blog, a very unique topic blog, or a very popular topic blog.
If you write about what you know or what you’re passionate about, you can make it into a steady income source as long as there are people out there who are interested in that topic. If it’s a fairly obscure topic, it could take longer to find steady readers, or visitors, for your blog.
And that can take longer to make money. It’s not impossible, but you’d have realize it’s a marathon and keep at it until you find your people.
Blogging about popular topics such as parenting, health, fashion, etc. is always a good bet. I can hear your arguments, though. There’s too much competition… right? Yes, there is. But that’s actually a good thing. Popularity means that over 2 billion Google searchers a day are getting what they’re searching for.
There’s definitely enough room for everyone to blog about whatever they’d like. And following the trends and what’s popular, is a great way to go for monetizing and growing a readership.
How Does a Blog Work?
If you’ve come up with ideas for what to write about and whether you’d like to blog as a hobby or a business, you’re wanting to know how to actually start, right? It’s not hard, but that’s definitely a post of its own. You’ll see the link in that next sentence. 😉
To start a blog, and get it up and running takes a few steps, but my guide is about as simple and straightforward as they come.
The overview of how a blog works is this:
- You decide on a topic or topics.
- Choose a name for your blog (domain name). Do you want it to reflect what your blog is about? Should you name your blog after yourself (your actual name)? Or are you going for something unique and catchy?
- Find out if your chosen name ideas are available to purchase. (You can find how to get this information, here.)
- Once you’ve purchased a domain name, it’s time to choose a platform to host your blog. There is a free version of WordPress (not recommended if you’re starting a money-making blog) and a self-hosted, paid version of WordPress (recommended here.)
- There are also easy, drag-and-drop website builders such as Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. They are very simple to start with, but the customization options can be limited. Business bloggers later regret having to move everything over to a more comprehensive platform like WordPress.org (which is technically free, but you must pay for a hosting company to store your files etc.).
- You’ve now got your domain name (blog name) and your website platform, and then you’ll choose a theme or style for your blog. This is what you want your website to look like when people visit. It’s like your “home decor”.
- After the theme is chosen, you begin researching and planning your blog post content.
- It’s also a very good idea to study as many tutorials as you can find about your platform, how to navigate it, how all of the various functions work. YouTube is an excellent source for tutorials on just about any blogging platform out there.
Concluding Thoughts about What is a Blog and How Does it Work…
There is a ton of information here, I know. This is meant to be a general overview of blogging, what a blog is, how it works, and helping you decide what kind of blog you should start.
Now that you have a broad idea of what blogging is, hopefully you’re excited to dream up your own ideas and possibilities. Deciding to start a blog of my own was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. What an amazing feeling to get up and work for yourself every day. <3
Here’s a list of fantastic blogs you can explore to get more ideas about blogging and starting a blog of your own!
Travel blog that I love: The Everywhereist
Lifestyle blog: A Cup of Jo
Food Blog: Pinch of Yum
Pregnancy/Parenting Blog: Mommy on Purpose
Budgeting & Saving Blog: Penny Pinchin’ Mom
What kind of blog will you start? Let me know in the comments!
Blogging resources to jump start your blog traffic and income
- Amazon – I love affiliate marketing on Amazon. For the last 2 months, I’ve been earning over $7,000/month just from Amazon. Here are 2 super helpful Amazon ebooks that allowed me to leap frog my previous results.
- Cracking the Code on Amazon – This is for beginners and really covers the types of articles you should be writing to drive Amazon commissions It’s for beginners.
- Niche Post Conversion Strategies – Seriously, I think this is the best ebook/course I’ve ever taken. I can not recommend this enough. You will not find these tips anywhere else. It skyrocketed my sales on Amazon.
- PINTERESTING STRATEGIES: – Pinterest is one of the easiest and most effective ways to drive massive traffic to your blog, especially if you are just starting out. I generally get 140,000 to 180,000 pageviews a month from Pinterest. If you want a jump start on how to use this amazing platform, check out Carly’s course. It is simply awesome. She is so down to earth and straightforward, and you’ll see that in her writing. I LOVE this course (it was formerly an ebook, but now it’s new and improved.
- SEO – As you know, I’m hugely into SEO and it has been the key to my success. I generally get 300,000+ SEO pageviews per month, and this traffic converts much better than Pinterest and other social media channels (especially when it comes to affiliate marketing, products and email sign ups. I estimate that every pageview from organic traffic is worth at least 3x as every pageview from Pinterest! Yes, 3 times as much! And, it’s much steadier, more sustainable and more passive. Check out my 2 SEO books.
- Affiliate marketing – I love affiliate marketing and have been earning over $7,000/month just from affiliate marketing. I highly recommend Carly’s affiliate marketing course. It’s amazing and half the price of some of the bigger bloggers’ programs…and I think it’s much better, too.
- Email marketing – Learn from the master, Jennifer Maker. She has over 100,000 subscribers in around 2 years. She’s an incredible teacher. Her ListLove course is amazing. Or get started with her FREE email course here.
- Sponsored Posts – Sponsored posts can be a great way to supplement your income, especially during the first few years. Many just don’t even know where to get started or how much to charge or how to create a media kit or where to find the best sources. Well learn from a master, Tracie Fobes. She’s been doing this for 10 years! And, she charges well over $2,500 + per post. Her course comes complete with a media calculator and templates to set you up for success. Check out Sponsored Success here. If you just need the sponsored post calculator, you can purchase it a la carte here.
- Getting started/setting up your blog – If you’re a very beginner and need help in just setting up your site and getting everything set up, check out Tracie Richmond Fobes’ FREE intro course. She goes over all that critical stuff at the beginning that no one seems to cover, but everyone needs to know such as site structure, how to set up google analytics correctly and google search console, which plugins to use (and which to avoid). She is a wealth of information. (and she has may other courses that are soooo good).
Please PIN and share! Thanks!!