Looking to start a blog, but want to make sure that you choose a blogging niche that will actually be profitable? These are the most profitable blog niches and how they make their money.
When you are starting a blog, one of the sticky points is typically what it should be about. While I’m of the opinion that you can make money with almost any niche, finding a profitable blog niche (according to the data) may help in the decision-making process.
I know I was stuck between a couple of niches when I was first starting my blog and having some information about profitable blogging niches helped in the decision-making process.
In this post, you will learn which blogging niches are the most profitable, how much those blogs make on average, and their main sources of income. (In other words, where the money is coming from.)
After learning about the most profitable blog niches, you will have more information to help you decide how to choose the best blogging niche. And you will know what efforts you need to focus on to monetize your blog.
This post is all about the best blogging niches that make money that every new (and experienced blogger) should know about.
Let’s dive in!
The Most Profitable Blog Niches
The SEO company RankIQ performed a study that looked at blogs that made at least $2,000 per month and/or received more than 50,000 sessions per month.
They used this information to determine which blogging niches received the most traffic and which blogging niches made the most money. They also looked at where their money was coming from.
Here is a summary of the findings:
First up is traffic. Looking at traffic is important because the more traffic a blog receives, the more money it will make from ad revenue. In other words, traffic equals income in the blogging world.
RankIQ looked at which blogs had 50,000 or more sessions per month. According to Google, a session is a “period of time a user is active on your site.”
A single user can have more than one session per day. If a user has been inactive for more than 30 minutes and returns to a website, a new session begins. A session can include more than one pageview, and it can help bloggers know how users interact with their site.
According to the research, these are the blogging niches with the most traffic by session:
- Personal Finance
This list is interesting because there is a consensus in the online marketing world that the most profitable niches are: health, wealth, and relationships.
While some of these blog topics definitely fall under one of those umbrellas, not all of them do. I think this list shows that a variety of topics can be successful.
Next up, income. What blog niches are most profitable?
There’s more to making money from blogging than just ad traffic.
These are the four blog niches with the highest monthly income with the average monthly income for each:
- Food ($9,169)
- Personal Finance ($9,100)
- Lifestyle/Mommy ($5,174)
- Travel ($5,000)
How These Blogging Niches Are Making Money
How are these blogs making money? Here is the breakdown:
- Affiliate Marketing (42.2%)
- Ads (33.3%)
- Post Sponsors (12.2%)
- Courses (11.1%)
- Services (1.1%)
Let’s break down each of these revenue streams.
Affiliate marketing is promoting products or services created or sold by other people or businesses.
When a blogger includes an affiliate link to a product or service, and someone clicks on that link and purchases the promoted product, they make a commission.
For example, a lifestyle blogger who focuses on cleaning and organizing might create a post about the best products and resources for organizing a kitchen. Each product listed can (and should) contain an affiliate link.
If someone clicks on one of those links and purchases one or more of the products, she gets a commission.
If you’re an affiliate for Amazon, you not only get a commission from the products you promote, but you get a commission on everything a person buys within that 24-hour period.
Affiliate commissions can add up.
Display Ad Revenue
The majority of blogs I studied below included ad revenue as one of their main sources of income.
Ad revenue might be the most passive income any blogger makes. These are ads that are displayed on blogs. Bloggers earn ad revenue just from people visiting their blogs. The key to increasing ad revenue is to increase traffic.
Beginning bloggers can apply to have Display Ads placed on their blogs through Google Adsense.
Sessions became the key metric after it was learned that it was too easy to manipulate pageviews. This is now considered the key metric because it encompasses what someone does the entire time they are on your site, whether they read one post or five.
Once a blog starts gaining traction, bloggers will start to be approached by brands who offer them money to write a post about one or more of their products.
Instead of making money on the backend IF someone makes a purchase (as is the case with affiliate marketing), this is a way for bloggers to make money upfront for promoting a product or service.
Developing a product or course is typically a next-level way that bloggers monetize their blogs.
Typically, this will start with a simple digital product such as a digital planner, guide, or something relevant to their niche. For example, a lot of the travel bloggers I looked at sell guides to different locations which are basic PDF documents.
Personal Finance bloggers will create a budget tracker that can be purchased as a PDF or in some cases, a Google Sheet or Excel spreadsheet.
These are great digital products because you create them once, and then they can make money even when you’re not working… This is the definition of passive income.
Courses are more in-depth and require more time to create, but they can typically be sold at a higher price-point than a digital download.
Some bloggers start their blogs to gain more clients for a service they provide. This includes freelance writing, graphic design, web design, and more.
While this didn’t make the RankIQ list, when I started doing some digging into blogs on my own (which you will see below), I noticed that there were a handful of bloggers using crowdfunding.
Typically, this came in the form of something like a Patreon account where people could commit to a few dollars per month.
One of my favorite book bloggers (Modern Mrs. Darcy) started a podcast several years ago, and she created a Patreon account just for people who wanted to support the podcast.
In exchange, Patreon members would receive exclusive content.
So if this is something you decide to do, you want to make sure you’re giving your contributors something unique in exchange for their contribution.
What You Need to Know About This Blogging Topics List
Let’s look closer at what a blog about each of these topics might look like, and how each niche makes money.
Food is ubiquitous, and we all have to feed our families. While I still own some cookbooks that I turn to when I cook for my family, the majority of the time that I’m looking for a new or old recipe, I head to Google.
Food blogs are primarily successful because of the traffic they draw. I don’t know about you, but once I find a food blog that has consistently good recipes, I return to it over and over again.
According to RankIQ, here is the breakdown of how food blogs make their money:
- Ads (44%)
- Courses (25%)
- Sponsored Posts (11%)
- Affiliate Marketing (10%)
The ad revenue primarily comes from the fact that these blogs rake in the traffic. Again, in the blogging world, traffic equals revenue.
You will also typically find food in one of the top categories on Pinterest Trends.
Pinterest tends to be one of the main traffic sources for blogs. So Pinterest Trends can also be a good place to look if you are trying to make a decision about your blogging niche.
If you are looking to start a food blog, there are many food bloggers who have generously posted income reports online. (Although, they will typically end this practice once they have become too successful.)
Food Blog Example: Pinch of Yum
For example, the food blog Pinch of Yum posted income reports until 2016. The last month they posted an income report, this is what it showed:
- Total Income: $95,192
- Total Expenses: $28, 509
- Profit: $66,683
Note: If this was the norm, this means this blog was making over $1 million in 2016 before expenses. It is likely making way more than that now.
Looking closer at the content on these blogs, it seems to be 90 percent recipes with lots of photos, videos, and in-depth write-ups.
So many moms are the main meal planners and primary cooks in their families and have learned a ton of cooking and meal planning hacks along the way.
If cooking is your passion, and you have recipes to share, then this is a great niche for you..
Personal Finance Blogs
One of the biggest pain points for most people is money. They are either looking for a way to make more money, how to manage their money, how to pay off debt, how to invest, how to save money, and so many other issues surrounding money.
Personal finance blogs typically focus on managing budgets, paying off debt, saving, and investing.
RankIQ didn’t include the specific numbers for the Personal Finance niche, so I did some digging on my own.
I looked at 25 personal finance blogs, and these are the ways the blogs say they are making their money:
- Affiliate Marketing (80% of blogs)
- Ad Revenue (60% of blogs)
- Sponsored Content (44% of blogs)
- Products/Courses (44% of blogs)
- Services (24% of blogs)
- Crowd Funding (4% of blogs)
Not a lot of personal finance blogs disclosed income generated by percentages, but for those that did, this was the average breakdown:
- Affiliate Marketing (55%)
- Courses (30%)
- Sponsored Content (30%)
- Ads (13%)
The content on these blogs contains a lot of variety. Here are some examples of how these bloggers described the purpose of their blogs:
- Teach people how to get out of debt
- Teach families how to budget
- Investing advice for millennials
- Personal finance advice for millennials
- Money guidance for women
- Teach doctors how to manage finances
- Teach creators how to increase their income
- Wealth creation for black millenials
- Entrepreneurship and personal finance
- Personal fiance for couples
Personal Finance Blog Example
One of my favorite personal finance blogs is The Budget Mom by Kumiko Love, which is a blog by a single mom who worked to get out of debt, save money to buy a house with cash, and now she teaches others how to do the same.
(Can I just add that she is also such a down-to-earth pleasant person, too??)
TheBudgetMom.com makes its income from the following categories:
- Sponsored Content
- Affiliate Revenue
If you are someone who loves budgeting and maybe you’ve developed your own unique system that you think would help others, this is a great niche with a lot of potential.
Lifestyle/Mom blogs came in second after Food blog for the most high-traffic blogs.
Based on my analysis of the income reports of lifestyle/mom blogs, this is the breakdown of where the bloggers said they are making their money:
- Affiliate Marketing (90% of blogs)
- Ad Revenue (90% of blogs)
- Sponsored Content (60% of blogs)
- Products/Courses (50% of blogs)
- Services (10% of blogs)
This is the average breakdown of each category for lifestyle blogs:
- Affiliate Marketing (41%)
- Ad Revenue (40%)
- Products/Courses (36%)
- Sponsored Content (28%)
These types of blogs typically cover a mix of topics that includes:
- And More!
The one element mom blogs have that is different is that they typically include a category on parenting.
Lifestyle Blog Example That is Killing It
One example of a very successful lifestyle blog is BySophiaLee.com. Sophia started her blog in 2017 while she was in college and made it all about going to college, college dorm decor, college organization, and anything else that was relevant to the topic. Since graduating, she now includes blog posts about life after college such as moving into a first apartment.
In Sophia’s last income report that she published on her blog, she said she was made $43,225 in just one month. Here is her exact breakdown:
- 69% from Affiliate Revenue ($29,652.78)
- 20% from Advertising Revenue ($8,595.79)
- 12% from Products ($4,976.80)
If you want to have Sophia teach you how to become a successful blogger, I highly recommend her course Perfecting Blogging.
If you are passionate about organizing, home decor, parenting, cooking, gardening, fashion, beauty, self-care, or a variety of all of those (and more), this might be the niche for you.
This is also great for someone who is multi-faceted and who doesn’t want to focus on just one niche.
Although, for ranking purposes, I recommend only focusing on one to three topics that are related to each other in the beginning, and expanding from there. It will make it easier for Google and other search engines to know what your blog is about.
For the Globetrotters of the world, this is your niche. These blogs vary from local travelers, couples who travel, families that travel, international travelers, living the RV life, and more.
Based on my analysis of the income reports of travel blogs, the average monthly income of an established travel blog is: $19,591
This is the breakdown of where these travelers said they are making their money:
- Affiliate Marketing (95% of blogs)
- Ad Revenue (100% of blogs)
- Sponsored Content (41% of blogs)
- Products/Courses (55% of blogs)
- Services (9% of blogs)
- Crowdfunding (5%)
Here is the average breakdown of each category for travel blogs:
- Ad Revenue (43%)
- Affiliate Marketing (28%)
- Products/Courses (24%)
- Sponsored Content (30%)
- Crowdfunding (7%)
Example: Travel Bloggers That Are Killing It
One blog that I think serves as a great example is Kara and Nate. Their content includes reviews of the best credit cards for travelers, flying tips, cruise reviews, interviews with other money-smart travelers, hotel tips, and more.
Here is a breakdown of where their revenue came from:
- Ad Revenue (34%) (including from their YouTube Channel)
- Affiliates (19.20%)
- Sponsored Content (33.6%)
- Products/Courses (6%)
- Crowdfunding (7%)
What We Learned About The Most Profitable Blog Niches
There are some common denominators among the most successful bloggers:
- They have more than one source of income.
- While the majority of the blogs made income from ads and affiliate revenue, the most successful bloggers created their own products or courses.
I hope this post helped you have a better understanding of what blog niche you want to start and gave you insight into how to go about generating income from your blog.
After learning more about which blogging niches make the most money, drop a comment below about the blog you want to start.
Here are some posts that will help you get started blogging:
- FREE Tutorial: How to Start a Blog For Beginners Step-by-Step
- 12 Essential Blogging Tools Every New Blogger Needs to Know About
- The How to Start a Blog Checklist