11 Popular Blog Ideas That Make Money in 2020

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updated Sep 27, 2020

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So you’re thinking: Starting a blog sounds like a fantastic opportunity to make some money online. But you’re wondering: what are the best blog ideas that make money right now?

Here’s the good news:

It’s never been easier to start your own blog than now. Even if you’re entirely new to blogging and you’ve never launched a website, you can start a profitable blog right now!

But before you do anything else, you need to have a crystal clear plan.

You want to make sure you choose the right niche for your blog if you want to earn money online. However, finding the perfect blog topic may feel overwhelming, to say the least.

To help you get started the right way, I thought I’d share a few of the most popular blog ideas you can make money with.

In this article, I’ll walk you through 11 profitable blog niches that allow you to generate enough traffic to earn passive income.

Let’s jump right in!

Here are a few related articles you may want to read, too:

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission if you decide to purchase using my links, but at no additional cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more information.

What is a blog exactly?

Let’s start with the basics here. If you’re familiar with blogging already, feel free to skip to the next section.

A blog is simply a website that you regularly update with fresh, new pieces of content. Most often, those pieces are written articles called “blog posts”. But they could be podcasts, videos, or photo galleries, too, for example.

If you want to make money blogging, the most important thing to keep in mind is to create helpful, valuable content. That’s the only way to generate enough visitors to your blog to turn your content into a profitable income stream.

Thus, the first thing you want to do is choose the right blog niche idea that allows you to make money.

The more questions people ask about a specific topic, the easier it is to create helpful content that answers those questions for them. Makes sense, right?

For instance, Blogging Explorer is a blog I created to help beginners learn how to:

  1. Launch their first blog from scratch with no experience
  2. Grow their blog traffic
  3. Monetize their content to make money online

Therefore, most of my blog posts are:

  • Helpful step-by-step tutorials for getting started with blogging
  • How-to posts to help my readers achieve their goals faster
  • Reviews of tools and resources I use to grow and monetize my blogs

Each article I write serves the same purpose: to help my readers start, grow, and monetize their first blog.

Blog ideas that make money - Start a blog to make money online - Blogging Explorer

How to start a blog?

So, you feel like you’re finally ready to start your own blog this year? Congrats!

But where should you start? How can you start a blog from scratch with no experience?

Apart from creative ideas for amazing content, you need three things on the technical side:

  1. A domain name:
    This is the web address or URL of your blog website (mine is bloggingexplorer.com).
  2. Blog hosting plan:
    Your blog website needs a place to “live” online so that your readers can access your content.
  3. Blogging software:
    To launch and manage your blog easily, you need a user-friendly platform for publishing and editing your blog posts.

Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with any of these. The technical aspect may sound scary, but I’ll show you how to set up everything correctly in a minute.

But what about money? How much does it cost to start a blog?

Let’s break it down:

A domain name usually costs about $15-25 per year. Blog hosting plans are about $6–12 per month.

That’s a total of about $85–170/year.

Sounds like a big investment, I know.

Remember: we’re talking about starting a business here. (A business that could help you earn a full-time income!)

Plus, I’ve gone the extra mile to help you save a few bucks and get everything set up for less than $40 per year.

When you sign up for blog hosting with a hosting provider, you get access to free blogging software, such as WordPress.org. If you want to make money from your blog, then WordPress.org is your top option. That’s what I use for all my blogs, too.

WordPress is easy to use and you have tons of customization options and add-ons to choose from. But most importantly, WordPress allows you to monetize your blog in any way you want.

Of course, spending money upfront feels like a significant investment when you are new to blogging.

To make things a bit easier for you, I’ve negotiated a special deal for my readers with my trusted hosting provider, Bluehost. They give you a FREE domain name, and you get access to exclusive hosting plans starting at just $2.95 per month.

CLAIM DISCOUNT NOW

If this sounds a tad technical, don’t worry. I’ve written a full, step-by-step tutorial on how to start your first blog in 15 minutes. I’ll see you there!

How to start a successful blog and make money online - The best blog hosting with Bluehost

Want more options and details? Then check out my free guide on how to find the best web hosting for your blog.

How can you make money blogging?

You’re probably reading this because you want to start a blog to make money online.

And although it’s possible to make decent money as a blogger, starting a blog from scratch isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme.

Just like with any other business, it takes time to gain traction in your niche and attract enough visitors to generate income.

There are no shortcuts, and it takes a lot of hard work. But as long as you’re prepared to put in the effort, you can earn a full-time income from blogging.

Hence, being a blogger is a REAL job. Therefore, you should think of your blog as a business, not as a hobby.

Different blogs use different methods to make money or to monetize their content. The best way to find the right monetization methods for your blog is to try out a few alternatives and see what yields the best results.

Here are 5 popular ways to make money blogging:

1: Display ads

Making money with display ads on your blog means that you will sign up with an ad delivery partner and place ads on your blog.

When visitors see and click on those ads, you will earn passive income.

2: Affiliate marketing

You’re using a product or service, and you want to recommend it to your readers? Great!

Affiliate marketing means you sign up as an affiliate partner with that business. You can then recommend their product on your blog using a special affiliate link and earn a commission for each purchase made through your links.

Check out my detailed guide “Affiliate Marketing for Dummies” to get started with affiliate marketing the right way.

3: Digital products

If you know exactly what your audience needs, you can create your own digital product that helps them solve a specific problem and make their lives easier.

Your first digital product could be a small e-book or a printable, for instance. Those are easy and relatively quick to create.

Also, you can set up your sales channel easily with SendOwl, for example. They offer beginner-friendly tools for setting up your payment methods and delivering your files to your customers.

4: Services

If you’re a freelancer, blogging can be a fantastic way to make money online. Select a blog niche where you can use your professional skills and market your services to a global audience.

Here are a few ideas for services you can offer as a blogger:

  • Photography
  • Copywriting
  • Graphic design
  • Web design
  • Online tutoring and teaching

5: Sponsored content and partnerships

Teaming up with a brand or an advertiser and publishing a sponsored article on your blog is an excellent way to make money blogging.

Most often, sponsored content means blog posts. But if you have a large following on social media, brands may contact you directly for sponsored social media posts on Instagram or Facebook.

What is the best way to make money with your blog?

Now that you’re familiar with a few popular ways to monetize your blog, the next question is:

What’s the best way for you to make money blogging?

There’s no universal answer, really. Every blog is different. Hence, you simply need to try different approaches to grow your passive online income step-by-step.

With Blogging Explorer, about 80% of my 2020 blog income so far came from affiliate marketing. The remaining 20% is from display ads and selling digital products.

For a full detailed guide, check out my blog post on how to make money blogging for beginners (the easy way).

Here are a few helpful tips for getting started with monetization the easy way:

Step 1: Learn affiliate marketing

Broadly speaking, the fastest way to earn your first dollars blogging is to learn the basics of affiliate marketing.

Step 2: Set up your first email list

The next thing you want to do is to start building a list of email subscribers.

At first, you will only see a handful of subscribers. Nevertheless, you want to start collecting email addresses from your visitors as early as possible.

Your subscribers are your #1 go-to audience.

They’re your most loyal readers who are truly interested in what you have to say. Help them out with exclusive, subscriber-only tips, content upgrades, and use their feedback to discover fresh blog post ideas!

The good news is: you don’t have to spend money on it at this point.

I use MailerLite for Blogging Explorer. They offer a generous free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers, and you can set up your first list in just a few minutes.

Follow my step-by-step guide to start your email list for free now.

Mailerlite – Free email marketing tool for bloggers

Make sure you download your FREE e-book on How to Start Your Email List for Free to steal my best strategies instantly:

Step 3: Drive traffic to your blog

After you’ve written a handful of top-quality blog articles, it’s time to drive more traffic to your blog

Just make sure you didn’t skip the previous step! You want to offer your readers the option to subscribe to your list from day one.

There are multiple traffic tools you can choose from:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Pinterest marketing
  • Social media
  • Guest blogging
  • Paid ads (Facebook, Google, Instagram…)

For fast results, feel free to steal my proven Pinterest marketing strategy to explode your blog traffic quicker than you think!

Pinterest Home Feed or Smart Feed
Pinterest is a powerful tool to generate traffic to your blog fast

Step 4: Use display ads to boost your income

When your traffic starts to grow, find a trustworthy display ad network to set up ads on your blog.

You will need a lot of traffic to make a decent income from ads. Still, it’s a nice addition to your blog income, even if your blog is relatively new.

How to make money blogging for beginners - Display ads and passive income
Use display advertisements to grow your passive income

Step 5: Create your first digital product

By now, you should’ve learned who your target audience is and what their biggest problems are.

Make sure you stay in touch with your email subscribers to keep up-to-date with their struggles, too. Their feedback is priceless when you start gathering ideas for your first digital product.

Your subscribers trust you. If you can offer an easy solution to a problem, they are the perfect buyers for your product!

Thus, keep track of their questions and problems. Use your insights to craft the perfect digital product to solve those problems.

My first digital product was inspired my readers and subscribers, too. (And I’m so, SO grateful for your feedback!)

I reached out to my fam and quickly saw that everyone had the exact same problem:

They wanted to grow their blogs to make more money, but they didn’t know where to start.

Now, I know for a fact that it’s possible to generate traffic and income in any niche. So I decided to put together a beginner-friendly, step-by-step traffic guide for my readers.

But it wouldn’t be just another blog traffic guide. I have spent enough money on courses and books that sounded great but failed to deliver hands-on strategies and show me exactly how I can use them on my blog.

And that’s how Smart Pinterest SEO was born!

Smart Pinterest SEO Book - How to drive free traffic to your blog

I listed every single Pinterest traffic tactic I had used and tested over the years. Then, I re-tested them on a handful of blogs in different niches, and caught up with my insider Pinterest reps to squeeze out a few hush-hush traffic secrets.

And now, in mid-2020, the Smart Pinterest SEO e-book has helped hundreds of bloggers understand how Pinterest really works.

It’s an all-in-one blog traffic template that takes out the guesswork from Pinterest marketing – even if you’ve never used Pinterest before!

I’m so proud of what I’ve created! It’s been incredibly empowering to connect with you guys, hearing how my strategies have worked for everyone!


The bottom line is:

Your best monetization strategy depends on a handful of factors you need to consider.

Most importantly, your blog niche plays a huge role. In some niches, you can make a full-time income with display ads. In contrast, others are better suited for affiliate marketing.

If you’re new to blogging, check out my detailed article on how to monetize your blog like a pro starting now!

The best blog ideas that make money in 2020

Alright, let’s see how you can easily choose the best blogging niche that will help you start making money online.

By now, you may already have a clear blog idea. But if you don’t have one, don’t worry. The niches and topics below are excellent for finding inspiration and narrowing down your options.

As long as you choose a niche that you genuinely enjoy working in, you will find it easier to stay motivated and keep producing top-notch content for your readers.

Here are 12 popular blog ideas that make money and allow you to create a passive income empire online:

1: Personal finance blog

Blogging about personal finance tips and strategies has tons of monetization potential. We all need to learn how to make the most of our financial resources: save more, spend less, invest wisely, etc.

Profitable blog niche ideas to make money - Personal finance, investment, frugal living

As with any blog topic, make sure you choose a very specific sub-niche to blog about.

Here are a few ideas for inspiration:

  • Budgeting: household finances, cost-cutting techniques…
  • Debt: payment plans, financial prioritization, mortgages, student loans, credit cards…
  • Investing: retirement savings, stock exchange tips, international currency markets, top index funds…
  • Frugality: minimalism, coupons and deals, daily money-saving tips…

Personal finance is a great niche to make money with because most of us simply have to deal with the topic daily. Everyone goes through the occasional financial drought.

And hey, even if we have some extra money to spend, we don’t want to waste any of it, right?

2: Business and marketing blog

With the number of freelancers and sole proprietors rising, blogging about business and marketing has become a lucrative niche, too. You can find tons of successful blogs that help small businesses and freelancers grow their income and manage their businesses more efficiently.

Marketing and business - Profitable blog ideas that make money

Heck, you’re reading a business and marketing blog right now!

Blogging Explorer is all about helping people like you start, grow, and monetize a blogging business from scratch. It’s a one-man business that allows me to share my experience with my readers and help them avoid making the same mistakes I’ve made along the way.

In a way, this blog is my way of giving back to the community that’s helped me so much in the past few years.

And this niche is definitely one of the best blog ideas that make money – simply by helping others.

To launch a profitable business or marketing blog, all you need is a great blog idea, a bunch of motivation and determination.

Hence, you can literally build a profitable, successful one-person business out of thin air!

The best part?

Starting a blog is the cheapest, easiest way to launch your first business.

You don’t need to invest thousands of dollars in education, branding, or setting up a shop. All you need is a domain name and a web hosting plan – that’s the bare minimum.

If you can spare a few more bucks, invest in a professional WordPress theme that is easy to use. Almost any of these popular, beginner-friendly WordPress themes can work for your blogging or marketing business.

I use the Divi Theme for all my websites. It’s super easy to use and I can customize it any way I like.

3: Health and fitness blog

Health and fitness are hugely popular blog topics right now. You can most definitely find a boad target audience and generate massive traffic to your blog in these niches.

Health, fitness and sports blog - The best blog topic ideas for beginners

The reason why health and fitness are so popular is simple:

People are always looking for easier, quicker ways to get and stay fit. When you start thinking about topics to write about, you won’t run out of ideas!

For example, your health and fitness blog could be about:

  • A specific type of exercise: Yoga, pilates, CrossFit, running…
  • A particular diet: keto, gluten-free, Atkins, vegan, paleo…
  • A specific target audience: men, women, seniors, young…
  • A particular alternative approach to staying healthy: acupuncture, TCM, mindfulness, homeopathy…

Also, if you’re an expert in a specific area, you can share helpful tips, beginner’s guides, and resources with your readers.

Or, if you swear by a particular diet, why not keep a health journal and share your experience with the world?

4: Lifestyle blog

Lifestyle blogging - Profitable blog niche ideas for beginners

Lifestyle blogging entails plenty of great blog ideas that make money. Since it’s such a vast niche, let’s go through a few basics first.

“Lifestyle” means that you write about a handful of different topics that speak to a specific target audience.

For example, if your readers are women in their 30s and 40s, your blog could include these categories:

  1. Parenting and motherhood
  2. Personal finance
  3. Fashion
  4. Food

All four topics would be relevant and interesting for your readers. They want to read about how to be good parents and manage their households. At the same time, they want to look great and learn how to prepare tasty meals for the family.

There are tons of different combinations of lifestyle blog ideas that make money. Thus, start by learning who your blog target audience is. Then, find out a suitable topic mix they are interested in.

Although it’s easy to find new sub-topics to add to your blog, make sure you have a clear direction and stay focused on just 2–3 categories first. You want to build a brand and a solid online presence to get familiar with blogging.

Once you feel confident in your skills and you’ve set up a passive income system for your first few categories, you can venture into new fields.

5: Travel blog

Blogging about travel tips is a huge niche – and a very competitive one. If you want to monetize a travel blog, you must focus on a specific target audience and tailor your content for their needs and wishes.

Blog topic ideas that make money online - Travel blog

The reason why there are so many travel blogs is: they’re easy to monetize. Hence, travel is most definitely one of the easiest, most popular blog ideas that make money. You can use affiliate marketing and display ads to generate passive income on autopilot, for example.

Hotel chains and booking portals often have affiliate programs you can join. Find the best programs and start creating helpful content for your readers based on your personal experience. Before long, you can earn some serious dough with affiliate commissions.

Also, you can earn money by selling your own travel guides. Here are a few travel blog ideas and topics you could write a guide about:

  • Travel tips for women
  • Traveling with small children
  • Budget travel tips
  • Backpacking tips
  • Digital nomads
  • Your own travel journal: share your journey with the world!

6: Food blog

People love food!

Food and recipe blogs - Best blog topic ideas for beginners

Blogging about recipes, cooking tips, utensils and gadgets, or baking is huge right now. Just make sure you take great-looking photos for your blog to stand out from your competition.

Affiliate links and display ads are the best, fastest ways to monetize a food blog. Once you’ve published a bunch of recipes that attract a lot of visitors, publish your first recipe book!

Again, you can choose from multiple different approaches:

  • Recipes: 30-minute meals, one-pot recipes…
  • Diets: gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, low-sodium…
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, French, Japanese, Mexican, Italian…

7: Fashion blog

Fashion bloggers are often some of the most prominent and influential bloggers out there. If you’re big on Instagram and on other visual social media, fashion could be the perfect blog idea.

Fashion and style blog - The best blog niches this year

However, keep in mind that blogging about fashion on social media can become particularly personal with time. You represent your brand and you need to feel comfortable with being in the spotlight.

If you don’t enjoy being photographed and being on display constantly, this blog topic probably isn’t for you. Instead, you might want to focus on sharing news, trends, and fashion-related resources on your blog.

And if you’re thinking that all fashion bloggers are women, think again!

There are plenty of successful fashion blogs for men out there, too. Most often, men’s style blogs tend to focus on product recommendations, grooming, and style tips.

8: Crafts blog

DIY and crafts are HUGE on Pinterest, for example. People love finding new visual ideas to fuel their creative hobbies.

That said, the vast traffic potential means you can make a lot of money as a DIY and craft blogger.

DIY, arts and crafts blog - Blog topic ideas for passive income online

You can choose from a myriad of blog ideas in the crafts niche:

  • Knitting
  • Sewing
  • Crochet
  • DIY jewelry
  • Crafts with kids
  • Painting etc.

As with any visual niche, like fashion or travel, you need to invest time in high-quality photos.

Since Pinterest will be your #1 traffic source, make sure you follow these powerful Pinterest traffic strategies to quickly generate more pageviews.

Here are a few ideas to monetize a crafts blog:

  • Sell sewing patterns to your readers
  • Create an e-book to help people get started with crochet
  • Place display ads on your blog pages and posts
  • Become an affiliate marketer and promote your favorite tools and materials

9: Personal development blog

Personal development is one of the best blog ideas that make money right now. We all have our struggles with the way we live our lives from time to time.

In order to monetize your blog, make sure you focus on a very specific problem. That’s going to help you attract targeted traffic and readers who are more likely to purchase from you.

For example, I procrastinate way too often. This habit kills my productivity and makes me feel stressed out. Thus, it’s a vicious cycle that feeds on itself, and I need easy but powerful tools that help me get out of it.

Here are a few ideas for a personal development blog:

  • Enhancing lifestyle and quality of life
  • Time management
  • Stress and anxiety management
  • Improving self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Fulfilling long-term aspirations in life

10: Educational blog

If you know a lot about a particular subject, why not help others learn it, too?

Education blog - Offer courses, teaching and mentoring to make money online

Teaching your readers the basics of your favorite topic is one of the best blog ideas that make money these days. You’ll find it easy to stay motivated and your readers will appreciate your help, too. After all, if they’re genuinely interested in the topic, they will come back to consume your content. It’s a win-win!

With that said, an educational blog can be a great way to sell your knowledge to a global audience.

For example, if you’re a graphic designer, you could write step-by-step tutorials for beginners. If you know how to record and edit videos, even better!

If you know how to take top-notch photos with an iPhone, share your photography tips with your readers. Your first digital product could be a beginner’s guide to professional-level iPhone photography, for example.

I’ve been a web developer for a few years now, and I’ve shared my story on my other blog, MikkeGoes.com. It’s my main channel to help others get started with learning in-demand tech skills by teaching themselves.

Learning to code has never been easier than now. Nevertheless, most beginners struggle with the overwhelming amount of information out there.

I know exactly how difficult it is to know where to start, so I decided to start blogging about my coding journey.

And the feedback has been amazing – I’ve created an insanely inspirational online community of thousands of techies out of thin air!

11: Productivity and organizing tips blog

Even before the lovely Miss Kondo took over the entire world, productivity tips and organizing methods were huge in the blogging world.

If productivity sparks joy for you, you can start a blog and teach others what you do best.

Blogging about productivity and organization tips - Profitable blog niches to earn money blogging

To generate traffic to your blog, use my Pinterest traffic techniques. Also, make sure you learn the basics of SEO for Google, too.

Here are a few broad categories for your productivity blog posts:

  • Decluttering your home
  • Organizing belongings
  • Productivity tips for a busy schedule

Summing it up: The best blog ideas that make money

I hope you’re feeling more confident and familiar with the blog ideas that make money I walked you through.

Even if you’re entirely new to blogging, remember that you can make money with any blog idea you have!

Whether you are interested in photography, parenting tips, investing, or men’s fashion – any of these blog niches can be profitable.

As long as you enjoy researching your blog topic and keep creating helpful content for your readers, you’re golden!

You simply need a desire to learn what your audience is struggling with.

Once you understand how you can make their lives easier, your blogging journey will be so much easier. You will know exactly what type of content to create and how to promote your blog to generate massive traffic faster.

That said, the most successful blogs out there all solve a specific problem for their readers.

Here are a few questions that each blog topic we looked at answers:

  1. How do I set up a reliable, long-term retirement savings plan?
  2. What is the best way to start a small online marketing business?
  3. How can I start practicing yoga for weight-loss with no experience?
  4. What’s the best way to keep my kids busy during a 6-hour drive to the grandparents?
  5. What are the best places to visit in Japan on a small budget?
  6. Where can I find quick and easy 30-minute dinner recipes so my family can enjoy an affordable home-cooked meal every day?
  7. What’s the next big thing in women’s summer accessories this year?
  8. How do I make easy DIY paper snowflakes with my pre-school kids?
  9. How can I improve my self-confidence and feel better about myself?
  10. Where can I start learning to code for free?
  11. How can I organize my desk to speed up my work at the office?

All these questions are excellent ideas for blog posts!

Thus, when you choose your blog topic, be mindful of who your target audience is. Also, make sure you understand what questions they need help with.

Once you know how exactly what your readers need and want, it’s easy to create the right type of content that they will love. And that’s when you can start monetizing your blog step-by-step!

Ready to get your blog set up the easy way? Great! Head over to my full beginner’s guide on how to start your first blog step-by-step next!

But now it’s your turn! What questions does your blog answer for your readers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

If you liked this post about blog ideas that make money, please share it with others, too! Thanks for your support!

Happy blogging!
– Mikke

Profitable blog ideas that make money - Blogging tips for beginners
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About The Author

I'm Mikke, a passionate blogger and online entrepreneur addicted to delicious coffee and sharing my growth hacks for small businesses. I'm also a professional web designer and web developer. I help beginner bloggers make money blogging so they can stay home and spend more time with their friends and family, too! Come join me on Pinterest orΒ Twitter!

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Gunjan Mehra
Gunjan Mehra
July 12, 2020 4:49 pm

Thanks a ton .. very useful and informative 😊

Alauddin FTB
Alauddin FTB
August 31, 2020 12:18 pm

awasome thing you have shared with us and now i am able to start my blogging journey.

Hi, I’m Mikke

About me: Mikke, the founder of Blogging Explorer

I'm an online entrepreneur and blogger, here to help you start a blog, increase blog traffic, and make money online.

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