Types of Blogs Starter Guide: Learn the Basics

By | April 27, 2023

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Not all blogs set out to accomplish the same things. And around a third of bloggers don’t make any money. That’s why you must consider what type of blog to start carefully. Choosing a blog niche that has an audience and fits your goals is the crucial first step to success. In this post, you’ll learn what you need to know about different blog types and which kinds of blogs are most popular and most profitable according to data.

The 3 Best Blogging Platforms for Creating Different Types of Blogs

We used our wealth of experience creating websites and prior research to identify the top blogging platforms for creating any type of blog. Our top three picks are versatile enough to start you on the right foot, no matter what your goals for your blog are:

Brand logos for WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace.

What Types of Blogs Are There?

Blog creators have a wide array of goals and objectives for their content, but there are four main categories of blogs in general. Let’s discuss each of those in a quick overview:

1. Personal blogs – These are journal-like blogs in which writers document their thoughts, opinions, tastes, or slices of daily life. It’s the way blogging started out on the early internet. Sometimes, bloggers keep their personal blogs private or only share them with friends and family, but nowadays more and more people use them as a sounding board, a place to share advice and experiences, or a way of building a community around a topic or shared interest.

On Rising Shining, a mom documents her family life and experiences as a working mother:

Example of a personal blog with a post that says Hello, February!
Create a personal blog if you want to share your own stories and experiences.

Personal blogs don’t have to be non-money making ventures. You can utilize affiliate marketing to monetize your soapbox or tie some blog posts to your online store or personal business when it feels appropriate.

2. Business blogging – Companies deploy blogs on their websites for a variety of reasons, from showcasing their industry expertise and raising awareness about their brand to generating leads for their sales funnel and building customer loyalty through content that promotes their brand values or growth.

Nike’s blog, for example, engages the sporting and fitness community with inspiring stories and tips that are relevant to their many product lines:

Business blog with two posts.
Use a business blog to build a community around your product or service and attract more business.

Business blogs are usually a section of a larger company website, but sometimes they’re standalone sites that focus on a specific product, service, subset of their customer base, or industry-related topic. Their content isn’t always fixated on driving sales, but it always serves to help the company’s sustainability and connection with customers new and old.

3. Personal brand blogging – On a similar note, these blogs are for industry professionals or solopreneurs rather than entire companies.

Pros use a blog to raise their profile as thought leaders or influencers, which can in turn support their company at large. Or, they use the same approach  to sell their own services as a consultant or digital products like ebooks and online courses.

Entrepreneur Tim Ferriss’s blog is a good example of using a blog to promote your personal brand:

Business & Entrepreneurship blog with 5 posts.
Set up a blog for your personal brand to show how you got to where you are today.

Personal brand blogging is becoming more and more prominent as side hustles become a more common aspect of people’s careers and work. It’s also a great way to capitalize on social media traction and bring followers to your entrepreneurial ventures.

4. Niche blogs – Niche bloggers focus primarily or exclusively on one subject. That can be anything from broad interests like books and travel to hyperspecific subject matter such as how to use AI for content creation or testing out fitness gadgets.

People often niche down in order to stand out from the crowd of other blogs and attract a loyal, dedicated audience that they can monetize in one way or another.

Expert Vagabond is one of the top travel blogs with advice, tips, and guides on various locations around the world:

Landing page for a personal blog with a picture of a man on a mountain.
Hone in on a particular niche or subject matter to attract readers that share the same passions.

Niche blogs can be a subset of any of the three previous blog types. You can focus on a niche for blogging about your personal feelings, attracting a specific type of customer to your business, or strongly associate your personal brand with the niche topic.

In this era, finding a niche is necessary. There is so much content already out there on the internet about just about any broad topic, so niching down is important for gaining some traction and attracting an audience in the first place.

Since this is an important qualification to consider when starting a blog, we’ll talk about some of the most popular niches in a little bit.

Why Start A Blog?

We’ve written extensively on how to start a blog successfully. If you want a good overview of the steps to take in order to get a blog off the ground, read our guide on how to start a blog.

That takes care of the “how”, but what about the “why?” There are more reasons to start a blog than simply trying it out as a new hobby:

  • Make blogging your career – Quit the daily grind and work for yourself or support your income with a new revenue stream. There are multiple ways to monetize a blog, from selling advertising space to promoting products or affiliates.
  • Promote your business or cause Use your blog posts to convince visitors that your service or product is worthwhile and a solution to their problems. Or, get them on your team in terms of trying to enact positive change.
  • Become an influencer or thought leader A blog is a place to start growing a following as you continue to raise your profile and establish your expertise on a topic. Your blog can be a living record of your authority that can demonstrate your bonafides better than a resume.
  • It’s easier than you think Nowadays, blogging platforms provide useful tools, add-ons, and templates out of the box, making it easy for anybody to start their own blog and just focus on the act of writing and sharing one’s thoughts with the world.

The 13 Most Popular Blog Subjects

It’s important to look at the most popular blog niches when choosing what type of blog to create. You’ll not only gain inspiration if you don’t know where to start but also learn what types of blogs have the best potential for gaining a large readership.

According to a recent RankIQ study, here are the types of blogs that get the most traffic:

1. Food Some food bloggers share recipes and step-by-step cooking tutorials with video. Many focus on a specific cuisine or diet. You’ll also find some blogs that do restaurant and dish reviews, though those are usually quite localized in scope.

2. Lifestyle/moms – So-called mommy bloggers are incredibly popular and dad blogs have grown in recent years, too. You’ll find parenting tips and personal insights aplenty, along with product recommendations and project ideas for the kids.

3. Travel – Travel bloggers create country or city guides, even whole itineraries for other people’s trips to new places. There are lots of niches within this topic based on certain types of travel, such as solo adventures, luxury travel, or digital nomadism.

4. Arts and crafts – Arts and crafts bloggers create step-by-step guides for crafts projects, tutorials for getting started on a new hobby, and tips for sourcing materials. They can often be seasonal or based on a theme such as Halloween or Christmas crafts. You’ll find lists of ideas for inspiration and resources for readers to utilize to further their crafting ability.

5. Outdoors – Outdoors bloggers cover a range of sub-niches. You’ll see blogs focused just on specific nature activities like fishing, camping, hiking, and survival. They love to create gear reviews and offer accounts of their own outdoors experiences. Plus, you’ll see a lot of excellent photography incorporated into the blog content.

6. Beauty and fashion – Beauty and fashion bloggers are one of the biggest subsets of influencers on the internet. They set trends, review many products, and create tutorials on makeup, beauty routines, outfit coordination, and even finding unique looks.

7. Personal finance – This evergreen subject matter often covers topics like saving money, getting out of debt, building credit, preparing for retirement, and making smart investments. You’ll find expert advice and recommendations for credit cards, bank accounts, and financial services.

8. Homeschooling – Like parenting blogs, you see a lot of personal insights and stories here. Homeschool bloggers also share a bunch of resources for others to use such as curriculum ideas, study subject templates, and workbooks.

9. Pets – Many pet bloggers focus on one type of pet and it can even get more niche by zooming in on particular breeds. They create blogs with lots of advice and tips for pet care, health, and entertainment. You’ll often find product recommendations for toys, food, supplements, and subscription services.

10. Gardening – Some gardening bloggers share landscaping and home design guides and inspiration. Others are all about plant and flower care, garden maintenance, and small-scale subsistence farming.

11. Decorating – Decorating bloggers cover interior design trends and how to implement them in your own home. You’ll find room or theme-specific guides, tips for remodeling and renovation, and help with matching aesthetics to readers’ personalities. They create lots of shopping guides and product recommendation lists.

12. Health and fitness – Many health and fitness bloggers create nutrition guides and share healthy recipes as a subset of food blogging. But these blogs tend to go beyond food and cover exercise tutorials, workout routines, and tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle overall. You’ll also find a ton of motivation and inspirational stories.

13. Tech – Tech bloggers review electronics, software, and the like, plus give their thoughts on emerging technology and trends. Here you’ll find lots of guides walking readers through how to use products or get the most out of them. In many cases, tech blogs are directed at businesses and industry professionals, but they can just as easily speak to end users and consumers.

The 4 Highest-Paying Blog Niches

Finding a profitable blog niche is likely high on your agenda. RankIQ also published a study that revealed the highest-paying blog niches based on the median monthly income for bloggers in each category.

The topics may not surprise you, but the monthly revenue might:

  • Food blogs averaged $9,169 in monthly income, and are the niche with the highest percentage of blogs that get over 50,000 monthly visitors
  • Personal finance blogs weren’t far behind with a monthly median of $9,100
  • Lifestyle and mommy blogging is the most popular topic for new blogs and averaged $5,174 in monthly revenue
  • Travel blogging is the fourth-most lucrative niche at a monthly median of $5,000

Now, just because these four blog niches are able to deliver lofty, four-digit monthly income numbers doesn’t mean you should go chasing them.

You should choose a niche in which you can become the go-to expert for your audience, like gluten-free cooking or personal finance budgeting for students. It’s too difficult to compete with all the other blogs out there as a generalist without unique expertise on a subject.

Though some blog categories tend to make more money than others, remember that you can make money in any blog niche as long as your approach is strategic.

Digital products may be popular in the niche you choose. Online courses, in particular, are high-ticket items when it comes to monetizing a blog. You can charge hundreds of dollars for a high-value course.

Search an online course provider such as Udemy to see how many people actually sign up for courses in your category.

For example, hundreds of students have paid for gluten-free baking classes:

Screenshot of a class titled "The Gluten Free Sourdough Masterclass."
Online course networks show you how many students have previously purchased a course.

Set up a course on anything from plant care to drawing. Artist/blogger Nancy Hillis, for example, offers a range of courses and an advanced masterclass:

Online course showing three steps that include Start, Experiment, and Evolve.
Online courses are extremely lucrative for bloggers.

Or, you can find related products or services you’d be able to promote and earn a commission from by tapping into an affiliate marketplace.

For example, a quick search on ShareASale for the keyword “gluten free” shows a bunch of relevant merchants whose affiliate programs your nutrition or health blog could join.

Affiliate marketplace screenshot showing two products.
Use affiliate marketplaces as part of your research when validating your blog idea.

Another way to monetize any blog niche effectively is through premium memberships. Just be sure to offer enough value that users would be willing to pay to be a part of the community.

For example, you might be effective enough at presenting yourself as an expert in your niche that people are willing to pay for extra content or a newsletter. Or, you might grow a thriving discussion board that users would pay to gain access to.

Furthermore, when thinking about what type of blog to start, consider putting a business-to-business (B2B) angle on your blog. For example, you might focus on executive travel over consumer travel, or start a blog aimed at catering companies rather than home cooks.

Software, products, and services aimed at businesses tend to offer higher commissions, and therefore offer a higher potential income for you. Getting two businesses to make a purchase might make you the same amount of affiliate income as getting 100 consumers to purchase.

Whatever you choose, ensure your narrower niche will be profitable through research. Look into monetization opportunities of all kinds. This kind of research establishes whether there’s a paying audience in your chosen niche that you can tailor your content to and make money from.

The 6 Proven Types of Blog Content

The majority of blog content falls into well-established formats. These are already popular and familiar to readers, so they’re most likely to perform well and show up high in search results.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, so stick to these popular types of blog content, at least while you’re starting out:

  • “How to” guides are comprehensive tutorials or explainers on a given topic that help readers accomplish a specific goal.
  • List posts deliver power rankings or sets of tips, ideas, examples, or methods relevant to a set topic.
  • Reviews can entail detailed assessments of a product, service, or experience.
  • Resource libraries are specific list posts that deliver a helpful collection of links, vendors, or materials for readers to use themselves.
  • Industry news and trends are timely, up-to-date stories and reporting that is relevant to your blog niche and the audience you’re targeting.
  • Case studies or personal accounts can cover first-hand knowledge, inspirational or aspirational stories, or deep dives into professional endeavors related to your industry.

Among these options, you must find the types of blog content that resonate best with your audience. Do this by looking at your competitors’ top posts or the blogs that inspired you to make one of your own. See what their audiences already engage with and take that as guidance for the content types to start with.

After you’ve published some, monitor the data related to your posts as you grow. Find your own top-performing pages by analyzing metrics such as the number of views and time spent on the page and take note of any post types that are more successful than others.

Semrush page showing top pages and results.
Semrush helps you find your top-performing pages so you can create data-driven content.

This removes guesswork to show you precisely what types of blog content your audience wants to see and gives you a roadmap for future content creation.

Final Thoughts About Types of Blogs

You may want to start a blog to leave the nine-to-five and become an influential online figure. Or, you may just want to create a digital soapbox that occasionally earns you a bit of extra cash.

Either way, you must think carefully about the type of blog you want to start. To ensure you choose the right type of blog, you need a solid understanding of what types of blogs perform well and make the most profit. And you have to put in the research to establish whether there’s a paying audience for what you intend to do and consider the best monetization strategies.

We recommend using WordPress with Hostinger when you’re ready to set up your blog site. Then, figure out what topics you will blog about and what types of blog content you will create.


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