How to Make Money on PayPal: The Online Payment Processor You Need!

How to Make Money on PayPal: The Online Payment Processor You Need!

PayPal has become one of those online tools that has become synonymous with making money online. While it’s not a direct strategy or method, it’s a very useful tool that allows people to accept and make payments from credit cards, debit cards, or other PayPal accounts. This makes buying and selling online much more viable. Especially for those of us who can’t afford a merchant account. Or for those of us for whom it doesn’t really make sense.

PayPal is a tool that has become synonymous with making money online. While that won’t be directly, it is a tool that you will want if you are going to take advantage of all the options out there. Read on to learn how PayPal can help you make money.

Using PayPal

There are many good reasons for having a PayPal account. This is one of the most widely tools online any time money is transferred. This is also one of the most widely accepted payment methods. Easy to attach to a bank account or credit card, PayPal is a necessary tool on today’s internet. There’s no free money when it comes to PayPal, but this online tool is crucial for getting paid for products and services offered online.

Setting up an account is extremely easy. It only takes a few minutes to set up, and the process is very step by step. You will need an e-mail address as well as a bank account with the routing information for your bank (found on any paper check). Other than that, just follow the step by step guide the website gives you during sign up.

In a few minutes you can have a PayPal account. For most people a personal account will be enough, even if they are planning on doing some side hustles, filling out online surveys, or taking advantage of “point to cash” based smartphone apps. However, there are times where having a business PayPal account will make sense.

PayPal home page screenshot

Personal Account vs. Business Account

The two major choices for a PayPal account are personal PayPal accounts and business PayPal accounts. PayPal is available in most countries internationally. For most people the personal account is enough. There are some advantages to this. Giving money as a gift doesn’t cost a percentage like every transaction on business does. You can even receive money online without breaking the terms of service.

PayPal even discusses this a bit under their FAQ here. Receiving money for some side work is perfectly fine.

Business accounts are for actual merchants or individuals who operate under an LLC or company name. This gives a series of additional tools and benefits that actual online businesses and merchants are likely to find useful. There are also going to be more fees involved. But that’s to be expected out of any business account.

The fees actually tend to be reasonable in the 1-3% area and are very comparable to what other online payment processors offer. If you’re building an online business, especially if incorporated, then you’ll want the business account. Otherwise the personal account is going to be more than enough for 99% of people out there.

This makes things easier since you can get paid cash from a variety of online options with either account type.

Money from Saving

piggy bank and coins

There are many different options for apps, online coupons, and other money-saving online tools that use PayPal to help get you your savings or rebate. So how does this work?

This will vary a little bit depending on what apps you’re using to save money. There are several different options that involve tying your PayPal account to an app that then helps you save money while doing shopping or buying that you were planning on doing anyway.

Ibotta, for example, is a shopping based app. They work like an online coupon extension. You make purchases on your smartphone or PC, Ibotta sees if they can find any savings that you haven’t used, you get most of the cash discount deposited back to you in PayPal while they get a small percentage of the amount they saved you.

Other coupon or savings apps like Rakuten, Honey, or Dosh Rewards basically work the same way. Once you reach the pay-off threshold (usually $10, $20, or $25) then you can cash out via PayPal to get your money. Some people prefer gift cards, which can be an option. That said, for those who prefer cash over gift cards PayPal users have that additional option.

Money from Working

If you want to create side gigs working online, you want a PayPal account. This is one of the easiest way for an employer to pay you whether directly from their business accounts, a personal account, or even using a credit card. If you work online as a freelancer or remote worker, you are generally expected to have a PayPal account.

There are many ways to make money online. Having a PayPal account makes it easy for people to hire you. It makes it easy for you to sell things. Above all else, it is a tool that helps you get paid.

Freelance Writing

Making money writing is without a doubt one of the most popular side gigs out there. There are even hundreds of thousands of people who make a good full-time living doing this. PayPal is perhaps the most commonly used ways of making payments.

Most writing platforms like Fivver.com or Upwork.com offer PayPal as a payment option. When dealing with clients individually, PayPal is the most common payment method used. This makes payment easy and provides security for both the buyer and the seller.

The demand for freelance writing is huge. Dust off those old skills from English class, consider a class like Earn More Writing to bring the skills up to date, and have a PayPal account ready to receive payments for work that is well done!

Virtual Assistant Duties

This is a side gig that can be exceptional for people with good organizational skills, who know how to multi-task, and who don’t have any problem with jumping on the phone. A VA is often called on for a wide variety of tasks from acting as gatekeeper for one or multiple e-mail accounts, managing social media platforms, making & taking phone calls, as well as taking care of a number of “odds and ends” that are required of any online business on weekly or monthly basis, but aren’t cost-effective for an online entrepreneur to spend time on herself or himself.

For the proverbial “Jack of All Trades” who has some skill in a lot of areas this could be a perfect fit! Set a good rate, send a contract, take payments via PayPal and you are suddenly setup with a great remote working gig!

Graphic Design Work

Graphic design is an area with a lot of competition, but tons of opportunity, as well. Finding direct clients is one way to do freelance design work in exchange for secure payment via PayPal. No doubt about it, there are many opportunities there. But always protect yourself with a work contract.

There are also several creative ways where design work can be done online. There are numerous online t-shirt stores like Teespring or Cafe Press where someone with a quick wit and good design skills can create their own t-shirts, mugs, and other merchandise to sell directly. This takes some work to get moving. Most successful stores also talk about the importance of trial and error to learn firsthand what works. Or doesn’t.

If this sounds intimidating, there are multiple quality classes on Udemy and Skillshare. Look for the highly rated courses from teachers who have actually succeeded at running an online store. You want the firsthand experience they can offer.

This won’t be for everyone, but the potential is remarkable. Many people gross five figures a month with their designs.

Learn Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing still offers an incredible number of opportunities for making money online. There are so many different types of affiliate programs out there that pay you for promoting projects. Many of these programs will pay directly to a bank account. If you don’t like that option, or they don’t offer that option, then PayPal is your best alternative in most cases.

If you can get traffic from an online source, the combination of affiliate marketing and PayPal can mean some major paydays. This goes for marketing with affiliate websites as well as YouTube affiliate marketing or even social media marketing.

If you know you need a crash course in the best affiliate marketing practices, there are two programs that clearly stand out from the pack. There’s the Income School’s Project 24 and Authority Hacker’s Authority Site System. These are paid memberships, but you learn detailed affiliate marketing tactics from some of the best out there.

Either course is like cramming over five years of knowledge, experience, and skill into a course that lets you learn all of it in months. It’s a good way to get a leg up and make sure your affiliate marketing efforts start paying earlier rather than later. There are many ways to make money online and it’s hard to argue that affiliate marketing isn’t one of the best options out there for getting paid for your online work.

Selling Old Stuff

PayPal started all the way back in 1998 under the original name of Confinity and was attached with eBay as early as 2002. For nearly a decade you couldn’t mention one without the other. PayPal was made to allow online buying and selling. So nobody should be surprised by the idea that selling things online can be a great way to make money with PayPal.

While eBay no longer takes PayPal, there are plenty of options out there. You can sell items directly and take PayPal. You can also use online classifieds like Craigslist. Receive the payment, then hand over or mail the item. There are even websites like Decluttr that specialize in buying certain things from you and paying via PayPal.

You get the money and they sell the items.

There are many different things you can sell and accept PayPal payments for. Old books, clothes, and collectibles are always in high demand. Online arbitrage opens up a wide array of opportunities to buy things cheap in one place and then sell them online elsewhere.

You need PayPal to fund both the buying and the selling. There are plenty of options for using PayPal’s tools to help all your side gig opportunities. Especially when working or accepting payment online.

Stay Away from Surveys

Survey Junkie page

While we’re at it it’s now time to talk about those get paid to take online surveys ads you see everywhere online. You also see many blogs promoting paid surveys and talking about how you can start earning right away just from taking surveys from advertisers who want to hear from you, today! Does this sound like those spammy too-good to be true advertisements from the early days of spam email?

Congratulations, you are right to smell a rat. Now that being said, I have to be careful talking about how to make money with surveys. Is this possible? Yes, actually it is. There are several paid survey companies online that will pay you via PayPal or with a gift card of your choice.

Either way this usually works by earning a set amount of points from when you take surveys. Once you do enough of these paid surveys to get a certain number, you can then redeem your points for cash. Generally a point is equivalent to one penny. It takes so many hours of surveys to get a pittance of a payout.

Are talking online surveys lucrative and worth your time for the money you get paid? In my opinion, and my experience, absolutely not. Now in fairness, I’ve heard from online blogs that female online shoppers tend to get a better selection of surveys and qualify for more of the “higher paying” options. That could be true, I’ve never been able to fully verify this with hard numbers despite numerous attempts to reach out.

My suspicions are that this is true in the same way it’s true you can make money via PayPal completing surveys. It’s technically correct, but not such a big difference as to change my overall stance on paid surveys.

There are many different survey websites out there. It doesn’t take long to realize there are two or three survey sites that are seen as tops.

An example of this is the Swagbucks app. This is similar to the way that paid online surveys but it is slightly more extensive. There are paid surveys, as well as points for shopping online, watching video ads, or even searching for certain terms on the web. The tasks change from day to day, and the “Swag Bucks” rewarded for each varies based on the task.

The Swagbucks can then be cashed in starting at $10 for a payment directly from PayPal.

Swagbucks isn’t the only survey slash task site. There are plenty that can be found online including PrizeRebel, Prolific, and Grindabuck to name three. While there are plenty of options, there are almost certainly much better ways for you to earn money with your free time.

If you decide to go this route anyway you do have some potential to start earning with paid surveys, but you will need to keep your expectations in check. Whether paid by gift card or cash you will only earn a very modest amount of money. You will want to make sure to use a separate email address. You don’t want your personal email address flooded with paid survey, earn new gift card, or get paid taking survey emails. They can absolutely flood and overwhelm your inbox. So create a separate address just for these, if you go that route.

Are There Any Alternatives to PayPal?

There are many different payment options available online. None have the size or widespread acceptance of PayPal. However, if you want a different tool there are options. Google Wallet, Amazon Pay, TransferWise, and Stripe are all good options.

While in most cases it makes sense to go with PayPal, these are viable options for most individuals. Knowing which payment processor is best for you will require research based on your specific situation. You will also want to make sure any sites you’re using to make money accept whatever PayPal or PayPal alternative you’re looking at.

Conclusion

While PayPal isn’t going to make you money in and of itself, this is an incredibly useful tool for making money online through other endeavors. Whether you are taking payments directly for an online business or receiving payments for services rendered, there’s no denying PayPal is a major piece of the puzzle when it comes to making money online.

By Shane Dayton

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How to Make Money Playing Video Games: Making Dollars from Joy Sticks

How to Make Money Playing Video Games: Making Dollars from Joy Sticks

The idea of making money playing video games is one that has been around for decades. Until relatively recently, that was mostly a dream. Many people are surprised to learn that making money playing video games is very much a thing now. In some cases, the amount of money is quite huge. There are tournaments that go in the millions of dollars for the best players in the world. With the rise of eSports, those numbers are likely to continue to grow. So how do you make money playing video games?

There are multiple ways to do this. Making really serious money playing video games can be a challenge. This often takes good marketing, charisma-based skills, and a willingness to learn about online business in addition to being a top-notch gamer.

There are far more gamers making some money as a side hustle or who are struggling with poverty-line numbers than those clearing six figures or more. However, for those who truly love gaming and who want to know how to make money as a gamer, there are several great ways to make money playing your favorite titles.

Video Game Tester

Quality control is a major issue with video games, and this actually comes in a couple different forms. Companies need capable and avid players to test out new games before they are released on the market. The general public hates buggy, busted releases. Just Google “Fallout 76 fiasco” if you really need any evidence of that.

Good testers are going to be in demand. The question is which job are you most fit for. Are you a quality tester, or a beta tester? While both jobs are sometimes simply described as “video game testers,” there are important differences between the two.

Quality Tester

A quality tester, sometimes called a quality assurance tester, is a player who is specifically focusing on features and changes. They are looking at various designs, builds, software systems, inventory systems, and other systems used in the games.

In other words, is inventory system A better than inventory system B? Does this specific in-game mechanic make the game fun or frustrating? There’s a lot of very specific things that need to be tested. Not only for how effective they are in game play, but if they’re easy to learn, to use, and make the game more or less fun.

A quality assurance tester often needs to focus on specific parts of the game or programming choices that are being compared. The average pay isn’t anything special at $10-15 an hour on average but since most quality tester work is contract work, there are also opportunities to get your foot in the door.

Beta Tester

Becoming a beta tester is a dream job for many avid gamers. Featuring above average pay and a lot of time spent playing the game before release, beta testers get paid to play video games that have already gone through a heavy amount of quality control. This means that the programming and quality testing has already been done to a pretty advanced degree.

Beta testers aren’t spending as much time on small details and testing out certain game functions. Beta testers are actually playing these soon to be released games for extended periods of time and they are searching for loopholes, glitches, and programming errors that can result in problems. In other words, a beta tester is trying to break the game.

Be aware that unless you get picked up for a permanent position within a big company, which is rather rare nowadays, chances are you won’t get to pick and choose which games to beta test. So you may find yourself playing a large number of titles that aren’t your usual taste. However, truly good beta testers are hard to find. Playing video games for money means starting with the work you can find. Get shining reviews, build a reputation, build your connections, and you’ll be moving up the game testing world in no time!

Video Game Journalist

news typed on Typewriter

There’s no lack of demand for good content in the video game industry. Whether for an established TV station, YouTube channel, or authority website, there’s plenty of news out there on video games and always a demand for more.

One of the things to recognize about being a video game journalist is the fact that it tends to gray the line with running your own website or YouTube channel. While some stay with one main company or site, many times you’ll find yourself working for multiple employers.

This could mean freelance writing for some mid-level review sites while contacting independent game developers for interviews on your YouTube channel and streaming game reviews of your favorite retro games.

In other words, getting started takes a lot of work. While launching your own game reporting site makes sense at a certain point, you may want to start out really working for those mid-level companies to see how those websites work, why they run things the way they do, and to save the energy you’ll need to build two sources of income at once.

Being a video game journalist goes hand in hand with playing many of the games you’ll be reporting on. In addition to reviews and reporting on games themselves you’ll also get to interact with pro players, developers, and special events. This can be a great way to turn a love of gaming into a full-time job.

YouTube Videos

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, right behind Google. There are literally millions of videos on YouTube revolving around video game content. This ranges from play-throughs to reviews, scholarly dissertations, and everything else imaginable. Some channels have multiple games featured, while others have built an entire community around just one game.

As an example this channel is built around the Total War series. While the majority of content started specifically around Medieval Total War II, it has expanded to include other games under this brand. Dangerously Funny is a YouTuber who made pretty much exclusively Stardew Valley videos for three years before expanding to other games.

Those large channels pale in comparison to the lists of top 10 or top 20 gamer channels on YouTube which have millions of followers.

Getting momentum on YouTube takes an enormous amount of work. While getting to a thousand subscribers may sound easy, it takes a lot of work in practice to get attention, to stick out, and to get enough fans to keep the momentum going. One thousand subscribers is the magic number where YouTubers can begin to profit with ads put on their videos.

Ad revenue can be huge when talking about tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of views or more per video. YouTube even mentions video game ads as some of the highest paying. This is in large part because of how successful YouTube advertising has been for gaming companies.

That alone makes YouTube ads a great way to make money playing video games. This goes beyond just being good as a gamer – you need to be entertaining. Whether that’s through spectacular game play, witty commentary, or a great sense of humor, you need to build an audience that wants to follow you.

The good news here is that there’s something for everyone. There is a huge demand for blockbuster video game content. There’s a huge demand for retro games. Many channels do great focusing on comparing games, styles, or producing tutorials. Strategy videos are popular pretty much regardless of niche.

In other words, there’s a demand for whatever type of video game content you are interested in producing. This takes a lot of time, consistency, and effort. Not to mention learning YouTube marketing and YouTube SEO. However, the potential here is incredible.

There are YouTube gamers whose channels have made them millionaires.

Stream on Twitch

Twitch.TV Home Page

Twitch is one of the go-to platforms for video game streamers. In fact, to many people this is goes hand in hand with a good YouTube following. Twitch is a video streaming service run by Amazon. This platform allows gamers to stream their playing live and gain followers, subscribers (paid followers), and build up their online gaming brand.

The first step is getting enough attention to make affiliate status. The requirements of that can be found here and are very reasonable. At that level each subscription to your channel nets you $2.50 a month. More important, it opens up donations as well as an array of tools to attract more followers and subscribers to your channel.

The Partner level is where things really take off on Twitch. This not only requires more subscriptions and average watch time per video but also review and approval. Partners on Twitch get a wide variety of options to help make money on their channel. This includes premium emojis that followers can pay for, direct payments from video game companies to play their new releases, as well as increased ad run options.

Even at the affiliate level many small channels with a decent following can begin getting deals from small independent game companies on free copies of games to play and review. There is an amazing array of options available. Those options only increase further at partner level.

Many channels use Twitch and YouTube in combination with one another for maximum exposure. This is a fantastic tool for video game streamers.

Professional Competitions

There are many tournaments that can be found online or are held at major events. Proving you’re good enough to enter these competitions and place means making money from playing video games. In this case, only if you’re good enough.

The catch here is obvious: you need to be one of the best in the world to make any decent money.

The high-paying tournaments are reserved for professional gamers and those who have won enough tournaments to prove themselves as being good enough to compete. For most people, even most avid gamers, this isn’t going to work.

However, there are many smaller and beginner tournaments. Websites like gamersaloon.com host small tournaments where players can sign up and compete against each other for small stakes.

This isn’t a way to make a living playing video games, but for an especially talented gamer it could be a nice side gig at the end of a long day at work.

Build a Winning eSports Team

This falls in line a bit with becoming a professional gamer. Among all the various ways to make a full-time living playing games, and not doing anything else, eSports has developed into a multi-million dollar industry.

The hardest part is getting the foot in the door with players on a game that is popular, likely to remain popular, and then prove you’re good enough. On average a professional eSports player makes between $1,000 to $6,000 a month. Top teams can score million dollar plus pots in the top tournaments in the world.

This is a serious grind that isn’t for everyone, but it will be an option for certain gamers.

Video Game Coaching

Maybe you understand some popular games inside and out. You get the strategy, you can tell at a glance what strategies other players like to use and what their weaknesses are. But maybe your reflexes just aren’t fast enough to take advantage of that.

With the huge rise of eSports and professional gaming, the demand for good video game coaching is also rising. This relies on you being able to see how to make a player’s game better and to coach them up to see actual results.

This is a rare set of skills. That said, good video game coaches are invaluable and in very high demand.

Grinding Online Economy

Online Mining

Video game worlds have become a funny thing – especially when dealing with an MMO. There are many popular MMOs that have their own in-game economy. One that is so important in those worlds that you can actually grind out “farming” in-game currency and sell it to other players who then have in-game money to buy the items they want.

This was originally popular in World of Warcraft (though the practice is now against their terms of service), however there are some where this practice is still widely practiced like RuneScape or Counter Strike.

Even beyond currency, sometimes an entire character is built up, leveled up, and then sold to a new player. This generally won’t make you a fortune, but it’s a way to sell off a high-level character you’re bored with and spin up a new one. You get to keep enjoying the fun of building up a character in a game while making money on the side.

As a more passive approach to making money playing video games, you can look at hosting a Minecraft server. One of those rare games that has continued to be popular after 10+ years, many players love Minecraft but hate running into trolls. In fact, there are so many Minecraft trolls they have their own names: Griefers. If you run a great server that you keep free of problem players, there are many Minecraft fans willing to pay good money to build in peace.

Design Your Own Game

Know question this takes a very specific set of skills. Not to mention some serious dedications. That being said, if you’ve ever wondered why no one makes a certain type of game, why not make it yourself?

When you design your game you clearly get to play your own game, testing it out as you design it and push to make it the best possible gaming experience. Especially if you’re designing a game solo, you need to be able to play your game multiple times looking for every single way to break it possible.

This helps you build your skills. As a programmer you learn more about what does and doesn’t work, tempting shortcuts, and will run into problems you can try to replicate as a game tester. Even if your own game doesn’t turn out to be the next Stardew Valley this still lets you put out a game you can earn royalties from while sharpening those skills that are attractive to bigger video game companies.

By designing your own game you’re going to not only get paid to play a video game you love, but you also will get the joy of seeing others play and enjoy your creation.

In Conclusion

Not everyone is going to be able to make a living playing video games. However, for dedicated gamers who are passionate about their gaming this is possible. Whether as a side gig, a hobby that makes money on the side, or a full-time career, there are plenty of ways to turn a love of video games into a side income. For some lucky charismatic, hardworking gamers this may even turn into the dream job they’ve always wanted!

 

By Shane Dayton

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How to Pick the Best Niche for Blogging (With 25 Trending Niche Ideas!)

How to Pick the Best Niche for Blogging (With 25 Trending Niche Ideas!)

Picking a niche… It kind of feels like you’re picking a marriage partner for life, doesn’t it?

Sure, you might not work on your niche website “till death do you part.” But whatever niche you pick, you’ll be spending a LOT of time on research, writing, and marketing for it! 

So, what’s the best niche for blogging? How do you pick something that’s REALLY worth your time?

In this post, I want to briefly talk about how to choose the right niche for you, and then I’ll share several of the best niches for blogging in 2019!

Picking the Best Niche for Blogging

Before I get into finding a profitable niche, I should point out that there’s NO such as thing as a single best niche for blogging.

While it’s true that some niches are more viable than others, the only “best niche” in practice is the one that successfully matches your unique strengths with the demand in the marketplace.

With that said, there are definitely a few things to keep in mind from the very beginning:

  1. The niche you choose should have existing (and preferably growing) traffic.
  2. You’ll need a way to make money from it (ie in-demand products and services to sell).
  3. You want an evergreen topic with minimal seasonality.
  4. Micro-niches are easier to rank for quickly, but may be harder to monetize or expand upon later on.
  5. You should find an angle, audience, or unique selling proposition that differentiates your website from the competition.
  6. If you decide at any point after starting that your niche isn’t workable, you can always go through the same process again with a new niche.

Later in this post, I’ll point out some of the most profitable niches, but first, let’s walk through the right approach in finding the best niche for you!

There’s already a great post on picking a niche here at Niche Pursuits, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here.

Rather than diving too deeply into the technical details – like search volumes and the nitty-gritty of keyword research – I want to share the 10,000 foot view for niche selection, which is this:

Virtually ANY niche can work.

The process is pretty much the same whether you’re selling gardening tools, cryptocurrency, or courses on playing the piano:

  1. Provide valuable content that helps people solve a problem or inspires them.
  2. Target profitable keywords where your site has the best chance at ranking.
  3. Monetize with ads and affiliate products (or your own products) to an audience visiting your site and following your brand. 

Eventually, you’ll need to do some competitive analysis using a keyword research tool like Long Tail Pro, but in this early stage, just start thinking about which niche(s) you’d actually excel in.

Most importantly, think about this: Where can you add more value than anybody else? Offering the greatest value in your niche is key for a successful business, because value leads to consistent traffic, and traffic can be monetized.

Adding the Most Value in a Niche

Obviously, since you’re reading this post about blogging on Niche Pursuits, your goal is to make money from your niche website.

That’s why I want you to stop thinking about “niches” simply as topics for an internet website, and start thinking about them holistically – as business opportunities!

In effect, even if you just own a blog, you’re still operating a business, and you need to understand your unique selling proposition (USP) so you can differentiate yourself in a crowded space.

It’s no different from the real world. For example, if you find that you’re amazing at barbecuing meat, it might make sense to consider opening a barbecue restaurant – but if there are TONS of great barbecue restaurants in your town and you’re not sure how yours could one-up the competition, then your new restaurant’s odds of success aren’t that great!

Similarly, your niche website’s success is relative to how competing websites are performing in the same space. Your success also is dependent on whether the overall niche is growing, flat, or shrinking – you can see the general direction of a potential niche with Google Trends.

Google Trends to Track Best Niche in Blogging

But just like with any business, you should strive to deliver the most value possible for your niche and effectively communicate that value to your audience.

Ways to Differentiate Your Niche Website

In terms of a unique selling proposition, SOMETHING about your brand has to stand out. Here are a few possibilities: 

Best Niche Blog Differentiators

I’ll elaborate briefly on each potential differentiator:

  • Your background. Your existing background has an impact on the potential success of any project – this may include your reputation, reach, work experience, skills, credentials, awards, and successes.
  • Your connections. Getting influencers and experts to promote your content and appear on your website can give you a huge credibility boost.
  • Your target audience. Are you able to target your content to a different audience than your niche generally does? (An example is NerdFitness teaching fitness to “nerds” and 9-to-5 professionals.)
  • Your mix of niches. Similarly, you can find a sweet spot by combining two or more niches from different categories, such as time management for entrepreneurship. (See later in this post for a list of different niche categories you can mix and match.)
  • Your original research. Great content often comes down to actually having something NEW to say! This makes case studies like Niche Site Project especially valuable, because the data has never appeared elsewhere on the web before. 
  • Your content quality. In addition to the importance of what you have to say, HOW you say it matters too. A higher level of writing craft can keep more people engaged.  
  • Your visual presentation. A carefully crafted brand – along with a great website layout and design – can dramatically improve user experience.
  • Your production values. How good are your multimedia elements, such as audio, graphics, video, and animation? Are they original and custom, or sourced from stock websites?
  • Your writing style. It’s somewhat subjective, but the voice and tone of your content should be appropriate for your niche and audience. Are you being authoritative, serious, neutral, friendly, conversational, funny? 
  • Your personality. Some people are just plain likable and trustworthy. A good personality can make all the difference, especially if you’re good on video – don’t underestimate the value of a strong emotional connection with your audience.

These differentiating factors may not be an exhaustive list, but they should help you start thinking about your site in terms of its brand. You probably can’t be 10/10 in every single category – so figure out which ones are the most important and focus your energy on them.

Differentiation Through Greater Value

Remember, there are two parts to this equation if you want your content to be discoverable online:

First, you need relevant keywords that you have a decent chance of ranking for.

Second, you need your content to be the MOST helpful and thorough response to a user’s search query, so that Google thinks your article deserves to be at the top of its results. 

That’s why those differentiating factors are important! After you find keywords to rank for, that’s only half the battle – valuable content is what helps your website endure in the rankings and really build some momentum.

When you’re considering what might be the best niche for blogging for you, it’s essential that you evaluate all of the top players in your space. This is about more than keyword research – you need to evaluate your competitors in terms of these factors and figure out where you might have a competitive advantage.

Can you find at least two or three areas – and preferably three to five – where you can really stand out in comparison?

Uncover an Underserved Niche

One of your best bets in finding the right niche is seeing where there’s a lot of potential room for newcomers like you.

Do you see websites with low domain authority routinely ranking at the top of Google for many long-tail keywords in your chosen niche? That’s a GREAT sign that you’ve got a niche where you can come in and add more value than what’s already there!

But that’s not the only consideration. You might be the world’s most knowledgeable expert in raising baby sea turtles – which is undoubtedly a great icebreaker at parties – but if people aren’t searching for baby sea turtle parenting, or aren’t willing to pay for anything when they do, then it’s not a good niche. 

Remember what I said before? Any niche CAN work, but you risk wasting a lot of time if your niche idea is unproven. For your site to have a shot at success, you want to find a niche that already has a decent amount of traffic and monetization potential. 

Ask yourself this:

“Can I offer a solution to the problems people are having in this niche? Are there enough people with this problem who are looking to spend money?”

If the answer to those two questions is yes, then you might be on to something. See if your gut is telling you whether a niche might be worth looking into, but don’t forget to follow through with in-depth research to make sure you’re actually right!

Should You Follow Your Passion?

After you’ve narrowed down your list of potential niche ideas to just a handful, you’ll be confronted with how to decide WHICH you should pursue. 

If you’re brand-new to niche websites and affiliate marketing, I highly recommend you focus on just ONE website at first. (Once you’re more experienced, you might be able to manage a handful of sites at the same time.)

Since you’re going to pour all of your efforts into just one site, here’s the million dollar question: Should you go with the topic that’s your biggest passion, or the topic that looks like the best business opportunity?

Well, there are many schools of thought on pursuing your passion for a living.

On the one hand, when you’re committing so much of your time to a project – especially if this is something you work on in your off-hours after a long day at work – then passion might be the only thing that keeps you going.

But ask yourself this: is the passion for your topic, or is it for the lifestyle you envision after you start to succeed?

Why Passion is Overrated

I still remember this podcast episode I heard with a guest named Cal Newport, who wrote a book in 2012 called “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love.”

He basically said “following your passion” isn’t a great idea. This stuck with me, because I’ve long been a writer with different creative passions, and I always heard that advice about following your passion so you never have to work a day in your life.

But in his writings, Newport argues that there’s a “passion trap” where people place too much of an emphasis on finding work they love, and less on the kinds of factors that truly make someone satisfied with their work.

These factors include:

  • Belonging
  • Autonomy
  • Purpose

Notice that belonging, autonomy, and purpose have very little do with “passion” in the traditional sense, but all three of them can lead to greater passion for your work over time. 

In addition to those factors, there’s another real-world factor that seems to matter… money.

Personally, I tend to be happier when I can afford to eat. Everyone has their own opinion, but I believe it’s worth having a good living, even if the work isn’t always EXACTLY what I would choose to do with my time.

Plus, it’s pretty idealistic to think that you’ll love EVERY second of a project that you’re “passionate about” – at some point, work is work! Even if you choose to write posts about your love of fly fishing, does that mean you don’t do boring work like cold outreach to promote your website, or optimizing old posts, or tracking your expenditures for tax season?

Picking Between Passion and Profit 

So, what do you think? Is an unprofitable passion better than a profitable niche that you’re not super excited about?

Newport makes another interesting point: it’s often easier to find passion in the work you’re already good at than try to turn your passion INTO something marketable.

In the end, you have to decide whether you think passion or profits are the ultimate deciding factor in choosing a niche. But here’s the bottom line:

  1. You definitely need some level of interest and experience in the niche you choose, or it’ll be very difficult to stick with it. 
  2. As you start to see success in the niche you choose, you’ll often develop more passion for it.
  3. If your goal is making money, then your TOP priority should be choosing a niche with a strong monetization strategy.

Sure, if your blog is just a hobby, passion might be all you need to worry about.

But if you want to build a money-making venture, you need to consider how your passion intersects with real-world opportunity and your own available skills/knowledge.

Eventually, it’ll work best if your business represents a combination of passion, opportunity, and expertise – how you get to that point is up to you!

A Comprehensive List of Niche Categories

Have you narrowed your choices down to a short list of possible niches? Are you still trying to think of ideas?

One handy way to get a very general list of website categories is through resources like the  SEMRush Sensor tool, which tracks search engine volatility for 25 categories of websites.

This gives you plenty of jumping off points for niches you might want to investigate further.

List of niches for blogging

Each of these categories contains countless potential niches in it, which might help get the gears turning.

However, I think it’s helpful to have a more concise list you can refer back to, so here are 10 relevant categories for online niche ideas:

  1. Money and wealth
  2. Health and fitness
  3. Personal development
  4. Relationships
  5. Hobbies
  6. Food and drink
  7. Travel
  8. Education
  9. Spirituality
  10. Fashion and beauty

To come up with your best niche for blogging, I would start with a category in that list and burrow down to more narrow subtopics. 

For example, the “money and wealth” category includes anything related to earning income, saving money, and growing wealth, with niches like day trading, starting an Amazon FBA business, financial independence/retiring early, and frugality.

The money and wealth category also includes the “building niche websites” niche, an idea that’s admittedly kind of out there – but hey, someone’s probably making it work! 

“Fashion and beauty” includes niches like developing a personal style, creating a minimalist wardrobe, and applying makeup.

“Hobbies” are another fantastic category for niches, because they tend to have very specific keywords, lower overall competition, and in many cases, a lot of specialized knowledge or equipment that people are willing to pay for.

That’s the key as you evaluate possible niches for yourself: are there any existing products you would be able to sell in your niche, or a product you could create to solve people’s problems?

High-Demand Blog Topics in 2019

Now that we’ve seen some broader categories for niches, let’s look at which niches are popular and in demand in 2019. If you haven’t checked out our post on the 15 best niche markets that you can make good money from, it has some great ideas on evergreen profitable niches as well.

Here are 25 different trending niches. Hopefully, these point you in the direction of your own personal best niche for blogging:  

  1. Drones
  2. LED lighting
  3. Smartphone/wearable accessories
  4. Home automation
  5. Retirement
  6. Tiny homes
  7. Video games
  8. TV and pop culture
  9. WordPress
  10. Career advice
  11. Frugality
  12. YouTube
  13. Cryptocurrency
  14. Freelance design
  15. Airbnb rental tips
  16. Photography
  17. e-Commerce
  18. Learning an instrument
  19. Arts and crafts
  20. Home decor
  21. Mommy/parenting
  22. Financial independence
  23. 3D printing
  24. Online dating
  25. Web development

Remember, these are just a starting point.

Any of these can be further narrowed down by target audience or combined with other niches to create a more manageable topic. There’s a big difference between a blog offering YouTube tips for makeup vloggers and YouTube tips for niche website owners.

Take the time upfront to define your niche, and the keyword research that follows will be much more focused.

Final Tips to Pick the Best Niche for Blogging

So, where do you go from here?

Well, I didn’t forget about the original question in this post: what’s the best niche for blogging?

Hopefully by now, you can see that there’s no such as thing as one perfect niche, and even seemingly “bad” niches are totally workable – in fact, with enough time, money, effort, and ingenuity, almost ANY niche can be great!

However, there are still several considerations, including traffic, niche popularity, topic seasonality,  the competition, and your unique differentiating factors.

As far as how broad your topic should be, I’ll remind you of this gem: “The riches are in the niches.”

Some of the least obvious niches do the best, because quality competition in a tiny space may be practically nonexistent. Take the website “Succulents and Sunshine,” a blog that teaches readers one incredibly specific thing: growing succulents. 

Succulents and Sunshine is a Micro-niche in blogging

That’s it.

You might be surprised to hear that “Succulents and Sunshine” is a six-figure blog that’s been featured on BuzzFeed and Better Homes and Gardens!

I think one of the reasons it’s so successful is because it’s incredibly focused and was able to dominate a narrow micro-niche that happens to have a sizable audience.

On the other hand, some larger websites do quite well too. Niche Pursuits is an example of a website that actually covers a WIDE range of topics. It might seem like the idea of making money through niche websites is pretty specific, but the site could easily have focused on just one or two specific affiliate marketing or niche topics. The name Niche Pursuits left plenty of room to grow and expand into different smaller niches on the same website. 

To an extent, the breadth and depth of your niche website is what you make of it – but never forget that you’re writing both for Google and for humans. If search engines or readers get confused about what you’re talking about and who you’re writing for, you’ll find it difficult to pick up steam.

Filling in the Gaps With Outside Talent

As far as more obscure niche ideas like succulents that you may know nothing about, don’t forget that you don’t always have to be the authority! Spencer has successfully managed a mom blog, but wisely chose to outsource the writing to actual moms. 

As you get more comfortable with the strategy and research aspect of niche websites, you can rely less on your own direct experience and skills related to that niche – which means that list of differentiators I mentioned becomes more powerful.

For example, say you’re investigating the baking niche, and you decide that there should be high demand for a site with professional-quality graphics, photography, and video. 

Differentiating your niche through quality content

Even if YOU aren’t a baking expert or a professional photographer personally, you can still hire people with that experience and take advantage of a good opportunity you’ve uncovered.

Most niche site owners start out by doing most of the work on their own, but eventually, that list of differentiators can apply to a whole TEAM of people with their own qualifications, backgrounds, and skills. 

Take Massive Action

Don’t be discouraged if you’re not sure which is the best niche for blogging yet!

Take some time to really go through the process of brainstorming niche topics you’re interested in, doing some competitive research, and analyzing your own potential differentiators.

Once you’ve finally picked a niche, put the blinders on and go all-in for at least six months. If your site is brand-new, it generally takes at least that long before Google really starts to notice and rank your site. In that time, you’ll be producing content, doing keyword research, marketing your site, networking with influencers, and finding ways to add massive value to your space.

This is a numbers game, so the best thing to do is pick something you can stick with and dive right in. Once you’ve decided on your best niche for blogging, grab your domain and hosting with Bluehost.

Start building with niche website with Bluehost!

Conclusion

Finding a niche isn’t easy, but it’s actually pretty simple. It helps to remember that you’re not married to any one niche – so pick something that sounds good and just see what happens! You can always try again with a new niche later.

We also have an active readership right here on Niche Pursuits website, so leave a comment below – we’ll be happy to discuss your potential niche ideas with you!

By Daniel Thrasher

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