Starting a business and finance blog may seem like a piece of cake –at least to a majority of folks out there. After all, there are over 1.9 billion blogs on the web with a whopping 2 million posts daily.
Simply hoping over WordPress, picking a theme, stashing a few plugins, begin churning articles then sit back and watch them dollars roll in, right?
Thanks to unscrupulous individuals on Pinterest, most people have the notion that you can set up a blog today and wake up in a Bugatti the next morning. You’ve probably seen those click-bait titles that are a little more like, “how I made $50K in my first month of blogging.”
It’s paramount to understand that starting a finance blog is neither a get-rich-quick scheme nor is it some sort of earn-a-dime-quick scheme. The hard truth is that this is not lottery, gambling or some sort of multi-level marketing where heaven is promised for little or zero effort.
Unless you want to blog for fun or leisure (which is totally okay), blogging should be considered a business just like any other –where you invest time, money, skills, creativity and all you got.
Blogging, especially in the business and finance niche, has the potential to earn you unimaginable figures of income, both active and passive. The income streams in blogging on financial matters are many and the audience overwhelmingly big. With such a niche, you’re clearly set for success.
Starting a business and finance blog isn’t rocket science. This in-depth guide will walk you down the path of putting it all together and setting yourself up for success.
Why start a business and finance blog?
While there are hordes of other niches that one can write about, the business and finance niche presents unique opportunities. Its broad spectrum provides a platform for bloggers to be creative thus bringing something new in the blogging world of business and finance.
Just that alone serves as enough reason to start blogging about business and finance. But there’s more.
Money is a huge deal
Just think about it – money is crucial. It’s part of our everyday lives. Money or lack of it forms the bulk of the world’s biggest problems. It’s the backbone of corruption in countries, families split, and people die prematurely. You must have heard of businessmen who committed suicide because of losing their hard-earned money during the great recession.
While money, in the actual sense, may not be the real problem in these scenarios, it certainly got to do with its management. Unfortunately, financial illiteracy is real in today’s world and most folks have little knowledge in dealing with money.
As you can already tell, starting a blog to educate people on how to earn, spend or invest money is important. It immediately provides value by availing a practical solution to everyday money problems.
Vast audience at your disposal
A successful blog is evidenced by the amount of traffic it receives. The business and finance niche is a popular one receiving millions of search queries per month. Literally everybody is seeking some sort of information on how to make more money, cut their expenditure and invest the extra income they have.
Of course, such an audience tags along fierce competition. Nevertheless, that shouldn’t deter you from diving into this lucrative niche. After all, regardless of the niche, competition will always be there.
The goal is to come up with something different –an irresistible twist that is far much better than the average finance blog. The world is actively seeking to reward quality and valuable inventions.
Compared to other niches, business and finance blogs prove easiest when it comes to monetization. You don’t have to rely on ads alone for you to start making bank.
Selling digital products, affiliate marketing, and offering consultation services are just but a few of the many ways you can earn money through your blog.
Although the whole idea of monetization may really tickle you, it’s worthwhile to note that as you are starting out, the primary focus should be providing value. At the initial stages, focusing on profits may only get you so far.
Give lots of value for free so that you can win your readers’ trust and before you know it, they’ll be hooked and your numbers will snowball.
Sense of accomplishment in helping others
You know that feeling you get after helping an elderly lady cross the street without expecting anything in return?
Starting a business and finance blog is a big leap in being a source of help to the ever-increasing money woes. Money management is, unfortunately, not common sense and has seen huge sums of money go down the drain leaving its victims in depression.
The digital age is an ever-evolving one and what was “all the rage” two years ago may be nothing close to what’s trending today. Having a successful blog, particularly in the business and finance niche means constantly keeping tabs with the changing internet trends and producing content that will still be relevant several years later.
Fortunately, most topics on business and finances are ever-green and may only need a few updates once in several years. This is important in maintaining traffic for your blog.
Is it too late to start a business and finance blog?
There are a bajillion of blogs that claim to offer financial and business advice. Although it may seem like everyone and their mother-in-law has a finance blog, most suck and don’t make the cut for valuable financial knowledge.
At the end of the day…
It’s never too late to set up a business and finance blog.
The internet community is hungry for fact-driven and informative content presented in an interesting way. Competition means nothing if you choose to go the extra mile and produce stellar content that resonates with your readers. The results? More shares, higher rankings and increased traffic for your blog.
As much as content may be all that important, focusing on other complementary blogging features is just as crucial. While most blogs may have killer content, their blog designs, user experience, functionality and page load time may turn off readers leading to higher bounce rates.
Catering for your readers’ interests ensures you get ahead of the competition not to mention setting yourself up for success in the long run.
Types of business and finance blogs
Any blog, regardless of the niche, must have a voice or some sort of personality as a way of relating to readers. While the type of voice is entirely the choice of the blogger, some niches are best suited for more of personality than others. There are three types of business and finance blogs;
Just as it sounds, business and finance advice blogs are primarily focused on offering in-depth knowledge on financial matters for a variety of topics. This information may be general, touching on diverse topics or narrowed down on a specific sub-niche in finance or money matters.
The blog has several authors and in most cases, it is owned by a company. Articles are written in a formal tone without any focus on the authors in question.
Author-centered personal story blogs
Think of a stay at home mom. She likes knitting –been doing that since she was 5. This passionate knitting connoisseur starts a blog and tells the world everything she knows about knitting. She includes all the experiences –every single detail of her life around knitting. And since people like reading other people stories, she garners a huge following and her blog takes off.
A Personal blog is the exact definition of what a blog ought to be. Owned by a single person, a personal blog in the finance niche is geared towards educating readers on money matters while telling personal stories.
Such type of a blog is hinged on personal experiences and everything the author has learned on the subject. The author delves into his or her personal life and expresses thoughts, opinions and some advice punctuations related to the topic.
A mix of both advice and personal blogs
Quite popular, this type of blog blends both personal stories and professional advice to come up with informative yet engaging articles.
Such a balance in personality and fact-driven content serves as a surefire traffic magnet since everybody likes factual content wrapped up in interesting writing.
The author alternates personal stories with advice and quotes or makes references to authority websites in the niche of interest.
What’s a niche (and do you really need one?)
There are bloggers who write about only one thing and there are those who, well, write about everything. The former are specialists while the latter are generalists.
Generalist bloggers can explore any topic or subject they want; all they have to do is to create a category that houses the particular topics. More like a blogging supermarket. These peeps can write about the ever-controversial weight loss fads today and rant about nuclear war tomorrow.
No doubt some have found success with such blogging since most readers like variety. However, the chances are quite slim and here’s why: Writing about everything makes it hard to secure a specific audience. Not only are your readers confused by the wide array of topics, but it also puzzles advertisers because they just don’t have a clue which audience your blog really serves.
Narrowing down on a specific niche is the real deal if you ever want your blog to scale.
But what exactly is a niche?
A blog niche is simply a specific topic or subject that you intend to write articles about. Starting a business and finance blog is already a big leap –it’s a niche on its own.
However, it’s a very broad niche dealing with a lot of stuff and vaguely writing about finances may take you only so far. It’s essential to be a little more specific.
But why all this fuss about niches?
Well, let’s explore why.
Why you need to settle for a niche
It sets you as an expert in your field
Mastery takes thousands of hours to achieve. Conversely, dedicating thousands of hours to 10 different things only makes you mediocre at everything.
Having a niche forces you to focus on only one field and dedicate all your time in learning everything about it.
A freelancer who, for 10 years, has been developing apps, dabbling on some video editing, transcription and graphic design on the side, can never be compared to a freelance graphic designer who has been solely doing graphic design for 3 years.
The former is a generalist who does it just for the money while the latter is an experienced and expert graphic designer and commands more authority in the niche. As an expert in your niche, people can trust you to the point of booking consultations. Such consultations are rare, if not impossible for generalists.
Makes monetization easier
Think of it, if you are writing about everything, it becomes difficult to sell to your audience. You will not know what your audience is likely to buy.
If you are writing for the business and finance general niche, it may not be obvious to figure out if your audience enjoys content touching on debt management, saving, frugality or even making extra income. Consequently, this leads to throwing up guesses in the kind of ads to put up as you might not tell which ones may be successful.
The same applies to selling a course, an e-book or even getting marketing deals from companies. For any of these to be successful, a specific audience is necessary.
A specific niche draws an audience that is genuinely interested in the topic. This removes the guess work out of monetization as you’ll know the particular needs of your readers and serve them relevant ads, e-books or courses.
Gives you clarity and purpose
Sticking to a single niche helps you to remain focused and clear on your goals. When you are stuck in “writers’ block” and have no ideas to write about, your niche will prevent you from writing anything unrelated to your blog.
It keeps you on track while at the same time forcing you to expand your creativity prowess. Additionally, it’s much easier to find ideas to write about on a specific niche than a general one since you can utilize google key words research, google alert and RSS to get inspiration.
How to choose the perfect niche for your blog
Settling for a niche is the most rewarding thing in blogging in the long run. However, picking the wrong niche may just be as disastrous. You want to settle for a niche that you’re passionate about otherwise you won’t be motivated to get past the first two blog posts.
Brainstorm and come up with a list
The easiest way to come up with a niche is to brainstorm blog topics and list them for validation. These topics can come from anything that inspires you. Take a look at your surroundings, does anything in particular spark an interest? Do you have particular hobbies and interests that you would want the world to know about? What problem do you intend to solve?
Asking such questions and more will help you come up with a viable list with potential niche topics. The next stage is validating your list. You want to strike a balance between passion, popularity of the niche and profitability.
The following questions come in handy when validating your list:
Are you passionate about it?
So you’re all fired up on starting a blog. You set everything up and there goes your first blog post.
A few curious visitors start to trickle in. You get excited. Nothing can deter you from posting regularly, or so you think.
Weeks later, the consistency drags along, posting once a week and before you know it, your blog is an inch deep buried in the dust of neglect.
Such scenarios are common in the blogging sphere. People settle on something they thought was awesome maybe due to its profitability or popularity but realized they just couldn’t keep up.
So before deciding on a niche, ask yourself, “is this something I’ll still be passionate about one year later?” You will never be motivated to research and come up with valuable content if your niche is not close to your heart. That’s why the web is littered with blogs containing vague, key-word stuffed, and meaningless 150-words articles that clearly offer value to nobody.
Who else is interested in it?
For your blog to be successful, you definitely need traffic. If people won’t read your blog, then you will never have an audience.
Settling on something you’re passionate about has to be complemented on just how many people would be interested to read content related to the topic.
You might be passionate about “the medicinal properties of Madagascar’s red termites,” but if nobody wants to read such stuff, then your blog may never take off.
Fortunately, there are tools on the web to help you know if people are interested in a particular topic. One such tool is the free google trends tool. It helps determine whether the topic or niche is actively getting search queries as well as whether the interest on the niche is decreasing or increasing.
Will this make me some money?
Once you have a niche that excites you and that may interest other people, the final thing to consider is whether your niche will earn you any money.
Unless you are after a just-for-fun kind of blog for friends and family (which is still okay), settling on a profitable niche is crucial. A lucrative niche presents many opportunities for monetization.
You can easily find out the profitability of your niche by researching how other bloggers in the same niche are making money.
Business and finance Sub Niches
Business and finance is pretty broad. Good thing is, there are several sub-niches to choose from and most of them are easy to love, research and monetize – a killer combination for success.
Investing: This includes everything to do with using capital to gain extra income either actively or passively. It includes:
- Real Estate
- Forex trading
- Stocks and bonds
- Mutual funds
Making money: This is a popular niche in the finance circles. Everyone wants to earn an extra dime, especially online. Some of the categories include:
- Affiliate marketing
- Digital marketing
Other popular sub-niches include:
- Frugal living
- Retirement (both early and late retirement)
- Personal finance
How to set up a blog the RIGHT way
The pace at which the digital age is evolving is bewildering. You can literally set up a fully functional blog in 10 minutes without any technical coding knowledge. It’s a lot easier especially when you’ve already thought through the tools and resources to use.
Be that as it may, it’s quintessential to get it right the first time. You don’t want to start changing things like your logo or brand name 3 years down the road when your blog is raking in the numbers.
The following 5 steps will ensure you set up your blog the right way from the onset:
A catchy and meaningful domain name
The first step of starting a business and finance blog is coming up with a name for your blog. Truth be told, it can be daunting to come up with a creative domain name. This is your brand name and you want something catchy and that resonates with your niche.
You’ve probably come across names like fugalitymind.wordpress.com or thelastcent.blogspot.com Such names only scream ugly and unprofessional. They depict lack of seriousness and the fact that they’re hosted on free platforms restrict any customization. Unless you want a blog to play around with, then you should use self-hosted platforms with a custom domain name.
5 Tips for an awesome domain name
Keep it short: Keep your domain 2-3 words on the maximum. The reasoning behind this is that long domain names are hard to remember and look unprofessional. If you settle for a name like thesavingexpertofnewyork.com, you’ll not only make it difficult for potential readers to remember it, but your blog will appear clumsy due to the needless long domain name. Short always wins.
Don’t include hyphens or numbers: For the sake of word of mouth marketing, avoid hyphens and numbers as it makes it hard to direct your readers to your blog. Additionally, if you happen to start a podcast or to be featured in one in the future, your readers will get confused trying to understand your domain name.
Stand out: Avoid overused phrases and be careful not to associate your domain name with companies with a bad reputation or worse still, be accused of infringement.
Factor in the long-term: Choose a flexible domain name that will still make sense regardless of the direction you choose to take later on in life. If you use your name as the domain name, what happens if you get a lucrative deal and you intend to sell it? Similarly, naming your blog kickoutdebt2019.com doesn’t make the cut because as the years roll in, your blog will seem outdated.
Let it be relevant: Your domain name should clearly describe what you do or write about on your blog. If potential visitors make a search query on the web for your keywords, they should easily be convinced to go to your blog without wondering whether it contains what they’re really looking for.
Most domain names are freely provided by the hosting provider as a discount for the first year.
Get a reliable Hosting plan
Every website or blog is powered by some virtual computer in the clouds which rents out their space for use by the respective blogs. This then makes it possible to store data, images, and files to enable people to find you when they enter your domain name in the url. There are several hosting providers which may be as cheap as $2.95/Month.
However, most hosting companies require upfront payments for up to 3 years although there are some which allow for 1 year or even 6 months.
As a newbie without any substantial traffic, it’s recommended to settle for shared hosting as it is cheap and may serve the purpose before your blog gets any traction. You can always upgrade later once you start hitting hundreds of thousands of visitors per month.
If hosting is the rented, virtual plot of land for your blog, then WordPress is the house that your blog resides in. It’s the engine that runs your website, both frontend and backend.
WordPress is very popular and even big names like BBC, The New York Times and Time magazine use the platform. What’s more, it only takes a click of a button to install it on your chosen hosting provider.
Buy A Professional business and finance Theme
WordPress comes with several standard themes to run your blog. Such themes are too basic in design and offer limited functionality for your blog. For instance, you need a theme that is fully responsive, that is, you can access it on any device without having a distorted design.
Moreover, a premium theme elevates the professional look of your blog which consequently builds trust with your visitors. Poor design not only turns off visitors, it also prevents them from engaging with your content due to poor navigation.
You can get a sleek theme for only $50 from ThemeForest. They offer responsive themes with hordes of ways to customize as well as customer support in case of any technical issues.
If you want a wider variety to choose from, then Elegant Themes may just be your best bet. For $89 per year, you get access to 87 different themes all professional-looking with customer support.
Increase Blog Functionality with Plugins
Plugins are third-party apps that add features to your blog and help solve a few problems that may arise in the long run.
Akismet: Highly helpful plugin that detects spam comments and deletes them. Installation is quite a breeze –only takes a click of a button. It may also come pre-installed with WordPress only requiring an activation from your end by signing up on akismet.com
Social Welfare: A neat sharing plugin having all the popular sharing icons. It also shows the number of times the post has been shared creating social proof.
Yoast SEO: This plugin makes it easier for your blog to rank higher on google by optimizing your articles on the search engine.
Jetpack: A powerful plugin that comes with WordPress which provides a ton of features such as contact forms, spell checker and even extra widgets for an enhanced blogging experience.
WP Rocket: Page load time is crucial and if you want your blog to be fast, this plugin can teach you a thing or two about speed.
Imagify: Extra heavy images on blogs cause a drag leading to high bounce rates. This plugin does image optimization to ensure your page load time is not affected by your images.
Conventional companies spend millions of dollars in branding so that they can imprint their message on potential clients. Every serious business and finance blog needs a professional logo and an eye-catching tagline to stand out from the crowd.
Additionally, you need to choose professional colors to use consistently on your blog to avoid mixing up a lot of paint out there. You also need a banner or header for your blog that’s relevant to your niche.
If you possess basic graphic design skills, you can use Canva to come up with awesome designs and it’s absolutely free though you can always upgrade for more features.
Better still, you can hop over to Fiverr and hire a freelance graphic designer to do all that work for you. Be sure to read reviews to ensure you are dealing with a qualified and reputable artist.
Another avenue to get your logo designed is 99designs.com. Although a little more expensive than most platforms, 99designs is the best place to get quality, professional-looking logos to match your brand.
Content Creation / What To Write About
Content is the heart and soul of every blog. It’s the determining factor of whether your blog will soar or die out. For the business and finance niche, content creation is highly sensitive as it deals with money matters. The following tips will ensure you get it right the first time:
Create valuable long-form content
Do you know why 80% of blogs in the business and finance niche never take off? Simply this: they don’t provide any value to readers. The real business world rewards value creation. People pay for value –whether that means buying a product, dedicating time to read something or even sharing an article online.
The business and finance niche thrives on informative, fact-driven and long-form content that’s engaging and relatable to the particular audience. It must also provide value, in other words, help people learn new things, solve problems and offer alternatives to conventional way of doing things.
While it has been proved that long-form articles are part of good SEO, short articles can also serve the purpose as long as they provide value to the readers.
Use catchy titles and hooking introductions
You hop over google and type the words, “how to start an online business.” Several results show up and you are evidently spoilt for choice. You eventually narrow down to two search results: “how to start an online business” or “Foolproof guide to starting an online business that makes $5169/month.”
Which one would you click? No, seriously, which one draws you in?
A title speaks volumes of the kind of information to expect from an article. It should spike an interest in your readers and make them want to know more.
Avoid misleading and clickbait-kind of titles as these will cause you to come across as dishonest and “out just to get clicks.”
Perform content SEO
Valuable long-form content? Check. Interesting articles that hook readers? Check.
Well, good enough, but does anybody know that such awesome articles exist?
You can have the most valuable and interesting finance related articles in the world but if nobody knows you exist, then it can’t go beyond that.
That’s where Search Engine Optimization comes in.
Optimizing your articles for search engines ensure that they get discovered when someone types in a keyword related to your blog. SEO is the brains behind free, organic traffic that’s highly needful especially when you’re starting out.
A few tricks to get you started include:
- Include keywords in your title.
- Write your title the way people search it.
- Organize your articles in headings.
- Let the url slugs contain keywords
Have an idea why Pinterest and Instagram are experiencing rapid growth? It’s because humans are visual beings. We’re readily tickled by an image rather than a block of text. After all, it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.
Every blog visitor begins reading an article hoping that they’ll be entertained while still getting value. Relevant images in between the paragraphs serve this purpose well by complementing the text.
Moreover, good images help in enforcing the message while also acting as memory triggers. Folks will forget everything but a nice image.
Videos and infographics are also part of blog visuals.
A quick tip on images is to ensure you optimize them. Heavy images will cause your website to drag along. Include keywords while naming the images for google indexing.
Promoting the blog
Once you have set up your blog and churned out a few high-quality articles, the next step is to show the world what you got. There are a couple of ways to get started:
Connect with other finance bloggers: Networking is still important when it comes to blogging. Join online communities, forums and groups with similar interests and actively engage in the discussions. Provide free value without expecting much. As you contribute and help others out, the online community will begin to notice you and soon enough they’ll be visiting your blog.
If the content is valuable, it will get shares and this will in turn drive more traffic to your blog. Repeat the process and find more forums.
A word of caution though, online communities hate spam and self-promotion. Your intention should be to provide solutions to people’s financial problems without placing too many links to your blog.
Cold-pitch for guest posts: Imagine one of your posts is published on Forbes or Entrepreneur. That alone is enough to skyrocket your traffic to crazy numbers in little time.
Well, those two maybe tall orders as potential guest post websites for a newbie finance blogger, but you’ll not die if you shoot any of the editors a cold-pitch email.
Research for more authority blogs in the finance niche and send out guest post requests. The worst thing that could happen is failing to receive any responses, or worse still, get rejections.
Jump onto the social media bandwagon: There are over five most popular social networking sites and Facebook alone has over 2 billion users.
Join groups, sub-communities and anything that may give you an audience. Social media is a great avenue to gain a following as well as to learn from experienced bloggers in your niche.
Again, spam-posting links to your blog on these social circles may get you in trouble. Be of as much help as possible to other people and everything will trickle into place with time.
How to make money with a business and finance blog / business and finance Blog Monetization
And finally, after all is said and done, we got to make some money. Making money through your business and finance blog is a direct result of everything that has been discussed in the previous sections.
In other words, investing in a good blog technology, choosing a profitable niche, creating valuable content and promoting your blog will determine how much money you’ll make. Or rather, how long it’ll take you to make some money.
That’s why making money through your blog should be the least of the things to think about when starting out. After laying all the essentials, here’s how to turn your blog into a cash cow:
Banner advertising: This is by far the easiest way to make money through your blog in the business and finance niche. Once your blog starts getting a consistent number of page views, you can set up google adsense or mediavine ads and start getting some commission on clicks or impressions.
It’s a simple as signing up on either of the platforms and configuring the banner size. Get a few placements at strategic blog points and you should be able to make at least $500 for 50,000 visitors per month.
It goes without saying that the higher the traffic, the more you’ll earn, so focus on quality content to attract more people to your blog.
Affiliate marketing: This is simply referring clients to products, books, courses or offers and getting a commission if they purchase through your link. Amazon associates is an excellent place to begin with affiliate marketing.
Having a finance and business blog immediately positions you for success as there are multiple money-related products or services to be marketed.
If, for instance, you’re blogging about frugality, you can craft an article on how to save money through cash backs and get a commission each time someone signs up via your link. Each sub-niche in the business and finance space offers unique platforms for making money through affiliates.
Sale of digital products: A neat way to rake in money while you’re sleeping is through selling digital goods such as e-books and courses. You can sell to millions of people world over and you don’t need any inventory.
Lucrative, right? Hold on.
To start selling books and courses online, you got to have a considerable audience plus niche-authority kind of content. While that alone may get you a few sales here and there, aggressively promoting your content will come in handy in scaling faster.
Sponsored posts: You can also make money by putting up sponsored posts on your blog. These are articles that vouch for a particular company so that they may get more exposure. It acts as advertising –they pay you for getting their name out there.
Of course, you need high traffic to close such a deal. Avoid accepting too many sponsored posts as this may irritate your audience.
Tips and tricks
Quality, not quantity: Don’t be sucked up in trying to post everyday on your blog. Focus on creating informative and high-quality articles that offer practical solutions and knowledge to your audience. That doesn’t mean you post 2 times a year, no –that would be terrible. You can never go wrong with posting long-form, in-depth content at least 3 times a week.
It might take a while: Yes, a bit of patience will go a long way in blogging. Just like any business, give it at least six months to one year to see any substantial results. However, this time should be spent consistently providing valuable content and networking with other finance bloggers.
Engage social media: Create social media pages for your blog and post consistently. Having such a uniformity in the online world gives your audience confidence that you’re who you claim to be.
Collect emails…: …even if it feels dumb to do so. It might seem unnecessary to set up an email list very early on your blogging journey due to lack of visitors. Be that as it may, you’ll have days when a post goes viral and it’ll be necessary to retain such an audience for future posts.
Be different: There are already thousands of business and finance blogs on the web, and getting your voice to be heard in such a noisy world may be daunting. So scream differently. Ditch conventional, overused ways and embrace a unique angle to talk about money.