Before you start any new project, including a niche blog, its important to set correct expectations. That way you know what you’re getting into, and you know you’ll love every step of the way. I will break the expectations topic in two posts. This one is about what you can expect from your niche blog, and the next one will be What your niche blog expects from you.
What you can expect from your niche blog!
Everyone has different expectations when starting a niche blog. Some do it to share their knowledge, others to it for some additional income. Some dream of quitting their 9-5 job, while others like their day job but are looking for a new hobby. More and more we see bloggers who are on their retirement, sharing the wisdom they have acquired through the years, from cooking to running a business, working with wood, or working with words. The subjects of niche blogs are definitely endless. Some also yearn to write creatively. Blogging can be a great art form and can be quite liberating. Many will do it for one or more or even all of those reasons combined, and a myriad of other reasons I have not listed.
Leave us a comment to share what some of your goals and expectations are for your niche blog!
So lets start off with the big elephant in the room which nobody dares talk about: how much money will you make from your blog. This is definitely different for everyone, and in most cases you sign a confidentiality agreement saying you can’t publish your exact revenues, but in general building a strong successful niche blog should be considered a long-term goal, not something you can achieve overnight. This is not a get rich quick business, and it takes a good amount of effort to build a blog popular enough to generate a decent amount of income. The wonderful aspect is most of the revenue is residual, meaning your blog post which is very popular today could still be very popular for years to come and generating you some revenue for a long while. One general rule in business is that you should never expect a new business to generate much revenue the first 3 years. Some will expand it to 5-7 years. For a blog, I would say that after 1-3 years of blogging once weekly, a good blog should produce enough to pay at least one monthly utility bill: phone, cellphone, or electricity. Somewhere around the 3-5 year anniversary, as you grow in experience and your blog grows in popularity, you might be able to pay rent or a mortgage payment. If you keep at it for 5-10 years, you might even be able to pull off a salary similar to your 9-5 job. Bear in mind, though, that this is for a blogger who will put in the effort. Remember the old adage: “You reap what you sow”? It certainly holds true with blogging.
Keep in mind, though, that blogging does not only come with revenue, but also with some expenses. Chances are you will need a computer, a work space, electricity, an internet connection, etc. Depending on the subject of your niche blog, you might incur other expenses, from tools to materials, whether you are are working with food, wood, metals, plastic, or canvases, and the tools needed to turn those materials into the pieces of art you will be blogging about. Don’t forget to add a camera, some lighting, and at some point maybe even a DSLR camera with a microphone and sound recorder to do some videos. You may even have some web hosting fees depending which platform you use.
Oh, and don’t forget your taxes! The bad news is that in most cases, blogging revenues are taxable. The good news is that you can claim most of those expenses to help a bit. A quick talk with your accountant or tax specialist will quickly help you understand how it works in your part of the world.
What else is in it for me?
Let me take a minute to talk about other benefits you can get from your blog which does not involve money. Blogging is a wonderful way of doing some good deeds. Very often you help out real people who have real problems. Knowing that you are touching lives and helping people out is definitely a great ego boost. Blogging is sometimes also about making friends. Either with fellow bloggers, where very often many bloggers in the same field will help and support each-other out, or by interacting with your audience. Some of these friendships can last for years and even for a lifetime.
Blogging is a great creative outlet. It is a great way to distract ourselves from the horrible things that may be happening in this world. For a brief moment, there is only you, your keyboard, and letters appearing on the screen. In many ways I believe blogs are an interesting alternative to a diary, or at least a good complement. Your blog is your sanctuary, and you should be happy to return to it after a long stressful day.
Establishing yourself as an authority or credible source in your field is also a great advantage of being a blogger. Compare two accountants. One works quietly on his work, and never publishes anything. The other one owns a niche blog where he teaches different accounting techniques, tips and tricks. He reviews accounting software, gives great financial advise, and is always kind and polite with his large audience. If you needed an accountant, which one would you go for? The blogger which you have been following for years and can attest for the quality of his work, or the accountant you have never heard of? The same holds true for many other professions. A professional without a niche blog is certainly a missed opportunity.