How To Start a Finance Blog

Starting a blog is one of the best ways to build an audience, get your ideas out into the world, and possibly make some (or a lot) of money while doing what you love. Everyone has different reasons for beginning a blog and different goals in mind when they do so. Your personal path will dictate some of the choices you make along the way. One thing that is true for everyone, however, is that the only way to succeed is to get started.

Taking that first step can be a huge challenge, but by the end of this article, you should have the tools you need to feel confident and prepared to start your finance blog today.

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This article is a great place to learn the strategy of a finance blog. If you want step-by-step instructions on how to start your own finance blog, check out our free blogging course. 

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What Is Your Blog About?

Since you are reading this article, the answer to this question is pretty obvious – you are starting a blog about finance! But having a topic in mind, while important, is only the first step. You will need to go a little deeper to determine what you want to accomplish with your blog and what you really want it to be about. Do you want a blog about finance for retirement? A blog about finance for college grads? A finance blog for teens?

Knowing on a deeper level what type of content you want to create will ensure you have a strong foundation, one that helps you focus and stand out from the crowd.

There’s a quote that fits this situation perfectly:

"If you try to be everything for everbody, you will be nothing to no one."

Establish Your Niche

When creating a new blog, you need to find your niche. This is the corner of the market that you have the most knowledge about, the place you can establish yourself as an absolute authority. If you try to take on Investopedia all at once, you will find yourself unable to make much headway and are almost guaranteed disappointment.

Your goal is to find a subject that is more narrow than “finance”, but wider than “finance for high-school seniors”. If your topic is too wide, you will have difficulty standing out. If your topic is too narrow, you will likely run out of things to say early on and may never establish an audience big enough to sustain your blog.

Some examples of niche finance blogs are:

  • Personal Finance Blog - Making Sense of Cents
  • Budget Hacks and Money Making Ideas Blog - Your Money Geek
  • Frugality Blog - Frugal Rules

Name Your Blog

Once you’ve found your niche, it’s a great time to start brainstorming a name for your blog. You’ll want to pick a name that’s brandable and available. Use our domain name tool to check if your name is available. If it is, scoop it up before someone else gets to it first.

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Finding Your Audience

Having a good sense of who is going to be reading your blog is one of the best ways to know what type of content to create, how to shape it, and, ultimately, how to grow your following. With a clear understanding of your niche, understanding your audience should come more naturally.

Finding your target audience - the people you want hanging out on your blog - isn’t only statistics and demographics. It requires a deeper understanding of who these people are and what they want. Your target audience is the people you’re writing to when you write your blog.

Are you writing to an audience that is deeply in debt? Or, are you writing to an audience that is already doing well financially, but wants to do better? No matter what the core focus of your blog is, considering the people you want to read it will make a big impact on the tone you use and the content you write for your blog.

Create a Persona

One way to understand your audience is to create a persona of your perfect target audience member. This essentially means creating a mock-up of the ideal person you hope to reach with your blog.

Here is an example of a target audience persona:

Gabby Greybell Persona

Having a persona for your perfect audience member helps you to visualize and understand who you are writing for and provides important direction to your content.

Be Your Own Persona

Another popular way to find your perfect target audience is to be your own persona. Many of the best products and services come from scratching your own itch. It’s possible you’ve searched for the perfect finance blog to read, came up short, and decided to create it yourself. This makes you the perfect audience member for your own blog.

This can be a great strategy for creating highly effective content. If you’ve noticed a meaningful omission in blog content, chances are you are not alone. By writing personally satisfying content you are likely to reach an audience in search of the same things.

Where Is Your Audience Hanging Out?

No web content exists in a vacuum. While you should strive to create uniquely entertaining content for your blog, your target audience is almost certainly already out there reading other blogs, engaging on specialized forums, and using social media. Finding the sites where your audience already mingles is a great way to discover what topics they are most interested in, what language they are using, and what valuable content you can add to that mix.

Some examples for your finance blog may include:

  • Entrepreneur.com
  • Finance-Monthly.com
  • MarketWatch.com
  • MrMoneyMustache.com

Visiting these sites is also a great way to begin engaging with your audience before your blog has even gone live. Jump into conversations on forums and in comments sections and get to know the people you’ll be writing for. This is a great, organic way to build relationships and direct people to your blog in its early days. Sharing your passion with like-minded people will make them more excited and passionate about supporting you in your blogging endeavor.

How Will You Present Your Work?

Traditionally, when most people think about a blog they picture written content on a page. However, there are several different ways to present your ideas on your blog, depending on your subject matter and target audience. Every blog will thrive with different formats, so it’s important to think carefully about how to best showcase your content before you start.

There are several effective methods of presenting the material on your finance blog. They include:

Evergreen Articles

As the name suggests, evergreen articles are composed of content that lasts. These articles are designed to have a long shelf life and continue drawing readers to your blog over time. They are typically long-form, text-based articles that delve more deeply into a particular topic.

One great option for evergreen content for a finance blog is writing articles on finance basics – money management, investing, saving, etc. There are many things that change in the world of finance, but the basics rarely do. Your blog can be built on a backbone of solid, informative, useful articles on the basics of finance based on your unique niche. Such articles will continue to attract readers year after year.

Videos

While the video format is not new, the explosive growth of YouTube and the advent of new and innovative video-based tech like Snapchat and TikTok have shown the true power of video as an online medium. While you may think that creating video is much more difficult and expensive than writing your content, you have access to all the technology you need to make high-quality video content right on your smartphone.

Video how-tos are some of the easiest types of video content to create for a finance blog. Depending on your niche, you can create how-tos on everything from accounting software basics to budgeting strategies. Many people prefer to learn by watching others perform a task or go through a process, and you can serve that audience by producing your own video instructional series. It can take some practice to gain skill with video production, but it is definitely something you can pull off with a little effort and persistence.

News-type Articles

News articles or other “announcement” type content can be a great way to gather new readers. One benefit of news content is the short-term but powerful increase in search volume during an event. While this bump may be temporary, it can be a great tool for grabbing new readers who end up coming back for more.

Writing about current events or new happenings also means there will typically be less competition for readers. Other blogs and media sources are all getting the information as it develops. Since the base of knowledge available is smaller, this gives you a good opportunity to add your own flavor to the article.

The downside to news-type articles is that they tend to lose popularity much more quickly than evergreen content. While the interest for an event may be very large one day, the next day people may already be moving on to the next shiny object.

The world of finance is constantly changing – with new people and organizations earning money and losing money left and right, new opportunities arising, and supposedly great opportunities proving less than desirable. All these shifts are topics that you can cover with news-type articles. Based on your niche, you can keep track of what is happening and what is about to happen and blog about it.

Image-heavy Content

While most people expect to be reading when they visit a blog, image-heavy content can be very appealing and break up your text-focused posts to keep people’s attention. Depending on the topic of your post, displaying multiple images per page on a single subject can give your audience a better sense of what you are trying to convey.

While some topics may take to images very easily, like a car blog or a celebrity gossip site, others may require some deeper thinking to make this strategy work.

There are a variety of options for good image-heavy content on your finance blog. You may visit and cover events related to finance, such as seminars and conferences, and post photos of your experiences. You can also use images to help support your instructional blogs, such as showing photos of each stage of a process.

Incorporating images is a part of blogging, one that you will get better at as you do it. Over time, you will learn how to think about images as you are doing your research. While writing your blog, you can keep an eye out for images that you can use in your content – whether you pull them from somewhere else, or you choose to take your own photographs.

Mix and Match

Your blog doesn’t have to use only one type of content delivery strategy – in fact, you are more likely to be successful if you mix and match your content. Different audiences will react positively to different types of content, which means you can reach more people by mixing things up. You will most likely come to prefer a certain style of content, such as long-form articles, but you can keep things interesting for yourself and your audience by trying new things. Make videos, take pictures, write evergreen content, write news-type articles. The more you try different styles, the more skills you will accumulate and the better your blog will be.

How To Make Money From A Finance Blog

One of the main reasons people start blogs is to generate some sort of profit. Whether you’re looking for a few hundred dollars per month or a job-replacing income, blogging is still an excellent way to make those dreams a reality.

There are a few great ways to make money from a finance blog:

Display Ad Networks

Display ads are the simplest way for websites to generate any sort of income. Ad networks, like Google Adsense, are fairly simple to be accepted into, and implementation onto your site is streamlined and clean. If you’re just beginning to see some traffic to your blog and want to turn this into dollars, display ads are where most people start.

There are a few downsides to display ads, however. The first is that some feel they detract from the user experience on your blog. Most people have been to a site where large ads pop up and block the content in the middle of reading. This can be distracting, frustrating, and even drive people away from your blog. While it’s possible to clean up and control the type of ads you use, it can be a constant battle to balance effective ad placement with aesthetics and readability.

The other main downside is that they don’t pay a lot. These networks generally use a pay-per-click (PPC) model which, depending on the niche, can pay anywhere from $0.01 to $1.50 per click, most on the lower end.

While display ads are a great way to make your first dollars, you’ll want to make sure any negatives they bring are worth the profits they provide. Once you develop a solid following, you can consider moving on to more lucrative and effective profit-making options.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing programs like Amazon Affiliate have become much more popular over the past few years, as they take the payment model from pay-per-click to cost-per-acquisition (CPA). This means you can refer as many users to an advertiser’s product as you want, but will only get paid when the user makes a purchase.

Both advertisers and publishers benefit from an affiliate marketing setup. The advertiser pays nothing until a sale is made and the publisher enjoys much higher commissions than the pay-per-click model.

Your finance blog can benefit from the Amazon Affiliate program in multiple ways. It is easy to use and pays you a small commission for every sale you help facilitate, which is why so many finance bloggers use it.

As you blog about different topics, you can incorporate links to Amazon products that are related to what you are writing about. For example, if you are reviewing a book on finance, you can link to the book. Your readers will be expecting a link and will be happy to have it when they want to purchase the book. And when they make their purchase after clicking your link, you will get a small commission from the sale.

Many finance blogs start with Amazon Affiliate as their first source of income and many stick with it for a long time. A small blog can make a few dollars a month, while a big blog can bring in thousands.

Sell Digital Products

Digital products are an online entrepreneur's dream. You create the item once, then sell it as many times as you can, with little to no cost of reproduction. This means that you can scale your business to infinity.

Examples of digital products are:

  • Ebooks - A piece of writing, generally in PDF format. These can contain literally anything that your audience would want. They can either be true book-length all the way down to a few pages of content. Depending on your niche, audience, and subject, these can run from $1 to $100 per sale fairly easily.

  • Gated Content - This is content that is served on your website just like any other article, except that is behind a “paywall”. If you are creating content that you don’t want to be released to anyone but your true followers, you have them sign up for an account on your site and charge them a subscription fee for access. Generally, authors charge anywhere from $5 to $200 per month for access to gated content.

  • Online Courses - If you can teach a skill that your audience wants to learn, you can create an online course to sell to them. These courses can be formatted in whatever way makes the most sense to you, but most nowadays are video courses. Online courses can sell from $10 to well over $10,000 per course, obviously depending on the subject matter and audience.

A great example of a digital product that a finance blogger could sell is an online course on how to get started with investing. If you have experience investing and you have confidence you could teach others, you could have your audience answer survey questions about what they want to know about the topic. You could use their answers to design a course for beginners and sell that course. A well-produced course could easily sell for $200 or more.

Sell Physical Products

Selling physical products is the original money-making strategy. You gather an audience that is hungry for something, you sell it to them, and everyone wins. You don’t have to be an inventor, designer, or manufacturer to sell products. Sites like Alibaba and AliExpress import already-made items into the United States and sell them for a markup.

The two main methods for the distribution of these items are: dropshipping and self-fulfilled.

Dropshipping is a method where you advertise a product on your site that you do not own. Once you make the sale, you inform the manufacturer, who will handle the shipping and handling to the end-user. While this is simple because you don’t have to worry about storing or shipping any items yourself, you’ll find that the margins can be quite slim.

Self-fulfilled sales are much more of a hands-on approach to sales. You buy the item from the manufacturer, store it, then ship it to the end-user once you have made the sale. While there is much more work involved, you’ll find that the margins per sale are much higher.

Product sales through a finance blog may seem difficult, but you only need to think about your niche and what your audience wants to come up with some possible ideas. If you write about saving for retirement, you could create a series of workbooks that teach people the basics of retirement options and sell those workbooks on your site. If your audience is enthusiastic about your blog, you could also sell branded merchandise, such as pens, notebooks, and stickers. These items may only cost a few dollars to produce and can be sold for a significant markup.

While it can be very profitable when done well, selling products is not generally recommended for the beginner blogger. It’s best to secure an audience that you know will be receptive to the product before making a large investment in product development or acquisition.

Create A Service

Providing a service is another very basic money-making plan. If you can provide a service that you know your audience needs, you have a viable business on your hands.

Whether this service is delivered through one-on-one interaction with the user, through a piece of software that you develop, or by directly completing a task for the user, this is a great way to monetize your skillset and your blog.

The service you create for your audience will be based on the niche you are filling with your blog. If you help people get out of debt, you could offer personalized coaching sessions. If you teach others how to invest, you could offer investment services for clients.

You have positioned yourself as an expert through your blog, which means you can sell your time for a premium. However, it is important to avoid overextending yourself, especially early on. The demand may be high for your personal coaching sessions, for example, but you still need to work on your blog to keep business coming in. Balancing service offerings can be challenging at first, but it is possible to do it well and make good money in the process.

Next Steps To Get Your Finance Blog Started

Now that you have the strategies in place to build and grow your own blog, check out our free course: How To Start A Blog.

This course includes all the essentials on how to get your blog out of your head and onto its own website. Starting a blog is simple and inexpensive, so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t start today!

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