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9 Best WordPress Themes for New Blogs

9 Best WordPress Themes for New Blogs

Creating a new blog can be an exciting process.

One of the first big decisions for any new blog – and one of the most daunting – is choosing a theme for the website.

But with so many different options to choose from, how do you know which one is the best for your new blog?

In this post, we will list 9 of the best WordPress themes for new blogs.

These themes are easy to use, customizable, and most importantly – affordable!

So if you’re looking for a new WordPress theme that will help launch your blog into success, look no further than the list below!

Why You Need a WordPress Theme

Themes on WordPress allow you to customize the look, feel, and layout of your site.

Without a theme, you would end up with a very basic webpage that looks like something straight out of the 1990s.

While the ’90s was a great time, the internet has moved on. And your website should too.

When choosing a theme for your blog, it’s important to choose one that’s able to grow with your blog.

You want something that can be further customized later, can grow to utilize new features you need down the road, and can support a larger website as you continue to fill out your blog.

There are few bigger headaches for a blog owner than trying to migrate to a new theme after uploading 100, 1,000, or more blog posts.

It’s not impossible, it’s just a massive headache.

That’s why I believe it’s so important to choose the right theme from the start.

But how do you even know what the right theme looks like?

What Makes a Good Theme

When exploring new themes for my websites – including the themes for this list – I look for a few different key aspects:


The first thing I look for in any new theme is customization.

I don’t want my website to look like every other site, and I have a vision for what I want my site to be.

Therefore, the ability to customize the theme is key to bringing that vision to life.

While some themes offer so much customization that it can be overwhelming, others might not offer many options without using custom code.

I tend to look for a middle ground between these two.

Additionally, some themes offer website templates that you can then customize to your own liking.

I enjoy this because it gives me a starting point to work from.

Personally, it’s a lot easier to start building when you’re not looking at a blank screen.

It’s kind of like writing – it’s easier to get working when there’s already something to build off of.

Overall Features and Plugins

Can this theme build pop-ups and opt-ins?

Can it plug into the various tools I use on my blog (autoresponders, affiliate programs, marketing/social media tools, etc)?

Can I set global settings to help with branding?

Is the theme mobile responsive?

Can I hide/show specific elements based on mobile users vs desktop users?

These are some of the questions I’m asking myself when looking at a new WordPress theme.

While every theme may not have every feature I’m looking for, I’m still taking all of this into consideration when making a decision.

If a theme doesn’t offer its own pop-ups for me to collect emails, for example, that may not be the end of the world.

The autoresponder I use – or some other tool in my arsenal – may already have that feature regardless.

But these are still questions to ask yourself.

What features do I need? How critical is it that the theme has it? Can I live without that feature, or does another one of my tools make up for it?

Ask yourself these questions as you’re evaluating your new theme.

Consider what features you want to use not only today, but also in the future.

Impact on Site Speed

Site speed is a crucial part of creating a powerful blog.

It’s been well-documented that users will leave your site if it doesn’t load fast enough.

While site speed isn’t only affected by your theme – your hosting provider has the biggest impact – the theme you use makes a big difference.

Simply put, some themes are created better than others. There’s no way around it.

Over the last few years, there has been a massive shift from WP theme creators to create smarter themes that are more efficient in how they load web pages.

Without getting into the techy side of things, just know this: more and more theme creators are waking up to the importance of site speed, and they’re designing these themes around that aspect.

That’s good for you and me and other site owners, and it’s good for our users.

While evaluating themes for this list, I put a lot of consideration into the impact on site speed.

You can be assured each theme on this list will have a positive impact on your speed, as well as your reader’s experience.

Ease of Use

Do you want a theme that requires you to basically write code yourself, or do you want one that offers a series of sliders and buttons to allow you to customize it?

Since I know approximately nothing about coding, I know what my response is.

Because of the vast customization options different themes offer, you can quickly become bogged down in all the different menus and features when creating your site.

It’s for this reason I always like to consider the ease of use of any theme I’m exploring.

I don’t want to have to spend 45 minutes to get 1 little image sized properly, or spend hours to build out a landing page that will only be used once.

While having a ton of customization options is important for any theme, how those options are presented makes a big difference.

The upside here is that theme creators know this as well and they build the backend of these themes to be more user-friendly, taking the headache off you and I.

Future Growth

As I said earlier, it’s important your chosen theme is able to grow along with your website.

I don’t want to have to build from an entirely new theme in a year, I’d much rather expand on the one I already have.

For this reason, it’s important to take into consideration the future use of your blog.

What features and tools do you want to use in the future as your site grows?

How does the theme handle different menus and organization of your posts?

Will you be able to expand your site and its features with this theme?

These are all questions I ask myself when choosing a theme.

Now, you may not know what you will need in the future.

In fact, you most likely don’t really know.

That’s fine. It’s more important that you’re confident the theme you choose has options for the future than it is that you know exactly what you will need.

Choose a theme that’s robust, and built for many different uses or types of websites, and you’re more likely to end up with the features you need in the future.

Choose a theme that’s very specifically tailored to one type of website, on the other hand, and you limit your possibilities.

Best WordPress Themes for New Bloggers

Now that you know what to look for in your future theme, how about we start looking at the best themes that meet all of the above criteria, and offer you all the customization and options you will ever need to build your site?

Here are the 9 best WordPress Themes you should consider:

Divi – My Personal All-Time Favorite

Divi Homepage

Divi is, by far, my favorite WP theme. It’s also the theme that this website is built on.

Everything you see on this site? Built by Divi.

Divi – created by Elegant Themes – is also one of the most popular WP themes in the world.

And there’s good reason for it.

Here are just a few things Divi does – and does well:

Extensive Page Builder

Divi Page Builder

Divi does more than just offer a theme for your website, it also allows you to build custom pages for whatever you want.

Whether you need a quick landing page, a photo gallery, a testimonial page, form pages, or anything else. You can create a page built just for that purpose, starting from scratch and using only what you want.

Divi Modules

There are over 200 modules included that you could add to your custom pages so you can build what you need, when you need it.

Website Templates/Layouts

Divi Layout Templates

Building a website from nothing can be difficult.

Staring at a blank screen and not knowing where to start is something we all face from time to time.

And that’s why Divi has included 2,000+ template designs for you to work from.

You can take these designs and customize them as far as you want.

You might even end up with a website that looks completely different from the design you started with.

But having that template to work from allows you to get working faster.

To be clear, I have not looked at every single template Divi offers.

There are just too many.

But I did build this website starting from a pre-made design (and I wish I had taken note of which design it was).

From there, I built everything you see on this website.

No coding. No in-depth tech knowledge. Just the power of Divi.

If I can do it, you can too.

Forms, Pop-ups, Opt-ins

While there’s no shortage of tools and products you can purchase to build forms, promote your products, and collect information from your readers, it’s always great to see the feature built into your chosen theme.

Not only does this cut down on costs by requiring 1 less tool for you to buy, but it also cuts down on bloat and increases your site speed by having 1 less tool loading into the site.

Divi’s built-in options for building pop-ups, contact forms, and connecting with your email tools allow you to grow your audience quickly and easily.

And just like the website templates, they offer pre-made designs for you to use.

You can have your first pop-up created and live literally within minutes.

And, again, it doesn’t even require you to purchase another tool or plugin.

Built for Speed

Divi Built for Speed

I talked earlier about how site speed affects your reader’s experience.

Well, the creators of Divi have really taken this to heart.

The Divi theme is programmed in an incredibly smart way that – without going into the technical aspects (that I don’t even fully understand anyway) – basically makes it so that when a page loads, it only loads the features it uses, not all the features of the theme.

This may sound like common sense – after all, why would you have your page load, say, an image slider, if you’re not using one on that page?

Well, the thing is, in the past, this is exactly how these themes worked.

A theme would load in a ton of aspects that are not being used on that page, which would slow down load times.

Today, however, theme creators have figured out how to program their themes in a way that it only loads in the code required for that specific page.

And this has a drastic improvement in page load speeds.

I’m sure Divi does a ton of other things to speed up load times, most of which I probably wouldn’t even understand.

But this “No Bloat” aspect of Divi definitely impresses me at first sight, and it makes a noticeable difference in load speeds.

To give you an idea, here’s a screenshot of my GTmetrix performance results on this site. Note that I’ve done almost nothing to improve the performance of this site (yet):

Site Speed Test

All green? All good.

Built-in Split Testing

Part of running a blog, at least once it becomes a business, is marketing that blog.

Part of marketing requires you to test different versions of pages.

Landing pages. Colors. Headlines. Calls to Action. Literally, anything on any page can be tested for marketing purposes.

While you don’t have to get into the weeds on this, it’s nice that Divi offers split testing on the pages you create.

Having options like this is what allows you to be able to grow and continue to use Divi in the future if you ever needed the feature. Without it, if you wanted to begin split testing aspects on your site, you would need to buy an entirely different tool to help with that.

eCommerce Store Builder

Divi eCommerce Builder

On WordPress, WooCommerce is pretty much the gold standard for building your own eCommerce store.

It’s a powerful plugin, and definitely something you want to look into if you ever decide to sell physical products on your website – which is a path that many bloggers choose to take.

Divi includes a powerful integration with WooCommerce that allows you to completely customize and build product pages in any way you’d like.

If you ever decided to build a store on your blog, Divi provides everything you need to make that store a reality. Again, this helps with future-proofing your blog.

All The Documentation

Divi Theme Documentation

While Divi is a massive theme and can do a lot, the creators have also built a large collection of documentation to help you learn to do basically anything you want within Divi.

They offer a huge resource of articles, and even videos, providing all the ins and outs of the Divi theme.

And what they don’t offer, many other people in the community have created content themselves.

This means, whatever your question is, someone out there has probably already answered it and created a guide on how to build it.

0That drastically speeds up your ability to learn and build with Divi.


Elementor Homepage

Elementor is more than just a WordPress Plugin, it’s a full suite of page-building tools.

Like Divi, it offers a ton of customization and the ability to create custom pages, pop-ups, opt-ins, and the like.

Elementor is powerful. Very powerful.

100+ Widgets

Elementor Widgets

Widgets are the individual elements that make up your page.

These could be menus, share buttons, image/video elements, testimonial sliders, or any number of different things.

Widgets are what allow for so much customization.

You can start from a blank page – or a template – and begin adding and changing each individual widget to create the look and feel you want.

Altogether, Elementor includes over 100 different widgets for building basically anything you want.

On top of that, the Elementor community has built tons more widgets that you can access for further customization. Just be aware that some of those widgets are paid products purchased on the Elementor Marketplace.

300+ Pre-made Templates

Instead of starting from scratch, use a template created by professional designers.

Use these templates as-is or customize them to your liking. Everything can be changed – elements, colors, layouts, whatever.

Form and Popup Builder

Elementor includes power form-building tools that can be used to gather information and insights from your readers.

Whether you’re creating a contact form, collecting emails, or gathering specific information, Elementor has a ton of customization options you can use.


Astra WP Theme

Astra is one of the most popular WordPress themes of all time.

It has been downloaded over 1 million times and is used by tens of thousands of websites.

It’s a versatile theme that’s perfect for any type of website, from small business websites to blogs and eCommerce stores.

One of the things that makes Astra so popular is its starter plug-and-play website templates.

These templates make it easy to get started with your website, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced WordPress user.

And if you need to add any custom functionality, Astra integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce.

Another thing that makes Astra so popular is its lightweight design.

It loads faster than most WordPress themes, which is important for user experience and helps to boost your site’s web rankings.


Avada WP Theme

Avada is a versatile theme that can be used for a wide variety of websites.

It includes several pre-built websites that you can use as templates, or you can create your own custom website using the drag-and-drop builder.

The builder lets you easily add new pages, customize the look and feel of your website, add widgets and plugins, and much more.

One of the best features of Avada is the Performance Wizard.

This tool helps to improve the performance of your website, decreasing load times and increasing reader experience.

It does this by optimizing your website’s settings and eliminating any unused plugins or widgets.

If you’re looking for a versatile and easy-to-use WordPress theme, Avada is a great option.

It includes everything you need to create a beautiful and functional website, and the Performance Wizard will help to keep your website running smoothly.


Olsen WP Theme

CSSIgniter offers a range of different WordPress themes, and Olsen is just one of them.

It’s a versatile theme that can be used for a wide range of purposes, thanks to its pre-built layouts and individual post-formatting options.

You can use Olsen to create a blog, a website, or even a landing page.

Plus, with page builder integrations for Beaver Builder, Elementor, and Divi, it’s easy to create a custom look and feel for your site.


Extra WP Theme

Extra is created by Elegant Themes, the same creators of the Divi theme and page builder.

When you use Divi, you automatically have access to the Extra theme as well.

Extra is a magazine theme builder that is perfect for blogs.

It uses a grid-based layout that is popular with magazine websites because it keeps readers on the site for longer, engaging in more content.

The grid-based layout is also perfect for creating landing pages because it allows you to feature multiple elements prominently.

Extra comes with all of the same customization options as the Divi theme, so you can create a website that looks exactly the way you want it to.

You can also use the Divi Builder to create custom pages and posts, or you can use one of the premade layouts that are included with Extra.

Thrive Theme Builder

Thrive WP Theme

Thrive Theme Builder is part of a much larger suite of tools that I personally use.

While Thrive probably isn’t best suited for completely new bloggers, it’s a powerful suite of tools to be used when you’re ready.

Not only does the Theme Builder itself offer a ton of customization options, pre-built websites, and a comprehensive setup wizard to get running faster, but the included suite of Thrive tools simply takes your site to a completely new level.

Build custom pop-ups and opt-ins with a ton of different options, create and sell full courses on your website, create quizzes to engage your readers, and so much more.

The Thrive suite is truly impressive, but again, it’s not for everybody.

Before taking on Thrive you really have to consider the future of your blog and where you want to go with it.


Hestia Pro WP Theme

Hestia by Theme Isle is an extensive theme without being overwhelming for new site owners.

With Hestia, you can customize your pages to your liking right inside of WordPress in a simple editor, and expand with a list of page builders including Divi, Thrive, Elementor, and more.

Hestia’s easy-to-use customization options are perfect for new bloggers looking to get up and running with a custom feel in less time.

While it may not have the expansive suite of options that other themes include, it’s still a powerful tool to build your custom website quickly and easily.


Ashe WP Theme

Ashe, created by WP Royal, is an elegant but simple theme that includes both a free and a premium version.

Ashe is really built specifically for bloggers and creates a stunning layout design without much user input required.

While the complete features included in Ashe are a bit limited compared to other themes, the design options are still more than enough for any new blogger to take advantage of.

Ashe is worth considering if you’re concerned less with building a custom site from scratch, and would rather just get up and running immediately.

Note: After uploading this post the WP Royal site wouldn’t load. Maybe it was a fluke, but it might be a sign that this theme isn’t going to be updated any longer.

Honorable Mentions

Now that we’ve looked at 9 of the most powerful, most versatile WordPress themes available, I’m going to just quickly list some honorable mentions that I like, but may not have quite made the list.

If you didn’t find everything you’re looking for above, then check these out. You just might find something that fits your needs.

  1. Hemingway by Anders Noren
  2. Inspiro by WPZOOM
  3. Writing by A-Works
  4. Authority Pro by StudioPress
  5. Writee by Scissor Themes
  6. Contentberg by ThemeSphere
  7. Elsie by elfwp
  8. Garfunkel by Anders Noren
  9. Pro by Themeco
  10. Soledad by PenciDesign
  11. Kadence Theme by Kadence WP
  12. Namaha by Out the Box
  13. Akea by GoodLayers
  14. Breek by EstudioPatagon
  15. Ad-Sense by mythemeshop
  16. Schema by mythemeshop
  17. Foodie Pro by StudioPress
  18. OceanWP by OceanWP
  19. Color Blog by Mystery Themes
  20. Indigo by WPZOOM
  21. Fascinate by Themebeez
  22. Foodica by WPZOOM
  23. Jevelin by Shufflehound
  24. Kale by LyraThemes
  25. Newspaper by tagDiv

Your Favorite Theme

So there you have it.

9 of the best currently available WordPress themes for your new blog, plus a healthy list of honorable mentions to further explore.

Now I want to hear from you: Was your favorite theme on this list? If it wasn’t, mention it below!

And what’s your favorite feature of the themes listed?

Personally, I love the advanced page load speeds of Divi. It’s a unique but underrated feature that I’d like to see included in more themes in the future.

18 Best Time-Saving Tools You Need to be More Effective

18 Best Time-Saving Tools You Need to be More Effective

There are many time-saving tools out there that can help you become a more productive blogger.

In this blog post, we will showcase the most valuable and practical tools that every blogger – beginner and expert – can use to improve the quality and output of their content.

By using these tools you can build a better workflow that produces more content, with a higher value, in less time. This helps you create better content for your readers to enjoy and brings them back for more.

So without further ado, let’s get started!

The 4 Major Components of a Winning Blog Post

Let’s face it, blogging is both a science and an art.

Some aspects of blogging require strategic thinking and planning to drive traffic, rank in search engines, create relationships and community, and create revenue for your website.

That being said, each blog post you write should consist of – at least – these 4 major components if you hope to turn that post into a valuable and helpful piece of content for your audience.

Each tool that is listed below feeds into these components in some way, and that’s why we are talking about them now.

Regardless, make sure each post you create consists of these 4 things:

Attention-Grabbing Headline

It’s important to understand that the overall goal of a headline is to get people to click on your blog post.

Without an attention-grabbing headline, readers may not even notice your post amidst all of the other content they are presented with on a daily basis.

But once they do click on your post, a catchy headline also sets the tone and expectation for what the content will be about.

It helps keep readers engaged and encourages them to continue reading through to the end of the article.

One way to create attention-grabbing headlines is by using power words or phrases that evoke emotion or create a sense of urgency.

Some examples of power words could include “revolutionary,” “shocking,” “amazing,” or “you won’t believe.”

Additionally, including numbers or lists in your headlines can also make them more appealing.

“10 ways to improve your productivity” or “5 surprising health benefits of avocado” are examples of this. While they may not be the best headlines ever, they illustrate the point.

While it may take some practice and experimentation, mastering the art of writing attention-grabbing headlines can greatly benefit your blog’s success and overall reader engagement.

Luckily, writing great headlines is a learned skill. And with a little time, practice, and a couple of easy tools listed below, it’s fairly easy to pick up.

Organized and Well-Formatted Content

If your content isn’t organized, it will come out looking like an incoherent rambling of jumbled information.

Honestly, your blog post could be the most informative piece of content on the internet, but if it’s a mess, your reader will not gain anything from it.

When creating your content, you want to think your way through the topic in a logical format. Plan out the topic in a step-by-step order.

The first problem is this, and it’s solved by x. The second problem is that, and it’s solved by y. The third problem is here, and it’s solved by z.

Do you get the picture?

Think through the problem or topic your post covers from the beginning to the end, and then walk your reader through it step-by-step.

This, alone, will increase the value of your content tenfold.

Use of Visual Aids

Listen, at this point, we’ve all searched the internet for a guide on how to do something in our lives.

Whether it was a blog post walking you through setting up your website, or a YouTube video explaining how to change the capacitor on your HVAC unit (something I just recently did – thanks to a YouTube video), every one of us has followed some kind of a guide at some point.

Now imagine having followed that guide without using any visual aids at all. Imagine how confusing those directions would be.

This is where the use of visual aids becomes so important. Just like organized content helps to push your reader straight through a problem from beginning to end, using visuals makes it even easier for them.

That’s exactly why you notice so many screenshots and step-by-step instructions in my blog posts. I would not want to see the difficulty you’d have trying to set up your first website, changing DNS records, and rerouting URLs, without some sort of screenshot or video to help you through it.

Seriously, that just sounds like a nightmare.

Just remember one thing when it comes to using visuals: they don’t have to be A+ quality.

While I do so highly believe in quality in everything related to blogging, you don’t have to be a professional designer to create these. A few free tools, and a minimal amount of practice using them, and your home free.

Intelligently Promoted

If you write the most epic blog post in the world, but nobody sees it, does it really exist?

Schrodingers Cat Meme

Does it even matter?

If nobody sees your content, frankly, it doesn’t matter how good it is.

That’s why promoting your content is so crucial.

This point doesn’t really need to be explained too thoroughly, I’m sure. But just know this: promoting your blog post does not require an advanced degree in digital marketing.

It’s really not that hard. With a few easy tools, you can quickly get your blog post out to potentially thousands of eyes, which will continue to drive traffic for you in the future.

The Most Important Thing in Blogging

There are – quite literally – thousands of tools and tips and bits of advice you could use for growing your blog.

Seriously, you could easily spend years trying to sift through all the information and never even have time to start your blog in the first place.

It’s even easier to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information available to you.

That’s why, above all else, I believe you should focus first and foremost on the most important aspect of your blog: creating quality content.

I highly doubt I’ve written a single post on this site that doesn’t mention the importance of quality content somewhere within it.

It’s that important.

If your content isn’t high-quality, useful, and valuable to your audience, there’s no reason to create it.

So, as you’re sifting through the plethora of tools available to you, including this list itself, focus on what will have the biggest impact on the quality of your content, and put all the rest to the side until a later date.

If it seems overwhelming to you to set up an email list, opt-in forms, and lead magnets right from the start of your blog, that’s fine. Skip that for now, and come back to it once you’re settled in and have some content created.

Quality should always be your first goal. Everything else can come later.

Time-Saving Tools for Every Blogger

Time for the meat and potatoes of this post. The whole reason you’re here to begin with.

I’ve tried to break down the tools in this list into several sections, offering a few options for each.

Just remember, as you’re going through this list, not everything here needs to be added to your process right this moment.

As I said earlier, focus on quality first, and you can build upon your repertoire of tools as you grow.

In the meantime, let’s start with the tools you will use from the very beginning of the writing process:

Blogging Tools for Brainstorming Ideas

#1 Quora

Quora Homepage

Quora is one of the top question-and-answer sites on the internet, and it’s a treasure trove of content ideas for your blog.

Literally, all you have to do is search for a topic around your blog, and you’ll come up with a long list of questions that actual people are asking.

I tend to believe that if 1 person asks a question, thousands of others are asking that same question. Or some variation of it.

Therefore, if you see a question pop up on Quora, you can use that as inspiration to write a post on that subject knowing that actual users are asking the question.

For instance, since I write a ton about blogging on this site, here’s the first question that comes up when I search just “blog” in Quora:

Quora Blog Question

This question – “How do I drive traffic to my blog for free?” – would be a killer blog post.

Everyone that has a blog, wants to drive traffic, right? Scratch that, needs to drive traffic, right?

And beginning bloggers may not have the budget or expertise to invest in ads.

So they go looking for free methods of driving traffic.

A post like “7 Easy Ways to Drive Blog Traffic For Free” would be a great piece of content.

There you go, in 30 seconds I’ve just come up with a blog post that I already know a ton of my readers are looking for.

It doesn’t get much easier.

Pro Tip: Bookmark the link to the question that inspires your post, then go back and answer the question with content from your post. You can then link back to your website (but do it naturally, don’t spam) and potentially drive traffic back to your blog post in the future.

Remember, these Quora questions don’t expire. So you could drive traffic to your site from a question you answered years earlier. Talk about bonus points 😉

#2 Answer The Public and Answer Socrates

Answer The Public Homepage

Answer The Public is another site that offers a ton of information on what your audience is asking.

I don’t need to explain what ATP does, here’s a direct line from the site’s homepage:

ATP Homepage Explanation

I’ve talked about ATP in the past, and it’s one of my favorite tools to come up with content ideas.

Like Quora, simply search for a broad term related to your niche, and let the tool do its work.

Here are just some of the results that come up when I search “Blogging” in ATP:

ATP Blogging Results

And a few of the results that immediately stick out:

  • how bloggers make money
  • how blogging helps your business
  • what blogging platform should I use
  • what blogging tools (hey, this sounds familiar 😉)
  • what blog niches are most profitable

That’s just from a first glance. There are a ton more suggestions I could sift through.

And again, this is just from 1 broad search. You could narrow it down as you please.

The only downside to ATP is that it has a daily limit for the number of searches you can do.

And that’s where Answer Socrates comes in.

Answer Socrates Homepage

Answer Socrates does essentially the same thing as ATP, except it’s free.

There’s really nothing more to say about it. If you know how to use ATP to your advantage, Socrates is the same.

Personally, I tend to find Socrates’ suggestions no more, or less, helpful than ATP.

It really comes down to a matter of preference.

But, since you can use both for free, you really don’t have to choose between one or the other.

Both ATP and Socrates are excellent resources for brainstorming content ideas based on the actual search engine data from users.

The fact that it doesn’t have to cost you anything is just the cherry on top.

#3 Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest Homepage

Ubersuggest is a keyword tool owned by the digital marketing legend Neil Patel (fun fact, Neil purchased Answer The Public not long before I wrote this article as well).

Years ago, Ubersuggest was a free tool. Now, it’s transitioned into a freemium model.

That’s fine. We can still get a ton of use out of it.

Like most other keyword tools, Ubersuggest not only offers ideas based around search terms, but you can also look at the data on sites related to yours to find their most popular pages.

This is a great way to find topics within your niche that actually drive traffic.

Let’s say I’m running a personal finance blog, and I want to look at the most popular pages on a similar site: The Penny Hoarder.

This is the initial screen I see when I search the site in Ubersuggest:

Ubersuggest Penny Hoarder Results

As you can see, some results are limited because I’m on the free plan.

That’s fine. We’ll work with what we have.

On the left, I can easily look deeper into the site based on its keywords, backlinks, or – like I mentioned earlier – the top pages on the site.

This is what I come up with:

Ubersuggest Penny Hoarder Top Pages

Limited to 10 results, that sucks. But I can still get a lot out of it.

Now I can select the dropdown next to the Estimated Visits on each post, and get a few keyword ideas for that post:

Penny Hoarder Work From Home Idea

Again, limited. But let’s keep going.

Using the example page Find Remote Jobs at These 41 Work-From-Home Companies I can quickly and easily come up with a series of post ideas right off the top of my head related to this topic.

I could do a similar post on specific work-from-home companies.

I could do a post about how to succeed in a work-from-home job.

How to get noticed as an effective employee when working from home.

How to set up a home space dedicated to working.


This way, I can create a large selection of posts on my site dedicated to this one topic, which I know a ton of people are looking for information on.

Furthermore, I can use this broad topic – work from home – and I can search for it in ATP or Socrates and come up with more ideas.

This way, my stack of tools is building upon itself.

And we’re just getting started on the list 😁

While Ubersuggest is highly limited by its daily usage counts, it’s still a great tool to at least come up with broad topics to explore further.

Of course, if it’s in your budget, you could always become a paid member of Ubersuggest and get a ton more use out of it.

But that’s up to you and your individual budget.

#4 Portent Title Maker

Portent Title Maker

The Portent Title Maker is kind of a 2-for-1 deal, and that’s why I love it.

Not only does Portent’s tool give you ideas for blog posts based on a topic that you enter, but it also helps to teach you how to create winning headlines.

Using the same “blogging” example that we’ve been using, here’s what Portent comes up with:

Portent Blogging Example

This is a great post idea.

This can become a general post where we explore the benefits of blogging.

This would be a great post to use in a sales funnel that leads up to, say, a course on starting a blog.

Or maybe a guide on how to set up your first blog that includes affiliate links.

Something like that.

But there’s another benefit to Portent’s tool: headline breakdowns.

If I click on a section of this topic, Portent gives me a pop-up that explains why that phrasing was used.

Portent Breakdown Example

This allows me to learn how to structure blog post titles in the future.

It’s a great way to passively learn how to build better headlines when you’re starting out.

Now, let’s be clear: Portent’s tool isn’t perfect.

Because it works from a general list of pre-determined phrasing and ideas it sometimes gets a little wacky.

Or downright laughable.

Portent Bad Headline Example


Another Bad Headline Example

So, no, not every title suggestion from Portent works out. But it’s still a great way to brainstorm ideas.

From my first example: “Why Blogging is More Tempting Than a Cinnabon” I can come up with a series of post ideas.

I can make a list of the benefits of blogging.

I can create a timeline that shows how blogging has grown over the years.

I could even make a post about the downsides of blogging, to show both sides of the equation.

So each suggestion that comes from Portent can quickly build off one another and create a series of posts, rather than just a singular idea.

This is why I like using Portent’s Title Maker.

Although I don’t use it as much as I did when I started, it’s still a handy tool to keep in my back pocket.

Tools to Help Bloggers Become More Organized

#1 Trello

Trello Homepage

Trello is a Kanban-style project management software meant to help you organize your tasks and build efficient workflows for you and your entire team.

It’s a great tool to build out effective To-do lists, task lists, and schedules for your blog.

I use it extensively and, over time, have built out entire lists of tasks and workflows for each of my blog posts.

While Trello is a free tool, and you can use it exclusively on the free level, I do think it’s worth eventually upgrading to a paid plan.

I currently spend a whopping $10/month for the Premium plan.

But given the – literal – hundreds of hours that it saves me every month through automation and organization, I’d say it’s worth it.

Again, though, you don’t need the paid plans in the beginning.

Use Trello to create workflows and to-do lists for each of your blog posts so nothing falls between the cracks.

#2 Evernote

Evernote Homepage

I’ve often said that if I could monetize every idea written in my Evernote account over the years, I’d be a billionaire overnight.

Seriously, I think Evernote will be the most-used app on my phone until the day I die.

It’s the best note-taking app I’ve ever used, and it comes in handy in more ways than I could ever fully explain.

Whether I need to brain-dump my ideas, create to-do lists (both personal and work-related), save an article to read later, or even plan out my blog posts, Evernote is my go-to choice.

When it comes to blogging, I use Evernote both to keep track of my general ideas, and for outlining my blog posts.

In fact, every blog post I write starts off in Evernote.

I’ll build the outline, save some links/notes from my research, and jot down ideas all within the app before moving the post into my writing workflow.

Evernote has a ton of features that I don’t even use so who knows, it could expand your workflow in ways that I haven’t even thought of.

Either way, it’s a tool I used long before I began blogging and I’m 100% convinced that if I ever lost access to my account/notes, I’d die.


Seriously though, Evernote is awesome. If you’re not using it, start.

If you prefer another note-taking app, start using it to jot down and organize your ideas as they come to you.

Preferably, try to find something that has both a mobile app and desktop access.

The fact that I can so easily jot down notes on my phone while out and about and have access to them when I’m sitting in front of the computer working is part of the allure of Evernote. At least for me.

Create a separate notebook inside Evernote that’s dedicated to your blog, and try to keep your notes as organized as possible.

When it comes to planning your blog, create a new note to house the outline and research for your post.

Then, when you begin writing in your chosen writing environment (you could write directly in Evernote, but I prefer not to), keep your notes up on the screen.

This makes it easier to reference your ideas and helps to improve your workflow.

Writing Tools for Bloggers

#1 Grammarly

Grammarly Homepage

Grammarly is one of the most useful writing tools any blogger could utilize.

Great content is important, and Grammarly makes it easy to improve the quality of your writing.

I am by no means a literary expert.

I barely speak English, and it’s my first language.

So writing properly, with proper grammar, punctuation, and the like can be time-consuming.

Grammarly Example

See what I mean?

That literally was not on purpose.

Without Grammarly, I don’t think my writing would be atrocious, but it certainly wouldn’t have the same quality that it does.

And given that writing is literally my entire livelihood, that’s kind of a big deal.

What makes it even better is that not only is Grammarly free (there’s a paid option if the features would benefit you, but I haven’t needed it so far) but it kind of runs in the background.

I don’t really have to interact with Grammarly at all, it just kind of does its thing and lets me know when there’s an error in my writing. Honestly, it’s a no-brainer to install even if your writing is amazing.

Grammarly is free, runs in the background, and improves your writing.

What do you have to lose?

#2 Dictation/Speech-to-Text

This one is a bit hit or miss depending on your personal style, but dictation – or speech-to-text – can be a great way to improve your writing efficiency.

A Stanford study found that using speech recognition was 3x faster than typing, and results in fewer errors.

Using speech-to-text software can be incredibly powerful for your writing goals.

But, there’s a downside: it’s not for everyone.

Speaking personally, I don’t use dictation for my writing. I can’t.

Or, I shouldn’t say I can’t, but it just doesn’t work out for me.

No matter how many times I try – and I do still attempt it occasionally – I just can’t seem to work faster with dictation than typing manually.

For me, the ideas just seem to flow faster and more fluidly when I type them out.

I don’t know why, that’s just how it works for me.

Although dictation may or may not work out for you, a 3x boost in your writing is definitely worth giving a try.

And you don’t have to buy any equipment to get started.

Most phones have speech-to-text software built into them, and they obviously already have microphones attached, so you have everything you need already.

The next time you go to write a blog post – or when you’re taking notes for your next post – try using speech-to-text in Evernote and see how it works for you.

It may take some practice, and if it doesn’t work out that’s fine, but it’s worth trying.

As I said, I still attempt it occasionally because the potential of that boost to my writing efficiency would be a true game-changer.

#3 Jasper AI

Jasper Homepage

Here’s one that may – or may not – be a bit controversial.

Jasper is a writing assistant that works using AI to produce written content.

It’s a powerful tool and was a central part of my writing process when I first started blogging until I found my voice.

In fact, at the time of this writing, I still use the Jasper document editor as my main writing environment. Here’s proof:

Jasper Editor Example

Although this blog is entirely hand-written, some of my other blogs have a mix of AI-driven content, and that’s why I use Jasper’s editor even for this website.

A consistent workflow is key, in my opinion.

When you first start writing, it can be difficult to find your voice and become comfortable with putting your thoughts down on (digital) paper.

That’s where Jasper comes in.

Jasper is meant to be a writing assistant.

I emphasize this because the biggest downside to Jasper – and AI writing tools in general – is that sometimes people forget this “assistant” portion of the equation, and they’ll use Jasper or other tools to completely write 100% (or even 80-90%) of their content through AI, then publish it as their own.

I simply don’t like this.

I feel like it’s lying to your readers and, as a blogger, your readers are your customers.

Don’t lie to your customers. Don’t position yourself as an expert or an authority when you’re not.

Okay, I’m going to get off my soapbox now.

Jasper is a great tool for writers. And what makes it even better is that the team behind Jasper has done an amazing job at creating templates, workflows, recipes, documentation, training, and a ton of content to help you get the most out of Jasper.

Jasper Templates Example

Again, sometimes they can kind of lean towards that Jasper-writes-it-all-for-you aspect, but there is still a ton of value to be gained from what’s available and included within Jasper.

I also love how engaged the team is with the Jasper community.

If you hop into their Facebook group, you’ll quickly see just how often the developers are posting content, commenting on posts, offering advice, taking ideas under advisement, and just generally being engaged with the community.

Jasper is an amazing tool to use when you’re first starting out – and continues to bring value to me now, even if it’s as simple as re-writing a particular statement for clarity or helping to drill down on a more concise headline.

Just know one thing: using Jasper is a learned skill.

It will take a little practice before you really get the full value out of it but if you put in the effort, it can pay off big time.

Give Jasper a chance with a free trial and get 10,000 free bonus credits when you sign up, more than enough to give you some play time to see if Jasper is right for you.

Tools for Bloggers to Create Better Visuals

#1 Canva

Canva Homepage

As a blogger, it’s important to have visually appealing images for your content.

As the quintessential Photoshop alternative, Canva can provide the perfect solution for creating stunning graphics without any design experience.

One of the best features of Canva is its pre-made templates.

Whether you’re designing a Pinterest graphic or a Facebook cover photo, simply choose the appropriate template and customize it with your own text and images.

This saves time and ensures that your graphics are the proper size and dimensions for each platform.

Canva comes included with a huge library of free stock images to use in your designs as well.

Finding high-quality, free images can be difficult, but Canva makes it easy with a huge selection to choose from.

Plus, you’re not limited to their selection. You can easily upload your own photos for even more customization options.

The drag-and-drop interface is user-friendly and allows anyone to create professional designs in minutes.

If you have any doubts, just know that almost every edit on any photo or image you see on this blog is done inside Canva. I’m not a graphic designer and I’ve never used Photoshop, but Canva allows me to create what I need without much effort or experience.

#2 Meme Generator

Meme Generator Homepage

In the age of social media, memes have become an integral part of our online communication.

They can add humor and cultural references to a blog post, making it more relatable and entertaining for readers.

But memes can also be used as a way to communicate complex ideas or arguments in an easily digestible format. By using a popular meme as a visual aid, bloggers can make abstract concepts more concrete and understandable for their audience.

Memes often go viral on social media platforms, and sharing a meme related to your topic can potentially attract new readers to your blog.

The Meme Generator by imgflip is one of the easier ways to create memes on your own.

Working from a ton of different templates and popular memes, the Meme Generator makes it as simple as choosing your template, entering your text, and downloading your meme.

Honestly, it couldn’t get any easier.

Just one word of caution: use memes sparingly.

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and memes are no different.

#3 Royalty-Free Image Sites

I’m going to combine a couple of tools into this section because it’s just easier.

“Royalty-Free” refers to images that can be used without having to pay for them directly. These images are often referred to as stock images. Many times, these stock images are completely free for you to use in something like a blog or a video.

However, it’s important to understand the licenses of each site you use for your royalty-free images.

Some sites allow you to use the images without mentioning the photographer or artist that created them, some require you to give credit to the artist.

Some may limit how and where you can use the images, while others may not have any restrictions at all.

Be sure to fully read and understand the license before using any image in your project.

In addition to understanding licensing agreements, it’s also important to remember that just because an image is labeled as “royalty-free” does not mean it’s free from copyright altogether.

It’s always best practice to only use images that have been labeled as “public domain” or “creative commons,” which typically means they are free from any copyright restrictions and can be used freely by anyone.

To find royalty-free images, there are countless websites and search engines available online. Here are a few that I always keep bookmarked for my image needs:

Unsplash Example

This is an example of a stock image from Pexels (view the original here – shoutout to the photographer, Misael Garcia).

I didn’t pick this image for any specific reason other than it showed it up on my homepage.

But it does demonstrate some of the quality images that can be found on these websites.

These images can be great for social media content, featured blog images, Pinterest Pins, and basically anything else you can think of.

Again, just remember to take a quick peek at the license agreements on the websites.

Don’t land yourself in hot water over stock images. It’s just not worth it.

#4 Envato Elements

Envato Elements Homepage

Envato is one of the few paid products that I feel is worth considering when it comes to creating visuals for your blog.

Envato has everything from stock photos, stock videos, unique fonts, WordPress themes and plugins, royalty-free music, and the list goes on.

And the best part is that with a membership, you have unlimited use of every single asset available on their marketplace.

Envato is worth checking out if you require a lot more than just simple, one-off stock images.

If you’re looking for presentation templates, slideshows, stock videos or music for your videos, or any other creative asset along those lines, Envato may be the way to go.

Marketing and Promotion Tools for Bloggers to Get The Word Out

#1 Medium

Medium Homepage

Medium is an open publishing platform where virtually anybody can publish blog posts, and share stories, ideas, and insights.

Medium is a massive, wildly popular site and can be a key part of gathering traffic for your blog, especially when you’re just starting out.

As a new blogger, one of the biggest challenges is getting people to actually read your content.

Sure, you can promote your blog on social media and hope for the best, but having a platform like Medium that already has a huge audience can make a big difference in boosting traffic to your own blog.

One aspect that sets Medium apart from other publishing platforms is its emphasis on quality content.

In order to be recommended by Medium’s algorithm and featured in popular collections, your articles need to be well-written and engaging. This encourages users to put more effort into their writing, resulting in a higher level of content for readers.

One of the coolest things about Medium is that you can publish the same content from your existing blog onto Medium to help cross-promote your site.

This allows you to take advantage of the popularity and search engine power of Medium to help grow your own blog.

Neil Patel has an extremely useful guide on how to grow your blog through Medium and how to do it correctly.

#2 Flipboard

Flipboard Homepage

Flipboard is a news/article aggregation site that pulls in articles from all over the internet, across all kinds of different categories, and creates a feed for users based on their interests.

Funny thing, I’ve actually used Flipboard for personal reading and learning for over 10 years.

It was one of those built-in bloat apps on an old cell phone many years ago, and once I started using it, I just never stopped.

Now, it’s consistently one of the most used apps on my phone and I read several articles from the app each day.

But as a blogger, you can use Flipboard yourself to cater to people just like me – and the other 140+ million users.

Flipboard makes it easy for you as a blogger to publish content to their feeds so that your articles will begin to pop up when users show an interest in your chosen blog topic.

It really doesn’t matter what you write about, there’s an interest for it somewhere on Flipboard.

Almost every major blog website can be found somewhere on Flipboard – whether they manually submit to the site or if the articles are aggregated in another way – and if they’re benefiting from it, you can too.

#3 ConvertKit

ConvertKit Homepage

ConvertKit is an email marketing platform that allows you to grow your email list and build an ongoing relationship with your audience.

Although there are many services that offer email autoresponders such as this, I like ConvertKit because it’s geared more toward creators – like us.

Not only is it one of the cheaper options – which can be a huge barrier for those of us just starting out – but it also makes it easy to scale in a way that bloggers and other content creators typically do.

Whether you begin to sell digital products, promote other products, or even create paid newsletters and email campaigns, ConvertKit is built with that in mind.

And this is exactly why, as a blogger and content creator, I’ve used ConvertKit so extensively in my blogs.

Email marketing as a whole can be an intricate and very deep rabbit hole for you to jump down, but it doesn’t have to be when you’re first starting out.

Use ConvertKit to create easy opt-in forms, and quickly and easily write and create email campaigns to begin growing your audience.

As you get more involved, you can always expand your knowledge.

ConvertKit’s own blog can be a valuable resource in this area as well.

#4 Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads Homepage

Thrive Leads – also included in the bigger Thrive Suite – is a powerful list-building tool to add to your email marketing arsenal.

Thrive Leads offers a ton of value in its package, including a ton of different opt-in forms, pre-made templates to work from, advanced targeting and rules for showing specific opt-ins in specific locations throughout your site, and a ton of marketing-related functions like A/B testing, reporting, and the like.

I’m a big fan of the overall Thrive Suite package, and the Leads plugin is one of my favorites.

And guess what? Thrive Leads even integrates with ConvertKit from above!

So between the 2, you will have all the options and customization features you could ever desire to create an email campaign that builds your blog and your relationship on autopilot.

Can’t beat that, can you?

#5 Tailwind

Tailwind Homepage

I’m a big fan of using Pinterest to grow a blog.

Especially when you’re just starting out and need to start generating traffic from nothing.

And that’s exactly what Tailwind helps you do.

Although Tailwind is available for both Instagram and Pinterest, I personally use it exclusively for Pinterest so I can’t really speak on its efficiency as an Instagram tool.

Tailwind acts as an automation and scheduling tool for Pinterest, and it makes life a lot easier.

Honestly, with the amount of content that I post to Pinterest, I don’t think I’d ever be able to keep up with it and still create content for my sites if it wasn’t for Tailwind.

With Tailwind’s scheduling features, I can literally plan out pins for each of my blog posts months ahead of when they actually go live.

This allows me to batch my work and do everything at once, rather than having to manually jump in and out of Pinterest and post new pins all day every day.

But scheduling isn’t the only thing that gives Tailwind its value.

Tailwind Communities

One of the most powerful features of Tailwind is what they call Communities.

In previous years this feature was called Tribes, but I like the name Communities better.

It just sounds more collaborative, which is the point of the feature.

Communities allow you join a collection of like-minded Pinterest content creators to share and expand your – and their – reach by sharing each others best pins.

If you’ve ever been involved in Pinterest marketing and learned about or used Group boards, Communities is kind of like a private version of that.

Instead of posting to a public group altogether, you’re still sharing others’ pins on your own Pinterest boards, but you find each other using a private group such as this.

Communities are easily the fastest and most efficient way for you to not only grow your own Pinterest following – and therefore blog traffic – but also to find and share amazing, high-value content from other creators to add to your own boards.

This, in turn, makes your boards more popular and helps to further build your following – and, again, blog traffic – on Pinterest.

When used correctly, the Communities feature is easily worth the price of Tailwind by itself.

I love Communities, can you tell?

Just one word of caution: Communities are meant to be a give-and-take relationship.

If you want others to share your content, you have to be willing to share others’ content.

Each Community you join will have its own guidelines – which are usually pretty simple and straightforward – for successfully contributing to the community, but you should also set your own guidelines.

For me, I try to keep a solid ratio of 3:1 for every piece of content I submit to Communities.

This means for every 1 piece of my own content I submit, I try to find and share 3 pieces of other people’s content to share to my audience.

This forces me to continue to work in the best interest of the community as a whole, which is the only way this feature can continue to work.

If the community becomes filled with everyone just sharing their own content, and never sharing others, then the community serves no purpose.

Communities are my favorite “hack” for growing on Pinterest, but always keep in mind the collaboration and willingness to share that is required for it to work.

It’s give-and-take, so give more than you take.

Now It’s Your Turn

As a blogger, the tools you use can either make you or break you.

You can get bogged down in the literal thousands of available options, or you can stick to a select few that work best for your process.

So now I want to hear from you: Are there any tools essential to you that aren’t on this list? If so, share them with other readers.

And what about the tools listed here? Have you used any of them? What are your opinions?

I look forward to hearing your insights in the comments!

Should I start a Blog? 7 Powerful Reasons Why You Should (And 7 Reasons You Shouldn’t)

Should I start a Blog? 7 Powerful Reasons Why You Should (And 7 Reasons You Shouldn’t)

Chances are you read blog posts every day.

Whether you’re looking for a guide on installing a ceiling fan, the latest celebrity gossip, or trying to come up with ideas for that holiday that’s coming up, you probably gain a ton from blogs.

But have you ever thought about flipping the script?

Becoming a producer, instead of a consumer?

Instead of reading the blogs, writing them?

Many of us have. Especially when it comes to a topic that we genuinely love reading, learning, and talking about.

If that’s you, stick around.

By the end of this post, you will:

  • Know whether or not blogging is for you.
  • Understand the upsides of building a blog.
  • Gain insight on what not to focus on when building one.
  • Have researched and decided on a niche to pursue.

We have a lot to cover here so if you’re ready, how about we jump in and get started?

7 Reasons You Should Start a Blog:

If I could write out all the reasons there are to start a blog, well, I’d be here for a while.

Instead, we’re going to focus on just a few key things you might want to think about before you get started.

Here are a few reasons you should at least consider building a blog:

Allows You to Focus on Your Passion

When you start a blog, you get to choose what you talk about.

You get to choose the niche you write about and what direction your content goes in.

So whatever you’re interested in – be it food, travel, personal finance, making money, music, books, television/movies, hobbies or crafts, space exploration, leadership, art, whatever it is – you have complete and total control over what you decide to focus on.

Whatever your passion is, whatever you’re most interested in, you can create a blog around that topic.

Now, let’s understand one thing: Some niches are more profitable and popular than others.

We can probably agree that there are more people searching for the latest smart gadgets in 2023 than those interested in the dynamics of the 7th Century Tang dynasty, right?

So the niche you choose to tackle does have an effect on how much you can get out of it, but that doesn’t mean you’re limited to only a few subjects.

Later in this article, I will offer a few quick pointers on how to quickly research and validate the niche you’re considering. I’ll show you how to tell if the niche is already too competitive, or if there’s enough interest in that topic to take the blog to the level you want.

But before we get to that point, spend a moment thinking about the different topics you’d like to cover. If you’re considering starting a blog you probably have already thought about this.

If not, that’s fine. But take a moment to make a short list of possible subjects you’re interested in. Think about those subjects that you get excited to talk about. Think about the things that you’re always looking to learn more about.

These are the subjects that will suit you best as a blogger. When you’re genuinely interested and enthusiastic about the topics you cover, blogging doesn’t even feel like work.

You Enjoy Writing (or Speaking)

Blogs are, at least traditionally, focused almost entirely on written words.

Yes, there are plenty of unique blogs out there that involve a lot less writing.

Some blogs focus on images, curating links from around the web, or any number of other unique content ideas.

But the vast majority of blogs are focused on writing. You know this already.

So if you don’t like writing, blogging may not be for you.

The one exception may be if you prefer video.

Blogs Containing Video Content

Today, around 1 in 4 blogs include video content.

If you believe video is a better way to deliver your content, there’s never been a better time for that.

And you’re not just limited to uploading to YouTube.

You can quickly and easily embed your videos into your website, and even include a transcript of the video on your blog to help with SEO.

There’s another route for blogging that involves outsourcing your content creation to freelancers and ghostwriters, but that also comes at a relatively high starting price.

Most individuals simply won’t have the resources to begin with outsourcing, but it’s always a great goal to aim for in the future.

For me, blogging was the most viable option for this very reason: I enjoy writing. And sometimes, I’m even a little good at it.

Just remember that you don’t have to be a professional writer to become a successful blogger. I’m certainly not. Every day I run into blog posts that are clearly not written by a professional.

If you have a genuine interest in your topic, and the expertise to go with it, the writing doesn’t have to be perfect.

It just has to be valuable.

Build a Business Around Your Hobby or Passion

I know I spoke about passions earlier, but bare with me here: there’s a distinction between just talking about your passions and building a business around them.

If You Love What You Do

“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”

This was the text on a poster that was up in my high school. Not the exact image above, the poster in my school had a cat on it.

I remember that because I walked past that poster every single day for 4 years. And it’s always stuck with me.

How cool would it be to do something I love? I always thought. To do something that I looked forward to doing.

When you love what you do, Mondays are a pleasure. You don’t have to work, you get to.

That’s exactly what blogging is for me. Not only do I enjoy the writing itself, but all of my blogs are focused on topics I have a specific passion for.

And by turning my blogs into a business, I not only get to spend my day talking about what I love, I get to make money from it too? Sign. Me. Up.

When you’re researching the topic you want to cover – which we’ll go over a bit later – think about how you might wrap a business around that blog.

For instance, to use my 7th Century Tang dynasty example from earlier, how would you wrap a business around that?

You could always place ads on your site sure, but what other options are there? Could you write a book going into depth on the empire? Or the culture and time period vs how it is today?

Or could you create an e-commerce store that sells traditional objects and trinkets related to that culture?

I don’t know much about 7th Century China – or anything at all, really – so I wouldn’t even know where to start. But if that’s your niche, you probably have some ideas.

And if you’re struggling to think of ideas, try looking at other websites on the same topic. How do they monetize their sites? Could you do what they do? Or something similar?

Make a list of possible ways you could wrap a business around your chosen topic. Much like writing, often times once you get a few ideas rolling, they just sort of pour out of you from there.

Build a Community

Building a community around your blog is not only the best way to grow your site, but it also allows you to surround yourself with people who enjoy the same topics as you.

I can’t tell you how many times blogging has allowed me to engage in lengthy conversations with my readers about the topics I love.

And I can’t tell you how much more I’ve learned about my chosen subjects because of these conversations.

That community you build also has a lasting effect on your readers because now they too have a place to go where they can surround themselves with like-minded individuals.

Trust me when I say that it’s a good feeling when you see interactions within a community that you’ve built that leads to others learning something or gaining new insight.

On the other side, being a blogger itself offers a new way for you to join other communities.

There are no shortage of Reddit boards and Facebook groups that focus on blogging.

Especially as a new blogger, take some time to find communities you could join that will help you learn more about building a blog. In the end, it could be the most valuable resource you have.

Make a Difference in Your Field

This is where your particular experience and expertise on your topic can really shine.

Depending on your niche, and your level of interest in this specifically, you could potentially transform the landscape of your entire industry if you wanted.

Look at Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko.

Brian has a passion for SEO. So he built a blog focused on that. Now, he’s completely changed the landscape of SEO and helped millions of bloggers transform the way they create content. I should know, I’m one of them.

Neil Patel is another such example.

Like Brian, Neil has a thing for SEO and content marketing. And he’s done a lot to move the needle on the subject. All while building a massive empire of businesses and tools.

But your impact doesn’t have to be that grand. You don’t have to change your industry as a whole.

For instance, the purpose of this blog, for me, is not to change the landscape of blogging or making money online.

My vision is simple: to have a positive impact on the financial lives of 100,000 households.

I don’t need to transform the blogging world to do that. Nor would I want to, honestly.

But we can both agree that touching the lives of 100,000 households certainly has an impact on, well, those households.

So that’s my focus. And that’s the beauty of blogging: you get to choose how far-reaching or how big of an impact you have.

It’s not easy, of course. But then again, nothing worth doing ever is.

Take a moment to consider the ways your blog could make a difference in your field, if you even have that goal. Once you commit to it, it becomes a powerful motivator.

Residual Benefits

The true power of blogging – and really video content largely fits here as well – comes from the residual traffic and earnings that can be achieved.

Do you know how cool it is to see an affiliate sale pop up and track it back to a blog post that you wrote 2 years ago and haven’t touched since?

If not, let me tell you: it’s pretty freakin’ awesome.

And it’s not just about earnings, either.

Search engines love blog content. They love ranking high-value, relevant content for users to discover.

When you create valuable content, you can generate traffic (and therefore readers, leads, and revenue) for literally years after you’ve created the content.

To put this in perspective, consider that studies have shown the lifespan of a blog post is around 2 years while the lifespan of a social media post is only “minutes” for a Tik Tok video, and around 15-20 minutes for a Twitter post.

Even if you place a big focus on Pinterest for traffic generation, Pinterest content lasts longer than most other content with a lifespan of 6 months to 1 year for each pin.

Considering you will probably use those Pinterest pins to point back to your blog post anyway, you can see how much more value can come from a single blog post than from, say, a series of Tik Tok videos.

It’s really quite impressive.

Again, high-value, relevant content is what readers – and therefore search engines – are looking for. If you can fulfill that need, you can also benefit from the extensive lifespan of blog content.

Time/Money/Location Freedom

This is typically the biggest reason anyone ever looks to earn money online, in any form.

Blogging is no different.

Since your blog lives entirely online, you’re free to maintain and build it from virtually anywhere in the world.

The one exception may be locally-specific blogs and websites. But if you’re focused on building a website for, say, a local coffee shop that you own, you’re probably tied to that location anyway.

Otherwise, blogging allows for a lot of freedom once you get going.

Obviously, you’re not going to launch a blog today and use it to start traveling the world tomorrow, but there’s potential for it in the future.

Even if traveling isn’t really your thing, the benefit of time and money freedom is still there.

If you’ve never made money while laying in bed curled up with the dog lying next to you, just know that it’s a pretty great experience.

And it’s one you won’t want to give up once you’ve felt it.

7 Reasons You Should NOT Start a Blog:

With all the benefits of a blog being what they are – and trust that the above is not an exhaustive list – that doesn’t mean there are no downsides to blogging.

And it certainly doesn’t mean that everyone is cut out for blogging.

So with that, here are a few reasons blogging may not be a good fit for you.

Again, this is not an exhaustive list, but rather just some things to think about moving forward:

You’re Looking for Quick Wins

Blogging is a long-term pursuit, there’s no doubt about that.

Ask anyone who’s ever built a blog that generates traffic and they’ll agree: It takes years to build a truly sustainable, powerful blog.

While you can generate some great wins in the short term, and it’s even possible to earn a full-time income within your first 1-2 years as a new blogger, this shouldn’t be the expectation.

If you truly want to be successful as a blogger, and you truly want to earn a living, build a community, and impact your industry, you have to step into it with the mindset that you’re here for the long haul.

Average Blog Earnings

It has been found that roughly 8% of bloggers earn enough to be able to support a family, and somewhere in the realm of 81% never even make $100 from blogging.

This is not a reason to give up on your blogging dreams.

In reality, it’s a reason to keep going.

Because an 8% success rate is actually quite high in the business world.

But the success or failure of your blog is more related to your efforts and your reason why for building it.

If you’re just looking to turn a quick profit, write a blog post here and there, and put in as little time as possible, blogging just may not be for you.

You’re Focused on You

When a reader comes to your blog, they’re typically looking to gain something for themselves.

Whatever they were searching for when they stumbled upon your blog, there’s a pretty good chance they were hoping to learn something new, find a guide on a specific topic, or gain insight or inspiration on something.

Very few people who land on your blog are looking to learn the intimate details of your life. Sorry, that’s just the truth.

While, yes, there are personal blogs that succeed, and there are bloggers that build massive followings by focusing on their own lives in their content, the vast majority of successful blogs are audience-focused.

There’s a reason for that.

Even if your blog does follow your personal life specifically, you should still be focused on the audience and what they can gain from it.

If your content is only about you, and offers nothing of value to your audience, they won’t have a reason to return.

Focus on providing value to your audience, and your audience will provide value to you.

You Don’t Want to Be a Marketer

Blogs don’t just blow up overnight by accident.

Okay, some do. Some go viral and take on a life of their own.

But most don’t. And if that’s what you’re aiming for, go for it. But understand that even viral-focused blogs and websites have to market themselves to gain new readers.

They have to do something to get the word out and get a little bit of traction to their posts.

There are well over 4 million blog posts published per day.

You have to do something to stand out.

If you want to become a successful blogger, you’re going to have to learn how to market your blog.

Marketing is just part of the job.

Yes, you could hire someone (or launch with a partner) who handles your marketing, but that also has a downside.

Now, you don’t have to be a professional marketer to start, you can – and will – learn as you go, but it’s still a pretty important part of the game.

Make it a priority to learn the basics of marketing as you begin building your blog, and continue to learn more as you work on it, or else your blog simply has almost no chance of ever being found.

You’re not committed to the process

On the surface, blogging may look pretty simple:

  • Brainstorm ideas.
  • Write in-depth articles on those ideas.
  • ???
  • Profit.

Easy, right?


If you decide to pursue blogging as a business – and plenty of people do it just as a hobby, and that’s okay too – you’re going to have to tackle it as a business.

Long hours. Tons of reading/research. A few (a lot) headaches. And LOTS of technology. This is all part of blogging.

If you’re not willing to invest in the whole thing, not to be a Debbie Downer, but you shouldn’t even start.

Debbie Downer Meme

Just being honest.

Let’s face it, blogging is hard. Like, really hard.

But, at least in my opinion, it has a lot more pros than cons.

Refer back to the reasons you should start a blog from above.

If any of those excite you to a point that you would be willing to commit and stick to the process, then you should go for it.

Blogging Can be Lonely

It’s often said that entrepreneurship as a whole is a lonely pursuit, and blogging is no different.

While you could work with a partner, spouse, or friend that allows you to have someone right there with you as you both build a blog around a topic that you enjoy, and blogging does have the inherent benefit of building a community and surrounding yourself with people who enjoy the same things as you, the beginning stages of blogging are often quite lonely and isolated.

It’s just you (and your partner(s), if you have any).

While this can be disheartening, focus on the potential: Focus on the community you could build. And the connectedness you could achieve with your audience if you make it past that initial lonely stage.

If nothing else, consider the lonely portion of blogging as a trial-by-fire of sorts. You have to make it to the other side to receive the benefits.

Of course, if you’re more introverted – like I am – this “lonely” side of blogging may actually be a pro, not a con.

Everyone’s different in that regard but just remember: When it comes to blogging, there is always a potential to build a community that thrives off of your content. And if that’s what you’re hoping to build, focus on that vision as you navigate the initial lonely stages.

You’re looking for free stuff

Have you ever read an article, watched a video, or viewed a social media post where the individual mentions a company sending them a product or sponsoring the content?

You probably have.

And it sounds pretty cool to get free products and sponsorships from these companies, right?

Well, it is.

But it can’t be the reason for your blog.

These companies provide products to bloggers and content creators who provide value to their audience. They are looking for influencers, not tire-kickers looking for free stuff.

If you’re just looking for a handout, no one is going to give it to you.

You have to offer value to your audience before these companies will be willing to invest product in you.

Just remember, like anything in life, the rewards for building your blog come after you put the work in, not before.

Sponsored products and gifts from companies can be part of those rewards, but you still have to put in the work beforehand.

You don’t want to create content

Content – whether it’s video, images, or writing – is the lifeblood of any blog.

If you’re not willing to create content, your blog can’t grow.

It’s that simple.

Yes, you can hire content creators and outsource content, but that costs money.

And even when you do outsource, you’re still going to be spending some time maintaining the content, brainstorming ideas, etc.

Unless you hire someone for that too which, again, costs money.

So yes, you can make a blog that’s completely hands-off, but you’re going to be investing a ton of cash into that.

Truth is, most people simply won’t have the budget to be able to do that from the start.

That can be a future goal but go into blogging with the expectation that you’re going to be creating a lot of content.

If that doesn’t sound like fun, and you don’t have the resources to outsource, then maybe content creation just isn’t for you.

What Should I Do Before Launching My Blog?

Hopefully, by now you have decided whether or not blogging is actually right for you.

I’m not going to say I hope you choose to go for it because blogging simply isn’t for everyone.

If it’s not for you, better to find out now, so you can move on to what you’re really suited for.

But if you have decided to launch a blog, there are a few things you need to do before you get moving.

And I want to go over those things here.

Decide on a Niche

Chances are, as you were reading this article (and probably even before you found it), you had a topic or a subject in mind that you wanted to blog about.

This is good. This is the first step: deciding what to talk about.

When deciding on the topics or areas of interest your blog will cover, you want to ask yourself a few things:

  1. What topics interest me?
  2. What topics can I talk about all day, any day?
  3. What topics am I an expert on or extremely knowledgeable about?
  4. What topics am I willing to learn about in-depth, if I don’t already have the knowledge?

As you ask these questions, begin to make a list of different topics that come to mind.

If you’re having trouble brainstorming, here are some popular blogging niches that might help you get started:

  • Health and Wellness
  • Parenting
  • Career/Professional advice
  • Food/Recipes/Dining
  • Personal Finance or Investing
  • Lifestyle
  • Travel
  • Pets
  • Self-Improvement/Personal Development
  • Relationships/Marriage

The list goes on.

There is no shortage of potential blogging niches that you could explore.

Once you’ve drilled down on a few areas of interest, we can do some quick and easy keyword research on those topics to help gauge the demand and competition within those areas.

Basic Research

The first step in our research is to gather some relevant sites that we can spy on.

We will use these sites for keyword research in a minute.

For now, let’s assume I’m going to look into the Pets niche for a blog.

So what I want to do is head over to Google and search “pets blogs” or “blogs about pets” or something of that nature.

Pets Blogs Google Search Results

These are the top results.

In these results you should notice 2 things:

  1. There are 2 actual pet blogs listed:
    • I and love and you
    • The Pet Blog Lady
  2. The first few results in Google are actually lists of pet blogs.

Note: There are more pet blogs further down the results page we could look at as well.

Now I want to use these results to create a list of potential blogs to spy on.

So take the 2 blogs from above, and copy them into a word editor or note somewhere for safekeeping.

Pet Blog List

Now, we’re going to use those list posts of pet blogs to extend our research.

We don’t need a lot of websites to search through – 20 is more than enough – so I’m going to look at the list from FeedSpot, since I happen to know FeedSpot is a site that is meant to be something of a database for information like this.

FeedSpot Blog List

So I’m going to take some entries from this post, and add them to our list:

Final Pet Blog List

While building this list from the FeedSpot post, I also clicked through to each of the blogs before adding them to my final list.

I did this just because sometimes blogs go down, and the post may not be updated. So this way I know the site is still live and worth looking into.

I’m also checking the site very quickly just to make sure they actually have a blog. You never know, so this extra 10 seconds of work helps me later down the line.

Pro-Tip: As I was building my list from FeedSpot, I noticed a lot of these pet blogs had fairly large Facebook followings. In the future, that may be a clue that FB would be a good place to market my pet blog. Always good to know 😉

Now that I have a list of potential blogs I can spy on, it’s time to turn over to our keyword research tool.

In order to do some simple research on your chosen niche, we’re going to use a tool called SEMRush.

SEMRush homepage

SEMRush is one of the best keyword research and SEO tools available.

When it comes to research and content planning, I truly can’t explain how much time I save by using this tool.

Its uses go far deeper than what we’re doing today, so bear with me.

You can grab a free trial for SEMRush’s Pro plan to complete this basic keyword research. If you don’t feel you need the full value of the tool today, you can always cancel before the trial ends and come back when you’re ready to use the tool in the future.

Pro-Tip: Do as much research as you can before you start your SEMRush trial, so you can get the most value out of it. Build a nice-sized list of relevant sites to search, just as we did. 15-20 sites max.

We’re going to use SEMRush to spy on these pet blogs that we’ve just listed. We’re looking for keyword ideas that have a combination of low difficulty (meaning we can potentially rank in search engines for them), but decent search volume.

These low-competition, high-search volume keywords are basically the low-hanging fruit of blogging. These are the keywords that we, as new bloggers, should focus on to get our blog ranking in the search engines.

In this example, I’m going to be using a fresh SEMRush account, just so I can ensure that you see what I see as we navigate the keyword results.

To start, once you’re inside of SEMRush, navigate to the Organic Research tab.

SEMRush Organic Research

Then, enter one of the sites we have listed into the search box and hit search.

Root Domain Search

Ensure you’re searching by the “Root Domain” at the top. This makes it so SEMRush starts from the homepage of the site, and searches out from there.

In the future, you can narrow your search by changing this to the “exact URL” to drill down your results, but for our purposes, we want to get data on the site as a whole, not a specific page.

Now, there’s a lot of data on this screen. As I said, SEMRush can do quite a bit.

The more you use the tool, the less foreign this will seem.

For now, we want to focus on organic keywords.

iandloveandyou Organic Keywords

Organic keywords are those keywords where the site ranks naturally in search engines. For SEMRush, these keywords represent rankings in Google’s top 100 search results for that keyword.

To get a better look at these keywords, click on the “View all” button circled above.

You should end up with something like this:

iandloveandyou Keyword Results

Again, there’s a lot of information on this page. Much of it, we don’t even need. So I like to remove any information that’s not required, just to make it easier for me to read.

Luckily, this list of organic keywords is essentially just a massive spreadsheet. And like most spreadsheets, SEMRush makes it easy to filter down based on the information we’re actually looking for.

So here is what we’re looking for, and then I’ll show you how I like to filter it down:

  1. We need the keyword itself, obviously.
  2. The position is always useful to know.
  3. Search volume is an important factor.
  4. Keyword Difficulty is a crucial factor.
  5. And, finally, the URL – or specific page – ranking for that keyword.

Now, each of these bits of information is listed under a specific column in SEMRush, and you can even hover over the name of each column to get a useful little tooltip that explains what that column shows.

For example, this is what the tooltip for the “Volume” column looks like:

SEMRush Volume Tooltip

Now that we know what information we’re looking for, we know what information we can get rid of. To do that, the “Manage columns” button allows you to select which pieces of information you want to show.

Here is how I like to set mine up, based on the information we need from above:

SEMRush Manage Columns

Now that your data is filtered down to what you actually need, you can begin scanning through to find keywords and blog post ideas that interest you.

For newer blogs, we’re going to focus mainly on keywords with lower difficulty because our site just doesn’t have the authority yet – in the eyes of the search engines – to rank for more competitive terms.

But we also don’t want to focus on keywords that no one is searching for, so we’re going to strike a balance between keyword difficulty and search volume.

For me, on a brand new blog, I like to look for keywords with a difficulty of around 30 or below in SEMRush.

There is no hard rule here, this just comes down to experience and preference.

I like to begin at 30-40 as a maximum difficulty and, as my site grows and develops authority, I’ll reach for more difficult keywords from there.

Again, our goal right now is to find enough low-competition keywords to justify starting a blog in this niche. If the niche is over-saturated, or too competitive, it may not be the best place to start.

My rule is simple: If I can find 20 low-competition keywords with some initial spying like we’re doing here, then I can find thousands more later with more research.

That means I should have no shortage of content ideas and keywords to target.

So now it’s time to drill down through our results. Read through the keyword results from the blog you’re looking at, taking note of any keywords with a Difficulty of less than 30, and some amount of search volume.

Look for 100 or more search volume. Although that doesn’t sound like much, remember that – on average – a page ranking at #1 on Google will also rank for as much as 1,000 other similar keywords.

That means targeting 1 keyword can turn into targeting 1,000 keywords, without even trying.

And that is why we don’t focus as much on search volume. Focus more on creating content that ranks well for your keyword, and the traffic will take care of itself (basically).

As you’re searching, pay attention to similar keywords. For instance, within the first ~10 or so keywords in our SEMRush example, I’ve found these 3 keywords:

iandloveandyou Similar Keyword Examples

  • Xanthan gum dogs
  • Dogs xanthan gum
  • Is xanthan gum safe for dogs

Each of these keywords are pretty similar, right? They’re all basically the same keyword, just different variations.

For our initial research, we would not want to count these keywords as all unique.

Although we could create multiple pieces of content targeting the keyword, we’re looking to make sure there’s enough room in the market for us to grow and take a chunk out of the search results. So we don’t want to fill our list with a bunch of variations on the same keyword.

As I’m building my initial list of 20 keyword ideas, I would count this as 1 keyword.

So I’m just going to add 1 variation to my initial list:

Initial Sample Keyword List

Note: SEMRush does offer the ability to easily build keyword lists within the tool, and it’s super useful. But for the sake of this post, I’m just creating a quick list along with the websites I found earlier.

Another thing I want to keep an eye out for is branded keywords for the site I’m researching, or keywords that include the name of that particular site.

iandloveandyou Branded Keyword Example

Although branded keywords can be valuable in the future for comparison or review posts, I also don’t want my site to be reliant on the names of other brands in order to rank in search results.

So I tend to leave out most branded keywords like this from my initial research list.

Again, we can always use them in the future.

From here I’m just scrolling through the keyword results on each of the blogs we listed before.

I typically don’t go through every keyword from each site. Honestly, I usually get bored a few pages into the results, so I’ll move on to the next site.

But I continue to do this with each blog on my list until I get a keyword list of 20 or more low-competition, decent search volume keywords.

If I can’t come up with a good keyword list, the niche is probably too saturated and I should move on.

As you’re building your list, you want to consider the intent of the search term as well.

For instance, in my pet blog research, I occasionally came across some variation of the keyword “dog park with water.”

This keyword is fairly straightforward, the problem is that it’s a location-based keyword.

The person who searches this term is looking for dog parks in their area. Unless you’re building a blog around a local area, you probably won’t have much luck with this keyword.

If you did want to focus on a specific location and you found a keyword like, say, “dog park with water in Chicago” and your blog was focused in Chicago, you could get some use out of that keyword.

So you always want to consider the intent behind a keyword. What – specifically – was the user looking for when they searched this term? Are they looking for local suggestions? Are they searching for a specific brand? Can I create content that fulfills this intent, rather than just targeting the term itself?

These are questions you want to ask yourself.

Note: These are also important questions when it comes to actually creating the content around that term, but that’s a discussion for another day.

After a little research, I ended up with the following initial keyword list for our pet blog:

Pet Blog Initial Keyword List

And I didn’t even have to work through my entire list. I only went through the first 3 or 4 sites to come up with these keywords.

That’s excellent. That means I have plenty more research I could do with our existing list, and it also tells me I should have no problems coming up with tons of keyword and content ideas.

Additionally, in my building of this initial list, I found plenty of low-competition branded keywords that I skipped over. So I can go back and add those keywords to my list.

Sweet. It looks like I’ve more than validated this niche, and I can move forward with my pet blog idea.

What’s Next?

By this point, you’ve validated your potential blog idea.

You have an initial list of keyword ideas, some potential competitors to continue to spy on for more ideas, and – hopefully – a passion and interest for your chosen topic.

Really, the only thing left to do is go out and create your blog.

From here you can continue to get the most out of your SEMRush trial by doing more research and gathering more ideas.

You can start to think of names for your blog.

You can begin to research themes and think of site layouts for your blog (hint: use other sites for inspiration, it’s the easiest way).

What you do next is kind of up to you.

As long as you’ve validated your idea, and chosen a topic that you’re passionate about discussing, you’re free to move forward as you see fit.

So, What’s Your Decision?

So there you have it.

By this point, you have an idea of reasons you should start a blog, as well as a list of reasons you shouldn’t start one. With any luck, this will help you decide if blogging is the right path for you.

Additionally, you have a few basic steps to start with before moving forward with your ideas.

Don’t discount the power of this initial research. It could save you a lot of time from jumping into a niche that’s just too crowded.

So now I turn it over to you: Is blogging something you still want to pursue? Did any of the Should or Should Not’s strike you in any particular way? Were you able to find and research a niche that you could break into?

I want to know your thoughts. Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it!