Why You Shouldn’t Start a “Make Money Online” Blog

Ali Luke

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This post might make me unpopular … but I think this needs to be said:

Your first blog should NOT be a “make money online” one.

You can blog about all sorts of things – but if you’re giving advice on “making a living online,” “blogging for money,” or anything like that, and you’ve not yet done it yourself, then you’re making a mistake.

Why Bloggers Often Start Out With “Make Money Online” Blogs

If you got into blogging as a result of reading sites like ProBlogger, DailyBlogTips, John Chow dot com, etc. then it’s easy to see why you’d want to create a blog that’s all about making money.

After all, that’s what you’ve been reading about, and that’s what your goal is.

I’ll let you into a secret. Before my first real attempt at a “pro” blog – before I even knew problogging existed – I came across a neat little blog that was tracking the blogger’s attempts to make money online.

And I instantly decided to do the same. I had no idea there was a whole “make money online” niche out there – I just thought this was a cool idea.

My blog lasted perhaps a week before I gave up. Of course, I didn’t make any money – I didn’t even have a clue where to begin!

Why a “Make Money Online” Blog Won’t Work For You

I’m sure you already know way more than I did back then. (After all, you’re reading DailyBlogTips!) But you’re probably not ready to start a blog about making money online either.

Even if you’ve been reading about making money online, it’s hard to blog about it with any sort of credibility unless you’ve actually made some money already.

Plus, the “make money online” niche is absolutely saturated with new blogs: there’s just too much established competition for you to make it.

I’m going to quote from a post about making money online, by a new blogger who looks like they’ve never actually done what they’re talking about. (I won’t link to the post but you can find it by Googling a few sentences of the text.)

Many People Earn Online by various ways. It is Possible to Earn Money Online. But You have to work hard for it. There are no easy shortcuts. We have seen in recent years Many Entrepreneurs who have made their Ideas into Millions of Dollars. For Earning Money Online you have to define a Strategy and stick to it.  There are Thousands of ways to Earn Money Online. All you need a Computer with Internet Connection and an Intresting Idea.

As a reader, this makes me think the blogger hasn’t ever made any money online – he (or she) is just telling me about what they’ve read. The weird capitalisation doesn’t help, or the fact that the blogger is listed as “admin” rather than a name on their blog – a sure sign of a newbie.

(If you need to fix your “admin” name, this post tells you how.)

Do you see the problem? Readers won’t stick around and learn from you unless they’re sure you’ve actually got some experience. After all, would you read a blog about parenting from someone who’d never looked after a child? Would you read a blog about cooking from someone who’d never switched on an oven?

What You Should Write About Instead

Maybe you were thinking about starting (or have started) a “make money online” blog. What should you do instead?

Think about your interest, hobbies, and experience. What topics do you already know quite a lot about? Could any of these become a blog?

You want a topic area that’s broad enough to sustain your interest over the long term – but you also want to cover something specific, rather than writing about any old thing that comes to mind.

If you’re stuck for ideas, here are a few broad, popular categories that you might work within, with some examples of specifics. Do you have enough experience with one of these to write about it?

  • Personal development: time management, motivation, organisation, de-cluttering, mindfulness, journaling, minimalism…
  • Health: weight loss, weight gain, fitness, sleeping well, quitting smoking, alternative therapies…
  • Technology: websites, blogs, Microsoft Office, social media, computer hardware, computer repairs, security…

You don’t have to be an expert. I’m certainly not an expert on technology, but after years using Microsoft Office as a student, employee and business-owner, I could probably write a beginner-friendly blog about it, helping people who want to get to grips with basics.

There are an almost unlimited number of topics you could write about. Don’t make the mistake of killing your chances of success by starting yet another “make money online” blog – the internet has plenty of those.

If you want some feedback on your topic (or if you disagree with me!) then drop a comment below.

Don’t forget our new course, Get Blogging, is only open for new members until Saturday 23rd November.


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21 Responses to “Why You Shouldn’t Start a “Make Money Online” Blog”

  • Dana

    Nice read and I couldn’t agree with you more on all fronts Ali. The easiest way to fail is to set yourself up for failure right from the get-go. A new blogger thinking they can make money in this tough niche will end-up getting discouraged and give-up. Stick to blogging about what you know and what excites you, the rewards will be much greater.

  • Keith Claridge

    You make some interesting points in this post. I think one thing I’ve learned about blogging is just be yourself, be honest where you’re at. You don’t need to be an expert, but you can be a curator and a pointer of the way.

  • AgathaThomas

    Most of those people who start Making Money Only Online blogs actually haven’t made money online; what they teach and sell is what they read around and then try to sell the same – a classic case of a blind person trying to lead another blind person…

  • Ali Luke

    @Maxwell — I wouldn’t personally recommend running two blogs at the same time (it’s rare that a blogger pulls this off successfully!) but personal development is always a popular topic.

    @Uju — I think desperation sadly is often a factor, though I think it’s also the case that bloggers sometimes don’t think through all the other topics they could potentially write about.

  • Uju

    This is something I see every..day of my going through blogs in where I come from (I won’t say the place here)…
    There are so many make money blogs and they tell you how to make money online. I took a time out this year to leave comments on such blogs asking them to really tell me if they have applied such techniques in their own lives.. And some where truthful enough to tell me that they haven’t. So why do they do it? I think it is mostly simply borne out of desperation of both the bloggers and some of the readers. They are really looking for a way out of financial rut so “make money online” to the rescue… The funny thing is that at the end of the page there’s always something to sell. They know there are a lot of people that need money and would probably do anything including trying their untested ideas. But I kinda see through them. Truth be told I almost started a make money blog until I pinched myself and asked myself if I really knew more that two ways to make money online.. When I got my answer I went in another direction. Cheers for a nice post

  • maxwell ivey

    Hello; This was a great post. The old advice about write what you know definitely applies. I would have never thought about starting such a blog. I had enough to worry about trying to get a handle on doing a blog about subjects I’m familiar with. and i didn’t think about it until you mentioned it, but using admin instead of your name is not a good sign. we have talked about how i use mr. midway and why. And i’ve noticed that since writing that post people are now asking if they have reached mr. midway when they call me. smile would be great if it continues to catch on. some friends have suggested that i have such a great mindset that i could start a second personal development blog tapping into my adopted beliefs on positive thinking and the things i’ve learned from overcoming blindness and succeeding with gastric surgery. wondering what you think. Thanks and take care, max

  • Sanket Shirodkar

    Yes I am agree with you Ali
    Even I was thinking to write SEO or Making money online article but than I find out
    What the hell I am going to write ? When I am, myself is not pretty sure about It.

  • Ngah Benoit

    Wow, such a great write up. Before I started blogging, I almost felt in the trap of “make money blogging” niche. I was not really aware of what to write but I thought it could be a good start topic. After doing some research, I came to realize that instead of starting a blog in the make money online niche that you know nothing about, it’s better to start in something you are passionate about and that’s why I chosed to blog on Love and relationships. Thanks so much for this great article, I enjoyed every bid of it.

  • Abel Ligas

    main purpose that i write blog is making money, but if i alway think that, i will very tired, so, i think that write as my favorite.

  • manisha

    Many People Earn on-line by numerous ways in which. it’s attainable to Earn cash on-line. however you have got to figure exhausting for it. There aren’t any straightforward shortcuts.

  • Muhammad

    Agree with the post Ali, I want to start writing article or blogs not for making money but of advertising my web applications or development skills through which I make money. Can you suggest what kind of topics should I start with as I am new writing blogs and dont want to waist time writing such blogs which neither gives you money nor good for advertising your site.

  • Ali Luke

    @Shawn — Spot on, as always. 🙂 It’s really important to have a niche that you know enough about to offer something useful to readers — and as you say, that doesn’t mean being an expert, but it does mean being able to answer basic questions!

    @Rahul — I’m certainly not saying you CAN’T write about making money online, just that it’s not a good topic to start out with. I agree on focusing on one topic and on relationships and readership is a great way to go.

  • Janice Smith

    Great post as always! I think people tend to get too cocky too quickly, and they think that they know everything and are in a position to preach to others. One of the things that working on the internet has taught me is that I am no where near to knowing everything! Yes, I can write blog posts about my trials and errors, but I am in no position to tell people exactly what moves to make with their careers.

  • Rahul Kuntala


    You can absolutely start a “make money blogging” blog (if you nichify your niche).

    There’s no way you can succeed in saturated niches like blogging, SEO, or even tech, health, PD (unless you’re focusing on a “laser-focused” topic).

    You can reap best rewards in the long run if you focus on just one or two categories, instead of writing about all the things from aff marketing to AdSense.

    Once you’ve loyal readership, you can then cover as many topics as you like.

    But when you’re just starting out, start small, focus on one or two topics to write about. Be consistent, build relationships with the peers, focus on readership instead of page views.

    And most of all, be consistent.

    You’re ready to rock n’ roll then!

    Great post as usual Ali 🙂

  • Kim Matheson

    Hi Luke great post. I totally agree that people shouldn’t start a blog on making money online. The reality of the IM industry is there are too many Marketers you make out that running an Online Business can be done on auto pilot and pull in a lot people on false promises. I do not believe in get rich programs or schemes. Learning to start an Internet Business is a skill and it is one that can be taught. I spent a total of 2 years before I dived in with my Online Business and that was only recently after selling my offline Business. A profession I had been in for over 30 years. Cheers Kim 🙂

  • Nabil

    Many internet marketing seekers believe that the process is so simple as pressing some keyboard keys and as i think this is one of the main reasons that many of internet marketers do not achieve great success

  • Andrew M. Warner (@ Shadeofinfo)

    Really good post. I would be one of those people that’s in the make money niche, however, I was never talking about making money online. All of the money I’ve made was offline and I was trying to provide quality information on that for those that wanted to or was interested in making money. And I was doing that by trying to sell my own products of the various business opportunities I’ve done offline.

    Unfortunately for me, my first mistake was trying to sell something instead of building a list first. This happened less than a year ago and I’ve since made those changes. Now my focus on my blog is really about starting a business and being successful in business. As well as providing business advice and money making strategies.

    The money making niche is a very tough one because everyone THINKS they can do it and you’re right when they see John Chow and others talk constantly about it.

    There are plenty of topics out there to choose from and future blogs I come out with, will NOT be focused on the money making niche. However, I understand why some people choose to do it. It’s one of the few niches that’ll be around 50 – 100 years from now.

    Everyone wants to know how to make money.

  • Shawn Gossman

    Great post Ali!

    I have had a lot of people ask me how to make a blog about making money online. My first question is “How do you make money online” and the common response is “I don’t know yet!” LOL. I think before you go off making any kind of niche blog, you need to learn more about the topic otherwise keeping it active will probably be an overwhelming chore. You don’t have to be an expert of course but you should towards becoming one through experience and learning over the life on your blog. 🙂

  • Srihari Thalla

    Disagree with you? You must be kidding, lol.

    It’s a fact that many newbies come online to make some cash. Of which some take up the “make money online” niche, yet this is their first attempt to make money online.

    Realising the fact that they aren’t making any cent, they give up on the blogging thing (most cases).

    In my case, I set up a domain in this niche. Unfortunately, I have no idea of what to do here. All I did is just stop thinking about it. And probably when I know something, I would resume it.

    Yet, there is another side. People come online, set up a blog “to make money” – blog could be of their interest and hobby. They sign up for an ad network, place the ad code in the blog – and look for the money to flow in.

    How wierd? Without any content, how can we expect visitors? And in turn revenue?

    My friend did the same. Posted some generic stuff. He never cared to learn about the next steps like SEO which a newbie must learn. I told him several times to go further and learn SEO and check out what others are writing.

    Guess what? He is now uninterested of the entire blogging industry!!!
    And for his sake, I still kept his blog on my server.

    Concluding, one must know that apples don’t fall instantly. Seed must be grown to a tree if you want the fruit.

    It’s almost 10 PM here, Good Night Luke.


  • Muzammil Shaikh

    A helpfull post for those emrging in the blog-sphere.
    One-thing I must be including that Make-money blog may not be covering merely this wide topic. It may be subjected by a sub-heading of Make-Money-Blog. Such as: PTC earning, PPC, Affilliate Marketing or any other ground of it. There are various people with good experience of “one” of these branches of the niche “Earning Online”. Moreover, there are various people who are trying to find/discover/invent and accumulate ways of Making a living online, although they have not done good what they intended i.e. they failed. They may be writing and publishing they steps [not to take] that led an individual blogger to failure. So writing failures may also be a part of Make-Money blogging.

    Anyway, A positive post Ali.

  • Gurjit Singh Khehra

    Hi Daniel,
    This is so true and to the point post. We have been watching so many new Bloggers entering into blogging business and just creating blogs on how to make money online.
    I never tried my luck in this (Make Money Online) niche, in fact, I am a tech Blogger. But still i find it too boring to write a new post.
    So, I think the interesting and engaging content is the main problem, as if one has no experience in a specific niche and also no interest, then he/she can’t write good posts and also can’t keep a good frequency.

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