So you’ve discovered the world of online publishing and are interested in getting in on the racket.
It’s a fun biz with unlimited earning potential, but it’s not as easy as it may seem.
A good starting point is getting an understanding about the different types of blogs you can publish.
The thing is, there are many ways to classify a blog as you’ll see below.
This article focuses on categorizing by audience and style. However, below I also set out links to extensive articles on blog type by monetization and of course niche ideas (aka blog topic ideas).
What’s the best approach to choosing a blog type to publish?
There are a variety of approaches. You can go by interest, experience, expertise, knowledge or blatantly go for the money. Yes, some types of blogs are more lucrative than others.
My approach is a hybrid of interest and commercial viability. If I’m both interested in the niche and it’s potentially lucrative, I’m interested.
Fortunately for me, I’m interested in quite a few things which is fodder for a good number of niche sites. I like business (marketing), lifestyle and tech topics so those are sectors I’m in.
Table of Contents
Related: 40 types of blog articles
One way to distinguish blog types is by audience types. Below are your general audience categories.
A B2B blog is one that serves a business owner audience. It could be entrepreneurs or a more specific industry such as restaurant owners.
These blogs usually are business advice sites, but not always. It could be marketing ideas for restaurant owners. But they could be industry in general websites such as all kinds of information about the state of the restaurant industry. Or it could be more focused such as a restaurant equipment blog.
The big pro behind these types of sites is that they have an audience willing to spend a lot of money if it’ll help their business. Shelling out $997 for a great course or consulting fees is nothing for business owners since a single tip could mean tens or hundreds of thousands in revenue.
Or, business owners are prone to paying for expensive services such as SEO services, website design, content services, etc.
The downside is the audience isn’t very big. There are fewer restaurant owners than people who like dogs or want to lose weight.
A common example is any blog attached to an agency that sells SEO services.
A B2C blog is one that serves a general consumer audience as opposed to business owners. While business owners may be the audience, it’s not in their capacity as a business owner but instead have a personal interest in the topic (separate from their business).
Most sites serve a B2C audience.
Examples include weight loss, relationships, personal finance, gardening, etc.
Another audience distinction is one where the audience has a common interest. Hobbies are common interest blogs where most readers are interested in a particular hobby, sport or pastime.
These can be great audiences because they usually have an ongoing interest in the topic and therefore you can build up a loyal audience.
Another type of audience is one that has a common problem that they want solved. Think weight loss, get out of debt, legal issues, etc.
These types of sites can be very lucrative because people who want to solve a problem are often will to throw money at it. However, building an audience may be more difficult because once your audience members’ problems are solved, they likely lose interest in the topic. That said, solving the problem may often take a long time so people may be loyal for some time.
Sometimes the lines are blurred between common interest and problem. For example, a beauty blog may serve people wanting to get rid of acne but also serve people who merely have an ongoing interest in various beauty tips.
Likewise, a fishkeeping blog may offer solutions to desperate problems for other people who have an aquarium.
And yet another audience distinction is global vs. local. Some sites (most) serve a global audience in that the information is not geographically focused. Take any run of the mill niche site for example.
Local blogs typically serve a local audience. They may be attached to a local business or be a local online news source that focuses on local issues. While there are a good number of local sites in most cities, there are far fewer local-centric blogs than global centric blogs.
By Style (Point of View)
Every aspiring blogger needs to choose a style. Your options boil down to the following four:
A purely personal blog is one with a domain that is your name, titled after your name and written in the first person. It’s the publisher’s perspective, opinions and expertise that’s relayed throughout. While guest contributions are okay, the bulk of the site should be reflective of the person behind it.
Personal content is relatable. People enjoy a personal take, spin and approach to content if it’s good.
Great for building a loyal audience. If you write in a way that resonates with an audience, you can quickly build a loyal following who will visit over and over. I believe this is easier done with a personal blog than a corporate blog.
Spans many niches. You can take the personal approach in any niche really. If you’re a car expert, you can build a brand around your name writing about cars. Same with recipes, business ideas, fitness, pets, etc.
It’s hard to scale. Your audience expects your voice, opinions and expertise. If you decide to ramp up and hire writers, you’ll dilute the personable aspect.
Possibly more difficult to sell for top dollar. I’m not sure this is true, but it could be. Potential buyers may be more reluctant trying to replicate and grow the success of a brand that is deeply personal.
The other form is a corporate name such as fatstacksblog.com but is largely the voice of the owner. Fatstacksblog is such an example since I write the lion’s the share of the content. It’s mostly me at the helm.
This type enjoys many of the benefits of a purely personal blog but suffers less the sale value issue since it has a corporate name. Of course, if I sold fatstacksblog.com the content would change, but a buyer can conceivably take it over and do their best to continue serving the audience more easily than buying a blog named after a person.
A professional personal blog can take two forms. One is a site named after a person but evolves into a more corporate site with hire writers. An example is DaveRamsey.com.
While going corporate content-wise can dilute the authenticity of the person behind it, by going this route, you can scale to dizzying heights like Dave Ramsey.
A corporate blog doesn’t mean it’s a blog run by a mammoth corporation (although it includes this). Instead, what I mean is a blog with a no single person’s voice behind it. It’s more like a publication with one or multiple writers writing under the blog’s mast.
It can include editorial columns as well as anonymous writers – all of whom write under the site’s banner.
Examples include Forbes.com and TheRichest.com.
A user-generated blog is one where the content is generated by its users. If you gain traction with such a site, it can explode on popularity and in search as it becomes a community of loyal readers.
Examples include Reddit, Quora and any forum.
By Monetization Strategy
Most websites focus on one or two monetization strategies. They may deploy additional monetization options, but they’re usually incremental.
One way to categorize a blog or website is via monetization strategies.
Rather than regurgitate your options check out my extensive article setting out 47 ways to monetize a website.
By Vertical (aka Niche)
I suspect what some people mean when looking for “types of blogs” is they are looking for niche options for a niche site or blog.
Again, to avoid regurgitation of what is a huge article, check out my niche ideas articles.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.