How to Start a Personal Development Blog – A Step-by-Step Guide

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If you’re here, it’s likely, you have a passion for helping people to reach the highest potential they can, and you’re considering whether to start a blog that can help others with personal development advice. Blogging is a great way to build an audience and pass on a message (like personal development). In this article, I plan to share with you successful personal development blog examples, and step-by-step how to start a personal development blog.

What is a Personal Development Blog?

A personal development blog is a website with articles that help people to improve emotionally, socially, morally, mentally, physically or spiritually. The blog can speak on one topic within personal development, or it could be more eclectic, and speak oon multiple topics within personal development.

Is Personal Development a Niche?

Personal development isn’t a niche per se. Instead, it’s an industry with several niches within it.

A niche should identify a specific group, interest, or aspiration of people, and it should easily fill in the blank when asked, “What solution do you offer your visitors?”.

In the case of personal development, it consist of many different audiences with varying approaches to self-improvement, and it’s formally considered as an industry. Unless you’re a large company or influencer like Toni Robbins (with lots of employees and ad budget to take market share in the personal development industry), then it’s best to start with a hyper targeted audience and expand your circle of influence from there.

You can choose a personal development sub-niche, and build sub-niches on top of each other until you’ve grown a more broad and successful blog.

Other Names for Personal Development Blogs

  • Lifestyle Blog
  • Influencer Blog
  • Self-Help Blog
  • Career Development Blog
  • Multi-Niche Blog

Successful Personal Development and Lifestyle Blog Examples

If you’re considering whether to start a personal development and lifestyle blog, you might also want to know that there are successful sites in the niche. Here are a few personal development and lifestyle blog examples…

ChasingFoxes.com – $19,889.04 in August 2017

Chasing Foxes is a lifestyle blog founded in 2015 that talks about family, fitness, finance, food, blogging, and travel. This blog was started by Silas and Grace to help them get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck rut they were in when they were living off of an income he’d earned in his corporate job. After 3 months of blogging, they’d replaced their income ($3000/mo) and began traveling and blogging at the same time. In August of 2017, their income broke down like this:

Income Streams:

  • Mediavine: $14,990
  • Bluehost: $4680.00
  • Amazon Affiliates: $202
  • Convertkit: $17.04
  • Total: $19,889.04

A key to their success is they worked very hard, they have a very high traffic website. $14,000+ in display ads isn’t attainable without hundreds of thousands of website visitors to your site. They attract most of their visitors from Pinterest and SEO. You can see the full income report here.

Addicted2Success.com – $4.6M/Yr

Addicted2success.com was founded in 2011 by Joel Brown. The site talks about personal finance, business startups, making money online, quotes, entrepreneur case studies, and self-help advice. It’s said that the site has 44 employees at the time of this writing, and the site makes money from digital products, display ads, affiliate marketing, live events, and coaching.

Like Chasing Foxes, a major key to success at addicted2success.com is producing lots of content, having a lot of visitors coming to the website and relevant products and services to offer. You can see the full income details here.

MarieForleo.com – Multi-Million Dollar Company

Marie Forleo is a highly sought after speaker, life coach, and media personality. She started her business as a solopreneur, and since, has grown a team of media professionals.

She says it took her more than 6 years to make a full-time income, but when she figured it all out. She figured. it. out. Now, he business earns over 1 million per year and makes money selling her well-known course B-School, teaching copywriting, offering live events, speaking live, advertising, and with affiliate marketing. You can see more details here.

The Successful Sites vs. A Brand New Startup

These successful personal development blog examples are astonishing, and most startup personal development bloggers would love to have sites that look like any of these three. Sites like Chasing Foxes (that make their full-time incomes in less than one year) are anomalies.

Many startup bloggers look at anomaly examples (like Chasing Foxes) and go into blogging with an instant gratification mindset as a result. While anomalies are possible, it’s always best to think conservatively, and to have a long-term mentality when getting into business (regardless of which type).

The three personal development blogs I shared don’t represent the typical results personal development bloggers make. In fact, most bloggers make less than $20,000/yr in their first two years of blogging. They start out investing in things like hosting, domain registration, education, accounting, legal, and software. Most blogs don’t break even in their first year and they may not break even on their investment until they pass year two.

In order to expedite the growth of a blog, lower the amount of upfront investment, and ensure you can make sales, it’s important to focus on a niche within personal development and expand from there. I’ll also give you other tips that can help set you up for success in my step-by-step tips on how to start a personal development blog.

How to Start a Personal Development Blog – Step-by-Step

After reviewing several personal development blogs, and watching others who succeed in the niche, these are the steps I recommend for starting a personal development blog that makes money…

1. Choose a Niche

Most internet users aren’t picking up their phones or typing into their browsers “personal development”, then making a purchase. Instead, they might look for something like “how to deal with losing a loved one” or “how to do well on a job interview” and this query can lead them to a product or service they may buy.

Remember, you’re blogging to help people and to make money. If you choose to blog on topics that aren’t in demand, aren’t packaged in terms people recognize, or don’t provide a product or service solution, it’s possible, you could:

  • Not get attention of people off of your website (on social media, in searches, etc.)
  • Not attract people to your website
  • And, you could not make money

Should you Start a Blog in a Broad Niche?

Instead of focusing on broad topics or a full industry of problems, it’s important to choose an audience within personal development, and commit to helping them solve a problem. When you start seeing traction there, you can move onto other things until you have multiple sub-niches who get solutions on your website.

Over time, after you have more than one sub-niche working, it may look like you’re blogging in a broad niche. As long as you have a clear understanding of who your target audience is, and a clear customer journey that escorts them from problem to a product or service solution, you’ll be able to start a blog and make money.

The Exception to the Rule

Some blogs focus mostly on building high traffic sites and earning money thru ad revenue. Premium ad networks like MediaVine and AdThrive are paying publishers reasonably well.

Some niches like fashion, motherhood, home decor, homeschool, survival, cooking, crafts, and women-focused niches see lots of success on Pinterest–this is where Chasing Foxes saw their quick traffic growth. Niche sites that target Pinterests’ highest interest areas, can see hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors from Pinterest.

Even if your plan is to build a blog that generates high income from high traffic and ad revenue, it’s still a good idea to diversify: build traffic on more than one channel and build alternative income streams (like affiliate marketing).

Personal Development and Lifestyle Niche Examples

There are many different niches within personal development. You may need to go even deeper into a sub-niche to see good results, but here are a few sub-niches you can consider:

  • Building Career Skills
  • Education (math, science, history, literature, etc.)
  • Character Development
  • Morals
  • Ethics
  • Manners
  • Building Communication Skills
  • Improving reading
  • Improving diversity and Racial acceptance
  • Relationship advice
  • Parenting
  • Marriage
  • Dating
  • Overcoming addictions
  • Goal Setting
  • Time Management
  • Habit formation
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Morning Routines
  • Night time routines
  • Quotes
  • Net Worth
  • Personal Finance
  • Improving Memory
  • Spirituality
  • Christian Lifestyle
  • Meditation
  • Angel Reading
  • Tarot Reading
  • Sun Signs
  • Personality Disorders
  • Coping Skills
  • Overcoming Abuse
  • Building Focus
  • Cleaning and Organization
  • Home Management
  • Building Self-Discipline
  • Minimalism
  • Survival
  • Fitness
  • Exercise
  • Mental Health
  • Self Care

2. Build a Website

Once you’ve chosen a niche, then you want to build your website. Your website is going to be like your digital storefront where your visitors can get personal development advice. Below is a WordPress website builder you can use to see how easy it can be to build a website. Check it out.

3. Monetize the Website

As a personal development blogger, you’re a small business owner. No small business can thrive without products and services, so it’s important for you to choose what products and services you’ll be selling on your website.

You can sell products and services even without making them! In fact, I recommend you start out selling other people’s products and services because you can sell what’s already working, whereas, with your own products and services, you’d have to spend time on product development and testing.

Even before you can make money with ads, you could be making money with other income sources.

How do Personal Development Bloggers Make Money?

Most successful personal development blogs have multiple streams of income. They may start with one primary income source and build onto that. Some common income sources are:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Ad revenue
  • Brand Sponsorships
  • Digital products
  • Physical products
  • Services
  • Webinars
  • Live events
  • Coaching or Consulting
  • Other services (life coaching, mental health therapy, counseling, etc.)

Personal Development and Lifestyle Affiliate Programs

Affiliate marketing can earn a very lucrative income (as we can see in some of the examples above). You can earn commissions from referring people to products and services that can help them. Companies usually pay anywhere from 1% in commissions to 75%, so you can earn an income from affiliate marketing that’s equal or even higher than if you made your own products.

Some affiliate programs that could work very well on a Personal Development website includes:

  • Wealthy Affiliate – 40% Lifetime recurring commission
  • Udemy – Career Skills, Spirituality, and Entrepreneurship courses – 16% commission
  • Time Doctor – Time management and Productivity Software – 30% Lifetime recurring commission
  • Flexoffers – An Affiliate Network with 12,000+ affiliate networks to choose from

Personal Development and Lifestyle Digital Product Ideas

In addition to affiliate marketing, digital products are another way many personal development blogs monetize their website. After you’ve built an audience, creating your own products could be a great option.

  • Habit trackers
  • Planners
  • Printables
  • Binders
  • Online courses
  • Webinars and replays
  • Online seminars
  • Membership communities
  • Forum access

4. Create Content

When entering “site:chasingfoxes.com”, “site:addicted2success.com”, or “site:marieforleo.com”, these sites each have thousands of indexed domains–this means these sites have lots of content. If you want to see success like they have, it’s important that you roll up your sleeves, and get ready to create high-quality content on a consistent basis.

The most successful personal development blogs have people who rely on them to publish content on a regular basis. Marie Forleo is a great example. She publishes every Tuesday, so her fans know to stop by her website for new content on Tuesdays.

Maybe you’re not as regimented, but still, a blogger’s constant service (aside from anything else they might offer) is to create content, so this is something you want to keep in mind. Bloggers blog like cold callers call, or door-to-door salesmen knock on doors: it’s not a one-time or two-time thing, it’s a recurring habit. Download my free editorial calendar template to manage your content management tasks here.

5. Set up Social Media Accounts

The most successful personal development blogs have traffic coming from multiple directions. They may have grown a sizeable social following on more than one platform, they have a large email list, and they optimize their content so it’s easy for search engines to understand it.

While many new bloggers are tempted to emulate this by jumping onto every platform at once, I recommend focusing on search engine optimization first, then moving on to focus on getting results on one platform-at-a-time. Since personal development has so many niches that get lots of referral traffic from Pinterest or Youtube, then I’d recommend that once you’ve mastered building content on your website, you move onto master creating awesome pins or videos that drive traffic.

6. Get Traffic

Once you have content being published on your website that’s optimized well for search engines, and content going out on social media, you should start seeing visitors coming to your website–this is organic traffic. In addition to organic traffic, you should also start seeing earned traffic that comes from people sharing your content with others. When you want to scale, and have even more traffic coming to your website, you can pay for traffic: display ads, pay-per-click ads, video ads, and more.

When you have organic traffic, earned traffic, and paid traffic, then you’ll have a steady flow of website visitors, and that leads to #7…making money.

7. Make Money

When visitors come to your website, get good advice and their questions answered, and buy products and services recommended on your site, you’ll be making money–this process is repeatable and scalable. When you add useful products and services, more content, and more traffic, you’ll be able to scale your blogging income incrementally.

Conclusion

Starting a personal development blog can be a way to help lots of people with advice on how to improve their lives. If this is something you want to do, don’t hesitate. You can use the website builder above to create a free website (even without entering billing information). That website can be transferred over to a custom domain name at any point.

There’s really no reason not to get started.

If you have anymore questions about how to start a personal development blog, leave them in the comments section below. For more free training (WordPress setup tips, blog monetization advice, and more) to help you grow your personal development blog, join me here.

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