I'm an experienced online content creator with several streams of passive income from my writing. I'm here to share my secrets.
Money-making Ideas for Articles
This article is part of a series in which I offer my best answers to every writer's perpetual question: "What should I write about if I want to make money form my articles?"
In this guide I offer free money-making ideas for any writer, but especially for those on HubPages (for more about how to succeed on HubPages, see the list of related articles at the end of this piece).
The free topic ideas presented here are ones that I have used to build a successful library of articles. My online writing earns me five figures of passive income every year. I can't guarantee you the same outcome, but I CAN give you a description of of the kinds of ideas that have worked for me -- a list of free topic ideas that will get you started building your own library of profitable articles.
This article, and the one after it that offers another 13 great free topic ideas, focuses on one of the biggest mistakes I made, and that it seems most new online article writers make: topic choice. It’s too easy to get excited about a new idea, and run off to start writing before you do even the most basic homework. In other articles I discuss how to do your homework, but here I’m going to start at the beginning – topic choice.
This article presents my best advice for how to choose what to write about. I offer a brief discussion of each topic idea, in the hopes that you see my reasoning behind selecting these topics.
1. Home Repairs, Tips, and Hacks
Are you handy around the house? Do you know something about electrical wiring or plumbing? Have you ever dealt with solar panels, air conditioning, or general home remodeling? All of these topics are things people are searching online, and if you have a niche of experience or knowledge, it could make a great online article.
2. Gardening Expertise
Gardening topics, especially tomatoes and herbs, can provide you with good traffic. People search this topic intensely in the summer months, looking for someone with the experience and expertise they need. If you have specific experience with a particular area of gardening, and if you can communicate your knowledge clearly, you may find yourself with a very popular article.
Be sure to avoid common topics and focus on those things that you yourself have special knowledge or experience with.
As a scientist and successful businessman, I understand that no one has a monopoly on good ideas.
— Bill Foster
3. Lawn and Garden Pests
People always need help with how to identify and control garden pests: This is one of my most profitable niches. People search this topic often, and if you can avoid competing with exterminator services and big companies, you can write a very profitable online article. Think about things that the big companies either don’t deal with, or don’t know about.
4. Weeds and Pest Plants
Do you know how to identify and deal with weeds and poisonous plants? This is another great summer-time article topic – but don’t think you can just write it in the summer! I write seasonal articles all year long. It takes months or years for traffic to build, so there’s no reason to write a summer article only in the summer.
5. Money-Saving Shopping Ideas
If there's one topic that people are always searching for, it's new ways to save money on shopping and other living expenses. You are probably a good candidate to write this kind of article -- If you’r writing online articles for profit, then you are almost certainly frugal. Put that experience and knowledge to work by writing articles that guide other people as they try to save money. Just be specific and, as always, write about what you know.
6. Naturally Smart Article Topics
Do you know how to identify songbirds and other animals? People are often looking to identify the animal they just saw. If you have some expertise, then they will listen to you! There are many niches available here. Every kind of animal has its own fan club, from salamanders to butterflies to hummingbirds. Maybe you can find a good niche and write a great, informative online article that will earn money.
7. Original Recipes
Recipes are seldom money-making articles, but if you put together a library of recipes that is large, authoritative, and usable by a wide range of people, you can generate a nice little stream of income from your articles. As with many of these topics, your best bet is to find specific things that you know how to make or do -- communicate clearly, and online readers will appreciate your expertise.
There are many good ideas out there that never get an audience.
— Steve Jurvetson
8. Gaming Review and Shortcuts
Gaming reviews and shortcuts are a very specific niche that you might be able to fill. I myself know nothing about this topic, but I do know that there are hundreds of millions of searches about video and computer games every day. If you have specific knowledge that other people don’t have but want, then you may be able to generate serious traffic for your gaming articles.
9. Movie and Music Reviews
Movie and music reviews are fun to write, but be aware that there is a lot of competition out there. You need to be an exceptionally good writer with your own voice, and you have to know how to write a useful review that doesn’t just recount the plot. And for heaven’s sake, don’t give away the ending! It’s amazing how many online movie reviewers don’t know, or don’t care, haw irritating it is to pop a big fat spoiler in the middle of a review.
An Effective Review of a Musical Instrument
10. Musical Instruments
Musical instrument advice and reviews: I have had some success with this topic, but I have also written what I think are great articles that get almost no traffic. It’s hard to predict what people are searching for, and the competition, especially for musical instrument sales, is fierce. This is one topic where first-hand experience counts for a lot, so if there’s a guitar or set of drums that you play and can critique in detail, it just might make a profitable online article.
11. Style and Fashion
I have several articles that have style and fashion advice for older men, and some of them do quite well. If you are fashion-conscious and are able to express and support opinions about style, then this may be a good fit for you. Competition is generally low, especially for specific items like ties, socks, and even shoes. As with many topics, the best thing you have to offer is your own personal experience.
12. High-End Accessories; Watches and Others
Another style-oriented topic. There are many niches and sub-topics here, as there are with many of these topics. You can focus on one kind of wrist-watch, for example, or a brand and its products through history. This is a good topic for the right person.
Most fitness topics are pretty much saturated already, which means that everyone and their brother has written on fitness topics and published fitness articles online. Google got so tired of all the hucksters and dubious “authorities” out there that it has severely cut back on the sites that it will show people searching fitness topics. But you can go ahead and try, especially if you have true authority or experience, and aren’t trying to sell a product or program. There’s a huge audience searching for fitness terms, if you can find a way to them.
14. Diet and Weight-Loss
See “Fitness topics” above. This topic is really saturated, and everything I said about fitness applies double to diet. HOWEVER there are billions of people searching for diet advice, so if you really are an authority or someone with a story to tell and not a diet plan to sell, you may get through Google’s defenses and rank pretty well. If you can do that, you’ll have a very good money-making online article on your hands.
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15. Science and Education
Nearly everyone is looking for cool and accurate information about the world around us. The HubPages niche site, Owlcation.com, is a great place to publish your well-researched articles about nature, science, and all things education.
The Next Move Is Yours!
The Money-Making Mindset
I truly wish someone had handed me this list when I was just starting out. In the Idea Bank you will find many ideas that will give you the boost you need when you’re feeling stuck. These are great ideas and topics that you can use right now to start writing. Not all of them will work all the time, and some will become more saturated over time, but this is a solid place to start. Use these ideas if you don’t have one of your own, or to come up with related ideas that you are uniquely qualified to write about.