If you host your own blog, you’ll need to know about taxes, finding a topic, how to outsource and how to find a niche that’s not too competitive.

Here’s a quick list of what new bloggers need to know to get a fast, profitable start:

Do Research to Find Profitable Niches

There’s a ton of competition in the blogosphere, so you need to know what niches are crowded, vacant, and just right. A little research will yield quick relevant results. The landscape changes from day to day, but there are some highly dense subject niches where you’ll be fighting against major players who have very thick wallets. A couple of examples include vitamins, health foods and sexual energy remedies. Unless you have a massive mailing list and lots of experience in those fields, shop for a less competitive blogging topic.

Blog About Something You Already Know

The solution to the most common question is to blog about something you already have experience with. It doesn’t mean you have to be a licensed accountant to blog on taxes, but you should have at least worked as a tax preparer or taken a few college-level courses in the field before starting a blog on the subject. The point is that everyone is good at something, or actually at several things.

Find your two, three or four fields of expertise and choose one that lends itself to writing. For example, if you have been an amateur sports statistician for years, you could venture into the handicapping arena. If knife collecting is your cup of tea, take a stab at starting a blog on reviewing high-end knives. Most people experiment for a while before deciding on a specific topic, so don’t be afraid to try a few different ideas before landing on the ideal subject.

Outsource Jobs You Don’t Want to Do

If web design and photography aren’t in your skill set, find someone who will do the work for you. Sites like Fiverr are a good place to start. The key to successful blogging is focusing on what you are good at. If writing is your strong point, pay someone else to do the photos, design and shopping cart setup.

File Your Taxes the Right Way

If you make money as an online writer and host of your own subject-matter website, you’ll need to know how to do your taxes if you are self-employed. In the vast majority of cases, it makes sense to file as a sole proprietor on what the IRS calls a Schedule C. That’s a short form for business owners where you can list all your income from the job and all the expenses. Don’t forget to keep records of what you spend on your new venture. Did you have to buy a new laptop, pay to download some special apps, hire a web designer to create a nice-looking landing page? All those expenses will be subtracted from your income to arrive at a net income amount for your new business. 

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