Starting a coffee blog is a great idea. Not only does coffee taste good, but the coffee niche makes a lot of sense from a business perspective as well. The competition is reasonable, and the profit potential is significant.
To start a coffee blog, you need to decide how you will position your coffee blog, develop a content and traffic strategy, develop a monetization strategy, and, finally, set up the technical end of your coffee blog.
Note that I listed the technical side as the last step. It’s the most straightforward step of the process, and I will show you how to do it. But before you jump in, you’ll need to take some time and figure out your game plan. Having the wrong strategy (or worse, no strategy at all) can lead you to waste months on your blog without getting any traffic or income in return.
To make sure your coffee blog becomes a success, let’s first focus on your coffee blog strategy:
1. Position Your Coffee Blog
First, let’s take a look at how you can fit your coffee blog in the market. For that, you need to gain a basic understanding of the market for coffee blogs. Then you can define your target audience, and from there go on to develop your content and traffic strategy.
Understand the Market – Basic Market Overview & Competitive Analysis
When analyzing the competitive landscape of any blog niche, I always check the following questions:
- Is there a steady or growing interest in the topic?
- Is the interest coming from profitable regions, such as the United States? Traffic coming from the United States is much easier to monetize than traffic from, for example, India.
- Are there big blogs in the niche? If there are big blogs, it means that the niche has traffic and profit potential.
- Are there also smaller blogs that rank for relevant key phrases? If there are, that means that small blogs can rank on Google, and you won’t hit a wall of massive authority sites that you can’t break through.
The coffee blog niche checks positive on all accounts, which is excellent news for anyone who wants to start a coffee blog. But let’s look at the criteria one by one:
Steadily Growing Interest in Coffee
Google Trends shows us that interest around the search term “coffee” has steadily been growing over the past five years:
Interest Is Coming From Profitable Regions
The biggest interest regions are the US, Canada, and Australia. Blog traffic from these countries is highly profitable.
Both Big and Small Blogs Successfully Compete in Coffee Blogging
Below, you will find a selection of coffee blogs that successfully rank for a significant number of key phrases on Google.
Among them are both massive and rather small coffee blogs. I also made sure to include both blogs from the B2C and from the B2B space.
Beginner’s Guide to the Below Data:Ahrefs Domain Rating:
Ahrefs’ Domain Rating shows the link popularity of a website compared to all other sites in the world on a scale from 0 to 100. (source and more details: Ahrefs’ DR score explanation). While Ahrefs’ algorithm for calculating domain rating is not the same as Google’s algorithm for ranking web pages, domains with a high Ahrefs Domain Rating tend to have it easier to rank on Google.
The number of backlinks describes the number of times that other websites link to a blog. Multiple backlinks from within the same domain are all counted.
The number of linking websites describes the number of unique domains linking to a blog. Multiple backlinks from within the same domain are only counted as one linking website.
Number of pages indexed with Google:
This is not the number of blog posts: Google will index other pages as well, such as category pages, landing pages, about page, author pages etc. Depending on how the website is structured, the number of blog posts may be significantly lower. However, the number of pages Google has indexed can give you at least a ballpark number of how much content a blog has published.
Coffee Blogs for Coffee Consumers: (Data as of August 15, 2020)
|Ahrefs Domain Rating||75|
|Pages indexed with Google||21,900|
Sprudge is the Goliath of coffee blogs. They describe themselves as the world’s most popular coffee publication. With more than 6,000 websites linking to Sprudge and over 20,000 pages indexed with Google, that may well be true.
Sprudge publishes content for both coffee consumers and coffee industry professionals.
On the consumer side, they focus on coffee-related news and on city guides, where they recommend coffee shops in cities all over the world.
Sprudge is monetized with ads and job listings.
|Ahrefs Domain Rating||51|
|Pages indexed with Google||665|
The Coffee Channel helps coffee lovers brew better coffee. They publish articles on coffee gear, beans, roasting, and brewing, as well as coffee recipes.
They monetize their blog with affiliate links (“affiliate links” means that if you purchase coffee gear or beans via their links, they get paid a commission) and ads. The coffee channel uses the ad network Adthrive, which you can tell from the line “An Elite Cafemedia Lifestyle Publisher” at the bottom of the page. Since Adthrive requires ad least 100,000 pageviews to accept publishes into their network, Coffee Channel must have more than that.
Given their domain rank, the high quality of their articles, and the number of pages Google has indexed for their website, I would suspect that their traffic is even significantly higher.
|Ahrefs Domain Rating||36|
|Pages indexed with Google||305|
The Coffee Chronicler is run by Asser Christensen, a Danish journalist and coffee expert. Asser posts coffee gear reviews, brew guides, and interviews with coffee experts.
He monetizes with ads and affiliate links.
|Ahrefs Domain Rating||36|
|Pages indexed with Google||145|
Dripped Coffee is a classic affiliate-style website and focusses on articles that generate an affiliate income, like coffee gear and bean reviews. However, they do also have brewing guides and other articles.
Dripped Coffee currently monetizes only with affiliate links and does not run ads.
|Ahrefs Domain Rating||34|
|Pages indexed with Google||99|
MyFriendsCoffee provides information on coffee beans, brewing methods, and brewing equipment. In addition, they post recipes and coffee brand reviews.
Like Dripped Coffee, MyFriendsCoffee monetizes only with affiliate links.
Coffee Blogs for Coffee Businesses Professionals: (Data as of August 15, 2020)
|Ahrefs Domain Rating||75|
|Pages indexed with Google||21,900|
Sprudge turns up twice in this list because they have content for both consumers and coffee industry professionals. On the B2B side, they focus on coffee industry news. Sprudge also has a job board for coffee professionals.
Sprudge is monetized with ads and job listings.
|Ahrefs Domain Rating||74|
|Pages indexed with Google||15,900|
Daily Coffee News is a B2B blog for coffee professionals. Their territory is all things to do with the specialty coffee industry. Daily Coffee News posts news on topics like roasting, retail, bean origin, or the coffee market’s industrial side. They run an e-newsletter with more than 20,000 subscribers.
Daily Coffee News monetizes with ads.
|Ahrefs Domain Rating||64|
|Pages indexed with Google||1,210|
Barista Hustle publishes information for professional baristas and coffee shop owners. They monetize by selling online courses for that same target group.
|Ahrefs Domain Rating||0.1|
|Pages indexed with Google||81|
As you may have already guessed, Start My Coffee Shop provides information to people who want to set up a coffee shop. Shawn, the owner, monetizes the site by selling an online course, ebooks, a workbook, business plan templates, and startup documents.
Define Your Ideal Reader
Who are you writing for? Coffee lovers who want to learn to make the perfect cup at home? Coffee shop owners? Professional baristas?
But that’s just the beginning. You’ll be able to write better articles if you a very distinct person in mind whom you’re writing for. That’s why it can help to specify your ideal reader even further.
If she or he is a coffee enthusiast who wants to make better coffee at home: How old is she? Is she a single hipster, a busy mom? Does she live on a budget or like to invest in expensive coffee gear?
With a specific person in mind, you can make your blog posts more personal. Let me give you two examples:
- Be careful. This cold brew is so good that the question “Would you like to come in for a cup of coffee?” may make your date actually come in for a cup of coffee.
- This is the perfect coffee to lean back and enjoy a calm start of the day before the kids are up.
Both of these statements can make your blog much more personal and relatable, but they appeal to completely different audiences.
Of course, you can write to multiple target audiences. But you should be conscious about it and usually, and at least each individual blog post will have one clear target audience.
2. Develop Your Coffee Blog Content Strategy
Coffee Blog Content Ideas
Here’s a list of topic ideas for your coffee blog:
- Coffee brew guides
- Coffee gear reviews
- Information on and recommendation of various coffee beans
- General coffee knowledge (for example, how to taste coffee, how to store coffee, what is organic coffee, how to roast your own coffee, do coffee beans go bad?, how do I know if my coffee beans have gone bad?)
- Information on coffee regions, for example, a focus article on Latin-American Coffee beans, or African coffee beans
- Coffee recipes, such as coffee cocktails and different non-alcoholic coffee-drinks (double-vanilla pumpkin latte, coffee with lemon juice etc.)
- Tips on how to start and run a coffee shop
- Tips on the coffee production process
- Tips on selling coffee, or buying coffee for the purpose of reselling
Start With a Focus
In the beginning, you may be able to grow your blog more quickly if you focus on one topic. For example, you could begin by writing about making coffee with a French press.
You could create a French press brew guide, recommend coffee beans that are well suited for French press coffee, review various French presses, explain how to grind coffee for a French press and review different coffee grinders for how well suited they are to grind coffee for a French press.
This kind of focus will help you to be seen as an authority in the area of “French press coffee” making, both by Google and by your readers.
After you have covered the topic thoroughly, you can expand to the next one.
3. Develop a Traffic Generation Strategy
If you simply write about what you feel like writing and hope that visitors will come, your chances of getting any significant amount of blog traffic are slim. You need to have a plan for how you will get traffic to your coffee blog.
According to my research, the vast majority of blog traffic in the food and beverage niche is coming from Google and Pinterest. Google is responsible for 48 percent of traffic generation on average. Pinterest ranks second, with 28 percent.
That means there is a strong case to focus your traffic generation strategy on those two channels.
Getting Coffee Blog Traffic From Google
To improve the chances for your blog posts to rank on Google, you need to perform keyword research before you write your blog posts. If you have no clue what keyword research is and how to do it, don’t worry. I have written a super short and simple step-by-step beginner’s guide to google keyword research to get you started. It’s a 1-minute read, and you can start trying it out immediately.
To give you a head start, I’ve already done some initial coffee niche keyword research for you. Some basic observations:
Competition for Coffee Recipes Is Fierce
Most of the big food blogs publish coffee recipes as well, which means that you will be competing with the really big guys, plus the search market for recipes in general is saturated.
I would not plan to generate Google traffic from coffee drink recipes unless you come up with something truly exceptional, or after you already have an established coffee blog with a strong backlink profile.
Competition for Informational Queries Is Much Lower
For example, at the time of writing this article, the following key phrases have Google autocomplete and no or weak competition (if you don’t know what Google autocomplete is and why it is relevant, you will find that info in my beginners guide to keyword research):
- Best espresso beans for latte
- How to store cold brew coffee
- Automatic pour over coffee maker
Even Searches With Buying Intent Can Have Low Competition
As you can see from the above examples, even competition for queries with buying intent such as “best espresso beans for latte” or “automatic pour over coffee maker” have weak competition in the Google results. Just make sure to niche down sufficiently with your queries.
Getting Coffee Blog Traffic From Pinterest
Pinterest is excellent if you can generate eye-catching visuals. Recipes do particularly well on Pinterest if you manage to create high-quality photos to show them off. In the early stages of your blog, you will find it much easier to get Pinterest traffic to your coffee recipes than Google traffic.
Instagram as a Traffic Source for Coffee Bloggers
You would think that Instagram, as a visual social medium, is also suitable for driving traffic to coffee recipes. However, while gaining a large following on Instagram is quite achievable, Instagram makes it hard to lead your followers over to your blog. That explains why my research shows that Instagram does not drive significant amount of traffic to blogs in the food and beverage niche.
However, Instagram can be helpful for networking with other coffee bloggers, influencers with large followings, or brands.
Many bloggers have large followings on Facebook. Alas, nowadays, most of your followers will never see your posts. Organic reach on Facebook is laughably low today, and the social network makes you pay good money if you want your own followers to actually read your content.
As a result, most bloggers do not focus much of their time on trying to generate traffic from Facebook anymore.
4. Develop a Monetization Strategy for Your Coffee Blog
You should always have monetization options in mind before you start a blog. That way, you not only make sure that profit can in fact be made, but you can also strategically design your content to align with your monetization plans.
Let’s look at monetization options for coffee blogs:
Running ads is the simplest way of making money. However, you will need substantial amounts of traffic to make ads worth your while.
The most profitable ad networks will accept your website only once you reach certain thresholds, such as 50,000 sessions or 100,000 pageviews per month.
You can, of course, earn an income with less, but it will probably only stay in the three-figure range. On the other hand, once you do get a lot of traffic, you can make four or even five-figures per month with ads alone.
If you would like to learn more about monetization with ads in the food and beverage blogging industry, check out the ad monetization section of my Ultimate Food Niche Guide.
Most of the smaller blogs in the coffee space make their money with affiliate marketing. That means you recommend products, and if your readers buy products via your link, you will earn a commission.
The coffee niche is well suited for affiliate marketing because people spend a lot of money on coffee beans and coffee equipment.
Some examples of good affiliate programs in the coffee niche:
- Lifeboost Coffee, a single-origin coffee company that advertises their coffee as being the healthiest on the planet, pays affiliates 30$ per sale. You can find their affiliate program here.
- The Koa Coffee affiliate program pays a 10%-20% commission. Koa Coffee sells hand-harvested coffee beans from the Kona region in Hawaii. Kona coffee is among the most expensive coffees in the world, so a 10%-20% commission can be quite lovely.
- Gourmesso’s affiliate program pays a whopping 20% per sale. Gourmesso sells coffee capsules that are compatible with Nespresso machines. They also offer compostable capsules.
- For coffee equipment, you could, for example, use Prima’s affiliate program. Prima is a specialty coffee equipment supplier based out of Louisville, Kentucky. Unfortunately, they do not publish their commission rates.
- Another option for coffee gear is the Amazon affiliate program. Amazon has recently slashed its affiliate rates but converts well and is a convenient choice, especially for coffee gear. Amazon’s kitchen category currently pays a 4.5% commission rate.
Information products take a lot of work to create but can be extremely profitable. In the coffee blog niche, information products usually seem to be targeted at coffee professionals.
- Barista Hustle sells online courses for baristas
- Start my Coffee Shop sells ebooks, courses, and documents that help entrepreneurs to start a coffee shop.
Physical Coffee Products
You could, of course, also sell physical products such as coffee beans or coffee equipment.
5. Set up the Technical End of Your Coffee Blog
After you got your strategy down, let’s look at some of the more technical steps you’ll need to take when starting your coffee blog.
Don’t worry. It’s not complicated.
Summary of the Technical Steps Required to Start a Coffee Blog
- Select and register your domain name
- Sign up with a web host
- Install WordPress
- Choose a theme
- Start blogging
Let’s look at these one by one:
Select and Register Your Domain Name
First, you will need to think of a domain under which you would like your blog to be found.
Some things to pay attention to:
- If you blog in English, you should get a .com domain.
- Your domain name should not contain any trademarks. For example, you should not include the name of a coffee brand in your domain. Else, you may hear from their lawyers.
- Your domain name should not be too specific. You may want to decide to only blog about cold brewing in the beginning, but if your blog succeeds, you will probably want to expand into other coffee topics later on. Keep that option open by choosing a broader domain name.
To check if your domain name is still available, go to namecheap and just enter the name into the search bar. If the domain is still available, you can register it with namecheap as well (or with many other providers, but namecheap is a well-known and cost-effective option).
Find a Web Host
A web host provides the computer that your blog lives on and connects that computer to the internet. I recommend Bluehost if you want a cheap option and WPX if you want a premium option. If you would like to read more details about why I recommend these two and what the differences are, check out my article on hosting recommendations.
Mercifully, you no longer need to be a tech wizard to create a website. You can simply use a blogging platform like WordPress and a pre-formed template to go with it. No coding necessary.
In fact, you should use WordPress as a platform for your coffee blog. If you have doubts about this, please read my article on why you should use WordPress for your website.
Both BlueHost and WPX Hosting offer 1-click-installs for WordPress. You just go into your host’s control panel, click the WordPress (or “WP”) install button, and you’re done.
Choose and Install a Theme
There are thousands of pre-formed templates, or themes, for WordPress. A theme is essentially a ready-made layout designed to simplify the process of creating a website. All you have to do is choose the one that speaks to you and start customizing it with your content.
I recommend the Genesis theme by Studiopress. Genesis is a hugely popular theme framework with all the benefits which come with that (security, support, choice of designs, updates), but in contrast to other popular solutions (such as Divi) is doesn’t lock you into a propriety system that you can’t get out of. Genesis is also what this website uses.
You can read more about why I recommend Genesis in this article.
Genesis employs a child-theme system. That means Genesis as a theme framework provides the functionality, and you can then choose a Genesis child-theme which determines the look of your website.
In my opinion, the following Genesis child-themes would fit a coffee blog especially well:
Designed for food and beverage blogs that focus on breakfast and brunch. Very well suited for a coffee blog.
Child-theme specifically designed for coffee shops.
One of the most popular Genesis child-themes, and is specifically designed for food-and-beverage blogs.
Another food blog child theme that suits a coffee blog excellently.
One of my personal favorites. Both clean and enticing at the same time.
Magazine style layout, suitable for a wide range of articles.
This theme is not specifically designed for a food and beverage blog, but the design can fit a certain type of coffee blog very well.
After you have purchased Genesis and your child-theme, you need to install first Genesis and then the child-theme. But don’t worry, all it takes are a few clicks. Just follow the steps Studiopress (the company behind Genesis) describes in their Beginner’s Guide to the Genesis Framework.
Now you’re all set up and ready to go! You’ve thought about the content, the traffic, the monetization, the technical parts, and now it’s time to get down to it and write. Have fun!