If you are new to the internet and wondering what an earth this blogging craze is all about, or if you already have your own website and you’re wondering why everyone keeps advising you to start your own blog, read on. I’m going to explain to you what a blog is, why you need one, how to set it up, promote it and of course, make money from it.
Blog is short for “web log” and is similar to an online diary or journal. The craze of blogging began in the very late 1990s and has started to become more and more popular over the last couple of years. Almost everyone seems to have a blog these days, from CEOs of large companies to webmasters, from world travelers to teenagers. Even my Dad has his own blog now! A blog allows you to communicate informally with people via an online journal, but it’s more personal and unstructured than a website and easier and cheaper to set up than a website.
If you have your own website, but haven’t yet started a blog you can easily start one using a free service such as Blogger or WordPress. Try to post to your blog at least once or twice a week on topics related to your website. Blogging will help your search engine rankings and open up the communication channels between you and your visitors or customers, encouraging them to interact with you and give them a reason to return to your site in future.
If you don’t have your own website and are looking to set up a blog quickly and easily I recommend opening a free account with Blogger. You can blog about anything you like, for example a hobby, a vacation, your home town, something political, a sport or your business. Just be sure to pick something that you are interested in and knowledgeable about. You can host your blog for free on Blogspot – all you need to do is pick a name that is relevant to the topic of your blog. Once you have set up your profile and chosen a template, blogging is as simple as sending an email to a friend.
There are many ways to make money from your blog, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
– Google Adsense – this is free to join and easy to set up. The ads will match the content of your blog and you will get paid every time a visitor clicks on an ad.
– Affiliate Programs – sign up for affiliate programs related to the topic of your blog and display links to related products on your blog. Clickbank, Trade Doubler and Commission Junction are good places to start, or do a Google search for “affiliate program” + the topic of your blog to find more affiliate programs. Whenever someone clicks through your affiliate link and buys a product, you will receive a commission. If you are knowledgeable about your topic you could also write product reviews to help increase your affiliate sales.
– Sell Advertising Space – if you have a popular blog you can charge people to advertise on your blog. This could be in the form of a text link, a banner or a graphic.
You are not going to make money with a blog unless people can find it. As soon as you have started to post to your blog it’s time to start promoting it. You can get your blog noticed by…
– Submitting your blog to blog directories – just search for “blog directories” in Google
– Asking other bloggers to exchange links with you – you put a link on your blog in exchange for a link from their blog.
– Writing an article related to the topic of your blog and posting it to article directories. Remember to include an author’s resource box with a link to your blog.
– Pinging blog ping services every time you make a new post – pingomatic.com and pingoat.com are two sites you can use to do this.
– Participating in forums related to the topic of your blog. Put a link to your blog in your forum signature.
Finally, once you have your blog monetized and you have started promoting it don’t forget to post regularly. The most important aspect of every successful blog is frequent posting, so be sure not to let the virtual dust gather over your blog!