A blog can be a lucrative source of profit and blogs are easy to set up and maintain. People dream of being paid to write on stuff that interests them, whenever they want, wherever they are. The mere flexibility makes it easy for you to just kick back, relax and go on a vacation whenever you feel like it.
Let’s start blogging.
First, we need to obtain a blog. There are several options – host a blog on your own domain or get a free blog. For starters, let’s talk about the free blogs. There are a few blog hosts out there to choose from. Do some research and find which service you like the best. Blogger or WordPress are a couple of the more known blog sites. Blogger is owned by Google, so it will be detected on Google’s radar faster and you will be indexed faster. However, WordPress is better in the sense that it has more advanced features such as Trackbacks and Categories. You can also manage your sidebar links more efficiently (more about this later).Familiarize yourself by posting your first post on your blog and tinkering around with the options and templates.
Some common Internet words to keep in mind:
1) Permalink – Permalink stands for permanent link. This is a URL (uniform resource locator) that leads to an individual post that you make in your blog.
2) Trackback – When you post about someone else’s blog post elsewhere, your post will show up in their “trackback” section. This feature, however, is not available with a Blogger.com account.
3) Pinging – Blogging seems to be paired with pinging almost every time either one is mentioned nowadays. Pinging is actually the action where a certain aggregator is notified whenever your blog is updated. The aggregator will then show the newest post of your blog on their website. This is a useful way to gaining traffic, which we shall discuss later.
The type of content that is suitable is important for your blog in order to make it profitable. I want you to understand that there is no fixed scope that your blog should have. Meaning you can write about whatever you’re interested in.
A profitable blog and a non-profitable blog have a major difference; the way the blog is written. Would you prefer to read your university professor’s lecture notes or the latest novel by your favorite author?
You may prefer to read the novel because it appeals more to your interest. Or because it is not as mind-numbing as the lecture notes by your professor. However, the most important point is people like to read “light” stuff most of the time. You see, when people log on to your blog, they are not only looking for information. They are also looking for information they can obtain easily, and better still in a relaxed manner.
Add a human touch and a dash of personality.
Attract more visitors as well as to keep your current visitors coming back for more, you need to add a human touch to your blog posts. Just imagine you’re talking about a certain topic with your personal friend. An extra bonus for your readers would be a great sense of humor, so try to add funny comments in your articles where they are suitable.
Another important key point is to avoid addressing your reader as a plural unit. Never write as if you’re preparing a speech. Instead, write as if you’re having a conversation with a single person. This will make your visitor think of you more as a personal friend rather than a person of higher authority.
It is also very useful to establish your own personality through your words. Human beings are very curious creatures. Naturally your visitors would want to know as much about you as the information you’re offering them.
Having a distinctive personality in your blog will make a world’s difference. It separates your blog about gadgets and all the other blogs about gadgets out there. This is a lot like creating your own brand name. You want people to immediately remember your blog when they need to find out information about gadgets. Just like how people immediately think of McDonald’s for fast food or Nike for sportswear.
Blog Content Brainstorming
Blogs need to be regularly updated to maintain its readership. It’s an unavoidable fact. Hence, you must always find fresh topics to write about.
You should always write about a topic that you feel passionate about and are interested in. You’ve chosen to make blogging either part of your career, or a career because you want to escape a mundane job. Forcing yourself to write about something that you’re not interested in is as torturous as as your mundane job!
Another reason to write about something you’re passionate about is because your feelings and emotion shows through your writings! If you feel indifferent to a subject but still write about it just for the sake of it, readers will notice it. Remember the advice about writing with a personality? Forcing yourself to write will not establish a welcoming style at all.
Ready to start posting!
Start posting to your blog about your topic. Make it a habit to post at least once every day, even if it’s only a comment on the newspaper article you read. Think of yourself as a gigantic train. It takes a lot of effort to get you moving. First, you might just budge an inch, and later trudge slowly on until you finally reach your full speed. Then, it’ll take a lot of effort to stop you instead!
However, no matter how well you know your topic, your brain is bound to get exhausted over some time. Here are some methods to brainstorm for content for your blog:
1) Best way to brainstorm is to see what other bloggers have to say about stuff happening in your field of discussion. And the very best way to find related blogs is to use Google or www.technorati.com. There are other decent search tools too, you just have to look around. From other blogs, you can gather more knowledge on your subject. You can also comment on what others have to say on your own blog!
2) Once you’ve established contacts with other bloggers in your field, you’ll have quite an inexhaustible “conversation” ongoing. You may not need to actively search for content to write about. However, if you’re still stuck, search for news articles related to your niche in the local newspaper. You can also check online through sites like Google and Yahoo.
3) You can also have conversations with people with the same interest as you in the particular niche you choose. You will eventually build up a bank of questions and answers and interesting discussions to write about in your blog. Join forums related to your niche, but don’t join every forum there is out there. Stick with one or two with a good following or focused sharply on your niche. This will also come in handy much later in gaining traffic and generating profits.
Keep up your momentum of posting at least once per day. More if you have a lot of content to write about so that the major search engines will know that your blog has fresh content everyday. This will attract the search engines to your page on a more frequent basis, hence gaining you extra traffic.
Next post, I’ll share how to use those search engines to work for you!