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Saturday, January 28, 2017

How To Make Money Blogging - A Blueprint

Do you know that you can make money online by blogging? Do you know that creating your own blog is simpler than you think and it requires no prior technical knowledge or skills to create a blog online? 



In this post I will walk you through the basics of blogging and attempt to explain how you can earn money by setting up you own blog at a minimum investment. 

Making money by blogging involves the following steps

1. Decision to create your own blog.
2. Deciding about your blog's niche.
3. Choice of your blog platform.
4. Setting up your blog.
5. Publish and promote
6. Monetize
7. Continue the good work.

We will now discuss each of the following steps in detail. 


1. The decision to create your own blog. 

The first step in the process is your decision to create your own blog. The decision marks the beginning of a remarkable journey, that if done right will be rewarding and satisfying on all fronts. It is your opportunity to be a part of the revolution called the internet and gain from it.  

Tip: Take the plunge only if you have a sufficient amount of time to devote to blogging. 

2. Choice of your blog's niche.
 
Once you have decided to create your own blog, the next step consists of deciding what to blog about. It is an important decision to make considering the fact that you cannot write about everything and anything under the sun on the same blog. 

A blog's niche is the broad "subject" to which it caters. Again within the broad niche, the choice of "topics" to concentrate upon will be yours to make.

Take for example a 'Tech' blog. Once you have decided to create a tech blog - technology being the broader niche - you will have to decide upon the 'topics' you wish to concentrate upon; given the fact that technology is such a broad subject line. 


Thus while one may choose to write about gadgets and apps, others may focus on more emerging trends and future technology like artificial intelligence and driver-less cars. 

The choice of niche will ultimately depend upon your interests and core competencies. 

Broadly speaking, the following factors will influence the choice of your niche:

1. Your likes and interests


For example if stamp collecting is one of your interests, you could consider starting a Philatelic Blog

2. Any special training or expertise in a given field


If you have experience in Sales and Marketing, you could start a Marketing Blog

3. Level of competition within a given niche


The 'level of competition' can have a significant say in your choice of niche. In an ideal situation, you would want to pioneer a niche where the extent of competition would be almost zero. However finding such a niche should be extremely difficult. 

Recommended Read: 101 Killer Blog Niche Ideas.

Note that when faced with a choice between interests and the extent of competition, you should always choose the former over the later. 

Earlier I had advocated the fact that you must create a 'Niche' blog. The reasons being:

A. Focused blogs (i.e niche blogs) tend to ranked higher in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) for related keywords and key-phrases. 


B. It is easier to create a dedicated readership base for your blog

3. The choice of a blog platform.
 
As far as the choice of a blogging platform is concerned, there are two main contenders: Blogspot and Wordpress.org. You can safely rule out Tumblr as it suffers from some major defects when compared with the other two platforms. 

The choice between Blogspot and Wordpress.org is simple and a decision on this front will depend upon whether you wish to use paid hosting or not. 

As far as Blogspot is concerned, your blog will be hosted for free on the Google servers. You are only required to pay for the domain name. With Wordpress.org, you will have to pay for both the domain and the server. 

[Hosting consists of storing your blog’s contents on a web server where it can be accessed over the internet. Domain on the other hand, is your blog’s address – the URL that people type in on their browser to access your site]. 

A question that might now come to your mind is why pay for servers when you can host your blog for free with Blogspot?

The reason being, that with Wordpress.org, you not only retain exclusive control over your blog and its content but also get a platform that is structurally superior (more flexible and more features) to that of Blogspot. 


Wordpress.org beats Blogspot hands down as far as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is concerned. Remember that SEO is one critical factor that plays a very important role in determining your blog's success or failure. 

Note: There are two versions of Wordpress available - Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org. Wordpress.com is similar to Blogspot and hosts your blog for free. However you are charged for using a custom domain and external advertisement integration is not available. 

4. Setting up your blog. 

Setting up your blog involves the following steps:
1. For Wordpress.org. 

A. Acquiring hosting and domain. 

B. Downloading and Installing the Wordpress software to your web-host and ‘mapping’ your domain name to it. 

C. Installing a theme (there are both free and paid options available.) 

Information on how to install wordpress on your web-host can be found here:
http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress


2. For Blogspot. 

Setting up your blog on Blogspot is fairly simple. You only have a register a custom domain, select a theme (template) and you are good to go. 

For information with how to get started with Blogspot refer to the Blogger Starting Guide : https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/1623800?hl=en

Note: While setting up a blog on Wordpress might prove to a little difficult for someone who is new to this field, the good news is that there are a great many resources available on the internet concerning the topic and reliable information is always a search away. 

In case of any doubt, you can always seek professional help. 

5. Publish and promote. 

Both the blog platforms - Wordpress and Blogspot are equipped with the WYSIWYG Editor - meaning publishing is as simple as typing in an article (just as would do in a word document) and hitting the publish button. 

Publishing is however not the end goal of blogging. To be a successful blogger, you should learn how to promote your content as well. 

You promote your content through: 

1. Search Engine Optimisation which encompasses link building.
2. Social Sharing i.e promoting your blog on Social Media. 


The following resources would help you gain more understanding of the above concepts:

Moz guide on SEO: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo

Moz guide on Social Sharing: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-social-media

6. Monetisation.
 
Monetisation is the process of displaying advertisements on your blog. You earn money every time your blog's visitors view/click on the ads displayed on your blog. 

Most bloggers initially start monetising their blogs by signing -up with an advertisement platform promoted by Google known as Adsense and gradually embrace other platforms like BuySellAds. 

Blogger's also earn money through Affiliate Marketing

An Affiliate Marketer would build a niche audience by sharing useful and relevant 'content' on his/her blog or website. It is to this audience that the marketer would recommend (via a link) products or services that he thinks is relevant to them. When someone finds the recommendation useful, follows the link and makes a purchase, the affiliate marketer earns a commission.

7. Continuing the good work.

Your word does not end once your blog starts generating revenue. In fact, its just the beginning. To be a successful blogger, you need to continue doing the good work - publishing more high quality articles, reviewing existing articles from time to time and actively promoting your work. 

An enterprising blogger will always aim at bring out incremental improvements and devote a considerable amount of time analyzing how to deliver more value to his readers. 

Recommended Read: Killer Blog Tips For New Bloggers.

Good Luck!

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