Blogging to the Bank? Oh, Yes, Very Much So!
You’ve probably heard about “blogging” before, and you might even have an idea of what a blog is, but are you absolutely sure you understand the best way to spend your blogging time?
Blog is a contraction of ‘web log.’ Basically, a blog is a log of thoughts, ideas, useful links, photos, videos, latest news or scandal. Blogs are a series of posts assembled in chronological order, and most bloggers agree they’re a form of expression. Blogs, through the late 1990’s were lists of links maintained by tech savvy individuals. But, in recent years, blogs have become personal observances, updated regularly, and many accommodate rants and observations.
A ‘post’ is an entry, similar to an entry in a diary or newspaper. However, posts are shown in reverse chronological order. In other words, the latest story (post) will be at the top of the website, with the earlier ones descending in order beneath.
Posts have a subject, the same as email does. Next comes the body of the subject, or the main part of the post. Usually, posts have comments as a way for readers to respond to what’s been said. Many posts include the time and date it was submitted. Often, blogging is a thing of the moment, and people aren’t as interested in reading out of date posts.
That’s about it, a blog in a nutshell. Blogging is just an easy way of publishing and sharing your thoughts on the web.
Why Should You Write a Blog?
There as many reasons to write a blog as motivations. Some blog to boost motivation, others to entice business growth. And, still others blog only to share and debate issues with others. Whether you use blogging to network for business reasons, or share photos and memories, there are many reasons to give it a try.
Can I Make Money From Blogging?
There are real chances to make money from online writing. Creating income directly, or through advertising, publications or consulting are some avenues of revenue generating means by blogging.
Search engines love websites that are sprinkled with new material regularly, and blogging is a good way to make sure your content is always fresh. Keeping your blog’s content fresh and active gives you a better shot of getting high results in a Google search.
For business owners, blogging is a great way to communicate and interact with their customers. Businesses can boost their online presence with blogging.
Which Blogging Platform is Best for Me?
Basically, a blogging platform is the software used to publish your content on the web. Similar to word processor and web browser varieties, there are many different types of blogging platforms available.
Some blogging platforms are free, and others charge a monthly or annual subscription fee. Some platforms are hosted online, and some require them to be hosted on your own web server. Some are tailored for individual blogging, while others are geared for group publishing as to create networks of bloggers.
The easiest way to begin blogging is with a hosted blogging platform. The two most popular and free services are Blogger.com and WordPress.com.
Many people who decide to blog begin with a free host blog service. The two free hosted bloggers listed above both offer plenty of options to allow freedom of design and text display. But, you cannot use your own domain name with either of these hosts.
If you want more control over your presentation, modification and blog location a self-hosted platform might be best for you. The two most popular self-hosted blog solutions are WordPress.org and Movable Type. WordPress.org is free to use, and Movable Type is subscription based.
If blogging is mainly for business or professional the self-hosted option might be best. But, if you’re in it just for fun, you can’t go wrong by choosing a hosted solution.
Blogging Content…What Should You Write About?
Obviously, the choice is yours, but you should consider finding a niche. Building readership is done by distinguishing yourself and focusing on a particular niche topic or interest, unless your blog is solely for friends and family, Generally, people find your blog through a search engine when seeking something they’re interested in or looking for. By now, you should decide if your blog is business or fun. There’s a world of difference between the two. If it’s just for fun, do what you want, when you want. No one really cares but you. If you want to earn a buck or two, it’s time to start acting like a professional business person. And time to become aware of what you are doing, and what the competition is doing. It’s also time to bring some traffic (ie, visitors) to your blog.
Once they find you, this is where you really begin. Does your blog have potential? Have you taken the time to learn and research the competition? Visit lots of blogs and websites to learn about your chosen niche, and decide if there’s room for you. Don’t try to break into a niche where there’s a bazillion sites, because chances are that you will fail. Like, there’s no need for a zillion blogs about sports, but maybe there’s just a few of them about polo.
Keep in mind, people link to and recommend blogs they value or trust. Does your blog offer solutions or information regarding the niche you selected and promote. Pick something you are interested in, something that motivates you, and is unique to you. On the other hand, being passionate about a blog topic is not absolutely required, just so long as you’ve spent some time researching the topic and have acquired some knowledge that other people will want to know about.
How Do I Make My Blog Stand Out?
Assuming you picked a niche, (usually defined as a subtopic of a much larger topic) and found a place to host your blog and get a platform in place, now what?
You might want to think about how you will present your content. You want to make it jump off the screen and grab the reader’s attention! One thing to remember, a post is not an essay! People tend to have short attention spans, and you need to make them feel there is more to come for them to continue reading or coming back for more.
The title could be the most important part of any blog. This is because that’s how the reader will find your content through a search engine. And, if you rank high by the grace of Google, people will visit your website (traffic). Finding you is the make or break point of no return, and determines whether you get read or passed over. You want your title to be interesting, even funny, but not at the expense of not being read.
Many readers often read content diagonally to decide usefulness before they give it a thorough reading. To pass this test, you need to write for “diagonal” readers that scan content from headline to ending in a zig zag pattern. Some suggest you have just five seconds to convince a reader to continue into your post.
Making Text “Scannable”.
Try to write text in modules, or into the greatest number of meaningful blocks. Don’t create long unending paragraphs. Give each concept and idea space to be read and understood.
A rule of thumb in effective writing is to never go to the next line after a period. Either continue on the same line with the next sentence, or leave an empty line and begin a new paragraph.
Bolding is another effective tool to keep reader’s attention while scanning your post. Highlight the first three or four words of important content. Images within your posts are essential components that help to grab a reader’s attention. Don’t over-do the images. They can become an unwanted distraction, and cause your web page to take a long time to load.
Blogging is a good tool to increase revenue from your business, or can be viewed as a social tool to express feelings and opinions. Whatever your reason for blogging, taking the time to research and create an eye-catching blog will increase potential success on the web.