Blogs are here to stay, and many home-based businesses are taking advantage of the trend. Making money with blogs is a popular choice for many work at home moms. Blogs are simple to install, and relatively easy to update. This is especially true when you compare blogs to other types of websites. Within just a few minutes, you can launch a professional looking blog for free.
A blog is an easy to update website that looks sort of like a journal. Entries are made at least once a week, and the newest entries appear at the top. Entries are normally short articles of 200 to 500 words. Readers can also comment on entries and provide links between their own blogs and your blog. I’ve talked to many small business owners with a website say they don’t need a blog. I tend to disagree because there are so many competitors out there that a website without a blog couldn’t compete with the ones who do. Google loves websites that are updated on a regular basis and to get their attention you will need some kind of changing material. Plus people tend to trust you more when you blog about your business.
With blogs, the opportunities are wide open. Choosing a blog topic is as easy as looking at your own life for inspiration. There are blogs about everything from celebrity news to bathroom cleaning tips. Before you start a blog, do some research on the Internet to see if people are interested in your possible blog topic. Your topic doesn’t have to be popular, but it does have to have a dedicated group of people who are interested in the topic.
When you pick a topic, make sure to stay within a fairly small “niche.” The term niche is used to describe a group of people who have a similar interest. There are big niches – like working at home – and small niches – like tips for training your dog to sit on the toilet. Try to find a happy medium between a popular topic and a niche interest so your blog has plenty of readers. Some topics, like working at home or parenting, are too broad and have too much competition for readers.
You can set up your blog through a free blogging platform, like www.blogger.com or www.wordpress.com. There are also a half dozen others to choose from. The blogging platform will walk you through making your first entry into your blog.
There are usually no overnight success or quick get rich solution to running a blog. You have to continue working your business and persevere. It’s easy to say after a couple of weeks of blogging that it doesn’t work. It takes time for search engines to notice your site.
After you’ve established a few entries into your blog, its time to monetize your blog. This means you’ll be making specific changes to your blog in order to earn money. Contextual advertising is just one way to make money from your blog. You can also make product recommendations and suggest information products (e-books) to your readers. Each time someone buys a product you recommend, you will get a commission. Many bloggers find that making gentle product recommendations throughout their blogs are a way to collect extra income. I find it best to advertise your own products whether it be products, training or services.
Finally, some companies will pay bloggers to create situations that suggest certain products or services. These companies pay a few dollars per post, and are fairly easy to use. The only drawback is that you’ll have advertising posts throughout your blog content. However, many bloggers have found a way around this by putting “And now a word from our sponsors” at the beginning of each of their required advertising posts. This helps the advertising appear less intrusive.
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