Have you ever wondered WHY so many people blog? It seems like there is a blog per person! What’s the big deal? Here are six benefits of blogging:
Blogging is easy. One of the reasons so many people blog is because it’s really easy to get online. With all of the tools available, you can have a really professional looking blog in just a few hours. There are thousands of blog templates that are well designed and many can be modified with just a few clicks. You can also add plug-ins to help create a blog that will do just about anything you’d like it to.
Blogging is inexpensive. You can easily spend several hundred dollars on a website that is very basic. A really professional looking blog can cost you less than twenty-five dollars and that includes the domain name and the hosting.
Blogging is profitalbe. You can make good money with a blog. Many people who began blogging about their passions for personal reasons soon found themselves in the limelight. They also found themselves making some good money from their blogs. For example, the movie Julie & Julia was about a real blogger who cooked her way through Julia Child’s cookbook. The blog ‘*&^@ my Dad Says turned into a television program starring William Shatner. Your blog may not get you in a movie, but you can still make good money from it. You can promote products you love and earn affiliate income…you can promote your own products or services…you can earn money from advertising revenue. Blogs with a lot of subscribers can demand high rates for ad space.
Blogging connects. Blogging is a way to connect to other like minded people. You can get online and share your passions and by doing so attract and connect with people who are interested in the same topic. Blogging is a great way to ‘meet’ people all over the world. You can share, learn and grow.
Blogging can build your career. You can use your blog to promote yourself. For example, if you are a sales person you might create a blog about sales strategies. You can then use your blog to establish yourself as a subject matter expert. It can help you move up in the company, land your dream job or gain further exposure for your own business.
Many of us self-employed parents who blog dream of earning money from our blogs. There are many stories of bloggers earning the “big bucks” and we would like to be one of those ‘stories’. You can earn money by blogging, if you are dedicated to doing so.
According to Technorati, the average American blogger earns $6,000 per year. The top 1% earn $200,000 or more.
Blogging requires long hours and a lot of work. Make sure you pick a subject you are passionate about. For me, it’s all about helping parents work from home so they can be home with their children. Find a subject that ‘ignites your fire within’. You are less likely to get burned out and more likely to stick with it if you do.
If you pick a topic like celebrity gossip, politics, photography or gadgets, the competition is fierce and it will be difficult to get yourself established. Select something else and remember…make sure you are passionate about it.
If you want to earn money from your blog there are several ‘musts’:
your blog must be well-written
your blog must not contain any spelling error
your blog must not contain any grammatical errors
Here are some of the best ways to earn money from your blog.
Advertising. The most obvious way to make money from your blog is with advertising. Advertisers pay a few cents when an ad is clicked. They may pay a certain rate per 1,000 page views. The most popular advertising program is Google AdSense. It places ads within context of your blog on your site. Regardless of the traffic level on your site, you can register for Google AdSense. There are other advertising methods, such as BidVertiser, AdBrite and AdGenta. If you are well know and have a large readership, you can contact advertisers on your own. To make money from ads on your site, you need thousands of visitors each month.
Affiliate programs. Affiliate programs are similar to advertising. You can place a button/banner ad or text ad on your site. You can also place hyperlinks within your posts. For affiliate links to pay, the person who clicks on them usually has to make a purchase…you then get a percentage of that purchase.
Pay-per-post. Some companies will pay you to write about their products or services. You will need some blogging time under your belt before you can get involved in pay-per-post programs. Be cautious, though. Your readers are reading your blog because they are interested in what you have to say. If you are getting paid to write about a product, be sure you tell your readers that. Full disclosure is important and your readers will respect that.
Sponsorship. You may be able to get a corporate sponsor. However, your site will then carry only the sponsor’s branding and there will be less of your own ‘personality’ coming through.
Employment. Many businesses have their own blogs. They use the blogs to stay in touch with their customers. You may find work by being a paid blogger for a company. This takes a lot of dedication. You have to show companies that you are worth hiring. This means you have to be well established and have posts with no errors. If you are really well known, businesses may come looking for you. More than likely, you will have to seek them out. Remember to treat this like any other job interview.
This installment of the series focuses on ways that a blog can help your business.
There are many ways that blogging can help you build your business. Here are some of them:
Networking – Blogging gives you a great opportunity for networking. You should leave the comments function on/open. This gives you an opportunity to interact with your readers. They can leave comments and you can reply to them. Always reply to comments! You can then also visit their blog and leave comments. This builds a base of readers for your blog that will stop by frequently.
Presence on the Internet. Having a blog gives you a presence online. You can get a URL for your blog if you’d like…the URL can contain some or all of your business name. This gives people two ways to find you.
Services. When you have a business blog, you can have a separate page about you and your business where you can describe what your business has to offer and how to contact you. You can link to this page when you send out proposals to prospective clients, send out newsletters and e-mails. It is important that you keep this page up to date.
Portfolio. If you have a portfolio, your blog is a great place to display it. Again, you should set up a separate page for this. Clients can get a good sense of your skills and work. Remember to also keep this page up to date.
Subject Matter Expert. While you are letting people get to know you, networking and establishing relationships, you are also establishing yourself as a subject matter expert. By writing about your business you are establishing yourself as an expert in your field. However, it is important to remember that you should keep your posts professional. If you get too personal, it will hurt, not help, your business.
All of us (mommy) bloggers want our blogs to be successful. Many want to secure advertisers to make their blogs something they can use to not only share their knowledge with others, but to also help support their families by making an income.
In order to do that, blogs need to be successful.
How is that done, you ask? It’s not overly complicated.
The first thing a blog requires is your commitment. You must post frequently. Search engine spiders look at your blog when it starts. They’ll go back in 24 hours and look again for new content. If it’s not there, it will be 48 hours until the next sweep. Nothing new again? The time doubles. Pretty soon, your blog won’t be indexed because the search spiders aren’t looking for new content anymore.
If your blog is in this situation, hate to break it to you… you have to start over with a new blog. Trying to resurrect an old blog is near impossible.
However, you CAN re-use the content from you old blog and get your new one up and running with consistent posting. In fact, when Our Milk Money decided to relaunch and upgrade the business directory, this is exactly what we did. (Worked like a charm!)
The next thing you really want to think about is your keywords. Long tail keywords, or keyword strings, are now used for indexing. Do a search on the keywords you are using to tag your blog posts. Ideally, you want the search to yield less than 100,000 results. Keywords should be nouns, as that is typically what is used to run a search. They should definitely not be ‘flowery’ words. Simplicity works best.
Use keywords people will use to conduct a search so you can be found. When in doubt, think about the words you enter into a search engine. When writing, you can certainly put the words into your own voice, but make sure it is direct and to the point with words every age can understand. You may be tempted to show off your vast vocabulary… and while your mom would be proud, it won’t help you get found. Write specifically. For example, when describing a building, don’t say the beautiful building, say the 1920s victorian style building.
In addition to being specific and using keyword strings, be sure to use your name and the name of your business and company as tags. Make sure to hyperlink tag words that are in the body of your post.
Another important thing to remember when blogging is that once you hit the ‘publish’ button, it is out there in cyberspace for ever! It cannot be taken back.
Set up your blogs to automatically update to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Be sure to add your blogs to different blog directories, such as: