Friday, August 13, 2010

Blogging for Dollars!


Here is a great way to earn a few extra dollars in your spare time. I'm relatively new to the blogging community but I have learned a few things since I started. I will teach you everything I know about blogging, so this should take about 3 minutes. Basically the way it works is you start a blog up at http://www.blogger.com/ (there are many other blogging sites however I found this one is very user friendly). If you have a google account than half the work is done for you already! When you're setting up your blog there is an option at the top that allows you to monetize your blog. You are allowed to place up to 3 google ad sense advertisements onto each page of your blog and with each click on an advertisement you get some money. Not enough to quit your day job, but at least this hobby will pay for the popcorn next time you're at the movies.

So those are the basics. Google has a way of checking whether or not the clicks on the advertisements are legitimate. So you can't go onto your own blog and click on ads like crazy. That is why creating a great blog is critical to your success. Here are some tips to make your blog a huge success!

1) Choose a Topic: To start blogging you must choose a topic to blog about. The most important thing is to choose a topic you're passionate about, that way doing research for your blogs/articles will be enjoyable. I am very passionate about personal finance so I find that I am looking up information on this topic anyways, so it's actually enjoyable to write about it. The second thing is that your topic should be something others are interested in as well, that way it attracts readers. Now the internet is a big place ( a gazillion users) so there has to be a niche group somewhere that is also interested in the same thing you are. When it comes down to it is more important that you like what you're writing about than if readers are interested, that way you will update regularly. If your passion is collecting star wars figures that can never be removed from their box, there's gotta be a group that really wants to know more about how to preserve and care for their Wookies.

2) Setting Up: I only have experience using blogger, which I have found to be very user friendly. There are a lot of other options out there, but it's probably better to start writing than to try to find the best blogging platform. Blogger has a nice design template that lets you arrange your content the way you like it and also add gadgets to help track reader traffic. There are tons of other gadgets you can add to make your blog more interesting and fun for your reader base.

3) Developing a Reader Base: This step is important because the more traffic you have going through your site, the better chance someone will click on your ads. This is a huge topic on the web these days since everyone is trying to drive traffic towards their site. I was surprised to see that there is actually a whole industry built on this fact called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is where companies that want to be found on the web go to an SEO consultant and find out how to become a top ranking link on Google (crazy eh!). So how do you become a top ranked link on Google. Well first off, you have to update your blog regularly and fill it with the best damned content imaginable. This goes back to step one, if you are passionate about the topic you are writing about than the writing will flow like water through a stream. Step two would be spreading the word. Using Facebook to post links has worked well for me. Also going to forums that discuss your topic of interest and commenting on articles while leaving your link is a good way. There is also something called pinging which is a way of alerting the blogging community that your blog has been updated. Once you've updated your blog try going to Pingler http://pingler.com/ so that the blogging community knows that you have just updated your blog. Finally, create a Twitter account. I've always thought that this was a silly site but it actually works wonders at bringing in new readers. If you follow people who are interested in your topic of interest eventually people will follow you and go to your site.

Blogging is a great way to earn an extra dollar. Another great benefit is that you get to practice your writing skills. Writing can be difficult at times, but as you do it more you'll find it becomes easier and easier. It's a great skill to have and by practicing it you'll be able to communicate your ideas better in writing. Once you have written a lot of articles perhaps you can publish a book! So start blogging today and join the community (we don't bite).

Here is a brief video about blogging.

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