How do I know if I need a BLOG? What is a Blog anyway?I know what a website is, but what is a blog? A blog is a new version of a website. It has the ability to transform each and every day and allow visitors to interact with it. Let’s go back to websites for just a minute.Website = a group of one page or more that have static content. They take advanced skills to put together and are complex to update and maintain. Most of the time the content remains the same upon each visit to it. People visit once to read content rarely to return again. Websites are Stagnant WaterBUTBlog = a modern website. It has the ability to transform each and every day with new content. Blogs are very simple and easy to update. There is usually a header and a side bar that remain constant with the center content changing with updates. Articles written can be linked back to the main thought. This helps bring traffic to your page. People continue to come back to see what is new. Blogs are babbling brooks.Blogs are dynamic and have fast setup … websites are static and slowHow do I know if I need a blog?A blog can be used by anyone delivering a message. I know you are saying to yourself, I don’t have a message to share. My answer to you is ~ yes you do, you might not know it yet but stick with me and I will show you how you can benefit from blogging.Blogs can help Churches and other non-profit organizations get the message out, blogs can help those of us who sell something (make-up, Jewelry, real estate, sell on Etsy or eBay), blogs can help companies who provide services (computer repair, hair stylists, or landscapers). Blogs have even helped my son, Nick, become a better writer. I believe a blog should be used by everyone.Blogs have multiple areas that help Google find you easier. A subset leads back to the master blog and tells Google you are important. The subsets strengthen the main page.To answer a few questions I have received and responded to about blogging keep reading.How do I know a blog will help my church? A church would use a blog like this… Instead of a website (stagnant water) a church would write on a blog. They would have their header on the top (telling which church they are and maybe a phone number etc) the side could have sermon hours etc, and the middle would contain moving content.They would discuss what was talked about during the previous sermon for those folks who could not be present. They might discuss plans for the future on another blog and link back to the master blog, enforcing and strengthening the blog in the eyes of Google. Fundraisers could quickly and easily be added and shared. People would be inclined to return to see what was new; to feel connected in some way and to feel part of the church as a whole.Blogs get readers coming back.How do I know a blog will help me as a Real Estate Professional?You sell real estate. In the past you sent out post cards telling people in the neighborhood that you just sold a house where they live and that you would gladly list theirs for sale too. These color postcards you mail out are expensive to print and mail. Plus, you have no guarantee they are being delivered to the person capable of agreeing to the sale. They may actually get delivered to a renter or not arrive at all. This is hit or miss advertising.On the other hand, you could set up a blog telling about you as a real estate professional in the city you reside. This narrows the searches down in Google when someone is looking for house buying or selling. They can look up this “I want to sell my house in Loxahatchee Florida. You have a greater chance of being seen labeling yourself specifically. Each blog you write can direct back to your master blog about you. No matter what blog they read or share, they will always have your contact information. Another example, you may write about the housing market in Loxahatchee or you may write about houses you have for sale that are 3 bedroom and 3,000 sq feet. One more example could be: a blog about open houses you will be conducting in the area.What about your jewelry or make-up business ~ how can a blog help you? Well, as it stands now you connect with people you know and try to get them involved in having a party. They invite their friends and family to attend. You then set up a time to meet these people, show them what you have to offer (your message) and hope to make a sale. This involves bringing products with you to talk about, share, and show. In return you offer the hostess something: a free gift or credit to use towards products.Think about this… you set up a blog. This blog helps you connect with people in your area and abroad. You can write about specials you are having via separate blogs that connect back to your master blog. You can show pictures or videos of items and explain each one. Jewelry items shown on your blog can attach to an online order form allowing people not local to purchase. People in the area can contact you via a form to set up a party too.How do I use a blog for family communication? Another group of people who could benefit from blogging is a family. I love scrap-booking and keep albums with my daughter and son as they grow. The only way for it to be seen is for someone to visit my house. My friends and family not local would have no way to hear or see what is happening with us. A family blog would start with who is in the family, ages of everyone, and any other information necessary to start a family bond. The subset blogs (blogs that connect back to the master blog) could talk about Thanksgiving plays at school, the Mother’s Day tea party, kindergarten graduation, and any other family event you want to share with the family. Pictures and video would make a great addition to the written content.There is a misconception that you have to be a guru to have a blog. A blog can be managed by anyone and is a way to convey a message. Maybe you have a special way to grow orchids or braid hair. If you have an interest in it, someone else does too. Share it. Don’t be afraid to express your knowledge and take massive action. Your message could be as simple as telling a community you exist and update them about happenings to the big fundraiser your school or organization. It could also be a way to connect with your family and friends and to update them about what is happening on the home front. If you have a passion for something share it with the world through a blog.
The good news is that if you know how to write and are passionate about certain subjects, you can make money through blogging. Even if you are not passionate about a subject but believe that it is a good subject to promote, there are volumes and volumes of content that you can research and write about. Do not fear running out of content.Here are the five key steps you need to take to answer the classic question ‘How do I start blogging and make money?’Step 1: Decide between a free hosted blog and a self-hosted blog”Make Money From Blogs” and’how do I make money fromblogs?’ is asked too early in the blogging game. Instead of focusing on earning from your blog at the start of the blogging process, you need to start with a more fundamental question. You have to start the process by asking ‘How do I start blogging and make money?’First things first. You have to focus on the fundamentals of starting. And nothing is more fundamental than choosing between a free-hosted blog like blogger.com, wordpress.com, tumblr, among many others or a self-hosted blog.Self-hosted blogs involve getting a server and installing wordpress or some other popular free blogging software platform. The big advantage of going with a free host is that you don’t pay anything. Everything-from hosting to your blog’s address to your blog’s design-is provided by the platform. The downside to this approach is that if your blog becomes successful, you might not get a buyer or you might get low offers because the buyer doesn’t get to control or transfer the blog.On the other hand, going with a self-hosted blog allows you maximum theme flexibility and functionality. You can also sell the blog freely. The downside is that you have to pay for hosting, domain registration, theme modifications, paid plugins, and other related costs.Step 2: Pick a winning nicheThe key to the question ‘how can i make money with a blog?’ lies in the niche you choose to focus on. You have to pick the right one. Otherwise, you might not make any money with your blog. Seriously. You have to consider the following three factors when choosing a topic for your blog: competition, passion, search volume, and commercial value.You have to pick a niche that doesn’t have too much competition. The more competition your niche has, the harder it will be for you to make money.You also need to pick a niche you’re passionate about. The more passion you have for something, the harder you’re willing to work to make your dream succeed. Search volume is important because you only want to pick topics that people are already searching for. If you pick a topic that few people are interested in, your chances of making money is slim to none.Finally, you need to select your blog’s topic based on commercial value. Use Google’s AdWords tool to see how much advertisers are willing to pay per click on keywords related to your topic. The higher the price per click, the higher the chance you’ll make money with your niche.Step 3: Create a productThere are many ways to answer the question, ‘how can i make money with a blog?’ You can run ads that pay you per click. You can run ads that pay you a commission when your blog readers buy. You can even run ads that pay you per software installation.While these approaches might make you some money, the best approach is to create an information product like an ebook, online seminar series, or online video series. This is the best way to approach the problem of ‘how can i make money with a blog?’ Why? You are building a product based on your blog readers’ actual needs.You also get to write your own check since you don’t have to split your income with an affiliate program like you would if you were selling products for an affiliate commission.You also get to ‘upsell’ buyers of your products to related affiliate products which you a commission. Moreover, you get a lot of freedom to scale up your offerings by offering web-based seminars or custom videos. Besides these, there aremay ways to “make money fromblogs.”Step 4: Create a mailing listInstead of pushing your products on your blog via typical ads, you should create a mailing list and promote your list to your blog’s readers. The mailing list offers ‘free lessons’ or ‘free ebooks’ or some other digital freebie in exchange for people joining your list. You then set up your mailing list to send useful and informative updates to your list members. The more you send, the more credible you become in their eyes.This becomes easier to”make money from blogs” because you have establisheda relationship with them.Every time you sends an update, you include a link to the sales page of your products. The more credibility and authority you build with your list members, the higher the chance they will buy your products.Step 5: Blog like a starToo many would-be bloggers ask ‘how do I start blogging and make money?’ They focus so much on making money that they forget that they will only make money if they blog well. Don’t forget this. You will only answer the question ‘how can i make money with a blog?’ if you blog frequently enough and if you post quality updates. If you don’t blog for authority and you publish lots of junk, your blog’s visitors don’t have any compelling reasons to sign up to your mailing list and buy your products. You gain authority when you write guest blog posts on blogs that focus on the same topics as your blog.Follow the blueprint above closely. If you’ve been asking yourself ‘how can i start blogging and make money?’ you only need the steps above to the letter. Keep experimenting and blog every single day. The more you do it, the better you get