A Guide to Making Money with your Blog

By Phil Rogers

A few years ago, blogging took the world by storm. Anyone was able to create their own website, write whatever they wished on it and customise it's appearance without having to know the first thing about HTML, PHP, Javascript etc. Early blogs were often written by angst-ridden teenagers who wanted to express themselves. More recently, however, people who are passionate about a particular subject discovered that they are an easy way of presenting their ideas. Online Marketers, of course, have really taken to them and some have perfected the art of monetising their blogs to the point of making a living from them.


What many people don't realise is that anyone can make money by blogging if they are prepared to learn how, and are prepared to put in the effort. There are a few steps that you need to follow if you want to make money from blogging.


If you don't already have a blog, you can get a free one by signing up at Blogger.com or Wordpress.com. There are other sites that offer free blogs, but these two are by far the most popular. The help available online for both these sites is very extensive, so you should not have much trouble setting them up.


If you have your own hosting account and web domains, you might choose to host your own blog by installing the free blogging script from Wordpress.org. Most hosting services offer automatic installers such as Fantastico which will do the installation process for you if you don't feel confident enough to do it yourself.


 

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Once signed up, you can customise the appearance of your blog by applying themes, colour palettes, font sizes etc. There are so many options that your blog really can have a unique look. The best thing about this is that you can change it at any time just by adjusting a few settings in the control panel.


Now you are ready to start making money. The most important hhing that you will need is traffic. Without visitors, you will never make any money. To attract visitors, your blog must have some interesting content. It is the content that will draw in the traffic. Getting traffic can be done in several different ways.


Posting

Every time you post on your blog, several blog and article directories are notified. The search engines regularly visit these directories, so it doesn't usually take long for your blog to make its way into the search engines. With the right choice of key words in yout posts, you can achieve a good position in the search engine results.


Commenting

When you comment on other peoples' blogs, you can usually leave a URL which is made into a link, so it makes sense to use your own blog's URL. Some readers will follow your comments back to your site. Make sure you comment on relevant blogs and make your comments worthwhile. Spam comments left just to create back-links very rarely works. They either get filtered out or deleted. Simple comments such as "Great post" will not work - your comments should be part of the discussion. Nobody will follow your link back to your site if you don't make valid comments.


Forum Signatures

Join relevant forums and put a link into your signature. If you make valuable posts to the forum, other forum members are more likely to follow the links in your signature. Again, it is important not to write spam posts in forums, and to leave informative or interesting comments. Leaving spam posts will get you banned.


Article Marketing

This may seem a little strange as you are already writing articles for your blog. Article marketing is the posting of relevant articles on article directories such as Article Content King and EzineArticles. The resource box or bio box at the end of your articles can contain links back to your websites.


Once your blog starts to get targeted traffic then it is time to start making some money from it. Google AdSense is a quick and easy way to do this. Open an account and once it is approved, choose the type of ad you wish to display on your blog. Once the ad is installed then you should start to make some money in your AdSense account. Although clicks on AdSense ads can often bring in only a few cents, very popular blogs can make a lot of money this way. You can also create ads containing affiliate links to products. You don't earn anything from people clicking the ads, but the amount you make from a sale resulting from a click-through on your site can be many dollars.


In summary, making money by blogging is not hard if you know what to do. Start a blog on one of the free blogging sites if you do not already have one. Then get some traffic to your blog using the methods mentioned above. If you plan to expand your online business, you will need to devlop your traffic-driving skills, and this is a good way to learn and practice those techniques.