Thursday, April 28, 2011

How to Blog-Easy Step by Step Guide

Guide to help you blog & make money blogging online. Find how to choose Blog platform, domain name, money making ideas, content, marketing, social media etc.

I decided to simplify things about making money online blogging and offer practical tips to implement on blogs. Since there’s so much of hype and overload about making money blogging, I decided to cut through the clutter and write from my own experience.

Is it true that people are making money publishing blogs?
Yes, there are many fulltime bloggers earning big dollars like Dareen Rose of Problogger.com. And there are millions of not so serious blogs that make a fair bit of money. This gives you hope and confidence.

How should I start a blog?
Common sense tells that the first step to publishing a blog is to analyze a few things about yourself.

What are your aims in publishing a blog?
Anything we do must have a clear goal. Do you want to begin a new hobby. Want to make dollars to add to your regular earnings. Are you keen to share your knowledge in something or expertise in some area. Are you exploring a money making opportunity to quit your daytime job a few years from now. Want to build authority on a subject as a subject matter expert.

How much time do you have for blogging?
This is a very important question to answer. A few minutes a day or an hour a day. Since there’s going to be a fair bit of hard work.

Are you willing to learn?
If you’re keen to set up a blog and make money online, then you must be prepared to learn quite a bit – how to choose a theme to blog, promoting your blog, posting regularly, which platform to use – blogger, wordpress, type pad etc; use of social media, understanding what your readers want, researching, using analytics, choosing revenue programs like adsense, kontera, chitika, affiliate programs; and more.

How to select a topic for your blog?
This is very important, friends. Are you a gardening enthusiast, a stamp collector, a techie, an astrology buff, a basketball player, a person interested in helping others, an environmentalist, someone who has a lot of stories to say, a bike and car crazy guy? Then you have a chance of converting your passion into a blog. And of course make money through blogs.


Do some research to find what your audience wants?
Many bloggers jump into a theme only to find results not coming in fast, or run out of themes very soon, besides running out of steam. To avoid that, after you have chosen a theme – say hybrid cars, find out what’s there on the net on the subject. Use some of Google’s cool tools for webmasters like Insights. http://www.google.com/insights/search/#

This useful keyword trend tool provides a glimpse of what people might be searching for on your topic. This gives a trend by region, time frame and content category.

The Google Keyword Tool
https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal allows you to find out alternate keyword phrases for your topic and the amount of advertising competition for the same. Find out more about your topic’s need in the market.

Search on major engines like Google, yahoo or MSN for latest reports on your topic. You’ll discover the potential of the market.

Can you make money out of your theme?
You need to be very careful here. Explore the revenue potential of your theme before setting up the blog. The Google Keyword Tool gives an indication of advertiser interest and prospective services around your are of interest. Search your topic on Google, Yahoo and MSN and see if there are many sponsored results and ads on the search results page.

Alternatively, you could check 10 to 20 sites that come up while searching for information on your blog theme. Browse through and find out what the sites offer – ads of various services and products; affiliate programs, ebooks, products etc. This will give you the hope and confidence to make money blogging on that subject.

How to Choose a name for your blog?
This is very important, as important as choosing a name for your child. Smart internet marketing is about choosing a name that’s familiar with people (I mean a word already top of mind). Keep it small. The best keyword for your blog should form part of your domain name. Example: shopping.com. gadgetgifts.com. horoscopes.com, technews.com, guitarlessons.com etc.

Note: I suggest you get your own domain name (costs about $10 a year), rather than have a .wordpress or .blogspot.com.

What domain extensions to select?
.com; .net; .org; or .us (or whichever country you target the blog for)

Which blogging platform should I chose?
Wordpress, blogger, typepad, moveabletype are popular blogging platforms. Blogger’s drag and drop is easier for those who don’t know even a bit of html or don’t want to learn basic code. The rest need a little bit of learning. But, believe me it can be learnt in a few weeks.

Ready with blogging platform! What next?
Use the two tools suggested above, research what people want on the net and begin to write. You must write atleast 300 words per blog post. The odd one if it’s a recommendation of another site, product or service can be 100 words too. But your regular posts must be of good quality and about 300 words.

Write atleast 10 posts before you publish your blog. And then keep writing regularly. Initially, one post a week is fine. And you can build on it later.

How to write an SEO-friendly title for your blog?
Choose the most important keyword phrases for your blog and write the title. The title is very important as it informs readers and search engines what the blog is about. So it must be your key element.

For example: CNN’s title: CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment ...

Gifts.com’s title: Gift Ideas: Christmas Gifts, Gift Baskets, Gift Cards, Wedding Gifts

See how clearly they indicate what the site is about.

How to write a Search Engine Friendly Description while blogging?
When you type a search, the first line you see for any site is the title. The next two lines are its description. Readers tend to read the title and description, while deciding whether to open the site or not? So writing a description that fits the blog is very important. Infact, you must spend as much quality time as possible to write titles and descriptions that attract. Using keywords that people tend to search with for information on your site is critical from the search engine point of view.

Here are some examples of titles and descriptions that fit the content of the site.

Description for Walmart.: Shop Walmart Online for Low Prices on Top Brands in Computers, TVs, Toys, GPS, Video Games, DVDs, Music, Apparel, Housewares, iPod, Photo, Grocery, ...

Description for Amazon.com: +Description: Online retailer of books, video games, toys, music, and video recordings. Region 1 DVDs and prices in US dollars.

Description for JC Penney: Provides a variety of apparel for the whole family, jewelry, housewares and home decor, and shoes. Includes a gift registry, employment and credit card ...

Now, just go ahead and set up your blog. Publish posts regularly. Link up to bloggers you know. Submit your site to the search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and ASK. And slowly you’ll see traffic picking up. Good Luck.