Monday, December 8, 2008

How to Start a Blog That Makes Money - Fast

Here's how to start a blog that makes money, and fast. As with virtually everything else on the Internet having a blog that makes you money is a combination of the two main Internet marketing ingredients; targeted traffic and a good, compelling offer (or a few of them). You can start a blog for free using Blogger or one of the other free blogging platforms out there. I don't recommend this blogging strategy for two primary reasons.
The first reason that I would avoid free blogging platforms, such as Blogger, is that when your blog is hosted on Blogger, the domain, all that traffic and content you've worked so hard for is theirs, not yours. Do you think Google, who owns Blogger, really needs any more money?

The second reason that you should stay away from free blog hosting platforms when you're building your blog empire business is that, because of the first reason, you're not building your business, you're actually helping to build someone else's. That's not a recipe for long term success.

The first thing you should do when starting a blog that you hope will bring in a healthy income for you one day is actually plan things out. That's right; you should actually sit down for a few hours and make a business plan. That will help make sure you don't miss any of the details you'll need to be successful. Be sure you include everything, such as what the main theme of your blog will be, the monetization strategies you'll use, a financial plan, a growth plan, and an oft forgotten part of many business plans, the exit strategy.

Most highly successful blogs are tightly themed. That means they focus closely on a certain subject or niche, such as local residential real estate, working from home income techniques for stay at home moms, '60's Chevy muscle cars, or needlepoint. This tight focus will help you build a core base of loyal readers and subscribers.

Subscribers are very important for the immediate and long term success of your blog. In addition, having a large, vibrant subscriber list adds a large amount of value to your blog should you want to sell it. If you're having trouble choosing a theme, look for one that delivers a large profit potential. Decide on what you'll call your blog, then get your own domain name. These are very affordable, and will help you avoid the problems of using a free hosting platform. You'll own the domain and will be free to do with it as you please. You blog will actually be an asset that you control.

The next decision you'll have to make is what blogging platform you'll use. The two largest are Movable Type and Wordpress. Wordpress is open source. Open source means the actual source code is freely available for all who want to see it. For you, that means it's free and widely supported by developers throughout the world. Because it's open source, many developers freely create things for Wordpress, so there are a huge number of add-ons, widgets, templates, and plugins available for it. You can even publish your Wordpress blog from your iPhone now!

Movable type is not open source, but you may still be able to get it free, as many web hosting companies offer it as part of the hosting package. It too has many different things available to enhance the functionality and appearance of blogs published with it. I've used both frequently. You can have many fantastic, and profitable blogs with either publishing system.

So you've got your blog up and you're posting to it religiously. How can you make some money for your efforts? That's sort of a balancing act. You want to blog about a topic that you have a passion for, or keeping up an aggressive posting schedule will become tiresome and boring. Eventually you'll simply fail to keep up with a regular posting schedule. You also want to blog about a topic that is profitable, or you won't make any money.

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