If you’ve been laid off and need extra money, there’s never been a better way to get it than by blogging. Besides, starting a successful blog is something you can keep going for many years as a nice second source of income.
A blogger improves his or her writing skills and learns internet marketing and search engine optimization. Besides becoming a published author, the blogger also learns marketing research and how to run a successful small business.
Getting Started with Blogs
The great thing about a blog is how easy it is to get started with one. There are many easy tools available that can help you begin, even if you have little technical skills. Look over all of the choices, but WordPress is one you will definitely want to consider. Blogger, Google’s blog product is another one, but I don’t think it’s as good as WordPress. WordPress is easy to learn and provides many options for customization.
You are going to need to invest a small amount of cash upfront. Although most blogging software is free, you need to choose a domain to host your blog. The easiest, and cheapest one to work with, is GoDaddy. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the GoDaddy girl commercials more during the Super Bowl when you tell your friends that you are one of their customers. Purchasing a URL will cost you less than $ 10 per year.
The second thing you will need is a hosting company. GoDaddy can provide you with this as well if you want to keep it simpler, but there are probably better options. Blue Host, for example, has an easy-to-use hosting interface and will allow you to host up to 50 URL’s on it. Blue Host will cost you a little over $ 100 per year, but in a minute, I’ll tell you how to get it for even cheaper.
Why is this important? Later in the article, I’ll talk about search engine optimization. You need to obtain rankings in Google and Yahoo to get found. If you don’t host the blog yourself and have your own URL, all you will be doing is generating inbound links for WordPress! They already have enough inbound links (2.8 million according to Yahoo); get the links for yourself.
Content is King
It seems silly, but the most important aspect of blogging is blogging about something that you are interested in and have a passion for. That may be college cheerleaders, college fantasy football, reading Shakespeare, text messages, lusting after Rihanna, playing online bingo, or even drinking beer. If you aren’t writing about something you are interested in, you simply won’t do it for very long.
When it comes to blogs, you need to get found. And, new and unique content will get you found by the search engines. It’s important that you update every day. The more often that you update your blog, the more often that the Google and Yahoo search engine spiders will come back to visit your blog.
It’s best to update your blog every day. If you can’t update every day, try partnering with another student to help you. You want to train your visitors to come back and come back often.
Be controversial and opinionated. It works for talk radio and it will work for your blog. You won’t get mentioned in mainstream media if you are like everybody else. Writing something controversial will also get your readers commenting on your posts and you want your readers involved.
If you’re not sure what to write about, check out Google Trends. Google Trends will give you the latest top searches that are the minds of its users. Getting listed for the hot topic of the day in Google News will bring visitors to your site.
When you are totally out of ideas, try finding an article about your topic on an article marketing site like Articles Base or eZine Articles. Don’t rely on these, as you need original content to keep people interested, but they are fine for filling in the gaps when you don’t have time to write like during Finals Week or during your fraternity pledge week.
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