Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. -Apple Inc.
Blogging gives you the power to express your independent views and opinions, or write on just about anything that you are passionate about, and reach out to the Internet community at large.
But more importantly, it is a great way to make money online.
If you are new to making money online, then getting started might be a bit intimidating. Luckily, the following tips can help you out:
Decide what your blog is going to be about
You are free to blog randomly on anything and everything, but that may not be the best way to succeed in the blogging world. Choose a subject that appeals very strongly to you, and which can captivate the attention of your readers or potential ones. You will be able to add value to your blog, and create a niche for yourself in a crowded world of blogging by focusing on a specific theme that establishes a clear identity for your blog. You can read more about picking a niche here.
Choose free or paid hosting
You will have the choice to host the blog yourself for a small annual fee, or opt for a free blogging service such as blogspot.com. You need to decide which option suits you better, and start your blog accordingly. With a free blogging service, you do not have to pay a penny, but you will not obtain an exclusive domain name. It will always include the name of the hosting service.
Secondly, if later you choose to shift to your own private domain, you will not be able to take your readers with you. You will always be dependent on the host service, and will have no control over your site. Paid hosting at a cheap price is possible with several service providers. You can acquire free blog software from reliable sources such as WordPress, which will give you the flexibility and the room to grow. You can acquire your own domain name for a small annual fee, and develop your own blog with an exclusive identity and total control over your website.
Decide on a blog design and layout
The value of your blog content will be enhanced if you can showcase it attractively with a good design. The free blog hosting service providers will offer you a gallery of ready templates to choose from. You can pick your own layout and color scheme for your blog. Try to personalize your blog design to give it a unique identity, so that readers can differentiate it from other blogs quickly.
You can also add images and a profile of yourself. This will help because most readers are curious to know about the blogger, so you can provide them a glimpse of your life. Add other blogging freebies such as blog chalks, buttons, tagboards, imoods, guest book, guest maps, and comment box for readers’ feedback. These will allow for better reader engagement levels at your blog.
Promote your blog
Visit other blogs and interact with other bloggers for mutual promotion of blogs. Create a network of like-minded bloggers to build a larger collective readership. Send the URL of your blog to your friends and acquaintances. Promote your blog over social media networking sites. If you write a blog post on a current issue, it can circulate fast over social media sites, giving wide exposure to your blog. Your blog’s success does correlate with your social media skills. Do not become discouraged if you do not see interesting results if you are just starting out in this arena.
If you want to jumpstart your link building efforts to improve your search engine rankings and drive traffic to your blog at the same time, link bait is the way to go. Link bait is just like it sounds. It is bait that will grab readers’ attention and gather exponential links from different websites throughout the Internet.
Of course, if creating link bait was that easy, then everyone would be doing it successfully. And sometimes even the best attempts at creating link bait to build a viral buzz fail miserably.
Here are three important tips that you can use to create link bait and draw attention to your blog:
- Write an authority post. If you can dig up some strong research related to your niche to write a solid, authority blog post, then you’re on the right track. Why? Your readers want to know that you are an expert in your industry. And when they know that they can trust in what you have to say, they will pass along the information to their friends in social media. If you are able to write a high-quality, authority post with research to back it up, it will stand on its own and have the likelihood to be linked to again and again.
- Write about a newsworthy topic. To qualify, you need to be up to date with the latest news in your industry to write a newsworthy blog post. If you are a day too late, then your attempt at creating link bait is going to fall flat. Stay up to date with Google news alerts for your top keywords. Keep tabs on the trending topics on Twitter. Follow the most relevant voices in social media. Once you have your ear to the ground in your niche market, it will be easier and easier to pick up hot tidbits of information to blog about. And when you blog about newsworthy topics again and again, you’re likely to hit the nail on the head and write about a current topic that readers want to read more about and pass on to their friends.
- Write a how-to guide. How-to topics in any niche are widely searched and will bring traffic to your blog. It is helpful to create a complete how-to series on the most popular keywords searched in your industry. To get ideas, become active in forum communities in your niche. There you can observe the most popular questions that users are asking and are desperate to find the answers to. You can then turn these questions into how-to posts to attract readers to your blog. An example would be the popular question of, “Where can I find the best anti-aging supplements?” if you are in the vitamin industry. You can then write a how-to post entitled “How to Find the Best Anti-Aging Supplements” to attract readers looking for the answer to this question.