- Created on Friday, 29 June 2012 14:06
- Written by John Hollister, League of Power
- Hits: 371
I'm not going to lie to you, blogs these days are a dime a dozen. Wherever you go, be it the coffee shop, bookstore or a cocktail party, undoubtedly someone will say these fateful words: "Hey, you should really check out my blog!"
Let me be clear: I love blogs. The Internet has allowed virtually everyone on the planet to express and share their views on everything and anything. Maybe you have a blog yourself, and that's great. Myself, before I moved to Central America, I had a blog about kayaking in South Florida. It was a fun way to chronicle my adventures on rivers, coves, and inlets of the state for friends and family.
What I want to tell you about today, however, is how to start a very special kind of blog -- one that turns a profit. And the great news is that when you have this kind of "business," it doesn't seem like work at all.
How This Lie Affects You...
Today I have something a little different to share with you...
It's a topic that affects everyone on the Smart Investing Daily list, including me.
No, this is not about IRAs, 401(k)s, or anything like that.
Instead it's about acquiring the necessary wealth to enjoy a comfortable life all while protecting you from the financial dangers that lie ahead.
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Where to Start
Before you go ahead and start blogging, it's important to think about the niche your blog is going to cater to. As you've probably guessed, not all subjects will make you money, even if they're really popular.
A blog with funny cat videos might make you a star of the online cat community, but you'll be doing it for free. Sorry.
But that doesn't mean you can't base your moneymaking blog on a hobby or topic that interests you. Far from it.
In fact, here are my two rules of successful, profitable blogging:
1) Pick a niche that you already know about, like a hobby.
2) Don't have a hobby? Pick one up -- one that's popular!
Check out my article "Turning Your Business Ideas Into Online Profits" for a step-by-step guide to picking your profitable niche.
Once you have your niche nailed down you're ready to get started.
First, off... the technical side. You can get started with your blog free by using Blogger.com. Head over there when you're ready to sign up for an account. It's very easy-to-use software.
Alternatively, you could set up your blog on the WordPress platform. The software itself is free. But you will have to secure hosting through a service like GoDaddy.com or HostGator.com.
What's Possible With Your Blog
Let me give you a quick hypothetical example to show you how a typical moneymaking blog comes about.
Let's say "Tom" fancied himself quite the rock star in his younger days. Long hair, denim jacket, torn jeans, the whole nine yards. As he grew up and matured, his dreams of rocking out stadiums quickly evaporated but his love of music and guitars remained.
Over the years his collection of guitars grew in size and quality. Pretty soon he found himself the owner of a very fine treasury of musical instruments. So he started a blog about his guitar collection. Just for fun, at first.
He wrote a few articles about his favorite brands, made a few videos demonstrating various effects pedals, and all sorts of things that appealed to the gear heads out there. Pretty soon his blog caught the attention of guitar nuts worldwide and his site was soon seeing traffic of thousands of readers a month.
Tom had created a community of like-minded individuals interested in all things guitar-related. And he was ready to capitalize on that.
First he started offering guitar products as an affiliate from retail sites like Amazon.com. He found information products like how-to guides and guitar lesson books on Clickbank.com. And he was even able to hook up with specialty retailers like Guitar Center by joining their affiliate programs.
He included ads on his site and casual mentions in blog posts that included his affiliate link... all the "selling" was very casual and didn't turn off his readers.
Soon he was making a couple thousand bucks a month from just a few hours work a week.
Then he started getting noticed. The major musical instrument manufacturers saw the amount of traffic his website was getting, and pretty soon he was in business with these big names.
Not only did they start advertising on his little homemade blog, they even sent him free swag! It was mostly guitar picks and stickers at first, but pretty soon he was getting free high-quality strings, straps, cases, effects pedals -- one time he was even given a studio-quality guitar for a month to test and review... and this is a guitar that would normally cost thousands of dollars!
There are thousands of blogs out there right now with similar stories on growing organic tomatoes, coffee, bodyweight exercises... the sky's the limit.
Now on to the Content...
Blogging isn't hard work, but in order for it to generate profit, you'll need to keep it updated -- a few hours a week is plenty. You'll be much more inclined to keep up that pace if you write about something you're interested in. That's why I always recommend you pick a hobby as a niche.
As far as written content, you can write about your take on industry trends, product reviews, top 10 lists, open letters to movers and shakers in your niche... the content you can create is endless. Examine blogs you follow for types of content you can model.
Video is always an easy way to generate content. In a past article, I wrote about a carpenter friend of mine who successfully started his own how-to website about basic woodworking. His start-up was simple and cheap: a small flip camera.
Since he was a carpenter by trade, he already had all the tools and know-how. So whenever he was starting a new project -- say, building custom cabinets -- he would set his flip camera (price: around $75) on a nearby shelf and explain what he was doing step-by-step: how to use the miter box, the type of wood-stain to use, etc.
Because he was doing these projects as his real job, it wasn't any more work for him to set that camera on a shelf and give out the information along the way.
Maybe you have a hobby or a job like that: something you love to do or something you do for money, and something that other people will find useful. Know how to replace a clutch in a car? Next time you replace yours, take out the camera and make a short informational video. Put it up on your blog with the title "How to Replace Your Clutch in an Hour." Know how to unplug a sink? Film it for your blog.
Becoming the Go-To Source... and Boosting Your Profits
As the Internet grows exponentially, more and more people are going to it for information. I don't know about you, but whenever I have a question about a historical event or my favorite author, the first place I turn to is Wikipedia or YouTube.
Now, I'm not saying your blog is going to replace those websites. But by creating a niche-marketed blog, you'll find a vast audience ready to receive the information and content you have to offer.
The fun part is you'll be selling the products you use or host on your blog. And that's when the money starts rolling in.
Will They Ban This?
This cash loophole could be banned at any moment...
Yes, I know this sounds crazy... but the reason I say it is simple.
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P.S. I've just given you the basics on how to start your own profitable blog. But here are a few resources to help you along and get you inspired!
The "Tech" Side
www.blogger.com -- a free blog-hosting site
www.wordpress.com -- a website/blog management platform
www.godaddy.com -- a step up, where you can buy your own .com domain name and hosting
www.hostgator.com -- an alternative hosting service
Blogs to Watch
www.dismountcreative.com/top-11-diy-fashion-blogs -- a list of top fashion blogs
www.centsationalgirl.com/ -- a fun blog about the budding chef on a budget
www.furnitureknowledge.com/ -- a great hub of knowledge about refinishing furniture
Content Idea Generators
www.ehow.com/ -- one of the biggest how-to websites around
www.howcast.com/ -- another big dog in the how-to niche