I’ll bet you think I was born knowing all about blogging. You probably think that putting this blog together was a piece of cake and that I did it blindfolded. No? Well, you’re right! In the early days of this blog, circa June, 2009, I would actually sit and cry in frustration. I felt so stupid. And old. On blogging forums it seemed that the oldest person there was 24, and they all spoke a common language I didn’t understand.
Eventually, I found my way to Problogger, and that was my salvation. I picked up on a bit of terminology — SEO, ‘above the fold’, pageviews, backlinks, and so on, and after a while I felt worthy of the name, ‘blogger’! Darren Rowse, the head guru at Problogger, put together simple steps that help me understand how to organize my blog and, importantly, how to earn money with a blog. Yes, I actually earn money each month!
A blog is an ideal home-based business because you can write on any topic under the sun, anywhere, anytime, and the sky’s the limit. In the blogosphere, no one has to know your age, what you look like, or whether or not you graduated at the top of your class, or at the bottom. I’ve seen successful blogs that focus on something as narrow as laundry and as broad as travel. A blog is where you can let your own personality and life experiences shine. You can write at odd times of the day, you can share your own photos and artwork, your blog can be very personal or you can write under a pseudonym. Not all blogs are centered around long, wordy articles. Some contain only tried-and-true recipes or Top Ten Lists or unusual photos. It’s your own creation.
Here are three tips I’ve learned for getting started.
- Choose a blog topic that will hold your interest for at least a year. Many professional bloggers say that it will take at least three years to become a success, and you don’t want to run out of steam four months in.
- Plan on spending hours and hours each week becoming educated in all the facets of blogging. There’s a lot more to it than just writing a few paragraphs every once in a while. A second good resource for you is Copyblogger.
- Let your voice be heard. Your unique personality will set your blog apart from all the others.
If you’d like to attend what I call “Blogging University”, Darren Rowse’s e-book, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog gives step-by-step instructions for creating a blog you’ll be proud of. I have to admit, it took me five years to get my Bachelor’s Degree, so I’m sort of doing the ‘310 Days…’ version of Darren’s book. I’ve been so impressed with Darren and the quality of information I’ve found on his blog and his related forum, ProBlogger Community, that I became an affiliate. In other words, I earn a bit of a commission when someone purchases Darren’s book through my blog.
Look, if I can start a successful blog at the age of 49, anyone can do it! I don’t know hi-tech from nothin’ and yet, here I am. Don’t be surprised if it takes a couple of different blogs or different versions of the same blog for you to find your groove. My own blog went through about five different styles before I landed on this current theme, and wouldn’t you know, I’m getting ready to make some changes again!
Adding another stream of income is so important, and establishing a money-earning blog just might work for you.
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