In our dotcom world today, almost everything is going online. A website is no longer reserved for big fortune 500 companies. Now Individuals, Organizations and Businesses need websites for different purposes. While a company might want to sell and promote its products and services online, an Individual may just be interested in airing his opinions about different topical issues. He may also want to post pictures and videos of his events on the same site or she may just want to display pictures of herself in her best costumes, for her friends to see. A couple can even set up a site for their wedding details and pictures.
However, while a Profit-making company or even a sizable non-profit organization may be able to afford the cost and skills required to register, design, host and manage a dynamic and multi-interactive website; a University undergraduate with no source of income on the other hand, may not be able to spend such an amount for a personal website. However with the explosion in blogging technology, Individuals and even organizations can get their site up for free with just a few clicks of the mouse.
The origin of the word Blog is from 2 words- web+ log. A blog is actually a small individual web page more like a diary that you keep online; it receives regular updates and allows the use of links, photos, videos and extended documents. The use of blogs, however has expanded beyond keeping online diaries. These days, writers and scientists publish their work on blogs, Activist organizations use Blogs to reach their target audience and off course Online entrepreneurs use Blogs to generate streams of income from the Internet via Advertising and Affiliate marketing.
For example, while I use one of my blogs on www.weightlossexpertinfo.blogspot.com to promote Weight Loss affiliate products and Google Adverts, my other blog on www.newdimensionlife.com/blog is mainly for Personal development and Youth advocacy articles. Another friend of mine publishes Sports Information on his blog while the other blogs on political and social trends in Nigeria.
Blogging is cheap if you are using a free host like blogger.com or wordpress.com Also the contents of blogs are regularly updated with relevant information. This is food for search engines like Google and it attracts regular repeat visitors which make the site a high traffic site with greater income potentials. There are also many benefits one can derive from blogging.
For instance, my Blog on www.newdimensionlife.com/blog attracts thousands of visitors from over 25 countries of the world. The last time I checked my web statistics, I discovered that I had the highest number of visitors from USA, Brazil, Canada and Nigeria. I get the fulfillment and satisfaction that each time I publish an article on issues that are close to my heart, I am actually getting through to thousands of people with my passion and ideas.
If you are probably thinking, “na fulfillment person go chop?”, then don’t be dismayed. It’s not only fulfillment that you can get from blogging. There are also lots of financial benefits. A Blog if well managed and maintained with regular interesting update, can become a source of comfortable passive income. Steve Pavlina, a blogger with over 5 years blogging experience and over 10 years Internet Experience claims that he generates over $30,000 monthly passively from his blog on www.stevepavlina.com. He has millions of regular visitors who come to read his articles and reviews. Passive Income generating skills for Bloggers is a little beyond the scope of this article and might take me scores of pages to explain, so I will just give a few highlights.
The commonest and easiest income avenues most bloggers subscribe to are Affiliate marketing and Advertising.
A blogger may recommend some products on his blog for his readers. If they do buy through his own unique link to the Seller’s website, he earns commissions for the referrals. If he has a good number of repeat readers, the chances of making a good number of affiliate sales are increased and so also his chances of making some good income. I think very highly of the company that hosts my website on www.newdimensionlife.com. I discovered that they have an Affilaite program, so I wrote up a review of their Hosting Package and recommended it on my blog. If a reader buys the package through my link, I make a commission. However, it is often better to review and recommend products and services that are related to the niche you blog on. For instance, if you blog on weight loss methods, it will not make much sense recommending Get-rich- quick- schemes. A Book on effective methods of losing weight or a weight loss club membership subscription will be more appropriate. There are no hard and fast rules anyway.
A Blogger can sell advert space on his blog to companies if he has a good number of readers who will likely be the target market of the companies involved. However the commonest way bloggers sell adverts currently on the Internet is via the Google Adsense program (www.google.com/adsense) that allows Publishers/Bloggers to display adverts of related products on their blog. They are paid per click. So each time, a visitor to the blog clicks on any advert displayed on the blog, he is regarded as a potential buyer and the Blogger earns some income. This is also a niche and number game because the more people who visit your blog and are interested in the specific niche (area) you blog on, the more clicks and cash you are likely to get. There are also indirect ways of benefitting from a blog. A young Nigerian who blogs on Self-Discovery and writes very Inspirational Christian articles, developed such a strong following and rapport with his readers over some time. Recently, some of them based in the US, organized a conference in the US and invited him over. Did I forget to mention, that these people handled all his expenses and arranged for his visa? Ok. I didn’t tell you, he has never left Africa before now. He returned a couple of weeks ago and guess what? He is going back very soon to feature in some more conferences. If I have piqued your interest enough, then you might want to go ahead and learn the step-by-step process of setting up a blog.
How to set up a free Blog
Setting up a blog is easy if you know what you are doing. If you have a computer and an access to the Internet, you can set up a Blog with blogger.com or wordpress.com in a few minutes. However, I must point out that a Blog on a Paid host with your own dotcom, like I have on www.newdimensionlife.com/blog is always better and has certain advantages over those that are set up on free hosts like www.weightlossexpertinfo.blogspot.com .
Setting up your Blog with Blogger.com
Blogger.com is a free blogging service run by Google. It is ideal for starters because the interface is very straightforward. Creating your first post is about as easy as typing up a regular text document.
Step1: Signing up Your Account
Go to www.blogger.com. On the home page, you will find a graphic in the center of the page showing you the 3 easy steps to creating your blog.
Click on the orange arrow that says “Create Your Blog Now”.
On the next page, you will be asked to create a Google account. If you already have a gmail.com account, you may use it and skip this step. If not, you have to go ahead to create one in order to enable you assess Blogger and some other services that Google offers.
After you complete the forms for creating a Google account, click on the Continue Button.
Step 2: The next page on the screen will ask you to name your Blog. This means simply to give your blog a Title, as well as select a username that will be used as part of the web address for your blog.
For example, you might name your blog “John’s Football Lounge”. This is the title people will see when they visit your blog. This will create your blog address at: http://johnsfootballlounge.blogspot/com.
Click ‘Continue’ again, and you will be taken to a page where you can choose the
‘Template’ for your blog. Your template is going to be the overall appearance of your blog. There are a variety of already made templates for you to choose from. Try to choose something simple and matching to the topic of your blog. For instance, if you want to blog on Healthy Eating Habits, a Green template will be preferred over a black one, while the latter may be more suitable if your Blog focuses on PlayStation (video game) cheats and tricks.
Click on Continue and you will get a message like this:
Now that your Blog has been created, you can start posting- articles, stories, links, pictures, videos and any other stuff you think your visitors might find interesting.
This is just the ABC of Blogging, if I can call it that. Being a successful blogger, however, requires much more than these. If you are considering Blogging, you may want to surf around the web and see what other people are doing with their blogs. I also recommend you read up some materials that deal exhaustively on Blogging and other income avenues online.
To your Blogging Success!