Do you want an alternative career or want to start a blog just for fun? If you are opinionated and can write in a structured manner that helps others, you should try blogging. Lately, blogs have become a successful profession/business opportunity. A number of traditional media organization joining Web companies to launch blogs is a testimony to this theory.
If you are creative, lots of hard work and perseverance can help you generate a decent income from blogging. There are a lot of people who earn from a hundred dollars to several thousands per month through their blogs. If one earns $1,000 through blogs, that’s around Rs45,000 in Indian currency. Pretty decent figure, huh!
What will be the focus area of your blog? Do you want to write about news, food, clothes, lifestyle, travel or computers? Once you start a blog, it might not be easy to switch to a different niche or topics. One, your regular readers might not be interested in the new topic. Two, your blog’s Web address, title and other branding might not be appropriate for the new niche. So it’s important that you do enough brainstorming while selecting the focus area of your blog.
Ask the following questions:
- Do you have good understanding of the topic or niche?
- Are you passionate about the subject?
- Will you be able to keep finding new topics to write about?
- Do you think your blog will get enough readers?
Get Catchy Blog Name
Branding is important, that’s why you need an exciting name. What if Pepsi was called Pepo or Coca Cola as Kule Kule? Pick a name that is appropriate for your niche. If you are going to write on computing, it might not be appropriate to call it Let’s Have Coffee.
Buy Domain/Web Address
If you are planning some serious stuff with blogging, it’s better to have your own domain. It will give you more control over your blog and come handy when you need to expand after your blog becomes popular. It’s better to have the same URL or Web address as your blog’s title like Specky Geek. This way your readers can easily recall your domain name.
Blogging Platform: Blogger or WordPress
Blogger is a free blogging platform. Beginners often find it more easy to start on Blogger as the cost is less and you don’t have to buy Web hosting and maintain your own blog. Blogger also allows you to use your own domain. However, you might not be able to have all the features that you want and search engine optimization will be an issue.
WordPress is also free, but you need to host it on your own or rented server (try Hostgator or Bluehost for reliable & cheap web hosting) with MySQL database. You will have to spend extra money for the Web hosting. You will also have to maintain it on your own or hire someone for doing it. However, this extra effort is worth it as you will have better control with WordPress.
There are plenty of free as well as paid WordPress themes and plug-ins that will help you create an attractive blog. You can also get more visitors to your blog by optimizing it for search engines (SEO). There are some other blogging platforms as well that you can give a try, but WordPress is the most popular one.
Search engines are one of the most important source of Web traffic or getting visitors to your blog. Once you have your blog ready, optimize it for search engines. All pages should have an appropriate title and description. There should not be any duplicate content.
For example, same blog post appearing on the homepage as well as other category and tag pages will be considered duplicates if entire content is available on post pages as well as the index pages. To avoid this, allow search engines to index only your homepage and posts and individual pages.
noindex meta tag to keep category, tags and other pages out of search engines. Also ensure that all your posts and pages are linked from the index page, either directly or through category and tag pages.
Now that you know the basic, roll up your sleeves and start expressing yourself. Prolific writing will take you forward from here. There’s no shortcut to success.