Blogging is a simple idea with tremendous versatility and variety.
Blogging has the potential to utilize a very large number of different revenue streams and is a very popular choice for both beginners and seasoned Internet entrepreneurs.
The term "blogging" is a broad term for content driven websites. Blogging began as an online journal of sorts, a web log, hence the term "blog".
Blogging has evolved into an entire industry with sub-industries built around it.
The concept is simple; setup a website that focuses on a particular subject. Add quality content to the site and monetize it by one or more means. The trick is to make the site worth visiting and get enough quality traffic to produce an income from your monetization efforts.
There is a few characteristics that set a blog apart from a typical website but the biggest difference is the social engagement through the use of comments. Allowing comments and interacting with your readers builds a sense of community and trust. This simple feature can be immensely powerful in building your reputation. (Mostever.com is not a blog.)
Wordpress is the largest blogging platform and probably the best known but there are several blogging platforms to choose from. You can start a blog for free and be up and blogging in under 5 minutes or you can go all the way to a custom domain with paid hosting (affiliate link) and a premium theme.
Depending on your needs or wants, there are a variety of hosting plans and domain registration services available. I use GoDaddy for domain registration and SiteGround -Affiliate Link- for my hosting. I have used several domain registration businesses and hosting companies, but in the end, GoDaddy is my number one choice for registration and SiteGround for hosting.
There are cheaper alternatives to both as well as more expensive, you are going to have to decide for yourself.
Common monetization methods include: affiliate marketing, selling ad space, and/or selling products or services.
Out of all the income strategies you could choose, blogging is probably the one strategy that nearly everyone will eventually get involved in. Most strategies for earning money online either require a website or at a minimum are more effective when you have a website, which makes the blogging strategy so popular and effective.
As with any content driven website, when you have a blog you really need to know who you are writing for. You need a specific subject or group of subjects and your content needs to reflect them. Your content needs to add value and it needs to be beneficial to your visitors.
If it has not happened already, you will soon hear about SEO, SEM, and a variety of other terms relating to search engines and your content.
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization and simply means optimizing your site and content so the search engines will reward you with better rankings in the search engine results.
SEM is short for Search Engine Marketing. It is my opinion that SEO and SEM are basically the same with only minor differences in application (SEO and SEM practitioners will probably disagree.)
Should you be concerned with SEO or SEM?
The answer is absolutely maybe.
In the SEO and SEM community, there is a great deal of very useful information to be gained, but obsessing over SEO and SEM is a great way to get nothing done. Instead, you should be focused on creating great content that is beneficial to your visitors. Create content that gets people to take action.
If you decide to start a blog, remember to consider your strengths and weaknesses. Pick subjects that you are interested in and create content that is one or more of the Golden 4: Interesting, Entertaining, Educational, and Profitable.
Next section: Selling Online