Money Making Blogs – Where Do I Start?

Other than working a 9-to-5 job, it is best to find a secondary source of income. By doing so, you can diversify your income and build a safety net if you lose your regular job. No matter what the economic conditions, establishing another source of income is always a wise move. One of the best ways to earn a side income is through money making blogs.

Nowadays, you can set up a blog in a matter of minutes. You do not need to be an internet expert to do so. Blogger and WordPress are two of the free and well-known blogging platforms. You can easily create a blog with either one of these platforms.

The instructions for setting up your own blog are quick and easy to follow. However, before you create your blog, decide on the title beforehand. Choose a title that you are passionate and knowledgeable about for writing blog posts as often as possible. It could be related to health, finance, or even yourself.

Once you have created the blog, then, sign up for an affiliate marketing account. Google AdSense and Amazon are two well-known companies which use this form of marketing to promote products. If you have a blogger account, it is easy to sign up for Google AdSense and Amazon since they are incorporated into the blogger system for easy registration.

Once you have registered with Google AdSense, you may note advertisements appearing on your blog. For Amazon, you can select the product advertisement, which you want on your blog. Each time a visitor to your blog clicks on an advertisement, you earn money. It is as simple as that. This is called PPC or pay per click.

Therefore, if you make an effort to increase the number of blog visitors, there are better chances for earning more cash. With money making blogs, you can get started generating passive income if your blog has a constant stream of visitors.

5 Keys to Writing a Successful Blog

Congratulations on deciding to join the digital community and create a blog to express your thoughts and opinions. Keep this in mind before embarking on this journey, anyone can produce mediocrity and only a few will succeed. Most people do not take the time to prepare themselves and carefully think about what they are trying to accomplish. Instead, they just create a Blogger account and start pecking away at the keyboard. Instead, create digital prose worthy of your time and effort. Be a one-of-a-kind individual with unique opinions, stories, and information. Use your blog as an opportunity to tell the world about your unique perspective. Before beginning to craft your masterpiece, let me give a few suggestions.

1. Understand Your Motivation

Everyone has different reasons for publishing his or her thoughts on the World Wide Web. Some people feel passionately about a topic and think that blogging allows them an outlet to express their feelings. Blogging for them is a form of catharsis. Others are motivated by the opportunity to add a couple zeros to their Paypal account. For these people, blogging is a business. Regardless of your motivation, it is necessary to determine your objectives for this endeavor. This guiding light should govern all the choices when crafting your blog. Invest in design and functionality if your goal is introducing your company to the world. If all someone wants to do is share stories about their precocious five year old with their family in Chicago, a free Blogger account will have everything they need.

2. Find Your Muse

There is nothing new under the sun. This idea certainly holds true for the Internet. No matter what one is considering, someone has already tread along that road and likely has done it with some style and elegance. This is terrific news, because there is no reason to live within a vacuum. Get on Google and begin searching for people and websites that are inspiring. Search the web and discover beautiful web designs. Dissect HTML code and uncover the mysteries of what lies beneath the surface. Then bring everything together to achieve something that is uniquely your own.

3. Define Your Individuality and Boldly Express Yourself

The great thing about humans is that there are no two alike. Even identical twins have distinctive characteristics. Spend some time to ponder what it is about your personality that is unique. What are your talents and strengths? Is there a concern that inspires passionate belief? Discover your inspiration and powerfully express it. Do not be shy or nervous about the words that are appearing on the computer screen. If one timidly edits their work, then they are not being totally honest with their audience. Allow yourself to express your thoughts without limitation and your audience will likely connect with your concepts.

4. Perfection Lies Within the Practice

No one gets it right the first time. Michael Jordan did not pick up a basketball one day and become a world-class athlete. In fact, he was rejected from the varsity basketball team his sophomore year of high school. Michael practiced the sport intensely and with the ambition to become the best. So do not concern yourself if your first articles are mediocre, most likely they will be. The answer is not to succumb to frustration and surrender your ambitions. The more people practice their expertise with the desire to improve, the better they will get, and ultimately the quality will emerge.

5. Fall in Love with Your Blog

Attempt to develop a strong emotional connection to your work. It is this compulsion to create that steers people forward and propels them to the next level of achievement. If someone does not love what they are doing, eventually inertia will overwhelm them. Writing a blog is not unlike being in a significant, romantic relationship. It requires work in order for it to grow. Some people may develop a blog and finally realize that they do not have the emotional flare for it. It is perfectly acceptable to stop it. Do not waste your time doing something that does not allow that sense of fulfillment. Try writing something entirely different. Regardless, do something that gives a sense of pride and accomplishment.

I hope these suggestions prove beneficial and I look forward to reading your next post.

Get Your Own Domain Name For Your Blog

Everyone is blogging these days. You may not realize how easy it actually is to obtain a direct domain name for your blog. Some blog services such as Blogger are offering to “help you obtain a domain name”, which you see when you are setting up your blog.

Essentially this is something you can do this on your own and it’s not very expensive either. On average you may pay between $8 and $15 per year to “own your own domain name.” I should say you merely are renting it for a specified number of years…

It’s doesn’t matter where you have started your blog, on WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, etc. These are the places you are going to be “hosting” your site. The goal now is, to obtain a domain name.

If you haven’t actually started your blog yet, this may be a plus. This will give you time to find your domain name first, and make sure it is available. Your goal should be to find a domain name that is actually available to closely mirror your blog. Many people say one you have your domain name, it won’t really matter, as you will redirect it to your blog, but it helps when “name branding.”

Here is how you would check availability. First, check availability with your blog service. For instance, if you are using Blogger services on Google, see if “PetSittingbyPete” is available. If it is, then check your domain name. Go to GoDaddy.com, which I recommend because it’s cheap and easy to use. There are always coupon codes available on the web. You can check on the main page if the desired domain is available. If not, it will give you alternate ideas.

If PetSittingbyPete.com is available, move on to the next paragraph. If not, perhaps PetSittingbyPete.biz or.net is available. I strongly suggest getting a.com extension as that is the most widely used, but if not there are other options. You could also try changing or playing with the names ie: reversing it to PetesPetSitting.com or the like until you have a winner with both the blog and the site.

Start your blog (for free) and register it if you haven’t already. Then go to Go Daddy and “buy” a domain name. You can do this from one to five years, and they accept coupon codes. A quick search in Google or the web will give you current coupon codes on GoDaddy, and you can sometimes save up to 35% off your domain purchase.

If you find a good code, it will run you about $7.50 to $9 per year on a.com domain name–sometimes more the longer you register it for. This is very good! You don’t have to pay hosting, because your blog is doing the hosting so make sure not to buy any unnecessary bells and whistles because you don’t need them. All you need is the domain name.

Payment is easy, by PayPal, or credit card. Once you have the domain, you will be asked to fill out some legal information (registration) and ICann information. So now you have your domain. What do you do next?

You would then make sure you are logged into your GoDaddy account and “manage” your domain. Your goal is to “forward” it to your blog. This way, whenever anyone types in PetSittingByPete.com they would be sent to your blog. In actuality, it’s a redirection.

You will see there may be several ways to do this, it will prompt you to forward it (recommended) or forward with masking. You can read up on these options elsewhere and how each may impact your page rank.

Once you have done this, it will take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours for the GoDaddy servers to update, but your new domain should be up and running within hours of obtaining it. Congrats! You now have a domain name for your blog!

How To Set Up A Blog For Cash And Fun

If you’re reading this, then you most likely want to know how to set up a blog for cash and fun. Maybe just for business, or maybe just for fun, but you want to know how. You need to know how.

Cool, because you are in the right place.

By now you’ve probably seen and are aware that Blogging has become very popular on the internet. More and more people are setting up their own blogs for personal and business pursuits as an efficient means to connect with customers and/or friends. Blogs are becoming an integral part for online businesses and are a great way to earn money online.

I can’t count how many times someone has asked me what a blog is. People get a bit confused by the ‘blog’ label but really it is very simple. A ‘blog’ is really just a website whereby content is ordered chronologically and typically contains interactive elements…usually called ‘comments’.

Comments are a section within the blog where a user can add his own opinion, perhaps a picture or a ‘comment’ on a particular posting that is already on the blog, thus making it interactive. The word ‘blog’ comes from the term ‘weblog’, which is a log of content on a website.

Pretty straightforward.

How To Set Up A Blog For Cash And Fun

Now I will cover the basic steps needed on how to set up a blog. Whether you want one for business to generate cash, or as more of a fun outlet, I’ll show you some tips and things you’ll want to avoid.

How To Set Up A Blog For Cash And Fun: Should You Set Up A Blog Using A Free Hosted Service?

You can go the ‘free’ route and sign up for a blog account with a service like blogspot.com (which is owned by Google) or another similar hosted service.

And while it’s fairly simple to use a hosted service there are a couple of big disadvantages:

1. These sites essentially ‘own’ your content: Your posts and will reside on their servers and their property. They ultimately have control of it.

2. You are limited by the design and functionality: Although some services have many cool features, there are limits as to what you can do design-wise and some even restrict the type of advertising you can put up when setting up your blog.

3. They can decide on a whim to shut your blog down…the site could go out of business, etc…

So in how to set up a blog for yourself you’ll want to strongly consider setting it up on your own domain and hosting account. In fact, to be perfectly blunt, this is simply a must.

How To Set Up A Blog For Cash And Fun: Selecting Your Topic

If you have already decided on the topic or ‘niche’ (as us smarty-pants people like to term it…hehe) then you can skip to the next section below. But if not, then you need to decide on what you want your blog to be about.

Don’t get sweaty and nervous. It’s not hard, and there’s a pretty straightforward solution.

You want to try and choose a topic that you KNOW. Something that you are preferably passionate about and something that ‘moves’ you everyday. This will make it much easier to get your blog started.

How To Set Up A Blog For Cash And Fun: Picking A Name For Your Blog And Getting A Domain Name

Now you need to pick a name for your blog and then buy a domain name. These can be one in the same. For example: Your domain name is ‘mycoolblog.com’ and the ‘name is…Let’s say ‘MyCoolBlog.com’ (The same in this example). Basically, something that reflects your business or niche.

Next you want to go over to GoDaddy.com and register your name so you own it. Set up a GoDaddy account if you don’t already have one and then go through the steps on the site to pick and purchase your name.

Next you need webhosting for your blog. There are literally millions of web hosting companies out there who will host your blog for you. To be honest, the majority of them suck. And I’ve used some of them over the years.

You need an affordable host (especially if you’re just starting out with your blog) but it has to be reliable with good customer service. Let me tell you…that is not easy to find.

However, there are a few companies that fit this criteria, and the one I recommend most is a company called Hostgator. They have very inexpensive entry hosting plans (starting around 5 bucks a month), have great service and great customer service. I use them myself and can’t recommend them enough.

Check HostGator out. Sign up for an account and they will send you a welcome packet to your email on setting up your account. You also want to ask you webhost how to ‘point’ your domain name to your webhosting account. They will assist you in doing this.

How To Set Up A Blog For Cash And Fun: Using WordPress.org

Remember I wrote earlier that you want to install and host your own blog instead of using a free service like Blogger. Well now you need to pick the software that you will install on your hosting account for how to set up a blog.

There are several companies and platforms you can choose from such as Moveable Type and Typepad but I strongly recommend that you use WordPress.org. Why? WordPress.org is used by millions of bloggers so there is a huge community that helps make the software improve constantly, there are tons of plugins, which are modifications that you can install to improve your blog, and WordPress.org is free!

Just go to WordPress.org and you’ll see a link where you can download the software onto your computer.

How To Set Up A Blog For Cash And Fun: Installing WordPress.org Onto Your Webhosting Account

You have your domain name, your webhosting account and have the WordPress software on your computer. Now you need to upload the WordPress files onto your webhost.

For this you’ll need what is called an FTP program, which is short for File Transfer Protocol. All this means is the program you’ll use puts the files onto your webhost for you.

Do a search online for Filezilla and you can download this file transfer program. It’s free and easy to use.

Now, you can go back to the WordPress site for uploading instructions to get the blog files on your webhosting account.

Blog For Money – Want to Earn Money With Your Blog But Can’t Get Started?

Blogging is all the rage these days for a number of different reasons. It’s a lot of fun to be able to voice your opinions about something, or share information with people from all over the world. A blog on a topic that has a lot of interested readers has the potential to generate some extra income for you (If you know how to monetize these visitors…). An excellent method for generating some extra income from your blog is to use Google AdSense.

Place AdSense Ads On Your Blog

One of the most popular methods for making some extra income from your blog is to use “AdSense” on it. AdSense is Google’s contextual advertising system, which allows you to place ads on your blog which are related to your blogs content. When a visitor to your blog clicks on one of these AdSense ads you get a portion of the revenue generated.

The amount you receive will depend on the keywords that you use on your blog, which Google uses to ensure that the AdSense ad matches the blog content.

You first need to sign up for an AdSense account , which is free. Just type “set up an AdSense account” into Google, and follow the simple instructions for setting up an account. It is a good idea to have your blog already created, with some good content in place, before signing up to Google’s AdSense program.

Blend Them In

Once you have signed up, you will receive your AdSense account. This account will allow you to login, and you can then generate an AdSense ad. When you generate the AdSense ad, you choose the ad format (i.e. whether the ad will be a ‘header’ at the top of your blog, or a ‘footer’ at the bottom, or a ‘side-bar’ at the edge of your blog).

Next you have to configure how your ad will look, your AdSense account gives you a lot of options for choosing the colour of the text, the background colour etc.

Once you have decided on the format of your ad, you then save this, and Google will give you an AdSense block of html code that you then insert into your blog.

It is highly recommended to try and tailor the text and colours you select in the AdSense ad, to blend in with the ‘look and feel’ of your blog. The reason for this is you don’t want your AdSense ads on your blog to look like ads – if you spend some time choosing the colour and format of your AdSense blocks you should be able to blend them into your blog, making them look less like ads, and increasing the likelihood of them being clicked on.

AdSense And Blogger

The method that you use for adding the AdSense ads to your blog will depend on the type of blog you have:

If you are using Blogger for your blog, then adding the AdSense blocks to your blog is super simple. You just login to your blogger account, and click on the ‘add a page element’ link, where you want to add your AdSense ad.

Next a window will be displayed ‘choose a new page element’ – you simply select the ‘AdSense’ option and then click on the ‘add to blog’ button. You then choose the size and formatting for your AdSense ad, and click on ‘save changes’. You should now see a AdSense page element on your blog.

There is a limit to the type and number of AdSense ads you can add to a blog (make sure you read the AdSense terms of service, to ensure that you do not exceed this limit)

AdSense And WordPress

If you are using WordPress for your blog, then there are a number of different ways to add the AdSense code. You can download a free AdSense plugin, that allows you to add the AdSense ad to your blog.

Alternatively, just use this simple method:

Log into your Google AdSense account and generate the AdSense ad (ensure you match the ad text and colours, so it will blend in with your blog). After you have done this your AdSense account will generate the code for the ad (which you will need to insert into your WordPress blog).

To add this code to your WordPress blog:

Login to your WordPress blog as administrator.
Click on appearance
Select Widgets
Select the sidebar, header or footer where you would like the AdSense ad to appear.
Click add text widget
Click on edit widget
Enter a caption (something of your own choice)
Paste your Google AdSense code (that you generated in your Google AdSense account, earlier) into the text area. Click done, and save changes.

You should now be able to see ads from Google appearing in the AdSense block where you added the code (i.e. the header, footer or sidebar)

Wait For Acceptance

Although AdSense ads will start appearing on your blog, these will initially be public service ads that do not pay any revenue when clicked. You have to wait for your Google AdSense application to be approved before Google will start serving up contextual ads in the AdSense blocks on your blog, which generate revenue for you when clicked on.

This is why it is important to have set up your blog and have some good content in place before applying for a Google AdSense account.

How To Monetize A Blog Or Forum

Blogs and forums are ideal “traffic magnets” for a website.
Your website’s visitors know that they are frequently
updated, and that they are interactive, so they keep
returning to “join the conversation.”

Search engines know that they are frequently updated, so
search engine spiders frequent return to re-index their
content. Properly configured blogs will “ping” the search
engines and directories each time that they are posted to,
constantly calling the search engine spiders back.

Since blogs and forums even come pre-installed in C-panel
on many hosting accounts, getting a website going can be
as simple as registering a domain name, hosting it at a
host that offers C-panel, and with just a few clicks of a
button, selecting the blogging or forum platform that you
want to use.

You can even customize the look and feel of that blog or
forum later if you want to. That way, you can literally
have a website up and running in UNDER an hour. All that
you need to do is make the blog or forum your homepage, and
your site is literally ready for the world!

The big question has always been, how do you then earn
revenue from that blog or forum. Here are some options
that I use and recommend:

1) Use your blog or forum to build a niche mailing list that
you then market to via email. Simply post a subscription
form right into the html code of the blog or forum that
invites your visitors to join your mailing list. If they
enjoy the content on your blog or forum, many visitors will
subscribe. You’ll build a mailing list fairly effortless
over time.

If you’re really lazy, that mailing list subscription can be
to an “evergreen” newsletter. That is, you can write, or
have written, a series of email messages that each new
subscriber gets in sequence when they sign up. Put together
52 issues that are scheduled to go out once a week, or 24
issues that are set to go out every 2 weeks, and you have a
newsletter that essentially “runs itself” for a year.

Each issue of your newsletter could contain: a simple article,
an editorial, and a product recommendation. It doesn’t have
to be any more difficult than that.

I write each issue of my newsletter fresh, but do know people
who use the “evergreen model.” They simple set the
autoresponder sequence to start over again when the last
issue is reached, then they periodically add new issues to
the series or revise outdated issues.

If you’d like to see how I’ve integrated a subscribe box
right into my blog, you can check it out at:
http://WillieCrawford.com/blog/

With a newsletter, the most often missed point is that you
DO need to sell your subscribers on signing up. You do need
to give them a compelling reason, assure them that you’ll
protect their data, and instruct them on exactly how to
signup.

2) Use your blog or forum to sell affiliate products. This
can be as simple as putting graphics and product
recommendations right into your menu bar. I do that on my
blog at the url above.

On my blog, I now sell affiliate products that pay me 50 to
100% commission, and that pay me instantly. If you check out
my blog at the url above, you’ll notice an animated 150 x 600
banner that advertises several products.

When a website visitor clicks on that banner and buys one of
those products I earn 100% commission, and it’s instantly
deposited directly to my Paypal account. Not only do I earn
a steady stream of commissions from my blogs and forums,
but I don’t have to wait on slow-paying affiliate programs.

The banner on my blog is called “Niche Widget” and is was
added to my blog simply by copying and pasting a tiny bit of
code into the webpage. It will work on ANY blog, forum, or
webpage, even on your Faceback or YouTube (or other social
networking websites) webpages.

In fact, adding the Niche Widget to sites like Facebook or
YouTube is as simple as clicking on the Widget where it says
“Grab This Widget.” This prompts you to log into any of over
a dozen social networking sites and AUTOMATICALLY add the
widget to your profile. However, that is primarily designed
to send your widget viral, and have lots of others passing
along YOUR affiliate link. To get paid you need to click
on the link that says “Make Money With It!”

What could be easier?

With Niche widget you can choose from a variety of niches
ranging from pets, to relationships, to marketing, to food,
or health, and the widget will display ads paying you from
50 – 100% on products related to that niche. The database
has over 2000 different digital product in it.

To get the Niche Widget absolutely free, you just visit
http://Niche-Widgets.com and sign up. There are premium
accounts, but you can go with the free account if desired.
The difference is that premium accounts pay higher
commissions and pay you a percentage of sales on free
accounts when others sign up through you.

With the premium account, when someone who signs up through
you earns 50% commission, you earn 25% commission, and the
owner on Niche Widgets earns the other 25%.

I really like the system. It was earning me MORE than Google
AdSense the very first day that I installed it.

3) Google AdSense or other pay per click programs. You
register for one of these accounts, insert the code into your
page, and then you basically “sell your targeted traffic.”

The AdSense code displays related ads on your blog or forum,
and then when someone clicks on an ad, that advertise pays
Google for the traffic, and Google pays you an undisclosed
percentage of that advertiser’s payment (for each click
generated).

This was at one time my favorite revenue model because it
required very little work. You simply insert the code into
your webpages, blogs, forums, etc., and then someone else
finds the advertises who pay you. However, after only a
little testing, and noticing a higher revenue stream, I AM
replacing AdSense on most of my site with Niche Widget. You
can get that again at: http://Niche-Widgets.com

4) Your own products. If you have your own products, you can
market those directly from your blog or forum just as you do
affiliate products. For example, I have both a blog and a
forum on my soul food recipes site. On both the blog and
the forum, I run an ad for a cookbook that I wrote and sell
copies of EVERYDAY.

Since I know that many of my repeat visitors already own my
cookbook, I also use to run Google AdSense ads, but now use
the Niche Widget.

The Niche Widget displays rotating ads for other cooking
related digital products… mainly cookbooks.

5) Product Reviews. It also makes perfect sense to write
reviews of products and services related to your niche and
then post those on your blogs or forums. I do that by writing
reviews and posting related articles on my blogs and forums.

This works because the reviews, or articles, containing niche
specific keywords let the search engines know to rank my blogs
or forums highly for those keywords. This content (these
reviews) posted regularly, are what call the search engine
spiders back time after time to keep re-indexing my sites.

I’ve just outlined five ways that you can monetize a blog or
forum. On many of my sites, the blog or forum is EASILY the
most visited page on the entire site. Visitors will often
visit the blog or forum on your site repeatedly, and NEVER
venture off the blog or forum to check out the other sections
of your site.

Therefore, if you do want to earn a living from your website,
it is critical that you use proven effective ways to monetize
your blogs and forums. I’ve just given you FIVE that earn
thousands of dollars per month for me 🙂

How To Start A Successful Blog

The most common question I get asked about blogging would be “How do you start a blog?”

For this particular post, I’m going to show you how to start a successful blog (a professional one) in easy steps. If you know how to click a mouse and use the internet, you will be able to do this.

Do not be afraid if you have never done this before or feel you are too technologically challenged to do it — because you can do it. How do I know? I’m technologically challenged myself — yet I still did it. But you have the advantage of not having to make the same mistakes that I did by learning from my mistakes.

Picking A Topic

Pick a topic you know about or like a lot. Pick something you’re passionate about. You don’t even need to be an expert on a subject to blog about it! You can even blog about things you hate as long as you’re passionate about it.

Some blogs have “how-to” tutorials, some have photos, animations, cartoons and videos as their content. The most popular blogs are the non-fiction and “how-to” blogs.

Blogging about something you know a lot about or love will encourage regular posting — therefore people will most likely to return — and reduce your writer’s block.

Doing What You Love, Know Or Hate Is Great, But Is There A Market For The Topic You Want To Blog About?

Do a Google search or use Google Keyword Tool to find out if people are searching for your topic and related terms.

Google Trends helps to find out how popular a search term or word is. Market Samurai is a great tool which I use to find detailed analysis of the topics and markets I want to get into.

Forums are also a great source of information to find out what the market needs. Users there might tell you what information or product they are looking for or willing to pay for. Or you can ask on the forums for what people are after.

Choosing a Blog

Which is Best: WordPress or Blogger?

Call me biased because I’m using WordPress but I’ve used both of them, and WordPress has impressed me the most — don’t hold it against me almighty Google. WordPress has better and more plugins to make life easier and I am all for it because I’m so lazy and technologically challenged.

Now before you rush off to signup for an account with WordPress, if you are planning on making money out of your blog or if it’s for a business, you would want to look professional.

URLs such as yourwebsite.wordpress.com/yourentry doesn’t look professional and it’s difficult to remember. To get a free blog with WordPress.com, you are telling your audience that your blog is just a hobby.

To get your own URL or domain such as YourWebsite.com for example, you need a hosting provider to host your domain. Hosting packages usually cover the registration of the domain. Okay, I’ll admit a little secret: when I began, I didn’t even know what a hosting provider was or what it did. Yes, those words technologically challenged comes into mind.

Hosting Providers

I have used quite a few hosting providers and there are some good ones out there. So far, the ones I like have to be Bluehost and Siteground. I use both of them.

Bluehost offers fantastic, 24 hours online support. I’ve had some lame newbie problems in the past and they have always been there to help me fix the issues — without making me feel like a noob. Bluehost support is fast and reliable. Their prices are pretty average. Not the most expensive but not the cheapest either. But you will definitely get good support with them — so for someone who is new to blogs and websites, they are a Godsend.

Siteground is cheap and cheerful. The prices are cheaper than Bluehost, but for a good reason: their support is elusive to say the least. If you’re confident with websites and blogs, then support doesn’t really matter. To get hold of a Siteground customer service rep online is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. And Siteground has slightly less features compared to Bluehost. But what they lack in features, they make up for in price and overall performance. If you are on a shoe string budget and want affordable hosting, Siteground is the way to go.

So which host is better? It all comes down to your budget and support preference.

Hosting Your Website

Before you register your domain and get your website hosted, have some backup URL or domain names in case the one you want is already taken.
Go Bluehost or Siteground and type in the URL you want that is available. Sign up, make payment (credit card or Paypal) and you should receive a welcome email with the login details of your website. It’s worth paying that little extra $10 a year for the WHOIS privacy protection so people can’t find your personal details when they look at who owns the website. And to prevent them from spamming your email.
Sign into your website by going to your hosting provider’s website and login with your account details.

Here is where you will easily install WordPress with a few clicks:

For Bluehost > Scroll down to Software/Services section and click on Simple Scripts > Under Blogs heading click on WordPress > Click Install > Fill in details > Bookmark you website’s WordPress login URL — now you have a WordPress blog on your own domain!
For Siteground > Go Account Section > click CPanel > click Access CPanel Normally > Scroll down to Software/Services section and click on Fantastico De Luxe > Under Blogs click on WordPress > Click on New Installation > Fill in details and click Install WordPress > Bookmark you website’s WordPress login URL — now you have a WordPress blog on your own domain!

Pick A Template (Design) For Your Blog

Many people get worried that they need to know how to design a website in order to have one. But there are templates (for WordPress and Blogger) that are free — with all the design and work done for you.

To pick a free theme, log into your website’s WordPress account (the URL you bookmarked after WordPress was installed) which I’ll refer to as the “WordPress backend” from now.

On the left panel, under the Appearance tab, click on Themes, click on Install Themes tab across the top, tick the boxes you want or put in name of a design or word and click Find Themes. Once you have found and settled on a theme, click Install, and then click Install Now button, then click Activate and your theme or design should be live on your website now.

Go check it out by typing your website URL into a new browser window and have a look. If you do not like it, you can search for another theme and activate the new one instead. You can even find the names of the themes you want by doing a Google search. Type “Free WordPress Themes pink” or “Paper WordPress Themes” etc with a short description of the style or color you want and you’ll get lists of themes to choose from.

To customize your blog to the colors you want with your logos etc, I’ll cover that in part three of this post series “How To Customize Your Blog.”

Adding WordPress Plugins To Make Your Life Easier

What are WordPress plugins?

WordPress blogs on their own are pretty okay for blogging but your site will be pretty bare and simple in function. Unless you are a programmer who can code everything you need, you’re going to want some plugins. Best of all, these plugins are free.

What are these plugins and what on earth do they do? The question should be what don’t they do? From helping your site run faster, to helping you add contact forms, insert ads, have slide shows, help Google find your site, let you have customized sidebar or menus, embed videos, kill comment spam, make your site prettier and much more! Many programmers have spent time to make these handy plugins to make our lives easier so we can have more interesting and better websites – so a thank you to all you WordPress plugin programmers out there.

To add new plugins to your WordPress backend (without having to install it manually), on the left-hand panel under Plugins tab, click Add New and type in the name of the plugin or the function that you want, and click Search Plugins. Find plugin you want and select Install Now, and then click Activate Plugin to begin using it.

These Are My Top 13 Recommended WordPress Plugins To Add:

Ad Inserter (by Igor Funa) — works in tandem with Advertising Manager below. Will make your life easier when you monetize your site with ads. The last thing I want to do is figure out how to code the ads in a way to make them repeat or sit in a certain area on my site. This plugin makes adding ads simple.
Advertising Manager (by Scott Switzer) — works in tandem with the Ad Inserter above. This useful plugin controls how many ads to show so you don’t get bitch slapped by Google Adsense. Google only allows 3 ads per page so this plugin does all the work for you so you don’t have to worry about compliance!
Akismet (by Automattic) — weird name but it is handy to kill off annoying comments who leave spam on your website! This is already pre-installed on all WordPress accounts, you just need to activate it by signing up for an API key.
All In One SEO Pack (by Michael Torbert) — will help optimize your website for search engines (which is important but more on that in another post).
Comment Link Manager (by Weberz Hosting) — will make your life easier by letting you manage the links left my commentators.
Easy Privacy Policy (by Kevin Sparrow) — a must for sites wanting to get on the good side of Google Adsense. This won’t guarantee you’ll get approved but sure helps a little. Plus it’s always professional to let your website visitors know how you’re going to protect their personal information (and I hope you mean it!)
Fast Secure Contact Form (by Mike Challis) — enough said! Building web forms are a pain in the butt and this plugin does it for you and still gives you flexibility to customize it if you wish. And it’s secure so it makes me feel all fuzzy and warm. Now you have a “contact us” form, how professional!
Google XML Sitemaps (by Arne Brachhold) — aids search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing to index your site asap – which is important if you want to be found.
Robots Meta (by Joost de Valk) — Search engines uses crawlers or web spiders or web robots to “crawl” your website’s pages. This plugin points the bots to the pages that matter and avoid the ones that aren’t.
Sexy Bookmarks (by Shareaholic) — if you look below you’ll see a social networks panel for people to share this article with (like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, LinkedIn, MySpace etc). This is great to encourage people to tell their friends and family about your site or articles.
Subscribe To Comments Reloaded (by Camu) — such a small feature yet it can be powerful. It leaves a little box for commentators to tick if they wish to follow comments by other commentators. What does that mean and how does it benefit you? By subscribing to comments, it means they want to see what others are saying and return to your website! Encouraging readers to come back is a great thing to have!
W3 Total Cache (by Frederick Townes) — Makes your blog load faster! And that in itself is awesome because Google takes that into account when ranking one’s site. So the faster your website loads, the better it looks in Google’s eyes.
WordPress Databased Backup (by Austin Matzko) — This one doesn’t require an explanation. The name tells you just how important it is to backup your website in case your computer crashes or you accidentally mess up your website.

If Your Theme Needs Extra Basic Features

If you like your theme but it is missing some basic elements — like menus etc, these plugins might help (remember these are optional so check your theme first):

Menubar (by Andrea Tarantini) — some theme developers forget to put in a menubar. If your theme is one of them, this will do the trick.

Page Link Manager (by Garrett Murphey) — if your theme is missing a menubar, odds are you have no control over which links show up in your navigation menu / menubar once you add one. Here is where this plugin will help decide which pages or categories show with a few clicks.

Now What Do I Do Zoe?

You starting writing and putting content in!

WordPress automatically installs a pre-written first post for you. You can either delete it by writing over it, or selecting Add New under Posts tab on the left hand panel.

If you’re stuck on what to write for your first post, write your “About Me” page to introduce your blog and yourself to your audience.

I hope this helps your first steps in having your very own blog.

Next post: Part Two — How To Monetize Your Blog

Hi I’m Zoe and I’m on my way to living on passive income and I’m here to show you how you can too.

Visit my website [http://www.MindofZ.com] to learn more ways to turn your blog into a success and begin your first steps towards financial freedom. With free articles, tips, newsletter and more to help you on your blogging venture.

You don’t need a degree or be an qualified writer to succeed online. You don’t have to be rich to begin. You’re never too young or too old to start. You don’t even need to design your website. You just need the desire to begin.

How To Start A Successful Blog

The most common question I get asked about blogging would be “How do you start a blog?”

For this particular post, I’m going to show you how to start a successful blog (a professional one) in easy steps. If you know how to click a mouse and use the internet, you will be able to do this.

Do not be afraid if you have never done this before or feel you are too technologically challenged to do it — because you can do it. How do I know? I’m technologically challenged myself — yet I still did it. But you have the advantage of not having to make the same mistakes that I did by learning from my mistakes.

Picking A Topic

Pick a topic you know about or like a lot. Pick something you’re passionate about. You don’t even need to be an expert on a subject to blog about it! You can even blog about things you hate as long as you’re passionate about it.

Some blogs have “how-to” tutorials, some have photos, animations, cartoons and videos as their content. The most popular blogs are the non-fiction and “how-to” blogs.

Blogging about something you know a lot about or love will encourage regular posting — therefore people will most likely to return — and reduce your writer’s block.

Doing What You Love, Know Or Hate Is Great, But Is There A Market For The Topic You Want To Blog About?

Do a Google search or use Google Keyword Tool to find out if people are searching for your topic and related terms.

Google Trends helps to find out how popular a search term or word is. Market Samurai is a great tool which I use to find detailed analysis of the topics and markets I want to get into.

Forums are also a great source of information to find out what the market needs. Users there might tell you what information or product they are looking for or willing to pay for. Or you can ask on the forums for what people are after.

Choosing a Blog

Which is Best: WordPress or Blogger?

Call me biased because I’m using WordPress but I’ve used both of them, and WordPress has impressed me the most — don’t hold it against me almighty Google. WordPress has better and more plugins to make life easier and I am all for it because I’m so lazy and technologically challenged.

Now before you rush off to signup for an account with WordPress, if you are planning on making money out of your blog or if it’s for a business, you would want to look professional.

URLs such as yourwebsite.wordpress.com/yourentry doesn’t look professional and it’s difficult to remember. To get a free blog with WordPress.com, you are telling your audience that your blog is just a hobby.

To get your own URL or domain such as YourWebsite.com for example, you need a hosting provider to host your domain. Hosting packages usually cover the registration of the domain. Okay, I’ll admit a little secret: when I began, I didn’t even know what a hosting provider was or what it did. Yes, those words technologically challenged comes into mind.

Hosting Providers

I have used quite a few hosting providers and there are some good ones out there. So far, the ones I like have to be Bluehost and Siteground. I use both of them.

Bluehost offers fantastic, 24 hours online support. I’ve had some lame newbie problems in the past and they have always been there to help me fix the issues — without making me feel like a noob. Bluehost support is fast and reliable. Their prices are pretty average. Not the most expensive but not the cheapest either. But you will definitely get good support with them — so for someone who is new to blogs and websites, they are a Godsend.

Siteground is cheap and cheerful. The prices are cheaper than Bluehost, but for a good reason: their support is elusive to say the least. If you’re confident with websites and blogs, then support doesn’t really matter. To get hold of a Siteground customer service rep online is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. And Siteground has slightly less features compared to Bluehost. But what they lack in features, they make up for in price and overall performance. If you are on a shoe string budget and want affordable hosting, Siteground is the way to go.

So which host is better? It all comes down to your budget and support preference.

Hosting Your Website

Before you register your domain and get your website hosted, have some backup URL or domain names in case the one you want is already taken.
Go Bluehost or Siteground and type in the URL you want that is available. Sign up, make payment (credit card or Paypal) and you should receive a welcome email with the login details of your website. It’s worth paying that little extra $10 a year for the WHOIS privacy protection so people can’t find your personal details when they look at who owns the website. And to prevent them from spamming your email.
Sign into your website by going to your hosting provider’s website and login with your account details.

Here is where you will easily install WordPress with a few clicks:

For Bluehost > Scroll down to Software/Services section and click on Simple Scripts > Under Blogs heading click on WordPress > Click Install > Fill in details > Bookmark you website’s WordPress login URL — now you have a WordPress blog on your own domain!
For Siteground > Go Account Section > click CPanel > click Access CPanel Normally > Scroll down to Software/Services section and click on Fantastico De Luxe > Under Blogs click on WordPress > Click on New Installation > Fill in details and click Install WordPress > Bookmark you website’s WordPress login URL — now you have a WordPress blog on your own domain!

Pick A Template (Design) For Your Blog

Many people get worried that they need to know how to design a website in order to have one. But there are templates (for WordPress and Blogger) that are free — with all the design and work done for you.

To pick a free theme, log into your website’s WordPress account (the URL you bookmarked after WordPress was installed) which I’ll refer to as the “WordPress backend” from now.

On the left panel, under the Appearance tab, click on Themes, click on Install Themes tab across the top, tick the boxes you want or put in name of a design or word and click Find Themes. Once you have found and settled on a theme, click Install, and then click Install Now button, then click Activate and your theme or design should be live on your website now.

Go check it out by typing your website URL into a new browser window and have a look. If you do not like it, you can search for another theme and activate the new one instead. You can even find the names of the themes you want by doing a Google search. Type “Free WordPress Themes pink” or “Paper WordPress Themes” etc with a short description of the style or color you want and you’ll get lists of themes to choose from.

To customize your blog to the colors you want with your logos etc, I’ll cover that in part three of this post series “How To Customize Your Blog.”

Adding WordPress Plugins To Make Your Life Easier

What are WordPress plugins?

WordPress blogs on their own are pretty okay for blogging but your site will be pretty bare and simple in function. Unless you are a programmer who can code everything you need, you’re going to want some plugins. Best of all, these plugins are free.

What are these plugins and what on earth do they do? The question should be what don’t they do? From helping your site run faster, to helping you add contact forms, insert ads, have slide shows, help Google find your site, let you have customized sidebar or menus, embed videos, kill comment spam, make your site prettier and much more! Many programmers have spent time to make these handy plugins to make our lives easier so we can have more interesting and better websites – so a thank you to all you WordPress plugin programmers out there.

To add new plugins to your WordPress backend (without having to install it manually), on the left-hand panel under Plugins tab, click Add New and type in the name of the plugin or the function that you want, and click Search Plugins. Find plugin you want and select Install Now, and then click Activate Plugin to begin using it.

These Are My Top 13 Recommended WordPress Plugins To Add:

Ad Inserter (by Igor Funa) — works in tandem with Advertising Manager below. Will make your life easier when you monetize your site with ads. The last thing I want to do is figure out how to code the ads in a way to make them repeat or sit in a certain area on my site. This plugin makes adding ads simple.
Advertising Manager (by Scott Switzer) — works in tandem with the Ad Inserter above. This useful plugin controls how many ads to show so you don’t get bitch slapped by Google Adsense. Google only allows 3 ads per page so this plugin does all the work for you so you don’t have to worry about compliance!
Akismet (by Automattic) — weird name but it is handy to kill off annoying comments who leave spam on your website! This is already pre-installed on all WordPress accounts, you just need to activate it by signing up for an API key.
All In One SEO Pack (by Michael Torbert) — will help optimize your website for search engines (which is important but more on that in another post).
Comment Link Manager (by Weberz Hosting) — will make your life easier by letting you manage the links left my commentators.
Easy Privacy Policy (by Kevin Sparrow) — a must for sites wanting to get on the good side of Google Adsense. This won’t guarantee you’ll get approved but sure helps a little. Plus it’s always professional to let your website visitors know how you’re going to protect their personal information (and I hope you mean it!)
Fast Secure Contact Form (by Mike Challis) — enough said! Building web forms are a pain in the butt and this plugin does it for you and still gives you flexibility to customize it if you wish. And it’s secure so it makes me feel all fuzzy and warm. Now you have a “contact us” form, how professional!
Google XML Sitemaps (by Arne Brachhold) — aids search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing to index your site asap – which is important if you want to be found.
Robots Meta (by Joost de Valk) — Search engines uses crawlers or web spiders or web robots to “crawl” your website’s pages. This plugin points the bots to the pages that matter and avoid the ones that aren’t.
Sexy Bookmarks (by Shareaholic) — if you look below you’ll see a social networks panel for people to share this article with (like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, LinkedIn, MySpace etc). This is great to encourage people to tell their friends and family about your site or articles.
Subscribe To Comments Reloaded (by Camu) — such a small feature yet it can be powerful. It leaves a little box for commentators to tick if they wish to follow comments by other commentators. What does that mean and how does it benefit you? By subscribing to comments, it means they want to see what others are saying and return to your website! Encouraging readers to come back is a great thing to have!
W3 Total Cache (by Frederick Townes) — Makes your blog load faster! And that in itself is awesome because Google takes that into account when ranking one’s site. So the faster your website loads, the better it looks in Google’s eyes.
WordPress Databased Backup (by Austin Matzko) — This one doesn’t require an explanation. The name tells you just how important it is to backup your website in case your computer crashes or you accidentally mess up your website.

If Your Theme Needs Extra Basic Features

If you like your theme but it is missing some basic elements — like menus etc, these plugins might help (remember these are optional so check your theme first):

Menubar (by Andrea Tarantini) — some theme developers forget to put in a menubar. If your theme is one of them, this will do the trick.

Page Link Manager (by Garrett Murphey) — if your theme is missing a menubar, odds are you have no control over which links show up in your navigation menu / menubar once you add one. Here is where this plugin will help decide which pages or categories show with a few clicks.

Now What Do I Do Zoe?

You starting writing and putting content in!

WordPress automatically installs a pre-written first post for you. You can either delete it by writing over it, or selecting Add New under Posts tab on the left hand panel.

If you’re stuck on what to write for your first post, write your “About Me” page to introduce your blog and yourself to your audience.

I hope this helps your first steps in having your very own blog.

Next post: Part Two — How To Monetize Your Blog

Hi I’m Zoe and I’m on my way to living on passive income and I’m here to show you how you can too.

Visit my website [http://www.MindofZ.com] to learn more ways to turn your blog into a success and begin your first steps towards financial freedom. With free articles, tips, newsletter and more to help you on your blogging venture.

You don’t need a degree or be an qualified writer to succeed online. You don’t have to be rich to begin. You’re never too young or too old to start. You don’t even need to design your website. You just need the desire to begin.

Blog for Money and Link It Up With Social Media

Nowadays, social media is probably the most used and popular aspect of the entire World Wide Web. Millions of Internet users have accounts in Facebook and Twitter as well as in other platforms that allow them to connect with their friends and relatives. Aside from that, many more have their own blogs that let them post about their experiences and thoughts in a diary-like manner. While some people blog for fun, there are also others who blog for money.

In ensuring that your blog has a full potential of letting you earn a good sum, you can link it up with your social media accounts. You can post in your social media accounts whatever you have published in your blog in a shortened version. Or you can market your blog through social media. For this to be successful, you can use some tips that are known to work both for potential sponsors, business partners, and of course, clients.

One thing you should always remember is to create posts in your social media accounts that will attract the attention of your followers. You must keep in mind that your immediate network follows a lot of other people besides yourself. Therefore, there are times when they will not easily notice or see what you have posted. In such cases, you will be at a disadvantage because if you post about a recent blog entry that you have created, they may not view it immediately. That said, there is also a decrease in the possibility of your immediate network sharing your status and blog post to their own set of connections.

When striving to attract the attention of your followers, you can use multimedia content like photos, videos, and music files. Photos are proven to grab the attention of your followers. Even if they just pass through the list of current status posts, they will easily identify a photograph or video click. When your multimedia content is created with really interesting captions and images, you will definitely gain favours from your followers and may even be referred to other social media users.

Another tip you can follow in marketing your blog on social media is to interact with your followers. There are several bloggers who hold contests that their followers can join to win special items. Once they launch the contests in their blogs, they also make status posts in their social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter. Then, they invite their followers to join in. This is a very popular method bloggers use to get heavier traffic to their blogs.

You may also partner with other bloggers and online shops so you can host giveaways in your blog. In this case, you can use your social media accounts in communicating with both your sponsors and your target audience. When you do giveaways, the usual process is that you encourage people to comment on your blog or tweet you back or “like” your Facebook page. From the roster of people who have responded, a simple electronic or random draw will be held. At present, this is a marketing method that is known to merge both the blog and the social media accounts of the blogger.

Finally, take note that what is important when marketing your blog on social media is that you maintain a strong online presence. Often, this is where many bloggers fail. When they try to blog for money and link it up with social media accounts, they have the tendency to make use of one platform more than the other. This is something you should avoid. Your potential clients are looking for consistency because it is a sign of transparency and honesty. Needless to say, both characteristics are important for them to trust your brand or business. Thus, maintaining a strong and consistent online presence encourages more people to do business with you.

In the end, you can always blog for money and market it on social media. But you have to understand that doing both does not necessarily mean one would lead to the success of the other. You have to work hard to gain the trust and confidence of your potential clients and this you need to do regardless if you communicate with them through a blog or a Facebook status post.

What is an Accountability Blog?

The best type and the most profitable membership site you could ever create is what’s called an accountability blog. This is a blog where you are accountable for the things you do every single day. You set it up exactly the same as any other membership site, but this is a membership site that only you are going to log into. In this site, you’re going to post your four daily tasks to make sure that you get at least four things completed everyday, it’s going to give you mutual motivation if you let other business partners inside that blog, and it’s going to measure your progress. You can look back on any day of the week or any month or even last year and figure out exactly how much stuff you got accomplished each and everyday.

You set up this membership site and you are the only subscriber to this membership site. Nobody else can buy in, there’s no way to register, you are right now the only subscribe to the site. What do you do? Well what you do is you make one single post in the site and you list out four things you’re going to complete today. That’s it. Four things. Not six, not eight, not two – four simple things you’re going to complete today in your business. I’m not saying these are going to be the only four things you’ll do today. These are just four of the most important things you will do today.

An example for one of my days might look like “send an email to my list, write five new articles, record one new how-to video, and answer all customer support that comes in today.” It does not include non-business-related tasks. You wouldn’t put things like eat dinner, send thank you cards, wrap presents – none of that, only things that are in your business. Don’t do five, do exactly four. That way, you’re guaranteed to at least finish four things. I found if I have less than four things, I’ll spend all day on just one or two tasks, which is not good. And if put six, seven, or eight things per day on the blog, then I won’t even get four things then because it will be too overwhelming.

Once you start posting your four daily tasks for a while, if you have another business partner, give them access to this blog. I definitely would not post your to-do list out in the open where other people can see it who you don’t trust because you don’t want to divulge your future business plans to anybody. But if you have a business partner, give them access and have them post four daily tasks as well. The interesting thing about this is even if they don’t necessarily read your tasks everyday, just the fact that they might read it will keep you motivated enough to complete those four daily tasks.

Finally, you can measure progress. If you feel like last week you didn’t get as much done as you thought, go back and look at last week. You will be surprised. If you feel like on a certain day of the week or a certain week of the month, you don’t get that much stuff accomplished, go back and look at your accountability blog so you can know for sure, you can know if you really don’t get as much done or if you get more done at night or more done on Tuesdays, you can know for sure, you can have the facts and see what exactly you completed in this accountability blog.

An accountability blog is a simple membership site that nobody else can buy into, that nobody else can register in except you. You’re the one member and you go and you post your four daily tasks and let a trusted business partner see your to-do list items as well.