When I was asked to appear on The Lab with Leo Laporte, the producer wanted me to just give three to five beginner’s blogging tips because my session was only six minutes long and there would be not be enough time to go any deeper. I made up the five points I wanted to talk about before the show. However, during the actual taping, Leo was only interested one of them. Since I didn’t get to talk about all five beginner’s blogging tips on The Lab, I figure I would talk about them here.
Beginner Tip #1 – Blog About Something Your Passionate About
If you are not passionate about your topic, you are not going to stick to it. The best way to decide what to blog about is to ask yourself, “Would I do this for free?” If the answer is yes, then you have found your topic. People who blog only for money seldom succeed.
Beginner Tip #2 – Get Your Own Domain Name
While it certainly is possible to start a blog for nothing by using a free service like Blogger.com or WordPress.com, I recommend every blogger starting out to get their own domain name. The cost is next to nothing and you can still host it for free if you want (Blogger allows that).
If you do not wish to use the Blogger platform, you’ll have to pony up for web hosting but that’s pretty damn cheap as well. BlueFur (they host this blog) has hosting solutions starting at $5 per month and they’ll give you 15% off if you enter JohnChowRocks in the coupon code.
Having your own domain makes you look more professional. While it may not make you a pro-blogger, the ad networks will take you a lot more seriously. Some ad networks will not accept a site unless it has its own domain name. If you do it right, having your own domain and web hosting won’t cost you anything because the income the blog generates will more than offset the cost.
It’s better to get the domain name at the start than down the road. The last thing you want to do is build up a blog with Blogspot, get a ton of backlinks, PageRank, Alexa and Technorati rankings, and then have to move it to its own domain and start over. I’m sure Kumiko can relate. 🙂
Beginner Tip #3 – Update The Blog Often
A non-updated blog is a dead blog. If you cannot commit to a consistent blogging schedule, then it’s best not to blog until you can. This is where blogging about your passion comes in. If you’re passionate about the topic, then chances are you’ll keep blogging about it. Ideally, you should update the blog everyday.
Beginner Tip #4 – Get To Know Your Readers
Blogging is a two-way street. You cannot exist without readers (well you can, but what’s the point?), and readers don’t exist unless they have something to read. Blogging is about forming relationships. There’s the relationship between you and the readers and relationship between you and other blogs in your niche. It is up to you to get to know them and form this relationship. Many readers have stated that when they’re reading my blog, it’s like a one-on-one conversion. That was not done by accident. It’s all part of relationship blogging.
Beginner Tip #5 – Monetize The Blog With Multiple Sources
When the time comes to monetize your blog, don’t stick with just Google AdSense. There are now tons of ways to make money from blogging. Check out my recommended moneymaker list. If I were to use only Google AdSense, there is no way I would have been able to pull down nearly $12,000 last month. Google accounted for less than 10% of April blog income. Do not put all your eggs there.
I use eight different methods to make money online. Only two of them are banner ads. During the Lab interview, Leo pointed that my blog doesn’t looks it has that much advertising at all. When he found out how many different advertising models I used, he was shocked. The key to monetizing a blog is to run as many advertising products as you can get away with while still providing a good user experience.
These were the five begginner’s tip I wanted to get across on The Lab with Leo. However, the only point I was able to talk about was the last one, which isn’t that surprising since everyone wants to know how to make money online. I hope that the next time I’m on the show, I’ll be able to talk more about the other tips.