The term "blog" is a messed up contraction for the phrase "Web Log", and that's exactly what a blog is, it's an online log or journal where you post your writing on a regular schedule. A blog is a webpage where the most recent entry is at the top of the page, followed by older entries in reverse chronological order. You might think it a bit odd that the content is in reverse chronological order, but that's what blog readers expect. Blog readers want to see the latest entry, and if they're interested, they'll go back and read previous entries.
Some blogs are written by one person with the purpose of communicating information about their interests or hobbies. Some blogs are written by a team, with the primary purpose of generating revenue. That's not to say that one person can't make money with a blog, because many one person blogs do make a great deal of money. Whether a blog makes money or not depends mostly upon the specific topic of the blog.
Choosing a Blog Topic
Blog topics can be just about anything from actual diaries and hobbies to sports, politics, or how to make money. But if you want to make money with your blog, the topic must be about something very useful or interesting to many people. One of the most engaging things about a blog is that it can be setup so that readers can leave comments.
If the blog's topic is useful or interesting, and readers can leave comments, the blog will become a gathering place for people, an online community. People who frequent the blog will use it to exchange ideas, debate issues, and learn from other people all over the world. This is great not only for the blog's users, but also for the blog's author. With a large community of active users generating a large amount of content, the blog is in a position to generate revenue.
Blog Revenue Sources
A blog can generate revenue from many sources. Advertising is one common method used to generate revenue. With programs like Google's AdSense, you're provided with some code to paste into your blog. The code's program scans your blog's text to determine the topic, and then displays ads related to that topic. When a member of your blog's community clicks on an ad, you get paid. This is referred to as PPC (Pay Per Click).
A blog can also generate revenue from affiliate programs. An affiliate program is where you sell other peoples products or services. After you join an affiliate program, you're provided with banners and links which you post on your blog. If a member of your blog's community clicks on a banner or link, they're taken to the affiliate program owner's Web site. If they purchase something at that Web site, you're paid a commission. This is referred to as PPA (Pay Per Action).
Another method a blog can generate revenue is by selling products directly. For example, a hobby related blog might sell items related to that hobby. A sports or political blog might sell T-shirts and mugs. A blog about how to train pets, or how to make money online, or any other similar subject might sell books, videos, ebooks, and other training materials.
Some less common methods of generating revenue with a blog include getting paid for writing content for other peoples blogs and Web sites, charging a membership fee to join the blog's community, or proving a tip jar. Yes, a number of blogs make good money by simply providing a link to PayPal where people can leave a contribution.
Setting Up Your Blog
There are two main ways to setup a blog, set it up on a blog hosting Web site, or load a blog application on your own host. The easiest and quickest way is to setup your blog on a blog hosting Web site like blogger.com or WordPress.com. These are free services where all you need to do is register and they'll provide you with a URL where your blog will be, then log in and start blogging. Or you can register your own domain name and then rent a server from a Web site hosting service.
If you register your own domain name and rent a server from a Web site hosting service, you'll have much greater control over your blog. For example blogger.com is owned by Google and the only advertising you are permitted to run is Google's own AdSense program. Wordpress.com runs their own advertising on your blog and you're not permitted to run your own advertising. However, you can rent a Web server with the Wordpress blog application, or a similar application, already installed.
If you opt to rent a Web server and install a blog application, or rent a Web server with a blog application already installed, you'll have greater control, but you'll need to configure the application yourself. Configuring a blog application can be complicated, and if the Web host you choose turns out to be unreliable, it can be a nightmare to move your blog. You need to throughly investigate a Web host's reliability before you hire them to host your blog.
A blog can generate revenue from many sources. Some blogs are written by a team, but many one person blogs make a great deal of money. Whether a blog makes money or not depends mostly upon the specific topic of the blog. The easiest and quickest way to start blogging is to setup your blog is on a blog hosting Web site, where all you need to do is register, log in, and start blogging.
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