Now that we have a plan, as outlined in the Blogging For Money – Beginners Guide #1, it is now time to get our hands dirty and move on to the next phase. What we are going to look at in this series is fourfold. Determining you blogging niche, HTML and other stuff that you probably will need, buying a good domain name and finally getting your web hosting service where you will set up your blog. So let’s start with Determining topic of your niche.
Determine Topic of Your Niche
Once again, let’s start by saying the same old, same old. To make money online you need traffic (or not, but more of that later). To get traffic you need to do a lot of things (like SEO, promotions, internet marketing, etc – yeah, I know it sucks), but most importantly, provide value to your readers. This is the only way you can benefit from the WWW.
Now, answer this question, how will you provide value if what you are blogging about is nothing but your personal rants? Unless, I am your friend, and I might just revisit your site and see what you’re up to. Earning money online comes primarily from organic traffic. These are the users who search for something, whether it is an answer to a question or something specific (buyers), and as such, are the people that is of interest to you. Don’t get me wrong, I love my loyal readers and I interact with them constantly. By building a network of online friends and loyal readers, you will gain credibility and their support. That is something of great value.
Let’s move on.
When choosing your niche, many will say that you should blog about something you are passionate about. I will go one step further and say, something that you are an expert on. If you are good at something, giving financial advice, video games, being a mom, a writer, web designer, blogging tips, SEO or anything else, remember that what you want to blog about is something that will provide value to people who are looking for answers to their questions. The more information you can give the better. Blogging for money is being an expert in a field, becoming an authority and this will take time. As you move on, you will gain that.
Learn HTML and the Basic Terms
You might say that this is something that you are not particularly interested in. I was not too, but trust me when I say that you have to learn the basics of HTML and some coding. You will encounter many terms such as, meta tags, title tags, H1, H2, alt, canonical and all that mambo jambo. If you are in for the serious stuff, then you should at least know how to copy and paste links, and all that. One place I recommend for you to get started and is relatively simple is W3schools.com. It is free and you can learn a lot of things by browsing through their website. Obviously, there are infinite amount of information out there that will teach you the ropes on basic HTML and terms, such as Domain, TLD, etc. You know what I mean.
Custom Domain Name
I will not argue and dispute the importance of this. If you are serious about your journey, you MUST get a domain name of your own. Regardless of where you will host your blog, this is the one requirement that you should follow in the very beginning. The earlier you have your own Domain name the better. You will regret it in the future if you don’t have one. I will not go deeper in to this as you can read all about why it is important on an article I have written about Custom Domain Name (Do you Need One?).
If a domain name is your home (which is on the virtual world), think of the web host as the piece of land where you have your home settled in. Whether you opt for a free hosting or a paid hosting service, the things you should be aware of are the reliability and credibility of the host you will be using. For free hosting, I recommend you use Blogger.com. They allow you to use your own domain name and their interface is pretty easy to use.
If you choose to self-host your blog (which I highly recommend), then you should definitely go for WordPress and use a hosting service that has been proven reliable. Don’t jump into the first one you find. Digg deeper for information about the prices, limits (such as disk storage, bandwidth, etc) and then decide. There are many hosting services that provide almost “unlimited” everything and that is the right way to go. Famous Bloggers is hosted by BlueHost and it is very reliable. No pitching here, just do your research, find information and then decide. I also recommend you reading What Blog Platform Should I Choose for a better understanding on which way to go.
That’s about it for the second part of this series. Next will be choosing your blog design. Things you should have and things you should avoid.