So, if you really are interested in reading this article, I can only assume that you read a few of the big name bloggers. Bloggers like Scoble, Dooce and Darren inspired me to begin. But if you think you want to be a blogger, let me dispel a few myths for you first.
These are the biggest.
- Do not expect to become either rich or famous through blogging. I’ve been at it for a little over a year and run 3 blogs and I make < $500 a month and nearly no one knows my name. It may come in time, but don't expect it because nearly 99% of bloggers make less than $1000 a month.
- Do not assume that just because everyone is doing it that it is easy. Over 75% of blogs are inactive after 3 months. I spend hours each week writing and tweaking my blogs.
- Do not expect your traffic to be 1000’s a month in less than 6 months. There are very few blogs that accomplish that even after 12 months. Of course there are a few that do it in one as well.
Now. If you still think you want to be a blogger, read on.
The first step in becoming a blogger is getting a blog. There are numerous ways to do this. You basically have two choices and each of those choices has choices. The two choices are free and paid. With the free blog services, you must deal with the people running the site and their regulations as far as modifying your templates, ads, and most everything but the content. With a paid blog, you pay for the hosting and do all of the design and server work yourself. Most of that is pretty cut and dry for simple editing, but to get really in depth requires some technical know how.
So, the free services. The two biggest that you will most likely recognize are WordPress.com and Blogger.com. Both offer free hosting, templates, and software to create and write a blog. Of the two, WordPress is the most liked. There are other free services, but these two are the two whose names continually come up. In fact, this blog was started on blogger.com and then moved to thatedeguy.com when I decided I wanted more control over the design and background operations.
If there were a handful of free blogging services, there are many times that for paid services. The issue is that there are thousands of places you can register a domain name and get hosting. And really, that’s about all you need for a paid blog. I use GoDaddy for both my domains and hosting. I’ve had good luck with them and have no complaints. Depending on who you ask, everyone has a favorite that they will suggest. Shop first for price. Once you’ve made a selection, then do a little research on Google to see if there are any glaring problems with the place you selected.
Once you have a domain and hosting, you need to select a blogging software. There are somewhere around 20 different ones, but the most popular is WordPress.org. Not to be confused(or maybe so) with wordpress.com, wordpress.org is the free self hosted version of wordpress. The only difference is that with wordpress.org you have full control. There are others, but WordPress.org is the one I would suggest.
Once all that is set up, you now have a blog. All that’s left is to write. Well, that and all the customization. If you’re in it for money, you need to begin monetizing your blog which usually means adding adsense to the site. Another that you will want to try is Text-Link-Ads. They are a little more picky about the sites that get accepted and will most likely turn you down once or twice before you get accepted, but don’t be discouraged.
Do a quick search for templates for your blogging software. (if you are on the free services, you most likely will only have a few that they list to select from) Find something besides the default template for your site.
That’s the basics. Now all you have to do is write, write, write. And learn. It’s a pretty steep learning curve to become a half-way decent blogger, but once you get there, it accelerates pretty fast.
P.S. There are affiliate links on the right and left hand sides for both Adsense and Text-Link-Ads. If you like, I would appreciate your signing up through them.