Let me introduce you to Tish G, A - Z International Associate's blogging expert. You'll be hearing more from Tish as the year goes on, so keep those blogging questions coming.
Last week one of our members wanted to know whether you can make money blogging. Here's what Tish has to say:
One way you can make money from blogging is to establish yourself as an expert in a field, and to build a community by commenting and linking to other bloggers. Making money directly from a blog requires that you have traffic coming in to propel ads or other programs you have on your blog. So you have to think about what you're going to say on your blog, and what community you're going to be a part of.
After you figure that out, you can stoke your blog (or multiple blogs) full of all kinds of ads: banner ads, in-text ads, pay-per-post programs, widgets, etc. . .
But if you've got lousy content, and you're not giving your visitors anything to make them stick around, you may not make much from your blog content anyway. Also, too many ads may bog down the loading of your site, thus making it difficult for people to read.
Now, if you've got a couple of friends who are also interested in blogging, and you share a common passion, you might want to set up a group blog that caters to a particular niche interest. Do some research and find out not just what niches are hot, but what are the niches where you have particular expertise and would enjoy writing about regularly.
If you're creating lots and lots of content on a regular basis, and it's readable and giving good info to others, eventually you'll get good placement in search and traffic will start to come in that will make it worth having ads.
Most ads pay by "clicks per thousand" or CPM. Standard CPM rates can run between the $5-$20 range. The more traffic you have, the higher CPM level you can command for an ad. But that means you have to bring in thousands of readers a day--so you have to have good content. And lots of it!
It will take time to build sufficient traffic, so don't expect to make money right away. Like any business, it's something that grows over time.
Yet lots of bloggers make money from ventures related to their blogging. Here are some examples:
* Some use their blogs to promote offline or other online businesses, then push traffic to their websites. They might make a small amount of money from ads or syndication deals, just to supplement their other business.
* Some bloggers are freelance writers and former journalists who work as "professional bloggers" and write copy for group blogs or blog networks.
* Some work as marketing, PR, or other kinds of consultants, but you have to know the medium.
If you are advising someone on building and maintaining a blog, but you've never done it, then you shouldn't be offering the services.
There is a niche, though, for people like me with experience in online communities to consult to individuals, companies or organizations about this trend, or about the use of blogs in business or journalism.
If you have design backgrounds then you can create your own specialized blog templates and offer your services as blog designers.
Technically, I am a "freelancer" or "consultant" or "professional blogger"--depending on where I'm working and what I'm needed to do. Currently, I am Community Developer for online news rating site Newstrust.net, and am Chief Blogging Officer for Placeblogger.com, a site that aggregates hyperlocal blogs. I also do a small amount of research on RSS/ATOM/XML feed tools.
So, while I don't make money directly from my blog, my blog has been a vehicle for helping establish myself as an expert in a particular field. It has helped me make friends who have offered me positions within their Internet-based businesses. Because things change very rapidly in here, I have to keep in contact with lots of people and be networking often.