How to Create a Blog & Get Paid

by Johnny Kilhefner

Think of starting a blog like making an investment with your words. By posting on a regular basis, your hard work is going to pay off sooner or later. If you want that big pay day, you have to know how to blog for an audience before you can monetize it.

Know The Format

A blog, short for weblog, is a website with entries listed in a reverse chronological order. Basically, it's an online journal, usually specializing in one area, such as personal finance. Writing for the Internet requires short, punchy sentences that don't bog the reader down. The paragraphs of bloggers are broken up after two to three sentences for reader comprehension, as a big wall of text may be daunting to people surfing the Internet.

Register A Domain

The first step to creating a blog is to purchase a domain name. Several companies offer domain registration for prices as low as a few dollars a month. Domains that end with .com are the most valuable, and therefore the hardest to find usable domain names for. If you're struggling to come up with a name not already taken, use a domain name finder to enter keywords that suggest available domain names.

Create A Theme

The theme of your blog should reflect the content you blog about. It should also not be extravagant to the point it detracts from your posts and muddles reader comprehension. How you set up the theme of your blog depends on the host of the domain. Most hosts offer preloaded themes to choose from, but you can also create your own if you are good at design and knowledgeable in HTML. You can also hire a professional designer: which is the best option if you have the budget, because professional designers know how to implement nuanced designs that make blogs easy to use and attractive to look at.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is how you get your posts visible to the audience you hope to reach. Search engines scour the Internet, ranking sites using keywords in relation to the content on the blog. It may take some time, as search engines are wary of new blogs, and prefer established blogs with inbound links (other notable sites linking to the blog). When choosing keywords to optimize for search engines, choose keywords that have high search ratings but are low in competition (meaning people search for these terms, but not many blogs are using them).

Create Compelling Content

It doesn't matter how witty your domain name, how fluid the design or how much SEO you throw at the search engines, without posting blogs people want to read, you'll never make any money. Before you write, know what you want to blog. Know who you are creating the blog for and what your audience wants. Tell stories in your blog posts. People respond to stories, and it's more likely to stick around in the audience's mind long after they've left the blog. Be personal: people want authentic human experiences that help them connect with you on a human level.

Make Money

When your blog has an established reader base, you can start monetizing it by incorporating advertisements. This doesn't mean you have to find a way to get Coca-Cola to buy ad space on your blog -- you can use targeted ads. These ads are CPC (Cost Per Click) ad networks. These ads are determined by the content you blog about, and can be beneficial to readers as well. Which is important, because you earn money when they actually click on it. There are also CPM (Cost Per Impression) ads that pay by the total number of times they show up on your blog. Either way, the more visitors your blog has, the better chance you have of getting paid.

About the Author

Johnny Kilhefner is a writer with a focus on technology, design and marketing. Writing for more than five years, he has contributed to Writer's Weekly, PopMatters, Bridged Design and APMP, among many other outlets.

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