IT Answers is back with another helpful post on what we have all come to know and love…. Blogging. Find out more and also be sure to pick one up (There are hard copies currently floating around Nigeria) where ever you may see it.
WHAT IS BLOGGING ALL ABOUT?
Back in the day way before blogging, there were several other ways for people to communicate their thoughts and feelings; you had chronicles, diaries, email lists, bulletin board systems, and more both technological and even paper based. Then when the Internet came about, the world got smaller and everyone wanted to talk to the world. If you look back, many of us had pen pals around the world, which we used to love writing to, and sitting with anticipation on how your pal in France or Canada would respond to your questions. Schools organized them and sometime our own curiosity got the better of us wanting to know how others around the globe lived. But with the birth of the World Wide Web, you can do that in a matter of seconds with multiple people nearly anywhere.
Just after the 1990s, the blog was born! The actual word, “blog”, comes from the term web log, which was eventually shortened to its new term. In the beginning, blogs were mainly online diaries of people where others could comment, the back and forth between the writers and the growing readership allowed people to realize this was a form of communication and once people cottoned on to this, it all just blew up. Now there are all kinds of blogs; the digital journal guys, corporate bloggers, marketing blogs, topic-specific blogs, private blogs, and even blogs that are simply blog search engines!
Like most things internet related, the possibilities with blogging are limitless, with your imagination and creativity at the steering wheel, there is no end to what could be achieved (Just look at BellaNajia.com which started as a blog).
So one question people will always ask is, “what is the point?” Well to answer this there are several factors to consider; do you like reading? Do you like writing? Is there a message you want to get across or even; Do you want to make some money on the side?
You see many blogs are started with the notion of “I have something to say” in mind and with this and a drive to share your thoughts the blog either grows in readership and becomes a success or slowly disappears into obscurity. For many writers out there this is the easiest way to get their thoughts on an easily accessible platform and with the right marketing and publicity their audience will grow and eventually not only will they be able to reach a larger number of people but they can also monetize the blog and make some money.
Making money from a blog is not as simple as it sounds because here in Nigeria the internet is not seen the mass marketing tool which it is. Times are changing and slowly the decision makers are noticing that the internet is getting closer to them, easier to access and reaches a large number of people, but let me break it down. When the blog is created and the readership starts to grow, then that is when word of mouth starts to carry the blogs name about. With this marketers find out that the amount of readers, are potential customers and start negotiations for advertising on the blog.
On the internet there are set ad sizes and basic costing parameters but this all differs depending on the readership of the blog (Page Veiws). So basically, the more people that read your blog the more you can charge advertisers.
So do you want to make money blogging? If you do – you’re not alone. More and more bloggers are finding that blogging is a profitable medium. Whether it’s earn a little extra a week, or whether they want to get to a point where they are able to make a full time living from their blogging – there are tens of thousands of bloggers who make money blogging.
But before I get into it, keep in mind that every blog is unique in how it can make money. Some of the following income streams will work on some blogs a lot better than others – the key is to experiment with as many as possible and see what works best for you.
- Using AdSense, this is when Google or another like company has a box on your site to show a selection of ads on your blog. You get paid either by the number of times people click on the ad within your blog or by the amount of times the ad on your blog is seen. You can have several to increase your earnings, set them to show image and text based ads and 250×300 pixel ads work best (usually with a blended design).
- Affiliate programs mostly bring in smaller amounts of money but it can certainly add up. These include recommending quality products which are easily related to your blog, so for example, if it is a blog about photography, products like 123 of Digital Imaging, David DuChemin’s amazing Photography E-Books and Mitchell Kanashkevich’s great ebooks would sell themselves.
- EBook Sales are also a great way to earn. As your blog grows, so does your knowledge on your chosen subject so you could go on to write and sell your very own ebooks. While these products sell for under N4,000 they certainly add up and can be your biggest form of income.
- Continuity programs: This is a site where you earn a recurring income from people who subscribe to a service you offer. For example there are these two sites – ProBlogger.com and Third Tribe Marketing. Both programs are membership sites and generate monthly income from the thousands of members that they have as a part of them.
- Private ad sales directly to advertisers or sponsored posts. This is where the majority of Nigerian site make their money. The advertisers buy ad space for a period of time or for a number of clicks and sponsored posts would be the advertisers’ product being sold through the already respected voice of the blogger.
With these and a little research online you could be the next big thing. But before we get carried away, let me give you some more insight on Blogs themselves, and how to make one.
A blog entry usually consists of a title, headline, body, post date, comments, tags, and more. One great thing about blogs is that they are almost always customizable. You can select your template (which determines how your blog looks, including its layout), and is usually provided by the blogging company you’re patronizing (wordpress.com, blogger.com, etc). What’s more is that you can also find other templates by searching on other sites, in order to make yours standout.
You can create a blog on whatever topic you like, use the template you want, and write in it when you want. Nearly all blogging sites offer registration for free. You can vent to the world, write about things that you care about, discuss your life, etc…it’s endless and totally up to you. Well, except for the terms and conditions you must agree to when you register (no body reads them but I suggest you take a look) Blogging is fun, especially if you find joy in writing. It is a great stress reliever, and you can have it any way you want. If one blog isn’t good enough for you, create more!
Blogging has reached new heights of popularity, with certain websites that look at the popularity of a blog through how many citations it has, or how the affiliation is has. There have even been a few lucky people who have blogged, and were contacted by publishers to write and publish a book. (that could be you)
The possibilities with blogging are endless.