Hello in today’s post, I answer 20 of most frequently asked questions about blogging. In 2016, there are going to be millions of new bloggers and they need assistance with blogging. Most are oblivious to what a blog is and how is it capable of making money. This post answers those questions in a ‘to the point’ format. Sole intention of this post is to help friends and family understand basics of blogging.
There are literally thousands of blog posts on “what, why and how” of blogging. And they are all good, just not as good as people need. People don’t need answers, not detailed books turned into blog posts. I hope to help you with this post. If you like, please share it with someone.
#1 What is a Blog?
A blog is type of website. There are many types of websites like static sites, dynamic sites and others. A blog is website on which blog posts or articles are published and they are displayed in a reverse chronological order (latest one on top, oldest on bottom). This is Mairaj is a blog, so is Mashable, TechCrunch and millions others.
#2 What is Blogging?
Blogging is quite basically writing posts and publishing them on a blog. That sounds too simple, doesn’t it? Truth to be told, blogging is simple. That just does not mean ‘easy’. There are tens of thousands of people blogging every day.
Blogging is writing contents and posting them on a website. These posts can be regular or highly irregular, as long as they are published in reverse chronological order and on a blogging platform.
#3 How to Make Money From Blogging?
There are several ways to make money from blogging. For example:
- by displaying advertisements (BuySellAds, Google AdSense, Infolinks, Chitika, etc.)
- by promoting others’ products & getting commissions for selling them (affiliate marketing)
- by selling information-based videos
- by selling your own products (such as books, courses, audiobooks, etc.)
- by using blog as a sales funnel to your own product
- by promoting your freelancing services
Making money from blogging is simple if you have a plenty of traffic. Basically it is traffic = money. The more the traffic, the better income. Fact is a lot of bloggers make money blogging, it just takes consistency, commitment and alot of self-discipline. You need to have a blog that is actually awesome, a blog that provides value to its readers and so it gets traffic. And when you get a lot of visitors (traffic), you can apply for any ad network and if they like your site, they will provide you with advertisements codes.
#4 Is Blogging Free?
Yes. No. It really depends. If you are using Blogger.com, WordPress.com Tumblr.com as a blogging platform, then it is free. It is free but you definitely don’t have entire control your blog. Since it’s free, your blog address will look like xyz.blogspot.com or xyz.tumblr.com. Which is not very professional. Also since it’s free, you can’t customize the look of your site very much.
Whereas if you invest in a domain name (explained later) and web hosting and get started with WordPress.org, you will have almost entire control your site. With said premium solution, you can not only build a blog, but a discussions forum board, question & answer community as well as a social network.
#5 How much does it cost to blog?
The premium solution in my last answer is being detailed here. Here is what you need to lay a solid foundation:
- Domain Name (costs $10/year)
- Web hosting (costs $50/year)
The prices above are an approximation of real prices. Once you have domain name registered and paid for web hosting, you install WordPress. The investment is mere nothing considering the access & tools you get. Plus it is yearly. Pay it once then have fun throughout the year. There are other premium solutions to build a blog like with a custom domain set on Blogger.com or WordPress.com ($99/year).
#6 Which Solution Is Better?
Premium or free? Free is Blogger.com, Tumblr, WordPress.com, etc. Whereas premium is self-hosted WordPress.org and/or premium WordPress.com ($99/year). I personally recommend premium solution, since it gives you more control over your site.
#7 How much can I make from blogging?
I hate to say this and you hate to hear this, but this is a fact: it depends. Various factors determine how much money you make per month blogging. Like how much traffic you have, what’s your average click-through-advertisements rate (made-up-term! :P), what are you selling and the quality of your content, etc.
It is not possible to predict income of a blog, nor is it possible to say how much can you make. But one thing is for sure: you can make money and you can make ENOUGH money. Unlike with 9-5 jobs, the income from blogging is entirely dependent on your traffic and your work. There are bloggers making $3000/month, so are bloggers working twice as hard making $200/month.
#8 What topic should I blog on?
Choose a topic you are interested in. To blog on tech news just because this is what everyone is blogging about or because it is more profitable niche is bad strategy. Because if you are not interested in the topic at hand, sooner than later you will quit blogging. Sure, you can make plenty money doing that, but it won’t be fun to write about stuff you are uninterested in.
Almost all the niches are profitale, it is just a matter of how you monetize that niche. A few niches you might interested in:
- Cooking recipes
- Automobiles’ news & DIY tutorials
- Personal development tips and tricks
- Computer tutorials
- Technology news
- Tools of trade of a certain niche
Choose one. Have fun!
#9 What is ‘killer content’?
Killer content is simply marvellous content. It is the sort of content that makes people go “wow”. In my experience, the way to do that is to write controversial as well as detailed content. Killer content is to the point. It is really good, detailed and provides value to the user. Such content focuses more on practical approach to solve a problem.
To write killer content, you need:
- visually useful images
- to research the topic inside out
- a solution
End of story.
#10 How often should I blog?
It depends both on the niche you are in and how much time can you afford. If you are in technology news niche, you may know these blogs publish 10+ posts every day. Sure they have staff and you cannot compete with them off the bat. Sure, you can publish at least 2 posts? If you can, that’s enough.
Otherwise if your niche is where posts are detailed and infrequent. Then use that to your advantage: take your time to research hell out of a topic, write it and publish it! There is no hard and fast rules about blogging frequency. It is just what suits you well, how much time you can dedicate and how’s your nich doing?
#11 How lengthy should my blog posts be?
This is another “it depends” type of question. Because there is no handbook clearly declaring ‘your posts much be 500+ words long or you are dead!”. To find the ideal answer to this question, you need to experiment. Experiment with a 300+ words post, then 500+ words post and so on. However I definitely recommend that a post with more words is more likely to get ranked better in search engines.
Ultimately the bottom line is traffic. And you get a lot of traffic if your SEO is good. And SEO almost takes care of itself if the posts are really lengthy. I personally prefer to write 1000+ words posts. The more the merrier.
#12 How long it takes to make money from blogging?
It can take as long as 4 weeks and as late as 3 years. To make money as soon as possible, you either go for event blogging (in which you build a site specifically for an event). The question is of traffic. If you can manage to write great content that ranks well and fast, then you can get great loads of traffic within a week or two. And… when you have traffic, it does not matter how old your blog is or how many posts have you published so far.
For long-term strategies, you should be able to get Google AdSense approved after 8 months of blogging. 8 months of blogging is enough time to establish the blog, have enough posts and have some traffic coming in.
#13 Is blogging easy?
Not easy. But definitely simple.
#14 What is a Domain Name?
A website address like thisismairaj.com or google.com or yoast.com is called a domain name. These domains names are like rented spaces. For as long as you pay the rent, you have control over that domain name. Typically the domain names are registered on one-year basis. You can as well pay for 10 years of a domain name rent as well.
To register a domain name:
Almost all web hosts act as domain registrars.
#15 What is Web Hosting?
You got domain name? Now how do you put contents on it? Where do you install WordPress or where do you upload HTML files? On a web server. Web hosting is simply space bought on a server. Companies who sell web hosting are called web hosts. They have their own rates, own configurations of the servers they sell space on and they provide support for their web hosting.
These web hosts alternatively give you space on their 24/7 online computers. Typically it costs $3-6/month for a shared hosting and it gets expensive as you scale. Shared web hosting is good enough hosting to handle a WordPress-based site.
#16 What is WordPress?
WordPress is a free, open source content management system that powers roughly 25% of web. There are millions of sites using this software to build their sites. It although started as a blogging platform, but soon evolved as a content management system. This is the most robust and fasest growing CMS as of this time.
There are two types of WordPress: WordPress.com (owned by Automattic) and WordPress.org (owned by no one). The software’s superpower is that it is constantly being worked on, improved and shipped to its users.
#17 What is Google AdSense?
Google AdSense is an ad network or ad publishers platform by Google. In laymen’s terms, it gives you advertisements to put on your site. And.. you make money when people view and click on these ads. To use this platform, you need to first apply for it. If your site is following Google guidelines and not breaking any of AdSense policies, you will be approved in the program.
#18 What is a ‘post’?
A post is a simple essay or article. It is also called blog post. The entries or articles published on a blog are called posts. These are distinctly concrete entities constituting information in video, audio or text-based format.
#19 What is the difference between blog and website?
The difference is that website a broad term. It is applicable to blog, static site, dynamic site, etc. Whereas blog is just a little type of website. You can call any blog a website or site, but you cannot call all websites a blog. Blogs must be updated regularly even if every 5 years and posts must land in reverse chronological order. But a website does not have to be updated every now and then and needs no reverse chronological order rule followed.
#20 How to Get Traffic for Blog?
To get traffic, you can:
- Optimize your posts for search engines
- Share posts on social networks like Facebook
- Email it to your friends
There are many other ways to increase of your blog. But the best one is to – always follow Google’s rules, so your SEO stays intact. Because 90% of sites are entirely dependent upon Google for traffic and rightly so.