Weblogs or "blogs" are a phenomenal way to make money while also sharing your expertise with a targeted reading audience. Blogs are often favored by search engines, are notoriously easy to promote, and remarkably effective when they offer sticky content. If you post frequently to your blog and you offer informative or entertaining content, you can establish a large following of readers who will subscribe to your RSS feed and read your content on a daily basis. Some of these readers may also link to your weblog or share your posts with others which may lead to additional subscribers.
One of the fundamentals to becoming a successful blogger to maintain a regular posting schedule. Once people find your blog and decide that they like your content, if your don't post regularly, your readers will become disappointed and won't return to your site. Much of the popularity of the internet is due to frequent visits and links to good content that people find helpful and interesting. Posting frequently also keeps your weblog fresh and search engines love fresh content.
The more often you post, the more often search engine automated software (spiders) will visit your site checking for updates to display to search engine users. Every time you post a new entry to your blog, you can send automatic update notifications to sites that pass update information to directories and search engines. This is called pinging and the majority of blogging platforms will do this for you automatically; however, you can often add to or modify the list of sites pinged by adjusting your blog settings. Automatic or manual pinging can lead to more site traffic.
Another way to provide awareness about your blog is to bookmark the URL address of individual postings on social bookmarking sites like Digg, Technorati, Del.icio.us, and StumbleUpon. Potential readers will find your site through a variety of means and your goal is to reach readers in the online places they are most likely to frequent. Social bookmarking sites and other online communities will provide you with reach to readers who may not find your site through internet searches.
Sites that feature sticky content become wildly popular and are more likely to be shared by others. Sticky content requires that you engage your readers beyond online diary entries and focus on information related to your niche and their area of interest. A blog about die-cast cars should have the majority if not all of its content dedicated to stuff about die-cast cars, collections, tips, trade shows, and other things related to this subject. An occasional post about a non-related topic of individual interest or personal commentary should be avoided unless it can be used to connect with readers while still being on target with the blog topic.
Blogs are great for people who sell products or services because they offer an easy way to keep in contact with clients and prospective customers. Blogs allow you to provide timely updates about your schedule of events and availability, to announce current promotions, prices and special offers, as well as letting your clients and other know when you'll be taking some time off so that you are better able to provide them with the service they expect and manage your customers relationships positively.
Because of the frequency of their updates, people tend to follow blogs more closely than websites. This is a good reason why you should not start a blog with the intention of letting it sit dormant and earn money. Weblogs require time and attention for updates and if you’re going to start a blog, you need to be prepared to commit yourself to growing the blog, posting often, keeping it updated, and not giving up on it. Sometimes you'll feel like you're the only one reading your content but you're building blog depth that will become priceless as your blog ages and become increasingly popular.
Blogs can offer multiple selling opportunities – from text links woven throughout the content to image ads like banners you strategically place in between blog posts. The sidebar can also be utilized as an affiliate or direct sales revenue space. Some weblog programs even offer affiliate opportunities where you can earn commissions from promoting your use of the program to others who may be influenced by your endorsement and decide to use the program for themselves. Typepad, the feature-rich blogging platform that I use, has such a program. WordPress is also a popular free platform but requires that you host your blog on your own server. Blogger is another great free program.
A word of caution with both the free and paid blogging platforms: Give every consideration to redirecting your blog to your own domain instead of hosting it within the blogging community. A blog's credibility is often determined by what a visitor sees at the moment they land on your website. You want to provide the most professional image possible to reinforce a brand identity that points to you as the go-to person in your niche. Many successful blogs are clearly hosted by blogger as indicated in the domain name but they could become even more successful with a minor tweak in the domain to enhance credibility and establish permanence.
Make full use of your weblog as a creative outlet to showcase your expertise while also providing your customers and potential clients with exposure and awareness of your phenomenal expertise. As your blog grows, your influence and potential profit opportunities will also grow and become real as you blog your way to the bank.
This post is one of several Internet Marketing Strategy Lessons featured as a Squidoo lens within the Iceman Baldy IM Strategy Index.