Starting your Blog is Easy and Can Be Inexpensive or Free

There are great options for hosting your blog.
You have good choices when it comes to hosting your blog.

In the first article in this series I said there were three basic ways to make money writing for the Internet, or at least using the Internet to facilitate your writing business:

  • Blogging,
  • Writing content for sites such as Yahoo Voices, and
  • Using the Internet to connect with freelance clients.

Today we’ll look a little more closely at blogging.

Are you an expert in something? Do you have opinions that will rock the world? Do you like telling tales about the funny stuff your family does? If you answered “yes” to any of these, you sound like an aspiring blogger to me.

Getting your start in blogging is easy. There are free blogging sites that provide everything you need to get going. A quick Internet search will find them all for you, but for right now these are probably the most popular and powerful:

Unless you’re a highly esteemed, established authority in a specific field, or have a high volume of traffic going to your site, no one is going to pay you cash upfront to write a blog. You’ll make money by advertising on your site. Blogger and Tumblr allow ads. WordPress.com, not so much. If you have a free blog on the WordPress site, you cannot run ads unless your blog gets really popular and you qualify for their WordAds program and get your own domain name.

This leads to an important point. If you’re serious about developing your blog, you need to have own your own domain name and not use one of the free blogs mentioned above. Here’s the difference: I own “supermoneytips.com” and that’s why the web address is www.supermoneytips.com. If it was a free blog at WordPress.com, its web address would be http://supermoneytips.wordpress.com/. See the difference? Immediately people know it’s a “free” blog, so how serious could the author be?

There are many places where you can buy your own domain name and host your site, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. WordPress.com offers a “domain mapping” paid service that costs about $17 a year. However, except for the WordPress Wordads program, you still can’t run ads on your blog.

Various web hosting providers will charge between $5 to $10 a month to host your blog and then you will have full control of how many, and what kinds of ads you want to run. You will also have access to add-ons like a shopping cart if you want to sell something, like an ebook.

Now we’re starting to get more deeply into how you can make money on your blog. This is called “monetizing” your blog and we’ll pick that topic up next time.

In terms of web hosting, I’ve had good luck with Godaddy. Their phone support has been excellent. Do you have a web host that you really love…or hate?

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