Thursday, August 2, 2007 at 2:02pm by Site Administrator
In the past few years, blogs have become a big part of business on the internet. Everything from anthropomorphized cats to celebrity gossip can bring millions of visitors and a steady stream of revenue. It can be hard to figure of where to start with your own money-making blog, but we’ve tried to make it a little easier by condensing the essential resources you’ll need to start blogging profitably into this list. Check out these sources to get started right.
The internet is chock full of sites that can provide a platform for your blog. There are advantages and disadvantages to all of them, so research carefully before deciding which will work best for you.
- WordPress— WordPress can either be a hosted platform or one you use on your own server. Basic access to WordPress is free of charge and there are a wide variety of templates available for customization. It also comes with some attractive features like spam blocking and integrated stats as well as numerous plugins you can add yourself.
- Blogger— Blogger is a free, hosted blogging platform. While Blogger might lack some of the usability that other platforms have, it makes up for it with features like the Audioblogger service which allows you to create audio recordings for your blog using your phone. Blogger is also useful in that you can upload it to your own website, meaning visitors to your site won’t even know you’re using it as a platform.
- Movable Type— Movable Type is a powerful blogging tool, but perhaps not the easiest to set up and use. It does, however, offer pretty much every feature you could want and will get you some blogging net cred. It is, however, not exactly cheap. Professional users can expect to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $199.
- TypePad— TypePad is a more user-friendly version of Movable Type, with many of the same bells and whistles but in a much easier to use format. The functionality of your TypePad blog will likely depend on how much you’re willing to invest. Lower level packages aren’t very customizable, but the Pro level provides features like group blogging and additional customization features.
- Vox— Vox is a bit of a mix between a social networking site and a weblogging service. Customizability takes a backseat to ease of posting new content. Depending on the goal of your blog, this might work well for you.
- Text Pattern— Text Pattern is another self-hosted blogging system. It comes with valuable tools like Textile and Sections which allow users that may not be familiar with html to easily format web content. Textpattern also is great at blocking spam, but it lacks features commonly found on other blogging sites.
- Boast Machine— A free blog publishing tool, BoastMachine is mostly template driven, but allows for HTML customization. It has some notable security features like IP blocking and banning and has automatic backup and restore systems.
- Blog.com— For beginners, Blog.com might be a good place to start. With easy-to-use templates and setup, you can begin blogging within a few minutes. This ease doesn’t come without a price, however, as you are limited in the amount of storage and advanced features.
- B2evolution— B2evolution is one of the most fully-featured blog tools out there to use. Because of this, it can be a bit overwhelming for the new user. While there are a number of themes available, real customization can be difficult without some technical know-how. Still, the numerous features can make up for some initial difficulties with the learning curve.
- ExpressionEngine— ExpressionEngine is a blogging tool with some attractive extras. Aside from the usual blogging tools, it provides integrated image galleries and mailing lists. It comes with a variety of templates, but customizing them may prove to have a bit of a learning curve. You can host the blog on your own server or ExpressionEngine will host if for you, but either way, expect to pay about $199 for commercial use of the service.
Design and Content
You aren’t likely to get too much return traffic to your blog if it is hard to read or unattractive. Your blog’s popularity depends on the quality of your design as well as content. These ten articles should help you get on the right track to creating an attractive and interesting blog.
- 980 Word Press Templates— Emily Robbins serves up a huge archive of templates for your WordPress blog, allowing you to easily change the look and feel of your blog to match that of your business.
- 10 Blog Design Mistakes— Jakob Neilson discusses how to make your blog more user friendly.
- Tutorial for Blog Design in Photoshop— Breaking away from the standard blog template can make your blog look more attractive and be more memorable to users. This article details how to make banners, choose a color scheme, and design a layout.
- Blog Interface Design Tutorial— Luke Wroblewski and Jed Wood discuss how to make a better blog interface so you won't get bogged down with blog archives and comments.
- Gaining Blog Credibility with Design— Darren Rowse explains how the design of your blog can play a big part in how users view your credibility as a blogger.
- The Importance of Content— It’s easy to forget about the content when you get caught up in making sure your site looks good. This article discusses how to make sure your content stays a priority.
- Building a Better Blog— This article explains 5 elements that can help you improve the quality of your blog.
- 10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas— Not sure how to grab the attention of potential readers? This article can give you some helpful pointers on making your headlines pop.
- Bringing Your “A” Game to Blog Writing— Being successful at blogging is due in large part to the content of your blog and how well you write about the topic at hand. This article explains how to bring your best skills to blog writing.
- Using News Aggregators for Content— If you’re having trouble thinking of ideas for content, this article describes how you can utilize news aggregators to come up with new and relevant ideas.
While it would be nice to think that internet users will just stumble upon your blog regularly, the reality is that you’ll have to work hard to draw traffic to your site. After all, there isn’t much point to blogging if you’re the only one reading what you write. Here are some tools and articles that can help you get more traffic to your site.
- Blog Directory— Submitting your site to this directory of blogs can be a great way to increase your blog traffic and get your name out there.
- Ping-o-Matic— Ping-o-Matic is a free service which pings search engines when you update or add new content to your blog.
- Search Engine Optimization— This article discusses how to optimize your blog’s keywords and content to get more search engine hits.
- How to: Boost Your Blog Traffic— Paul Stamatiou gives advice on how to bring more visitors to your site through usability, content and search engines.
- How to: Market Your Blog in 2007— Darren Rowse explains how to effectively market your blog with 41 helpful tips and suggestions.
- 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic— Not getting the traffic you think you deserve? Use these 21 suggestions to maximize your blog’s potential.
- How to Develop Stickyness— You don’t just want to bring new users to your site and never see them again. You want readers to keep coming back. This article explains how to make interest in your blog stick.
- 10 Effective Ways to Get More Blog Subscribers— One of the marks of successfully getting people to come back is a large subscriber list. Here you’ll find advice on how to maximize subscriptions to your blog.
- 25 Tips for Marketing Your Blog— Lee Odden gives 25 great tips for getting your blog noticed and visited.
- 13 Tips to Get Your Blog Noticed— This article provides some useful ways to make your blog stand out from the millions of others.
Blogs about Blogging
As odd as it may seem, there are numerous blogs out there that discuss the act of blogging itself. Here are a few worth checking out.
- Copyblogger— Copyblogger gives some great advice on successful copywriting for your blog.
- Blogging Pro— Blogging Pro can keep you up to date on blogging news, plugins and new themes for blogs.
- Scoblizer—Robert Scoble, author of Naked Conversations, focuses on technology and how blogs have affected business.
- The Big Blog Company— This site discusses blog marketing and emerging technology issues.
- John Chow Dot Com— Dot com mogul John Chow discusses blogs and how to earn money from them.
- Blog Traffic School— Yaro Starak writes about how to build blog traffic and maintain a great blog.
- Digital Inspiration— Digital Inspiration has numerous articles about blogging as well as other internet and technology related issues.
- Matt Huggins— Internet entrepreneur Matt Huggins shares news and advice about blogging and internet business.
- Daily Blog Tips— Get a daily dose of blog improvement advice with daily blog tips.
- Pronet Advertising—Neil Patel discusses internet issues, especially those related to blogging and social content sites.
Blogs about Business Blogging
Sometimes the best way to learn how to do something is to benefit from the experience and advice of those who’ve already done it. These blogs should provide some guidance and information for getting started on creating a blog for business.
- Advanced Business Blogging— This is a blog about marketing and creating a viable brand for your blog online.
- Blogging for Business— Ted Demopoulos discusses blogging and podcasts as practical business applications.
- Andy Wibbels— Andy Wibbels talks about blogging for small businesses.
- Problogger— Problogger gives advice on adding income streams to your blog.
- Blogging Business— Blogging business discusses how to market your business using blogs and RSS feeds.
- Business Blog Consulting— This blog gives advice on how to increase blog traffic and comments as well as news on the business blogging world.
- Blog Business World— Wayne Hurlbert gives his perspective on business blogs, search engine optimization, and marketing.
- Blog for Business— Blog for Business focuses on how corporate blogs can increase business and profits.
- NetBusinessBlog— NetBusinessBlog gives advice on how to make a living online using blogs.
- BusinessBlogWire— This is a blog that gives advice and tips on creating profitable corporate and business blogs.
Blogging Forums and Networking
Great blogs generate lots of traffic thanks to buzz about their site. You can create your own buzz by networking with other bloggers and submitting your articles to social media sites.
- Blogger Forum— This is a great place to chat with fellow bloggers and get some advice on how to begin blogging.
- Bloggst— An online community for bloggers, Bloggst has advice on starting and managing a blog as well as interviews with those in the know.
- True Blogging— True Blogging is a forum dedicated to discussing all aspects of blogging and blog monetization.
- Blogger Talk— Blogger Talk is another forum for bloggers to get together to talk about and show off their blogs.
- Bloggeries— Bloggeries offers a worldwide community for bloggers to exchange ideas and information.
- Webloggers— Webloggers is a discussion forum for just about everything to do with blogging, from legal issues to tutorials. It’s a great resource for newbies and advanced users alike.
- The Blog Herald— The newspaper of the blogging world, The Blog Herald contains news about issues relevant to the blogosphere.
- Reddit— Reddit brings together all of the best blog articles from the fields of politics, science and just fun stuff.
- Digg— Digg is one of the most popular social content sites. Making the front page is a great way to send massive amounts of traffic your way.
- Del.icio.us— Del.icio.us allows users to easily share bookmarks and links. Adding a link to Del.icio.us at the end of your blog posts can help your articles be more widely read.
Search engines can be a very useful way to find out what other kinds of blogs are out there. They can also help you check out and work on your rankings to make sure you don’t miss out on any potential traffic.
- Technorati— One of the most widely used search engines, Technorati tracks over 93 million blogs. Make sure yours is one of them.
- Sphere— Sphere is a blog search engine with a twist. Not only can you find the blog you’re looking for, but also a contextual widget that shows related posts from other blogs.
- Google Blog Search— With the popularity of Google’s regular search engine, it was only a matter of time before they jumped on the blog search engine bandwagon. A little simpler than other blog search engines, it’s essentially a Google search limited to blog postings.
- Ice Rocket— Similar to Google’s blog search, IceRocket searches for content on the web that is posted in blogs.
- Daypop— Geared towards news and current events blogs, Daypop’s engine requires that your blog be updated frequently.
- Blogdigger— A small search engine, Blogdigger allows you to find blogs in your area.
- Waypath— Waypath allows searchers to easily find blogs they would be interested in reading with a “find similar” feature.
- Eatonweb— Eatonweb is a blog directory with categories and stats easily accessible on the front page. Submitting your own blog is easy, too.
- Blogrunner— Blogrunner provides a hot topics listing as well as features. It’s primarily geared towards news, but there are other topics listed as well.
- Blog Search Engine— Blog Search Engine is just that, a blog search engine. It also provides categories and a ticker of the latest posts on the front page.
Statistics and Analysis
Keeping track of where your traffic is coming from and how much you are getting can be an integral part of helping you market and optimize your blog. These are a few resources to get you started.
- StatCounter— StatCounter is a free statistics and analysis tool for keeping track of your blog’s traffic numbers.
- Site Meter— Site Meter is available in Premium and Basic versions, and can offer more advanced analysis of your site.
- Alexa— Alexa is a great tool for comparing your blog’s performance to other blogs on the internet.
- Google Analytics— Google provides a free and full-featured tool for determining where your visitors are coming from and how they use your site.
- Measure Map— Measure Map is a free tool to track your visitors’ habits.
- AWStats— AWStats is an open source tool that you can use to track your blog’s statistics.
- Feedburner— Feedburner provides a wide range of tools to help improve your blog’s RSS feed as well as statistic tracking.
- 103Bees— A great tool for search engine optimization, 103Bees gives detailed information on the search engine traffic your blog receives.
- MyBlogLog— MyBlogLog is both a community building tool and a simple blog analytics tool.
- ShinyStat— ShinyStat is a web analytics and counter tool with both free and paid versions.
Money Making Tools
If you’re truly interested in making a profit from your blog, you’re going to have to do something to draw in those dollars. These are a few resources that can help you make money through donations or by placing ads on your site.
- PayPal— Use PayPal to set up a button on your site that readers can click on to make donations.
- Google AdSense— Google AdSense is where many bloggers make the majority of their income. Ads are both pay per click and pay per view.
- Yahoo Publisher Network— Similar to Google AdSense, Yahoo’s ads are pay per click.
- Txtswap— Txtswap is a program that allows bloggers to exchange text links in order to bring in more traffic.
- Adbrite— Adbrite can provide payment for simple text ads on your blog.
- Chitika— Chitika is interactive advertising based on the content of your site. It tends to take up a little more room than other ads, but it also tends to pay a little more.
- BlogBurst— BlogBurst can help you get your blog published in big time media outlets and get paid for it.
- Text Link Ads— Text Link Ads is another resource for putting text ads on your site.
- Bidvertiser— Bidvertiser offers an innovative system where you set the bids on pay per click ads.
- ReviewMe— Want to make a little cash on the side? ReviewMe is a marketplace for paid blog reviews.
Tools and Miscellaneous
These are just a few more tools and articles that can help you make and maintain a better and more profitable blog.
- Blog Basics— For the beginner, this site outlines everything you need to know about blogging.
- Structured Blogging— Structured Blogging is a tool that can help bloggers create better organized and formatted content.
- Qumana— Qumana is a desktop blog editor. It works on both Windows and Mac formats.
- GeoLoc— GeoLoc is a fun widget that shows where visitors to your blog are coming from.
- BlogRolling— This is a useful tool for keeping your blogroll organized.
- 101 Steps to Becoming a Better Blogger— Lifehacker provides an excellent list of tips to help you be more successful with blogging.
- WordPress Backup— This is a valuable plugin for WordPress that helps you backup your blog data in case something goes wrong.
- Sociable— Sociable makes social bookmarking easy by adding links to interesting links at the end or your blog posts.
- Blog Carnival— Joining a blog carnival can help you get linked more often and increase traffic to your site.
- Creating Scannable Content— Studies have shown that readers of internet articles don’t actually read them at first, they scan. This article details how to lay out your content to reflect this.
Whether you’re a seasoned blogger wanting to increase your blog traffic or a novice looking for advice on where to begin, these resources can offer great help getting you on the right track. Use them wisely and you can increase your chances of creating a successful and interesting blog, and maybe even becoming an online sensation.