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reader mail response on how i make cash blogging

This is not the normal kind of bloggo I write (it's not music-related), but I received this email:

Could you write a blog about the process you go through to make a living through blogging? I would really like to try to pursue this as a part time job, and i really love talking and writing so i feel it could work out If you could make a detailed guide on how you achieved the amount of traffic that you have, how you make income etc. It would greatly help me out, you have inspired me.

...so I'll answer it. 🙂

The way to get paid with blogging (which is what most want to know first) is either to Google AdSense it, affiliate link it, sell a book or do all three. (Edit: There's also the membership system way of doing it, but that would take a while to explain because it's not easy.)

Technical craptastic stuff

A partial list of the technical crapola involved is that you have to:

"Gee, some of this stuff costs money..."

Yep, and there's no way around that. Pro-blogging is business blogging, so you're going to have to spend some cash on it.

I pay registration fees for my domain. I pay monthly web hosting fees. I pay for other stuff as well. So will you. If you think you can pro-blog totally for free, that's going to be one serious uphill battle for you.

Why does the free way suck?

I can sum that up in one word: Restrictions.

If you try to pro-blog for free and then attempt to utilize AdSense, affiliate links or even linking to certain products (like selling a book you may write), your freebie blog host will slam the brakes right in your face and not allow it, or in worst case shut down your blog. And guess what happens at that point? NO MONEY; you don't get paid; any traffic you built up is gone; so all that time you spent setting all the free stuff up was for nothing.

Don't go the free route, because it's way too restrictive. Register a dot-com, pay for hosting and do it right the first time; all pro-bloggers do this.

What makes for good pro-blogging?

Although I'm going to make this sound overly simplistic, once you get the tech crap out of the way as noted above and get down to actually, you know, writing stuff, it's fairly straightforward.

Finding your niche

Most pro-bloggers are niche-bloggers. My niche is music, music gear and music instruction. If you're a regular reader of this site, you know that's what I'm all about. Yes, I will digress from time to time and write about movies and tech, but the bulk of what's here is about my niche.

What does "niche-blogging" mean? It means "write about what you know and know well."

When you write about what you know, the ideas flow naturally and it feels comfortable, allowing you to publish content regularly and build up your audience base (mainly from Google traffic but also from the social media stuff too).

Write about what people would actually want to read, then put your own spin on it

Let's assume for the moment you've defined your niche. Go to Google and do a few test searches on the niche you know. You'll find articles all over the place. Pick one, read it, and see what you could improve upon. Then write up your own article in your own words (meaning don't plagiarize) and publish it.

Publish a few of these a week, and be sure to broadcast them out on Twitter, Facebook and G+ via HootSuite.

Getting help

If you're new to the whole pro-blogging thing and are trying to figure out how to do it right, you can:

  1. Read my blog regularly, watch what I do and try the same (and again, don't plagiarize because you never get good traffic that way, and it's illegal).
  2. Take some courses
  3. Buy a book to assist you

If you have no clue how to do anything just from reading my blog, take the courses and/or get the book.

"How do I get paid?"

Did you forget to read the third sentence I wrote at the top? 🙂

"Seriously, that's it?"

Well, not entirely. The only real way to learn pro-blogging is to just dive right into it. Don't think about doing it, don't debate whether it's worth doing or not, don't wait. Just DO IT. There's a lot of stuff you will only learn once you actually get your blog started. I could write a novel on what to expect, but it's guaranteed I'd miss something. Gaining experience by just diving right in and doing it is the best teacher.

See, here's the thing - I don't know what you need; you do. I don't know if you need extra site help, or easy Amazon integration or easy eBay integration or whatever. You have to figure out what you want to go with as far as that's concerned, and that's what I mean by diving in and figuring out that stuff. I can't just tell you, "Do [this], then [this] and then [that]." There is no 1-2-3 method to pro-blogging. Your way of getting it done will most likely be very different from the way I do it - and that's fine.

What I can tell you is that you're going to get frickin' nowhere without actually starting. Just get off your ass, commit and go for it, or else it will never happen. Work up the nerve, break out the plastic, get your dot-com/net/org/whatever, get your WordPress hosting and the other stuff I mentioned above and just GO. Figuring out the rest from there is, said honestly, not that hard. Have faith in yourself and say, "I'm doing this. Right now.", and do it.

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