The Blogging Business Plan for Writers

The business of blogging is a way for writers to make money online and has become a profitable business model. Writers can easily start a thriving blog business online without the hassles of traditional brick and mortar startups.

The benefits of starting a blogging business include: low overhead costs, little to no employees needed, location freedom, software and equipment leasing is little none. With a few simple preparations (domain name and hosting for a website) to market samples of your work, pricing, and contact information, your only other necessities would be access to a computer with internet; fairly quickly, you can be up and running and ready for business.

Getting Started

The first thing you want to do is have a plan. Although very little resources are needed to get your blogging business started, you do however, need to have a plan to ensure you get the most out of your business and efforts. I have provided a small list of things to consider before getting started:

Do you have any subject matters in which you are knowledgeable or skilled? If so, which would be your best writing asset?

  • Do you want to be a general writer or specialize in specific topics and subject matter?
  • Will your writing serve as your sole source of income or will you supplement your income by writing copy to promote and sell products for advertisers or affiliate products?
  • Do you want to work with customers one-on-one or would you prefer the security of working within a network like oDesk.com or Elance.com who provide a structured platform for contractors to market themselves and work to customers within those networks?
  • Do you want to focus your customer base towards consumers or business owners?
  • Do you want to focus on a single niche or is your goal to franchise into multiple niches?

Time is Money

In the blogging business, you have to be conscious of time. Time is money, whether you are paid by the article or per work, you want to avoid spending too much time in one place or within the learning curves of foreign topics, especially in your intial stages. You want to choose subject matter that you are somewhat familiar with and will allow you to research and write as quickly as possible. Once you’ve learned and mastered the basics of that subject matter and craft, you can always stretch out later into new genres of interest and take on longer and larger assignment that may require in-depth hours of your time in research and writing.

Yes, as you can see there are several areas to consider before you begin. You certainly do not want to start your business without direction or at least the right path that will enable you to excel in your business and sustain throughout the long haul without crashing or burnout.

Creating Value

Whether you choose to freelance for others or create a blog of your own, you always want to make sure you are creating substance and produce value. Be it for the reader, advertisers, your blog or customers, both your and your customer’s purposes is to generate profit and produce success. Your writing will serve as the vehicle that sells the idea, or bedazzle the product or service; the end user experience should be – satisfied customers. This is the experience that wins and adds value that no one can deny.

What are the secrets to success? There is no one formula or one size fits all business plan, therefore, be aware in advance, strategy involves versatility and the willingness to try different ideas while manicuring the perfect plan that works for your business; there are many blog businesses owners that have proven writers can be successful and can make a profitable living in the online arena.

5 Ways to Make Money From the Internet and How to Get Started

Are you looking to make some extra money in your spare time? Perhaps you want to quit your job and work at home. There are millions of people that work at home and the numbers are increasing due to the myriad of ways to make money using just your computer and an internet connection.

This article will explore 5 of these methods and discusses the advantages, disadvantages and how to get started:

1. Sell A Service.

The quickest way to make money from the internet is to sell a service. Do you have a skill that you can turn into dollars? Skills such as article writing, resume writing, logo design, web design, photo editing and copywriting are in high demand. If you are possess a unique skill you can advertise your skills and sell your own service. Places where you can advertise your services include forums, blogs and classified ads sites. Once you have developed a solid client base you may want to build your own website and set up a more automated ordering system.

This is probably one of the simplest ways to make money online and will allow you to generate some start up cash to invest in other online ventures.

2. Build Websites. Developing websites are the staple of many internet entrepreneurs. There are 3 types of sites that you can develop to sell your own products or someone else’s products as an affiliate.

Ecommerce sites – Ecommerce sites are becoming increasingly easier to build with platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce. You can literally get your online store up and running in as little as a week. The main hurdles for ecommerce store developers are product sourcing and logistics (item delivery) however, these can be overcome by joining a support network such as SaleHoo – a membership site where you can get have all of your ecommerce questions answered by experts.

One of the great advantages of selling physical products is that you are not limited to selling them exclusively on your own site. You can also shift products quicker by utilizing online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon and Craigslist. These sites are very popular so you will not have to worry about getting traffic to your products while you are still establishing your site.

Authority sites – Are you an expert on a topic? If you know a lot about one subject area whether it is weight loss or building solar panels, a great way to monetize your knowledge to create an site and establish it as an authority. Post long, detailed articles with some unique images and watch as search engines pick up your content and begin sending you traffic. Get even more targeted traffic by promoting your site on places where your target audience congregate such as Forums, Blogs, Facebook Groups and Twitter (answer people’s questions).

Niches Sites – Perhaps you are not an expert on a topic, another type of site you can create is a niche site. These are smaller sites (20 – 30 pages) centered around one topic. For example you may create a niche site about a product such as Lego, a celebrity fan site or a health condition such as athlete’s foot. Niche sites are resources that people will visit to find answers, treatments or the latest news. The advantage of niches sites is that they are usually ever-green and require less updating than an authority site. The downside is that they are a little more difficult to make popular and link building may require some creativity and technical SEO knowledge.

3. Drive Paid Traffic To Affiliate Offers. Another way to generate income online is by buying targeted traffic and sending it affiliate offers for a commission per sale or action. Paid traffic can come from PPC (Pay Per click, PPV (Pay per impression) and Social Ads. Here is an overview of all 3:

PPC (Pay Per Click) – PPC is probably one of the most well known source of paid traffic. Platforms such as Google Adwords and MSN Adcenter allow users to bid on keywords that people type into their search engines and your ad will show up along the side of the search results. PPC traffic can be costly and beginners will probably run into quality score issues if they are inexperienced at building landing sites.

PPV (Pay Per Impression – PPV, also known as web or contextual traffic is not as well known as PPC. This traffic is sometimes viewed in a negative light because it comes from pop ups. When a user installs a toolbar onto their machine (i.e. to play games or view premium content), a pop up will appear when they visit specific sites. Marketers are able to bid on these urls and have their pop up show up. Surprisingly, this traffic is very targeted and coverts well on certain affiliate offers. For example, if you wanted to promote a weight loss supplement for men, you may want to target menshealth.com and bodybuilding.com and other similar sites. The great thing about PPV traffic is that the cost per impressions is usually low, sometimes costing as little as $0.01 per impression.

Social Ads – Social ads are fast becoming a popular platform for independent markets. Some examples of social platforms are Facebook, Plenty Of Fish and LinkedIn Ads. Social ad platforms allow you to target people by demographic. This means that if you were promoting an affiliate product such as a coupon organizer, you may want to choose to only show the ad to people who were students, 18 – 25 and female in order lower your advertising costs and increase your chances of a sale.

To learn more about paid traffic, you can take a look at AffPlaybook, a membership site which has tools and a private forum to discuss paid traffic techniques.

4. Sell eBooks on Amazon. Selling ebooks on the internet is not a new idea, there are many places that promote ebooks such as Clickbank. However, The Kindle Direct Publishing Program by Amazon is relatively new and many independent authors have taken to it in droves. By writing

There are many things you could write about and it does not have to be a long fictional novel. People have also had success writing non-fiction “how to” books. For example, shorter 40 page books which show people how to decorate their homes or save money on groceries have been past best sellers on the Kindle.

One of the main advantages of selling ebooks on Amazon is that very little promotion of your book is needed (although you will probably still want to get your book reviewed by some major ebook sites). Users search for books using the search bar in the kindle store and your book will come up if it is relevant to the user’s query.

A common problem with selling ebooks is that many people do not enjoy writing or are unable to write to a high enough standard. Fortunately, it is possible to get around this problem by finding a competent writer and outsourcing your book using services such as oDesk and Elance.

Ebooks are going to become more popular as the demand will be driven by the popularity of handheld devices such as the Kindle, iPhone and Tablet PCS, all of which can view ebooks.

5. Invest in Stocks. For people with some spare cash, investing in stocks is a great way to make some passive income. By finding companies which are undervalued and pay out a dividend, your capital can grow while providing you with a yearly income. The disadvantage is that when you pick the wrong stock your investment may be worth significantly less than you paid for it giving you a net loss.

The learning curve for picking the right stocks can be off-putting for some but the good news is that there are a lot of well written resources available online which can help you learn for free. For people starting out, I would recommend reading some books about Value Investing.

Building up a stock portfolio with millions of dollars may take some time but it is something that is definitely achievable with some planning, determination and a little luck.

About the author: Jack Hogan is a full time internet marketer and former human resources manager. He is the creator of ResignationLetterExamples.net, a site which provides free resignation letter examples for different occupations including teachers and nurses.

Share Your Wedding Plans with Your Own Blog

Your wedding day is certainly a wonderful event in your life. Since you get married once in a lifespan, you need to pre-plan your wedding day to make sure it will be memorable for the rest of your life. One such way to make your wedding feel extra special is by starting your own wedding blog.

A typical blog consists of a series of articles with visuals and video written and dated in a sequential order. You can share your blog (and thus your special wedding) with the world via the Internet. Besides wedding blogs, you probably have run across many other types of blogs such as: fashion blogs, sporting events blogs, scientific blogs, pet blogs, and so on. Your wedding blog is one of these “types of blogs.” Most brides schedule time into their wedding planning to use a blog to assist in their planning of “to do lists” and to have their special friends and guests participate in online discussions via your blog. When I needed to find wedding music in California, I asked my guests to leave their comments and recommendations after my blog post.

A common question I hear a lot is, “Why do I need my own wedding blog when I already have a wedding coordinator to support me?” What an excellent question! Your wedding blog can assist you in planning your wedding more effectively and resourcefully. More notably, it will serve as an interaction channel between you, your family members, friends and guests. Your acquaintances and attendees can discuss the progress of the wedding planning with you; they can offer you advice and guidance based on their experience; you can also communicate with many other people online who are enduring the same task. You might find more in-depth ideas and answers by browsing the blogs of other brides.

You should launch your blog prior to mailing out your wedding invitations, conceivably closer to mailing your “Save the Date” invitations, so that guests and family members can go to your blog for travel details and for any new information about your wedding plans.

It’s possible that your blog becomes popular with other brides because the information that you provide serves as an in-depth international wedding guide.

Lastly, you don’t require advanced computer or design skills to create your blog and to write informative posts. All you need is a common familiarity with computers and the Internet and you can establish your own blog in less than a half-an-hour. You can use free blogging services and platforms such as WordPress.com and Blogger.com. You can also find special wedding sites that allow you to setup your own wedding blog. These are all free services so you don’t have to dig into your wedding budget.

Even after your wedding day has ended, your blog will resemble a charming “diary” and journal of all the special moments and decision-making prior to your special day.

Marriage is a special event in your life, filled with emotion and passion. Tracking all of those special moments is just as important. So use a blog to share your wedding planning activities and the special moments that you experienced during your wedding ceremony.

How to Promote Yourself on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is currently the largest professional network that makes staying in touch easy. With over 150 million users, this networking website is much more than a place to post your resume on the web for others to see. Whether you are looking for a job, in search of an employee or wish to find a new business opportunity, there are many great ways to promote yourself on LinkedIn.

If you were to ‘Google’ yourself or your business, the chances are that you would find that your LinkedIn profile appears at the top of the search results. This clearly shows that this networking site is very powerful and that the majority of us should be using it.

Here are a few ways to promote yourself on LinkedIn:

Create a Great Profile

It’s essential that you have a great profile on LinkedIn. Your goal here should be to make your profile so interesting that people will want to get in touch with you. Instead of focusing on yourself and your accomplishments, put your focus on what you can offer others. Do not use your profile to talk about your past history and achievements, but rather use it to state what you are currently doing and what people can expect from you in the future. People are more interested in what you are working on now rather than what you have done in the past.

You can add up to three website links to your profile so by all means take advantage of this. But instead of using the default settings in the drop-down menu, type in search engine-friendly text. For instance, instead of “My Company” type in “home builder in Phoenix” and instead of “My Blog” use something like “home builder in Phoenix, Arizona”.

Do take the time to fill out your profile completely. If you fail to do so, people will wonder if you are lazy or if you have something to hide. You certainly don’t want anyone who views your profile to think either of these things so fill it out and keep it updated.

Import Your Blog’s RSS Feed

If you are like most professionals, you probably have a blog. If you don’t, you can import the feed of your business blog. Doing this allows people in your network to read your updates as you publish them. Of course, you must see to it that your blog contains relevant and interesting information that people find useful so aim for fresh, high quality content.

Join Groups and Be Active

LinkedIn has thousands of groups you can join to discuss news and topics with like-minded individuals. When you are in a group you can contact anyone in the group directly and you are able to post new threads and reply to current ones. This all helps to make yourself credible and is a great way to make new connections with people. If you are already a member of several LinkedIn groups, review them to ensure that they are all related to your interests and profession.

Make Connections and Many of Them

Make a point of connecting to friends, colleagues, former work associates, previous bosses, clients and family members. Once you have connected with someone you can browse his or her network. If you run across someone in those networks whom you find interesting you can ask your contact to introduce you.

LinkedIn is very much like other social media sites in that your success depends upon how well you interact with other users and on how broad your exposure becomes. However, LinkedIn is far different from Facebook and the other major players in social media because it focuses on developing professional relationships. Making the most of what LinkedIn has to offer can go far in helping you succeed so use this powerful networking site to your full advantage so that you can expand your horizons and achieve your professional goals.

This article is written by Cynthia Rupp. LinkedIn helps to manage your professional identity.

Big List Of Ideas For Real Estate Internet Marketing

When working as a real estate professional, harnessing the power of the Internet can provide you with a limitless supply of clients to work with. If you are currently trying to figure out ways to market to your customers via the Internet, here are a few ideas that you might want to try out if you’re not already.

Add Multimedia Content

If you want to really get your visitor’s attention, try using a little bit of multimedia content. For example, record some videos of yourself providing tips or information about your local real estate market and post them on your site. You may even want to include some audio content. When you add multimedia content, you make it easier to get your visitor’s attention.

Tweak the Home Page

Regardless of whether you have a blog or a website, you may want to consider changing your home page up a bit. For most sites, the majority of their traffic sees the home page at some point. This means that you need to make the home page as attractive as possible. Add some photos, new content, cool widgets, or anything else you can think of that would be helpful to your visitors.

Use Social Networking

Another option that you may want to consider is boosting your social media profiles. When you get involved with social media, it gives you a completely new avenue to drive traffic to your business. When you build profiles for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you will be able to drive traffic record to your website. You can develop a potentially large following on all of these social networks and interact with them on a daily basis. When you post something new to your site, put a link to it in a post on all of the networks. You may be surprised how much traffic it can generate.

Add Regular Content

If you want to be able to generate traffic from search engines, you’re going to need some regular content posted to your site. The search engines love fresh content that is based around specific keywords. They also like high-quality content. If you are an expert on real estate in your area, you can pass on some of this expertise through your content. It will help your standing in the search engines and with your potential clients.

Do a Webinar

A new trend in the online marketing field is to host webinars for your potential visitors and clients. With a webinar, you host a type of online seminar for other people. You get people together in an online conference and provide them with some valuable information. There are a lot of different software programs that you can use to do a webinar. This can help drum up interest in your business and your website.

Capture Leads

If you are getting some traffic to your website, you need to take advantage of this and capture as many leads as possible. This means that you need to have some kind of email newsletter or sign up form on your site. This will make it possible to get a list of people together who may be interested in using your services at some point in the future. Once you develop a list, they will be more likely to trust you in the future.

Andrew Handley writes business tips in the area of online marketing, most recently for Samuelson Hause & Samuelson. Not much is needed to succeed in the online world, but you have to do it better than the competition.