Blogosphere Plus Pro-Blogging Equal Money!

Blog use expanded

A weblog – or simply blog – is a website that ‘publishes’ or features articles which are referred to as ‘entries,’ ‘blog posts,’ or simply ‘posts’ written by an individual or a group of people who utilize one or any combination of the many functions available in modern blogging software offered by the various platforms. Whereas the original blogging technology that existed two decades ago was limited to written content, the rapid advancement of digital technology has allowed blogging platforms to offer:

  • Straight text blogs;
  • Photograph or image blogs (photo-blogging);
  • Video blogs (video-blog);
  • Audio file blogs (audio-blogging), and;
  • Hyperlink blogs.

Typically, a blog is arranged in reverse chronological order and can be used for a variety of different purposes; but the most frequent uses of blogs, traditionally speaking, have been online journals, web diaries, content management systems and Web publishing platforms. These uses are more adaptable to blogs because the type and variety of components found in the standard blog were, and still are for the most part, more conducive to these uses.

Here are a few of those components:

  • Post date – The date and time of the blog entry
  • Category – The particular subject group to which a post most closely identifies
  • Title – The title or main theme of the blog, which should be relevant to the subject
  • Main body – What the writer actually conveys in the blog; the story told about a particular blog topic
  • RSS and trackback – A method of connecting blog “A” to several other blogs/sites via links
  • Comments – Commentaries added by readers (interaction) in the form of feedback and opinions
  • Permalinks – The method by which every blog post has its own unique URL
  • Other optional items – Calendar, Archives, Blogrolls, and various Add-ons and/or Plug-ins

Blog types

As in the same fashion that a blog is usually designed with a header, that same blog can also have a footer – found at the bottom of the blog – installed, if the owner so desires. Footers can show the post date, the author, the category, and the ‘stats’ (the number of comments or trackbacks). But a blog footer is not often as elaborate or stylish as the header, and therefore does not require a great deal of time spent creating it.

In so far as a blog’s subject is concerned, there are numerous types of blogs, comprised of various themes, interests and industries, including, but not limited to the following:

  1. Political blogs – on news, politics, activism, and other issue based blogs (such as campaigning).
  2. Personal blogs – also known as online diary that may include an individual’s day-to-day experience, complaints, poems, and illicit thoughts, and communications between friends.
  3. Health blogs – on specific health issues. Medical blog is a major category of health blog that features medical news from health care professionals and/or actual patient cases.
  4. Literary blogs – also known as litblog.
  5. Travel blog – with focus on a traveler’s stories on a particular journey.
  6. Research blogs – on academic issues such as research notes.
  7. Legal blogs – on law (technical areas) and legal affairs; also known as ‘blawgs.’
  8. Media blogs – focus on falsehoods or inconsistencies in mass media; usually exclusive for a newspaper or a television network.
  9. Religious blogs – on religious topics.
  10. Educational blogs – on educational applications, usually written by students and teachers.
  11. Collaborative or collective blogs – a specific topic written by a group of people.
  12. Directory blogs – contains a collection of numerous web sites.
  13. Business blogs – used by entrepreneurs and corporate employees to promote their businesses or talk about their work.
  14. Personification blogs – focus on non-human beings or objects (such as pets, plants, robots, etc.).
  15. Spam blogs – used for promoting affiliated websites; also known as ‘splogs’.

In amazing numbers

Blogging is typically done on a regular (almost daily) basis, a frequency that is almost expected, in view of the fact that the term “blogging” refers to the act of authoring, maintaining, and/or adding an article to an existing blog at regular intervals; while the term “blogger” refers to a person or a group who manages and maintains the blog.

Today, more than 152 million blogs can be found in the Internet; this according to Brandon Gaille, in his article titled, How Many Blogs are on the Internet. But the amazing thing is that, this figure is continuously growing; and as technology makes blogging software, tools, and other applications easier to use and more accessible for just about anyone to update or maintain a blog (even those with little or no technical background), who knows how much the number of blogs will increase.

Because of the growth rate of blogs and a trend towards personal ownership, bloggers can be categorized into four main groups:

  1. Personal blogging – Bloggers who focus on a diary or on any topic that an individual feels strongly or passionate about.
  2. Business blogging – Bloggers who focus on the promotional and advertising aspect of expression, usually to sell products and services.
  3. Organizational blogging – Bloggers who focus on internal or external communication within a community or organization.
  4. Professional blogging – Bloggers who are hired or paid to do blogging.

The money aspect of blogging

As with any other industry or popular vocation, blogging has reached the point where just about everyone with a computer and access to the Internet wants a blog, but not everyone is capable of managing one or even conveying the message he/she wishes the world to know. Enter the professional blogger, or as is more casually referred to, the pro-blogger, which is someone who blogs for a profit. Pro-bloggers, to put it another way, are people who make money from blogging (as an individual blog publisher or a hired blogger), and can be very much in demand from time to time, and depending on the subject.

Below are just some of the many money-making opportunities for pro-bloggers:

  • Advertising programs
  • RSS Advertising
  • Sponsorship
  • Affiliate Programs
  • Digital Assets
  • Blog Network Writing
  • Business Blog Writing
  • Non-Blogging Writing
  • Donations
  • Flipping blogs
  • Merchandising
  • Consulting and speaking

Where there is a money-making opportunity, many entrepreneurial-minded, enterprising and talented (as well as some not so talented) will be attracted to the opportunity; and as such, pro-bloggers of all stripes will make their services available. But they must know and understand a few things if they are to be effective at, and achieve success in, pro blogging. There are as follows:

  1. They must be patient. Pro-blogging requires a lot of time and effort, not to mention a long-term vision;
  2. They must know their audience. Targeting a specific audience or group is a key to building a readership;
  3. They must be an ‘expert’ on the particular subject. Focus on a specific niche topic and strive to be the “go-to” blogger on that topic, and;
  4. They must be willing to diversify. This requires them to experiment with various topics and add affiliate programs that enable them to make money online (aside from blogging).
  5. They must try not to bore their readers. Focusing on the blog layout can help in this area. White spaces, line spacing, and bigger fonts make a blog welcoming to read.

A blogging entrepreneur?!

If you have aspirations of becoming a problogger, it is quite possible that you will earn money from a vocation such as this; but keep in mind that in any entrepreneurial undertaking, it is necessary to take risks, and you must possess passion as well as a positive (be an optimist) attitude in order to be a successful entrepreneur, which is essentially what a pro-blogger is. Good luck!

Blogging for Beginners – A Reference Guide

Originally, weblog!

The blog – originally known as a weblog – is basically an online journal with which an individual can digitally write down, or record in a number of different ways, his/her thoughts, ideas, opinions and practically anything else that individual wants people to know about; and since blogs come in various styles, formats and settings – depending on user preferences – their rapid increase in popularity is hardly a surprise. In fact, many blogging platforms offer built-in features such as hyperlinks, straight texts, pictures and other formatting tools, and blogging platforms even allow you, the user, to place videos and mp3’s on your blogs.

As you may already know, not everyone likes to write and, based on this aversion to writing, some bloggers choose to make their blogs more audio friendly by using spoken-word entries instead of writing texts. This is known as audio blogging, which often consist of the same subject matter as text blogs, except that it is spoken and not written. The same can be said about video blogs and pictoral (photo) blogs, which are often used by photographers and such other artists as may find the blogging medium conducive to their careers and other entrepreneurial pursuits.

The basic blog contains these standard features:

  • The title – This allows you, the blog owner – or blogger – to label your post.
  • The body – This is your post content, whether its written, spoken or depicted.
  • Trackback – This is tool that allows other sites to be linked back to your blog.
  • Permanent link – The method used to provide every article you write with a URL.
  • Comments – This allow readers to interact, via the “comment box,” on your blog.

Blogging: Useful for newcomers

One of the advantages of blogging is the small number of templates as well as the simplicity of those templates; because unlike other websites which are made up of numerous individual pages, a few simple templetes make it easier, more often than not, for blog users to create new pages since the blog already has fix settings that include slots for title, body of the post, category and tags.

This is especially useful for first time bloggers because it provides the platform where they can start blogging right away without having to worry about site design, content for various pages, e.g. “About Us,” “Sitemap,” “SEO,” or other such concerns; and they can chose from a number of templates that the blogging platforms provide.

Anyone who wants to start a blog can do so by becoming a member of one of the many available blogging platforms that suits his/her fancy or purpose; and once s/he becomes a member of a given platform, s/he will automatically be a part of that particular blogging community. of course, s/he can also browse through other bloggers’ pages, and link them back to his/her own blogs, in addition to making comments on other members’ blogs.

An entrepreneur’s ad space

Blogging is not just limited to personal usage, though; because there are a lot of blogs that follow specific themes such as: sports, politics, philosophy, social commentary, and an almost infinite number of other subject matters. These bloggers espouse on their specific themes; this way blogging becomes a medium in which people can share their knowledge and opinions about a variety of themes and topics.

Some bloggers even use their blogs as a place – digital as it may be – from which to advertise, like some authors that utilize personal blogs to advertise their books; while other bloggers use their blogs to shed light on current issues, events, news, trends and catastrophes. And let us not forget the education establishment which utilize blogs as a very important part of reaching students, faculty and financiers, among others. Professors use blogging to document the lessons they have discussed and taught, making it easier for students who missed classes to easily catch up with their assignments.

Entrepreneurs, mentioned briefly in the second paragraph, benefit from blogging by promoting businesses on their blogs; and with millions and millions of people logging onto the Web everyday, blogging has – no doubt – become a lucrative activity for these entrepreneurs, whether they are operating sole proprietorships, small companies, or mid-sized companies. Some bloggers who run online businesses use their blogs to promote their merchandise, while others profit through advertisement and affiliate sales.

Uniqueness. Individuality. Personality.

But by far, the most popular blog type is that which takes the form of a personal journal; because this is the kind that is often used by first-time bloggers. Individuals who want to document the daily struggle of their everyday lives, poems, rants, opinions, and other personal issues, find that blogging offers them a medium in which to express themselves.

Bloggers often communicate within themselves; and this is truly one of the appealing things about blogging that attracts so many people to it. It creates a community of people sharing their ideas, passions, and comments with each other. But blogs vary in topics, themes, and set-ups which can be found in blog directories allow first-time users who want to get an idea of what the blogging world is all about to browse through multiple blogs using these directories. This way they can get an idea of what these blogging communities are like.

Blogging is popular all over the world, because there are really no established rules in the blogosphere, although many bloggers try their best to adhere to “Best Practices.” But where self-expression and freedom of ideas are concerned, bloggers have the freedom to express themselves in any way they want. But the best thing about blogging is the fact that most blogging platforms are free; and there are numerous available on the Web to choose from, giving first time users an option of joining the specific blogging community that appeals to their interests.

Begin with a directory!

Just search any blogging directory and you will get a listing of numerous blogging platforms that are available on the Web. It’s easy to search a blogging directory, because it is organized according to category. This way you would get exactly what you are looking for. It can be said without much pushback, that blogging is really for everyone; and many users – seasoned bloggers and newcomers alike – find that it is fun, simple and easy to do!