It sounds vaguely anti-social but apparently 75 million people are doing it every day! So what exactly is ‘blogging’ and how could you get started?
A blog (short for web log) is a website where entries provide commentary or news on a particular subject that you find interesting. Many function as personal online diaries – from a collection of private thoughts to memos to the world. Your blog is whatever you want it to be. There are millions of them, in all shapes and sizes, and there are no real rules.
In simple terms a blog stores entries on an ongoing chronological basis. New items show up at the top so your visitors can read what’s current. They can then comment on it or link to it (for later use) or email you. The blogs are easy to set-up, easy to maintain and easy to get traffic to.
Some people write blogs with passion in their hearts about a subject, some write blogs for money and then there are some that combine the two.
You can join a free blogging service like www.blogger.com , or www.wordpress.com. They have ready made templates, and it takes about 10 minutes to set up. You can be opening your own blog / website in less than a day.
You obviously need to choose your topic. Is there one thing that you are very passionate about? One thing that you have a lot of knowledge about? Is there one thing that you are still learning about and are looking for tit-bits of information? If you choose a topic that is true to your heart, then you will cut your blogging job in half. If you are already thinking about the subject then it is not very difficult to write a regular article for posting.
You can also place pay per click (ppc) adverts on your website. Popular ppc programmes include google, yahoo! and adbrite. Although not many blogs make much money from ppc links, enough could be made to cover costs.
After you have been blogging a few months, you could find that your reader base has grown. At this stage, those who are commercially minded might join paid-per-post blogs, write sponsored blogs and sell text links on your blog. Alternatively you could ask people to sponsor your blogs, by the way of a charity box (e.g. with payment through paypal etc.).
A note of caution however. The emergence of blogging has brought a range of legal issues and other unforeseen consequences. One area of concern is the possible release of confidential information perhaps when people write about aspects of their employment. Another is the potential for defamation particularly when voicing opinions or writing about aspects of personal lives. So please be careful out there!