The Blog

The Blog

By Brad Schneider
www.blog-hints.com

The Blog, or Weblog first emerged in the 1990’s as an avenue for regular people to express themselves online. Blogs are popular because reading can read another’s writing without input from editors, managers, or anyone else.

Getting Started
Getting started is very easy to do. Probably the hardest thing about getting a blog started is trying to figure out what to blog about. Once you have that down, choose a host. There are many different blog hosts out there, and most are free. I use Blogger.com. I like it, because it is free and very user friendly. You don’t need to know any HTML or other programming to get going. Of course, Blogger is not the only one there is, just the only one that I use.

Taking it to the next level
If your blog is getting a bit stale, you can spice it up a bit with some HTML programming. I learned most of my programming skills while customizing my own blog.
If you need a little tutoring on some minor programming of you blog, just do a google search for “html tutor”, and you will find many very helpful sites. Most improvements you can make to your blog are fairly simple, and most beginners can pull it off. If you are browsing around and see something on someone else’s blog that you “gotta have”, this is how you get it…. If you are using Microsoft Explorer, open the view menu and select “source”. Then just scroll down until you find the part that you want, then select the “area”, and copy it. Then simply drop it into your own blog and make any changes to make it more like your own!

Please keep in mind:
I have seen a lot of blogs that are packed so full of “neat stuff”, it makes me not want to read the blog. Just remember, that just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should. If you want people to read your blogs, make it appealing to them. I have seen many blogs that contain so much code, it takes an enormous amount of time for the page to load. It’s best to keep it kind of simple.

Making Money on Your Blog
Did you now you can actually make money from your blog? Well, if people read your blog, then you can make money from it. Now hold on, you’re probably not going to get rich off it, but a little bit certainly won’t hurt! Probably the most popular means of making your blog work for you is Adsense. You have probably noticed these ads by Google on many pages you visit. If you ever clicked on one of these ads, you helped somebody get paid. These ads are very easy to set up. You will need to register, then you will be able to pick the style of advertisement for your blog. Do you want some discrete text boxes? Or do you want to go with the big skyscraper in your sidebar with the graphics in them? This is all customizable to your preferences. It is recommended that you try to make the ad colors match the rest of your blog. The easiest way to do this is from the Google Adsense Adsense site. If you know the 6 digit RGB color code you can make an exact match. You should also keep in mind that these ads are generated from page content, so if you have a blog devoted to, let’s say, bridal goods, then your ads may be a bit more relevant than someone whos blogs are their own daily ranting and have no particular subject. Yahoo! is now beta testing their version of this program, and they are taking sign-ups. MSN has indicated that they also are looking into starting an online ads program. Another way to earn money from your blog are affiliates. Affiliates are companies that pay allow you to place ads on your blog, and when a sale is made due to a link from your site, you get paid. There are many companies out there that offer this partnership, just go out and look. I highly recommend against paying any money for directories of these companies. It just doesn’t make sense! You can normally find several simply by using your search engine and searching for them.

Blog Etiquette
I have never seen an instruction manual on what to say in a blog, and that is because anything goes here. You should, however, keep in mind that there is a common courtesy with blogs. If a blogger is allowing the general public to comment on their blog, then you should follow the same guidelines that the blogger goes by. For example, if this blog appears to be family oriented, then I would assume that the blogger would not like foul language in the comments area. However, if the blog is carries an adult oriented tone, then I would say anything goes. Another thing I would like to put out is a little practice I call “Blog-Spamming”. Yes, you have a nice new blog, and you want everyone to read it, but please don’t go from blog to blog pasting a ready made line of code in bloggers comment area, linking back to your blog. This tends to aggravate the blogger. If you are going to do so, you should make sure it is ok with the blog owner first. If your blog is good enough then the traffic will come to you.

This article is free to distribute as long as all hyperlinks are attached and this text area is included. Copyright © 2005 www.blog-hints.com All rights reserved.

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