I’d like to welcome my new visitors and readers coming from MSN Live, Yahoo! & Google looking for my blog after watching the feature at Mel & Joey last night. I was surprised that for a 2-hour footage, they managed to squeeze it in a 2-minute feature.
Just to guide our new visitors, I’d like to point you out to some readings. I wasn’t really anticipating to be inundated with emails so apologies if I didn’t come up with a welcome page to guide all of you along and answer the more obvious questions beforehand.
First, a disclaimer.
- Before we started with the interview, I asked the crew what the story will be about and they informed me it was a feature “on ways to make money online or thru the internet”. It wasn’t just about blogging but looks like the feature ended that way. Just to complete that line-up, I also suggested digital photography, webmastering, web copywriting, running forums, e-mail marketing, doing paid reviews, article writing, among others.
- When I was asked to give out an advise, my tone was a little discouraging and I explicitly said it was not an overnight gig. It took years before I got any significant returns and it wasn’t just thru a single income stream. I had to stress that because I didn’t want to give out a false impression that it was easy. They also failed to mention how many blogs, websites, and forums I own.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s move forward and answer all those frequently emailed questions:
- How to start a blog?
The easiest way to go about this is by signing up with free hosted blogging service. Try WordPress.com and Blogger.com as they are two of the most popular ones. Signing up is easy and should be a breeze if you have basic internet skills (I usually add that if you knew how to create a fee email account, signing for a blog should be much easier). Blogger.com is more advertising friendly and new sign-ups are also encouraged to open an AdSense account so go ahead with that too. You can also go to a full blown blog and get yourself a nice domain and hosting — but that will cost you too.
- What should I blog about?
A lot of things! But, focus more on the topics you are most passionate about or something you think you have good knowledge of. Topics could range from gardening, pets, to food, traveling, gaming, cars and toys (so much more actually). A newly turned blogger I helped recently put up a blog about finches (a certain species of birds for breeding).
- How do I earn from my blog?
The same business model applies to most other websites — advertising. Some are self-service and pretty easy to get into while others take time and patience. For self-service advertising, check out TextLinkAds, Google AdSense, ReviewMe, PayPerPost, AdBrite, Kontera, Amazon Associates, etc. To get direct ads, you will need to have a fairly established blog with sizable traffic to get noticed. The getting noticed part will be a little hard depending on the topic you blog about.
- How do I get paid for it?
It depends on which ad platform you use but most of the time, it’s thru cheques at the end of the month, quarter or after you reach a certain amount (e.g. $25). Others thru Paypal, direct deposit and other money remittance services (Xoom, Western Union, etc).
- How long before I start earning?
Now this is the hardest part to answer really. Based from experience, it could be as quick as 3 months to as long as 2 years. So, you need to be very patient and passionate about it, otherwise you’ll only end up getting disappointed. Sometimes, you won’t earn a cent at all. It’s not a fool-proof formula.
- What else do I need to know?
I’ve compiled a number of posts about problogging here. I also did several interviews with fellow Filipino probloggers here. You can contact them (esp. the network bloggers) for more leads in getting a part-time blogging gig at their respective blog networks.
- What’s the easiest way to start?
You can join a blog network. It’s one way of getting into problogging without a lot of the hassles since the network will help you out a long the way. A local blog network you can approach is Bayanihan Blog Network (which I co-founded). J Angelo (the other blogger who got featured) is also managing a blog network. He can hook you up with some writing/blogging jobs too.
There are other ways too of earning money on the side thru the internet. I wrote some suggestion about that before (More Ways to Make Money Online) with a more local twist. Will be publishing an addendum to that later.
Hope this helps. Once you’ve gone thru all the readings, you can get back to me thru email for additional questions.