Sunday, May 24, 2009

What topic should I blog about?

What is a blog? What is a niche?
Before you select a topic, do you know what a blog is and where the word came from?
If you’re new to blogging, you may be wondering what the word, blog, actually means. The word comes from weblog, a term used to describe a log written for the web. In time, weblog was shortened to blog. Not long ago blogs were used predominately as personal journals where you might share your thoughts, your recipes, your opinions, your rants for others to read.

Nowadays, Twitter with its 140 spaces per Tweet can adequately fill your need to let the world know you had eggs Benedict for breakfast, or you think Adam should have been the American Idol. More about using Twitter to make money in a future post. There are some bloggers who still write posts (entries) as diaries or personal journals. But on this site we’ll be focusing on the majority who write blogs in order to earn money.

So. what should you write your blog about? There are blogs on every topic known to man and woman and you can publish your content as often as you desire. But you want to discover a niche to write about – something for which you are best fitted. How do you discover your niche? Answer these two questions.
What are you most passionate about?
What do you have experience or background in that you could write about that would interest other people?

Why are blogs more popular than “static websites”?
Websites don’t change that much (the reason they are called static) and because they don’t get updated regularly like blogs and are not generally interactive, the search engines don’t search them regularly. When you write a blog, you can request comments which cause your blog to become more interesting to your readers. More updating and more contents produce more traffic and that attracts the search engines to rank you higher.

Why should I use a free host instead of a paid website?
Because blogs are now easy to set up on free hosts like Google and Wordpress. You don’t need html technical knowledge. If you can click on buttons and use a computer keyboard, you’re in business. And the most important reason – you don’t need to invest any money if you choose a free host. Down the road, when you’re making money, you can select a paid host for $5.95 to $6.95 a month, and purchase a domain name for about $10 per year. Now, while you’re getting started, Google or Wordpress work just fine and they will help you to select an available domain name.

Should my domain name (my URL) be the same as my blog name?
In a perfect world, having the same domain name as your website would make life a little easier. When people think of your name they would also know the name of your blog or website. Unfortunately, today many of the names you might select as your first choices are already taken. Which brings us to the next question:

Should I use dot com, dot org, dot net?
Blog writers have strong opinions regarding this question. Most say, get the “.com” extension only. They cite these two reasons among others: 1 - search engine browsers search for .com names before they look at other extensions like .org, or .net.
2 – the .com extension is the most common so many people will just type the name and assume your extension is .com without typing it. As an example, if your domain name is bloggingforbucks.net, make sure you advertise your site as bloggingforbucksdotnet or folks will be traveling to your competitor who has the dot com extension. There are also country-specific extensions like .us (U.S.), .ca (Canada) or .uk (United Kingdom). Be aware though that some people might think your site caters only to that country.

What if my heart is set on a domain name that is already taken?
If you have an existing name that you have spent time and money to establish, you can try to buy the domain name you seek that is now owned by someone else. Go to Register.com and click on Domains. Then click on WHOIS Lookup. You will find all the information you need on how to contact the current owner of the domain name. More about choosing your domain name in my next post.
If you have any questions about this post, please ask them as a comment and I’ll try to answer. “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.” – Chinese proverb

3 comments:

  1. What great information. I never found such easy to understand information. Thanks.

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