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Get Paid to Blog

Added: April 22, 2011

When I first heard about (and dipped my toes in the water of) the blogosphere, blog sites were commonly referred to as weblogs or web journals. Yes, that's how long I've been a part of the industry. At the time, many companies and individuals were getting involved in hopes of turning a profit by including ads in their sidebars. Blogs like Heather Armstrong's personal Dooce and six year old entertainment site, PerezHilton, authored by Mario Lavandeira, have led to both fame and fortune for their creators, and now, everyone wants a piece of the action.

After years in the industry, I cannot promise anyone her own VH1 reality series, tickets to the next big awards show, or even enough of an income to retire comfortably at the ripe old age of 40. However, making money with blogs is a real phenomenon within reach of anyone with a computer, free time, and a flair for the written word.

The first thing you need to do is have a spark of genius. Seriously: you need an idea, a concept about which you can write with authority or at least good humor. For stay at home moms, this might mean writing about their daily lives or posting amusing anecdotes from their little ones' childhoods. For crafters and hobbyists, a niche may be found blogging about and connecting with others who share their passion. Some will be able to write with great zeal about politics, food, cultural events, or social issues. No matter what strikes you, there are ways to capitalize on your interests.

Give your blog a name, purchase a relevant domain, or sign up for a free blog using a reliable free host like Blogger. Then you are ready to begin posting!

In order to get paid to blog, you will need to regularly update your site and continually promote it by exchanging links with other bloggers, joining and participating in relevant communities, and learning about basic search engine optimization techniques as you go along. The more you improve upon your readership and rankings, the more opportunities you will have to monetize your site.

Of course, you can begin with small money makers like sidebar advertisements that pay per click. However, once your blog is established with a history of quality posts, you will also be eligible for programs that allow you to post sponsored blog entries that review, discuss, or otherwise link back to an advertiser's website. These opportunities can pay anywhere from $5-20 or more, depending on your writing abilities, page rank, and the number of visitors your site typically receives. They are also intended to be a good fit for your blog; for instance, a mommy blogger may be assigned to write about a company that sells baby clothing or accessories.

As I said, it's unlikely that blogging will be your key to fame and fortune (although certainly it's nice to have lofty aspirations). However, it's completely within the realm of possibilities that your blog will earn you a small income - to pay for entertainment, traveling, holiday gift-giving, and other reasonable expenses. Think about it: where will your blog take you?

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