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Monday, October 25, 2010

Do You Know How Blogs "Work"?

I've been wanting to post on this topic for quite some time because before I started blogging, I had no idea about what effort would be involved in running a blog and how a blog could become a source of income, especially if you're not selling something directly.  Well, I've learned a lot since starting this blog in July, and I'd like to share some of what I've learned with you.
1.  Blogs cost money and time to run.  Obviously there is effort and time required to keep a blog going.  No matter what the topic, the blogger has to choose formats for the blog, add content and update the blog regularly.  Some blog hosting is free, but if you want to have a direct web address, you often need to pay for that.  And depending on the size of the blog, web hosting may be necessary to accomodate all of the information and images.  I'm still learning about all of these options.
2.  A blog can be a lot of work!!!  I expected to be more busy with this blog as a new part of my life, but I had no idea how crazy and time-consuming it can be!  Especially when running a savings-style blog, readers want to be kept informed on deals, and those deals come out at any time.  Some last for days, some last for minutes.  So depending on how much time you have, you can spend most of it keeping your blog current with the latest deals.  I've tried to find a balance between deals and life.  I'm sure that will be harder to do as the holidays approach...
3.  You can earn money with a blog.  So far, I've earned very little with my blog, and part of that is my fault.  (And I'm ok with that!)  One of the main ways that bloggers earn money is through special programs often referred to as "affiliate programs".  Basically, companies pay a percentage or per-click price when blog readers order their product (or click on a link) from your blog.  (Like the DVD offer above.)  It is often pennies per click or a small percentage.  I say that I'm ok with having earned very little from my blog so far because I get so overwhelmed from other blogs sometimes at the number of "buy here, get this now" type of posts.  Now don't get me wrong--I like earning money, and I think that keeping this blog up and going is definitely work, but I really want to bring great deals to you without worrying about whether I'm getting a portion back for telling you about them.  Now if there's something that you want to order from Amazon.com or the daily deals I post, I might earn a small part of the sale, and that's fine because I'm definitely working for it.  But that's not my primary focus for this blog.  My family has benefited tremendously from saving money through deals, and I want to pass that on.
4.  If you want to start a blog, do your research first!  I jumped in head-first, and I really wish I would have taken more time to learn about blogging, html, and all the many elements of running a successful blog that I had no clue about.  I'm still learning, and this is definitely the hard way to do it!  Start the right way by reading other blogs in your area of interest, communicate with other bloggers, read books, study and learn!  Then launch!
So that's it for now!  I'm sure we'll "talk" more about blogging soon, and if you have any questions or comments, please add them!

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