Professional Blogging For Dummies

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Take your hobby to the next level and turn your blog into real income

Anyone who blogs knows that it is a fun, creative way for sharing thoughts and opinions. Now imagine making money from that hobby! This practical, how-to guide shows you how you can get serious about using your blog and implement advertising, sponsorship, partnerships, and affiliate marketing options to turn your hobby into extra income, or even a full-time career.

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Take your hobby to the next level and turn your blog into real income

Anyone who blogs knows that it is a fun, creative way for sharing thoughts and opinions. Now imagine making money from that hobby! This practical, how-to guide shows you how you can get serious about using your blog and implement advertising, sponsorship, partnerships, and affiliate marketing options to turn your hobby into extra income, or even a full-time career.

Helpful examples and featured articles with topic experts and bloggers who have built successful business demonstrate how to promote your business or build a blog-based business.

  • Discusses finding your niche, adhering to legal considerations, establishing your disclosure and privacy policies, and dealing responsibly with review requests
  • Introduces ideas for advertising and other monetization options and recommends promotional avenues to explore
  • Suggests creative ways to keep your blog fresh, unique, and interesting
  • Provides tips for monitoring and measuring your success

Professional Blogging For Dummies opens the door to a world of money-making blogging possibilities!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470601792
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/30/2010
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 356,969
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan J. Getgood is the Principal of GetGood Strategic Marketing ( She advises organizations on social media and marketing strategies that build brands and drive revenue. Her blog, Marketing Roadmaps, can be read at Follow her on Twitter as @sgetgood.

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Table of Contents


Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Conventions Used in This Book 2

How This Book Is Organized 3

Part I Getting Started with the Business of Blogging 3

Part II Making Money with Your Blog 3

Part III Building Your Blog, Step by Step 3

Part IV Maximizing Your Blog's Success 4

Part V The Part of Tens 4

Professional Blogging For Dummies survey 4

e-Cheat Sheet 5

Icons Used in This Book 5

Where to Go from Here 6

Part I Getting Started with the Business of Blogging 7

Chapter 1 Examining Blogging at the Professional Level 9

Knowing What Professional Bloggers Do 10

Building Your Online Community: The Blogging Advantage 11

Simplifying Web site management with blogging software 11

Establishing trust 12

Extending networking opportunities with social media 13

Deciding Whether a Blog Is Right for You 15

You like to write or are willing to hire someone else to do it for you 15

You have a point of view you want to share 16

Your customers and prospects read blogs 16

Exploring the Blog and Business Connection 17

Using a blog to promote your business 17

Turning a hobby blog into a business 20

Developing a blog as a small business 22

Setting Your Professional Blogging Objectives 24

Narrowing your scope to find your niche 25

Articulating your monetization strategy 26

Evaluating your plan 27

Setting realistic expectations 30

Sketching Your Preliminary Plan 31

Chapter 2 Finding Your Niche in the Blogosphere 33

Building Your Blog-Analysis Toolbox 34

Defining Your Audience 37

Profiling your ideal readers 37

Understanding reader needs 39

Identifying the Competition 41

Getting ready to gather data 41

Finding your direct competitors 42

Uncovering your indirect competitors 44

Analyzing the Competition's Strengths and Weaknesses 44

Theme and editorial mission 45

Posts 47

Comments 47

Inbound links 49

Participation on social networks 49

Promotions, products, discounts, and giveaways 51

Discovering Your Niche with a SWOT Analysis 52

Creating Your Editorial Mission 53

Chapter 3 Protecting Your Blog with Appropriate Business Policies and Practices 55

Setting Up the Business End of Things 55

Knowing why to establish a business entity 56

Deciding what type of business to set up 56

Hiring legal and financial advisors 57

Getting an Employer Identification Number 58

Considerations for an existing business when adding a blog 59

Understanding U.S. Laws That Impact Your Blog 60

Applying Trademark, Copyright, and Licensing Protections to Your Blogging Efforts 60

Examining the differences between trademark and copyright protections 61

Understanding the exceptions to trademark and copyright protections 62

Protecting your work 65

Respecting other people's rights 66

Protecting Privacy 68

Complying with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act 68

Protecting your customers' financial data 68

Blogging with other regulations in mind 69

Preparing a privacy policy 69

Keeping your e-mail marketing campaigns legal 70

Reviewing the FTC Guidelines for Endorsements and Testimonials 72

Looking at why the guidelines were extended to bloggers 72

Complying with the FTC disclosure requirements 73

Avoiding Libel 78

Part II Making Money with Your Blog 79

Chapter 4 Monetizing Your Blog Strategy 81

Having Realistic Expectations 81

Understanding Your Monetization Options 82

Matching Monetization to Your Business Goals 83

Starting point: Your blog objectives 83

Identifying the opportunities 84

Deciding how hard you're willing to work 86

Combining different strategies 86

Promoting your blog: The key to success 88

Recognizing How Monetization Can Impact Your Blog Design 89

Deciding what display advertising sizes you plan to offer 90

Selling products on the blog 90

Looking for a corporate sponsor 91

Creating a Financial Plan 91

The monthly revenue forecast 92

Expense budget 93

Cash flow projection 93

Deciding Whether to Stay or Sell 94

Getting Paid 95

Chapter 5 Selling Products or Services on Your Blog 97

Selling Products and Services 97

Selling one or two products or an e-book 98

Selling many products: eBay, Etsy, Amazon, and e-commerce 102

Adding an affiliate store 105

Integrating Sales Authentically 108

Measuring Sales Results 108

Becoming a Thought Leader 109

Understanding thought leadership 110

Promoting your book 112

Chapter 6 Making Money from Advertising 117

Gaining Perspective on Blogging for Money 117

Getting a Sponsor 119

Crafting a pitch 121

Be creative 122

Selling Ads 124

Participating in an Ad Network 125

Pay-per-click 126

Impression or ad view-based models 132

Choosing the Right Advertising Network 140

Understanding Affiliate Marketing 141

Building Your Affiliate Marketing Program 143

Chapter 7 Getting Paid for Your Words 151

Discovering the Ways to Be Paid for Writing 151

Making Money via Pay-Per-Post 153

Writing for Other Blogs 158

Finding freelance blogging opportunities 159

Positioning yourself for freelance blogging opportunities 161

Weighing the ghostwriting option 163

Querying for contributor opportunities 163

Getting a Traditional Media Gig 164

Writing a Book 166

Part III Building Your Blog, Step by Step 169

Chapter 8 Choosing Your Blog Name, Platform, and Web Hosting 171

Naming Your Blog 172

Coming up with a great blog name 172

Further advice to help in your quest for the perfect blog name 174

Creating and Registering Your Domain Name 176

Determining your domain name 178

Registering your domain name 178

Linking your blog to an existing domain name 181

Choosing a Blog Platform and Hosting 181

Choosing a hosted service 182

Hosting your blog yourself 183

Chapter 9 Designing Your Blog 189

Discovering How Blogging Software Incorporates Design 189

Understanding Your Design Options 191

Deciding Whether to Do It Yourself or Hire a Designer 192

Design elements a pro can help with 196

Working with a professional 198

Pulling Together the Design Elements 201

Knowing that you need blog specifications 201

Deciding on a basic blog format 203

Creating your masthead 205

Organizing your navigation and sidebars 206

Sorting buttons, badges, widgets, and feeds 207

Adding additional functionality 208

Incorporating advertising 209

Chapter 10 Developing Your Blog Content 211

Putting the Final Touches on Your Strategy 212

Finding Your Voice 212

Setting appropriate boundaries 213

Coordinating voice for a multiple-author blog 214

Creating the Editorial Calendar 214

Wading through the creation process 215

Mixing it up without mixing up your readers 218

Building a Blogroll 220

Deciding on links to include in your blogroll 222

Organizing links to help readers navigate 222

Setting Your Editorial Policies 226

Establishing a general editorial policy 226

Creating your comments policy 227

Grabbing and Holding Readers' Attention 229

Making good use of your headline 229

Keeping readers after you catch them 230

Using categories and tags 231

Showing while telling: Using pictures and multimedia on your blog 234

Part IV Maximizing Your Blog's Success 237

Chapter 11 Getting the Word Out about Your Blog 239

Telling Your Friends, Family, and Business Contacts 239

Sending an e-mail 240

Promoting your blog on your Web site 240

Using the traditional marketing toolkit 240

Informing the local press 240

Making New Friends 241

Building your blogroll for maximum exposure 241

Writing posts with links 244

Trackbacks 246

Commenting 247

Contests and giveaways 249

Getting the Most Out of Your Social Networks 251

Promoting your blog with your personal accounts 252

Facebook for marketers 256

Taking Full Advantage of Search Engines 260

Search engine optimization 262

Paid search engine advertising 266

Chapter 12 Responding When Companies Come Calling 267

Understanding Public Relations and Blogger Relations 267

Telling a good pitch from a bad pitch 270

Doing blogger outreach that works 271

Developing Best Practices for Working with Marketers and PR Reps 273

Positioning yourself to get offers 273

Being aware of red flags that mark you as trouble 276

Saying no without saying never 277

Understanding and meeting your obligations 277

Approaching companies you want to work with 279

Avoiding Burnout and Staying Focused on Your Objectives 281

Chapter 13 Monitoring and Measuring: Why They Matter 283

Monitoring and Measuring Your Blog Activity 284

Monitoring 284

Measuring 286

Understanding Your Readership by Using Analytics 287

Figuring out how many people read your blog 290

Discovering how engaged readers are with your blog 293

Figuring out how people find your site 294

Discovering which are your most popular posts 294

Using Analytics Data to Improve Your Results 297

Making Sense of Advertising and Affiliate Marketing Reports 298

Using the Reports to Maximize Your Revenue 299

Using Analytics and Reporting to Forecast 300

Putting Metrics in Perspective 301

Chapter 14 Keeping Your Blog Fresh 303

Jump-Starting Your Muse 303

Don't panic! 304

Mix things up a bit 304

Open your notebook 305

Taking a Vacation 305

Keeping Your Community Engaged 307

Comments: The currency of engagement 308

Encouraging comments 308

Dealing with negative comments 309

Eyes to the Future: Growing Your Blog 310

Changing your focus 310

Adding authors 313

Finding new ways to make money 314

Part V The Part of Tens 317

Chapter 15 Ten Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them 319

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail 319

Succumbing to Shiny Object Syndrome 320

Overcrowded Sidebars 320

Buried Contact Information 320

Forgetting to Check Your Design in Multiple Browsers, on Different Operating Systems 321

Neglecting to Add an RSS Feed 322

Not Knowing Your Subscribers 322

It's All about Me! 324

If I Build It, They Will Come 324

Forgetting to Update Your Copyright Date 325

Poor or NonExistent Recordkeeping 325

Chapter 16 Ten (Or More) Blogs You Can Learn from Simply by Reading 327

ProBlogger 327

Common Craft 328

Want Not 329

Copyblogger 330 331

Duct Tape Marketing 331

Cake Wrecks 332

Lip-sticking 332

Mom-101 333

GlobalVoices 333

Bonus Sites 334

Chapter 17 Ten Tips for Jump-Starting Your Creativity 335

Capture Ideas in a Notebook 335

Read the Paper 337

Reread Your Favorite Posts 337

Read Blogs 338

Surf the áNet Aimlessly 338

Spend an Hour on Your Hobby 339

Play a Game 340

Look Up Childhood Friends on Facebook 340

Take a Walk 341

Move to a "Different Window" 341

Index 343

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted January 11, 2012

    Great book! Very informative, thorough and easy to understand!

    This book covers every detail you could ever want to know about blogging. It's honest about what you need to do before getting into it and about all the hard work it'll require to keep up with it. Brutally honest, but needed. If anyone is considering blogging as a way to earn a living or as just a passive hobby then this book is for them! Simple, easy to understand and informative. I highly recommend it!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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