One of the things that you have to keep in mind when starting a blog is that it is a continuous type of effort. It is exciting at the beginning, especially if you manage to increase the traffic to your site and you can watch the number of visitors increase.
But often, the difficult part is to continue to generate content as you might run out of fresh ideas or just get tired of trying to write new things ever day. There are numerous great blogs out there to get ideas from but one of the keys is always making sure that you continue to publish new entries on a regular basis so that readers are drawn to your site and continue to return.
Starting a blog is relatively easy right now. There are tons of sites that offer free internet space (and layouts) where you can not only fill a blog with text, but images and hyperlinks as well.
One of these is www.blogger.com.
Once you open an account with a blogging site you can pretty much just start writing.
The first post makes a good point, however, when it comes to why you are blogging. I don't think as a business endeavor, a blog should be started with the purpose of making money. Start it for another reason - to write about something that interests you that you believe others would/should read about. If the blog is successful on its own merits, it can do a few things for you (in the area of generating revenue):
- Many companies set up blogs to get their name out there. The blog itself doesn't make money (like from advertisers or by selling a product). An example of this is in the legal world. There are tons of conferences for lawyers teaching, training, and encouraging them to set up "legal blogs." These are just blogs about legal matters - but by doing so many lawyers have reached a wider audience than they would have otherwise, and increased their business, in the long run.
- Generate academic/professional discussion that will keep you up to date on current trends in your industry. Just like many teachers stay connected to the larger academic world here on eNotes, writing and reading blogs can take you out of your comfort zone and remind you how you connect to the bigger picture. Staying relevant and current in your business is always a money maker.
- Opening up opportunities for publication. Blogs are not typically considered "academic" or "professional" writing by themselves, however, if they are popular (based on number of subscribers and hits each day), it cannot be denied that whoever is writing has something going on. Lots of people start innocently blogging for pleasure and find themselves publishing books or writing for magazines and journals - simply because someone important liked their writing.
Another thing you might be interested in, once you've created a blog using a free site like Blogger... you can buy a domain name that reroutes people to your blogger site. This way, you don't have the generic _________.blogspot.com as your web address - but essentially, you are still using blogspot (or something else) to take care of the layout. This adds an element of professionalism but keeps things simple for you.
There is much to be said on this topic. Indeed, I think that there are a couple of reasons in which a blog should be started. The most primary level would be to speak something that needs to be said. There are so many blogs that are out on the web that, at some level, a blog must have something unique to it, something to say, something to bring out. It's not a must for this to be present, but it is a challenge to differentiate one blog from the next if there is not some unique and distinctive element present. Naturally, selling the advertising space on your blog to companies or organizations for a fee is one way to utilize a blog for financial reasons. Yet, I think that the income generated would be nominal, and not self sustainable. Additionally, I think that blogs which are so inundated with advertising elements make themselves less attractive to viewers, who might be savvy enough to recognize what is being done in terms of utilizing the blog not as much as a way to express voice as much as a way to generate income. I think that these are all ideas to consider and assess before starting up a blog.