Making money online

Written by Amit Bhawani | Amit Bhawani | Updated: Jan 29 2010, 03:36am hrs
Blogging in India has now become a profession from a casual writing hobby and this is mainly because of the money involved. There are hundreds of professional bloggers from India who are now into full-time Web logging, wherein their main job is to write reviews, compare product features, analyse them thoroughly and publish these reviews on their blogs.

There has been a continuous growth of around 10% in the number of blogs and bloggers in India every year, with a majority hailing from urban community. Most of these blogs are powered by the Googles free blogging service called Blogger, followed by Wordpress, another blogging platform with no permissions for advertisements. There is a very small percentage of blogs which are self-hosted and powered with the Wordpress script, which allows bloggers to have the full control over their blog and the advertisements space.

In order to get started with blogging, you need to have good writing skills along with a lot of patience. One needs to work professionally in the sphere the way newspaper editors work in their domain. A blogger has to publish articles on a daily basis which have to be written on any niche area in which they are experts. And different ways have to be chosen to promote the blogs.

The areas are:

* Search engine optimisation (SEO)

* Social media optimisation

* Social networking

Of these three methods, SEO is a technique wherein one has to optimise the blog for search engines, after which it would start ranking better in Google, Yahoo and Live.com which would ultimately send huge number of free visitors to the blog.

This is a step-by-step procedure which has to be implemented in a planned manner beginning with on-page SEO wherein one has to optimise the website-based meta tags, creating a sitemap, followed by the off-page SEO through which back links to the website are built. Simply put, other websites have to be made to link back to the website for which back links are sought. If the SEO process is implemented in the right way, the blog will start getting visitors through which one can easily make money using different monetisation methods.

How to find content and topics in order to write a good blog post If you are a techie, then you should always keep yourself updated with the best available tool Google Alerts where a few keywords related to your blog like Apple, Apple iPhone, Macbook, Fess Softwares and download applications could be monitored. Whenever there is some news or Web for any of these keywords, one gets an instant email with links to the website which has the information. Articles can be written on these and make sure that the topic title is quite different and the content is also based on own review and is not just a copy-paste job. You can also check out tech blogs and websites like TUAW, techfaq.org, Slashdot, Gizmodo and Engadget, which have serious killer news and content, which are quite helpful in getting content ideas.

Improve current content quality: You need to make sure that you can write a few pillar articles for your blog that are helpful in the long run, along with some articles which normally have very

little competition to keep your blog unique. You should also make sure that the blog posts you generally write are at least 250 words each and at times you can write mini-posts but this should not be a daily habit because detailed articles are always liked by the visitors.

Increasing visitors count: In order to increase blog readers, you need to continuously blog on a daily schedule and make sure you dont miss a day. Promote your blog through social media and social networking websites like Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Propeller, Mixx, Delicious, Rambhai and Jumptags, and get one-way links to your blog posts along with some excellent traffic. Also, join a few technology or webmaster related forums and ask the members with suggestions related to your blog. Submit a few articles to different article directories and also submit your blog to a few quality Web directories in the most relevant category. Avoid installing a forum or any extra stuff on your website unless you have got a good amount of content on them, because blank pages are in no way useful.

How to find topics for writing on your blog: Here are a few tips which can help you in finding topics. For this you need to be a smart person and try to cater stuff which is not already available on the Web and which can have demand. Here are few ways to find blog topics.

Social bookmarking websites: You need to spend some time reading the most voted and shared topics on the best social bookmarking websites like Digg, Propeller, StumbleUpon and Delicious, and click on the category which is relevant to your niche. Then find out what is the most read stuff which can still have a great demand and create a list of topics from this.

Reading forums: Forums are discussion boards where members gather up and discuss different topics. You can find many forums for each niche with thousands of threads and replies. Most of the forums have sorting features with the option to sort the threads by replies count and also views count. This way, you can find all the topics which have got the maximum replies and views. These can become topics for you to blog on since they are in demand and have been in demand from a long period.

Website logs and stats: Instead of roaming around outside stuff, why not first focus on the things you own, that is, the logs which you have got for your website You need to merge all your stats for a complete year and then find out what are the most visited topics which have got the highest page views. These can give you the idea that if you write more on these topics, you can get better traffic since your website has ranking for these topics already.

Ask readers and subscribers: You can also start a poll, ask in the comments section or ask through an email newsletter all your blog readers and subscribers on what topics you should write next and then proceed writing on them. These can be a hit because these are user selected topics and they are for sure going to be read. Moreover you can expect good amount of comments on them.

News buzz: If you check out all these sources Google News, Topix, Yahoo News, Bloglines, Technorati and Blog Pulse then you can find out the list of topics which are currently in real high demand and can get you a high number of visitors. You need to continuously track these sources and keep yourself updated with different pieces of news to get different topic ideas.

On an average, if a blog has around one lakh visitors per month, it can easily generate Rs 50,000 while working from home and there is no limit on this kind of legal income. The above figures can be taken as an example in order to find out the total scope of online revenue a person can make when he opts for blogging as a full-time career. The blogger has to implement all these steps in a planned manner and with utmost dedication in order to make money online.

I had started blogging from 2007 at www.amitbhawani.com with the aim to reach a million visitors every month who are mainly looking for technology-related content. At the end of 2009, I achieved this target along with a huge amount of regular monthly revenue. As mentioned earlier, if a website has a good number of visitors reading the content, then you can make a lot of legal money through different advertisements.

In 2009, I crossed a total income of more than $1,00,000, a six-figure legal income which can be made from your home. I currently handle around 50 different blogs which are on different niche topics and are edited by different freelance writers who contribute content to these. We also offer professional blogging training sessions to upcoming bloggers who have a passion for writing and making money through it.

The writer is chief blogger, Amitbhawani.com