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Professional Blogging For Dummies®

Book Description

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!

    Table of Contents

    1. Copyright
    2. About the Authors
    3. Author's Acknowledgments
    4. Publisher's Acknowledgments
    5. Foreword
    6. Introduction
      1. About This Book
      2. Foolish Assumptions
      3. Conventions Used in This Book
      4. How This Book Is Organized
        1. Part I: Getting Started with the Business of Blogging
        2. Part II: Making Money with Your Blog
        3. Part III: Building Your Blog, Step by Step
        4. Part IV: Maximizing Your Blog's Success
        5. Part V: The Part of Tens
        6. Professional Blogging For Dummies survey
        7. e-Cheat Sheet
      5. Icons Used in This Book
      6. Where to Go from Here
    7. I. Getting Started with the Business of Blogging
      1. 1. Examining Blogging at the Professional Level
        1. 1.1. Knowing What Professional Bloggers Do
        2. 1.2. Building Your Online Community: The Blogging Advantage
          1. 1.2.1. Simplifying Web site management with blogging software
          2. 1.2.2. Establishing trust
          3. 1.2.3. Extending networking opportunities with social media
        3. 1.3. Deciding Whether a Blog Is Right for You
          1. 1.3.1. You like to write or are willing to hire someone else to do it for you
          2. 1.3.2. You have a point of view you want to share
          3. 1.3.3. Your customers and prospects read blogs
        4. 1.4. Exploring the Blog and Business Connection
          1. 1.4.1. Using a blog to promote your business
          2. 1.4.2. Turning a hobby blog into a business
          3. 1.4.3. Developing a blog as a small business
        5. 1.5. Setting Your Professional Blogging Objectives
          1. 1.5.1. Narrowing your scope to find your niche
          2. 1.5.2. Articulating your monetization strategy
          3. 1.5.3. Evaluating your plan
          4. 1.5.4. Setting realistic expectations
        6. 1.6. Sketching Your Preliminary Plan
      2. 2. Finding Your Niche in the Blogosphere
        1. 2.1. Building Your Blog-Analysis Toolbox
        2. 2.2. Defining Your Audience
          1. 2.2.1. Profiling your ideal readers
          2. 2.2.2. Understanding reader needs
        3. 2.3. Identifying the Competition
          1. 2.3.1. Getting ready to gather data
          2. 2.3.2. Finding your direct competitors
          3. 2.3.3. Uncovering your indirect competitors
        4. 2.4. Analyzing the Competition's Strengths and Weaknesses
          1. 2.4.1. Theme and editorial mission
          2. 2.4.2. Posts
          3. 2.4.3. Comments
          4. 2.4.4. Inbound links
          5. 2.4.5. Participation on social networks
          6. 2.4.6. Promotions, products, discounts, and giveaways
        5. 2.5. Discovering Your Niche with a SWOT Analysis
        6. 2.6. Creating Your Editorial Mission
      3. 3. Protecting Your Blog with Appropriate Business Policies and Practices
        1. 3.1. Setting Up the Business End of Things
          1. 3.1.1. Knowing why to establish a business entity
          2. 3.1.2. Deciding what type of business to set up
          3. 3.1.3. Hiring legal and financial advisors
          4. 3.1.4. Getting an Employer Identification Number
          5. 3.1.5. Considerations for an existing business when adding a blog
        2. 3.2. Understanding U.S. Laws That Impact Your Blog
        3. 3.3. Applying Trademark, Copyright, and Licensing Protections to Your Blogging Efforts
          1. 3.3.1. Examining the differences between trademark and copyright protections
          2. 3.3.2. Understanding the exceptions to trademark and copyright protections
            1. 3.3.2.1. Trademark fair use
            2. 3.3.2.2. Copyright fair use
          3. 3.3.3. Protecting your work
          4. 3.3.4. Respecting other people's rights
        4. 3.4. Protecting Privacy
          1. 3.4.1. Complying with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act
          2. 3.4.2. Protecting your customers' financial data
          3. 3.4.3. Blogging with other regulations in mind
          4. 3.4.4. Preparing a privacy policy
          5. 3.4.5. Keeping your e-mail marketing campaigns legal
        5. 3.5. Reviewing the FTC Guidelines for Endorsements and Testimonials
          1. 3.5.1. Looking at why the guidelines were extended to bloggers
          2. 3.5.2. Complying with the FTC disclosure requirements
            1. 3.5.2.1. Disclosing a relationship with a company in a blog post
            2. 3.5.2.2. Creating a disclosure policy
            3. 3.5.2.3. Understanding your company's obligations under FTC endorsement guidelines
        6. 3.6. Avoiding Libel
    8. II. Making Money with Your Blog
      1. 4. Monetizing Your Blog Strategy
        1. 4.1. Having Realistic Expectations
        2. 4.2. Understanding Your Monetization Options
        3. 4.3. Matching Monetization to Your Business Goals
          1. 4.3.1. Starting point: Your blog objectives
          2. 4.3.2. Identifying the opportunities
            1. 4.3.2.1. Advertising
            2. 4.3.2.2. Product sales
            3. 4.3.2.3. Consulting and writing
          3. 4.3.3. Deciding how hard you're willing to work
          4. 4.3.4. Combining different strategies
          5. 4.3.5. Promoting your blog: The key to success
        4. 4.4. Recognizing How Monetization Can Impact Your Blog Design
          1. 4.4.1. Deciding what display advertising sizes you plan to offer
          2. 4.4.2. Selling products on the blog
          3. 4.4.3. Looking for a corporate sponsor
        5. 4.5. Creating a Financial Plan
          1. 4.5.1. The monthly revenue forecast
          2. 4.5.2. Expense budget
          3. 4.5.3. Cash flow projection
        6. 4.6. Deciding Whether to Stay or Sell
        7. 4.7. Getting Paid
      2. 5. Selling Products or Services on Your Blog
        1. 5.1. Selling Products and Services
          1. 5.1.1. Selling one or two products or an e-book
            1. 5.1.1.1. Signing up for a payment processor
            2. 5.1.1.2. Fulfilling the order
          2. 5.1.2. Selling many products: eBay, Etsy, Amazon, and e-commerce
          3. 5.1.3. Adding an affiliate store
        2. 5.2. Integrating Sales Authentically
        3. 5.3. Measuring Sales Results
        4. 5.4. Becoming a Thought Leader
          1. 5.4.1. Understanding thought leadership
          2. 5.4.2. Promoting your book
      3. 6. Making Money from Advertising
        1. 6.1. Gaining Perspective on Blogging for Money
        2. 6.2. Getting a Sponsor
          1. 6.2.1. Crafting a pitch
          2. 6.2.2. Be creative
        3. 6.3. Selling Ads
        4. 6.4. Participating in an Ad Network
          1. 6.4.1. Pay-per-click
            1. 6.4.1.1. Joining Google AdSense
            2. 6.4.1.2. Setting up your ads
            3. 6.4.1.3. Maximizing your AdSense results
            4. 6.4.1.4. Other pay-per-click networks
          2. 6.4.2. Impression or ad view-based models
            1. 6.4.2.1. Federated Media
            2. 6.4.2.2. Blogads
            3. 6.4.2.3. BlogHer
        5. 6.5. Choosing the Right Advertising Network
        6. 6.6. Understanding Affiliate Marketing
        7. 6.7. Building Your Affiliate Marketing Program
      4. 7. Getting Paid for Your Words
        1. 7.1. Discovering the Ways to Be Paid for Writing
        2. 7.2. Making Money via Pay-Per-Post
        3. 7.3. Writing for Other Blogs
          1. 7.3.1. Finding freelance blogging opportunities
          2. 7.3.2. Positioning yourself for freelance blogging opportunities
          3. 7.3.3. Weighing the ghostwriting option
          4. 7.3.4. Querying for contributor opportunities
        4. 7.4. Getting a Traditional Media Gig
        5. 7.5. Writing a Book
    9. III. Building Your Blog, Step by Step
      1. 8. Choosing Your Blog Name, Platform, and Web Hosting
        1. 8.1. Naming Your Blog
          1. 8.1.1. Coming up with a great blog name
          2. 8.1.2. Further advice to help in your quest for the perfect blog name
        2. 8.2. Creating and Registering Your Domain Name
          1. 8.2.1. Determining your domain name
          2. 8.2.2. Registering your domain name
          3. 8.2.3. Linking your blog to an existing domain name
        3. 8.3. Choosing a Blog Platform and Hosting
          1. 8.3.1. Choosing a hosted service
          2. 8.3.2. Hosting your blog yourself
            1. 8.3.2.1. Choosing your blogging platform
            2. 8.3.2.2. Choosing your hosting company
            3. 8.3.2.3. Setting up your blogging platform
      2. 9. Designing Your Blog
        1. 9.1. Discovering How Blogging Software Incorporates Design
        2. 9.2. Understanding Your Design Options
        3. 9.3. Deciding Whether to Do It Yourself or Hire a Designer
          1. 9.3.1. Design elements a pro can help with
            1. 9.3.1.1. Making your blog match a Web site or brand
            2. 9.3.1.2. Making your blog unique
            3. 9.3.1.3. Tweaking a template
            4. 9.3.1.4. Creating a logo
          2. 9.3.2. Working with a professional
            1. 9.3.2.1. Managing costs
            2. 9.3.2.2. How to find designers
        4. 9.4. Pulling Together the Design Elements
          1. 9.4.1. Knowing that you need blog specifications
          2. 9.4.2. Deciding on a basic blog format
          3. 9.4.3. Creating your masthead
          4. 9.4.4. Organizing your navigation and sidebars
          5. 9.4.5. Sorting buttons, badges, widgets, and feeds
          6. 9.4.6. Adding additional functionality
          7. 9.4.7. Incorporating advertising
      3. 10. Developing Your Blog Content
        1. 10.1. Putting the Final Touches on Your Strategy
        2. 10.2. Finding Your Voice
          1. 10.2.1. Setting appropriate boundaries
          2. 10.2.2. Coordinating voice for a multiple-author blog
        3. 10.3. Creating the Editorial Calendar
          1. 10.3.1. Wading through the creation process
          2. 10.3.2. Mixing it up without mixing up your readers
        4. 10.4. Building a Blogroll
          1. 10.4.1. Deciding on links to include in your blogroll
          2. 10.4.2. Organizing links to help readers navigate
        5. 10.5. Setting Your Editorial Policies
          1. 10.5.1. Establishing a general editorial policy
          2. 10.5.2. Creating your comments policy
        6. 10.6. Grabbing and Holding Readers' Attention
          1. 10.6.1. Making good use of your headline
          2. 10.6.2. Keeping readers after you catch them
          3. 10.6.3. Using categories and tags
          4. 10.6.4. Showing while telling: Using pictures and multimedia on your blog
            1. 10.6.4.1. Adding pictures
            2. 10.6.4.2. Embedding video
            3. 10.6.4.3. Creating your own video or podcast
    10. IV. Maximizing Your Blog's Success
      1. 11. Getting the Word Out about Your Blog
        1. 11.1. Telling Your Friends, Family, and Business Contacts
          1. 11.1.1. Sending an e-mail
          2. 11.1.2. Promoting your blog on your Web site
          3. 11.1.3. Using the traditional marketing toolkit
          4. 11.1.4. Informing the local press
        2. 11.2. Making New Friends
          1. 11.2.1. Building your blogroll for maximum exposure
            1. 11.2.1.1. Tracking who mentions and links to you
            2. 11.2.1.2. Taking stock of analytics
            3. 11.2.1.3. Choosing the blogs for your blogroll
          2. 11.2.2. Writing posts with links
          3. 11.2.3. Trackbacks
          4. 11.2.4. Commenting
          5. 11.2.5. Contests and giveaways
        3. 11.3. Getting the Most Out of Your Social Networks
          1. 11.3.1. Promoting your blog with your personal accounts
          2. 11.3.2. Facebook for marketers
            1. 11.3.2.1. The Facebook page
            2. 11.3.2.2. The Facebook like box
            3. 11.3.2.3. Facebook Like button
            4. 11.3.2.4. Facebook ads
            5. 11.3.2.5. Facebook contests
            6. 11.3.2.6. Facebook applications
        4. 11.4. Taking Full Advantage of Search Engines
          1. 11.4.1. Search engine optimization
          2. 11.4.2. Paid search engine advertising
      2. 12. Responding When Companies Come Calling
        1. 12.1. Understanding Public Relations and Blogger Relations
          1. 12.1.1. Telling a good pitch from a bad pitch
          2. 12.1.2. Doing blogger outreach that works
        2. 12.2. Developing Best Practices for Working with Marketers and PR Reps
          1. 12.2.1. Positioning yourself to get offers
          2. 12.2.2. Being aware of red flags that mark you as trouble
          3. 12.2.3. Saying no without saying never
          4. 12.2.4. Understanding and meeting your obligations
            1. 12.2.4.1. Know what's being asked of you
            2. 12.2.4.2. Be accurate and fair
            3. 12.2.4.3. If you get something for free, disclose
          5. 12.2.5. Approaching companies you want to work with
        3. 12.3. Avoiding Burnout and Staying Focused on Your Objectives
      3. 13. Monitoring and Measuring: Why They Matter
        1. 13.1. Monitoring and Measuring Your Blog Activity
          1. 13.1.1. Monitoring
          2. 13.1.2. Measuring
        2. 13.2. Understanding Your Readership by Using Analytics
          1. 13.2.1. Figuring out how many people read your blog
            1. 13.2.1.1. Absolute unique visitors
            2. 13.2.1.2. Page views
            3. 13.2.1.3. RSS subscribers
          2. 13.2.2. Discovering how engaged readers are with your blog
          3. 13.2.3. Figuring out how people find your site
          4. 13.2.4. Discovering which are your most popular posts
        3. 13.3. Using Analytics Data to Improve Your Results
        4. 13.4. Making Sense of Advertising and Affiliate Marketing Reports
        5. 13.5. Using the Reports to Maximize Your Revenue
        6. 13.6. Using Analytics and Reporting to Forecast
        7. 13.7. Putting Metrics in Perspective
      4. 14. Keeping Your Blog Fresh
        1. 14.1. Jump-Starting Your Muse
          1. 14.1.1. Don't panic!
          2. 14.1.2. Mix things up a bit
          3. 14.1.3. Open your notebook
        2. 14.2. Taking a Vacation
        3. 14.3. Keeping Your Community Engaged
          1. 14.3.1. Comments: The currency of engagement
          2. 14.3.2. Encouraging comments
          3. 14.3.3. Dealing with negative comments
        4. 14.4. Eyes to the Future: Growing Your Blog
          1. 14.4.1. Changing your focus
          2. 14.4.2. Adding authors
          3. 14.4.3. Finding new ways to make money
    11. V. The Part of Tens
      1. 15. Ten Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
        1. 15.1. Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
        2. 15.2. Succumbing to Shiny Object Syndrome
        3. 15.3. Overcrowded Sidebars
        4. 15.4. Buried Contact Information
        5. 15.5. Forgetting to Check Your Design in Multiple Browsers, on Different Operating Systems
        6. 15.6. Neglecting to Add an RSS Feed
        7. 15.7. Not Knowing Your Subscribers
        8. 15.8. It's All about Me!
        9. 15.9. If I Build It, They Will Come
        10. 15.10. Forgetting to Update Your Copyright Date
        11. 15.11. Poor or NonExistent Recordkeeping
      2. 16. Ten (Or More) Blogs You Can Learn from Simply by Reading
        1. 16.1. ProBlogger
        2. 16.2. Common Craft
        3. 16.3. Want Not
        4. 16.4. Copyblogger
        5. 16.5. AlmostFearless.com
        6. 16.6. Duct Tape Marketing
        7. 16.7. Cake Wrecks
        8. 16.8. Lip-sticking
        9. 16.9. Mom-101
        10. 16.10. GlobalVoices
        11. 16.11. Bonus Sites
      3. 17. Ten Tips for Jump-Starting Your Creativity
        1. 17.1. Capture Ideas in a Notebook
        2. 17.2. Read the Paper
        3. 17.3. Reread Your Favorite Posts
        4. 17.4. Read Blogs
        5. 17.5. Surf the 'Net Aimlessly
        6. 17.6. Spend an Hour on Your Hobby
        7. 17.7. Play a Game
        8. 17.8. Look Up Childhood Friends on Facebook
        9. 17.9. Take a Walk
        10. 17.10. Move to a "Different Window"
      4. BC. Blogger Survey Results
        1. BC.1. How I Conducted the Survey
        2. BC.2. Length of Time Blogging
        3. BC.3. About the Blogs
        4. BC.4. Most bloggers don't blog for the free stuff
          1. BC.4.1. Plans and policies
          2. BC.4.2. Measurement
        5. BC.5. Making Money from Blogging
        6. BC.6. Promoting the Blog