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From its beginnings in 1993, until its inevitable development in the last few years, blogging has become an integral part of our daily life. Almost everyone has a favorite blog, a blog they read first every morning while having their coffee, or a blog they think of after reading the front page of the newspaper.
I'm sure you are familiar with the names Mashable, ProBlogger, TechCrunch, LifeHacker, etc. These are just a few of the biggest blogs today.
Most people have probably heard about it, or at least can guess that most of the big names in blogging started in 10 × 10 dormitories, in small rooms, or in a corner of the attic of the family home.
What did these bloggers do to turn a hobby into a six-figure income generator and ultimately make it one of the most visited blogs in the world?
Here's a quick look at some of the biggest blogs on the internet and how they did it.
But before, if you have never installed WordPress discover How to Install a WordPress Blog in 7 Steps et How to search, install and activate a WordPress theme on your blog
Then back to why we are here.
Catch the wave: choose the right topic at the right time
In 2004, when he only had 19 years, Pete Cashmore started blogging from his parents' house in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Pete had an interest in new technologies and how social networks are changing the way people relate to each other more and more. He was particularly impressed by how some government and police websites linked their internal data with Google Maps to get information about certain regions and their inhabitants.
Nice story, right? Pete Cashmore never went to college, but instead founded Mashable in 2005.
How did he do that? He decided to explore a topic that was changing the world at a time when he was in his prime. Social media exploded in the 2000s and Pete was there to ride the wave. Not only was he a great author, he was also passionate about what he wrote.
How can you do like it? When you start a blog, you do it because you love what you are doing, because it's a hobby that you enjoy spending time on. Do not lose sight of this just because you are looking to make money. Be passionate about every word you write on your blog.
“Write down what you like and what you know. "
And don't forget that what's new today is what will happen tomorrow.
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Pete Cashmore has exploited the Social networks at a time when they were making their debut in the world. See what your era has to offer. There are new discoveries and trends that come up every day. It's all about being here today, being passionate, and writing about it.
The advertising factor : Once Pete managed to create a huge community of loyal readers, he went to the big profit makers: Advertisers. He subtly added Google AdSense banner ads on Mashable and automatically reaped revenue every month.
Now, since building a website like Mashable is not an easy thing to do, my advice for beginners would be to start at the beginning. Find advertising platforms that meet the needs of publishers over the long term. Facebook or Twitter's new advertising platform would be good places to start.
Be cool: the blogger's creativity guide
Interactive designer Josh Rubin has always been looking for creative inspiration and a better understanding of how people operate. Have you ever heard of Coolhunting ? It is one of the biggest blogs on new trends in design, technology, art and culture. It was founded by Rubin.
Launched in 2003 as a designer's go-to website, Coolhunting has grown into an award-winning blog with a large international audience growing every day.
How did he do that? He combined creativity, beauty, and a great idea.
For bloggers who think content is everything, think again. Yes, relevant and useful content is super important, but knowing how to present it is just as important.
While visiting Coolhunting, users are greeted with a colorful, visually appealing and captivating homepage full of beautiful designer photographs.
How can you do the same? Be visual. Whatever the subject, do not neglect the design of your blog and the aesthetic factor.
Yes, write what you know. Yes, write about a topic that interests you. But present it in a way that can't be ignored, in a way that won't cause visitors to move their mouse to the upper right corner of their browser and press that letter "x" to close the page.
Let's say you decide to start a blog about recipes you've collected from your travels around the world. Take professional photos and post them on your homepage. Make people say to each other "Wait… what is this?" Food ?!" Include pictures, and step-by-step instructions with interactive ingredient lists.
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Tell yourself that new blog visitors are like you were the first time you went to your favorite restaurant. It does not matter how you got there, I'm sure the first thing you noticed wasn't the ingredients written on the menu, but what the dish looked like when you got it on the table.
The advertising factor: Josh Rubin arrived at the point where his website was full of traffic (search engines). So he decided to add advertising and make the most of his success.
As you scroll down Josh's page, you may see some classy ads from the AdRoll or AdMedia servers. These ads are geared towards its target audience… I'll let you imagine how many clicks each receives.
Have a style, be aggressive and open to criticism
Once upon a time, a woman called Arianna Huffington. She decided to launch a small website called Resignation.com. The website was a call for the resignation of President Bill Clinton, and a space where the Conservatives could network.
Needless to say, you have to be a very opinionated person and have a strong enough voice to even think about launching such a website. I'm sure she received her fair share of criticism, but exploited her nonetheless.
Ever heard of The Huffington Post? It was founded in 2005 by the same person. How did she do it? Having a voice without being afraid to shout it. It's a blog with a very particular tone and a style all its own. Although sometimes seen as being a bit too aggressive, The Huffington Post presents news in a different light. And people like that.
How can you do it? People love to hear dogmatic minds, and they love well-written news with a handful of reviews alongside it. They love sassy writing and bold ideas. Find your voice and shout. Don't be afraid of being criticized. Learn to take in bad, and turn it your way.
The advertising factor: You guessed it, Arianna also opted for ad platforms when she started to have space on the internet. Today, she works with the Google AdSense and DoubleClick platforms.
Advertising: a quick way to turn your hobby (blog) into a profession
Without a doubt, what steered these internet enthusiasts in the right direction was their passion for what they wrote. Once they find their voice and have a good number of loyal readers and steady traffic, they turn to advertising.
Blogging is not easy, even when used as a hobby. Turning this hobby into a full time profession is even more difficult. It takes time, effort, patience, and most of all, it takes passion. None of these bloggers started making money overnight.
It took them a while to find their style, and they decided to see bigger and take risks.
To go further in the monetization of your blog or your website, we also recommend reading the following articles:
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So YES, it is possible to generate income with a blog when you are a beginner. All you need is to remember who you are, what you love, and make it public. You will discover the rest along the way.
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