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Blog to Boost Your Bottom Line
by Jennifer Brown Banks

To the unenlightened, blogging is merely a new online communications tool used to rant, display one’s creative ability, promote a cause, and connect with cool people across the globe. This popular fad is seen as the “new black”. Everybody’s doing it.

There are political blogs, blogs for writers, cooking blogs, business blogs, blogs for baby boomers. You name it. Even the famous real estate tycoon, Donald Trump, is in on the action with his “virtual real estate” in the blogosphere.

But, did you know that blogging is also a means for today’s writer to increase his bottom line and earn extra bucks?

I discovered this additional income stream earlier this year, and couldn’t be happier.

Now, don’t be misled. This kind of gig won’t pay your mortgage. But you can certainly earn enough to pay your monthly cable bill or earn cash for a few “unbudgeted” shopping sprees for your efforts! And this genre of writing requires very little time.

Since I began, I’ve had the good fortune of being paid to produce blog posts on everything from jazz reviews, to marital advice, to personal opinions, to how-tos. And you can too. But there’s a method to it. Even though it’s not a “perfect science” it does require a strategic approach.

Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Do your homework. The more you learn, the more you’ll earn. Study other blogs—the popular ones and the new kids on the block. What makes them successful? Where do they miss the mark? What’s the tone? The word count? The take-away value?

  2. Write right and write tight. Blogs categorically require a different type of writing than other genres of writing. Most are more informal and conversational in tone.  So make your writing brief but substantive. Check the “guest post guidelines” for specific dos and don’ts.

  3. To hone your skills and establish your expertise, do a few guest posts on other blogs. Ideally the ones that boast a high fan base and are considered leaders in the blog field. Doing so gives you credibility, visibility, and success by association. If not, slowly work your way up.

  4. Follow directions to find the road to success. For example, if a blog ad for a paying gig calls for 2 samples of 500 words and a resume, don’t send one sample of 1000 words and links to work you’ve created on line. It’s the easiest way to be branded an amateur!

Follow these guidelines and you can expect to earn anywhere from $3.00 to $50.00 per 250-500 word post.

Here are a few places that you can find work in the blogging field:

© Copyright 2010, Jennifer Brown Banks

Jennifer Brown Banks is the former senior editor of Mahogany Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Business Management and blogs at Penandprosper.blogspot.com

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