Blogging 105 – Legal Stuff

Blogging 105 – Legal Stuff

It took me a long time to mull over this post. The amount of knowledge I would need to fully understand this subject would either take me a lifetime of study, or a fat wad of cash to pay for the expertise. So, instead, because it’s Christmas, or there about, I decided to mull wine instead and take a light-hearted, gung-ho, hit and hope attitude to this legal stuff, so I can get on with my original mission, and my life. In fact, this post is taking me so long to write it’s already January, so belated Happy New Year everyone. Mulling wine still counts though, as it’s still cold outside, and mulling wine makes cheap wine taste better in much the same way as Sangria does in the summer. Anyhow, hope my attitude, and my wine habit don’t come back to bite me.

Legal stuff is required, as it turns out, if you want to produce a blog online. Yes, blogging is alive and well in terms of giving you creative freedom, and expressing your views, as testified by the millions of blogs out there in cyberspace, but, like with all printed medium, whether digital or not, you have to be prepared to cover yourself in the eyes of the law, or be prepared for the consequences. Silly me for thinking that I could just write what I liked on this funny little blog of mine, and send it out there on the worldwide web, without even contemplating the repercussions of my actions. What happened to freedom of speech? Turns out that even freedom of speech has its limitations, and in many forms, with scary words like libel, slander, obscenity, sedition, incitement, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, non-disclosure agreement, public security and perjury. I guess that’s just the world we live in.

In real terms I’m not sure that a readership of nearly 30 is going to have much impact on the world, but I do have to be mindful that one day, if what I am aiming for comes true, and 30 turns into 30 million, I will need to cover myself in terms of writing/journalism/blogging laws, and it is to that end that I am attempting to write this new post without my eyes ending up pointing in different directions, or my head just exploding.

Now I’m no legal expert, but just the word “LEGAL” sounds expensive to me. Although having laws is a good thing in theory, designed to prevent the world descending into chaos, it seems to me like the legal industry as it is today knows how to look after its own. By that, I mean, that the profession knows how to charge for its expertise, and seemingly, but not exclusively, out of all proportion to the earnings of the general population. All this, unfortunately, would imply that the law is only really there to protect those who can afford that protection, and really I mean afford to protect their wealth. Having said all that, it’s good to see an industry, able to look after their own. It’s just a pity it’s not possible in all industries. That’s just market forces I guess. Given that I am all about thrift here, I will be looking to get this subject covered off as freely as possible. I will also just have to hope that I cover off all the bases here, as not knowing one end of blogging law from another, I’m going to have to rely on information that other brave bloggers have left as a trail of clues out there before me. I will also have to hope that I never offend anyone enough to get sued. I’m doing a search on “Legal Stuff for Bloggers”, as I’m not even sure what technical terms I need to be looking for.

I’ve got to stress again that this aspect of blogging is almost completely incomprehensible  to me. The first site I came to, and one of the easiest to understand, in a straightforward manner, one that I need, just to tick a box and move on, is from serendipityandspice.com. It covers the following sections:

  • Copyright
  • TOS – Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Disclosure Policy
  • Disclaimer

A good place to start, I recon, as it also offers up suggested web locations for generating this stuff for free. Of course there is a question mark as to whether or not this information is designed purely for the USA, and whether as a blogger who lives in the UK I will be subject to separate UK laws. After all, this blog is attached to a .com web address and accessible worldwide so I’m not really sure what the truth is here. I tried doing a UK specific search but I can’t find the information I need in an equally easy to read and understand format, and I get a lot of crossover to actual UK law blogs. I don’t really want to dive into this rabbit hole, as I fear I may reach 50 by the time I surface out the other side again. Can anyone out there point me in the right direction?

As a comparison, I tried searching instead for “Uk website laws and regulations”. This search gave me http://www.ukwda.org. The UK web design association. Sounds official. This gave me the following sections:

  • Registered information
  • cookies
  • Privacy policy
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Disclaimer
  • Terms and Conditions
  • EU Anti Spam Laws

Ok, so I’ll try to cover each of the bullet points above and see what comes out.

Copyright

WordPress can help on this one. In the help section they provide a simple template you can use and copy into the sidebar with a text widget so it is visible at all times. Here it is:

© [Full Name] and [Site Name], [Current Year or Year Range]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Your Name] and [Your Site Name] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Hope WordPress don’t mind me using this. I guess it could be argued that this information is for use since it’s in their Support section, and I am a WordPress subscriber, or that sharing this information comes under “Fair Use”. Apparently though, this is a very grey area. Anyway, Copyright done, tick.

As a side note, anything you find on the internet,that you have not added yourself, broadly speaking, belongs to someone else, so if you use it without permission, do not reference the originator, and/or claim it as your own work you could be infringing Copyright rules. In the interests of solidarity with other content creators on the internet,  I have gone back over my old posts, and removed anything that I may have posted that did not belong to me, no matter how much I may have liked it, or thought it worth sharing. I’m sure if it matters to me that much I can either find the originator to ask their permission, or find a way to make it more original in the first place.

Terms of Use/Terms and Conditions

Serendipity and Spice does have a handy link to terms feed.com where in theory you could use the free Terms of Use generator. There are, however, options when using the generator, that may need to be paid for, and as far as I could tell, it wasn’t that clear on the page whether or not you needed these options.

Having said what I said about Legal advice seeming expensive, I did speak to a nice man, for free,  at a company called SEQlegal.com. Here you can download legal policy documents for your website, for free, so long as you don’t mind crediting Seqlegal.com in the process, which sounds fair enough. Ukwda.org seems to imply that you only need this if you are planning to sell something on your website, which I’m not right now, so I can probably skip this one.

Disclosure Policy

I am thinking about running ads, and making money from sponsored posts if I get the chance. I have signed up to Amazon Associates already, so I guess I should disclose this. The link from Serendipity and Spice leads you to disclosurepolicy.org, where a few simple button click options and Disclosure Policy is done. Add a page to your menu options, copy, and paste.

Disclaimer

Couldn’t get the link to work on Serendipity and Spice. Downloaded the free document from Seqlegal.com. There are drafting notes to follow, which helps. The wording is a bit “legalese” so I hope everything is covered correctly.

Privacy Policy

The link to privacypolicies.com is handy. For me though, it seems like if I want to advertise or provide affiliate links on my blog, I have to pay $19.99. Back to Seqlegal.com where I can download a free one, and follow the drafting notes. Create the page as a menu item, copy, and paste. Done.

Some of the wording seems quite onerous, but I took out what didn’t seem relevant. My feelings on this are that Privacy is probably safe in the hands of a well organised, established, organisation like WordPress. In practice, how many of us read and understand this stuff. How many of us have the time or inclination to know the implications of our actions. It shouldn’t have any bearing on the reading and enjoyment of this site.

Cookies

Covered within the Privacy Policy document. WordPress also allow you to add a Cookie Widget to your website, which will then add a Cookie banner to the bottom of the screen when a page is loaded.

Registered Information

UK registered businesses are required to display company information. To me this doesn’t seem relevant as I am only an individual hobbyist blogger. Something to consider if this turns into a business.

EU Anti Spam Laws

To conform to these rules you have to make sure that there is an option to un-subscribe from emails. Luckily here, WordPress takes care of all that for you. If you opt-in to receive emails of new blog posts, there is always an option at the end of each email notification to opt out if you wish.

Wow, glad I managed to get through all that. Hope it makes sense to you people. If there is anything you see on here that is wrong, or could be improved upon, please let me know. As I have already stressed here, I am not a lawyer, so if you are unsure of anything, and need further clarification, please speak to someone qualified to talk on the subject. This blog is just a view on how I chose to tackle this subject, right or wrong. I think it just goes to show that, whatever we chose to attempt in life, there will always be hurdles to overcome, and how we chose to overcome those hurdles is ultimately up to us, and we live and die by the consequences of those actions. For me, I hope I have covered off this subject enough to keep me out of trouble, so I can be left to quietly and peacefully get on with subjects that interest me more than these. Now, where is that mulled wine?

Wishing you all health, wealth and happiness for this new year 2017.

Blogging 104 – Getting paid

Blogging 104 – Getting paid

So I’ve had enough of researching ways to increase blog traffic for now. I’ll come back to it at some point, as I’m not sure an audience of 25 is really going to pay the bills, unless, of course, all my blog following friends are secretly loaded, and don’t mind helping out a struggling blogger in need? Today, instead, for a bit of variety, I’ll have a look at ways a blog can bring in the readies. Unfortunately, advice from the Daily Post is a bit lacking, and stops at writing and building an audience. You can, however, find some useful information, to start with, in the WordPress.com Support section.

Advertising

Direct from their pages WordPress says, “Advertisements from third-party ad networks like Google AdSense, OpenX, Lijit, BuySellAds, and Vibrant Media are not allowed on WordPress.com. If you’d like to run these types of ads on your blog, you may wish to try a self-hosted WordPress installation.” There are lots of words I just don’t understand here, but basically, I think they mean set up a WordPress.org website, which looks a bit too complicated for me right now. WordPress also says that this is to keep, “…the WordPress.com community uncluttered by scams and unwanted commercial messages or “spam”, which is nice, and I approve. Conveniently though, WordPress has their own official advertising programme, available for site owners, called “WordAds”. I should, apparently,  have access to this programme automatically as a Premium Plan holder.

Where do I join? Sounds great!
It’s easy. Go into your Dashboard/Settings, and click on AdControl. There all you have to do is click where it says, ” request an invitation to AdWords”. Sorted. No actually, because AdWords has certain requirements you need to meet first:

  1. Your blog can’t have a default free [example].wordpress.com URL. You need to register a new domain, or map an existing one that you’ve already created in, for example, GoDaddy.com. Other domain name providers are available.
  2. The advertisers on WordAds do have minimum traffic requirements. They cannot say what that number is, but the guide is that you need thousands of page views per month to make the revenue meaningful. (I might have a way to go yet!)

I thought I’d click the link anyway to see what happened, and got a very polite reply.
“Thank you for your interest in WordAds. We review all sites for inclusion in our WordAds program. However, because of the volume of applications, we are unable at this time to reply individually to all applicants. Our advertising partners have minimum traffic requirements, and when your site traffic meets these requirements, we’ll be in touch.
In the meantime, we recommend our guide for getting more site views: http://en.support.wordpress.com/getting-more-views-and-traffic/”

Ok, thanks. Probably a good thing. I mean, am I the only one that finds adverts annoying when trying to read a blog, article, or web page online, especially when the adverts aren’t related in any way to the content?

Affiliate Linking

This is basically, providing a link to another website where you can buy a product or service. In return for your link on your blog, guiding the reader to the other site, and parting with their cash, the affiliate will give you a percentage return on the value of the sale. There are many affiliate sites out there, some providing better returns than others. I would hazard a guess that the harder the product is to sell, the better the returns. There are some sites that are probably only suitable for the hardened Marketer, confident in their own ability to generate sales, as they require you to pay a monthly fee for the privilege of marketing their products. I thought I’d start at the easy, and free, end of the spectrum with Amazon Associates.

Amazon Associates is one of the earliest and largest affiliate programs around, and let’s be honest here, who couldn’t find something to buy on Amazon? The set-up process seemed easy. You just have to answer a few questions about your website and your sales intentions and ‘Voila!’, I am now an Amazon Associate. They’re not fussy. The only complicated bit seemed to be finding an IBAN and BIC number to receive payments, but just phone your bank. You also need to remember to link all the URL’s where you may have posted your blog on various social media, as these are used to track where your unique traffic sales are coming from.

Of course, WordPress have some things to say about using Affiliate linking:

  1. “The primary purpose of your blog must be to create original content.”
  2. “We do not allow affiliate links for gambling, get-rich-quick schemes, multi-level marketing programs, disreputable merchants, pornography, malware, or phishing-type scams. We also do not allow sites that exist primarily to drive traffic to affiliate links.”

Fair enough. Back to Amazon. Any sale, through an advert on your blog, can generate between 1% and 10% of the sale value back to you, depending on the type of product sold. You can get better rates for volume sales, and Amazon also runs promotional rates at certain times of the year. For example, Throughout November, Amazon are offering a fixed 12% with Amazons Native Shopping Ads. (Not sure what that means exactly). Terms and conditions probably apply. Any referral cookie only lasts 24 hours. This means that if someone buys something on Amazon more than a day later, after linking through from your blog, you don’t paid. The good thing about Amazon though, is customers don’t have to buy the product you advertised. They can buy ANY other product on the site, and you still get your cut.

So as an example, here’s a book I’m reading before bed right now. The Four Hour Working Week by Tim Ferriss.

I looked up the item on my Amazon Associates account page, and generated an image link by simply pressing a button at the top of the page. This gives you some unique HTML code which you then copy into the HTML tab on your draft page in WordPress. Tab back to the Visual draft and the image is there, complete with a link, when you click on it, to the very same product on Amazon.co.uk. Genius. Of course, now I should probably give you the sell on why you should read this book. Suffice to say why wouldn’t you want to read this book, unless you are either retired, rich or love your job. To be honest, it’s taking me a bit of time to get my head around it. About the same speed as figuring out this blogging thingy. Good to open yourself up to new ideas though.Maybe one of you internet savvy lot can read it, and help me understand it. Alternatively, could you do me a favour? Is there is anything you need to buy on Amazon in the near future? There’s Christmas coming up! Could you bear a thought for my little blog and access Amazon via my picture link above? Thanks.

I do have one little problem with this selling method. About 80% of my readership are currently friends from my Facebook list. The others, hopefully you’re just friends I don’t know very well yet. My point? Where is the incentive to buy? Am I to rely on sheer benevolence? That would be nice. It might also be nice to be able to give my friends a little kickback for their loyalty. Now let’s say Amazon gives on average 5%, and I have to stress, I’m just thinking aloud here. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could split that returned revenue. Maybe there is some way of monitoring who bought what, and when? Ok, so in real terms we’re only talking you maybe getting back £25 in every £1000 you spend here, but that’s a few free drinks down the pub when I see you next. Always a bonus. I’ll do some further digging when the sales figures come in. Oh, by the way, Amazon only pay you monthly when you’ve accrued at least £25. Maybe there are some products out there that offer better affiliate returns, like 50% or more. If you need one, lets see if can weave it into this blog somehow, and both make a cut. Like I said, just a thought.

Sponsored Posts

These are posts from companies selling products, who sponsor you to post on their behalf, to promote their products. WordPress allows this, but of course, certain conditions apply. I don’t think I need to consider this with my current readership, but it might be useful for future reference.

Selling Physical or Digital Products

Again, don’t need to consider this right now, as I don’t have anything physical or digital to sell. Parked for future reference. Useful to note that you can link up a PayPal account to take payments.

Requesting Donations or Tips

Here’s an interesting one. Am I too proud to receive donations or tips? No, I guess not. I mean, this blog is out there for anyone to hopefully enjoy, entertain, or enlighten to a certain degree. So if anyone out there would kindly like to help support this project with donations large or small, they will be gratefully received, on PayPal.


Donate Button with Credit Cards

Setting up PayPal is a little bit annoying. You have to set up a business account to be able to create buttons like the one above. It’s not difficult, just time-consuming. If you combine the WordPress help on the subject with the very efficient Paypal help line you should be ok. The one confusing thing was a little bit of small print on the Paypal website that crops up if you try to create a Donate button. You get this message:

“Note: This button is intended for fundraising. If you are not raising money for a cause, please choose another option. Not-for-profit organisations must verify their status to withdraw the donations they receive. Users that are not verified not-for-profit organisations must demonstrate how their donations will be used, once they raise more than $10,000 USD.”

I phoned PayPal about this. Turns out it’s not as onerous as it first seems. You do not have to be a Not-for-profit organisation to use the donate function. You just need to be if you want to take advantage of the reduced commission rates Paypal charges.

One last thought on this. Do I need disclaimers, and legal type stuff displayed on my blog now that I have potential income streams on there? Do I need them regardless? More research needed.

Wishing you all health, wealth and happiness, as always.

 

Blogging 103 -Traffic News

Blogging 103 -Traffic News

Well the Facebook launch has been a success, at least in my eyes. Only a day after I sent out the Like invite to all my friends, and already a 23% response rate. That’s got to be good in marketing terms, hasn’t it? My nineteen Likes also mean that my readership has increased over 400%, which is amazing, so thank you friends, you’re all wonderful. I also received great words of encouragement from a very talented blogger friend of mine over in Ireland, so if you are interested in all things horticultural, and life, you must check out Green Cailin Garden, and hopefully in the near future buy some flowers if you are passing through. Last, but not least, I also received a witty one-liner from blessed MIL. (I’ve been  reliably informed by the internet that this is the appropriate abbreviation for Mother-In-Law). The Urban Dictionary on the other hand describes Mil as:

A God like entity or supreme being. Origins are unknown but some historians have cited Mil as being the first and last being within the universe. It is impossible to extrapolate the magnitude of his power through the conventional method of thinking. Only through rigorous sometimes dangerous meditation can one only begin to comprehend the greatness that is Mil. Scientific research funded by the World Bureau of Scientific Investigation has now confirmed that all matter within the universe contains traces of Mil, affirming the significance of this omnipotent and all-seeing entity.

Go figure!

I might have digressed.

Tumblr

Thought I’d better try to get more acquainted with Tumblr today, to see if it’s possible to make friends in a blogging sea of people I don’t know. Tumblr isn’t like Facebook, where you can find friends from your address book, or through searching for people, or through friends of friends. Tumblr does, however, suggest Bloggers for you to follow, but only based on the topics you’re interested in following, which is based on the topics you looked up and followed in the first place. How do you differentiate a blog by topic? I think you’ve probably guessed it, #Tags, apparently.

After a little digging around, it turns out that Tumblr is more of a micro-blogging site, for sharing not just thoughts, but images, short videos, music, or even chat. A halfway house, somewhere in the middle of Twitter and a fully grown blogging site. The thing that differentiates it from other places is its anonymity. People can follow you, if they find your posts interesting, like your posts, and re-blog something of yours to their followers if they wish. That’s how you gain notoriety. The strange bit, depending on your perspective, is that people won’t know who you are unless you actually want them to, by either telling them who you are, or forwarding on your Tumblr account name to people. So it’s basically an anonymous, creative, pick and mix shop, where you move in circles, bound by common interest. That’s the theory anyway. In practice, the search function is rubbish, bringing up all sorts of random stuff, making it more a place where you blog if you don’t want to be found. That must be why it’s reportedly the most popular social network for the under 25’s. Apparently, these under 25’s have a public face, known as Facebook, where they can share stuff that they’d want their mum or grandma to see. Lucky for me that neither my mum or grandma understand technology enough to even have a Facebook account. Anyway, that leaves Tumblr youth to post stuff they only want their friends with Tumblr accounts to see, or to post stuff into the dark abyss of internet nobody, if they set their account settings to private, and maybe even if they don’t with the rubbish search function. It’s sort of like an online private diary. I guess that’s why you get the surprise of some NSFW material occasionally.

To make matters worse, Tumblr also doesn’t want to publish one of my blogs, for some reason, which disrupts the supposed continuity, and actually just irritates me. It doesn’t even tell me why. It just pretends to publish, then the post doesn’t appear, and the number of posts just changes subtly back from 4 to 3. I may have contravened some Tumblr publishing laws somewhere, but, when you consider some of the stuff they do allow on the site, I find this very difficult to believe. I’ve tried asking the helpdesk to explain what’s going on, but a week later and all I have is acknowledgement of my question. I think I may have to tiptoe quietly away from this place before anyone notices. Can you tiptoe quietly, or does the act of tiptoeing imply being quiet anyway?

Wishing you all health, wealth and happiness.

 

Blogging 102

Blogging 102

So where were we? Oh yes, we discovered there are two things you need to make money blogging:

  1. Lots of people who like reading your blog.
  2. Things on your blog that can turn readers into money.

Lets explore these in a bit more detail.

Attracting Traffic

My traffic, or people who follow my blog has miraculously increased by 300% after posting Blogging 101. My first follower was obviously my biggest supporter, my better half. The other two were totally unexpected, so I’ll take this opportunity to personally say thank you to storyshucker.wordpress.com and sableyes.co.uk. You can see their blogs by clicking on the links.

There’s loads of information out there about SEO (search engine optimisation), in fact so much that it might just paralyse you from blogging. It certainly started to frazzle my little brain, so I’m going to keep it simple by staying with WordPress.

On the Daily Post, which you can access through the WordPress reader, there is a tab at the top of page called Blogging University where you can access a free e-book library. The one I’m specifically interested in here is called “Grow your traffic, build your blog”.

The highlights as I see them are:

  • Write regularly – It makes your blog more attractive to search engines (first fail!)
  • Write well – Jury is out on this one. I guess that’s for others to decide. I have found that if you go into your Dashboard through WPAdmin, click on Users, then Personal Settings, you will find Proofreading Settings. I ticked all the boxes, so hopefully this will help.
  • Use your existing network – This really means social media, and I’m sure there are many of you out there who are much more social media savvy than me. The Daily Post e-book covers quite in-depth information and advice on using most of the popular networks out there. Basically, you can share your blog across different social media sites using the Publicize feature, which is found in Configure/Sharing on WordPress. I’d advice having a quick read through to understand the different niches that each social network has, and then try using each one to its best advantage. Bear in mind that this does mean that you then have to either open new accounts on each social media you select or learn how to create a separate account/page for your blog on each one. I set up Social Links, which can be customised in Personalise/Menus, to: Instagram (because I liked the camera logo, and thought it might be interesting to supplement the blog with photos); WordPress (to send back some of the love for helping me set up a blog); Tumblr (not sure yet!); and Facebook (because I already have a personal account). I also thought it was funny that the icons spelled “WTF”, which is exactly how I feel sometimes tackling this. Probably not the most scientific approach.
  • Remember to Tag – Using Tags, as I understand it, is basically making a list of keywords that describe what your blog is about. It helps with search engine searches, and also with searches on the WordPress Reader (the place where other WordPress bloggers look for blogs that interest them). Using Tags should make your blog easier to find. You can create categories and tags for your posts in the sidebar of your Edit Post page. The caveats here are:
    • Don’t include more than 15 Tags and Categories on a Post – It won’t appear on the WordPress Topic Pages if it does.
    • Set your blog privacy setting to Public – otherwise it won’t show up in the WordPress reader and search engines won’t get access to it.
    • Keep it PG – Blogs that have NSFW (not safe for work) content, or are offensive, or are not suitable for minors get flagged as such, and then, again, won’t show up on Topic Pages.
    • Keep Tags relevant – Misleading Tags, much like false advertising, will get you excluded from the WordPress Reader.

Facebook

Ok, that’s enough techie research for now, my eyes are starting to glaze over. Time to put some of this research into action. I’ve created a separate Facebook page, which is more of less an exact copy of this blog. The only thing I haven’t done yet is invite all my existing Facebook friends to Like/follow it. Of note here, I didn’t pay much attention in Facebook class either, so I only seem to have managed to amass 82 Facebook friends on last count. I must remember to be more virtually friendly in future. The hope here is that my Facebook friends will have been better at making facebook friends than me, and will spark interest by liking my page. Their interest in my page will show up on their friends feed, which will in turn spark interest from them, and their friends, and so on, until I have about a million followers. I’ll keep you posted on how this goes.

Also a big thank you to fellow bloggers, Falling Upwards, Old Fashioned Stories, and Jeyran Main, for taking an interest in my blog and following my progress. Best wishes in all your blogging endeavours. Click on the links if you are interested in seeing their work. (Have you noticed that I’ve discovered how the Link button works)

Until next time, wishing you all health, wealth and happiness.

 

 

Blogging 101

Blogging 101

I’m really pleased that Blogging came up as a way to make money online. “Why?” I hear you ask. Well, it’s because I’ve started a blog, and it’s a blog about making money, so it seems like a good fit. Happy days.

So lets see if we can uncover some of the ideas that are out there on the internet about “making money blogging”, and apply it here, or on a blog you decide to start.

There are many places to start a blog, and as with all things internet, you seem to be spoilt for choice. Just the number of sites you can browse, offering you advice on the best sites you can use to start a blog, is bewildering. From what I can gather, the most popular choice  for the internet newbie, or technology novice, is a WordPress.com blog. Tick. Apparently WordPress is used for over 20% of all sites on the internet. For me it was a simple-ish one stop solution, without needing any prior knowledge. The layout is simple and the customer support is brilliant, when you can’t get your head around the vast amount of online help available. I’ve used them four times already. Be aware that the help-desk takes a little sabbatical  towards the end of September, to brush up their help-desk skills, so at this time they may take a couple of days to respond to emails instead of using online chat. Live chat support is not available with a free WordPress plan. I went with the Premium plan, currently priced at $8.25 a month, as it gave me the option to “monetize” my blog.

The other thing that is necessary to “monetize” a blog is a mapped primary domain, instead of the one that WordPress gives you. I used GoDaddy for this and got a domain for two years for under £20 including domain privacy. Other domain registering sites are available. More on this later.

Making Money Blogging

Ok, so lets say you’ve decided what you want to blog about, and you’ve successfully set it up. Best advice I’ve seen about blogging so far is to be passionate about what you’re writing, and make the quality as good as possible. This should keep you going if the results aren’t what you were hoping for, and encourage your readers.

I’ve found three different avenues for finding out about successful blogging. The first is the obvious internet search, which can be baffling, as there are thousands of people out there vying for your attention. The second is to look on Pinterest if you like your information a little more visual, but equally as baffling in terms of sheer quantity of advice out there. The third, and probably easiest place to start, is to learn through the WordPress Blogging University, supplied by The Daily Post. It’s all free, and you can then supplement this information with the other two search sources, for as long as you can cope with.

The bottom line, there are two things you need to make money blogging:

  1. Lots of people who like reading your blog, otherwise known as “traffic”.
  2. Stuff on your blog that can turn traffic into money.

More detail on this to follow. Wishing you all health, wealth and happiness.

Bye for now.