Friday, May 22, 2009

Three Kind of Blogs

In times like these, when jobs are scarce and money is hard to come by everyone is thinking how to earn a little extra on the side.

So why not earn money from your hobbies? Why not make money from blogging?

Ok, let me backtrack a little. Hobbies, by their very nature, evokes happy emotions in us. It's all about FUN. Our hobbies keep us young at heart. Most of the time, it gives us the outlet that we need from all the stresses of our daily responsibilities. Our hobbies makes our lives richer and make us more interesting as people.

I have guy friends who bake cakes for fun. Some of my girlfriends run marathons. Others are into cross-stitching and papier tole. A handful are into photography. I have met some who like climbing mountains, or dive deep into the ocean whenever their busy schedules allow.

Mine is writing. I have several notebooks where I keep an ongoing dialogue with myself. And now, that it became more convenient, I've also used the Internet to record my thoughts, ideas and the significant events in my life.

It's been fun and a great way to keep your family and friends updated especially when you're all scattered all over the planet.

It's called blogging, by the way. And for some of you it's a new thing.

Actually, it's not. Blogging just got easier the past 5 years or so due to the emergence of social networking sites (e.g. Friendster, MySpace and Multiply).

Blogging is essentially a webpage or webpages where one can posts texts, photos, and recently even audio video files. The entries or posts are arranged in reverse order, with the newest one on top and the oldest one at the bottom.

Blog is short for web log because it keeps a "log" of your entries by date. Hence, your posts are archived according to month and year it was posted or published. Which is really neat don't you think?

Another advantage is that compared to a regular website, a blog manages your content using software that allows you to do all of the above with minimum technical know-how. Whereas before, only people who has training in software programming and those who taught themselves computer language such as HTML, XML, Javascript and CSS can do it. Now anybody can!

So, blogging has evolved over the last 10 years; not only in terms of how many functions it can now support but alongside of that, the reasons why people blog in the first place.

According to Seth Godin, bestselling author of the books "Tribes" and "Purple Cow" there are 3 kinds of blogs. These are Cat Blogs, Boss Blogs and Viral Blogs.

For my purposes here, I would change the third kind to Niche blogs and will discuss Viral blogs in later posts.

a. Cat blogs - yes, it can be ALL about your cat. This was the kind of blog I used to write for the past 4 years. I blog about almost anything I fancy: about my personal life and sometimes even those of my friends, about my sporadic love life and of course, the devastation I felt upon the death of my cat. These blogs are not meant to be read by everyone. In fact, I'd be embarrassed if an ex-boyfriend or a particular colleague read some of my entries.

b. Boss blogs - if you're embarking on a new project and you want to keep everyone on your team abreast of new developments, this is one good way of doing it. It can complement a yahoogroup (group email account) and you can set the blog's parameters into membership mode (members have to log in with a username and password to read your blog) instead of publishing it for everyone to see (public mode).

In a way, it resembles a bulletin board and in fact, many schools or universities have their own online versions. Again, the audience for this kind of blog is limited. It caters to a select group of people -- those who are directly involved or those who will be directly affected by what is posted on the blog.

c. Niche blogs - a niche blog deals with a particular subject or theme. It can be as broad as digital technology or as specific as iphones. It can be a news type of blog, dealing with political or social issues, or it can be about Hollywood happenings.

The word 'niche' alone implies a marketing aspect into it. This implies that a blogger who is writing on that particular niche sees himself as an authority or an "expert" on that subject.

Usually, a blogger who writes a niche blog aims to reach as many people as possible - that is, everyone who might be interested in the subject is welcome to read it and post comments.

The niche blogger wants to market himself and become credible enough as a source of valuable information (called "content") on that particular niche.

This is why thousands of brick and mortar businesses have also added a blog to their regular websites. This is an added value to their customers. Through a blog, a business who positions itself in a certain niche market can inform their customers of new developments, educate them about their products, and encourage their clients and customers to give more timely suggestions, comments and feedback.

And because of new technology, blogging has also become more interactive and tandem blogging as well as team blogging is now very much possible.

Now, what does this have to do with hobbies? And making money from your hobbies for that matter?

Well, I didn't know this myself until recently, but I've learned that some people who blog about their hobbies and what they love to do on their SPARE time are now earning a few EXTRA thousand dollars a month with their blogs.

I was also skeptical at first but now that I've seen how many of my friends have done it and are successful at it then I thought to myself, maybe it's time to seriously consider bringing my hobby to the next level.

If you're interested in knowing more about blogging and making money from it, here are some of the people whose blogs I love to read and learn from:

Yaro Starak
Darren Rowse
Dr. Mani's blog

And since I also love to travel, to eat while traveling, and to discover new ways of cooking with chocolate, I follow these blogs as well:
Best Chocolate Recipes

Mind you, the owners of the blogs above earn anywhere between $500 to $5,000 a month just for blogging about their hobbies. How's that for some extra pocket money?

Now, if you're ready to make the leap into making money from blogging about your hobby (or whatever it is you are really passionate about),
then it's time that you get into the mindset.

Get all of the tools here and take control of your life. Who knows, maybe you can retire from your job in 6 months and earn more money than you are ready to spend just by blogging about your hobby. It all depends on how far you wanna take this.