Readers also want to know how to go about making money from a blog. Here is a typical question:
My first response was this:
Another writer agreed with me:
If, however, you are determined to try to turn your blog into a cash cow, there are several things you need to understand. First, almost all bloggers who expect to make money from a blog will fail. They fail because they are amateurs at marketing and half-hearted in their efforts to monetize their sites. You can't just put up one little ad in a corner somewhere and hope readers will click on it often enough to generate a cash flow. You will have to choose the products you advertise with care, so that they appeal to your specific readers. Don't try to sell sporting goods on a writing blog; try pens or computer software instead. Be sure that what you advertise is reputable and of high quality. If your reader buys a pen that doesn't write from your site, you will receive the brunt of his anger. In that process you may end by losing a reader.
Be sure you have thought through your business plan. This is particularly crucial if you are planning to sell your own books through your blog. You can't sell items until you have figured out the details of accepting payments (PayPal may be the safest and easiest method). You also need to look into shipping methods and costs, and the tax laws of your state. You may need to incorporate your business and file regular quarterly tax reports.
Even the host of your blog is important. If you choose a sponsored blog, you need to know how much control the host will give you over your postings. Don't try to sell items on a blog if you do not own the URL of that blog. WordPress is a good choice; I would avoid Blogger because of the URL issues. I use a paid hosting service that lets me sell items through PayPal, but I cannot use ads provided by Google's Adsense. The arrangement suits me, but it may not suit you.
You can't run your blog as a business if you are computer-illiterate. You will have to be able to use blog publishing software and social networking sites. You must understand such things as HTML coding, RSS syndication, SEO (search engine optimization) tagging, pings, and trackbacks. And if those terms mean nothing to you at this point, you're just not ready to monetize your blog.
All of those warnings bring us back to the original point. For most people blogging is NOT a way to make money. Like bobbing for apples, you may end up with nothing but a face full of cold water. It is, however, a great way to get your name out there. Many publishing companies now insist that their authors have blogs because a great blog provides a potential reading audience for the next book you write. In the long term, your blog may result in increasing your income, but it will probably be a catalyst, not a direct revenue source.