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Best Home Businesses in 2014: Starting a Blog

Build a following and start making money.

Blogs are one of the greatest businesses, since so many of them start accidentally. The blogger writes about and reports about his or her passion and is eventually able to sell advertising or otherwise turn a great hobby into an income.

Build a Following

The way to make money through blogging is to bring traffic to your site. The way to do this is to build a stock of loyal fans, people who will cause your clicks to add up by coming back over and over. The key to this, as with any business—home or otherwise—is to provide value.

One-of-a-kind

People will flock to your site if you give them something they aren’t likely to find elsewhere. They need to feel that yours is the best, most definitive blog on the Aztec diet, managing your time as a busy mom, a particular soccer team, etc. The way to do this is to add your personal experience and expertise, do your research, be on top of breaking news, etc.

You have to go the extra mile and provide either more information or better information than others.

Alternatively, you can draw readers with your own brand of wit, wisdom, or particular analysis, something no one else will do in the same way.

Revenue Streams

Blogging leads to money—monetization—through a variety of avenues. Here are some ways to feed your bank account via blogging:

1) Display Ads—these include banner ads and “medium rectangle” ads; one way a blogger sets these up is through AdSense, which takes its share of revenue from clicks on ads and allows you to keep 68%.

2) Sponsored Content—this means linking out to published content and getting some income when your readers click to it.

3) Search Engines—if you place a Google-powered search box on your home business blog, you can bring in revenue as users click on results from the Google results page.

4) Paid Posts—if you become—after a year or two—a sort of celebrity in your field, you will be able to get paid for writing posts on related blogs.

Success Stories

Did you know that “I Can Has Cheezburger” is actually a blog? Perez Hilton’s site is, too. Other extreme examples—ridiculously successful blogs—are Mashable and TechCrunch. But these did start small, as did Hopscotch The Globe, a vlog started by Kristen Sarah, a self-described “adventure seeking, risk-taking adventure junkie.” In addition to videos, the blog contains articles, and Kristen branches out to topics related to travel, such as fashion and DIY, things related to having a good time and improving oneself.

Hopscotch The Globe won Best Travel Blog of 2012 from Apartime, and the reputation Sarah built with her blog led to her articles being published on sites such as MTV Fora, The Lost Girls, The PlanetD and others. Recently, she quit her job to blog and vlog fulltime, and was invited to make an appearance on the Canadian talk show The Social to talk about being a successful blogger.

Blogging is nearly two decades old, but remains a solid home business to start. One should have reasonable expectations and be ready to work hard, but a modest income is there for the ambitious.