Hi Everyone -
I'm almost in the market for a new blogging site, but before I make the final decision to leave the site I currently use (Blogger) I thought I should get some opinions on other sites and see what else is available.
The reason I am considering leaving Blogger: Whenever I select "Next Blog" (to read someone else's blog) I get a blog that hasn't been touched in years.
I'm still fairly new to blogging (joined years ago but was inactive until recently) and my visitor/page view count of almost 1000 is mostly from myself. I have no followers or comments yet, so moving my blog wont hurt my readership. Also, I haven't monetized my blog since I don't have any followers (monetization isn't really important, gaining a following is) - I'm guessing my visitors are either mostly random or mostly social media friends giving me a click to up my count.
I would much appreciate it if you would post a link to your blog, and state reason(s) why you think it's the best blogging site. I have used WordPress in the past, but was unimpressed with their site.
Blogger is much easier to use and far more flexible than WordPress. I've tried both and gone back to Blogger. But with so many Google changes now, some have lost their motivation to continue, with the whole traffic issue. To some, it feels like a waste of time.
I've found Blogger is far, far less flexible than Wordpress (I'm talking about self-hosting using Wordpress.org, not Wordpress.com). But it does depend what you're doing with it. If you're just writing, then Blogger does all you need. If you are trying to make real money from a blog, which means an element of ecommerce, then you need the more complex navigation available with Wordpress (a hierarchy of categories and sub-categories), and access to all the wealth of features provided by plugins.
The digital world knows that WordPress is a superior blogging platform to Google's Blogger platform, even Matt Cutts, head software engineer at Google, uses WordPress for his official blogs...I mean if that doesn't tell you something, I don't know what will. I do agree that Blogger is far easier to you, but WordPress is more complex for a reason... To be sure, I prefer Blogger, but WordPress is the way to making money online...I wish it weren't so.
I found Blogger easier to use than Wordpress, also, and I was also unimpressed with the quality of blogs & articles found on Wordpress, and disappointed that most of them redirected away from the site.
Yes, and trying to comment was always difficult because you had to log in.
No, you do not have to log in to comment on all Wordpress blogs. It's a decision that is up to the blog owner, and it can be changed easily in the Settings.
@Marisa: may I ask you something? I don't mean to appear stupid, but I have asked many people (including Team Hubpages) and haven't received an answer to My Question: Would you care to email me the instructions on How I Can Set Up a Blog? Why am I not getting any help? Just email your reply to: email@example.com
and Thanks so much!
Do it the same way you learned how to do HubPages! Just go to Blogger.com and just start!
Kenneth, why do you feel you haven’t received an answer to your question? You even thanked me in the other thread for referring you to Marisa's posts in this thread.
The entire series of posts in this thread should put you in the right direction. And don’t forget to read Jane Friedman’s tutorials as Marisa had mentioned. I think that’s all you need to set up your blog.
Rafini, I think you're misunderstanding how Wordpress works.
When you are logged in to Wordpress, you have access to the Wordpress community - you can see who else has blogs on Wordpress, and join the forums. However, all of that is invisible to your readers, and to Google. Google can't tell that your blog is in any way related to the other blogs using Wordpress.com. As far as Google is concerned, your Wordpress blog is a completely separate, independent website, and therefore it is judged on its own merits.
The ONLY difference between a blog on Wordpress.com and buying hosting (as Promisem suggests) is that on Wordpress.com, a lot of the technical work is done for you, so you can concentrate on just writing. The software - and the respect from Google - is exactly the same.
Some bloggers prefer to do their own tech work, so they can "tweak" the look and functionality of their blog, and for them, hosting makes more sense.
However as I said, because Wordpress is just another platform for your blog to "sit" on, and doesn't make you part of a community of writers, it doesn't offer any advantage over Blogger in that regard.
Um, no, don't think I'm misunderstanding anything at all.
I was disappointed with being redirected - I would click a link to read someone's blog, then I'd have to click a link to "read more" which would then redirect. No misunderstanding, at all. Thank you.
I always use a 'read more' break on my blog. It allows the reader to see more posts on the page and select the ones they want to read, rather than having to scroll and scroll. Clicking on 'read more' isn't a redirect, it simply opens the post to full page. Most sites use some form of it these days, including HubPages with their hub summaries
Just checked, again, and the "read more" link took me to sfchronicle.com. I can handle a break on the blog but do not like the redirect, which there seems to be a lot of on Wordpress. So, I left. It was only one reason - another being a large quantity of poor quality articles, and yet another being the subject matter of many of the articles (fashion, celebrity news, politics - all which I have little to no interest in).
If you are not misunderstanding, then why does the quality of the other blogs on the platform matter to you in any way, shape or form?
If you decide to follow Promisem's advice and buy hosting, how will you decide which hosting company to use? Unlike Wordpress.com, you can't see which blogs they already host, but I can guarantee the quality will be just as variable. The point is that it doesn't matter because each blog is separate, independent, stand-alone. Wordpress.com is exactly the same. Wordpress.com lets logged-in members see who else is on their network, that's all. It's completely illogical to make that part of your decision-making.
As for the "read more" - that's a decision made by the owner of the blog, it's something that you choose in the Settings. It will be exactly the same if you choose to buy hosting and it's a feature of most blogging software.
Athlyn I think you should probably clarify that you are talking about wordpress.org, the free offering....
... and not wordpress.com (which is also free / open source, but self-hosted and probably the most 'flexible' CMS on the planet), otherwise calling blogger more flexible than wordpress without that distinction makes you look very silly.
Techcrunch for example is a wordpress site, sold for $40m.
People should really be buying hosting and installing wordpress on their own server, they may find that they can build something that they can sell some day. You also avoid the very real risk of their free service being discontinued one day. Google have discontinued some huge products in the past, not outside of the realms of possibility that they may sack off Blogger.
Quick correction, Ryan. I'm sure you just mistyped, but I'm going to explain more fully for others' benefit:
Wordpress.COM is the site where you can set up a free website/blog using Wordpress software. It also offers a paid service, which is a very good deal for non-technical people, because all the admin and updating is taken care of for you. I use it a lot for businesses that need a simple, no-fuss website.
Wordpress.ORG is the software - you buy hosting from a hosting company, install the software and do all the admin yourself. The big advantage for professional bloggers is that you get access to a vast array of add-ons, called plugins, which lets you achieve more complex stuff. You can also run several sites on one hosting package (whereas on Wordpress.com, you have to pay separately for each site).
Both are run by the same company and you can move your blog seamlessly between them.
By the way, how did you create the layout on that Tags page?
Yes, got them the wrong way around.
The 'tags page' as in the tag cloud which lists all of the tags (the one linked in the header menu), or the individual pages for each tag?
I meant the tag cloud. I know how to do tag clouds, I've just never seen one nicely laid out on a whole page before.
It looks like this site is just videos from Youtube? I did something like that at one time but was worried Google would penalise me for posts with insufficient original content. Your thoughts on that?
YouTube, Daily Motion, Veoh, Vimeo, Archive.org etc.
Daily Motion given preference whenever possible because I earn a cut of the revenue from ad rolls when their videos are played from my site.
I find myself writing quite a few words for most of the descriptions actually (I'm not copying and pasting those), e.g. here
Not sure how many words Google would expect for a video, people are visiting the site for the video not for an essay. Look at Youtube descriptions...
In fact I'm sitting here like an idiot typing descriptions and the 2nd largest such site is copying and pasting. They stole one of mine and guess which one ranks on Google front page?
(My wifes cousin actually arrested that man a couple of times by the way! The subject of the documentary that is, not the person who starting stealing my descriptions until I threatened to sue him).
Google knows that I'm a video site and my videos are marked up as videos in the code, all of my video posts are accompanied by a video thumbnail in search results - it knows which pages are video pages and which pages are articles, because I tell them (schema).
Plus I'm actually driving a fair number of views to videos via posts, google 'Best Graffiti Documentaries', 'Best Lion Documentaries', 'Best Snooker Documentaries' etc. Those aren't thin pages, but they take so bloody long. Not too dissimilar to the stuff I used to churn out on hubpages, but I'm sure I've slowed down these days!
Its taken me 20 months of hard graft to finally begin to 'take off' by the way, this hasn't been easy...here's a 16 month quantcast graph...
I'd like to think that Google is actually beginning to pay attention to the fact that I'm not doing some sort of manual scraping of Top Documentary Films like some of the competitors.
I've actually got software which tells me of my videos are in need of a new source as well, I know right now which 16 of my videos have been deleted at source and need replacing. That's why I don't have a 'report' button.
I suggest you avoid any blogging site and simply buy a hosting agreement from a company that loads WordPress or other blogging software automatically.
You will end up with more control, and I suspect you will get more respect from search engines.
Promisem, if you read the rest of the thread, you'll see this is exactly what we're debating. Some people feel that the "more respect from search engines" statement is more of a suspicion than a fact.
My view is that it's the domain name that confers respect and not the platform - and since a domain name costs less than ten dollars, it's an investment that's worth making, even if the benefit isn't certain.
For someone who is just writing and relying on sidebar ads for income, Blogger with a domain name is ample in my opinion. It does the job, it's cheap and it's unlikely it will ever be shut down.
Personally I prefer Wordpress, but only because my blogs have multiple sections - for instance, my belly dance blog has:
1. A section for DVD reviews, classified by style of dance (e.g. Tribal, Oriental, AmCab) with sub-categories for type of instruction (e.g. technique, performance, drills).
2. An advice section, with categories like costuming, technique, history, etc.
3. A belly dance shop, split into categories by style of dance and type of clothing.
You can see from this that I need three different top-level categories split into multiple sub-categories. Good luck achieving anything of that sort on a Blogger blog! Of course, I could post all that stuff without the hierarchy of categories - but that would make it much, much harder for my readers to find their way around, which would be a poor reader experience.
Actually, I found it easy to create multiple top-level categories with Blogger. I list them on the home page using both tabs and side-bar links.
The end-result looks just like a regular website. I made it as a support archive for prior customers when I retired and terminated the business.
If you want to see how I used Blogger as regular site (I can’t post a link), but if you search for “Support Archive for the VoicePro” and include the quotes, you’ll find it. I also wrote a hub about the methods I used.
So, can Blogger create categories and sub-categories now? I thought it just had Labels. It's the hierarchy I'm talking about.
As another example, on my ballet site I have a category called Pointe Shoes. Within that category, I have sub-categories for Capezio, Bloch, Grishko and other makes. Within those sub-categories, I have sub-categories for the type of shoe, and within those sub-categories I list the individual shoes.
I could create all that by using pages, or by manually creating menus - but because the manufacturers are constantly changing their models, it would be a lot of work for me to constantly change those. Whereas with Wordpress, if there's a new model, I simply create the post and then tick the appropriate boxes for the categories and sub-categories, and the menus update automatically.
Labels help create indexing to various categories. But Blogger also has “Pages” in addition to “Posts”.
For the sake of others reading this. . .
The Posts only let you add more content to a dated stream. However I found I can create my own hierarchy in any way I wish by using “Pages”. It’s just a matter of linking the pages to sub-categories, as required, to build a tree structure of categories dropping into sub-categories.
Marisa, as for you, I realize you want to have a more automated way of making massive changes to the tree structure. So I see your point that Wordpress is a better solution for you.
With Blogger, I can change the structure, but I have to change the links from one page to another as requited. I imagine that is what you want to avoid doing.
Thanks for clarifying. Yes, I can see how you could achieve a hierarchy on Blogger that way, but it's hardly practical if you are creating a blog that you want to maintain long-term (which means you are going to keep adding and adding and adding to it over the years). Constantly having to change the links would become a nightmare!
As long as I don't need to change the structure of the hierarchy, it works great. I just add new content under the category or subcategory where it belongs. It's not a nightmare because the interlinking remains the same. We all use what works for us, right?
For me, it's all about future-proofing. And I do think, once you've got used to running your own blog where you're able to control the software yourself, it's hard to go back to a platform like Blogger where you are limited in what you can do what you like with themes etc.
True. For that reason my preference is to do my own code (HTML, PHP and CSS) as I did with my business site before I retired, and as I still do with my author site.
I just use Blogger for other stuff where I didn't find the need for a custom URL. I wouldn't want to go to Blogger for my author site. I like having full control of every detail of coding. But I found it interesting how much I was able to structure Blogger to look like a regular website. Nevertheless, I agree with your points you made.
What's the title of the hub please? Can't seem to find it.
Here's what I've been building on wordpress in the past 18 months, after a 4 or 5 year hiatus....
Not a hope in hell I'd be able to achieve that on blogger.
People also need to consider the possibility that free services can be discontinued at any moment. Google could discontinue blogger at any point in time.
Agreed. It is possible to create complex structures on Blogger but it requires some know-how and extra work, whereas on Wordpress things like categories and sub-categories, pages and child pages are already there for you.
It's hard to imagine that Google would ever discontinue Blogger but then, you never know. I'm sure people assumed that Geocities would last forever, too.
That is one reason why I always recommend Wordpress.com to new bloggers. You can't monetize the free version, of course, but in the early days of blogging that probably doesn't matter anyway. Then when they've learned the ropes of the software, it's an easy transfer to "real" Wordpress with a hosting company.
I just want to chime in and say that if you use Blogger, owned by Google, they can shut your blog down at anytime without notice. They control the platform. It doesn't happen often but it does happen.
With Wordpress.org, it's an open source platform. It doesn't happen.
Here's a scary article about a blogger who lost 14 years worth of work on blogger.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nationa … -1.2713462
Blogger and WordPress are the two blog titans. But just surfing either of them will mainly bring up old content.
Interesting...how does one find a current blog, then?
It's a search engine world. The ability to weight freshness is one reason search engines are king and webrings are dead. A lot of folks on this site are probably to young to even remember when webrings were super-cool and Geocities ruled the net.
I agree. In fact, I'm surprised Blogger still has the "previous blog" and "next blog" buttons. Blogger is NOT a community - people don't come to Blogger and browse around the blogs, that's not the purpose of the service.
Blogger, Wordpress, Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace etc are just software platforms where you create a stand-alone blog. You get readers by attracting people via the search engines and social media. There's little or no interaction with other users of the platform.
Because of that, these platforms are all equal when it comes to attracting traffic - it makes no difference which one you choose. Where they differ is in things like ease of use, cost, and transferability.
I don't know whether there are any community-style blogging platforms left now. Tumblr might be worth looking at, also Medium - but both are designed for short posts, not long articles.
Okay, good to know. Thanks. You always have and share such great info!
So, for readers & followers, it's all about keywords & content as found through search engines & social media, right?
You can use Blogger to create a website, as opposed to a blog. Simply post keyword-type articles instead of blogs and have menus across the top and on right side.
Yeah, I jumped right in this year and paid for the website at Blogger - well before I was really ready for it. Thankfully it wasn't too awfully expensive! Not sure whether I want to continue with the website or simply have the blog.
What did you pay for? I run about 20 blogger blogs (some as fixed page websites) at no cost. I used to pay for domains but stopped bothering when I found there was no real advantage to it.
I'm not sure I agree. I know two bloggers who bought a good domain name to attach to their Blogger blog, and both of them experienced an increase in traffic. The key is that it needs to be a good domain name.
The other big advantage is that if you do decide to move to another platform (e.g. Wordpress) later, it's transparent to your readers. You might say that if you know for sure that you'll never move, it's not an issue - but on the internet, I don't think you can ever be 100% sure.
These advantages are all case specific. I had five blogs with domains, one quite popular, one doing okay, and the others low performing, and when stopped paying for them the traffic remained the same. Domains were more important when people used to type in urls to find places.
I wanted my own website & my own domain. Now I have one, although not the one I really wanted cuz I figured I'd take a year for learning & "practice".
Glad to hear you say this. I have a Blogger site and paid for a domain name for two years but am dropping it the next time payment comes due. I've earned practically nothing from the site, and figured it was just to much work. I'd rather put my efforts where I can earn, which is right here on HP!
That is interesting to me. I've been considering using Blogger for actual website type stuff without bothering with buying more domain names. I already have several sites with their own domain names on self hosting and while some are doing okay relative to the amount of content on the sites, I've been thinking of starting new sites without bothering with buying new domain names.
I'm curious how much traffic and earnings you can get from a free blog on Blogger. I don't need to know specifics of course, just wanted to know if it's possible to have some success with a free Blogger blog.
I get lots of daily traffic. It's just like with HP, some articles Google loves and some articles Google hates. However, earnings are downright sporadic. Can be days where earnings are next to nothing, then suddenly AdSense leaves a big, fat gift on my back porch. Side note: mine is a website with keyword-type articles on Blogger with a custom domain name, as opposed to a blog with non keyword-type posts. The only expense is the $12/yr domain name. You get 100% of the earnings, if/when they show up. So far this month, I've beat one HP domain name and tied with another. I'd have beaten three HP domain names, but I removed all my articles from two of them, so those names don't count anymore; though I did in fact beat what those two names made when I did have articles on them.
And as a side note, Google appears to be falling in love with yet another three articles. Been happening for the last month. Waiting for that big, permanent jump when Google finally makes up its mind. Incidentally, all three of those articles were former hubs that were getting traffic, but HP was disinclined to move to a network site. That's really the secret; move the hubs that HP doesn't want anyway. It's a win-win. HP is glad to get rid of them and you get content for your site that actually might hit it big.
I have a website that does quite well, but it is not on Blogger. I do have pages on Blogger, but the earnings are almost non-existent. If you want earnings, I'd switch to Wordpress. Sometimes I think Google doesn't care for its own product.
Wordpress sites are being hacked into oblivion at the moment. However, there is also a bad point about Blogger; they still haven't figured out how to do https for those sites using custom domains, though there are rumors that's going to be remedied soon.
I never monetised my two most popular blogs because it didn't match with what I was doing with them (watchdog type stuff). However I did get a direct-approach sponsor for one that was making me $100 a month for a while. Ultimately, for me, ebooks and stock photography turned out to be a better way to make money and the blogs are more of a hobby thing. In that context, going zero costs made more sense.
Like I said to Rafini, which platform you use is irrelevant - all of them are pretty much identical from an SEO perspective, except for Wix (though it has improved recently) and Weebly (where the free version is no-follow). My only reservation about Blogger is that the navigation sucks.
I always advise using a domain name because from a reader's perspective, a "proper" domain name sounds more authoritative than a .blogspot one.
It's also a sensible precaution - if you want to transfer your blog in future, you'll lose readers when you leave Blogger. Whereas if you buy a domain name and attach it to Blogger, you simply transfer your content and point the domain name to its new location, and the reader never needs to know.
Finally, if you can get hold of an expired domain name with good authority, that can give you a nice initial boost of traffic to help you get established.
I hope you've created your multiple domains as sub-domains on your main hosting account, rather than having individual hosting for each?
I'll have to check that I'm using subdomains on my hosting account. I noticed you can do both, either subdomains or individual, but I've never known the difference; if you could elaborate on the different it'd be appreciated. I do know that the first site I created does the worst, ironically because it's on a subject matter I know well.
If you're not paying extra for them, then they are add-on domains (which are actually sub-domains).
Oh, yeah, that's what I'm doing. I definitely don't have a hosting account for every domain.I usually re-learn how to add my domains each time I do it, so I forget the process. But I definitely know better than to pay for a hosting account for each domain.
I used to assume people did know that, but then when I was helping some Hubbers create the Creative Exiles site, I ran across a couple of Hubbers who were taking on a new account for every single domain. I couldn't convince them they were wasting their money, either!
BTW I wonder if you're spreading yourself too thin, if you have multiple sites? Or are you just trying out several to see which one has the most potential?
Also I'm a little confused why you'd bother starting a site on Blogger if you already have hosting and therefore the ability to create domains there. Like I said, all platforms are equal.
That's funny someone would subscribe to multiple hosting accounts for each domain; one of the appeals of getting a hosting service is the unlimited domains you can put on them.
There are mainly two reasons I decided to try Blogger rather than just get another domain name and put it on my webhost account: Time and money. Unfortunately, money is so tight right now, I'm not sure I want to spend the ten measly bucks for a domain name. And I'm working more and so wasn't sure I wanted to go through the effort of propagating the domain name to my host and then all the work that involves; seemed easier just to start another Blogger blog.
Funny thing is, now that I started the Blogger blog and even put a bunch of articles on it, I'm having second thoughts; kind of like the control I have on self hosting,might dish out the ten dollars for the domain name and just put that blog on my self hosting account.
As far as why I have multiple sites, they are each on different subject matter, and when I started creating my own sites I thought I'd start three on the main subjects I know about and write about. Turns out a couple of them do fairly well and the one that is on the subject I know the most about does rather poorly.
Then there is a new one I've started recently, the subject matter of which is somewhat related to the subject of one of my original blogs but narrowed way down; turns out I make more Amazon sales on that one that I have on HP or the other blogs of my own.
The one that does poorly - I assume that's the martial arts one, and I'm still flummoxed why it does so badly. As you say, part of the reason is that enthusiasts are too busy doing to read about it - but I'd still expect it to do reasonably well.
One point which Will Apse made, and I now think may be valid, is that the most successful blogs/websites separate their shop section from their informational section. My sites have always been like that and never (apart from one hiccup) got hit by any of the Google updates. They are not doing so well now but I know why - I'm hardly ever adding new material, and that has become a major factor.
I think martial arts is fad-driven, if what you put out is not specifically related to popular trends in martial arts then it probably won't do well; especially if you have no following. I'm still old school, I've been into martial arts since the early 80s so what I write about is still heavily influenced by an old era, though I am by no means a traditionalist in any sense of the word; it's just that I'm pretty sure most of that old stuff is out the window and people are concentrating on MMA, which is something I'm into but not where the majority of my training or knowledge is from.
I can relate to that somewhat. I closed down my flamenco site for the same reason. I know a lot about the subject but I'm "old school", and I don't even like the stuff that's being danced now. So it became impossible for me to honestly add new content.
For a long time, I did well on my websites without having to add new content regularly, but that changed at one of the Google updates. Now, I notice my sites jog along if I just let them sit there - but they do hugely better if I schedule a new post once a fortnight. That really wasn't an option any more on my flamenco site, so I closed it down and moved some of the posts to HubPages.
Amen. It all adds up and for what? Same with paying for hosting. Why? This does not ensure traffic or earnings, and these days, it's much harder to make money from a blog or website, so "free" is much more attractive.
People always recommend a domain name, but based mainly on speculation mainly. I dropped mine and my traffic stayed exactly steady for blogs from 1000 uniques a day to just 1 or 2. Use of a redirect makes for a smooth transition and my topics are mainly search engine fed anyway. I see no evidence for my blogs that either search engines or readers were put off. My advice is: when in doubt: experiment. No having expenses allows me to experiment and hit on effective topics with no financial risk.
That's what I decided to do, experiment. I want to see if it works. I put up a blog on Blogger with search friendly titled posts and I monetized it. I want to see the result. No loss for me, except I guess some labor and time; but that's the way it goes in this business.
Considering that a domain name costs less than $10, it hardly seems like a financial burden.
I can well believe you saw no difference going from a domain name to a blogspot, if you had a redirect in place. I know a couple of people who did see an improvement going in the opposite direction, which is one reason why I think that small investment is worth it - if it helps, great: if it doesn't, it's only a few bucks.
I was thinking about doing a Blog as well but got a little confused as to what was the best route to go. I would like to do something like that to make a little extra cash without spending more than I'm making. Kind of defeats the purpose.
Also thought about writing articles for sites that are in need of content but where do I find that? Love writing but would like to join something where I can be at least a little profitable, make sure I get paid as well. Any suggestions?
Cynthia, do you know what you'd write about on your blog? Because there's no point even attempting to write a blog unless you have a specialist subject to write about. Whatever you choose, you need to know enough you could write a book about it - because you're going to have to post a new article every two or three weeks for years and years. If you don't have a subject like that, there's no point in trying to blog.
Blogging is not a particularly good way to make money, anyway. Someone did a survey of "successful" bloggers and found their average income was $2 per hour. You'll see lots of sites telling you how to make money blogging, but ask yourself - if there's so much money in blogging, why are these people working so hard at offering you courses or advice on how to blog? Why aren't they just sitting back and enjoying their fabulous income from their blogs? The truth is, it's because blogging USED to make passive income, but the market is much harder now. I used to know a lot of full-time bloggers and most of them aren't doing it any more - they've moved on to teaching others how to blog, or designing websites, or being SEO consultants.
The ones who are still blogging are very internet savvy, so they know how to promote themselves on Facebook and elsewhere, and they're able to present themselves as an authority on one or two subjects. And they're working a lot of hours on it.
If you want to make a little cash, consider selling items on eBay - you can list a certain number of items for free every month (you pay a fee IF it sells, but nothing if it doesn't, so you can't lose). I made a few thousand dollars selling bits and pieces from my house - things like good quality old clothes (call them "vintage"), ornaments, stamps, coins, jewelry, etc. I was amazed at what people would buy! I also know someone who makes a good living buying collectibles in yard sales and reselling them on eBay, but you need to know what sells.
Thanks for your reply! I do have an interest in Paranormal and Ghostly things. Probably not a subject to make much money. I know about eBay but not sure if I have enough to sell. Any suggestions for anything else?
Well, for eBay you can sell one or two things, you don't have to go into it as a business. I started out because my partner wanted to sell his coin collection, and I started listing the coins. Then I started to look around the house and I sold an ornament, a souvenir spoon, a pair of earrings, etc. If you list them for $5, you can't really lose, and it lets you get an idea how it works. People will pay money for silly things, and I found that all those $5 lots soon mounted up to good money.
I've suggested eBay to other Hubbers and I get told, "I can't be bothered with having to wrap up parcels and mail them, I don't have time." Yet those same Hubbers will happily spend a whole afternoon writing a Hub that will earn them far less...If you are serious about making money, you have to be very conscious of using your time efficiently!
By the way, eBay will always encourage you to offer free postage - don't feel pressured, it's not necessary. If you do offer free postage, you could end up losing money, so it's not worth it.
If you can type fast, you could look at at-home transcription services.
I am blogging for a web presence, to gain an audience, basically, for my memoir and any future books. So, for me, successful blogging wont be about how much money I can make, but how big of an audience I can achieve and is the reason monetization of my blog is unnecessary.
There's one person selling info on how to be a successful blogger who stated the whole point of blogging is to get people interested in your product - people who will eventually purchase your product. And, authors are expected to have a web presence, with "followers" or "fans" they can market or promote their books to. Would you agree this is a good use of a blog?
I'm not an expert but I can share what Jane Friedman has to say on the subject, and she IS an expert:
There are links to several other articles in that article, and they are well worth reading.
Oops, forgot the second part of your question. Sites that need content - if you mean other sites like HubPages, forget it. There aren't many left, and HubPages pays the best of all of them, IF you can write Hubs that get accepted for the new niche sites.
I took a look at your profile and none of your Hubs have been accepted for the niche sites - in fact, most of them aren't even Featured any more, which means they can't earn much money at all. That tells me you need to learn a few things about how to write online, and about HubPages works now (things have changed since you joined). I suggest you read my Hubs on The Basic Rules and How to Optimize your Hubs. You'll find them on the slider on my profile.
Choose your best Hub, upgrade and improve it, then try submitting it to a niche site (using the button at the top of the Hub). If it doesn't get accepted, post in the Improving Your Hub section to get advice on how to fix it. Once that's done, start on the next one. You are allowed to submit one Hub every two weeks - mark it in your calendar.
Much of this sounds confusing. For anyone just starting out in the writing and blogging field, where do they turn for accurate and up-to-date information?
You can't, I'm afraid! All you can get is opinions, and of course they will vary.
One important fact to be aware of: the internet is constantly changing. If you're going to research how to make money blogging, ignore ANY advice written before 2016, because it's all irrelevant to the way it works today.
Another problem is that a lot of people made the decision, during the boom in blogging, to give up their jobs and become full-time bloggers. As the market became tougher, they had to find other ways to sustain their income, and the obvious way was to teach other people how to blog. The trouble is, they're teaching people what USED to work for them - if it still worked, they wouldn't have to resort to teaching, would they? So take all the "I'll teach you to blog" websites with a very large pinch of salt.
We have bloggers here on HubPages who are generous with their advice. WryLilt and LeanMan are both professional bloggers. I tried blogging and still have two blogs which make me a few hundred dollars a month, but I found I could earn a much higher hourly rate elsewhere.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertadam … cc4cbb62d8
It is confusing and a person ends up doing a lot of digging to ever figure any of it out. Part of the problem is that the advice often given is sufficiently vague to make it impossible to know what kind of real actions to take. The advice on starting an email list is the main one that always gets me. To this day I don't even know what it means. I mean, I have a subscribe button on my sites where people can get my posts sent to their email. Is this what they mean by an email list? If so, it's not mysterious at all; you just use some free service like FeedBurner and set it up; though there's a bit of a learning curve, it's doable.
Some of it is luck. In the sense that people have been able to hit on topics that get traffic and make money. I'm certain that, like life in general, some things will make money and others will not on the Internet.
Nate, "building an email list" means collecting the email addresses of people who are interested in your subject. You do that by offering something they want - you might offer a downloadable ebook (and they have to give their email address to get it), or you might offer a regular newsletter.
The purpose of collecting those email addresses is twofold. One, you can use an email list as part of your evidence to attract advertisers - a big email list shows your blog is popular. Two, you can market products to your email list.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondeme … om-scratch
Actually, learning about email lists was the thing that made me decide NOT to blog for a living. Having to create even more new material for a newsletter or ebook, and do it regularly, was just a bridge too far.
Oh me too. And I hate those blasted pop-ups. The blog *is* the newsletter as far as I'm concerned. people can subscribe to get updates, but I'm damned if I'm going to write even more stuff.
The people who seem to make the most money from blogging are the ones who blog about blogging
Thanks Marisa, that clarifies the email list thing. I'm not really going to go into doing the email list either. I originally got into writing on the Internet for money because I was pretty much at home all the time taking care of my mom so was looking into what might make money, hopefully, in the long run while I was kind of house bound. After five years, it's turned into a source of a little bit of money that will pay a bill, but not a livelihood. I've already gone out and gotten a regular job at this point so that road to online money is pretty much a no-go for me; I mean, I'll put some time into what I've established, maybe put some content on my sites and do some maintenance for those sites, but I'm not going to start collecting email lists and creating products. That's the opposite of what I wanted when I started trying to make money online. The income is more certain with a regular job and with the same amount, or maybe less, work. Plus, my job has benefits.
Nate, it sounds like we've gone through a similar process. I eventually realised that making my living online isn't really a good fit for me.
There are people who are at their happiest sitting alone all day, writing. That's not me - I need company, and I worry about sitting inactive for such long periods.
Another problem with online writing is that if you look at successful bloggers - like WryLilt, for example - they're media-savvy and willing to do all the tedious work of self-promotion and networking, which drives me insane. As part of that, they are willing to expose themselves and their lives, which I'm not.
But the biggest reason is time. I know there are people out there who hate real-life work so much, they'd rather work 60 hours for themselves than work 30 hours for someone else. I know quite a few bloggers and online writers, and I'm always struck by the long hours they work, and most of them are only just earning enough to live on - no benefits, of course, and nothing to put by for a rainy day. Maybe it's because they love writing so much? Personally, I have other interests in my life which are more important, and I'm old enough to be very aware of the need to provide for my old age.
There are lots of really good books on how to build a blog. Step-by-step. Many are free on Kindle. Look for those with good reviews.
I can relate a lot to what is being shared here. My own thought is to look at writing as part of an income stream. Making it a full time gig is very hard. As Marisa point out, the media/networking part is extremely time consuming. Depending upon your niche, it can also be very competitive, which makes it even harder to network in some ways.
But it is my believe that writers are born to write. It is just part of their DNA. Finding a place to share that gift is critical. HP certainly is an outlet.
But yes, it's a tough life for sure. Interesting conversation.
I am one of those who write because I love to. As far as HP, I move hubs to vertical sites because I wrote a lot. I use my writing money for myself, not to pay bills.
But when I came to HP, it was the first time I took time to indulge myself and write. It has paid off for me in my main niche. I may never have tried to expand more if I didn't see I was getting reader's questions here. I'm doing well with a nice sized clientele, from Google, and word of mouth, not here. So the hubs I wrote here were not in vain. It opened doors and got me recognized. But I also don't want to spend too many hours online. So I try to maintain a balance.
Plus, 7 yrs. ago when I came here, many of us were told, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket", and I have so many articles from two other sites. I can go on for ages publishing them here if I choose to.
I am playing around with fiction at home. I want to write a book about a real life situation someone I know is living through, but don't know how it ends yet. I am considering moving to Seattle in a year or so. One of my friends said, "What will you do there? Sit in a coffeehouse in the rain to write your novel?" And I said, "Yes, that was always my dream!"
You sound like my husband. A cosy coffee house in the rain would be his idea of heaven!
He sounds like a great guy! I always end up writing at night anyway, so the "coffeehouse in the rain" idea is sort of romantic to me. I really am thinking of relocating. I've tried to make a life here without my husband, but have too many memories. We were together since we were 18, so it's like losing my best friend.
I need a fresh start. Also some old friends live in the area I am considering, and love it, so it's to the point I am looking at real estate online, to see how the market is out there. It appears I can do pretty well and for less than I pay in NJ. It's just a matter of a few issues I am tied up with here. And that novel waiting to be written!
I am. I have loose financial ends to tie up here, and my home is taste specific, so I need to make it more neutral and be a bit creative to get the best price.
My son can paint. He realized he hates his teaching career. He was also poised to inherit the karate academy he attended for 19 years. But now the owner is 76, can't do any of the moves, and although my son is running the school, it's obvious this guy will never move over. So he is moving with me, and plans to open his own karate academy.
So we are moving together. Both of our lives were changed by circumstances beyond our control, but that doesn't mean we have to let that direct our course. Plus I am glad he will move with me, he's my only child, even though an adult who will eventually go his own way. But we can help each other sell this house, and adjust to our new surroundings at first.
So I'm pretty excited. I love the West coast better, it's more liberal. Also, my brother and I will be closer, and I have friends out there. It's worth it. I want to join the living again!
IMO Blogger is certainly NOT a lost cause - others come and go but having Google behind it makes a big difference
My main blog is on Blogger - running with its original blogspot domain name. At the end of this year it will be 12 years old, has 3,360 published posts to date - and has more than 11.6 million pageviews
The reality is that the host is irrelevant and the domain name per se is irrelevant - although it does help if you pick a memorable and easy to spell one.
The ONLY things that count are:
1) Good quality CONTENT on a very specific topic which you love writing about - in an authoritative way - and which interests other people
2) REGULAR posts. It's much easier to attract a following if these are frequent
3) making INTELLIGENT COMMENTS on other blogs on the same topic - which get read by other people who then follow you back to your blog and read yours
4) Making your ARCHIVE accessible - and making intelligent use of it.
5) SMART and efficient action in relation to SCRAPERS. I now go straight for the jugular and report scrapers direct to their domain name registrars (i.e. who are obligated legally to remove documented infringed content - or the whole site - from view promptly or else they lose their immunity from prosecution) and Google re. copyright infringement achieves what you want - which is the burying of their site and the duplicated content. If I'm being really nice I tell the scraper site what I'm going to do and what happens next if the content is still visible in 48 hours.
Point 3 was much more important at the beginning. Now I wouldn't be without my related Facebook Page of the same name which is used to point people to my blog posts - and contains other relevant content - meaning it too acquires followers.
Oooh, thank you - very helpful comments! I hadn't thought about commenting on blogs with the same topic, only about commenting on other blogs.
One question -
Do you blog for money or for exposure? My plan is for exposure.
That's what I've been trying to explain, that the choice of host is irrelevant - it doesn't matter whether you're hosted on Blogger, Wordpress, or a private host, it won't make ANY difference to the amount of traffic you get.
When choosing between hosting platforms, the difference lies in cost, longevity, ease of use and functionality.
My only issue with Blogger is that I find I can make the archives MORE accessible on Wordpress, where I can create several different kinds of menus automatically. I know I could do that manually on Blogger, but that means a lot of manual corrections if I decide to change something - and I do change things sometimes!
I find using lots of labels - specific to the post - means people have no problems finding blog posts which are years old!
I think you've convinced me - when my site comes up for renewal I'll let it go and create a free blog instead. Then, I can try a few different sites and see which one works best for me before making a final decision. I'll leave off paying for a complete website until somewhere in the future - if I ever need one.
I will say that is you change your blog address, you might as well be starting from scratch. Even with redirects, you are likely to lose 3/4 of your traffic for at least 6 months, and it will take a year to recover. So you need to know what direction you want to go with before investing a lot of effort.
You are right. That's why I always advise people to invest in a domain name, right from the start, even if they're not sure they'll continue. A domain name costs less than $10 so it's not a big investment.
I'm not getting much traffic to my blog as it is (my best post has been viewed 45 times. Whoo Hoo.) so I think it's okay to lose my traffic and start over.
The biggest question, right now, is whether I need to invest in a domain name or leave it as Rafini.blogger. Seems to me the free route would work just as well as the $10 one.
If your goal is recognition, then you definitely need a blog name that is your name. "Rafini.com" and "Rafini.net" are not available, and I don't recommend any of the other suffixes.
Therefore I'd say, if you can get the name "Rafini" on blogger (i.e. rafini.blogspot), then grab it. If you can't get it, then you should switch to Wordpress.com and see if you can get the name Rafini there (i.e. rafini.wordpress).
Like I said, the chances of getting traffic on Wordpress.com and Blogger.com are exactly the same - because in both cases, each blog is isolated and not part of a community (actually, there is some community involvement on Wordpress but it's hardly worth mentioning). So I'd base your choice on the ability to get the name you want.
My point was once you start getting traffic, you will not want to switch, so if you are going to invest a lot of time go with the solution now that will be what you want at the end of a lot of effort and hopefully success. It is painful to have to start all over again. I had to do that on both my blog and website.
I looked at Wordpress once, as a blogging platform (not the software), and even setting up a blog and writing content sounded too technical for my abilities (at the time). At this point, I have on the order of 5 blogs on Blogger, but most are neglected.
I only have one that is semi-active right now, and that is my cat blog. I don't have much following, and I know that's hard to build, and takes a lot of time. I'm only just now doing better here on HP; I don't have either the time or energy to promote blogs as well; I tweet and Facebook post the new ones, but that's about it.
BUT---if anyone can tell me, or direct me to a site with instructions on how to make (and then edit) 'extra pages' on Blogger, I'd appreciate it. Someone there had a post on how to do that a few years back. Of course, I no longer remember the 'how-to,' and I have no idea whose post it was, so I'm stumped on doing any edits or deletions of outdated material.
Lizzy, You probably are remembering my hub: How to Use Blogger to Make a Good Website in One Day. It’s still in the listing on my profile.
I have no following here or on my little blog, but Google seems to continue to serve up my content to readers each day. I consider my current income stream to be derived from giganomics. Multiple gigs that touch upon each other. I have a pet supply website, and sell supplies on Amazon, Sears and Ebay. The writing via Adsense, Amazon Aff and HP ad program makes up 1/4 of what I need to live. There are other small contributors.
I passed 50 years old and decided I was tired of working for sociopaths with malignant narcissistic tendencies, not to mention the US fear of the aged dotards. One in 20 Americans is a sociopath, so if you go out into the world, you are likely to be working with one of them, and they tend to be very successful with those bosses who enjoy praise and hearing yes, regardless of what is actually accomplished.
With 60 articles and a few of them monetized with products, you can earn 2-4 benjis a month between ADS and AMZ. With 3600 articles!!!! The sky's the limit, as long as people are finding your articles. Relying on the internet is a scary way to make a living. It is fickle and as soon as something seems to be taking an uptick, somewhere else in my basket a revenue stream is taking a dump. But working in the real world these days can be just as unpredictable, at least you do get unemployment benefits if you had a w-9 job and were not a contractor.
Nothing is as easy or as sure a thing as it was 50 years ago - that is the only thing that is certain to me.
I use Blogger as my website platform, forget blogging.
Yeah I use Blogger as well, but have more or less moved on. I was getting page views but that could have been just somebody clicking on then clicking off right away. At least on this site, people do leave comments. That is one of the reasons I am back on HubPages. I will probably use Blogger to create back links to my hubs.
If you're creating backlinks, remember that Google only counts one or two links from one website to another. So once you've added a couple of links to HubPages on your blog, there's no point adding any more - they won't count.
Creating a blog full of links to HubPages was an effective strategy a few years ago, but Google soon caught up with the trick, and that's why it doesn't work any more - Google discounts it.
It's very likely that your visitors to Blogger were genuine. It's just that strangers don't leave comments, (unless they want to ask a question or disagree with you). If you look at who comments on your Hubs, it's often other Hubbers, who are writers not readers. They're commenting because they're part of the community - and although Blogger is a shared platform, there is no community.
There are two things worth knowing about blogging - on any platform
The first is that 95% of blogs die within three months being of getting started.
This is because they're started by people who want to dip a toe in the water but aren't properly committed to developing an effective blog and/or don't understand how they work.
The second is that effective blogging only works if you THINK and BLOG
* don't stay focused
* have a target audience in mind when you write - and think about topics they're interested in as well as what you want to write about
* write on a niche topic
* create blog posts on a regular basis
* make sure your blog posts are disseminated via RSS feed to other social media sites and/or email
* encourage people to subscribe via email
* maintain a linked Facebook Page
* comment on the blogs or social media sites of like-minded individuals blogging on the same topic (as in 'comment' NOT link drop!)
then I GUARANTEE your blog will never ever get a lot of traffic.
Are you saying if a blog is not about a niche topic, created on a regular basis, etc..., we can't guarantee a lot of traffic?
Regular updating is important, but it doesn't have to be that frequent. Once the blog is well established, once every three or four weeks is probably enough. On some blogging platforms you can schedule posts to be published in the future, so I usually sit down and write a bunch of posts, then schedule them to appear over the next few months.
Does it have to be about a niche topic? Yes, that is absolutely vital. I still see writers starting a blog for "my writing" and, (unless it's intended as a portfolio for writing jobs), it's a complete and utter waste of time - it'll never get traffic.
But I need to define what I mean by "niche topic".
Choosing a niche used to mean selecting a very narrow area of a subject. You would look for a highly searched phrase with little competition, and build your whole blog around it. That's an outdated strategy now. Blogs take time to build a reputation and with a very narrow subject, you'll run out of new material before you gain a foothold.
So today, when we talk about choosing a niche, we mean choosing a broad subject area. That means you can keep on adding new material for a long time without repeating yourself, and you can build a substantial body of information which will gain Google's respect.
I just wanted to chime in that although Google and the industry overall does vastly prefer WordPress, you can be successful with any platform if you put in the time to regularly blog, stick to a niche or some sort of theme, and most importantly, learn Search Engine Optimization and social media marketing.
If you know SEO, you know how to bring traffic to your site, no matter the platform. And, if you also learn social media marketing, you can amass a lot of targeted readers, and bring those readers from those social media platforms to your blog.
WordPress is super powerful, but with that power comes a steep learning curve. One could learn Blogger in an hour or two. My last paid job was a four month stint for WordPress Live, and I can assure you that people are completely baffled by WordPress...I HATED that job!
I have a blog on Blogger that earns me approximately $6K per year, and I haven't updated it in years...because blogging is just not for me. The relative success of that blog is only because I've had it up since 2007, if I were interested in blogging and I had to start today, I would go with whichever platform I liked best, and I would master SEO and social media marketing...and go from there.
....Nah, on second thought, I would go with WordPress If I were starting today, because I know it well, and I understand the mechanics of why it is superior to Blogger. In the end, it doesn't matter as much as it appears, go out there and blog til your heart's content!
I don't think Google prefers Wordpress. For one thing they aren't allowed to bias search results, and even if they did--they would surely prefer Blogger which they own.
Matt Cutts, a senior software engineer at Google, and the talking head between Google and people who blog for the last 10 years or so... This man blogs on WordPress. If that doesn't speak volumes, nothing ever will...
Here's him endorsing WordPress on video:
And, here's his blog:
This is Matt Cutts, not just some random person spewing random nonsense. Remember him? The guy who's job it was to publicly try to get content writers through Panda... I'll certainly never forget him, because he was huge during the massive Google Algorithm change that affected the lives of many web content writers, and he did much of his communication through his WordPress blog.
The weight of him endorsing WordPress is gob-smacking. And, if by chance, you don't know Matt Cutts, then I'll just end my participation in this particular conversation and bow out...
I know Matt Cutts and have followed him for YEARS
Maybe check your facts first
Matt Cutts is the FORMER head of the web spam team at Google
He's not worked for Google for a very long time. He was seconded to the United States Digital Service in 2014.
He formally resigned from Google on 31 December 2016
He now works for the United States Digital Service as the Director of Engineering.
Check the pinned tweet at the top of his Twitter account https://twitter.com/mattcutts
His blog has always been personal to him. People are allowed to have personal lives even if they work for Google. Note that he hasn't written a word online on a blog since the one signing off his blog in January 2017.
Things hang around on the web for a long time. Inbetween then and now lots of things change so what might be somebody's position at one point is not necessarily what they think later.
I've always found it generally to be a good idea to check whether they are still current positions/views being attributed to a person before posting links and saying this is what so&so thinks
I am not convinced that any of this negates what Rachelle Williams wrote.
I think it negates the thrust of what she says i.e. Matt Cutts says Wordpress is good and he's Head Honcho at Google and hence.....etc
Also this thread has had its fair share of people rubbishing Blogger when they are very obviously not aware of how Blogger functionality has been updated over the years - and what it now offers compared to what it offered several years ago.
If we're talking BLOGS and not websites, Blogger is absolutely fine for most people - and completely FREE as well! I've been using it for 12 years, I should make 12 million pageviews by the year end and I've never ever felt the slightest inclination to leave because it means I can focus on the content and not the software or technology or apps or addons required.
Put simply - works for me!
I think they're perfectly aware, but they know that Wordpress functionality has also progressed, and is still far more powerful. If you want to add extra functionality to your site, e.g. a shop, a forum, a directory, an events calendar, a booking system, premium paid content - all those things are possible on Wordpress but not on Blogger.
It's true that for most people, when they start out creating a website or blog, they don't envisage doing any of those things - but you never know what the future may hold, and it's always best to future-proof things if you can. Therefore choosing a platform with the most flexibility is a sensible thing to do, IMO.
However if you read my posts, I do agree that for someone who knows they want to blog and only blog, Blogger is fine. My ONLY reservation about Blogger, in that case, is that the navigation is limited. I'm not going to explain it all again because the conversation with Glenn Stok is there already and that sets it all out. In a nutshell, if you're willing to do the work of manually creating your own navigation, then Blogger is fine. I'm too lazy.
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