I've started a series of articles about bringing in an additional revenue stream to your arts and crafts business by starting a monetized blog. The first article in this series gives some advantages and disadvantages of blogging and discusses hosting your blog.
This article explains the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org, which are blog publishing applications. While there are many other blog publishing alternatives, I'm going to narrow my scope by concentrating on wordpress.
Also, I'm not going into all the hoo-hah about blog and publishing. I'm merely going to explain the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org and walk you through the steps I take to set up a monetized blog using wordpress.org. For the whole blogging scoop, check out the great articles written by Susan Gunelius, About.com's Blogging Guide.
Recognizing the Difference Between Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org
The biggie difference between .com and .org is that you cannot monetize a blog you set up on wordpress.com. So, if your purpose in starting a blog is only to drive traffic to your e-commerce website, wordpress.com is probably sufficient for your blogging needs.
Remember, one of the advantages to having a blog is that blogs are search engine friendly and many times get indexed more quickly than articles or new product for sale you post on your arts and crafts website. And in my experience, a blog with interesting information beyond that of selling product is likely to attract followers that may turn into buyers on social information networks.
Wordpress.org is a server-side blogging software that is my pick for a monetized blog. While it is not as basic as a platform such as Blogger, if you can follow prompts and learn some basic blog-related jargon, you should able to get up to speed using wordpress.org in a short amount of time.
It's a one-two-three process:
- First, find a host. Not sure what this means? A host is a service that provides the technology to make your blog available on the world wide web. You'll also need a domain name. Buying a domain name and paying for hosting are the two mandatory costs involved with setting up a monetized blog. If you have a website for your arts and crafts business, you're familiar with this process. I'll also be walking through it in the next article in this blogging series.
- Download the wordpress.org software. Wordpress recommends a few different hosting services as having one-click downloads for the wordpress.org plug-in. I'm going with laughing squid - but more about this in the next article about setting up a monetized blog.
- Become familiar with the ins-and-outs of wordpress.org. If you are at all web-savvy, this shouldn't be too much of an ordeal.
If you already have a website for your arts and crafts business, you may be wondering why you should set up a blog in addition to your arts and crafts website. Though you can monetize pages in a website, it's kind of poor etiquette to monetize pages on an e-commerce (or informational for that matter) business related website.For example, back in the early 2000s I had a website for my jewelry business and an informational website unrelated to selling my handcrafted jewelry. The informational website's purpose was solely to create an additional revenue stream by placing ads relevant to whatever topic I was addressing. Often times, I linked back and forth between the websites, but I never monetized my e-commerce website. Actually, back then Google wouldn't approve an e-commerce website for AdSense, so it was somewhat of a moot point.
The next article in this series gets into the nitty-gritty of selecting a domain name and host for your monetized blog.