I have been waiting a while to do this post but I have not had time until now. So here it goes.
One of the most, if not the most, profitable ways of making money online is by blogging or creating your own website. However, this does take a lot of work (as I know from experience).
The first step is picking your "niche" as they call it in the business. This is basically the topic you are going to write about. I have picked the topic of making money online. But you can pick any topic and still make money. Actually some of the best bloggers don't write anything about how to make money online but quietly are making a lot of money. If you look at the list of the Top 30 Bloggers under 21 that I posted a while ago, you will find that many of them do not write about making money online, but are very successful. The key to picking a good niche is picking something you know about. I am thinking of starting another blog about sports because I know a lot about them and would have a ton of stuff to write about. You need to be able to have a topic that you can post consistently about.
Once you have your niche picked it is time to decide where to host it. I personally use blogger because it is free. But you can also get a free word press blog which will allow you more freedom in the design and setup. If you are just starting out I would definitely recommend getting a free blog first. Then when you feel the need get your own domain.
Now you have to figure out how you are going to monetize. The first obvious option is Adsense. I would recommend not using the normal adds. Our eyes have been so accustomed to them that your conversion per page view will be very low and they will just take up space. What I would recommend is using the Adsense Referral program. This allows you to pick what ads show on your page, so that low paying useless ads will not show up. These ads allow you to target your audience and make the amount of people actually clicking on adds higher. For instance they have a whole section of ads only about sports. So if you have a sports related blog you can only use the ads in this section that have high pay rates. Another great way to monetize is through affiliate marketing. You can join an affiliate program such as Max Bounty or Never Blue Ads. They give you any different ads that you can promote and you get paid based on either someone buying a product, which has a much higher pay rate but lower amount of clicks or by someone signing up, which has a lower pay rate but more people click. You can find many ads like the Love Calculator that you see on Myspace and you get a certain amount of money for every person that puts in their cell phone number.
Then you need to start posting consistently at least every other day. (which *blush* I don't always do). Do posts about interesting aspects of your niche. Make people want to come back and read your blog again.
Now comes the best part getting people to your blog. First of all before anything else you need to submit your site to Google so that you get spidered by Google and you show up in search results. This may take a couple weeks. The way to find out if you are listed is to search for your domain (www.yourdomain.com) in Google. If no results show up you are not yet listed.
Once you have done that it is time to drive traffic to your blog. The most obvious way to do this is by commenting on other peoples blogs and trading links with them. many other bloggers would be happy to put your link in their Blogroll. Before you ask them it is best to place their link in your sidebar and say you are linking to them. Find blogs in your niche and comment on their posts. Make friends with other bloggers. Try to comment on every post. But have something useful to say in your comment.
Also submit your site to places like Technorati and Mybloglog. These places will get you back links which gives you a higher page rank and better placement in search results. Also to get your site better placement in search rankings use the same address every time you link. Both yourdomain.com and http://yourdomain.com and http://www.yourdomain.com will get you to your site. But pick one of them and only use that in your linking. This will make sure you have backlinks with the same link.
Once people come the key is having good content. If people come and like your comment they will come back and possibly tell their friends. This is the best way of getting traffic. So if you don't have good content you will not be successful.
OK so the steps were:
1. Pick your niche
2. Decide your blog host
4. Good content
5. Drive traffic to your site