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Money 4 Mom: Free Blogging

by Freebies4Mom on August 18, 2008 4:36 pm

How could I miss the biggest freebie in my life? Create your own website in the form of a blog at Blogger, a service of Google.

When I first had a desire to start my own website I felt intimidated because I did not know any computer programming languages and I was concerned that I would not be able to find free hosting. Then I found out about Blogger and now my dream of having my own website has become reality. Even better, my blog has become my part-time job so I am able to contribute to my family’s income while remaining a stay-at-home mom. Even if you have no desire to make money on your blog, I have to say that writing in the form of an online journal can be a tremendously empowering action to take. No matter what your topic, writing is a wonderful way to express yourself. Because you are writing online and other people are reading what you write, you begin to become part of a supportive community. Blogging has been a positive experience for me.

While Blogger is not perfect, it does remain a way to create your own website (or several) for free in the form of a blog, which is like an online journal. You can also place paying advertisements on your website and potentially earn money. You can create a blog about any topic you want, and create new posts as frequently or infrequently as you want to. One benefit that I’ve seen from using Blogger is that because it’s a Google service I get preferential treatment on the Google search engine and have seen some new readers visit me this way. For those interested in getting started blogging, I encourage you to choose a topic that you are passionate about, or simply blog about your life.

There are other ways to set-up a blog for free, using WordPress.com and Livejournal.com. I don’t have any experience using these, but wanted to at least give the links for you to check out for yourself. Update: It’s my understanding that neither WordPress or Livejournal provide free blog hosting and allow you to montize that blog. With WordPress you have an option for paid hosting which allows you to monetize. So Blogger remains unique in providing free hosting and allows you to make money from your blog.

Please visit my first Money 4 Mom: Penny by Penny post again because I just answered lots of questions in the comments. Feel free to ask any question by posting a comment here, I’ll try to answer it briefly and I may go more in-depth in future posts in this series.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

NeedANap2 August 18, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Burning question – (I’ve asked it before but never have seen an answer, please forgive me if I just missed seeing your answer) How do you get a free product or money off when the price is wrong at Wal-Mart?? The most I’ve had them do is change the price of the product to the price quoted on the shelf. I’ve seen others talk about getting the product for free or $3 off but I’ve never been gutsy enough to actually *demand* it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I did directly ask a customer service cashier (I returned the product b/c it wasn’t the price on the shelf), but she ducked the question – never saying what the policy was. Thanks!Thank you for your blog and all of your hard work. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Heather August 18, 2008 at 9:21 pm

I do not know the answer, but I will ask it on Wednesday to see what other people have experienced.

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Jessy August 18, 2008 at 9:25 pm

I’m just starting a blog, so I have no idea what I’m doing… How do you get the ads on the side? I really want to pick who gets to put ads there. Can I do that? I’m using the site you have in this post. (blogger)

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Heather August 18, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Ad opportunities increase as your blog grows. When you’re just starting out you will find your opportunities limited, but you’ve got to start somewhere! I started with Google AdSense, and I still use these ads in text and graphic form. See the text ads below my top 2 posts? Text ads are the easiest way to start, the problem is you don’t have a lot of control over what is shown, but you can block ads you don’t like.

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Jessy August 18, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Do they just offer them? Or is there something I have to do to get them there? Right now I don’t see any, and I don’t see anything that tells me how to get them there. lol Sorry… Told you I was new to this.

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Heather August 18, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Jessy – If you see Google ads on another site that you like, you also have the option to only display those ads you approve by entering the URL, this gives you total control. But you’ve got to keep an eye out for new ads on other blogs that you might want to show on your blog.So, that’s my somewhat shot answer. I think Google Adsense is the easiest way to get started. You’ve got to grow a bit before you can apply for other ads.

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Heather August 18, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Jessy – You do need to apply to have ads on your site and once your application is accepted you need to copy and paste the ad code into your template so that ads can be displayed. Any other questions, just ask! I’ll try to give some short answers, and other bloggers may pipe-in as well. BlogCoach.org is also an excellent place to visit for help.

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StayAtHomeMama August 18, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Thanks. I doubt this will ever be a part-time job, but it’ll be fun to have a place to vent, give advice, and keep people updated. ๐Ÿ™‚ I really love your site, btw. You’ve been more help than you can imagine! Although with all the cloth diapers I’ve bought since CD week might make my husband think otherwise… lol

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Anonymous August 18, 2008 at 9:41 pm

not sure about this… but everytime I click on a offer — seems I have to go through a ton of ad’s and not so fun redundancy… is this stuff real? Example Rachel Ray giveaway?! I have to say I was excited!

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Heather August 18, 2008 at 9:50 pm

Rachel Ray giveaway? Did you see the ad on my blog or another one? Well, you have to use your own judgment when you click on an ad if it’s something you want to pursue. Some ads take you to websites that want you to complete a qualifying offer – stay away from these! Other sites are wonderful resources, but the way they are set-up you have to click thru and say “No”, “No”, etc. because these are the ads that keep these sites running. In other words, in order to provide the resources for free on some websites, you have to endure some click-thru ads. Just say no, and be patient!I do not approve each and every ad that is shown on my site because I belong to the BlogHer Ad Network and Google AdSense. I am able to block ads if I see one that I really do not like. For the most part I think the ads that appear are good resources. But again, you just have to use your own judgment when clicking on an ad to decide if you like the website it sends you to. Do your research before giving out any information to enter a sweeps or sign-up for anything. Look for the privacy policy.

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Trixie August 19, 2008 at 4:29 am

Hello,I think I can help with the free product thing. I’ve gotten free products before.I live in Michigan, one of 3 states with an ‘scanned item prici law. Basically this law penalizes a store for charging more than what the product is marked.An example: Say you buy a package of cheese marked $5 and the store charges you $5.50. Take the cheese and the receipt to Cust. Serv. and they will give you back the amount of the difference (.50) AND 10 TIMES that difference up to $5.00 In this example you walk away with $5 of the stores money because they didn’t make sure their prices on the product matched the scanned prices. And, there’s your free product! I’ve gotten so many free products and cash back over the years due to store errors. Take Care,Trixie

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Frugal Fairy August 19, 2008 at 11:12 am

Hello….I wanted to say thank you for the great information. I just started a blog last week but have only posted twice. I’m at a complete loss for what I am supposed to be doing. But you have helped me tremendously!!!Nicole

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topaztook August 19, 2008 at 3:13 pm

Heather, I know that livejournal is not one of the biggies in the blogging world, so I just wanted to add a couple of things in the comments: The ads that appear on LiveJournal blogs are not monetization opportunities for the blogger — at least not directly; they support LiveJournal, which keeps (some of) their accounts free for the user. You can either have a Plus account, supported by advertising, or a Paid (under $2/month) or Permanent (which is also paid; I forget how much) account, neither of which display advertising. (There used to be a basic account, which had a lot less features, but you can’t start a new basic account anymore.)I think the ads are served by AdSense, or something similar — I can tell that they pick up key words from blog posts in an attempt to show something relevant. (The ones on my blog try to sell a lot of topaz gemstone jewelry. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) You’re also supposed to pick from a few categories of ads that you would prefer to appear — they are, however, promising better ability for “lj” users to have a bit more control over types of ads soon — I, for instance, was not happy to see ads on my blog a while ago for political candidates, especially when I didn’t support them. LiveJournal is pretty easy to use — although, not having used blogger, I’m not sure if it’s easi-*er* — and allows you to set up “friends groups” and filter your posts: you can show them only to people on your friends list, to the public at large, or just to yourself (helpful for me when writing drafts). But you’re unlikely to make money from it.

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Heather August 19, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Toaztook – Thanks so much for the info on LiveJournal. I will update my post to reflect that neither LiveJournal or Wordpress allow you to monetize your blog. That means Blogger really is unique in allowing you to create a blog and make money from it without ever paying a hosting fee.

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Lady Magick March 25, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Today.com is site where you can blog for free but you also get paid $2 for every 1000 visitors. Here is more info on it and how to sign up: http://www.today.com/ctr.cgi?idx_mem=15497&mode;=vipHere is an example of a today.com blog: http://www.oregonfun.today.com

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