These days it seems as if nearly everybody has a blog. After all, blogging is a great medium for personal expression. People can start blogs to express their social and political beliefs; they can blog to share their creative and artistic talents with others; they may blog to share their personal journeys through any number of life's struggles and challenges. Blog topics can include, parenting, travel, business advice, exercise and weight loss, humor, entertainment, cooking, and more. The average blogger is perfectly content to write for his/her own fulfillment and the enjoyment of loyal followers. Then there are those who see a greater opportunity and wish to make money through professional blogging. Some of these entrepreneurial folks are already blogging. In many cases, they have developed a large collection of followers and a bit of notoriety. Then, at some point, they realize that people are interested in what they have to say, and that maybe they should leverage that interest and attention into a money making opportunity. Others might not be blogging at all, but they realize the potential to make money and are figuring out the best way to introduce a blog that will be profitable from the start.

I have a ton of followers. How can I begin turning a profit with my blog?

This may seem ridiculously simplistic, but the first thing to consider is simply asking. You already know that followers value your content. The next step is to let them know the amount of work you put into writing the blog, and to ask for their support. This is quite common. Bloggers frequently include a link to their pay pal or other account with a request for donations. This method may not bring in an extraordinary amount of money, but it may bring about a little bit of income. More importantly, it may help you gauge whether or not followers are willing to pay directly for content. Next, consider whether or not you have a niche blog. Basically, a niche blog focuses solely on a particular interest. That could be low carb cooking, fantasy football, skin and hair care products, restaurant reviews, living on a strict budget, or any other focused topic. If you believe that your blog fits into the niche category, begin searching out other bloggers who focus on the same or related topics. Also, seek out companies who specialize in goods and products that your followers might be interested in. Once you have identified these other bloggers and businesses, follow them. Friend request them on Facebook and like their posts. Comment on their blogs. Establish a relationship. Ask another blogger to serve as a guest blogger and offer to do the same for them. This might result in more followers. Ask a company owner to consider doing a giveaway in exchange for some positive words on your blog. This could eventually turn into an advertising deal that makes money for you and the company owner. Remember, the question may not be 'how to start a professional bog', but how to make any blog profitable.

I have never blogged before, but I have a talent for writing, and marketing. I want to learn how to make a professional blog that will be profitable as soon as possible.

Don't assume that because you've never blogged before that you cannot become a successful and profitable blogger quite quickly. If you have a skill or talent that you can write about, and you also have the ability to market yourself, you are on your way! The only difference is this; established bloggers have an audience, while you will need to draw customers in before you begin blogging. Try taking an inventory of your talents and credentials. Do friends and family members approach you because of your expertise in child care or computer repair? Are you the go-to person in your social circle when it comes to travel planning? Do you have a degree that establishes you as a credible source of advice and assistance? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you probably have many people who would be willing to follow your blog. These followers are likely to invite others to follow your blog also. The end result is a blog that garners a lot of attention, and that is popular among companies looking for advertising possibilities. And don’t forget social media. If you establish yourself on as many of these sites as possible, with a great profile and link to your blog, you may be surprised at the number of new visitors you get!

Finally, another option to consider is establishing a business or affiliate relationship with another company. If you are outgoing, think about becoming an independent sales representative and building a blog around that endeavor. For example, if you opt to sell and market cooking utensils, you might wish to build a blog focusing on the topic of culinary arts. Then, you can reference readers to the site where they can buy your products.

 Is adding a blog to my website a good idea?

Absolutely! Get a good platform (e.g., WordPress) and get professional help to set you up. If you can then post regularly (2-3 times a week) on topics related to your business, and your information comes from your expertise, then you can successfully gain a following through a number of strategies. Make certain that your content is excellent and valuable to readers; get a social media presence everywhere and link back to your blog; use a few keywords in each blog that are popular search terms for people looking for your products/services; invite other experts to write guest posts; allow your readers to comment and encourage discussions among your readers on your post topics. Over time, your blog will move up in search rankings, if you do things right!