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I’ve received a lot of questions lately about how to set up a blog and why writers and photographers should have one.

So, this week let’s switch gears to what you need to know about blogs and how you can get paid to have one…

The truth is, lots of people have blogs. But a traditional blog and a money-making blog are two different things.

Regular hobby blogs are approached idea first—“I want to blog about my travels,” someone might say. And then they start blogging about their trips… writing about anything and everything that comes to their mind about their topic. “Come with me to Mongolia,” they might write as their first article.

But a money-making blog begins a little differently, by taking a few key income-earning techniques into consideration. Your first 10 blog posts are carefully planned. And building relationships with brands and other bloggers is part of the equation.

You still get to write about anything you like. You just do it with some savvy strategy in place.

If you do it right, your blog can be a ticket to free travel. And even lead to a strong five- or six-figure income, too.

And that’s not going to change.

I saw an article recently in Bloomberg Businessweek comparing what U.S. and Chinese consumers are spending today on social shopping (that’s shopping done through social sites like blogs, YouTube, and Instagram instead of in malls, through catalogs, or on store websites or Amazon).

The numbers were astounding.

$16.94 billion (yes, billion) was spent on social shopping last year in the U.S.

Whereas in China, that number is already at $90 billion.

Companies know that blogs and social media are their strongest places to advertise, now. And as each generation gets more and more used to ordering things online and through smart phones and mobile devices, it’s going to keep growing bigger.

Which is why you need a blog and you need one now. Not to directly sell things through it. But to get your slice of that multi-billion-dollar advertising pie.

As long as customers continue to shop online and look for reviews before they purchase something, you’ll be in a prime position to make money from your blog.

Having a blog means you have options.

It means your blog can be nothing but a calling card for your writing or your photography. But it also means it can be a full-time income for you and a ticket to free and reduced-rate travel.

Tomorrow, I’m going to share an article from a fellow reader that came into my in-box the other day, and really blew me away. The power of a blog is incredible, and this baby boomer couple has used theirs to skip out on their corporate jobs and travel the world non-stop. 

Stay tuned for how they’re doing it…

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