Are you a hip-hop artist, producer, entrepreneur or fan who wants to make money in the rap industry? Have you ever thought about starting a hip-hop blog? Believe it or not, hip-hop blogs are becoming more and more popular, and there are plenty of opportunities for hip-hop bloggers to make money online. If the idea of getting paid to share your thoughts and opinions about rap is music to your ears, here's how to get started.
Step 1 - Choose a Domain Name and Web Host A domain name is the website address that people will use to visit your blog. In general, you will want to choose a domain name that is easy to remember and gives people an idea of what type of content they will find on your site. Examples of things you may want to use as a domain name are:
Your stage name (if you are an artist)
Your company name (if you have an entertainment company or independent record label)
Your blog name
Catch phrases or descriptive names
Chances are, your first option for a domain name will already be taken, so be prepared with alternates.
Once you find an available domain you like, you will need to register it quickly to prevent someone else from using it. There is a small domain registration fee, but many web hosting services will waive the domain registration fee when you sign up for hosting.
Step 2 - Install WordPress WordPress is blogging software that has been used to power over 200 million websites. There are a number of reasons WordPress is so popular:
Affordability - WordPress is 100% free
Ease of Use - It does not require any computer or programming skills to install or use
Highly Customizable - There are thousands of free themes and plug-ins available for download
Supported - WordPress has one of the largest development communities of any open source software, so it's easy to find free technical support online
WordPress can usually be installed in less than five minutes through your web hosting control panel. Once installed, you can customize your blog by downloading the hip-hop theme of your choice and installing whichever plug-ins you want to use through your blog's dashboard.
Step 3 - Start Publishing Hip-Hop Related Content Once you set up your blog, you will be ready to start publishing content. In general, you will want to publish content of interest to hip-hop fans. This could include:
Hip-hop related news
Music, videos and images featuring rappers
Reviews of new rap music
Information about upcoming hip-hop events
Links to other hip-hop blogs
If you are a rapper or producer, you should have no problem creating content based on your own music. Similarly, if you are starting your own entertainment company or independent hip-hop record label, you can blog about the artists you're working with. If you are not in the music business at all, you can spend a couple of hours each day reading other hip-hop blogs and write a post each day about the hottest hip-hop topics. The key is to create as many good hip-hop related posts as you can each week.
The posts you publish on your blog will eventually be "crawled" and "indexed" by the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.). Once indexed, your blog will start showing up in search results for hip-hop related content. The more posts you publish and the better the quality of those posts, the better chance you have of people discovering your blog through search engines.
Step 4 - Monetize Your Blog There are lots of ways to make money as a hip-hop blogger. Here are some of the easiest ways:
Join an advertising network and earn money each time someone clicks on an advertisement on your site
Join an affiliate program and earn commissions by recommending products and services you use to your readers
Install a free e-commerce plug-in and sell your own CDs, digital downloads and hip-hop related merchandise
Sell ad space directly to artists and labels who want to promote their music through your site
Turn your blog into a membership site and charge people a fee for access to exclusive content
Charge a small fee for each CD you review on your blog
Charge people to post their rap videos on your blog
These are just some of the easy ways to make money as a hip-hop blogger. Experiment with each of these methods and see which methods earn you the most cash. Or, be creative and come up with something entirely new. As long as you keep coming up with content and getting traffic, the money will come.
Step 5 - Promote Your Blog Now that you have got your hip-hop blog up and running, you need to start promoting it. The more targeted web traffic you get, the more money you are likely to make. Therefore, it is important that your blog gets seen by as many hip-hop fans as possible. Here are some free ways to promote your hip-hop blog:
Add your website to as many hip-hop friendly website directories as you can
Become an active participant in hip-hop forums and conversations on other hip-hop blogs (be sure to include a link to your blog in your "signature")
Set up pages on social media sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, and link them to your blog
Talk to other bloggers about reviewing your site, swapping links and possibly writing guest posts
Write hip-hop related articles and submit them to article directories (like this one)
By following these quick, easy steps, you can start your own hip-hop blog and be on the road to rap profits in a matter of hours.
For more information on domains names and web hosting check out this review of top rated web hosting companies on Registering a Website.
O. Marshall is a hip-hop artist, entrepreneur, blogger and website developer. He is also co-founder of All-Pro Hip-Hop--the Underground Hip-Hop Blog where you can download free hip-hop themes [http://allprohiphop.com/blog/free-hip-hop-themes/for-wordpress/] for your WordPress blog.
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