Before you start to write a blog, you should seriously consider the topic you're going to cover on it. Lots of different blogs offer information on the technical aspects of blogging as a business: these are mostly people from the IT and advertising worlds who are very good at understanding concepts like SEO, Search Engine Optimization, keywords, traffic, and ad revenue.
These blogs– which can be found by a simple search engine that will provide you with more how-to articles than you can ever read in a lifetime– are geared towards the business-minded individually who will see blogging, first and foremost, as a business. This has been my essential problem when looking for advice on how to start a blog for profit: On the one hand, I've enjoyed dozens of blogs over the last decade that both engaged me as a reader and reportedly have made a significant income for their creators.
The thing that drew me into blogs like dooce.com, Daily Dish, DailyKos, or Awesome Zara had nothing to do with my perception of their business models, and that's one of the trickiest parts of starting such a successful blog. The interest I had in any of these blogs was their engaging content. Dooce.com, for instance, was started by a graphic designer who was frustrated with her job working for a PR firm in Utah. She set up the blog essentially as a way to vent her frustrations about her job, and gained such a following that her boss fired her for it.
Within a year, Armstrong was able to leverage revenue created on her blog– where she chronicled her struggles with depression over losing her job, coupled with the stress of being a new mother– into covering the costs of the mortgage she and her husband had previously been paying through each of their jobs. While it's true that Armstrong had knowledge of the tricks and blips to keep her site going without having to invest in it herself, what drew me and countless others into her friendship was her ability to tell storie4s about her life that kept us wanting to read more . Daily Kos' unique community of people, while they seem to share a certain political perspective that gained massive popularity during the end of the Bush years, has much the same draw: at the root of it, the writing on both of these sites is what increases their traffic and keeps me as a loyal reader.
Both of these sites are centered around strong, unique content. In Armstrong's case, she found a passion in juggling the duties of being a mother and being a businesswoman with a flair that practiced on among the circles of women who found reflections of themselves in her story, which she told with such a dizzyingly honest and abrasive tone that she kept the conversation entertained and concerned about her. In the case of Daily Kos, the writers there all had significant and topical things to say about the way the bush administration was running our country into the ground, they spotted their viewpoints through networking, and have since become one of the go-to sources of political blogging on the web.
They key to these blogs' successes was primarily a matter of the passion with which their contributors told their stories and expressed their viewpoints. So while, yes, technical notions of how to optimize on popular themes and incorporate them into your blog are important, the first step to starting a blog for profit is finding something about which you're passionate about you think others can be passionate about, too.