You are a recently laid-off journalist/lawyer/doctor – whatever…it’s an unstable economy, but you’ve heard that people are making money by blogging about what they know best. You’re smart. You’ve got time. How about building a blog that showcases all the knowledge you’ve amassed over your stellar career? Here are 7 steps to get you started:

Write your bio/memoir.

1. This will help you figure out your “niches,” as well as make the best use of your Rolodex of reputable sources. If you were a court reporter for 10 years, you could create a blog that fictionalizes some of the articles you wrote for your newspaper or magazine. “But I didn’t know I could write fiction in a blog!” Why not? Get your head out of that box and start using that big brain of yours.

Come up with a name for your blog.

2. “But all the good domain names are already taken!”

Whine, whine, whine. This may have worked when you were working for someone else, but now you are an entrepreneur and it’s time to start seeing opportunity rather than doom and gloom.

If your name was well-known in your industry, perhaps the name of your blog will be YourName.com.

Or maybe you want to be more creative. Just like there are defunct, empty strip malls throughout the U.S., there are tons of defunct, available domain names that never got a chance to be developed: THISLITTLEPIGGYSHOES.COM, FOXYGIRLSHOES.COM, EATMYSHOES.COM are all available, and are just waiting for your little creative mind to add content to their otherwise pointless existences.

Get a Hosting Account

Can’t be bothered to DIY?
Hire Hostwire.com’s sister design company 4fx.com.

3. Now that you’ve come up with a domain name that is catchy and will get the attention of a Googlebot, it’s time to register the name and get a year-long web hosting account with Hostwire.com. Why Hostwire.com? Have you seen our prices?

Get a Design

4. After getting your Hostwire account, you can install WordPress with a theme that suits your niche/personality, and includes banner ads that will make you a few cents per click/impression. Could you do this yourself? Yes. Stay tuned this week for a blog post that will give you step-by-step instructions (with screenshots too!).

Create a Publishing Schedule

5. You need to decide how often you will update your blog. Perhaps you will post when you feel like it or when inspiration strikes. This may be OK in the beginning, but if you expect consistent traffic and a steady revenue stream, your blogging should be consistent and steady as well. Updating 2-3 times a week should suffice, and then you can work yourself up to one post per day. It’s kind of like exercising. If you want results, you’ve got to train. You may also want to jot down a list of topics you plan to cover each week. It’s much easier to determine if you follow the calendar cycle of seasons and holidays. For example, when it’s close to Labor Day, write about that holiday in the context of your subject.

Get business cards printed with your blog address.

6. Hire 4fx.com to design your business cards and then get them printed with our holistic printing friend, Carey Stokes, who has been sourcing printers for clients for 12 years.

Get Paid

7. Sign up for affiliate programs that will help you make money as you build traffic to your site – Amazon.com, Hostwire.com, SeedsofChange.com, Linkshare…there are a bunch, just do a Google search for the specific product you would like to sell.

There are lots more things you could do, but these 7 steps will get you started.