Most bloggers use amateur blogs as opposed to professionals, though I am not sure what a ‘professional’ blog is. If you are blogging for profit, whether as an amateur or professional, then you are best advised to run your blog from your own website. This involves downloading the blogging software to your web space.
This however is a personal opinion, and many people prefer the simplicity of operating their blog from a blog host such as Blogger, run from Blogspot, or WordPress from WordPress.com. There is little to do other than to register and make your posts. The only negative is a lack of individuality and formatting of the look of the blog and the tools that you can use on it.
The majority of people who use the internet for fun, as opposed to business, believe that they have few opportunities to make money from their blog. Their blog is to communicate with others, and to express their views online in a way that was not possible prior to around the turn of the millennium. Sure, blogs were in existence before then, but mainly in specialized applications, and it was sometime between 1998 and 2001 that blogging changed from personal diaries of internet ‘experts’ to what we now regard blogging as being.
However, anyone who has a blog (reminds me of a Cilla Black song) can use it to make money, or if that is against your ethos of using the internet for fun, then to ‘cover your expenses’ as our councillors, governors and other governmental individuals like to express it! As they do, you can cover your expenses very, very well if you utilize the monetization possibilities of blogs as they can be used.
To repeat, in order to do so to the maximum of your ability, you must run your blog from your own web host. Most amateur blogs are created using Blogger from the Blogspot site or WordPress from WordPress.com, but if you can run your blog from your own website, then you have a lot more flexibility in the content of your blog than otherwise.
In fact you get many more benefits other than the possibility of profit by uploading blogging software to your web space (I am now going to use the term ‘website’ for web space since that is more familiar to most people, though the terms mean different things). If your blogging software is to your own website rather than that that of a blog provider such as Blogger or WordPress, you have a lot more flexibility in how you want to format your blog, and in the features contained within it.
Let’s look at what you get if you upload WordPress, for example, to your own website. In order to do so you must have control over a MySQL database, that most good web hosts provide, and know how to use an ftp program. Otherwise it is plain sailing to upload the software. What you get is the ability to edit the CSS and HTML that determine the content and appearance of your blog posts, your sidebars, headers and footers. An immediate obvious benefit of this is the ability to add AdSense blocks that bring income to your blog.
Another is the possibility of adding links to any affiliate products you are promoting, and in fact links to anything you want your visitors to link to. These could include your websites or other blogs, in addition to adverts of various kinds. You can offer these in permanent pages, at the start or end of each individual post, or even within posts, though the most effective adverts and AdSense blocks are those included in the sidebars and footers of each post.
Another significant benefit that many bloggers find they get by downloading the software is that they can upload any of thousands of page templates for their blog that are totally editable. You can use Photoshop or a clone to edit the graphics, mainly the header, to customize it exactly for you, and can also edit the entire html to render the template unique to you. That is not possible with a blog hosted by the blog provider.
You can add any of thousands of widgets to your blog, another facility not open to you if you run a provider hosted blog. These widgets range from automatic SEO, through auto XML site-map generation to blog pinging and literally any feature you could wish for. It is the ideal medium to advertise your product or service, and make money while you sleep or when you are on vacation. Imagine waking up in the morning, checking your bank balance, and finding a lot more there than when you went to bed!
That is blogging for profit, and it is not difficult. Amateur blogs can be used for profit as well as the professional blogs. There is no distinction if you are hosting your own blog. You can make money 24/7 while you sleep, and your widgets can also include an opt-in form that builds up your email list from those that are interested in your product or niche, but not quite ready to purchase. Keep in touch with them while you sell to others.
That is one great benefit of blogging.