I WAS in Dagupan City last Monday to give a talk on blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), Internet marketing and social networking. Most of the participants were students and entrepreneurs.

There were five testimonials as well from various SEO practitioners in Pangasinan, highlighting their accomplishment, revenues, and investments from their earnings.

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After the event, I received queries from students and entrepreneurs asking about the earning potential of blogging and SEO services. Among the questions were whether it was easy and what steps were needed. Here are suggestions that come to mind:

Build an identity. Instead of thinking about making money right away by just writing about popular topics, I suggest that one has to think seriously about building identity as this is a long-term strategy that can’t be ignored. This includes getting a domain name based on your name, creating your presence online by having a website, blog or profile managed in various social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Facebook.

Decide on how you will generate revenue. If you would like to earn by rendering consulting services, training and catering to local clients, building an identity is a must, as with networking with decision makers. Tap into your strength.

Look into what you are good at and develop relevant content or service that provides solutions to your target market.

If advertising will be your main source of income, write about popular topics while adding further value or information. Use keyword research tools like Google Insights (http://www.google.com/insights/search) to get an idea on what people look for based on topics that you are knowledgeable in.

By building relevant content that tackles those searched for info, you are increasing your chances in being found online.

Promote your work without necessarily selling. This includes sharing what you do, the articles you have written and projects you are working on. Your connections may spot an opportunity for collaboration and will get in touch with you.

Be competitive. You can’t just be a copycat. Decide right away that you will provide a unique value proposition on the service level, delivery or niche. Think long-term as well as this field is fierce. One must continuously invest in self and market development for long-term sustainability.

Download Janette’s presentation handouts at http://www.slideshare.net/janettetoral