What is a blog and why would you want to start your own?
Firstly, a blog is often a mixture of what is happening in a person’s own life and what is happening on the web. It is usually in the form ofÂ aÂ frequently updated, personal website featuring diary-type commentary and links to articles on other Web sites. Blogs range from the personal to the political, and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects,Â there are as many unique types of blogs as there are people.
Blogging is part of the general trend of putting everything on the web, regardless of whether we are talking about business, hobbies or personal stuff. It can just be a means of communicating with friends, with others who share your hobbies or interests, or it can be a business tool. Of course it can also be a combination of these things.
So perhaps instead of asking why you would want to have your own blog, ask instead if you want to, or have a need to communicate with others. The great advantage of social media is that you don’t need to know people personally to communicate with them and for this reason it is ideal for bringing interaction with others into the lives of folk who may otherwise feel isolated.
Is this you or somebody you know? Don’t think that it would be too hard to learn how to blog, because it is in fact quite simple and there are dozens of free videos and help pages to show you exactly what to do. There is no need to have fancy looking pages, but if that is what you would like, you could soon learn how to spice them up a bit.
Generally speaking blogs tend to have a few things in common:
- A main content area with articles listed from the lates backwards.
- Articles are usually organized into categories.
- There is an archive of older articles.
- There is a way for people to leave comments about the articles.
- A list of links to other related sites, sometimes called a “blogroll” is often included.
- There can also be one or more “feeds” like RSS, Atom or RDF files. (A Feedreader accesses other sites automatically looking for new content and then posts updates about that new content to another site).
Blogs can be stand-alone (self-hosted) or externally hosted. If you wish to host your own blog, you will be able to choose your own domain name, but you will be up for the cost of that domain name and your hosting at a minimum.
Externally hosted blogs are usually free but will often have limitations on what content and customisation you can have and perhaps also whether you can monetise it so if you want your blog to make some money, it is best to start out hosting your own. It is possible to change platforms later, but you would probably have to change the blog domain and that might lose you some readers. (For a more extensive discussion on the choice of blog platforms, go toÂ blogger.com
Some of the most popular free hosted blogs are listed below. All are very easy to set up and get you going quickly. Have a look at each one to see if it does what you want your blog to do, for example upload photos, videos, podcasts, run discussion boards etc.
thoughts.com (as distinct from wordpress.org which supplies the platform for self-hosting)
Problogger – Tips for Beginners
If you sign up to my blog this month you will get access to free ebooks about blogging (if you are already subscribed, you’ll be sent the link).
For more information, check outbecomeablogger.comProblogger – Tips for Beginners & becomeablogger.com for free video tutorials on how to create your own blog.
Blogging is an easy and economical way to share with family, friends and busuness associates alike. Make it fun!