Starting a Blog





A “blog”, abbreviated word for weblog, is a web-based journal in which people can publish their thoughts and opinions on the Internet. Anyone can start a blog. It’s straight-forward and, in a lot of cases, free.

Steps

  1. Find a decent blogging provider that appeals to you. Some may include MuseCrafters.com, Livejournal.com, JournalHome.com, Blogger WordPress.com , TheDiary.org, Mindsay.com, Blog.ir, Blogagotchi.com, Diaryland.com, Blogdrive.com, weebly.com or Xanga.com. Most of these sites are pre-made with templates and push-button publishing that don’t require much technical know-how.
  2. Once you sign up, you’ll have a gallery of ready-made templates to choose from. With these, you can pick a color scheme and layout for your blog.
    • Most sites come with a set of predefined layouts and schemes that you can choose from. Select one and personalize it. Then add your name, interests, images, etc.
    • If you want to, get a more unique template, there are some sites up that have many of these that might make it look better. For example, PimpMyProfile.com or Pyzam.com.
  3. Add blogging freebies like buttons, images, blog chalks, imoods, tagboards (for example, myshoutbox.com), guest maps, guestbooks, comment boxes for readers’ input, etc.
  4. Explore other blog sites that offer more features for a small fee
  5. Decide on whether or not you want your blog to be private or public: do you want any Internet visitor to be able to read your blog, or do you just want your friends and family to be able to read it? Most blog sites offer the ability to password-protect your published posts so only those who you approve of can view what you’ve written.
  6. After you’ve set up your blog, write a few posts to test it out, and make any adjustments to the layout or style that you see fit. Like if you just got a new template, you’d check your blog to see if you like it, right? At first, it will seem tough to figure out what to write, but once you get into a routine of daily blogging, you will find it addictive. Write about your day, your thoughts, events, ideas, fears, pleasures, the news, current affairs, art, or anything you are interested in!
  7. Visit other blogs to build a blogging circle. When you leave comments, add your blogging address so they can visit you too. (Note: This will not work if your blog is private)
  8. Publish your blog by sending the URL to your friends or publish the URL on your website. Add the URL to posts you make on other blogs. Done

Video




Tips

  • If you update your blog frequently, more people will return on a regular basis to read it. Establishing a reader base will motivate you to write more and in turn more people will read your posts.
  • Get into a routine of blogging. Make it part of your day. Soon, you will notice things during your day and think, “Hey, I’ll blog this.”
  • Personalize your blog. A pretty blog always catches the eye. Visit blogger.com for ideas; they have a list of their 10 most recently updated blogs.
  • You could Google for “blog California” or “blog Shakespeareans” (or anything else), depending on location, interests, etc. For instance, if you have a blog on lawns, you may want visit allaboutlawns.com’s forum and other similar type blogs. Circles of interest are the essence of blogging, and it can start to develop you as an authority in the “blog-o-sphere” on lawns or whatever area of interest you choose.
  • Keep the posts interesting. Try to avoid focusing on things that most readers won’t find worthwhile (such as “I went to the mall today and saw Kelly.”) Write about things you noticed, thoughts you had, and feelings or ideas. Blog about a recent trip to Spain. Write about the chemical explosion during class.
  • Spell check your writing before posting.
  • Some sites allow you to make money off your blog by using an Amazon Associates ID or by placing Google AdSense advertisements. If popular enough, your blog could start to pay your bills.
  • Don’t feel bogged down if no one visits your site for the first few months. As with communities this large, it will take some time for your blog to get noticed.
  • Find blog aggregators. They will place a link to your site on their webpage and/or have a feed running from your blog so that every time you post something, it will show up on the blog aggregator homepage. Also, this can help increase readership.
  • If you want a broad (international) readership, do not use too many abbreviations or slang terms that might not be easily understood by people who are not from your country/area.
  • Get interesting news from Yahoo Oddly Enough…, other Yahoo! stories, Crayon.net and other websites that you frequently read.
  • Blog on a specific subject. You can’t please everyone, so target a specific audience and go with it.
  • Pictures are also a great idea.

Warnings

  • Avoid posting anything on your blog that might be personal to other people if just anyone can read your blog (example: Your uncle might object that it’s published on the Internet that he is an alcoholic). If something is personal, avoid using last names at the very least, or make up a name for that person. Be wary of unwarranted attention. Blogs are for the world to read. If you want a private blog just for friends, use Xanga or any other password-protected blogging site.
  • Xanga and MySpace are good for beginners, but for more public blogs, sites like Typepad and Blogger are much more “respected”.
  • Be wary of unwarranted attention. Blog stalking is possible; don’t give out too much personal information such as name, location, school, etc.
  • Be prepared for some nasty comments and/or e-mails if you are blogging about “touchy” items, such as bad leadership in a school system, rumors about an official or local government. As long as the messages do not threaten bodily harm, you should be safe.
  • Always back up your commentary with reliable sources, and keep the sources varied (i.e. wikipedia isn’t a good source and don’t just quote from one newspaper).
  • Read the small print. If you don’t, your blog’s content may be “owned” by the company that puts it on the web for you.
  • Don’t make your blogs like MySpace bulletins (adding random posts to suck in friends) and don’t include your friend’s name or websites in them either

Things You’ll Need

  • A computer
  • A site to start your blog on
  • Some content for your blog
  • Willingness to keep up your blog






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