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Looking To Start A Blog? How To Start Blogging For Free Today!

Updated on December 8, 2016

Ten years ago, the word blog would have brought about a quizzical look from nearly everyone, yet today we see it all the time. People are using a blog format to do many things these days, including making money pushing a product, making money from advertising, spreading their thoughts on a particular subject, sharing their written works, and even just to chronicle the growth of their family and/or children through a photo blog. There are many different ways to blog, many different platforms, and many different styles.

If you are planning to start a blog, but are overwhelmed by sites, terminology, and technology and are in need of some blogging tips, you are at the right place. One of the most difficult aspects of blogging is the fact that it is so new for most people. However, with a little bit of blogger help, blogging can be a simple and enjoyable addition to your life. Take a deep breath, reboot, and get ready to have the Blog world broken down.

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Ok, now that you can concentrate, below I have some blogging tips that spell out how to get started blogging, where to go, and what tips you need. You will also find some explanations of terminology, and some personal experience of mine that can help you save some time and aggravation when starting a blog. If there is anything I have learned while getting accustomed to the world of blogging, it is that if you are willing to research, learn, and work hard, a good blog can be accomplished!


Start Blogging: I Want To Start A Blog...But Where?

I'm sure you have done a search for Blogging already and have received results including blogging sites, blog reviewing sites, blog catalog sites, personal blogs, business blogs, and more. You're not sure exactly which sites you visit to start the blog and which of those sites is the best.

There are several different blog sites that will allow you to start, such as Blog.com, Blogger.com, and WordPress. Each of these sites will set up free web pages for you with user friendly software. On most of these sites you can add advertising or affiliate marketing (explained below) to help make you money. You can also begin with pages such as this one at Hubpages.com or a "Lens" at Squidoo. Hubpages is excellent at providing revenue for a small amount of writing and also can help you drive traffic to your other blogs or websites.

Some Bloggers go straight for the gold: they buy a .com name and purchase web hosting through GoDaddy or some other web hosting service. This may be a good move at some point, but I think it best to begin at a site such as Blogger or WordPress due to no cost and easy software that is included. If you begin a site and start making money and drawing thousands of visitors right away, you can always get a .com name and have your traffic redirected from your original site. An easy intermediate step is to buy the .com name and forward traffic from it to your free blog. That way you can wait to pay for hosting until your ad revenue can accommodate the extra cost.


Start Blogging: What Can I Blog About?

I will tell you, when I decided to begin my first blog, I had no idea what to write about. I could not figure out what I had interest in enough to write pages about. After researching blogs and successful bloggers, I found that it is less about putting opinions out into the blogosphere, although there is a market for that, and more about figuring out how you can help people or how you can carry on an active "conversation" with a group of people. If someone wants information, they tend to look for it. By that, I mean that if all you type about is your opinion on a subject, you had better build a following first. Noboby is searching the web right now for "what is John Doe's opinion on politics." They may, however, be looking for resources that can inform them about certain issues.

With all that said, you can blog about anything! If you just want to share information, rant, or provide blogging help for others, you can do that. But if you would like to make your blog profitable in any way, you have to gain a following, and to do that you must provide something they want or a place for them to be a part of a conversation.

You may desire to have a blog that is primarily for you and your family. Some parents have begun blogs dedicated to chronicling the growth of their children through photos. Others use a blog purely to discuss their daily life. If you would like to blog purely as an emotional outlet, that is perfectly fine! Just remember, there are plenty of people out there who would love to see or read your content, so if that is okay with you, make it available!

Start Blogging: SEO, RSS, Feed, Affiliate?? What Language Is This?

Some of the terminology gives me headaches still. Probably one of the best helps I found when starting to blog was the forum on the site where I blogged. Most bloggers are relatively helpful and one of the greatest blogging tips you can get is to simply ask. With that said, the most useful advice I can give is to be confident; don't get overwhelmed. There are 15 year olds that don't have a clue about life that blog and do very well. If they can do it, SO CAN YOU!

The easiest way I have found to deal with the terminology was to start my blog, get some content going, get a little traffic coming in, and between forum help and help from bloggers visiting my site, I can figure the extras out. You don't need to know what SEO is and how exactly the system works in order to get a good site up and running. It will however help you get more traffic, so as soon as you feel comfortable learning about it, dig in! Until then, starting a blog and growing accustomed to putting content on your blog is an excellent start.

As you grow accustomed to working within the platform you use to blog (Blogger, Wordpress, etc) you will want to change your template to a custom template (background/design of your blog) or add certain "widgets". Always remember to save your current template before making changes. Once it is saved, go wild! No matter what you do to your design you can always reload the saved template.

Start Blogging: How Can I Get More Traffic To My Blog?

How Many Blogs Do You Have?

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Primarily, I would say that the top three rules to getting more traffic are content, content, content. Most people start blogging, get a post or two on their site, then wonder why people aren't flocking to their blog. First, people are looking for content and if you only have a couple of posts they with think you are inexperienced, new, or perhaps gave up. Second, search engines are looking for content and tags to figure out who to send to you. If you have a 10th of the content as the next blog, expect less traffic.

After you have some good content and a professional looking page, register with blog catalogs such as Blogged or Digg. There are others as well, like Technorati. These registries will give you quality links and will help you show up in Google searches.

Now, the quickest way for a little traffic is to comment on other blogs. Give good, thoughtful comments. After doing so a few times, offer to put a link to them on your site and ask them to link to you as well. You may need to take some time and foster a friendship with a blogger before they will be willing to trade links. You can also offer to write as a guest blogger on other blogs that you actively contribute to via comments.

When you leave such comments on other blogs you will want to leave a link to your blog. Some bloggers expressly prohibit this, so be sure it is okay first. In many blog platforms you can leave a link which will be shown as the name you place above the link. Be sure to use some of your keywords or key phrases as the name. When your key phrase shows up as a link to your blog, Google will more highly see your website as something related to that key phrase, making your blog rank higher for that search phrase.

Start Blogging: Blog And HTML Terms To Know!

  • HTML - Hyper Text Markup Language, This is the language or format used to tell computers exactly what colors, fonts, etc to show on a webpage
  • RSS - Really Simple Syndication, a blog "feed" that makes your new posts instantly available to those who have subscribed to your blog or your RSS
  • Blogger - A website that offers free blogging space and assistance, also a term that means someone who blogs
  • Permalink - A permanent link to a blog post, usually from another blog
  • Post - An entry on a blog
  • Anchor - <a> The words seen that you can click on as a link
  • Keywords/Key phrase - Words or phrases that are commonly searched for on search engines (Google), Words or phrases placed strategically on a website to help it be found by search engines
  • SEO - Search Engine Optimization, strategies used to make your website more likely to be ranked higher by search engines
  • Meta Tag - These are pieces of information included in the html code that may not show up on the website, but provide bits of information to search engines for indexing purposes. These may be keywords, author names, etc.

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    • profile image

      Sadhana 4 years ago

      I looked at the first page of the wseibte here are my reactions.1. Puzzled what wealthy affiliate' was, and a bit suspicious it was get rich quick' junk. I think it needed some quality fact up front to convince me of its integrity and convince me to spend more time their.2. I thought you needed to entertain' more ie give me a source of pleasure such as an entertaining cartoon or quote, or question and answer interactive assessment, to draw me in.Hope this is helpfull feedback for you.

    • jdavis88 profile image
      Author

      jdavis88 5 years ago from Twitter @jdavis88hub

      Thanks for the comments everyone. True, CMHypno, finding time to write content is the hardest part.

    • mr-burns profile image

      mr-burns 6 years ago

      Excellent read. Some interesting stuff for starting a blog. Thanks

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 6 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Appreciate the information you've provided and the ease of reading it. So often this kind of material if full of information too technical for beginners such as myself.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 6 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Interesting info on starting to blog, the bit that I can never master is getting enough hours in the day to write the content!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Just want to thank you for such an informative hub on blogging. I've been looking for this kind of info, so I am thrilled to have found this. Vote up!

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

      Nice article. I would add that consistency is also something to shoot for when writing a blog. People start to look for what you will write about if you continually give them good content. Like you said - content, content, content.

    • jdavis88 profile image
      Author

      jdavis88 6 years ago from Twitter @jdavis88hub

      Thanks everyone for the great comments, and thanks for the hubnugget!

      WannaB, good luck with moving the blog! I am contemplating moving my own and purchasing a .com for it, probably will wait until my traffic is a little higher first. I actually have just started writing for a bigger blog, so I am not able to post to my own as often.

      Lyn, I like blogspot best to get started, it just seemed to be easier to manage than wordpress, but both seem user friendly. Wordpress seems to have more constrictions than blogspot though. I also keep a list of every idea I have for posts, no matter how silly or small. As different ideas start to flesh out, or when something current happens pertaining to one of the ideas, it makes it easier to write about. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Lyn 6 years ago

      Let me first say that this is an excellent article and I wish I had read it prior to starting my blog on Blogspot. Quick question: what is (in your opinion) the best blog site in terms of ease, graphically appealing, etc?

      One thing I struggle with is finding the time to write, it's all in my head but I can't get it typed? Content, content, and more content; guess I just needed to hear it again. Thanks for all the great advice.

      Respectfully, Lyn

      Www.adviceonoutdoorbistrotableandchairs.blogspot.com

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      The biggest mistake I made when I started blogging was not knowing you weren't supposed to ad affiliate links on blogs hosted by Wordpress.com. That was fine for the first two years because I didn't have any. When i started to add them a couple of weeks ago to get more color on my pages with no images, I was suspended. Fortunately, support looked into my appeal and saw that the main purpose of my blog was not affiliate links and reinstated me with the request to take the links out. I did, but I also have exported my blog file and will soon, I hope, have it moved to a my own host using Wordpress.org. I'm now in the process of learning the best way to do that. I'm finding some help here on HubPages.

    • Mash 99 profile image

      Muhammad Mashhood Qasmi 6 years ago

      letting other know the way of success is always appreciated. Many congratulations

    • parduc profile image

      parduc 6 years ago from Kos island, Greece

      Great hub, impeccably written, and extremely useful! Thanks a million! Voted up and follow you from here on.

      Liv

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 6 years ago

      Great Hub!!!!! Very informative. Thank you!

    • Shawn Scarborough profile image

      Shawn Scarborough 6 years ago from The Lone Star State

      This is a great hub. Congrats on your HubNugget nomination!

    • worldtravelexpert profile image

      Kirsty Stuart 6 years ago from London, UK

      Good advise for those of us that love to write and want others to read our content but don't know how to go about realising that! Thanks for the useful info.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      Thank you for the very useful advice. I wish I had read this when I first started.

    • profile image

      mama victor 6 years ago

      Thanks for good content l have been helped.

    • JulieBMack profile image

      JulieBMack 6 years ago from Colorado

      This is good advice - I have a website I just added to my online blog repertoire worth sending people to called MoreIncomeBlogging.com

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      Congratulations of your win. Blogging is an interesting topic and you covered the initial situations we all encountered. I enjoyed your hub.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Congratulations on your hubnuggets nomination. You break blogging down very well. Thanks for taking the time to write.

      Namaste.

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Great hub for blog beginners. I have a couple of blogs on blogger and one on ning. I have learned the hard way, but still have much to learn. Congratulations on your nomination.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Everything can be confusing the first time one tries blogging but eventually you get sort of get it! If it is your passion, don't give up and just keep on. :) Thanks for this helpful tips jdavis!

      Also, I am here to tell you that your hub is a Hubnuggets Nominee! Wow! So just follow this link and read and vote! http://bit.ly/hv3VHi

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Great tips! Brought back so many memories of all the stuff I had to go out and research and figure out trial and error when I first started out blogging on the net.

    • ladyjane1 profile image

      ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

      Great hub about blogging. Im not a big blogger but this breaks everything down nicely. Well done. Cheers.

    • jdavis88 profile image
      Author

      jdavis88 7 years ago from Twitter @jdavis88hub

      I am much further today than I was a week ago when I wrote this hub. The main trick is read every tip you can find and try most of it. It is mostly trial and error. Good luck.

    • profile image

      abeE1 7 years ago

      This was a pretty informative hub. I too am looking forward to creating a popular blog and it seems like you are a thousand steps ahead!

      Anyway, Great Article. Ill definitely follow you to greatness!

    • jdavis88 profile image
      Author

      jdavis88 7 years ago from Twitter @jdavis88hub

      Not a bit Wambrat! Thanks for the comment!

    • profile image

      wambrat 7 years ago

      I like your writing, jdavis. All your hubs seem very helpful so far. Mind if I tag along and follow you?

    • jdavis88 profile image
      Author

      jdavis88 7 years ago from Twitter @jdavis88hub

      I am new myself, it gets less confusing over time. Thanks for the comment!

    • canucknsg@yahoo.c profile image

      canucknsg@yahoo.c 7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for your comment on my post...as you may have been able to tell I am a newbee at this. I found this piece helpful and geared towards web-challenged folks such as myself. Thanks.

    • jdavis88 profile image
      Author

      jdavis88 7 years ago from Twitter @jdavis88hub

      I totally agree. That is probably the hardest thing for me. I get totally stuck and cant think of anything.

    • caninecrtitics profile image

      caninecrtitics 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Yes I agree I just need more comments. Thank you for yours. But you can sometimes drive your self nuts trying to come up with ideas.

    • jdavis88 profile image
      Author

      jdavis88 7 years ago from Twitter @jdavis88hub

      The great thing about hubs and blogs is that there is no limit of paper to write on. Keep going canine!

    • caninecrtitics profile image

      caninecrtitics 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great hub wish i would had read before i started

    • jdavis88 profile image
      Author

      jdavis88 7 years ago from Twitter @jdavis88hub

      Thanks!! Reading some of the other hubs has definitely helped my understanding of the blog world. Thanks for the comments!

    • bloggering profile image

      bloggering 7 years ago from Southern California

      As they say "Content is King!" Just keep writing good content and you'll do fine :-)

    • jdavis88 profile image
      Author

      jdavis88 7 years ago from Twitter @jdavis88hub

      Thanks for the comment. It definitely helps when you have people to learn with.

    • RunAbstract profile image

      RunAbstract 7 years ago from USA

      When I first started on HubPages, I was completely clueless. I'm still learning, and this was great advise!

      Thanks a million!

    • jdavis88 profile image
      Author

      jdavis88 7 years ago from Twitter @jdavis88hub

      Thanks Marie!! I appreciate all the help I can get!!

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      You have come to the right place to learn, jdavis88. If you want more info visit the learning center or send me any questions and I'll help where I can. Enjoy being a part of this great writing community. Cheers Marie, member of hubgreeters team.