- Internet & the Web
How Do You Get a Blog?
How to Blog
"How do you get a blog?" This is one of my most asked questions when people find out I'm a blogger.
Have you heard about blogs or read blogs but have no idea how to start one for yourself? Don't worry, I'm going to help you out by giving you an easy beginners guide to blogging! Before you know it, you'll be a blogging expert.
What Is a Blog?
Blog [blawg, blog]: noun, verb
a Web site containing the writer's or group of writers' own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites. - dictionary.com
Basically, a blog is like an online diary or journal. Blogs are usually written by one person (however some blogs may use a number of writers collaborating together) and are generally updated pretty regularly. Generally, blogs are written on a particular topic or range of topics which the author is interested in.
Where Can I Blog?
When starting a blog for the first time, you have two options:
- Use a free blogging service
- Hosting your blog yourself
Blogging Using a Free Blogging Service
Free blogging services such as Blogspot and Wordpress host your blog for you. Blogs hosted in this way are simple to create and use, however, you don't get your own domain and you don't actually own the blog.
First you will need to choose a free blogging service to host your blog with. These include:
- MSN Spaces
- Yahoo 360
- AOL Journals
Blogger and Wordpress are the most commonly used blog services and are some of the easiest to use. First you need to create a relevant account and you're on your way to starting your new blog!
How to Create a Self Hosted Blog
Creating a self hosted blog means that you get your own domain. A domain name is the "www." name you see in you address bar - for example, HubPages domain is www.hubpages.com
While self hosting is not the route I would recommend to a new blogger, I will give you a quick outline of what happens. When setting up a self hosted blog, you will need to:
- Find a domain name
Choose a good name for your blog that suits what you will be blogging about or who you are. Examples include "The Sweetest Kitchen" - a baking blog, "Iron Chef Shellie" - a blog about a home cook and my own personal blog "Southern In-Law" which is a play on my relationship with my Southern fiance and our tale of long distance love. Be creative and choose a unique title that someone will remember.
Also be sure to avoid making any spelling mistakes or creating a title that is not easily read. Afterall, if you tell someone "Go to my blog a542litoa" are they ever going to remember what you said?
- Find a Web Host
When choosing a web host to host your blog, the easiest way is to look for one that offers instant installations for blogging and forum software. This makes it possible for someone with no experience to get content up fast.
Web hosts include sites such as "Dreamhost Hosting", "Go Daddy Blog Hosting", "1 and 1 Hosting" etc.
- Install Blog Software onto your Site
The easiest way for beginning blogger to install blog software is to use blogging software such as Wordpress which can be uploaded to your site.
How Do You Blog?
Writing a blog is the easy part as it's completely up to you as to what/how you want to write. Take a look at other blogs you like for ideas on how to write your own blog. Learn how to write a blog that people actually want to read and keep visitors coming back for more again and again.
When using blog software, all you need to do is:
- Click the "New Post Button"
- Write your blog post
- Press Publish
and your blog is ready to be read by the world!
What to Blog About?
There is a blog for virtually any topic you can think about. Some examples of these topics include:
- Healthy living
- Special dietary needs (such as gluten free, vegan, dairy free, low fat etc)
- Restaurant reviews
- Product reviews
There are many blog communities where bloggers of specific topics get together to share ideas, interests, experiences and develop relationships with others that have similar interests. Some people even do business with others with similar interests they have found through blogging.
Simple Steps to Starting Your Blog - An overview
- Choose your topic
Think about what you would like to write about on your blog. Do you want to keep it as an online journal or do you want to have a blog that people will want to read for posts on a regular topic. Check above for some ideas!
- Choose Your Title
Choose an interesting title that people will remember and that relates to what you're going to be blogging about
- Choose How You Are Going To Blog
As above, choose whether you are going to use a free blog hosting service or whether you are going to host your blog yourself.
- Set Up Your Blog
This will vary according to which route you choose. Take some time to make it look nice and user friendly.
Fill in the blanks of information such as your "About me" section, name, interests etc.
- Decide Whether Your Blog Will Be Public or Private?
Do you want others to see your blog, or do you want to keep it private? Change the privacy settings on your blog accordingly.
- Start Posting!
Click on the new post button and get started!
- Tell Your Friends!
Post a link to your blog on your Social Media Site or to your friends so that you get people reading your blog. Visit other peoples blogs and post comments so that they might take a look at yours as well!