Someone asked me how to get started blogging. My first reaction: Do you really want to blog?
If you don’t like to write, if you don’t know what you would write about, if your days are already so full you can barely find time to catch your breath, blogging might not be for you. Then again, you might love the opportunity to write whatever pleases you and to engage with others.
The major differences between a blog and a website are that a blog is updated more frequently and your readers can comment on what you’ve written. Blog entries are usually displayed on the main blog page with the latest entries first. A blog can be incorporated into your website, or it can take the place of your website.
Getting started blogging is easy: go to one of the free blog hosting services and sign up. You’ll need a user name (WordPress, LiveJournal, Vox) or a name for your blog (Blogger), a working e-mail address, and a password. That’s it. Fill out the registration form, click the submit button, and you have a blog.
After you’ve registered, you’ll need to log in to configure your blog. Grab a cup of tea or whatever, because it will take a while to select a template and set your preferences. Public or private? Comments or no comments? How many blog entries per page? Who should I add to my blogroll (list of other blogs)? Should I even have a blogroll? And so on.
If you still have questions, these sites have some answers:
Free blog hosting services
Free blog software you can install on your website
Books about blogging*
- Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging
- ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income
*Which I have NOT read. Blogging Tips sounds like a very useful book for the new blogger, but if you’re the type of person who can wring more than $99,000 a year from your blog, I strongly suspect you’re already blogging.