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A sketchy intro to blogging

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*

*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.

About Sandra K. Williams

Sandra K. Williams loves books, both printed and digital. Since 1996 she has worked with authors and independent publishers, editing and designing books for print. Since 1999 she has built easy-to-use, accessible websites, and she uses her HTML and CSS skills to design reader-friendly e-books.

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