Create a Blog

Category: Webmaster

Blogs, bloggers and blogging... they seem to be everywhere I look. I have lots to say, but I'm not a techie and have no idea how to start my own blog. Can you help?

A Blog by Any Other Name...

...would be a journal, a diary, a bulletin board, a column, a forum, or a log. The term "blog" is derived from "web log" and it all boils down to a web-based running commentary, usually by a single author, sometimes with comments by others. People blog about politics, technology, sports, media and religion. You'll find rants, raves, memoirs and movements. If folks are discussing it at the bar, bowling alley or beauty shop, someone is blogging about it. The popularity of software written specifically to publish a personal online journal has propelled blogging into a media force that must be reckoned with.

But for the every day computer user a blog can sound complicated. How do you start one up? Are there programs you need to buy? Can anyone change my blog? The threat of being bombarded with technical terms and frustrations requiring your own programming department stops many. But don’t let it. Take these easy steps and you'll be blogging before you know it.

Blog Hosting

Starting a blog can be easy. There are several websites where you can create a blog, maybe even for free, depending on your needs and goals. Blogger.com, Typepad and LiveJournal are just a few places that will help you design a personal soapbox and begin posting your thoughts.

For instance if you chose to write about purple poodles at blogger.com, then your blog's address might be purplepoodle.blogspot.com. From there, friends, fans and foes could read your latest blog entry while being allowed to post comments and send personal messages. Don't worry about people defacing your blog with spam or rude comments, since you have the ability to preview all comments and publish only the ones you approve.

Apple has just released iWeb, a basic website authoring program that offers drag & drop blogs, podcasts and pictures with canned templates. At $99 a year the price may be too steep for some bloggers. But the convenience of having a professional website at just a click of the mouse may catapult this program into popularity, much like iTunes and iMovie.

Serious Bloggin'

Another option is to personalize your blog by registering your own domain name (see my article Setting Up a Website) and redirecting the address to a blog hosting service. So your blog address could be www.purplepoodle.com instead of purplepoodle.blogspot.com. Hosting a blog under your own domain name marks you as a serious blogger and gives a more professional appearance.

If you have your own domain and hosting account, you can also choose to run professional blogging software on your own. Popular packages such as Moveable Type and WordPress give you the flexibility to tweak any aspect of your blog layout, add custom features, do search engine optimization and monetize your blog by incorporating contextual advertising.

Pictures, audio feeds and flash animation can all be uploaded using the tools that blogging software provides. With just a few clicks of the mouse and a bit of creativity, your blog can come to life. And be sure to tell the entire blogosphere about your blog by hooking up with Blogarama, BlogSearchEngine and the PingoMatic service.

But be careful... Some bloggers have made the mistake of writing too closely about work or personal topics. Remember this is a public journal that anyone can read, including your boss, your spouse, your mother, and that creepy guy down the block.

Do you have a blog? Share your tips on starting a running a successful blog by posting a comment here.

 
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Most recent comments on "Create a Blog"

Posted by:

Alex
28 Jan 2006

Here is some more places to host your blog: http://blo9s.com

http://textamerica.com

and http://wordpress.com


Posted by:

ken
30 Jan 2006

How does one effectively market a blog without resorting to advertising?

EDITOR'S NOTE: That depends... is your goal just to build readership, or do you want to monetize your work?


Posted by:

J
31 Jan 2006

What do you think about Xanga.com??


Posted by:

Dave
01 Feb 2006

I hope this is in line with your article. But how can one search for a blog? Will Google, Yahoo, or others find a blog?

EDITOR'S NOTE: In general, yes -- because a blog is just a bunch of web pages. But there are some search engines that specialize in finding JUST blogs. See http://www.blogsearchengine.com/


Posted by:

Bob Deloyd
02 Feb 2006

I have a few blogs out there. Seems to me like there are new "free" ones starting all the time and I like to check them out. Right now I have one at Opera thats really good, another at WordPress, and a few I forgotten about, but my main one which I started in 2001 is at http://www.bobdeloyd.blogspot.com/ that I have started to write my day to day stuff (helps me remember what I did yesterday, I'am getting old). I have a Blogger "Publish" button on my Microsoft Word that I click and it is as easy as that to post to my blog, also use Picasa to post pics. //bob


Posted by:

Drew
02 Feb 2006

Is there a way to create a blog for a limited audience, an invitation-only blog? With signup, etc? I know about Yahoo groups, and I'm not really looking to do a listserve kind of thing.

Thanks!

Drew


Posted by:

Ben
26 Nov 2006

Google's Blogger dot com Beta sucks! I signed up, enrolled, activated cookies, followed all the instructions to the letter, and when I clicked on "Blogger to create the blog, all it will do is keep refreshing the page. I tried it over and ober and over. Then it began to tell me I didn't have an account. So I tried signing up all over again with different information. Guess what? It then said I already had an account.

I checked with some friends who used to have pages with it, and they say they are having all kinds of problems. Pages disappearing, pictures won't load, people cannot access their blogs, etc. They need to fix this piece of crap!


Posted by:

barani
30 Apr 2007

i am new to perl and i want to create a blog using html can somebody help me out.

EDITOR'S NOTE: You're barking up the wrong trees. Check out Moveable Type or WordPress, for a turnkey solution that requires no programming knowledge.


Posted by:

Eric
13 Jun 2007

One place more: http://myblogpost.net


Posted by:

Dashrath Singh Rajpurohit
29 Jul 2007

I am Dashrath Singh Rajpurohit Villege Kunwarda(Jalore) ,this is very best blog among all blogs. In simple i tell Google's Blogger dot com Beta sucks! I signed up, enrolled, activated cookies, followed all the instructions to the letter, and when I clicked on "Blogger to create the blog, all it will do is keep refreshing the page. I tried it over and ober and over. Then it began to tell me I didn't have an account. So I tried signing up all over again with different information. Guess what? It then said I already had an account. I checked with some friends who used to have pages with it, and they say they are having all kinds of problems. Pages disappearing, pictures won't load, people cannot access their blogs, etc. They need to fix this piece of crap!


Posted by:

Ami
06 Jan 2008

Good post. I find using blogger is easy and ranks well with the search engines. Xanga is ok as well. Serious marketers tend to prefer wordpress because it allows a lot of flexibility via the numerous available plug ins.


Posted by:

Wendy
14 Apr 2008

Your blog and information is right on the money. Good work and I am not easily impressed. I have gone more in depth with mine. Have a Step by Step Tutorial on how to Blog. Let me know what you think -- http://wensonlinebusiness.wordpress.com/


Posted by:

wiwien
16 Apr 2008

Hi..i'm wiwien..i would like to create a blog like a boutique online blog, but i dont understand how? Please advise the step by step, many thanks.


Posted by:

tecna
27 Apr 2008

i want to have a blog

EDITOR'S NOTE: I want to have a pony.


Posted by:

Jellytots
02 Apr 2009

Blogger has got a lot better.

Head to thecutestblogontheblog.com to get cute templates, easy installation, no need to have your widgets removed!

I use it daily [ lifeasajellytot.blogspot.com ]

and it has been very good.


Posted by:

SweetyPie
26 May 2009

I luv this site!


Posted by:

craig
26 Apr 2010

I am creating an html site, and i want a forum/blog where people can talk back and forth directly on my site. can someone help me out and tell me how i can put that on my own website


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