Starting a Blog

Category: Webmaster

Blogging is a very popular hobby for many people, and a full-time occupation for others. Some people are dedicated bloggers who plug away every single day for months or years, and build an enthusiastic following. Others just post when they feel the urge, and treat their blog as a public journal. Whatever your reasons, you must be asking yourself, How do I start a blog? Here's the answer...

Make a Blog

How Can I Make a Blog?

The technical part of making a blog is incredibly easy these days, and can even be free of charge. Web sites that do nothing but host people's blogs are abundant: Blogger.com, Wordpress.com, and many other sites offer blogging software and blog templates for free. Typically, free blog hosting sites will place ads on your pages, and they also keep any revenue.

For non-commercial or hobby bloggers, a free blog site may be just the ticket. But you can also host a blog on your own website. This gives you complete control over the content and the advertising, if you wish to monetize your work with Google Adsense or some other type of online ads. Many hosting companies offer one-click installs of blogging software, which allows you to easily create your own blog using a web-based interface. See my related article Website Hosting for help choosing a web hosting company.

After setting up your blog, you're ready to start adding content. To make a blog post, as individual articles are called, all you have to do is log in to your blog account and click "new post" on the blog control panel. Up pops a blank title field and a larger one for whatever you wish to include in your post. That doesn't have to be just text.

Most blog software allows you to upload pictures, videos, and other non-text content, which you can include in your blog page. Others let you include web links to other people's content that you wish to use, or at least refer people to the original. You have to be careful about what you "appropriate" for your own blog post or you may be hearing from someone's copyright attorney.

Choose a Good Blog Theme

Once you have composed your blog post, the blog software on the server will format it according to the theme you have selected for your blog. A theme is a coherent set of fonts, background images, menu buttons, and other boilerplate stuff that define the look and feel of your site. Choosing the right sort of theme is important for increasing traffic.

The wrong background and text colors can drive visitors away from your blog. No matter how cool and "edgy" you think it is to be contrary, avoid putting white text on a black background. The only thing worse is grey on black. Violently clashing colors, such as red and purple, should be avoided too. They are hard on visitors' eyes and people won't stick around to read your blog, or return.

Themes have a variable number of columns. A single column spreads your text across the entire width of the screen, and users have to turn their heads to read each line; that's not good. To narrow the column width you have to reduce the screen resolution and then the text gets too small to read comfortably. A two-column theme puts navigation and function buttons (like a "follow me on Twitter" button) on one side of the screen; that leave the text or body column narrower and easier to read. A three-column theme gets rather busy with sidebar things; generally, it's the blog text that people want to read.

Do you have something to say about starting a blog? Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Starting a Blog"

Posted by:

ron
03 Aug 2010

how do i get this virus off my computer ?? its driving me crazzy ......ron


Posted by:

Rahul
04 Aug 2010

So I wrote a blog.... How do I get people to come to my blog and read it?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Some ideas: Create an RSS feed and use pingomatic.com to update search engines when your blog has been updated. Post comments in other blogs, and leave your URL. Offer to write guest posts for other bloggers, in return for a link to your site.


Posted by:

Ron
10 Aug 2010

Great article. I use nothing but the free WordPress self-hosted script on my websites and the Thesis theme. You can find other great articles and WordPress Blog setup video tutorials at http://www.digitaldrake.com/start-blogging/


Posted by:

Rejean
15 Sep 2010

An ironic quote by Chris Pirillo:
"What is a ""blog""? An Internet destination that can be set up in a minute and largely ignored for years at a time."


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