Blogging 101: How To Create Your Own Online Space
How to Start a Blog
Blogs have been around for several years now, and were a natural evolution from the regular static websites that preceded them. The name is actually a blend of two words — web and log — shortened simply into the word blog. Blogs are much more user-friendly to set up and operate than a traditional website. They have all the framework and templates in place so that all you need to worry about is the content. They come with several different theme options and most can be customized by either purchasing a premium theme or hiring a designer to tweak the design to your needs. Now, let’s look at how to start a blog.
Creating a Blog
There are dozens of blogging platforms available online that can show you how to make a blog, and most can be classified as either hosted or self-hosted. Hosted platforms are completely free with the hosting provided and a unique sub-domain URL so that you don’t even have to purchase your own domain unless you want to. One example of this is WordPress.com, which is a completely free service. However, hosted blogs do have some drawbacks; one of which is that they come with small amounts of storage, so you’ll need to keep photos small and host any rich media like audio or video files on other sites instead. You’ll also be limited with design choices and functionality, and may even have unwanted advertising or branding on your pages.
The other option is to self-host your blog; this will cost you more money up front because you’ll need to get your own domain and web hosting, but from there you’re completely free to do whatever you want. This is the path to choose if you’re serious about monetizing your blog — it will cost more up front, but this option can easily end up paying for itself and more. The leading self-hosted blog software by a mile comes from WordPress.org, which is a completely free and powerful content management system and blog wrapped up in one easy-to-install package. You can customize the blog design and the blog layout by switching themes, choosing different plug-ins and using different widgets to place in the sidebar.
When it first began, blogging was often like an online journal. Many people would write about whatever they felt like and the topics could include anything from the insightful to the mundane. Today, most commercially viable blogs center on a main topic and several related sub-topics. You can make money at home with a blog if you have performed the necessary keyword research and market analysis to ensure there is an audience for your topic. You’ll also need to choose a topic that you can write about at least several times a week, since most blogs are expected to have fresh daily supply of content.