What is a Blog?
A Blog is a short form of the word Weblog which started as a personal diary for an individual to record their thoughts, articles, commentary of various topics. Today more than few 100 million blogs hosted on varied platforms like Wordpress, Technorati, Blogger.com, Blogspot.com, etc. Blogs are maintained generally by an individual or group og like minded individuals who are interested to register their thoughts or views about a particular topic. The topics may be anything under this world- political blogs, music blogg, art blogg, women bloggs, stock bloggs, food bloggs, etc. You just think of a topic or interest and you will find 100s of bloggs for it.
Why should I have a Blog?
Why not? There are many reasons and benefits to have your blog online. If you are maintaining a dairy you can use free blogging tools to start your own blog and even keep it personal so that no one else can view contents of your personal blog. But here are few more reasons to starting your blog online
- It's FREE, you can use internet blogging platforms like Wordpress.com or Blogger.com to start your first blogg.
- Spread your knowledge! If you are a job, then you already generate huge content for your blog. As a Mechanic, you can share your views on latest Cars or bikes with the world.
- Reach your customers: if your business already has website, you can also start a blog to keep in touch with your customers. Blogs can be used to build more content around your main website and can even attract visitors to your main website.
- Earn Money- this one is more funny, with blogs you can build a loyal base of visitors who are interested to read your interests and you can then monetise this traffic by displaying paid ads or promoting products as an affiliate. You can get a FREE report on 'How to earn Money from your Blog' from Yaro Starak.
- Interact with your readers: a common feature of your blog is it lets your readers add their comments to your 'posts'. This offers a two way channel unlike traditional websites.
Okay, here's the meat. There are many ways or platforms that offer you free account to start publishing articles on your Blogg. Here's the most prominent ones:
http://www.wordpress.com/ is one of the most popular blogging platforms. It comes in two variations, either you buy your own hosting space and copy the Wordpress source code. Or the fastest and easiest way is to signup for a free account which just takes about 2-3 minutes. Buying your own hosting space for your blog offers the uniqueness of having your blog under it's unique domain name. For e.g. http://www.rohitblog.com/ is my another blog which is hosted on it's own domain name and powered by Wordpress. Checkout Wordpress's free account features.
If you are interested to rent out a hosting space for your blog, you can look at this article for some good names in domain hosting business.
http://www.blogger.com/ is another popular choice for blogging. It's offered by Google and this blog which you are reading is hosted on the Blogger service. Believe me I own other two blogs on Blogger and it's really doesn't take more than 2-3 minutes to signup for your new account (all you need is existing gmail account) and more than 10-15 minutes to configure additional features. But you can write your first post straightaway after you signup. The best thing about blogger I like is it's feature for AddIns. Not that you can't add add-ins on Wordpress, but it's just so much easier- point and click- routine.
You can always Spice-Up your blog by customising the basic blog feature. I offer reviews of Add-Ins that I have tried ti work wonderful for my blog. You can check out those add-ins on my blog.