Do you want to start a blog but don’t know where to start? If yes, I wrote this for you!
Remember, a blog is just a place where you post stuff about yourself or your interests or things that matter to you. For example, If you’re in the fitness business, your blog might be about health, fitness etc. If your into Lady Gaga, then, well, you know…
Your blog can be as simple as one page or hundreds (or thousands) of pages – it’s all up to you!
Blogs can be a very good way for people to get to know you, share information with others – and even make some money – so that’s why they are so popular.
There are several platforms (computer software programs) to help you blog. Let me briefly cover the basics of two of the most popular out there today: Blogger and WordPress. Both are 100% free!
Blogger- also called BlogSpot – is a product by Google. Basically, if you use Blogger, your blog is hosted (maintained) on Google’s servers. That’s good if you don’t have your own website or want to bother about having somebody host a site for you. Google does it all! If you have your own website you can have your web guru –or you if you know this stuff – put a link on your main website to your Google blog. That way, people visiting website and click over to your blog.
Blogger is pretty easy to set up and it has some neat functions which make it ideal for those who just want to get up and running with any fuss. All you have to do is sign up and start blogging! Google even lets you “monetize” your blog. That’s the fancy word for putting ads on your blog. When people click on an ad, you make a little money. Pretty cool huh! When you make $100 or more, Google sends you a check!
Here is a tip if you use Blogger. If you’re like me and write your blogs in a word processor like Microsoft Word, first copy the blog post to Notepad. Then copy that to blogger.
This is because word processors put a lot of invisible “stuff” to what you are writing. If you copy what you wrote right to Blogger from the word processor, all that stuff gets copied with it and when you go to publish the blog to the web, it may look like a mess.
To get a blog using Blogger, just click over to Blogger and sign up!
When I first heard about WordPress I was confused because I didn’t know that there are 2 different types of WordPress.
There is WordPress.com AND WordPress.org. What’s the difference?
Well, if you have a WordPress.com blog, your blog is hosted on WordPress servers (computers).
WordPress.com is very powerful and there are many ways to tweak it and bend it to your will. For example, you can change the “theme”. A theme is how the blog looks. Most themes are free but a few you can pay for if you like. For example, on my site, SupplementClarity.com I originally used a theme called Thesis which I paid for.
There are hundreds of blog themes in WordPress and 99% of them are free. Don't think the free themes are not good. They are very powerful and allow you do do a LOT. Before you buy a theme, experiment with several of the free themes first. You may find one you love!
The blog of Rebecca Rovay-Hazelton a fitness trainer and nutritionist in CA is another example of a WordPress blog. Here is the interview I did recently with Rebecca so you can learn more about who she is and what she does.
If you want a WordPress.com blog, go to WordPress.com and sign up. It’s free and takes about 1 minute to register. Then start blogging!
Some Things About WordPress.com
If your blog is using WordPress.com you can't use the WordPress plugins. Plugins are little programs that add extra features to WordPress. For example, on the blog your reading now, you may see a poll. The voter poll is an example of a plugin. The visitor counter on this site is also a plugin. You can only use plugins on wordpress.org (more about that below).
There are thousands of free plugins in WordPress (I do make a donation to people who make plugins that I especially like).
Another thing about wordpress.com is that you cannot place ads on your blog. That may be important if you wanted to use the ads to help compensate for your hard work and for the money you spend to have your website hosted.
WordPress.org this is also free but to use it, it needs to be downloaded onto your own website domain. Getting a website domain is pretty easy. All you need to do is think of a good domain name (website address) and register it. For example, SupplementClarity.com is the domain name of my supplement website.
Once you have a domain name registered, you (or your website “guru”) go to wordpress.org and download the WordPress software onto the website and you're done. Then you can tweak it, change its theme, add plugins and start blogging!
In the end, I think both blogger or WordPress are fine to use. Both are easy to use and give you TONS of tools. WordPress does offer more flexibility in what you can do, but that also means it can be a wee bit more confusing – especially for those just starting out.
Remember. It’s not that one is better than another. It’s what YOU like. Also Blogger and WordPress are not the only blogging systems out there. For me, my first blog was on Blogger. From there, I signed up to wordPress.com and then to WordPress.org.
Regardless, of what you use, a blog can be an excellent way to add extra pizzazz to your website and let people get to know you better.