Are you curious about blogging? Do you feel it's time you took the plunge and started a blog of your own? Here's a straightforward beginner's guide to the world of blogging.
What is a blog?
At a basic level, blogs are websites in which individuals can write about themselves, their thoughts, feelings, and concerns about any subject that interests them. For more details www.greatblogbox.com For example, a horse rider might have a blog about horse riding, and the contents of that blog would be all about how she learnt to ride, what equipment she uses, what her thoughts are about various aspects of riding, competing, or just enjoying her life with horses. Someone else might have a blog about traveling, and he might post updates on the new places he's seen, what he has experienced there, and what advice he offers fellow travelers. As you can imagine there is no limit to the types of blogs and thousands more are started each week.
Regardless of the design of a blog, most will contain the following elements:
* Posts - these are the updates added to the blog by the author or any contributor. They can be a few lines or a whole article of several hundred words.
* Comments - these are the responses and reactions from the blog readers to posts by the author
* Plug-ins - optional extras that a blog owner can add in order to add to the features on the blog. These might be a plug-in which allows the author to display pictures or adverts in the sidebar of the blog, or it might be something that increases the likelihood of the blog being found by search engines. There are thousands of plug-ins available and more are being devised all the time.
* Widgets - like plug-ins, widgets enhance the display or add to the functions on the site. For more details www.blog-link-generator.com For example, you might want to use the calendar widget so that a calendar appears in the margin of your blog and the days on that calendar are hyperlinked to the posts (updates) you added on that particular day.
* Blogroll - a list of links to other blogs that the author recommends
* Theme - each blog design is known as a theme. There are many hundreds freely available and there are commercially produced themes which anyone can buy. Some bloggers even go as far as having a theme tailor made to their specifications.
How do I get started?
If you are familiar with using the Internet and sending email then getting started in blogging should be very easy for you. You don't need to know how to build a web site and you won't need to learn any new skills. All you need to do is register for a free blog at one of the many sites that offer this service. For example, there's Wordpress, Blogger, or Technorati. Once you've registered at one of these sites you can start one or several blogs. As a beginner you'll probably want to start just the one for now so that you can learn the basics and get used to the various areas. Make good use of the FAQ pages and User Guides on any of these sites. They are generally clear and easy to understand and are there to help you.
Your First Blog
So you've registered and created your first blog - now what? Well, this is the fun part, or the difficult part depending on your point of view. The important thing is to adopt the habit of posting as frequently as possible. Add fresh content to your blog as often as you possibly can. This will probably be easy at first, especially if you have started a blog about your favourite pastime or hobby. You'll be enthusiastic and you'll have plenty to say so by all means add plenty of posts, but keep something back so that you can keep up the momentum of posting as the weeks pass by.
In my next article I will describe how to enhance the look and feel of your blog, how to interact with other bloggers, and how to make your blog more attractive to search engines so that people will find it. After all, you've decided to express yourself so you will need to know how to attract some blog readers!
Copyright 2009 Ben Lovegrove
Ben runs My Footwear; a blog site listing the best in men and women's footwear, designer shoes and boots, socks, tights, hosiery, stockings, belts and other accessories. Frequently updated with the latest offers from a variety of UK footwear and hosiery retailers
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