Starting Your Own Blog

I was sitting in my local Internet Cafe yesterday, I like to get away from my ‘home office’ from time to time and it’s a great place to go for a cup of Espresso and to meet interesting people. The rather attractive lady sitting next to me was typing away furiously and, when she had finished, I asked her what she was writing – I’m interested in learning how other people use the Internet… some people call that being nosey!

It turns out she was a ‘Blogger’ and she was updating her web site through a web browser. She was really interested in vegetarian cookery and she was adding a new restaurant review to her blog.

If you spend any time at all online these days you simply can’t avoid reading something about blogs, they are becoming increasingly more popular; and they are a great way of building an online presence without the need for any technical knowledge. A blog is an abbreviation of the term ‘web log’ which is a relatively simple content management system.

Quite a few years ago, web surfers began collecting information and interesting links that they encountered during their online travels. As time passed they started to create logs of the information that they collected and they soon started to develop their own web logs. These web logs enabled them to update the information and links as often as they wished.

Blogs are more permanent than posts to an online forum or to a discussion list, they are much more dynamic than the traditional style home pages. They are also more personal than standard journaling, and definitely more public than diaries. A blog is often a mixture of what is happening in a person’s life and what is happening on the Web, a kind of hybrid diary site. So, there are as many unique types of blogs as there are people.

There are a few common characteristics of a blog, but there may be slight variations within the classification. Some blogs provide succinct descriptions of links within the chosen theme of the blog. Some others contain commentary and links to the news of the day. A few are endless stream of blurts about the writer’s day. Others are – political blogs, intellectual blogs, some are hilarious and some topic driven. They are all – Weblogs.

As mentioned earlier, blogs are posts that are short, informal and sometimes deeply personal no matter what the topic of discussion is. They can be characterized by their conversational tone.

If a person has a web presence but is disappointed with static homepage – if an elegant treatment of posts on a global platform is what they want, then ‘blogging’ provides an ideal platform. They may also consider blogging if they are seeking feedback from their chosen audience.

Weblogs are definitely the mavericks of the online world. Two of their greatest strengths are their ability to filter and disseminate information to a widely dispersed audience, and their position outside the mainstream of mass media.

There are many different options available to the new and seasoned blogger alike. Some blog scripts are available for you to install on your own domain and these require at least a basic understanding of FTP and HTML. There are many hosted blog services available some free and some paid. If you are serious about blogging then I would strongly recommend that you use the best system that you can afford and that meets your needs.

I personally have used the ‘Moveable Type’ stand-alone script and although quite complex to install, I found it very easy to use. My recommended choice of hosted blogging service would have to be the system that includes a wide variety of high quality features and has a built in two tier affiliate scheme that enables you to generate a recurring income from all your referrals!

John Taylor – © November 2004.

John is a prolific writer and is the author of several books including ‘Testing & Tracking’ ( John’s weblog provides insightful comments on all aspects of online marketing and is well worth a visit! For information on ‘How To Get Paid To Blog’ click here now to visit…

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