So you want to blog? You’re not alone. According to Pew Internet 80,000 new blogs are created every day. There are many benefits to blogging.
Here are a few benefits of blogging:
- Blogs are informal and written in a conversational way. Web sites tell the formal story about your business. Web sites are normally not updated frequently. Changing a web site is too technical for the average person – so you need a web programmer to do add a web page to your site. Blogs are an easy way to add information online.
- Writing a blog entry or post is almost as easy as writing an email.
- Blogs are casual in tone. People get to know the stories of your life, your business, or things you are passionate about. Blogs are a way to establish credibility and trust. People get to see the real you.
- Google loves blogs. What do I mean? When you start a new web site it can take months before Google adds it to their index. However, I’ve seen blogs listed in as little as an hour after being created.
- Blogs give you a chance to use keywords that relate to your business. This helps you get ranked higher in search engines.
If you’re ready to blog you can start right now. Unlike regular web sites, the process is fast and easy. And most blogging software is free. Here are a few popular blogging platforms from easy to more advanced.
Blogger - http://www.blogger.com
Blogger is Google’s blog software and perhaps the easiest way to start blogging. You simply choose a name for your blog and get started. They have templates to choose from. How to set up a blog in Blogger video from YouTube
- Easy for beginners.
- Easy integration of Google ads – you make money when someone clicks on them.
- Instant credibility in the search engines when your URL has the Blogger name.
- You’re limited as you get more advanced.
- The domain name is long and hard to remember because it has blogspot in it. For example: www.newspapergrl.blogspot.com. www.newspapergrl.com it’s more professional and easier to remember.
- No categories to group blog posts by subject.
WordPress Hosted – http://www.wordpress.com
This is like Blogger, in that they are easy to set up. There are many templates to choose from and it comes with stats and other features built in.
- More features than Blogger.
- Fast and relatively easy.
- You have instant credibility in the search engines under the WordPress name.
- You can sort your posts by category.
- Your URL will have wordpress.com in it and you can’t change that.
- It’s more technical than Blogger. How to set up a wordpress blog.
WordPress.org – Downloaded Version
This is the blogging software of choice for serious bloggers. It’s more advanced. You will need to download all of the files and send them to your web host. Some web hosts have an easy install method that makes this easier for beginners. You can have multiple bloggers. You can password protect any post. Another feature is that you can change the code and customize the template, add advertising to the sidebar, and other things you can’t do in WordPress hosted blogs or Blogger.
There are programs you can download called plugins that extend the features of your WordPress blog. Some examples are adding advanced statistics or even a shopping cart. Favorite WordPress Plugins
Pro: Very extensible and customizable. You can add features called plugins. You can change the template any way you want.
Con: Advanced and much more technical. Not a good solution for beginners. You can start with another blogging service and migrate it to this version.
Here is a tool to combine a bunch of wordpress files into one zip file so you can install them at one time. http://wpzipper.com/
And then another dealing with this:
PR directories – Where to submit your press release and the page rank of each
After you start your blog, it’s time to start writing. Here is a great blog post about what to write in your blog:
This blog reviews business blogs and is a great way to learn: http://www.pajamamarket.com/