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Blogging: A Start-Up Guide

Blogging is so easy that you probably do not need a start up guide, but for those who have blogaphobia, I am doing this.

1. By reading this you are half way there. This is a blog style post.

2. If you post, you are blogging to an extent.

3. If you take my advice and get a blog, you are a blogger.

4. If you sell anything, or create money trail, you are making money blogging.

Now that I've bored you with a list, you probably want something good. I'll give it to you. If you have never blogged, this little start-up guide is for you. If you have blogged, maybe you just need a refresher course.

Anyway, you probably want to know how to blog. You know what blogging is and you know you can make money with it. What you may not know is how you start.

Well, it's easy. Choose a provider. Make sure it's someone who has the up-to-the minute programming so you don't look ancient.

Create an account -Then, start writing! Alas, you are going to say "exactly HOW do I just pop into the blog and write?"

It's not some horrid thing where you have to have a book next to you figuring out designs and codes. For the most part, there are layouts you choose from and often you can even pick colors of fonts and such. It's like decorating a living room, only this is a living room about 12 million people could possibly visit. So make it look nice!

You don't have to have software usually or anything snazzy. You simply pick a design or layout and create a look or image based upon choices that you'll be prompted to make.

Is it an article, a column? What the heck IS a blog? As mentioned before, in another article -blogs are actually entries. It's like a diary or a journal. You simply write, but note - that whatever you do not want the world to see, do not write. After you write your entry, you will be asked to publish or post it. Once you do that you still can often, go in and edit or delete it. You will usually give your blog a title. You type your entry, which you may call "blog" or "Content" and away you go. You've just blogged.

Sometimes, you allow (or not allow) the public or a select bunch you've invited to make posts or comments to what you have written. This makes for fun if you do allow it but sometimes it can be downright harsh. There is usually no screening on posts unless you specifically in your template and choices make sure no one has potty mouth or gossip mouth. The way to do this is to be a moderator, or to even hire a moderator. This way, all posts first go to an email address (they have no idea) and you or someone with some degree of ethics and standards, will edit, delete or allow the post to go through. That personally is my advice; don't let downers, potty mouths or idiots post on your site unless you are really sure that you will attract only a top-notch crowd. Since blogs are often public places - think of the blog as a public bathroom. Only let the people in who flush and wash their hands. This is an especially nice feature also for control freaks.

Do I have to be youngish? Hip? Can I be a boomer or older than dirt? Anyone can blog. There is no set rule of thumb. It used to be hip kids, journalists and maybe a select other few who did it. Now, you have grandparents who blog and let their kids blog also - and grandkids. It's a great way to keep the family as a unit if you keep everyone together, you know?

Blogs are special. They are unique. They are really nothing more than a public diary or journal - where a web site is all about people going to the site and just staring at it, a blog is all about saying, "Come on in and sit a spell" - which is why you will find that blogs tend to be more upscale, than say, a chat room or chat board. Blogs are the welcome wagon of the internet. Chat rooms are like a seedy bar. Chat boards are like hospital waiting rooms where people sometimes share doom, gloom and gossip. But Blogs are really usually positive. Sure you will have that negative blog here and there - but a decent blog owner will beget decent posters for the most part.

It is a small world. So, when you visit a blog, or when you have a blog - expect people to comment online. It's a diary where people will actually say - "this is cool, and I want to be a part of your life and share this with you" and...they will! If you allow this in the template, you will have comments that agree, disagree or just share. You may have folks promoting themselves, or you may have cheerleaders supporting your blog. Either way, it's a great way to make friends and yes, make money if that's what you wish.

You need to realize that your blog could and very well may be found on the net during someone's search. For instance, if you have certain tag words in your blog, or it's just plain popular, a key word search could turn up your blog. It's the net, and it's public. Blog smart!

Blogging is for you, even if you think it isn't. You may think you are not a writer. So what? First of all, if it is a personal blog meant for only a few folks, and you don't care that you are not a thespian of the paper, then don't worry about it. Also, you don't have to be a super-duper writer at all. Even if you are a writing savant, you certainly at least have an opinion, correct? Voice it through blogging! You also probably have a passion such as gardening, cooking or fixing old cars...that a bajillion people also have, that you could talk to and share with. Again, you can make money. If you like gardening, you may want to think about selling seeds, or dried lavender from your garden, or renting ad space or a few thousand other ways to make money. Maybe an online course where you teach the power of planting? As long as you have passion and ideas, there will always be possible ways to make money that are fun and proactive.

Blogging is absolutely one of the most easy, fun, economical yet possibly financially rewarding hobbies you can start for yourself.
by Claire Brent

“Blogging: A Start-Up Guide”