Blogs means different things to different people: to journalists they are unofficial sources of information, to the ordinary Joe they are an Online diary or forum, to repressive governments they are subversive and a threat and to the Internet marketer they are a marketing tool!
Starting as humble “Web Logs” kept by Internet Geeks, blogs have moved fast to occupy center ground. A good example of what a professional quality blog can look like is Jim Edward’s blog http://www.igottatellyou.com/blog/
This is not a diary entry this is entertainment!
Jim Edwards is an experienced journalist and user of multi media. But Newbies can learn some great lessons from this site. The obvious thing is that Jim Edwards character jumps off the page! You can do this. You have a character too! You have interests, passions, obsessions even!
And why would Jim Edwards provide first class information and entertainment at no cost? Because you will keep going to his blog and you will learn about the books Jim has written. Maybe you would even buy one! Very nice “un-pushy” advertising.
The importance of Blogs to the Newbie will take a while to become clear. For now I just want to say that a blog is a website. You can enter whatever text you desire, pictures too! You can allow other people to contribute if you want (I’d recommend against that unless you review and moderate the content!)
For anyone who is nervous about building a website or about getting content for a Newsletter or eZine, having a blog is a perfect practise tool to build up confidence and material
How to get started
Internet Newbies who wish to start Blogging must first find Blogging software. The three main varieties of blog software are 1. Blogger, free and very easy technically 2. Wordpress, free ( and priceless as Wordpress fans remark ! ) 3. Typepad, monthly charge 4. Squarespace, monthly charge
We will use the free one – Blogger. which is very “Newbie friendly”
First visit Blogger http://www.blogger.com/home
You find yourself at what I call the front page of Blogger and what Blogger calls “The Dashboard”.
Now use the “Create a Blog” button. You are then asked for a Title or name for the blog and then a web name. The name should reflect the desired subject matter of your blog and the web name is probably going to be shorter and conform to the usual rules – no spaces etc.
Mostly people Blog either by going to http://www.blogger.com/home and entering their password and username clicking on New Post and just typing straight in or by downloading the Google Tool Bar with the little orange Blogger button. To get this, go to Google.com and click on the “more” link on the right. You will find the little orange Blogger button and can download it and install it.
You may have the Google Toolbar already. In Internet Explorer, click on View and then on Toolbars, if you see Google there tick it and use it, otherwise you need to download it. The exact details may depend on the version of Windows you have etc.
After opening an account at Blogger jot down a few notes, Remember this is a website, the whole world will be able to read it so don’t put anything in it that you might regret!
If you want to build a business on the Web Blogging is a good place to start. You get used to writing and when you click the little orange “Blogger” button your words will be “live on the internet”.
Before we end this “Newbie Guide To Blogging” lets just comment on Adsense.
When you sign up for a Blogger blog you will be able to add “Adsense” to the blog. This is a clever form of advertising and in principle can earn you money when a reader clicks on one of the Ads”. If you have a high traffic blog with thousand of visitors per month it is true that income from such advertising can be substantial – earning hundreds or even thousands of dollars. For the Newbie Adsense is just a distraction in my view and is not likely to earn a substantial income.
If you can use a blog and add to it regularly and build an archive of content you may soon be ready to think of putting a website together and that for most people is much more lucrative.