This is for all those people out there who think having an on-line presence involves either a lot of knowledge or a lot of money. With the advent of blogging people can get their toes wet in a very small way (or a large way if they want to) without a lot of heave-ho involved.
I use Blogger. Blogger is a platform for blogging. That means they provide the space, the software and the assistance you need to get a nice blog going. At no cost. That’s right. It doesn’t cost anything.
Go to http://www.blogger.com/ and sign up. In the early part of the signing up process you will be picking a name for your blog. It’s going to be something like http://thepsychicvents.blogspot.com/ or http://where-i-read-books.blogspot.com/ or something like that. They will check to make sure nobody else has used that particular name, but you’ve got lots of lea way. Later on when you’ve decided that you love doing this you could shell out the money to buy your own domain name. There are deals around. Basically, you need to buy the name and the space to park your website on the Internet. So, two costs involved there. I’d wait to see if what you’re doing is fun enough to warrant the expense.
You will have the opportunity to pick out one of the Blogger templates that you can use for your blog. The Blogger people are using now is called the New Blogger as opposed to the Old Blogger. New Blogger is getting more and more dummy proof. The Old Blogger was a bit harder to use as far as your page elements (extra bells and whistles for your page) but it was also infinitely more adaptable to custom made templates. As time goes by more and more people are building templates for us to use with New Blogger. But, there is also a way once you are advanced that you can get under the hood with New Blogger and tinker with the html stuff. Until then, just use the page elements, which are cool and easy to use.
So, what are the page elements? Well, for one thing you can determine where you want these different sections of your page to show up. If you’d like your profile first you can do that. Or not. You can determine how you want your archives to show up, like a drop down menu that doesn’t take much room or as a list. You can determine if you want your archives to display on a monthly basis or a weekly basis. You can get some Google Adsense ads going and maybe make a little bit of money if people click on the ads. You can add pictures and lists of links you recommend. There are all sorts of things to add interest to your site.
But, the main reason to have a blog is to have a place to express yourself. That means writing. What to write about? Well, the focus of your blog might determine that real quick. If the name of your blog is motorcars then that’s what you’ll be focusing on. Or, you might like to just have a place to write about personal stuff. I’ve seen folks blabbing on about others using their real names and I’ve seen them talk about folks and assigning them Internet names. Like my husband, DeeDude. I was a little uncomfortable using his real name, so he morphed into DeeDude. And, me? I’m Lady Skye Fyre. How’d I come up with that name? Several years back I was trying to think what sort of Internet name I could have. I even meditated to find the name and that’s when it came to me. Just like that. So, that’s what it is. And, where did it come from? I used the stone moldavite as an aid to contact my Spirit Guide. It’s an outer space stone, a meteorite that fell to earth burning through the atmosphere to end up as pieces of green glass in the potato fields of Czechoslovakia.
When you write your entries you can write them directly into the Blogger program or you can start them using your own computer’s word processing program and do a cut and paste once you are finished with the entry. I use my Word program just because I’m more comfortable using it to write. Be sure that you use the spell checker. And, once you’ve posted read it because you may see something you’d like to change. Typically, I’ll post an entry and then end up making a few changes so that in the end I will have re-posted that particular entry 2 or 3 more times.
Add some pictures. You upload the image from your computer and Blogger makes that process really easy to do. If you’ve got a digital camera have fun. I love to take pictures of the things I make us to eat. Also, our cats. Pictures are fun to have as part of your blog entries.
Then, you’ll want people to stop by and read your blog. Get listed in a bunch of blog directories. Look at other people’s blogs to see who they are using (little buttons you add on the page margins) and Google blog traffic sites. I use http://www.blogexplosion.com/ and http://www.blogmad.com/ Those are traffic exchange sites. For every blog you look at from the member’s collection of blogs your site is available for somebody else to look at. You determine what types of blogs you want to look at and spend at least 20 seconds reading their blog before you push the buttons to move onto the next blog. You will get lots of ideas of things you can do with your blog looking at other people’s blogs.
And, I think the last basic thing to do is to install a traffic counter. You can go the invisible route or have one displayed on your blog. What you will get are the statistics of how many people are visiting and where they came from. It’s pretty amazing to see that folks from Spain and Ireland and India have actually spent time reading your blog once you get that little bit of html installed. The traffic counter people will give you nice directions on how to install the snippet of code needed to start counting your visitors. I use http://www.statcounter.com/ Also free.
Once I got started I almost couldn't stop. Here are my sites:
http://www.talkingtospirit.com/ - Not a blog, but my website
http://www.thespiritmovedme.com/ - The Spirit Moved me and Look What Happened - a blog where I have my own domain name.
http://learntochannel.blogspot.com/ - A blog on aspects of learning to channel
http://www.thepsychicvents.blogspot.com/ - A blog for when I'm in a bad mood, but since I've been relatively happy lately where I talk about other things too.
http://where-i-bead.blogspot.com/ - A blog where I talk about my interests in beading
http://where-i-read-books.blogspot.com/ - A blog where I review books I read
http://thisisdefinitelyatest.blogspot.com/ - The blog where I test things out. I don't generally draw attention to this one. It is just for testing things.