Don't Have a Blog Yet?
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I take this opportunity to share with you my knowledge and experiences in blogging.
Let's begin with the word blog. It's a combination of web+log. A blog is website in which articles are usually displayed in reverse chronological order i.e. the posts I write today will be near the top than the one I wrote last month. Some people also call it journals, online diary.
Also, I would like to clear the air the blogging is not only for techies like us. It is for all and you must have come across countless blogs during your own surfing.
Blogs of Amitabh Bachan, Aamir Khan are all too popular. A post by Aamir Khan invites more than 5000 comments. Now that's something.
Blogs are free and then there are paid versions also.
For most of us, free are more than good enough and the difference between the two only being in the domain name e.g. if I pay about 10$ per year, the name of my blog can be changed from smsin.blogspot.com to smsin.com, whenever I want. This is quite good for bloggers who feel that they their blog has grown and now could do with a personal name.
Now, allow me to do a quick walkthrough. There are many companies that provide blogging services. The top three sites are blogger.com, wordpress.com, typepad.com. Many Indian companies like bigadda.com and instablogs.com too are working hard and provide features.
I've tried most of them and my suggestion would be that whether you just want to get your feet wet or you have a full blown site in mind, choose wither of the top three, maybe blogger.com. One of the reasons is that it is under Google and it takes the responsibility for its uptime etc.
- Go to blogger.com
- Create a blog. In case you have a google account then good, otherwise create one...
- If you are a little confused then I suggest that you create a blog like yourname.blogspot.com and the first post could go something like Welcome!
Besides this core setup, I would share some sites to enhance your blog and then later, how to get your blog indexed in Google, MSN, Yahoo.
- Outbrain.com: easily add automatic star ratings below your posts.
- Feedburner.com: Pump up your basic feed with smart functionalities like automatic email the author buttons below posts.
- Snap.com: is helpful in retaining reader, as well as improving reader's experience on your site. It places a small icon after every external link and when hovered on it,. provides a small thumbnail preview of the site, enabling the user to decide whether to visit or stay on page.
- Adsense.Google.com: Perhaps the best tool for the passionate blogger. If you can write with somewhat authority on any topic, then you must try the Google Adsense.
Now, when all is said and done, don't forget to submit your site to Google, MSN etc. This will list your site in their index and with time, if your content is good enough :) your site may begin to list in the top 10 results...who knows
Open Google and type "add url google", and use the top result. Similarly for MSN and Yahoo. Yahoo may ask you for logging in. Well, if you have an id then good, otherwise you may create an id, your choice.
Towards the end of my discussion, I would like to elaborate on personal domains. Like I mentioned earlier, the average rent is Rs400/ per year, so it's quite very easy to decide, using registrars like hostindia.net.
A word of caution is that once you start using a domain, and search engines and your readers begin to relate to it, would be foolish to let go it. in case a domain is not renewed, after some months it goes into public pool and then anyone can rent it.
I must also clear that both the links would work like labnol.blogspot.com is equally effective as labnnol.org.
As effective as blogger.com and others, but less time consuming and less on features is microblogging. The popular microblogging sites are tumblr.com and twitter.com
In Tumblr.com, you can do everything the bigger ones provide, just that it's less loaded.
Twitter.com, is at the end of the scale and offers only text and that too 160 characters per post. It's forte lies in its SMS forwardness. You can receive updates from your friends twitter page on your mobile as sms and vice-versa.
Just a few words before I take up your doubts. Blogging thanks to the ease it permits, may fool you into posting stuff that you might not normally tell a stranger.
What I want to say is that just don't get too comfortable and be aware that what you publish can be read by anyone, all over the world, so it helps to be politically correct :) and yes in any case, put a disclaimer like "All opinions are of the Authors only, and do not represent the company etc" at the bottom of your page. Balance is the way to go!