Blogs are one of the most popular features of the internet. They can be used as a convenient way to record a special event for friends or family. They can also be used as a platform to educate or just to entertain. Some blogs become as famous as established magazines.
One of the joys of blogs is that anyone can run one.
From a technical perspective, starting a blog is one of the easiest jobs on the internet. There are plenty of sites which will host blogs for free and provide software to get people started on their blogging journey. These can be useful for blogs which are only intended to be temporary, for example, for people on trips abroad who just want a convenient way of spreading the word about their trip. For people interested in blogging for the longer term, it is likely to be more appropriate to use a private web-hosting service such as the 1&1MyWebsite.
This is for the simple reason that the real value of a blog lies in its content and serious bloggers will probably realize very quickly that it is very much in their best interests to have complete control over everything posted on their blog.
Another compelling reason for making private hosting arrangements is that it enables the blogger to choose their own domain name to be in keeping with the subject of their blog. An effective domain name will be both original and memorable and can become a desirable asset in its own right.
While it is perfectly possible to write a blog the old-fashioned way, creating the formatting, links and so forth in raw HTML (the language of the internet), it’s a whole lot easier to use special blogging software, such as WordPress, which is available for free. Connecting WordPress with a website is a straightforward process.
Although content is key to a successful blog, design is important too. The golden rule is to make it easy for readers to find what they want. So, for example, instead of having blog posts listed one after the other, it might be more effective to keep links to the most recent posts on the front page and have an archive section for older posts. Alternatively blogs could be organized by sub-topic. It’s also possible to use themes to add visual interest to a blog, but these are a matter of taste.
Another key aspect to running a successful blog is deciding how to manage communication from other people. On the one hand many bloggers want their readers to be able to contact them, on the other they don’t want to be attacked by spammers. Using a service like Akismet can help to save bloggers the time and effort needed to separate the valuable wheat from the chaff of spam. More serious bloggers may wish to use special tools to analyze the traffic on their site, since this is key information for attracting advertisers, who provide a key source of income for professional bloggers.