With blogging mentioned nearly every day in the national news media, it’s sometimes easy to forget that not everyone is blogging. In fact, some still aren’t sure what blogging is. I’m going to answer that question, and also provides tips on how to start a blog.
What Is Blogging
Before I answer what blogging is, one needs to know the definition of blog. The official definition of a blog is a web log (web + log = weblog), and at one time was primarily used as an online journal using blogging software (i.e. WordPress) that automatically archives blog posts (i.e. journal entries) by month and year.
However, with the advancement of blog software, blogs are no longer just for jotting down your personal thoughts diary-style; blogs have advanced to full fledged web site software with the ability to create static (non-auto-archiving) web pages, in addition to automatically archived blog posts. So blog software can now be used to run an entire web site and all its contents, not just for blogging. So blog software today is really more like a Content Management System (CMS), which simply means: blogging software allows you to easily update your web site and add new content, without needing to know html. Pretty slick!
So blogging is defined as the act of using blog software to create content for your web site. Blog posts are also known as articles, and the majority of site content would be created as a blog post; and blog pages are reserved for content that is static (i.e. information that rarely needs to change) and needs to be readily accessible (i.e. Contact page, About Us page, Policies & Disclaimers, Sitemap, etc…).
How to Start a Blog
Starting a blog is actually the easy part – maintaining the blog with fresh content is where the dedication to blogging can be difficult. So my first suggestion is to decide your niche, or main topic your blog will be about. You may already know this, if you have a hobby, business or passion you wish to blog about. Keeping your blog and topics focused to a particular niche makes it easy for your blog readers to know what to expect when reading your blog.
Once you know your niche, you need a domain name. I strongly suggest that you do keyword research to find several three or four word keyword phrases. Then choose one keyword phrase with a good number of searches, and use it as your main keyword phrase. Try to get that phrase as your domain name, or at least incorporate that keyword phrase into the domain name you register. I recommend GoDaddy or NameCheap for domain registration.
Secure web site hosting. I myself use, and highly recommend, HostGator; with unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth and the ability to host unlimited domains all for less than $10 per month: it’s an awesome deal! Once your hosting is setup, change your nameservers at the domain registrar to point to your new hosting, then you’re ready to install your blog.
How to install WordPress via Fantastico Deluxe in your hosting cpanel. This quick 5 minute install method is the easiest way to install WordPress for those new to blogging. Log into your cpanel, click the Fantastico Deluxe icon and follow the onscreen instructions to install your WordPress blog.
Customizing your WordPress configuration, installing plugins and selecting a theme round out your journey into blogging. WordPress makes these tasks fairly easy with a point and click install for themes and plugins; but customizing a theme, deciding what your default settings should be and which plugins you need can be a bit of daunting task. If you find you need more step-by-step help, check out how to create a blog by Beginner to Blogger in 4 Weeks eCourse.
Once your blog is installed – then you just need to start blogging. Remember, blogging is the act of using the blog software to add content to your site; so write new blog posts about your niche topic and try to add new content on a consistent regular basis. Some blog daily, others only three or four days per week. I do recommend posting to your blog at least once per week, and more often if at all possible. Search engines love fresh content, and so do blog readers. Make your content interesting, on-topic, and valuable – meaning, offer true value in your writing, not empty fluff or filler content to just slap words in a blog post.
Once you publish your first blog post – you are officially blogging. It’s that easy.