Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blogging tips & tools to get you started – Step Three

Step Three: Where should you blog?
The time has come to pick a home for your blog. Picking a site should, in part, be based on Step Two, what topics will you blog about. I suggest, for first time bloggers, picking a site that is either specific to your topic or topics of choice or one that has all kinds of topics which can accommodate your choices and even provide some topics you may not have considered before, also pick one that has lots of features that can give you lots of exposure as well. Blogs that have a forum type of site are great because the members of the site become you readers so you don’t have to get you blog out there to bring readers to your blog.

I like because it has a lot of topics and features such as “recent articles”, “recent article comments” and “popular articles” all on the main page providing great exposure that I don’t find on many of the bigger blog sites. This site also has a decent blog editors that allows for adding links and images to your articles. I also recommend as it has some similar features plus it has communities where you can join groups of similar interest to read, comment and post articles of specific topics of your liking in those communities to get more exposure and grow your readership. These types of blogs are great for getting started and getting use to writing articles, doing the research and learning the do’s and don’ts of blogging. Eventually this can lead to the desire to spread your blogging wings and move on to your very own personal blog. Of course this course will require more work as the ability to bring the readership to your blog will fall solemnly on you.

Now… if you’re the daring type and want to go it alone and start a blog of your very own from scratch then, and are the sites for you. Although you don’t have 100% control of you blog since it’s still linked to the main sites, these blogs give you the ability to change the look of the site to something more appealing to you and possibly to your readers. It also allows for widgets that add more features to your site on just about any corner of your blog site. Here you are in almost full control of your blog, except as I mentioned before, at this point getting people to your blog will depend on how you expose your blog since your blog is no longer part of a community and therefore don’t have the members you would have on a community type of blog site. here you will have to do the work of exposing you site to the world yourself. Of course there are methods to spread the word about your blog but it will take time, patience and also will take great content on your blog to get people interested.
To truly go it alone you can try finding a host site and your own domain to create a blog that you can fully control. I came across an article at Blazing Minds here thanks to Blog Engage that pointed to a site called Webhost Ratings where as per the article at Blazing Minds:
Recently I was asked to check out a website called Web Hosting Rating which seems to have a huge choice of reviews of hosting providers from around the globe with unedited web hosting reviews and ratings by real customers.
This is a great way to get a blog of your very own started if you are looking to go it alone. This is my goal eventually, for now I’ll stick with this Blogger domain.
Tools to help find a good blog site
Google – as I stated in the first step, a great way to start searching for blogs to join is thru Google. While Google may give you tons of options to explore and many will likely be useless links, it can still help you find what you are looking for. To help narrow down the searches and avoid so many useless sites, try using combinations of words that are likely to describe blog sites, especially words that may relate to topics you are interested in.
Webhost Ratings – a great site to get ratings on webhosting sites to make your decision easier when looking to create your own blog.