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amateur guide to blogging

An Amateur’s Guide to Blogging


… by Zoe Davis

Blogging is the art of sharing your thoughts, your talents, your recipes, your opinions, your dreams and hopes with other people on the Web who want to know about you, or would if only they knew you existed. Blogging can also be a more serious enterprise that focuses on news analysis and commentary, photographs, music, art, videos or any other kind of information. For almost any topical interest, there’s an opportunity to blog about it. A blog, sometimes called a web log, is just an easy-to-use publishing platform for regular updates that march in good order to the first page of your site.

Your Own Blog
You can have a blog just for yourself. You can have a blog for friends and family, or perhaps for your local stamp collector club. You can have a blog meant to pay for your car, your rent or even your basic food supplies. No matter what kind of blog you want, finding cheap web hosting plans for your blog isn’t hard. Many high-quality hosting providers exist which offer good plans at little cost. Some even offer free domain names upon sign-up.

Different Types of Blog
Regardless of size, complexity or intent to profit, a number of common blog types inhabit the Web.

  • Personal diaries, logs or journals. These are the most widespread, and are almost always written by a single individual.
    Pros: Need only simple themes. Easy to write or neglect at will. Little pressure, can be a lot of fun.
    Cons: Possible boredom or even burnout if too active without occasional breaks. Risk of loud-mouthed commentary getting back to bosses or friends.

  • Personal photograph galleries (photoblogs). These likely will require blog software to be augmented with plug-ins meant especially for photograph management.
    Pros: Admiration from friends and family for great photographs. Unexpected purchases of photographs, possible gigs from monied visitors looking for photographers.
    Cons: Decent equipment can be quite expensive. Learning to take good photographs is time-consuming, as is hunting down outstanding photographic opportunities.

  • Art blogs. Literature may also be covered. This type of blog will do best with writers who have extensive knowledge of specific areas of art or literature, and have plug-in requirements similar to those of photoblogs.
    Pros: Aids professional development. May attract job offers germane to art or literature specialty.
    Cons: Ensuring accuracy of claimed facts may be exhausting. May require complex visual layouts.

  • Music blogs. These frequently use third-party file servers for the actual MP3 downloads, and are thematically similar to photoblogs.
    Pros: It’s music, and a lot of it. Might get a good deal of traffic with profitable advertising revenue.
    Cons: Must be cautious about ensuring that the legal owners of the copyrights for encoded music have explicitly allowed such downloads. Risk of lawsuits from the R.I.A.A.

  • Video blogs (vlogs). These often are multi-author.
    Pros: Video is fun. Might get significant monetized traffic.
    Cons: May require more complicated setup with third-party video servers such as YouTube or Amazon S3. Can be costly to operate. Risk of lawsuits from the M.P.A.A. if copyright is infringed.

  • Political or general news commentary blogs. These strongly resemble personal journals, and may be multi-writer.
    Pros: Participants get to opionate, comment, critize and scold to their hearts’ content. May attract decent traffic and advertising revenue.
    Cons: Requires dedication to staying current with events, with few breaks if audience is to be kept.

  • Podcasting blogs. These are similar in style to commentary blogs, with the same technical requirements as for music blogs or vlogs.
    Pros: Can attract a large audience with good advertising revenue. Little risk of lawsuits from R.I.A.A. or M.P.A.A.
    Cons: Requires broad range of knowledge about topics, production values, audio and video editing.

The Extra-Quick Blog
An interesting variation on blogging is “micro-blogging,” as exemplified by Twitter. Several famous names in business and entertainment have adopted this “blogging lite” to more rapidly keep fans and potential business partners updated on events. Many other micro-blogging enthusiasts simply enjoy the quick feedback.

Which Kind of Blog

Only you can decide which sort of blog works best for you. If you’re not certain, then start a little blog for whatever pops into your head. If a certain topic or format such as vlogging especially interests you, then concentrate on that. WordPress is a very popular and powerful blogging platform, and starting with it won’t hurt. It is also easy to find cheap web hosting plans for WordPress. It could be all the blogging platform you’ll ever need.

It’s perfectly possible and common to have both a regular blog and a micro-blogging account. Micro-blogging can complement more formal and detailed blogging. Whichever options you choose, enjoy yourself! Blogging can enrich your life, please your friends and put cash in your pockets.

Zoe Davis works as a copywriter for Hosting Observer -an online guide to find the best website host for your hosting needs. She is passionate about writing about the latest emerging technologies. While she is not writing, she enjoys traveling around the world and taking pictures.

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