A "blog", abbreviated word for weblog, is a web-based journal in which people can publish their thoughts and opinions on the Internet. Anyone can start a blog. It's straight-forward and, in most cases, free.
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How to Start a Blog

A "blog", abbreviated word for weblog, is a web-based journal in which people can publish their thoughts and opinions on the Internet. It is everyone's home on the world wide web and probably their number one venting venue. Anyone can start a blog. It's straight-forward and, in most cases, free.

1. Find a decent blogging provider that appeals to you. The most popular providers include LiveJournal, Blogger, WordPress.com, and Xanga. These sites are pre-made with templates and push-button publishing that don't require much technical know-how.

2. Once you sign up, you'll have a gallery of ready-made templates to choose from. With these, you can pick a color scheme and layout for your blog.

• Most sites come with a set of predefined layouts and schemes that you can choose from. Select one and personalize it. Then add your name, interests, images, etc.

• If you want to, get a more unique template, there are some sites up that have many of these that might make it look better. For example, PimpMyProfile.com or Pyzam.com.

3. Add blogging freebies like buttons, images, blog chalks, imoods, tagboards (for example, myshoutbox.com), guest maps, guestbooks, comment boxes for readers' input, etc.

4. Explore other blog sites that offer more features for a small fee, such as Typepad.com and ChoseIt.

5. Decide whether you want your blog to be private or public: do you want any Internet visitor to be able to read your blog, or do you just want your friends and family to be able to read it? Most blog sites offer the ability to password-protect your published posts so only those who you approve of can view what you've written.

6. After you've set up your blog, write a few posts to test it out, and make any adjustments to the layout or style that you see fit. Like if you just got a new template, you'd check your blog to see if you like it, right? At first, it will seem tough to figure out what to write, but once you get into a routine of daily blogging, you will find it addictive. Write about your day, your thoughts, events, ideas, fears, pleasures, the news, current affairs, art, or anything you are interested in!

7. Visit other blogs to build a blogging circle. When you leave comments, add your blogging address so they can visit you too. (Note: This will not work if your blog is private)

8. Publish your blog by sending the URL to your friends or publish the URL on your website. Add the URL to posts you make on other blogs.

Tips

• If you update your blog frequently, more people will return on a regular basis to read it. Establishing a reader base will motivate you to write more and in turn more people will read your posts.

• Get into a routine of blogging. Make it part of your day. Soon, you will notice things during your day and think, "Hey, I'll blog this."

• Personalize your blog. A pretty blog always catches the eye. Visit blogger.com for ideas; they have a list of their 10 most recently updated blogs.

• You could Google for "blog California" or "blog Shakespeareans" (or anything else), depending on location, interests, etc. For instance, if you have a blog on lawns, you may want visit allaboutlawns.com's forum and other similar type blogs. Circles of interest are the essence of blogging, and it can start to develop you as an authority in the "blog-o-sphere" on lawns or whatever area of interest you choose.

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