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Blogs and Blogging

Blogs have increased in popularity, and the software itself has gone through many inprovements in the last few years. In the beginning blogs were the province of the first internet geeks and primarily used as journals for those who had much to say. Blogging is now the 'darling' of many successful online marketers who use the blogging platform as their online presence.

A blog can be your means of a marketing presence online

Blogs are another useful method of developing an online presence for your marketing online business. Using a blog can be the base for your business as a stand alone site, or you can use blogs in combination with a static website. It depends on what you are marketing as well as personal choice.

When building blogs get the best from your efforts

When considering the idea of getting into blogging, make a small investment and purchase a domain name to use if you are using a blog alone, and purchase web hosting. These are small expenses that will pay off for you. A domain name is under ten dollars a year, and web hosting can be purchased inexpensively either by the month, or for longer periods of time at a slightly reduced price. Avoid purchasing a plan that includes a free domain name. If you later want to change hosts things get complicated. Or pass on the free name if the hosting meets your needs otherwise

Host your blog and attach it to your own domain name

There is much said on the internet about using free blogs such as Blogger or Wordpress.com (not to be confused with Wordpress.org)

Blogger.com is easy to use, and you have the option of using your own domain and hosting it on your choice of hosting, or utilizing their free hosting and a domain name that is not yours. With the free version, although it is easy to use, it has lots of limitations and they can de-activate your blog according to their whims.

Wordpress.com is a blog you can use for free, like Blogger.com, and they even host it for free, but it is even more limiting in what you can do than blogger, and much different than having your own wordpress blog.

Don't waste your time on either. By installing your own blog on uour choice of web host with your domain name, or as a directory in an existing domain you own, your blog is under your control and you will be able to do much more with your blogging efforts. This would appear on the internet as yourdomain.com (as a stand-alone site) or as yourdomain.com/blog (when attached to a static site with it's own domain name).

Even though, in this case you attach it to a static website, you don't have to stick with just yoursite/blog, you can give it a name. Let's say you had a fishing site named bassfishing. After the slash(/) you could have the name /bass fishing tips.....or whatever. You would, of course, want to use a good keyword related to your main topic.

Wordpress is the top choice

Most people recommend Wordpress, and I am no exception. I know, it is confusing--there is Wordpress.com which is the free blogging service offered, but I am referring to the software offered by Wordpress.org. Wordpress blogs have access to a vast variety of plugins which will accomplish many tasks for you that greatly improve your blogging.

Most webhosts that are worth their salt, have an installation tool usually called 'Fantastico' which can be found on your cPanel. It is represented by an icon that looks like a smiley face. When you click on this it will take you to another page, and with just a few clicks and making a couple of choices it will handle the installation of your blog for you. Here you will find a free online tutorial that explains this process. This visual tutorial will help you understand the process and be prepared for the installation. Their other videos are also informative, although some of it is out of date.

See next page for information about Blog Settings.

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