“It’s gotta cost something”
Have you wanted to take your blog idea to the web only to be stopped by potential costs involved and uncertainty of how to do it? Getting your own blog going doesn’t need to cost you anything to get started. There are many blogging solutions available that are free of charge. All it takes in the want to do it.
“But I don’t know the first thing about web design.”
You do not need to be a web developer to blog. In fact it takes almost no technical knowledge at all to get rolling. Many blogging sites have been designed with the non technical person in mind. The solutions I will be talking about have the simplicity for the newbie blogger to get started, as well as, the depth to allow the more technical savvy blogger to dig in.
“Where do I start?”
Here are five free blogging sites that offer great features and versatility for just about anything you wish to do.
WordPress.com: Wordpress is a website/blog engine that is behind millions of websites throughout the internet. It’s ease of installation and use makes it very user friendly. This site itself is running with the WordPress software. Wordpress.com takes it even further by providing the hosting and backend essentials for free. Create a free account at wordpress.com and you can create as many blogs/websites as you can think up names.
Blog.com: Blog.com uses the WordPress engine as well. So why use it? If you don’t have your own domain name that you want to use then when you create a site at WordPress.com and Blog.com the domain will appear as whatever.wordpress.com or whatever.blog.com. Wordpress is huge. You may find a domain more friendly to what you want at blog.com. I have not been a member of blog.com for any length of time to know its reliability.
Blogger.com: If you have a Google account you can easily use Blogger. Blogger is a widely used blogging platform. Once again all backend elements are taken care of. Blogger does not have the flexibility of WordPress. It does however have the Google backbone behind it. This is a reliable solution.
LiveJournal.com: Another blog platform similar to the others. Not as customizable as other solutions. Reliable backbone with a large community of users.
Tumblr.com: Tumblr.com has been called a blog but it is more of a stream of consciousness. Very easy to post and theme but not much else to it.
If you haven’t figured it out yet I lean towards WordPress as an easy solution for multiple reasons. You can find documentation all over the web for anything you wish to do. Dependent upon where your blog goes, if you grow beyond the free solution you can easily port the existing blog to a hosted solution of your own.
“I signed up now what?”
This is the hardest part. Write. Put together what it is that you want the world to know. If it’s just a daily run down of what you are doing, to a mission to end hatred, whatever it is get it down. Write and keep writing. When you have a reader base you can actually begin to make money through ad placement, if that is something you would like.
“I want more…”
Each of these solutions has the ability to upgrade your accounts to gain more features and functionality. In some cases these additions will take you out of the realm of non technical and require some amounts of development or technical knowledge behind the working of the site. The alternative is SquareSpace.
SquareSpace.com: SquareSpace has premium services at small monthly costs. Since it has monthly costs you get more support then you would at the free sites. The interface is easy to use and they import from other existing solutions so your blog data is not lost. They offer two week trials for free to allow you to try and see if it is something you would be interested in.