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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

So You Want to Blog

LIKE MOST THINGS, blogging can be as easy or as complicated as you want to make it. For the complicated version (but very well and clearly explained) I recommend you visit the ProBlogger website. In the upper left-hand corner of the page you'll see a grey box containing a series of introductory articles. This is a great place to start.

If you want the simple version, sit yourself down and I'll tell you how to get yourself a free blog quite quickly:

1. Sign up for a gmail address. Gmail is a free email service, one of the many services provided by Google. Getting a gmail address is a good move for at least two reasons: First, these days it's a good idea for anyone to have at least two email addresses. One of them can be used for public purposes such as website registrations while the other should be kept strictly private. Gmail, which comes equipped with a good spam filter, is a good choice for your public email address. Second, your gmail address and password give you access to all the services offered by Google, including Blogger (aka Blogspot).

2. Think about what you want to call your blog. Come up with several options, as your first choice may already be taken by someone else. If your blog is going to be noncommercial (just for keeping in touch with friends, for example), anything memorable (such as your own name) will do. If you think you might want to try to earn money from your blog, coming up with a good name may be harder, as you will probably want to buy a domain name to go with your blog. I'll talk about this more in my next post.

3. Now go to Blogger, go down to the bottom of the screen, and click on "Create a Blog Now." Blogger will then give you easy to follow directions. You'll create an account, name your blog, choose a look for it (which can be changed later), and be ready to send your first post in a matter of minutes.

Now, what you have now is a very, very basic blog. There is certainly a lot more you can do. I'll be talking about that in future posts. Meanwhile, if you have questions, please email me (wildflora at gmail dot com) or, even better, leave a comment. Hearing from you is the best way for me to find out what information I can share that might be helpful to others.

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