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Blogging for dummies
January 29, 2011 1:24 PM   Subscribe

I’m contemplating beginning a health-related blog that will be in part personal blog and in part educational covering issues, treatments, and products related to a medical condition I have. While I will be writing mostly for personal satisfaction, if I were eventually able to make a little money from doing I that would be awesome, and I’m willing to put the time and effort into making that happen.

With that in mind, I’m looking for information on how start a blog and build it from the ground up. Googling terms like “how to start a blog” gets you all kinds of questionable sites. I’m looking for suggestions of books, websites, and other resources that can educate me on how to start and grow a blog in today’s internet climate. If you have blogging experiences or tips you’ve learned along the way, that would be most appreciated too.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
I was going to link to a particular article at A List Apart but they're all so great it doesn't matter: articles filed under their Community topic.
posted by XMLicious at 1:52 PM on January 29, 2011


Let's talk tech first. Either you get get a domain and hosting, or you use a third-party service like Wordpress.com or Blogspot.

With a third-party service you will be up and running in a couple of minutes and you don't have to think about domain names, servers, hosting, etc. The problem is that you will have to relinquish some control over your blog, e.g. you can't always customize it as you wish. Also, myblog.wordpress.com doesn't sound as professional as myblog.com, does it?

If you are going to host the blog yourself, you most likely will use the blogging tool Wordpress (yeah, it also powers Wordpress.com but they are different things). You can register your domain at GoDaddy or any other registrar. As for the hosting, there are tons of these available for as little as 5-10 USD per month and some will even have a wordpress installer where you click click click and have Wordpress installed.

Once you got domain and hosting ready, you will need to customize wordpress. This basically means getting a theme and installing a bunch of plugins to tailor the look and feel of your blog. There are tons of free themes available on the net, but I suggestpart. the ones at Wordpress.org.

That's the easy part. The hard part is actually writing blog posts and creating useful content, doing marketing/SEO and what not. The single most important thing about blogging is: write and write regularly. This has a profound effect on not only the quality of your writing but also affects your readership, SEO and much more.

Useful sites and articles about blogging:
8 Blogging Tips for Beginners: Best of ProBlogger
How to Make Money From Your Blog
55 Essential Articles Every Serious Blogger Should Read
ProBlogger
Copyblogger
How to Write a Better Weblog
The Blogger's Guide to SEO

Wouldn't mind helping you out with all of this, just send a mefi mail if you got questions. Good luck!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:02 PM on January 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Also, myblog.wordpress.com doesn't sound as professional as myblog.com, does it?

Blogger lets you use ___.com instead of ____.blogspot.com for $10 a year.
posted by John Cohen at 2:43 PM on January 29, 2011


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