"How to Jump on the Blogging Bandwagon"

By Merle


Blogs, Blogs; they're everywhere. Unless you've been

living under a rock, I'm sure you've read about the

uses for a Blog. With the increasing use of filters

by email recipients and ISP's, many newsletter publ-

lishers are turning to Blogs as a replacement or

in some cases as an add-on to ezine publishing.


So what exactly is a Blog? Basically, it's a web

log that's updated regularly, sometimes daily, with

the most recent entry posted at the top. Usually

there's a calendar on the right hand side of the

page where you can click on past dates to read

older entries.


A Blog can mean different things to different people.

To some it's like a personal journal recording their

personal thoughts and daily events. You can share

your views on different subjects with the rest of

the world. Posts to Blogs are generally casual and

not too lengthy. To others, it's a powerful marketing

tool which can be used to bring people back to your

website to read about what's new. All in all, Blogs

are a more personal way to reach out to your customers,

share information and build a sense of community all

at the same time.

So now that I've got your attention, how do you

create your very own Blog? Simple. You have two


1) Purchase Software

2) Use a 3rd Party Service

The look of a Blog is usually template-based, but ifyou know some HTML or CSS you can easily fine tune the look to something more to your liking. If you don't know a stitch of HTML, no problem, you don't need to.

Depending on the type of Blog service you use, making

posts to your Blog can be done in a variety of ways:

some with just your browser, others by email, and

some even via telephone. Some Blogs even allow your

readers to post their own comments and become an

active participant.


Now that you understand what a Blog is, let's take

a look at some software and services that are

available to you.





1) Radio Userland:


Suitable for personal or business use, it's easy

to use but also has advanced features for the

more savvy user. There's a 30 day trial available

so you can download it to try it out. If you like

it, purchase it for only $39.95


2) Movable Type:


A customizable publishing system which installs

on your web server. Free for personal use or non

profit use, but donations are accepted. Commercial

users must pay a $150.00 licensee fee.


3) PMachine:


PMachine requires a hosted account that supports

PHP and MYSQL. There are two versions, Machine

Pro for commercial business use is 125.00. There's

also a "Pro" version for non-commecial use or

personal use for only 45.00. There's also a feature-

limited free version available.

3rd Party Services:


1) Blogger:

My personal favorite. Owned by Google. If you'd

like to test the "blogging waters, this free

service makes it a snap to set up your first Blog.

Easy to register and you can start posting immed-

iately. If you download Google's latest toolbar,

you'll find a Blogger button included, which makes

it easy to add sites to your Blog with one click

as you surf the Web. I love this feature.

2) LiveJournal:

Free for a limited account, but if you want to

enjoy full features you'll need to pay 25.00 a

year. This service is very much an interactive

community of people.

3) TypePad:

A very powerful hosted weblogging service with a

rich set of features. A basic weblog, including

the ability to display images and enable comments,

will run you $4.95 a month. If you register for a

year, you'll save almost $10.00 in fees. If you need

more features, there's a Plus account for $8.95 a

month or Pro Version for only $14.95 monthly.

4) BigBlogtool:

Buy 6 months of service for only $10.00 or 12 months

for $15.00. Very user friendly and loaded with great



As you can see, you've got a lot of options when it

comes to the world of Blogging. Another advantage

of Blogs is they may help with "page rank" since

search engines love content that updates regularly

and is rich in "key phrase" content.

You can also create an RSS feed for your Blog to

syndicate its content. A site like

can help you create the feed. If you'd like to make

your own feeds from HTML docs you might want to look

at this free software: .

By offering an RSS feed, you allow people to add your

Blog to their news reader to keep up with your latest

updates, or they can use a service like and have

your feeds delivered via email. Another RSS to

email delivery service is Info Aggregator, which is

located at .

If you look around the Net you'll find a lot of

really cool tools to add functionality to your

Blog. If you'd like to easily maintain a link list

check out Blog Rolling . Once

you register you'll be given a piece of code to add

to your Blog. As you surf the Net and find websites

you'd like to add to your "link list" just click the

"BlogRolling" link in your links bar and it's done.

Another free links manager tool is

How about comments? If the Blog service you're using

doesn't allow for users to post comments, you can add

that feature by downloading this free software

One of the drawbacks to blogging is that the user

has to come to you and it's almost impossible to

know how many readers/subscribers you may have. That's

why there's Bloglet , which allows you

to add an email subscription service to your Blog so

your readers can register to be notified by email of

any new posts and you can see at a glance how many

subscribers you have.

So by now, you've made a decision on your Blog service

and crafted this beautiful Blog that you want to share

with the rest of the world. But how do you get the

word out? A good starting point is to list your Blog

with "Blog Search Engines." Here are a few resources

to get you started:








Here's a Big List of Blog Search Engines

Once you enter into the world of Blogging, you'll

find it has a culture all its own. Many also say the

act of posting itself can become almost addictive

in nature as you learn to love this new way of

instantaneously reaching out to your customers in

your own personal way. So now that you know how easy

it is what are you waiting for, go Blog!




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