Why should you start your own Blog?
At the very least, a blog gives you a platform to speak. It also naturally creates a link to direct people to what you’ve written.
The word blog came from web log, which was the way early users logged onto the Internet and shared information and/or updates. Eventually, web logs became extremely popular and the blogosphere was born.
Today, there are hundreds of millions of blogs. Many have made blogging their career due to the possibility of creating many different streams of income. Whatever your purpose, blogging is an excellent way to share you faith in an organized and attractive way.
Getting Started With Your Own Blog
If you just want to try it to play around, there are a couple of free places to do it. The more popular are blogspot.com, blogger.com and even Google. There, you can design a theme and start blogging quickly.
Free blogs are hosted as sub-domains. In other words, you are renting space on someone else’s website. The rent is free in this case, but you do not own the site. Your blog will show up on the Internet looking something like this: http://firstname.lastname@example.org
Unfortunately, these platforms have the same basic problem. If you start a blog using one of these free services, you don’t actually own your blog. Your own blog looks like this: http://www.myfishingsecrets.com.
If you don’t intend to write very often, the free way is probably appropriate. If you want to start creating a presence online, a different route is best.
Your Website For Less Than You Think
I urge just about everyone to get their own website. Your own website is essentially your own property online. It is yours to do with what you like. It is also a place you can offer books, services, video, audio…etc.
The best host for blogging in my opinion is Bluehost. For about $60/year, you get your own web address and everything you need to put together an outstanding website. (BTW, you don’t need to be a geek to do this)
When you acquire your own web address (use your name when possible), download WordPress on to your site. Bluehost provides TONS of help via tutorials and chat. WordPress enables you to write blogs just like you do on Microsoft Word.
Once you get up and running, drop me a note and I will help you with other links to customize your site.
Depending on how far you want to go, I also recommend getting some sort of email service so you can keep in contact with those who subscribe. Convertkit is the best I have found, providing plenty of video tutorials, lots of support…etc. They run about $30/month but are well worth the investment.
Easy To Use (Free!) Tools
Blogging is all about creating content and communicating it in ways that people enjoy. Oftentimes, we know what we want to say, but that does not necessarily mean the audience “gets” it.
It is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, so spice your blog posts with pictures. Just make sure that your pictures are copyright free. There are a couple of sites where the pictures are free (or almost free).
- Flickr: look up pictures from the creative common section. By giving credit to the photographer (usually a small name in the corner of the picture), you may choose from thousands of picture to use in your blog.
- StockSnap is a great free resource. Not a wide variety to choose from, but some great photos for free.
- FreeImages have a nice mix of free and paid pics, with several choices.
Once you select a photo, it often needs to be cropped, enhanced or altered in some way to make it suitable for your blog or posting on social media. My go-to source for photo-editing is: pixlr.
I could make this page into a website just about blogging, but for now, let me to direct you to some excellent websites once you’ve got your website up and running. They each have excellent podcasts to help you along the way. Good luck!