HOWTO: setting up a blog

6 02 2007

constant edits will happen to this particular post… these edits will happen as often as i find new material, so come back often if you want to be updated… this will form part of the talk i will be giving during iBlog3: The 3rd Philippine Blogging Summit entitled Blogging for Newbies

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with the rise in number of pinoy blogs popping up left and right, it is only assumed that setting up a brand new blog is as easy as A-B-C… we often forget that there are newbies who don’t have the faintest idea on how to start setting it up… so, how do you start a new blog??

there are several things you have to take into consideration and options you can choose from, software to use, server, hosting, blog genre, etc, etc… but first things first… what is a blog??

a blog is short for weblog, an online journal [or diary or newsletter] that may or may not be frequently updated, where the author posts informal journals: his/her thoughts, comments, and philosophies… it can be private or public… it can be a group blog, or a blog all your own…

ok, now that you know what a blog is, why would you want to set one up?? what for?? maybe, you’d want to reach out to your relatives abroad?? a blog can do that for you… want to teach and get your message across to others? yep, set up a blog for that… want to show off your photography prowess?? then a blog is the way to go… and that brings us to our topic…

Blog Genre

happyslip there are different genres you can use when thinking of setting up your new blog… if you are into technology, set up a tech blog… if you want to hear yourself, an audio blog, or a video blog if you are fond of your face… if you take lots of pictures and want to show these off, a photoblog would be best… and of course, if you just want to talk about yourself,angelfree what’s happening to you everyday, who your current crush is, and what you think of that cool lady professor this term, a personal blog is the way to go…

whatever genre you choose from, you do not, as much as possible, deviate from the norm… but you will see some blogs which tackle a multitude of subjects, and these are normal… but it will be better for you if you have a genre to begin with, and you can change this as you go along…

Hosting

setting up an account as of last count, there are about 18 blogging services you can choose from to host your blog, but the most popular would be blogspot.com/blogger.com, livejournal.com, typepad.com, and of course, wordpress.com… most of these bloghosting services are free, especially blogspot/blogger since it was recently bought by Google.com, which is known for their myriad of free services…

if you have the dough, go for the paid services… you can be sure that developers will always be updating the software, as well as it will have a vast selection when it comes to blog themes… but normally, you can use the free services and change the blog to suit your personality… for those of you who know at least a little of HTML, better brush up on your CSS as this is the bread and butter of the changes you will do on your themes… which brings us the next topic of this post…

Themes

classic eskaparate haravata

themes can be as simple as wordpress.com’s Classic, to as convoluted as a layered theme like eskaparate.com… but whatever you use, be sure that it expresses your personality… if you know HTML and CSS and you can create your own theme, good… that way, whatever your blog looks like, you’d be sure that it is yours, and that no one else will have the same look…

but if you don’t know what CSS means, then you’d be better off using stock themes, or those that come with the software… but no one’s stopping you from changing even those… remember, though, there are only so many ways you can layout a page, so many colors, etc, so be very careful when changing these…

Plugins

wordpress-pluginsplugins are tools to extend the functionality of your blog… wordpress.com has a collection of these plugins, from spam zappers to viewer counters, they’ve got it all… and if you don’t find what you want?? you can drop a comment to a developer and maybe, just maybe, he’d find your idea favorable and he just might do it for you… and for free!!

or if you are a developer and knows PHP and MySQL, maybe you can create your own, and upload to your site, and people will flock to it if they find it useful… but whatever the case, when putting plugins in your blog, make sure that you put in only those that you actually use…

remember: plugins are used to make your life easier… not to make it more miserable…

Adsense and Other Ad Servers

yugatechonce you have your blog properly set up, you have its look designed the way you want, with all the plugins your blog can use, then you might want to think of putting in advertisements on your site… want to be a problogger?? a problogger is one who gets paid to blog… if your users click on these ads, you get a monthly check from the ad servers, and that is good…

From the Google Adsense site:

Google AdSense is a fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to display relevant Google ads on their website’s content pages and earn money. Because the ads are related to what your visitors are looking for on your site — or matched to the characteristics and interests of the visitors your content attracts — you’ll finally have a way to both monetize and enhance your content pages.

It’s also a way for website publishers to provide Google web and site search to their visitors, and to earn money by displaying Google ads on the search results pages.

you can also look at iMedia Connections if you want to host advertisements on your site…

Blogging Clients

normally, the blog server you use will have it’s own client for you to be able to write and edit your posts… but if you don’t have a dedicated Internet service and are normally offline, you can use offline blogging clients…

windows-live-writer Microsoft launched Windows Live Writer a few months back. This is a free, downloadable application that runs on your Windows PC and allows you to write blog posts.

Since most blogging tools are web based and not all allow WYSIWYG editing (where you see on screen exactly how the blog post will look), Windows Live Writer will be useful for some writers looking for a faster, easier way to post to blogs.

blogjetBlogjet is a blog client that allows you to create posts offline and upload later to your blog… just like Live Writer, it also features a WYSIWYG editing, word counter and blog statistics, Flickr and YouTube support, spell checker, file attachments, integration with browsers and feed readers, and a compendium of other features…

it also supports all leading blogging services… what more can you ask??

mobile-bloggingand finally, there is mobile blogging… a moblog, consists of content posted to the Internet from a mobile or portable device, such as a cellular phone or PDA… moblogs generally involve technology which allows publishing from a mobile device.

one feature of moblogging is video moblogging… you can take a movie or picture using your portable device, then send this up to your site…

one advantage of this is that you can basically create any content while on the go… you see something happening in front of you? take a picture or movie of it, put in a little text, and send it up to your blog… instant content!!

—–

now that your blog is all set up, ready and waiting for you to put in your first content, what do you publish?? that is only for you to know, but whatever you decide on, please keep in mind the following when creating content:

1. be true and publish only ideas that you know are factual… provide links as much as possible;
2. if you are referencing a material online, link to it;
3. if you are posting regarding a particular topic previously posted somewhere else, and you differ in opinion, do not be offensive as you write your post;
4. make sure you read your post over and over before publishing it, checking for errors in spelling and grammar… dont use txt- or l337- speak; and,
5. Do not steal or plagiarize posts

and that’s all!! you are now on your way to years of fun chronicling your thoughts and ideas online where others may be able to read and learn from them… have a lot of fun!!

Ciao, sweetie… 8)

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3 responses

6 02 2007
ChrisH

hahaha… :d

oo nga, sana makapunta ka para makasama ka rin sa pictures… 😀

Ciao… 8)

6 02 2007
nightfox

nice.. 3rd iBlog na.. hmm, sana makaattend ako (and makasama sa pics) hehehe

6 02 2007
Pinoy Blogosphere

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