In step one, I talked about the need to think about what you’d like to talk about. Now we’ll talk a little bit about where to create your blog.
There are four choices in deciding where to create your blog. You can decide to join a site that allows you to create your own independent blog. You can join a blogging site that’s more of a community. You can decide to add a blog to your existing website. Or you can decide you want to create a website and turn it into a blog.
Let’s look at each of these separately. On the first one, you can decide to join a site like Blogger, WordPress, Xanga or Typepad; those are the big names, but there are plenty others. Blogger is probably the biggest and best, and from what I understand it’s very easy to set up. You get to choose the colors, you can do advertising with Google Adsense or other affiliate ads, and you can even use it for business purposes if you so choose. It’s a good place to set up a starter blog. One negative of this type of blog is that you can’t optimize the site because it’s on another platform instead of your own site. Another negative is that you can’t control where your visitors might go next. Using Blogger as an example, there’s a choice your visitor can select at the top that allows visitors to go to another blog at random. The problem is that you never know what might come up, and some folks who’ve thought about using it to set up a professional site have worried that their visitor might click on that link and end up at an adult or inappropriate site next.
Most people who set up a blog on a community site are looking for friends, and those blogs tend to be more personal. Another reason they join is because of the promise of having an opportunity to share in the profits with the blog creator by having a Google Adsense number and, if you write good content, figuring that people will click on the ads next to your post and you’ll split the money with the creator. If it happens I’ve never seen it, as I’ve had a few blogs on these sites. What they allow you to do is create anonymous names so you can write whatever you want to write about, and many people use it as a diary of some sort. And, in putting your life out there, if you’re somewhat interesting or controversial you’ll get people who will comment on your blog, and we all love it when we have readers and commenters. But it’s doubtful that people who are there all the time will take the time to click on your Adsense blocks, and there’s no way to set up anything to track it, as all you get to do is plug in your advertiser number. So, these sites are more for vanity than anything else; you would never set up your business on one of these. But they can be a lot of fun.
You can decide to set your blog up attached to your current website. If it’s for your business, it will bring automatic prominence to your website, as long as you write often enough, because blogs are visited often by search engines, and they love seeing new content. Having a blog associated with your business can help you gain great credibility, or it can make you look incompetent and uncaring, so it’s a dicey proposition. Some businesses are afraid to offer what could be seen as an opinion or review of products, clients, services, etc because they worry about the negative press. But others believe that any press is good as long as it brings people to them. Either way, it’s still a tough decision to make, and one of my blogs is associated with one of my businesses.
The final way is to make an entire domain a blog, which is what I’ve done here. I tried to think of just what I wanted to write about, and what I wanted to call it, and then decided I wanted to share whatever I wanted to share, while advertising my affiliates and such. This is the best way to have independent control without having to worry about how it affects your other businesses or life, because, if you wish, you can still maintain some bit of anonymity. Of course, you have to worry about paying for another domain, as well as hosting, but it’s not such a bad thing because the benefits of linking to other content, including some of your other sites, isn’t a bad thing.
And there you go. Next time, we’ll talk about the hows of creating a blog.