Ok. I know this has been done before…and then some! But I still come across people asking how to go about doing this. Partly because the articles on the web are suited to a more tech-aware audience. So i thought let me give it a shot.
I assume you are a first time blogger & really want a step-by-step guide on creating a blog before you start playing around with things like features, widgets, PHP, XHTML, et al. People with more experience than me at this, if you are reading this (seriously, why?) please go read my posts on Politics or visit a more interesting place like this or this!
The first step is deciding on a host/publisher for your blog. You could go cheap (like me) & choose from Blogger, WordPress or Blogsome. Or if you have money to spare, go for Typepad. If you have loads of money, register your own domain, install WordPress or Movable Type & play around with the look & feel till you get it right.
We'll take the cheap route. Blogsome uses Wordpress as an engine & therefore the look & feel of the two is markedly similar. While Blogger (blogspot addresses) is the easiest to start with, and allows the maximum flexibility to a novice user, for a number of reasons WordPress is the better one. Having tried both I think I'm in some position to judge!
Blogger is owned by google & therefore always appears on any google blog search. The signup is easy (takes all of 30 seconds), you need just a user name, password & valid email account. However, it can be quite clunky at times, does not have good spam filters, and does not give you the option of tagging your posts. It also (IMHO) offers too much flexibility at times, leading to time being spent on tweaking the look & feel rather than on blogging!
Signup on wordpress is equally easy. Provide a valid email id & choose a handle/id, and you are up & running! It offers much better spam protection, tagging options & looks more professional. However, the flexibility given to general user to change the look & feel of the blog is extremely limited!
Both Blogger & WordPress allow you to upload pictures whether from the internet or from your PC. Although WordPress puts a limit to the total size of the files you can host, and is therefore not suited for hosting picture blogs or travelogues!
A small piece of advice to all would-be bloggers out there. Please create a new email id and use that for blogging purposes. You would like to keep your blog-related mails separate from your personal mails, exp. if your blog turns out to be really popular & you get inundated with comments & such (can happen!)
Now that you have wasted time reading this nonsense, get started! Create a blog account & start blogging. But before you go, just 2 more things:
- If you are interested in reading other blogs, please do visit my post on creating a bloglines account
- Don't forget to send me a mail/post a comment letting me know of your blog