Sunday, February 26, 2006


If you are wondering about creating a web presence so that you can share your life and ideas with others but are intimidated by the prospect of starting a website, then think about a blog. The blogging craze has begun, and it is in full force.

Setting up a blog is simple, so let us go over what you would do. You will need to find a blogging site. Basically a company sets up a site. You register and then can log on to post articles and information for your visitors. In the early days of blogging, people paid for the option to blog, but now there are a number of free sites out there. is the most popular. Owned by Google, this site comes up well in search engines and also is simple to use.

Once you find the blog site you want to use, it will be time to decide what you want to call your blog. Know that your first choice may be taken, so you may be coming up with something out of the ordinary. If your blog will basically share points of your life, then you can call it your name story or something similar. If you will be focusing on particular points, such as a certain political stance or religious view, then name your blog something that will give people a clue as to the topic.

After naming your blog, it is time to get started. The easiest way to get started is to work on your profile and links information. On most basic blog layouts, you will have three columns with which to work. The center column will be the widest, and it will be where your articles will appear. The left and right hand columns are for you to put information. You can consider archiving your posts for people to read past information. That is one easy way to use up that space.

You also can put links. You can link to other sites that have information about your topics. You can also link to other blogs that are in a similar vein as yours. Finally you can just put sites of interest to you. Now that you have links worked out, you are ready to begin blogging.

Though you obviously can post whenever you would like, it is best to come up with some sort of schedule for yourself. Many people who use blogging as a journal outlet like to blog at the end of everyday so that they can go over what happened in their day. That makes blogging a very soothing hobby to have. You can work out your frustrations or share your joys with people who may read your blog. Keep in mind, of course, that your blog is public information. It is not like writing in a journal and putting it under your mattress. Everybody, including your family and that boss you hate, can read the blog. Be careful about what you write so that people who care do not read it and use its contents against you. Also keep in mind that other people do not want you to share their secrets with the world, so beware of writing too much information about other people.

If your blog is to voice your opinion about some subject, then you may be able to blog less often. Instead of blogging everyday, you may try to get an hour a week to work on an article to put on the blog. It can be a wonderful experience to make that appointment with yourself to blog. It also will let you share your feelings with other people without having the stress of having them immediately discussing the subject with you. A blog will allow you to do some research and get your thoughts together.

Much has been made of the place of blogs. For most people, however, blogs simply are a way for them to gain a voice in their lives. It is a good feeling to have somewhere to vent, even if you are unsure if other people are reading or not. The benefit to you is that you are able to express yourself in a very public forum.

By Julia Mercer

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