Blogging Basics

Blogs have reached a new level of popularity in the past several years. Many websites and companies have started one or more consistent blogs in order to add quality content to their sites, which helps to increase their ranking.  According to the numbers provided by New Media Lab in Austin, blogging grew by 68 percent in 2008; 356 million people worldwide read blogs; and 77 percent of active Web users read blogs. New Media Lab provided these statistics regarding who is blogging in the United States:

* 51 percent male
* Age 35+ (58 percent)
* Age 18-34 (42 percent)
* College educated (74 percent)

What is blogging?

Blogging is a social networking tool that can be used for personal and/or professional reasons. A blog is like an online journal that allows you to write about whatever you want. Individuals often use blogs to share personal information and personal opinion with family and friends whereas organizations or companies often use blogs to advertise their services and provide helpful information to clients and potential clients. Setting up and maintaining a blog is simple and usually free of cost, making it an exceptionally useful tool for companies when it comes to educating the public on their business, their products or their services.

Blogs are an easy way for people and businesses to publish their ideas and their opinions. Commenting is allowed on most blogs, making it a kind of conversation. Blogs allow readers to actively participate in the blog by responding to posts and thereby sharing their opinion as well.

Setting up a blog

The first step to setting up your blog is deciding on a unique name. Once you have a name, you should lock in a domain name for your blog. Next, you need to pick your content management system, which will provide you with the tools needed to manage your blog. The two most popular platforms are Blogger and WordPress. Blogger is free, but is somewhat limited in comparison. Next you must design your page. Several tools can help you customize your blog design, including WordPress Themes, Template Monster, and Unique Blog Designs. Also, remember to turn on the comment option. Comments are a good way to get feedback and make your blog appear popular.

Adding Social Media and Links

Add links onto your blog to any of your other social media profile pages, such as Twitter and Facebook. It is also smart to add links to any other personal or corporate pages you have. After you have done this, add links onto these other social media profile pages back to your blog. Many social bookmarking plug-ins can help promote your blog, including:

* Digg
* Sphinn
* Twitter
* Delicious
* StumbleUpon

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