If you have your own site you can use blogging software but if you don’t there are websites which will help you set up and run a free blog on their site.

Reading interesting things and contacting interesting people are the main reasons why people get involved in the internet, and an online diary, or blog is a great way to do both.

So, now the next time you find something cool online or have something you want to get off your chest try a blog.

# What is a blog?

If you have an opinion that you want everyone to hear, or just want to write down some of your personal thoughts, then a blog is a great way to get all these ideas published on the internet.

You can write anything you want on your weblog, from what you did today to what you think about certain issues as well as links to your favourite websites.

A blog is an online diary or journal that sits on a web page and can be read by anyone with access to the internet.

The most popular bloggers update their blogs on a daily basis, with diary entries and comments on the issues of the day.

They also recommend other blogs that share similar interests, and offer visitors the chance to respond via e-mail or message board facilities.

To get an idea of what other people are putting in their blogs you could visit the very first weblog directory at Eaton Web .

You can register your own blog or just browse through a variety of different subject categories for a link to a blog you might be interested in.

# Getting your own blog

The first choice a blogger must make is whether they want to host a blog on their own web page, or whether they want to set up a new blog on an existing weblog server.

If you haven’t got your own web page, then your choice is already made for you.

For those of you who do have a web page, you might want to visit some other weblog sites just to see how a blog is formatted. You may find that you need to make some alterations to the design of your web page to include your blog.

Often when you subscribe to your ISP, they will supply you with your own domain name and a certain amount of space on their server to build your site.

If you don’t have a web page, then you can build you own and host your weblog that way.

Or you can register with websites like Blogger.com or Live Journal or wordpress.org to get a free ready-made blog.

How do I get my own blog?

As well as listing hundreds of other blogs, all of these sites provide a range of options for setting up your own blog.

Blogger.com offers two levels of subscription, one for free, and one with added extras that you pay for. Live Journal has become popular enough to charge a yearly subscription for hosting your blog.

Joining a blogging community

To begin with it’s probably best to go with a free blog option like the one offered by Blogger.com.

You can always change your mind later and get the added e-mail forwarding facilities and message board hosting that you get with a yearly subscription.

Signing up to a blog community is relatively simple, just visit the website, pick yourself a user name and a password, follow the instructions and get started.

You’ll be provided with your very own blog space, and a blog address such as http://yourname/blogspot.com or http://yourname/blogger.com – the rest is up to you.

Most people start with simple text entries on their blogs, but as you get the hang of the different blog-authoring tools available to you, you can add graphics, hyperlinks, and even a webcam.

Some bloggers who are more familiar with media editing software even put audio and video blogs up on the internet for people to listen and watch.

Most blog community websites update their directory listings automatically whenever you add a new entry to your blog, but because of the sheer volume of blogs on the internet, this trend is now changing.

More and more weblog directories require notification from the blogger before updating their listings, so you should put that on a list of things to do after you’ve added new content to your blog.

Source: Business Advice Blog