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  Blogging & RSS Resources > Getting Started Guide > Lesson #3 Getting it Set Up


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Getting Started With Blogging, How To Choose Your Host, Design, And Format.

One of the really great aspects of building a business based on a blog or adding a blog to your business is that many of the things you’ll need to get started are available for free.

For example, if you already have a website that is hosted by an outside company, meaning you are not hosting your own website, then chances are they provide blogging features to add to your website. Many business hosting packages include blogging software for free. Some charge a small extra fee. What your webhost likely does is incorporate Wordpress or some other blogging software as your tool. This is an easy solution for many and because it is free or very low cost, it is a common alternative.

Another option is to host your blog by using the services of Typepad, Blogger, Wordpress and others. Some of these services are free, others will cost you a monthly subscription fee. They each offer a number of features including:

     * Tagging
     * Templates
     * Scripts or plug-in
     * RSS
     * Submission services/pinging

It may be to your advantage to plan how you want your blog to look and what features you want it to have before you choose a host. Here are some things you’ll want to plan for:

Header. Varying blogging software offers different options. Generally you can customize the header with a choice of template graphics, colors, and fonts. Occasionally, you can import your own header.

Blog name and sub-heading or mission statement. You will want a blog name that relates to your business. Perhaps it will be or perhaps it will have its own independent name that helps identify the purpose of the blog. Additionally, you are usually offered the opportunity to create a blog statement that defines what your blog is about. This is generally a catchy 5-10 word sentence. It isn’t always needed if your purpose is clear cut. The Internet Based Mom’s site has two blogs, an expert blog and a staff blog. The header of each defines their purpose and no secondary statement is necessary.

Links/blogroll. Will you link to other sites? Perhaps your own, perhaps the sites of your affiliates or joint venture partners? Perhaps you’ll like to sites that are not competitive with you but will provide value to your readers.

Categories. Your blog posts can be categorized for easy access. They can also be archived. Consider your posting categories before you get started. For example, if you have a list of authors for your blog then each author could be a category. If you have customer service posts, new product posts, and tips posts then those can each be categories. Your post doesn’t have to have only one category, they can overlap.

Colors and additional graphics. Most blogs are more copy heavy than graphics heavy simply because their format supports copy better than a lot of images. However, if you want to include images with your posts you certainly can. Consider how you want your post to look. Do you want to use real photos or clip art? Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Additionally, if you already have a website then you may want the appearance of your blog to resemble your site which means colors and graphics. If you are starting fresh, consider what colors best fit your product or service and which will most appeal to your target market.

Keep in mind that none of your decisions are set in stone. The look of a blog can be changed and is generally as easy as clicking a button. For more information on how to choose a blog host read

Next, we’ll take a look at what it takes to get your readers to build a strong readership – good content!

===> Lesson #4 Tips To Make Your Blog Top-Notch

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