Have you ever wanted to set up your own Web site but didn’t know where to begin? You may have been hearing plenty of talk about “blogs” lately, and for good reason. Blogs are an easy way to publish information on the Web, especially if you want to establish your own space on the Internet. Better still, blogs are particularly versatile and with little or no experience required, you can be publishing on the Web within next to no time!

“You needn’t be particularly Web savvy to create your own Internet site.”

What are these blogs I keep hearing about?

A blog is literally a shortened term for “Web log”, meaning a log (or series) of entries that are available online. When many people think about blogs, they automatically think of an online diary, but blogs can take numerous other forms depending on their intended purpose. Put simply, if you want to post regularly updated content online, in most circumstances a blog should be able to handle it.

Are there differences between blogs and Web sites?

Web sites and blogs are essentially one of the same, but they also have a number of subtle differences. Firstly, a blog is a Web site in its own right, but has certain attributes associated with it that make it a blog. For example, blogs are often formatted in a sequential, dated manner, with more recent posts appearing first. On the other hand, Web sites do not necessarily adhere to this structured format. The ability for visitors to leave feedback on your posts is another common feature of blogs.

“Blogs are often formatted in a sequential, dated manner, with more recent posts appearing first.”

Why might you want to set up a blog?

If you want to publish information on the Internet, a blog is a simple and no-fuss way to get started. There are many reasons you might like to begin publishing on the Web and we’ve included some of the most common reasons below:

You’re going travelling and want to keep friends and family back home updated with an online diary, perhaps with pictures and videos.
You want an easy, non-technical method to post your opinions and thoughts on a particular topic.
You’re curious about the Internet and wish to experiment with publishing content on the Web.
You want to set up a blog to complement your existing company Web site.
You want to use the format of a blog to set up an entire site on a particular topic.

What are the benefits of blogs?

One reason why blogs have become so popular is due to their simplicity. In fact, many free blog services provide step-by-step instructions and guide you through the process of posting content online.

Another benefit is the ability to update your blog site from virtually any location with an Internet connection. In most cases, you will be able to log-in to a personal blog administration area, where you can add new posts, update content, review comments from visitors, etc. Obviously this is a great advantage if you’re constantly on the move!

You can also include much more than simple text on your blog. Many free blog services allow you to post pictures or imbed videos into your pages, which is a great way to keep your readers entertained.
What free blog services are available?

There are a number of free services available that allow you to establish a blog site and we’ve include some of the best below:

Blogger - Owned by Google, Blogger is a free, popular and user-friendly blog service. It offers everything you need to quickly begin publishing content on the Web. If you already have a Google account, you can register with Blogger by adding the service in your Google control panel (or alternatively just register directly at blogger.com). This service allows you to perform all common blog administration tasks and even comes with a choice of templates (which can also be edited if you’re experienced with HTML and CSS).

Wordpress - Wordpress is perhaps the most popular blogging software and is free to download and install on your Web server. However, if you would like to establish a blog site without any technical know-how, Wordpress also offers a free, remotely-hosted service. This means that you can set up a Wordpress blog without installing it yourself (and you’ll also gain a neat sub-domain Web address in the process: yourname.wordpress.com).