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Set Up Your Own Blog Free
|I've received a lot of email lately from people asking how they can set up their own blogs for family, friends, or business purposes without spending much money or hiring an expensive programmer or web developer.
Well, ask no more because I will now show you exactly how to get your own blog without dipping too far into your own pocket (if at all) and get up and running, even if you don't have your own website, hosting account, or domain name.
You basically get two choices when it comes to setting up a blog: host it yourself, or use a service that hosts the blog for you.
Each one carries advantages based on your level of skill, experience and how many options you want to add to your blog.
If you choose to host your blog on your own website, then you can pick from a number of different options, including MoveableType.org and WordPress.org.
However, if you don't want to host it yourself, you can also go to Yahoo.com, put in the term "free blog" and obtain a long list of services that will host a blog for you, either free of charge or for a fee.
Probably the best-known free blog service resides at Blogger.com
Recently purchased by Google, Blogger boasts thousands of blogs on topics ranging from ecommerce to pet manners.
Blogger enables you to set up a functional blog in about 5 minutes and start posting your thoughts, rants, or family facts with the world.
Log on to http://Spaces.MSN.com and find another free option offered by Microsoft's online service, MSN.
This service makes it a bit easier to share photos than Blogger, which requires a separate software tool called Picasa (also available from Google for free).
MSN's blogger service also seems to appeal more to individuals sharing their thoughts than to businesses trying to scare up new customers or get their links crawled by search engine spiders (another advantage of publishing a blog).
So if you're publishing the family blog, this one might offer more of the user-friendly options you need.
The one drawback to using free services always comes back to the age-old saying, "You get what you pay for!"
These free blog services come with virtually zero customer support, so if you can't figure it out on your own, good luck finding anyone to assist you.
If you don't mind paying $5 a month, you can get a full-featured weblog at TypePad.com that offers a decent level of customer support.
The blogs available here offer many more features than Blogger or MSN, but also require you to understand a bit more about blogging's more advanced features like "trackback links" and "pinging" blog directories to let them know you've updated your blog (so others can come take a look at your new material).
Regardless of whether you choose the free or paid option, using a hosted blogging solution rates best when getting started.
However, once your blog really starts to take off and you find you need more "bells and whistles," you may want to consider upgrading to a more sophisticated blogging solution.
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