What Is A Blog?
What is a blog?
A blog, short for "web log", is effectively an online diary. Of course, unlike a regular diary it is open for all the world to look at - so it's unwise to share all your thoughts in one, so why are so many people and companies setting up blogs?
Blogs, provide a way of sharing inside information, tips and advice with your customers in a much more informal way. Unlike formal communications, they can (to some extent) provide a more personal image, giving your company a more friendly and down-to-earth face.
How to set up a blog?
There are several options out there when it comes to setting up your blog and most you can do for free.
Blogger is a free online blogging system provided by Google. Setting up your blog is quick and easy and requires absolutely no expertise at all. You can easily choose from a large number of teemplates and quickly get your thoughts online.
One of the benefits of having a blog like this one is that your blog can be easily found in a search of the blogger website. Also, since it's a Google product, the chances are that it will be coded so that it will appear well in searches, though there is no promise since Google take the impartiality of their searches very seriously. What is SEO?
Probably the best selling point of Blogger are the opportunities to "monetise your blog" by allowing selected adverts. Although the return is likely to come in very slowly, should your blog become popular it could become a viable source of income.
LiveJournal are another free online blogging service. This time they don't have the benefit of Google to back them up, but they've been around for quite a long time and are both trustworthy and reliable. The features are similar to those on Blogger, with options to upgrade to a paid account.
Wordpress is a very popular and free blogging system. Like Blogger and LiveJournal you can set up a free account online. However, you can also choose to set it up on your own website domain (or on a sub-domain) .
Why? I hear you ask, would you do so when you can have a free account? Well, it turns out that a lot of businesses don't want to rely on a third party provider when they can do it themselves. After all, the provision of these free services is always subject to change.
Beyond that though, the installation of the Wordpress Content Management System (or CMS) attracts and keeps your visitors on your website, instead of on a third party server. What's more, it's easier to customise Wordpress when you have full access to the template files on your main website server.
In fact, a lot of websites use Wordpress as not only a blog, but to administer their entire website.
The down side is, of course, you need to pay for the hosting - but if you have a website hosted already the chances are that there will be little or no extra cost.
How much does a blog cost?
As discussed above, blogs in general don't cost anything to set up. Some companies choose to integrate their blogs into their main website, so as to not become reliant on a free service that could be withdrawn at any time.
For Blogger and Wordpress blogs it is possible to create custom layouts and themes. If you would like to have a new layout or theme designed and set up for your blog, the cost starts from around £400. If you are setting up a blog for the first time, this cost includes website hosting for the first year - absolutely free.
If you have any further questions about blogging, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.