Blogging Fun and Profit
Start a “blog”! What is it? Why start one?
A “blog” is, in its simplest form, just a web log (or web based log). It may be started for any purpose – personal expression, showcase your interests, attract like-minded friends, educational value, or as a hobby. You may even make a monetary profit. It can be a casual activity, or in the case of “for profit,” it may require a lot of research and work.
My first experience, donmcelyea.com, occurred more than 10 years ago, before I ever heard the term “blog,” using the Microsoft web development software application “FrontPage.” When Microsoft announced that the FrontPage software was being replaced by a new Microsoft web development software application, “Expressions Web,” I continued with FrontPage until my hosting company stopped installing FrontPage Extensions. The FrontPage Extensions were required for use of FrontPage, and were also required for Expressions Web. I then changed hosting companies. I then bought Expressions Web application software and converted my first FrontPage site to the newer Expressions Web website development application. Expressions Web conformed more closely to accepted web standards.
I have continued publishing with the Expressions Web website development application package until the present time with my first site. However, I have allowed much of the site to become “stale” or outdated. I have not maintained many of the links to other sites and have added very little content over the past few years. The reasons for the neglect are many because of other changes in my life: retirement activities; support of my parent’s through illness and nursing home confinement; and personal bouts with cancer, stroke, etc. Additionally, my hosting company has changed a couple of more times as each dropped the FrontPage Extensions from their server’s software libraries. I now have to upload changes by File Transfer Protocol (ftp), which is not as convenient as the previous method with the Extensions. The site is now very satisfactorily hosted at another hosting company, Ipage Hosting. My latest sites are:
Each of these websites is hosted at a different hosting company, iPage Hosting and HostM Hosting, respectively. I have an Affiliate relationship with iPage and InMotion. It is best to research the offering of several sites and compare their resource offerings with your needs, keeping in mind future requirements that you can forecast or reasonably foresee. Expansion of your requirements may be required very quickly.
When I rather recently became familiar with the term “blog,” I started researching software application packages with features more compatible with the blog format. Neither FrontPage nor Expressions Web had the responsive features that are desired for the blogging format. In doing the research, I bought software application packages WebPlus X7, from Serif, and WebEasy Professional 10, from Avanquest. I also read many reviews of various “for sale” software packages and many free packages. I eventually settled on the free, self-hosted WordPress package from http://www.wordpress.org. However, although the basic application package was free, I quickly bought upgrade capabilities to the basic application. This extended greatly the number of features I could employ with my sites. Extensive research of the software applications available is recommended.
During the research I also found that there is a great wealth of information and assistance from other web sites and forums. The web hosting companies also provide assistance with software package installation, if you are using their applications, and also in uploading sites developed with purchased development software.
Prominently presented blogging sites offering assistance include:
http://www.theblogbuilders.com (Court Tuttle), and
http://www.buildyourownblog.net (Matthew Loomis)
There are many others, including forums dedicated to the various web development software packages. By visiting these bloggers you can get tips for all aspects of the blogging process. The forums present opportunities to converse with other bloggers and share experiences and solutions to problems incurred.