If you want to have a blog simply as an online diary for yourself, or for select family and friends, you can use free blogging software such as www.blogger.com . In fact, when I first started blogging I used this option because, to tell the truth, I didn’t know any better. And I still have one blog on this software (see www.mrslieutenant.blogspot.com).
If you want to have a blog to promote your brand, book or business, it is much better to have a self-hosted blog rather than a hosted blog (such as on blogger.com). The main reason for this is that you can control your own blog. In other words, you are not limited to what a hosted blog such as blogger allows you to put on your blog.
Plus there is another important consideration. Here is the link to my Examiner article “Business Blogging: Are You Getting Any Search Engine Juice?” that explains a major risk of using a free hosted site – http://budurl.com/searchenginejuice
(And, remember, you may start out planning to write a blog only for your personal enjoyment and then be bitten by the blog writing bug and decide to expand your readership. In this case, you’ll then want to take advantage of the opportunities a self-hosted blog provides.)
The blogging software platform that I recommend is WordPress.org, usually referred to as WordPress. This is NOT the same as WordPress.com, which is a free hosted blogging platform somewhat similar to blogger.com
And the beauty of using WordPress for your self-hosted blog is that, at a later date, you can decide to also have static pages, thus creating a website with its own blog. (Or you can begin this way with static pages and a blog.)
Caution: It is not easy to setup a WordPress blog (or WordPress website and blog) and you are likely to need to hire someone to do this for you. (You’ll need to get your own domain name and host server plus a free or fee theme – think format – for your WordPress blog.)
Yet once the blog is setup, it is as easy to publish your posts as it is to do this on hosted sites such as blogger. (I now publish posts on several WordPress sites, including TheBloggersBulletin.org and MillerMosaicLLC.com/blog .)
Bottom line? The answer to how to have a blog is to do it correctly right from the beginning. Get a self-hosted blog that you control and then write worthwhile content that your target markets want to read.
© 2010 Miller Mosaic, LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is an Internet business consultant. Her new FREE report is “Twitter, Facebook and Your Website: A Beginning Blueprint for Harnessing the Power of 3 for Your Business” – download the report now from www.millermosaicpowerof3.com