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Establishing a Blog

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4/11/2013 5:20:22 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
What advice or experience do the people of DDO have with regards to the creation and maintenance of blogs?

I am in the middle of researching the viability and effectiveness of establishing a blog via a free hosting service (say, Wordpress or Blogger) . It should be noted that part of the reason I'm using a free service is that my coding abilities are rather limited (I'm an amateur at python) . While I will be doing extensive research of my own, I thought that DDO would have a high percentage of people who have written their own blogs given the assertive nature of many on the forums. A few questions:

1. How significant is the lack of a domain name?
2. Do free hosting services garner many readers on average as opposed to paid services (your own website) ?
3. How significantly detrimental is a lack of coding ability to website design?
4. Is it worth establishing a blog considering the above answers?

I am also happy to hear of all experiences with blogs, particularly your own experience in creating blogs.

My thanks in advance to those who reply.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
Posts: 10,906
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4/14/2013 7:41:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
First of all, I don't have a blog. I made one on WordPress once but forgot to post on it after like, the second time and now it's gone. Anyway, I can still answer some of your questions.

1) Domain name
If you can afford to register a domain name, do it. Otherwise, don't worry about it. I see lots of popular blogs on both sides of the fence.
2) Coding experience & Free services
If you use a Blogging service, a simple fundamental grasp of Google will suffice. WordPress is quite good. Again, if you can afford to pay for services (like an extended range of formats) do it, otherwise pick the best free one. There are really awesome free ones.
3) Worth the effort
Let's be honest; a blog is a vanity project. You're basically saying "What I have to say is important, so read my blog". That's fine, if what you have to say is interesting or useful and MANY, MANY blogs are.
However, be prepared to be writing stuff that few, if any, people will ever read. If you are hoping to make money... good luck. However, I would not be dismayed if I didn't instantly get a million people reading my blog and stop adding content. I've been toying with the idea of doing a video game blog, but can't be bothered, nor do I have the money to buy all the new games that come and therefore be able to provide.
I think, really, Vlogs are the future. If you want people to listen to you, get on Youtube.
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9/27/2013 12:11:35 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I am a professional graphics designer; Although I mostly create logos and web design on illustration software, I still have some HTML coding abilities. Unless you know how to code properly, you can not know what effect it can have on your design. When a designers makes a blog design and implement it, a number of issues arise. A designer or blog creator should know how to fix these things. I think having a Wordpress blog is your best bet. because through that you can easily tweak HTML codes to your liking. Its not necessary to have a private domain yourself. if you are creating a blog on A high PR blog sites like Wordpress or Blogger, the search engine will find you :) Yes its definitely worth establishing a blog especially if you want to promote your services. As a graphic designer, I have blogs of my own where i frequently write articles and market free logo designs. This is great exposure and its not so difficult to do. See one of my blogs on blogspot and you will know how it done!
Posts: 4,509
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9/27/2013 11:55:55 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
There is not much chance of a new blog being successful these days, now that the numbers of blogs are in the tens of millions. There are about 90 million tumblr blogs and 60 million wordpress blog sites. Still, it's a nice hobby for people who like to write, and blog articles get hits from people doing a web search a particular subject.

I think its better to have your own domain name, simply to keep control of advertising and features. It's not critical, but it's nice to be master of a world, even a tiny one. You might try a blog site like wordpress for a while, just to see if you really like the hobby. Maintaining your own site is more work in upkeep.

Don't even think of starting from scratch to code a site. That's for someone whose hobby is programming, not writing.

To make a site, the method is to download a standard program that builds blogs and then make some choices to customize it to your taste. Standard choices at available as templates, so you can just fill in some titles and such if you don't want to customize the graphic design. Here is a review of some of popular blog software: Half the top 100 blogs use Wordpress.

There is more advanced category of blog software that provides more control of features and more choices of layout and functions. I used the textpattern software, which is community supported freeware. Users provide many template options, complete with bugs. My experience is that it takes a long time to learn the package, which is worthwhile for a professional graphics designer who builds sites for other people, but it's too much work for a user interested in writing.