The HOP Guide To Blogging: Lesson 1

by Aman on October 22, 2011

Blogging 101: The Basics

Horn OK Please - BlogboardWhen it comes to blogging and the likes, the first question in every mind is “What is a blog?”. Wikipedia defines it as “a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time”.

However, I would rather define it as, “a place to vent your feelings, frustration and emotions; a place for you to share your knowledge, whatever little you have and appear to be an expert on the same. Like I’m doing right now!” 😛

Blog Categories

Now that we’ve got the basic question out of the way, we can focus on other important things. Since a blog is a way of expression, it can range across a variety of topics. We can have Sports Blogs, Movie Blogs, Finance Blogs, Technical Blogs and Personal Blogs to name a few categories. The one you’re reading will come under the category of Personal & Humor. (and sarcastic, yes!)

Free and Paid Blogs

No, this does not mean that some blogs are free to read while others are paid. It simply has to do with how they’re setup. You see every website out there requires some space on which it is hosted much like the way every little document stored on our computer’s hard disk takes up some space. So there are sites that offer you your own personal little blog with all the data stored on their servers meaning that you don’t need to pay for all that storage space. For example, sites like Blogger, Blogadda and WordPress.  However, these sites come with a catch that your blog or web address will be an extension of their own site. Confused are you?

So let’s make it simple. For example, you go to Blogger and set up an account over there. You decide to name your blog “My Catharsis of Life”. While creating your account, you can choose the URL of your blog, provided it hasn’t already been taken. So in this case, Blogger gives you the unique web address of www.mycatharsisoflife.blogspot.com. As you can see below, the Blogger id is affixed after your site name.

Horn OK Please - Catharsis of Life

Similarly, you can open up accounts like www.amandeepkohli.wordpress.com or www.whatshitareyoutalking.blogspot.com! 😛

The upside with these free blogs is that well, they’re Free! You don’t need to worry about buying a domain name or any hosting space and I would recommend every amateur blogger to start off with these free blogs. Hell, I too started off with www.mycatharsisoflife.blogspot.com and kept at it for 2 years. However, as you become more experienced at blogging, you realize that these free blogs don’t offer you the freedom to customize the look and feel of your blog the way you want it to be. Plus, the annoying id that is suffixed to your site address!

And that’s when the world decided to move on to paid blogs wherein you bought the domain name of your choice, paid for the hosting and did whatever the hell you wanted to do with it. Seriously, the amount of customization and freedom that you get with these kinds of blogs is unimaginable. And you don’t need to be a tech-junkie or a coding wizard to do this. Just to show you the coolness of this, below is a before and after screenshot of how I transformed the look and feel of Horn OK Please through some cool widgets and very little coding.

Horn OK Please - Thesis Basic

Before

Horn OK Please - Thesis Custom

After

I’ll go into further details on buying a domain name and hosting in the next series of my posts. Till then, check out this simple video on opening up a free Blogger account. All you need is a Gmail account and voila, the world will have its next Man Booker Prize nominee!

Next Up: Lesson 2 – Buying A Domain Name

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