Some of the Best Things About Blogs are Free

Filed as Features, Guides on July 25, 2007 9:00 am

This post is blogging motivation for anyone who likes a good deal.

Many things about blogging are free – as in $0.00, plus or minus $0.

Let’s start from the beginning:

  • Learning the basics of blogging can be done by reading varioushow-toposts on the Internet, for the low price of… free.
  • You can sign up and create a blog on Blogger, LiveJournal, or WordPress.com, all of which are… free.
  • If you have your own domain name and hosting company, you can set up a blog using WordPress which runs on PHP and MySQL, all of which are… free.
  • You can pretty up your blog with various themes which are mostlyfree.
  • You can enhance your blog’s functionality with tons of plugins which are mostlyfree.
  • Blogs automatically broadcast their posts through RSS feeds which are generated by your blogging software… for free.
  • You can read RSS feeds from other blogs with a feed reader like Google Reader for… free.
  • If you want a unified feed and the ability to track feed subscribers and other stats, you can sign up for Feedburner, which is… free [and in fact, since it was acquired by Google, has made even more services free]
  • Once your blog is set up, Google searches your blog and indexes all your posts, adding them to Google Blog Search and the Google search engine, bringing you traffic… all for free.
  • You can analyze your blog’s traffic using Google Analytics, which is… free.
  • You can display advertising on your blog by signing up with Google Adsense or affiliate programs like Amazon for… free.
  • What about the software needed to write articles? You can write blog posts with nothing more than a text editor like TextEdit, Notepad, or Google Docs (all free), or use the built in editor that comes with your blogging software that lets you write within your web browser (free). You may need an FTP client and a simple graphics editor to create and upload images (both free).
  • Now that you’re set up with all this free stuff, it’s time to come up with some post ideas. You’re only limited by your imagination, which charges a consulting fee of… free.
  • After you’ve written a few posts, you’ll want to market your blog, through links and trackbacks to other blogs (free). You can comment on other blogs and leave behind your blog’s URL (free). You can submit your blog’s feed to Technorati, a blog aggregator (free), and submit your posts to social news sites like Shoutwire, Digg, Reddit, or StumbleUpon, for free. Yes, free!
  • You may find a small community forming around your blog, where trade of good will is done through the currency of links. You link to posts written by other bloggers, and they link back to you. You have valuable links to offer in a near infinite supply for the high, high, price of… free.
  • Lastly, if you find things aren’t working – maybe the subject of your blog isn’t quite right – you can start all over again, pretty much for free.

It’s actually quite amazing how much a blogger can accomplish without shelling out a single dime. Yes, there’s a base cost for a computer, Internet access, hosting fees, domain registration, and the time investment. But I still feel that through blogging, the average person can become their own publishing outfit with a huge potential audience for a relatively low price. I’m glad I decided to take the plunge.

So write a cool post today… and think about what a great deal you’re getting!

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  1. By Laura posted on July 25, 2007 at 9:46 am
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    Wow! Thanks for linking to my post on commenting. This is a great article, sort of like Blogging 101 with links. Thanks for writing it. I’m going to give the link to my brother and daughter–both of them are new at blogging.

    Reply

  2. By Carolyn posted on July 25, 2007 at 11:28 am
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    Great article, Jason! What a great way to outline how to blog in a simple, fun way. Because the world of blogging is free, it leads to the freedom to be… freedom to express what is expressable. One of my two favorite words in the whole world is “free!” The other… is “free!”

    Reply

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  4. By Webomatica posted on July 25, 2007 at 1:50 pm
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    Carolyn, you know what, I forgot about that meaning of “free” – the freedom to express and of information. Good point, and yet another item to add to the list of what’s free about blogging.

    Reply

  5. By engtech @ IDT posted on July 25, 2007 at 2:25 pm
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    Of course, time isn’t free. :)

    Reply

  6. By J. Angelo Racoma posted on July 25, 2007 at 3:03 pm
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    So it’s both “free” as in “free beer” and “free” as in “free speech.” I just hope I had more “free time” to blog more! :)

    Reply

  7. By Carolyn posted on July 25, 2007 at 3:56 pm
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    It’s all about prioritizing! If we got sick, we would free up time for treatment!

    Reply

  8. By David Airey :: Graphic Designer posted on July 25, 2007 at 4:27 pm
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    Good job, Jason.

    When I first read the title I immediately thought about the time involvment, as this is the only real cost incurred.

    You mention that however, amongst the great other points. Nice write-up.

    Reply

  9. By Webomatica posted on July 25, 2007 at 5:32 pm
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    Yes, several people are mentioning the time involvement. This value can vary greatly from person to person. While one might want to apply a dollar value to an hour of blogging based on their day job, I might consider it a replacement for an hour I might spend doing some other activity – say watching television or playing video games.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting!

    Reply

  10. By Fred posted on July 25, 2007 at 6:57 pm
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    Who said nothing’s for free ;-) If I just had more time…

    Reply

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  12. By pablopabla posted on July 25, 2007 at 11:59 pm
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    Hey! Interesting! You can also blog and get readers to read your blog for free :)

    Reply

  13. By Ramkarthik posted on July 26, 2007 at 5:52 am
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    Thanks for the FREE tips Jason :)

    Also subscribing to blogs like Blogherald is FREE.

    Reply

  14. By David Zemens posted on July 26, 2007 at 9:20 am
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    Blog software…free.
    Blog template…free
    Blog theme…free.
    Blog instructions…free.
    Blog RSS feed…free.
    Blog readers…PRICELESS.

    Reply

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