Archive for December, 2010

The logo of the blogging software WordPress.

Image via Wikipedia

The Internet has rooms for informative websites, and advertising campaigns. It even has room for online communities. Yes, the Internet is big enough, that it can still accommodate thought of individuals just like a diary can through blogging (short for web logging).

But it offers more than just space for expressions. It allows the blog owner to update friends, post messages, and earn money by placing advertisements. Some people even use blogs as avenues for exchanging thoughts and opinion regarding a certain topic. That is if you know how to design and install your own blog.

For a lot of people out there who has not tried blogging, there is nothing to worry about in setting up your own blog and making it extravagant. The steps are as easy as one… two… three!

Step one: Get your own blog account.

It all starts in getting a blog account. For your blog to get out there, you need software to create your blog entries, and a host that will place your blog in the World Wide Web.

There are a lot of options regarding this matter because of the availability of a lot of blogging companies that offer services for free or at a fixed rate.  The choice is yours. The thing with paid blog hosts are the premium features that it offers. But if you do not need many features, a free blog service will do the trick.

Here is a list of commendable free blogging services and blogging software:

Services:
-    Blogger
-    Live journal
-    Livelogcity
-    Blogdrive
-    Squarespace

Software:

-    Movabletype Free
-    WordPress
-    Geeklog
-    Greymatter
-    Pmachine Free
-    Nucleus

A lot of online sites like online communities and online albums started to integrate blogs as part of their services.

Step two: Personalize your website by installing cool free resources.

It is possible to make your blog site as beautiful as possible by adding free features. Aside from that, there are free resources that add practicality and function to your blog.

Here are some examples:

Templates

Templates are generally html codes, but when executed, they add personality and style to your blog sites. And you do not necessarily have to stick to the preset templates offered by the blogging companies. The Internet provides a lot of resources for acquiring templates.  Here are some free template and skin resources:

– BlogSkins

Templates from BlogSkins are compatible with Blogger and MovableType software. They also have a featured skin of the day that you may want to try out.

– Blog Fashions

The company allows the site visitors to copy or alter their featured templates. The templates, however, are compatible only to Movable Type software.

– Blogmaker

Blogmaker offers tools that will make blogging easy. The only thing that users have to do is to provide contents, and use these tools to publish blog sites. They also offer a vast number of templates to choose from.

Tag boards

Tag boards are like templates – an html code. But tag boards add the sense of interaction and instant communication to your blog site. With this feature, your blog fans will have a venue to instantly comment. You also get to read all their comments at once without going each of the comment section of your entries.

Here are some commendable sites that offer tagboards

-    MyShoutBox
-    Tag-Board
-    TagboardSite

Games and animations

To make the blog site dynamic, there are animations and games that can be placed in blog sites too.

To put these animations in your site, check out the following online companies:

-    Animations
-    GIFAnimations
-    AnimationFactory
-    Aardman Animations Limited

Step Three: The rest is up to your imagination (and perseverance too!)

Since blogs are sets of html codes, the more that you know about html, the more that you will be free to make your own adjustments to your blog.

Knowing a lot of resources sites can also be handy, since the combination of these resources will determine the overall functionality and look of your site.

It all starts with simple things and following simple steps and before you know it, you have become masters in the art of blog making!

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Finance Blog Consumerism Commentary and Readers Donate $ 14,000 to Charity












Princeton, NJ (PRWEB) December 22, 2010

Consumerism Commentary, the premiere personal finance blog, is pleased to announce that readers of the blog have rallied together to generously answer the website’s call for charitable donations. Readers donated a total of $ 8,000 and matching contributions from Consumerism Commentary brought the final donation tally to $ 14,000.

On Thanksgiving Day, Luke Landes, blog owner and writer for the personal finance blog Consumerism Commentary, asked his readers to send copies of their end-of-year charity receipts to the website. Consumerism Commentary pledged $ 5,000 in matching funds and finance blog MoneyCrush volunteered to match an additional $ 1,000. At the end of just three weeks, the readers of the blog readily contributed $ 8,000 in donations. This generous contribution surpassed last year’s donation amount by 123%, for a total of $ 14,000 donated to needy causes.

In these tough days and tough times for everyone, the readers of Consumerism Commentary still came through with charitable donations surpassing all goals. Readers donated to worthy charities such as Heifer International, DonorsChoose, Habitat for Humanity, and many others. Luke Landes then matched the first $ 5,000 with a donation to Medicins Sans Frontieres, also known as Doctors Without Borders.

In regards to this charitable spirit and community, Landes states, “The Consumerism Commentary readership community displayed true generosity and giving in the spirit of the holiday season this year, benefiting more than thirty charitable organizations. With the matching contributions to Doctors Without Borders and Nothing But Nets, one small community can indeed make a substantial difference.”

Since 2003, Consumerism Commentary has been the premiere personal finance blog, focusing on personal finance and consumer issues. Out of college for a few years and deeply in debt, Luke Landes, using the pseudonym of Flexo, created Consumerism Commentary to publicly hold himself accountable for his own finances. Today, Flexo is back on his feet financially and his blog is one of the leaders of the now burgeoning financial blog community. Consumerism Commentary offers tips and reviews of financial products such as the best savings accounts and credit cards. Above all, it provides a community for individuals interested in improving their own finances.

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Blogging? Again?

Blogging may be something you have heard so much about but have not paid much attention to. Some people are even afraid of showing their ignorance and do not want to ask what a blog is.

What are blogs?

Blogs are web logs that are regularly updated, some even daily. They consist of information that is related to a certain topic. In some cases, blogs are used as daily diaries about people’s personal lives, political views and commentaries.

Simply put, blogs can be made into whatever the author want them to be.

What is the origin of blogging?

Blogs can be traced back in the 1990’s. Who started them is not known. Although it started during that time, it was in 1999 that people got into blogging.

The first blogs were just personal commentaries and mostly web tours. It is ironic that these blogs were initially thought of as diaries or journals online. But now, they have already turned into the latest web content that is being done by just about anyone.

What is the importance of blogging?

For the individuals, blogging is a trendy and classy thing to do. You get to write what you want, add some pictures into it and put links that are related and useful to the message you are writing about. But for businesses, they found blogs to be the answer to getting back the customers that they used to have by presenting them with new and fresh contents not seen anywhere else.

It is a fact that content is very important for an online business. Not only because they are the ones being found by search engines for site optimization, but also they give visitors a reason to come back to get more information.

What are some types of blogs?

1. The professional blogs. These kinds of blogs allow businesses to tell their customers or potential customers about the latest news or updates in their industry. This is also where they can catch up on the development being done in their business.

These blogs are updated daily to be able to increase the chance of search engine to spider them. This also increases the page rank of a certain site because they are submitted to blogging directories.

2. Personal blogs. Just about anyone can write this kind of blog. This is where people get to share their ideas, thoughts and everything else they want other people to read about. Some of these blogs are not into page ranks and search engine optimization. They may be just for fun or informational purposes. What is the most widely used type of blogging?

The most widely used blogs are the business blogs. It seems that companies and businesses have already realized the benefits they can get from blogging and is making them a substantial part of their growth.

To use blogs for business purposes, you first have to know how it can benefit you. It would be best if you have a schedule made and stick with it. Let your readers know what your blogs are all about and when to expect them.

Blogs can give valuable supplemental content and attention to areas of businesses that you want to highlight. You get to direct and guide your readers on your blogs.

What are the things needed in creating a blog?

Nowadays, there are a variety of tools that can be used in creating blogs. It is advisable to use the standard html version because of security reasons.

Making blogs are as easy as typing an email. All you need is to put in the content and send it to the web server. Once done, it is directly printed on your page and displayed there for an amount of time.

What are other advantages of blogging?

While you may originally create a blog for your existing customers, you may find that you are able to attract more and new customers by writing about your expertise in a specific field.

There are many websites that act as “blog search engines”. Be sure to submit your sites to these websites to boost your exposure. This will also help with your page rank and possibly increase the possibility of you getting a respectable ranking with Google.

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Breaking the block in blogging

If there is such a thing as a writer’s block, then there is also what everyone calls a blogger’s block.

Some of you may already know that kind of feeling. These are times when you feel that you cannot seem to start blogging anything. That everything is so clustered and you cannot begin to write one single word.

How could this happen when you were so good at blogging before? Why is it that you cannot get one word written? And the more you think about blogging, the more you are not able to blog.

What is the best thing to do when you find yourself situations like this?

Below are ideas that you might find helpful during your “cannot seem to blog” days.

1. Do some blog visitation.

Go to some blog sites and read what is posted there. If possible, trace back blogs that were past favorite. Or you could also visit some least favorite ones. By doing this, you will be able to get ideas on what to write about. Maybe one or to things that you come across will tick something on your brain and remove the big block there. You might be able to find a topic that you want to blog about but has forgotten already.

2. Have a look at your blog inbox.

This is one of the best ways to find a topic to write about. Since this is your site, you might notice aspects you have set aside before. You can try and answer an email or a comment made there.

This is also the best time to check out links that are put into other posts. Have a look at what they are offering. It might just be related to yours and you will be thankful that you checked.

3. Put some comment on other blogs.

You can make use of your own blog to comment on another’s. Maybe you can get to expand the idea that is already presented. You can use trackback comments if the site allows it.

4. Check out the news.

Even though your blogging is not in any way related to news, current events or politics, there is nothing wrong with checking out what is happening to the world lately. Sometimes, these things tend to have a small relation to what you are blogging about.

5. Blog randomly.

Look for a word or topic. Then begin writing about it. You can also do this with pictures. Check out photos and think of something to write about it.

If those things do not seem to work for you, you can search for creative or journal writing software to help you with your writing problem. Oftentimes, these things have suggestions of topic or idea that can help you get started.

6. Think about an extraordinary topic.

For example, you can research about inventions and inventors. What was the first car ever invented? Anything that you fancy.

You can look for them at online resources like encyclopedias and almanacs. When you finally have the answer, start blogging about it. You never know, maybe some people are thinking of the same things and you have somehow provided them with answers. Besides, it also fine to drift off from your usual topic one in awhile. Your readers might like the refreshing change too.

7. Do something you have not done before.

If you cannot think of something new, any blogging related things will do just as long as you have not done them to your blogs before. Put pictures into your blogs. Add videos or any other unique features. It is all up to you.

8. Forget about blogging for a while.

This might be one of those times when your mind and body is in need of a break from writing. Get outside. Go to the beach or go shopping. Anything that will take your mind off your blogs.

You just might feel refreshed and ready to start blogging once you get back up in front of your computer.

There are a lot more ways of getting off that blogging block off you. Think about it. If ever you did come up with other things, you can blog about it to help others experiencing blogger’s block.

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ALSO, I’ve searched for specific sites just for editing my myspace bLog.. I cant seem to find any other than create bLog

There’s this really great on called pyzam.com. They seriously have THOUSANDS of free blog and myspace templates and layouts

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