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Ask Deemable Tech: Starting A Blog

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Kristina writes, "I would like to start a blog. I have been gardening for quite a while, and I think it would be cool to share pictures and stories about my experiences, but I don’t know how to go about starting one up. Can you help?"

There are several great, free blogging tools that you can use to bring your gardening expertise to the masses. They all have similar features and are all pretty easy to setup. The hardest part is simply deciding which one will work for you.

The three biggest blog creation tools are probably WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger (aka Blogspot). All three of these let you post articles and pictures, customize the look and feel of your blog, and choose an easy-to-remember web address.

WordPress is one of the oldest blog systems, and is probably also the most popular. It has a ton of customization options for power users, although it can get kind of technical. You can create a basic blog for free to start out, and there are more advanced features that you can pay to get access to.

To get started with a WordPress blog, just go to wordpress.com and click the big orange “Get Started” button. All you need to get going is an email address, a password, and a name for your blog. The name you use will determine the URL for the blog – for example, if you named your blog “KristinasGardenBlog” the default WordPress web address would be “KristinasGardenBlog.WordPress.com.”

Your second blogging choice is Tumblr. Tumblr is kind of the new hip kid on the blogging block. It feels a bit more like Twitter or Facebook in that you can follow people on it and you can repost things that other people on Tumblr have posted. You can also do regular blog posts just like on WordPress, and it’s very easy to use.

To get started, go to tumblr.com and click the “Sign up” button. The default address of your Tumblr blog will be “your username.tumblr.com,” so choose a username carefully.

Lastly there is Blogger, also known as Blogspot. Just go to blogger.com and it will walk you through the process of setting everything up. Blogger is owned by Google so it will ask you to login with a Gmail address and it will associate your blog with that address. You will be asked to pick a blog address like “KristinasGardenBlog.blogspot.com.”

To get an idea of which blogging tool is right for you, try searching for other blogs that use that tool. For instance, blogsofnote.blogspot.com lists cool blogs that use Blogger. WordPress showcases interesting blogs made using their service on the site wordpress.org/showcase. When you sign up for Tumblr it will suggest numerous blogs to you based on your interest.

Setting up a blog with these services is easy. Each of them will walk you through the process and have you blogging away within minutes! The hard part is really keeping up with regular blog posts. Remember, the most successful blogs are the ones that are updated frequently.

Good luck with your gardening blog, Kristina. We look forward to reading it!

For more great tech ad?vice, download the Deemable Tech app (for iPhone and Android), and listen to Deemable Tech's full length podcast at Deemable.com. You can also follow them on Twitter @Deemable.

Ray Hollister can be reached at rhollister@wjct.org, 904-358-6341 or on Twitter at @rayhollister.
Tom Braun is a writer living in Jacksonville, Florida. In addition to writing about tech and co-hosting WJCT’s Deemable Tech, he writes content for websites and blogs, ghostwrites ebooks, writes short fiction and has written a woefully unpublished dystopian young adult novel that is no doubt his ticket to fame and fortune. Before realizing his true calling as a writer, Tom worked for over a decade as a software developer. He enjoys board games and traveling and once spent a year living in The Netherlands.