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Essential Blog Tools to Get Online
There are really just 3 essential Blog tools you need to get your Blog up and running on the Internet (domain, host and Blog software). All other Blog tools are bells and whistles that you can add to your Blog for beautification or added functionality.
Domain NameTo get online, whether through a website or Blog, you will need your own domain name. Unless you are hosting your Blog with a free host (I do not recommend that), you will need your own domain name.
Your domain name is your identity and brand online. As your Blog progresses and as you continue to expand on the Internet, people will begin to recognize you by your domain name. It is your name online!
Register for a domain name now if you don’t have one yet. GoDaddy provides names for as low as 4.99 per year on special sales. Be on the look out!
Read a more comprehensive discussion on domain names here.
Web HostOnce you have a domain name you will need a web host. A web host is where your Blog will be hosted online. Without a host, you cannot make your Blog visible to the masses.
I strongly recommend BlueHost for your Blog’s webhost. BlueHost offers the most features at the best price possible. It is also very easy to work with when integrating Wordpress blogs.
BlueHost is user friendly and you can get your Blog up and running within minutes all through point and click technology. There is no need to know coding!
Read a more comprehensive discussion on web hosts here.
Blog SoftwareThe best Blog software out there today is Wordpress. Download it for free and begin constructing your own Blog in no time. I recommend looking into the many Wordpress “plugins” available to enhance the look and functionality of your Blog.
Most of these tools are absolutely free of charge. You can download them from Wordpress or search for these on Google.
Read a more comprehensive discussion on Wordpress in this section.
Podcasting & RSS FeedsThe RSS feed feature of a Blog is borderline necessity. In the past you could’ve made the argument that RSS feeds are just another enhancement to Blogs. Today however, they are more prevalent than ever.
I hardly see Blogs anymore without the RSS feed function. RSS allows you to gather recent Blog posts as a subscriber and able to automatically send your new posts as a publisher. It works both ways!
Google’s FeedBurner is my recommendation. It is a free RSS tool and I have not seen a better one yet!
TechnoratiThe God of Blogosphere! Make sure you spend some time on their website and learn about who they are, what they do and how they work. Then do whatever you can to make sure they know who you are and are tracking your activities online.
As the main authority on Blogs on the Internet, it is important to get your activity noticed by Technorati. This would be the equivalent of getting the priest’s blessings after communion.
Blog RushIn addition to Technorati, make sure you sign up with Blog Rush! Blog Rush is a free service that drives loads of traffic to your Blog.
Blog Rush is free to use and abuse as they work on a credit granting system. You get a credit each time you use it on your Blog. The credits then allow you to promote your Blog on other Blogs.
A very good use of Blog Rush is to include their small snippet on ever Blog post. The more posts you do, the more credits you earn. The more credits you earn, the more exposure you will get on other Blogs and traffic will just start flocking to you!
You really only need the top three Blog tools to get your Blog online. But use the rest of the Blog tools discussed here as your Blog grows and progresses on the Internet. Your goal should be to keep increasing your readership and eventually using your Blog to monetize the traffic. (2009 Update: Blog Rush has been shut down)
Read this discussion on how to make money from Blogs.
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