Many sites will host your blog for free, whether you want to start one simply because you want to express yourself, or you have a specific agenda or niche reader that you want to target. The aim of a blog can be for personal use or to promote goods and services, and with free hosting and CMS and that borders on something professionals use, you can craft a site that will capture the attention and traffic of many.
In The Beginning ...
Every blog, vlog, or mega-site like facebook started somewhere small. One server, a few pages, and hopefully some unique functionality or user interaction that will set you apart from the crowd. You should always have a good heading that stands out and describes your blog. Mine simply says Blake Gardner's Blog and has my picture and signature on it. When I started out I just had a landing page with a bio and some information about how to buy my book. It was pretty basic and got no traffic at all. Soon after I switched to a WordPress site with their famous CMS that I already had experience with. I added more pages and put up articles on my blog. It became more than just a page to try and sell my book. It became my home away from home that I could freely express my thoughts and opinions.
Transitioning To a Commercial Site
Soon after you begin your site you have to consider a great many things. You may not have as of yet, enough traffic to sell ads but you could be selling products and services. This means as a commercial entity you will have to consider things like incorporating and the liability issues of copyright infringement. I know how easy it is to simply google an image and use this for a feature image for your site. However, this leaves you open for lawsuits that can total large amounts you may not be prepared to pay. Sites like Flickr.com, which is a favorite of mine, have photos with commercial licenses and all that is required is that you cite the artist and site you got it from. A URL in the description is a nice homage to the person that has so graciously allowed users all over the web to use their images.
The Mega Site
This type of blog, or news source, as it would be now termed is not for the beginner. You will need advanced web development skills and a team of writers and editors, graphic designers, and other support staff to keep your site running. Some of these employees can be outsourced by way of freelance work but if you want the highest quality work out of them you will want to hire them for a permanent position. Not everyone is Mark Zuckerberg but you could grab a portion of the billion or so users of the internet and make a nice profit that could give you the "fuck you" money that all Americans dream of the very day they learn of the free market.
Not every part of your duties as an admin will be to code or design your budding site. Social media is the biggest part of promoting your work, and lucky you, it's totally free. If you have a following already you could begin to see moderate traffic from the outset. If you don't then you will have to build your following and branch out to network with like minded people interested in you site. The main goal is revenue so if you can get the right person interested in your idea and build then you can receive an investment that will help you make payroll and keep your servers afloat. But don't get discouraged if your blog stays a moderately successful blog for the life of the site. You have a hobby and it's the best thing for you to hone your craft of either writing or designing and coding that could help you in a position with a "mega site" that will pay you enough to feel your endeavor was worthwhile, and don't forget to have fun.
Published by Blake Gardner