In This Chapter
Choosing a blogging tool
Setting up your blog
Changing the look of your blog
Putting your first post in print
Blogging is defined, in part, by the tools you use to publish the words you write. These tools tend to be extremely easy to set up, but you still have to do a little work.
This chapter helps you select the best tool for your purpose and then set up the tool and perhaps customize it. After you accomplish all those tasks, I walk you through writing your first post.
First things first: Choose your tool. All blogging tools have certain characteristics in common:
They work in your Web browser.
They publish your written material on a Web site.
They enable site visitors to then write comments in response to your entries (called blog posts).
They include a way for visitors to subscribe to your blog by using the RSS feature. (I tell you more about that later.)
Apart from those similarities, though, the various blogging platforms differ widely. In the following sections, I describe four of the most popular ones in detail and then list a few others that you might want to investigate.
Blogger.com is a basic blogging service owned by Google. You can sign up in a few quick steps and start publishing your first posts in a few minutes. Figure 2-1 shows the Blogger authoring tools.
Figure 2.1. Writing ...