Whether you're blogging for business of pleasure, popular blogging sites offer the tools, the promotional material and an easy way to get your message out there. Thematically, blogging is the online equivalent of the online editorial mingled with the columnist. The style of the blog is a direct reflection of the person who writes it.
About Popular Blogging Sites
Popular blogging sites offer bloggers the best tools, easy access to promotional information and a ready-made network of other bloggers to interact with. There are five major contenders in the blogging world that currently fill the needs of the common, newbie blogger. Creating an account on these services is free, and setting up a blog there is also free. Additionally, most of these sites offer self-explanatory tutorials that walk bloggers through the setup process.
Blogger is one of the earliest online blog publishing systems. It launched in 1999 and was purchased by Google in 2003. Creating a blog on this popular blogging site only requires a small handful of clicks. Blogger tools allow you to customize the features on your blog, including putting images and polls on it, and creating sub accounts for other users to post on your blog.
LiveJournal is a mixture of an online community, blogging and social networking. Creating an account there is free, and blogs can be marked private with only certain friends or LiveJournal members allowed to read them. Private blogs are ideal for sororities, clubs and even fan clubs. A private blog is also a useful tool for teaching and training.
MySpace is definitely a social networking site, but it allows MySpace users to blog freely on their own sites as well. A MySpace account is required, and you'll want to decorate your MySpace page with information about the topic of your choice or with a design that reflects your style. The blog will then post live on MySpace, and you can make it readable by only your friends or by everyone. The MySpace blog option isn't as popular as Blogger, LiveJournal or Word Press for pure blogging, but it's a very useful tool that writers can benefit from using.
TypePad is not a free service, and it offers a bit more of a business model for professional bloggers to utilize. The first fourteen days of the service is free so that the blogger can get a real feel for it. After that, users pay a monthly fee based on the level of service they desire. TypePad users who are supporting serious personal business with their accounts can typically earn their fees back.
WordPress is another free blogging site, but with a twist. WordPress is open source blogging software, making it all available for free. Some fees are associated with WordPress if users want to buy their own domain name to point at their blog. For example, if someone creates myblog.wordpress.com, they could also have the blog hosted under myblog.com with a small fee. WordPress offers a lot of options, and unlike Blogger and TypePad, the tools take a little more getting used to, but it is the most popular, with over a quarter of a million users.
As with any service online or off, popularity is based on a very subjective criteria; what appeals to one blogger may not appeal to another. Bloggers who are using blogging sites to self-promote may want to develop an affinity for all of the above in order to reach the broadest audience, but it's not always necessary. If you find something you like and it works, go with it.