So you want to start a blog but not pay anything for it? No problem! There are a number of great sites on the web where you can start a blog free of charge. How do you know which site to choose? That all depends on the features and flexibility that you are looking for; don't worry, I'll spell it out for you.
- Blogger.com: Probably the most well-known name in online blogs, Blogger has millions of members and is very easy to use. The main downside that I have found to the site is the low number of templates to choose from to make your blog look swank. Also, if you want to customize your blog, it takes a little searching through the page code to do so.
- LiveJournal.com: With over 2 million members worldwide, Livejournal (or LJ as the users call it) is an easy, straightforward way to have your own free blog, as well as make friends. Their "friends list" feature makes it easy to stay up-to-date with your favorite blog buddies. They also have a feature where you can get updates on your friends list from blogs syndicated from other sites. Communities are yet another way to meet people on the site, usually based around a certain subject, hobby, or location. Customization is very easy on LJ as well; all in all, this would be my first choice.
- Xanga.com: This site is a good alternative to LJ, with varied customization and posting simplicity. There are also blogrings that you can join, depending on your interests. There are a number of ways to customize the look of your blog, but you will need to know basic HTML first.
- MySpace.com: In the world of online friend sites, MySpace has quickly become king. Though the site is more well-known for just meeting new people, their blog feature is a very flexible one. You get a direct website for you blog, and a number of ways to customize it. Also, posting is easy and people who are members of the site can "subscribe" to your blog, getting an update when you post.
- WordPress.com: More well-known for their free blog software at WordPress.org, you can also get a free blog at this site if you do not have a server to add their free package to. There are a number of ways to customize your blog, but it does take a little extra tinkering than other sites. At last investigation, there is no friend's list-style option on the site either.
Take the time to look around at each of the above mentioned sites before you decide who to sign-up with. The last thing you want is five-six different blogs - way too many to keep updated. Going through the sign-up process is easy, though it does differ from site to site. Other than asking for your name and general location, you will need an email address as well. Also, when you get to the option of adding a profile picture or user icon, make sure to do so; people are much more likely to read your blog if you take the time to fill out your whole profile.
Now, you've been through the easy process of signing up - the hard part is trying to think about what to write; enjoy!