Most of us are familiar with the Wordpress blogging system, it's become very popular due to an amazing features set, ease of use, and the way the search engines seem to love Wordpress sites. When going to Wordpress you actually have two options.
One is to go with the "self hosted" Wordpress. In a nutshell you will have your own hosting, your own domain, and will install Wordpress there, either as the main domain, sub-domain, or in a folder. For example, ThisIsMyNewSite.com or ThisIsMyNewSite.com/blog or blog.ThisIsMyNewSite.com. The hard way is to set up a database, download the WP files, upload them to yoursever, then run the instal program. Some servers have a "cpanel" user interface with the "Fantastico" widget. Fantastico will do all of the setup for you. Some other sites make it even easier, but that's another article.
Wordpress.com is another good way to go. No hosting, domain names, setup, or anything to worry about. All of these blogs are hosted on Wordpress' own servers and you can have a full blown site at a cost of ... zero. Your site name will be something like ThisIsMyNewSite.Wordpress.com
The only other "issue," which won't be of concern to the brand new site builder person is that Wordpress.com restricts the level of customization that you can do. Don't get me wrong here. There are still over 100 templates to choose from and a number of settings that you can use to create a pretty good looking site. It's just that with the self-hosted WP you can do a lot more. Save that until you've gotten your feet wet.
To get started with a Wordpress.com blog all you need are a good email address and a topic, which will be the "domain name" of your new site. Browse over to Wordpress.com (not .org) and find that big, orange, "Sign Up Now" button. (Also note the link below it, to their walk-through guide.)
Hit that button and you'll be confronted with a page, in large type (!), asking your for the name of your site, you login name, your password (twice,) and your email. If the sitename or the username or the emailhave already been used then you will not be able to get to the next page. Once everythng is accepted then Wordpress will send you an email to confirm that you're you. Click the link in that email and you're in.
At this point you have an official Wordpress.com blog with a decent theme aleady installed. When you click that link in your email you will see a "congratulations" page with a link to view your blog or to login in your administration area. Go ahead and check out your new blog, I'll wait, then login. You do remember your username and password, right?
Once you login you're at the "Dashboard" of your admin area. There's a lot there and there's a video in the center which will give you a quick walkthrough of the dashboard and some neat features. To the right of the video are some links. "Profile" lets you set some personal info, "Settings" will let you tweak a number of your blog settings, and "Themes" will let you change the entire look and feel of your site.
For now, just go to profile and fill it out with any information that you don't mind being public. Then go to "Themes" and pick a theme that works for you. Note that over a hundred are available. Lastly, at the top of the dasboard you should see a link that says "new post." Click that and go make a post.
For more details on this, see How to Build Your WordPress.com Site, but for now, with that first post in the can...
Congratulations, you're a blogger!
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