How do I start a blog?

OK, I know that all I need to do is sign up with blogspot or blogger or something, but I was looking for more information than just that, such as:

Can I specify what ads appear?
Do I have to recruit my own ads?
Can I recruit my own ads?
In general, are there length restrictions per post?
Will I retain copyright and the blog title?
Can I use artwork?
Do I get to design the whole page, or just input the text?
Do you specify your own metas so search engines can find you?
Can you make money blogging, or is that one of those pseudo-myths like people getting rich from youtube videos (like, “yes, but there’s only 10 people making a living blogging in the whole world”)?

I’m thinking about starting one, but I don’t like to jump into things without knowing a bit about them, and knowing that I can write and post stuff isn’t enough knowing for me.

So, if you’ve done this, and have any advice or particulars to be cautious of, things to look for in a blog site, etc. I’d very much like to know before I get involved.

Thanks.

Bo

I’ve been doing a blog for the past few years so I’ll do my best to answer your questions but there’s some gaps in what I know.

Blogspot does not put up any ads on its own and I don’t use any. My understanding is that you can sell ads if you want (I know a common option is the Amazon affiliate link) but I haven’t looked into it. For my microscopic personal blog advertising isn’t even on the radar.

Theoretically? Yes. You’ll run out account space eventually. Practically? You can keep going until your fingers fall off.

In the US anything you write is you own. Blogs are not a work for hire system so you’ll keep the copyright. Double check the service agreement though; you’re probably giving any blog service you host through permission to distribute what you write (since they have to send it visitors)) and to use it in promotion (which is good for you anyway).

Naturally. Blogspot limits image size to 8MB but sending someone that large of an image is a bad idea anyway.

Blogspot gives you templates that are very easy to modify or lets you put in whole HTML templates of your own. I personally modified one of the base templates with a color scheme more to my liking but that was because after doing it the hard way for a few years I liked being able to keep things simple.

There’s no option specifically for meta tags in the blog options though if you upload your own template then you can do it. It does have an option for automatically listing the entries with search engines.

You’ve got the gist of it. There’s a microscopically small number of blogs that earn anything more than a tiny amount of money. It’s far more common for people to use a blog as a launching point to other creative works. It still doesn’t happen very often.

Don’t expect to make money. I started my blog for two reasons; I wanted to have a reason to write more and I had a hobby that I thought was worth sharing. I’m satisfied that’s what I’ve gotten out of it. There’s a million voices out there on the web and it’s likely that yours will just be lost in the crowd.

If you can live with that then go for it! Have fun! There really is nothing more to it than writing and clicking post.

Thanks, JSG.

I don’t expect to make any money, but I do have some things I like writing about. For me it’ll prolly be much like my music: I write it for me, but I put it out there for anyone and everyone to listen to if they want, and am occasionally surprised to find that someone else liked what I created.