Blogging has become very popular over the past few years. There are many options that range from free to an unlimited price. With the introduction of WordPress and Blogger just about any one can have a blog up and running in a matter of minutes. In this article I an going to skip the free method, I think everyone has mastered the art of filling out a form and and living within the limitations of free accounts, instead I am going to focus on paid hosting and installing your own blogging platform. Doing this will give you the freedom to customize the look of your blog and the plugins you use.

Hosting your own blog allows you to keep control of your content, easily move it and back it up if you need to . Other advantages are that you can make your blog look the way you want, you can post ads and affiliate links so that you can earn money from blogging and not have ads forced from another company on your site.

Installing blogging software is as easy as signing up for a free account. If you have cPanel with your web hosting, all you have to do is go into your control panel and click on the fantastico link. Once you are in the fantastico control panel you will have the choice of installing three different blogging platforms. I would recommend WordPress, it has one of the larges support communities and more plugins than you can count. To install WordPress all you have to do is click on the WordPress link and fill out a form. When the form is complete click the finish button and view your new site.

After your site is up and running you can go to your WordPress control panel located a yourdomain.whatever/wp-admin. From your admin area you can add articles, change the template, manage extensions, and upload media.

To add more templates you will need an ftp program like cyberduck.ch and a template you want to use. There are many free and premium templates on the internet I would suggest googling it. When you find a template you like simply open the ftp program, connect to your server, navigate to the wp-content/templates folder and upload your template. When the transfer is complete go to your WordPress admin and activate the new theme.

It is very easy to put ads on your wordpress site. First you will have to go to google and signup for an adsense account and generate your code. You will also need an adsense module for your wordpress site that can be downloaded on the wordpress plugin site for free and upload it through ftp to the wp-content/plugins folder. When the plugin is installed go to your wp-admin and paste the adsense code into the plugin.

Hosting you own blog is really no more work than having a free account, but in the long run having full control over your content is priceless. For more information on hosting your own blog please view our blog hosting plans. You can take control for as little as $4.95 a month.

Kirk McCutcheon is the director of web operations for HOST-REA, a web hosting and web design company dedicated to providing Reliable Easy and Affordable web solutions.

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