Pressed for Words?

by Steve Deal on April 24, 2012

Holzspindelkelter von 1702

One of the most common reactions to my new blog is ‘How can I do that’?    The short answer is ‘WordPress’.

The printing press revolutionized the spread of knowledge back in the 15th century, making it possible to create and distribute books en mass.

By the 20th century, modern offset printing made it possible to produce short run books at low cost.   A friend and I published technical books this way, and put ourselves through college!  Some of them still show up on Amazon occasionally (but please don’t pay $50 for it / I have a few around I’ll let you have for a lot less!).

In this century, the internet is the new publishing space, and I think a tool called WordPress could be the next Gutenberg.  It’s software that makes it easy to quickly post entries (like the one you are reading) to a website (called a blog).

There are several ways to get started:

Build it all from Scratch (ugh)

Download the WordPress software and install it on your PC, buy a website, build and publish it yourself.   It’s how you had to do it in the beginning, and maybe how some really big sites do it.  But not recommended for us mortals.

Blogging Websites

Sites like Blogger or WordPress.com are hosted sites that provide the setup and maintenance for you.   You configure your site some, and start writing away.    Theses sites are usually free, or offer low cost add-ons.  They usually contain advertising to support the cost of the site.

Some blogs that I follow:

You can still have your own name (e.g. sewinghappyplace.com) that points to your blog on one of these sites.  I think this is a great way for an individual to get started blogging quickly.  You get to focus on the content instead of building a website.

A Place to Call my Own

If you want to be advertising free, or if you want a more full featured website (like this one), there are some nice options available.  You can do this yourself, or we can help.

  • Setup a website with a company that understands/hosts WordPress.   We use InMotion – ~$6/month.  The WordPress software is installed on the website – nothing on your PC.
  • A basic WordPress site can look pretty simple – We usually dress it up with Thesis, which is a ‘theme’ that makes configuration and customization a lot easier.
  • Find or take some nice pictures, and start writing!

I still marvel at the transition in publishing just in my lifetime.  I  started in grade school traveling 45 minutes to a college library to get ‘special’ books.  I’ve published print books, and owned a printing shop helping others make books.  And now in minutes I can publish chapters available instantly all over the world.  We live in great times.

Isn’t it time for you to tell your story?

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