Do you have a hobby that you just have to share with others? ContentRobot would encourage you to get blogging!
Whether you are excited about knitting, gardening, or playing with model trains, we think you should create yourself a “hobby blog!”
As WordPress experts, ContentRobot says click over to WordPress.com and we promise can be blogging in mere minutes upon signup.
ContentRobot’s Hobby Blog
One member of the ContentRobot team has developed her own hobby blog on WordPress.com. The Diamondbacks Rock Blog allows Karen to write about her daughter’s little league team. In a few hours, the blog provided information about the team and the league, and offered an easy way to keep the parents informed about any changes in schedule, upload photos (and videos soon), and publish game-day reports. Go check it out: http://dbacksrock.wordpress.com
Why Choose WordPress.com for Your Hobby Blog?
While WordPress.com has some limitations, it’s a real nice, easy, and free way to get blogging. It has so much to offer in terms of both design and functionality.
There are currently 67 templates to choose from, and many of them can be customized with a graphical header (with its built-in cropping tool, its quite easy to do) and/or implementing a different color pallet.
Before you pick a theme for your blog, consider the following:
- How many columns do you want (1, 2, or 3)? What elements will they contain?
- Do you need to display a menu? A navigation system is nice when you have supporting pages that fall outside of your blog posts.
- What does your blog’s home page contain? You can choose to display a “static page” or your reverse chronological blog posts.
Because the design is separate from the content, you can change them “on-the-fly” to see what look you ultimately want. With a little thought, your blog can look professional at no cost.
Most of the themes are considered widget-ready. This means that you can add functionality, often to the sidebars, without knowing much (if any) programming.
Common widgets that are nice to include are:
- Recent posts (while its nice to have people scroll through your blog, it’s nice to give them a bit of navigation to go directly to the post they are interested in)
- Archives (give them the ability to step through your blog by the last 12 months)
- Category Listing / Topic Cloud (another nice navigation option allows visitors to see posts grouped by category, the topic cloud can give a visual view of what you are writing about)
- RSS feed (allow visitors to subscribe to your blog and receive your content in a news reader)
- Other fun widgets are:
- Flickr (show off your photos by connecting to your Flickr account)
- Email subscriptions (let them signup to receive your content via email, great for those who do not understand the power of RSS)
- Social sharing (allows visitors to submit your post to delicious, digg, etc.)
Advantages of Using WordPress.com
- You get a full version of the software
- You’ll always be on the latest version of the software and related plugins/widgets
- Easy to change your theme
- Free* blogging in minutes
Disadvantages of Using WordPress.com
- * Your site will hang off of the WordPress.com URL unless you pay an additional fee (upgrade for $10/year)
- * Lack of flexibility when it comes to design and some customizations may require you to pay additional fees (upgrade to customize your CSS for $15/year)
- * You only have so much storage, going over your 3GB limit will impose additional fees (extra storage starts at $20/yr for an additional 5 GBs)
While ContentRobot encourages businesses to pursue a custom blog strategy, there are times when available free tools can fit the blogging bill – like using WordPress.com to create a Little League blog!