I am sure there are hundreds of posts and articles available out there on how to create or set up your own blog. For the sake of completeness of this site let me talk about it here as well.
What is a blog?
A blog (short form for web logs) is the piece of space on the web where you share your thoughts, opinions, events, inventions, photos etc with fellow Internet users. A blog – compared to a formal website – has more personal touch and it is more interactive. Though blogs and blogging culture has been around for a while, it has really picked steam in the past two or three years. Moreover the readers are finding it easier and more convenient to read a blog than anything else.
How do I create one for myself?
There are a number of blogging sites where you can create your free blog account. It is a matter of two minutes before you sign up and start blogging. The following are the most popular and highly recommended blogging sites and you could visit one of these links to sign up.
Blogger is owned by Google and hence you can sign up with blogger readily if you already have a google or gmail account. If you don’t have a google account, you could create one at blogger itself. The advantage here is that default features when you sign up will include google adsense advertisement services. The look of your blogger based personal blog can be customized using different themes and also one can add features to it by using blogger widgets (small extensions to your blog). If you sign up with blogger, your personal blog address will look something like myblog.blogspot.com.
WordPress self hosted is my personal favourite as it is built on an open platform that is heavily supported by communities. So you get amazing number of themes, plugins (like widgets) to customize the look, feel and features. The blog that you are reading right now is powered by WordPress. However, WordPress.com, the free blog, is not as powerful as the self hosted one when it comes to themes and templates. Moreover you cannot put ads (such as Google AdSense) on a WordPress.com blog. So if you want to make money out of your blog, Blogger (aka your blogspot.com blog) is the better option.
Typepad (and also writepad and a few others) is not as popular as the other two but basic functionalities are much the same. Movable Type is supposed to be a great platform but meant for developers rather than beginners.
Topics such as adding rich features to your blog, marketing your blog to attract more readers, displaying ads on your blog to make money etc will be dealt with in a future post (Read: Articles).
Also check out the footer area of this blog for some tips for beginners in blogging.
Have a great time blogging!