A Non-techie’s Guide to Setting Up a Professional Blog

How To Start A Blog

First Published Date : March 12, 2009 ADawnJournal.com

I get emails from my readers asking how to set up a blog. I always reply and try to briefly explain to them how to set up a blog in simple terms. Sometimes these replies turn out to be long emails, which  made me think: instead of replying to each individual separately, I can just write a post explaining everything.

Today, I will discuss how to set up a blog even when you are not a tech-savvy person. If you have always wondered if it is possible to start a professional-looking blog without knowing programming codes, DNS, FTP, domain forwarding and so on, this post is for you.

Before we start, you need to know what a domain name is and you can learn it by reading this post How to Make Money from Domain Names. I am going to explain three different blogging platforms you can use to start your blog. Once you finish reading, you should be able to decide on your own which path best suits your needs.

Option 1 – Use Free Hosted Blogging Platform

This is the easiest way to setup a new blog. It should not take you more than ten to fifteen minutes to write your first post and see it live online. A hosted blog service that hosts your blog for free is the actual owner of your blog. Because they own everything, you have no control over your blog. If they want, they can delete your blog or ban you from posting at any time. Some of the more popular hosting platforms are WordPress, Blogger, and TypePad. With a hosted blog, you do not need any domain name. Your blog address will be like yourname.blogspot.com. To start your own blog, just visit any one of these sites. If you know how to surf online, you can also set up a blog with these hosted blogging platforms.

Option 2 – Use Paid Hosted Blogging Platform

Squarespace is a paid web publishing or blogging platform that lets you create a professional-looking blog very easily. Squarespace provides a lot more flexibility than those mentioned above. It provides you with all the tools, design templates, and hosting to create a professional-looking blog. Using Squarespace’s setup, you can have a professional-looking blog live online in an hour. You do not need to have your own domain, but you can choose to go with your own domain if you want. In that case, you need to buy a domain with a domain registrar like GoDaddy,HostGator, or Bluehost. Then you have to point your domain to Squarespace. This is not hard to do. The Squarespace website has step-by-step instructions on how to do it. A Dawn Journal was actually hosted by Squarespace for eight months when it started.

Option 3 – Use Stand Alone Blogging Platform

A stand-alone blogging platform is hosted by you on your own domain. This gives you full ownership, controls, rights, and privileges to your blog. You need to have your own domain name and web hosting (server space) to host your blog. A domain name and hosting plan are not expensive. It would cost you about $10 annually to have your own domain and about $7-10 monthly to buy web hosting. WordPress is a popular stand-alone blogging platform and I recommend it strongly. The problem with Option 3 is that it requires technical literacy to install WordPress on your domain server.

But what can you do if you are not tech-savvy enough to do it by yourself? Have someone else do it for you. If you have friends or relatives who know how, ask them to do it. If you don’t have anyone, I recommend using Kevin’s Free Instant Blog Setup services. Kevin is the one who looks after all my websites, and he can setup your WordPress blog in a snap. How much is the cost? It’s free. Yes, you heard it right. He will do it for free; however, there is a small catch. You have to sign up for hosting through Kevin’s website. Kevin is an affiliate with those web hosting sites mentioned on his blog, and he gets paid by those sites when you sign up through his site.

If you already have a domain and web hosting, Kevin can still do it for you for minimal fees. Contact him directly through his contact page for more info. The reason I recommend Kevin is because he is knowledgeable, friendly, and someone you can rely on. Let’s say after one year you messed up your site and need help to fix it, or you decide to change your site design (template), or you would like to install new stuff – Kevin will do it for a reasonable cost. In this line of business, you can easily get ripped off if you don’t know who you are dealing with. Also, you will be able to find similar free installation services by doing a Google search with these keyword phrases: free WordPress blog installation service.

Final Word

If you are just trying to start a blog to see if this is for you, I recommend going with Option 1. I started my first few blogs with Blogger.com. If you are looking to start a professional blog all by yourself, I recommend Option 2. If you are serious about blogging, want to blog for the long term, and have Internet entrepreneurship in your mind, I recommend going with Option 3.

Free Home Phone Comes To Canada

Canadians Can Now Have Free Home Phone

First Published: ADawnJournal.com March 25, 2009

What Is VOIP

The Internet has transformed the way we live, work and play. Also, it has revolutionized the way we talk to each other. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows you to make calls over the Internet. VOIP technology lets you can make regular phone calls directly from your computer, VIOP phone, or a traditional phone connected to a router/adaptor.

What You Need To Make Internet Calls

If you would like to make calls from your computer, you will require these:
– high speed connection
– a headset
– microphone
If you have a laptop or a computer that you purchased not long ago, you may already have built-in speakers and microphone installed. If this is the case, you don’t need any additional microphone or headsets.

If you would like to make calls using a regular phone, you will require:
– high speed connection
– a telephone adaptor/router

Is There Any Free VOIP Provider?

VOIP has been my special area of interest since its beginning. In January 2004, when Primus offered VOIP service in Canada for the first time, I was one of the few individuals to try it. I have always been keeping an eye for free VOIP service provider. So far I have not had much luck. However, about a week ago, when I was searching for free home phone on the Internet, I came across this company promising free home phone service.

FreePhoneLine

Freephoneline.ca has launched free VOIP home phone service with many features. Some of these features are:

Caller ID
Enhanced Voicemail
FollowMe Service
Unlimited Local Calling
Unlimited Free Long Distance Calling To Major Canadian Cities

How Does This Work

There are two ways you can use FreePhoneLine. You can make calls using a soft phone or a hard phone. A soft phone is a software that you install on your computer to make calls using your computer. A soft phone exactly looks like Yahoo or MSN Messenger. A hard phone is a physical phone. You will need high-speed Internet connection, an analog telephone adaptor/router, and a hard phone (a real phone you use to make calls from home) to make calls using a hard phone. Your computer does not have to be on to make call via hard phone.

Does FreePhoneLine offer 911 Service?

Yes. As this is a real home phone replacement, 911 service is available. Check FreePhoneLine website for more information.

Will I Be Able To Keep My Existing Home Phone Number?

Yes, you will be able to keep and transfer your existing phone number to FreePhoneLine’s network for a onetime fee. Check their website for more information.

What’s My Take

After reading this article, I don’t suggest you to cancel your home phone service right away. What you can do:

– Try FreePhoneLine soft phone for a month and see if you like it or not
– If you like it, don’t cancel your regular home pone yet. Try it as your secondary home phone
for a couple of months.
– If you are fully satisfied, then cancel your regular home phone

I have been using the soft phone version of FreePhoneLine. So far, I am satisfied with the sound quality and all cool features. It’s loaded with features which a regular phone will never be able to offer. For example, Enhanced Voicemail lets you forward your voicemails to your email, FollowMe feature lets you forward your calls to your cell, home, or work phone. However, unquestionably the best FreePhoneLine feature is – it’s free. Nothing can beat that. Visit Free Phone Line here – FreePhoneLine

Are You Still Listening To Your CDs?

Internet Radio Revolution

First Published: April 15, 2009 ADawnJournal.com

The Internet has revolutionized the way we live; it’s no wonder that listening to music the old way is about to become extinct. Internet radio is replacing those traditional CDs, and more and more listeners are discovering the convenience and features Internet radio provides (which traditional music players simply cannot) due to technological breakthroughs.

You can listen to most of the traditional radio stations online these days. However, the reason I am writing this article today is not to discuss listening to those online radio stations. I am here to discuss social radio stations like Last.fm or Jingo and what unimaginable things they can do for you. There are many other online social stations like these but these two are my favourites and I will restrict myself to just these two to keep things simple.

Let’s look some of the features that make these social radio stations cutting edge listening devices fit to replace traditional media and music players.

·   There is no additional music player required. Your computer becomes your entertainment station. And yes, of course, you can still listen to your music player from your computer by connecting Internet radio stations through a wire or wirelessly via a FM Transmitter.

·   There is no need to store breakable CDs. Make your life clutter- and worry-free by not having to store, organize, and sort out traditional CDS. This saves lots of time too.

·   Create your own personalized profile and input your choice of music, artists, and genre; these smart online radio stations will keep playing music based on your input 24/7.

·   Filter out music you don’t like. If you don’t like something you hear, you can ask your station not to play it anymore. On the other hand, if you like something and want to hear it more often, tell the radio by pressing a button and it will play that track often.

·   As you keep listening, these smart radio stations remember and analyze what you are listening to and adjust themselves to play more the kind of music you like.

·   You can meet like-minded people from all over the world. The station will show profiles of people who are listening to the same music you are, allowing you to have online conversations and make new friends.

·   You can email the link of your radio station or post it on your blog and your friends will be able to share exactly what you are listening to.

·   It will update you about new releases and new artists based on your preferences – this is impossible with a traditional music player.

·   These artificial intelligence music players remember who you are and give you a unique listening experience like no other. You can access your own station from anywhere in the world and can enjoy your own personalized and customized station.

The best thing of all is that these radio stations are free. Sophisticated technology has made it possible to enjoy and experience what was just not possible a few years ago. There are many stations online like these, but I use these two mostly: Jango and Last.fm. Do a search for the keywords “Internet radio station” and you will be able to find many more. 

Make Money Online | Internet Money Making 101

How To Make Money Online

First Published Date : April 19, 2009 ADawnJournal.com
Writing an eBook

There are very few of us who are lucky enough from a financial point of view to be able to ignore an opportunity to make a bit more money. Even the hardest-working among us may often find that we have reason to consider new ways to make money, whether it be because we have new commitments, or an existing line of finance has stalled for one reason or another. In light of this, it makes a colossal amount of sense to consider other options so that we can maximize  our earning potential. If we could all rely on money coming in when we needed it, chances are that the economy would collapse even further than it recently has, purely because the imperative to work would disappear.

It becomes the case, therefore, that we need to create our own lines of income. There is a limited range of things that we can do to make this happen – again, circumstances dictate that making money is never going to be as easy as sitting back and waiting for it to roll in. Making our own opportunities is important because in the final analysis it is down to the individual to make their own way – relying indefinitely on other people will only end one way, and that way is not an edifying prospect. Finding a way to maximize your potential hinges on one thing above all others – finding the answer to the following question: “What do you have that other people do not?”

Individual expertise is something that just about everyone has to some extent. Even if you do not consider yourself an expert, you will find that there is some talent you have that other people comment on. It may be something quite simple. It could be something that you do every day without it ever really being commented on. It might be technological, it might be musical, it may even be something as apparently simple as being a good listener and someone who is good with individual advice. Either way, this qualifies as expertise whether or not you realize it. And where there is expertise, there is cash. One popular way to turn your knowledge into money is by writing an eBook.

Think of it this way – you have the knowledge, and there are people out there who wish they did. Among these people there are certainly some who would pay good money to have that knowledge. As long as you can take the time to sit down and write a bit about how you do whatever it is that you do, how you learned that you could do it, and how other people could do the same thing, you can make money from this.

There is a growing market for eBooks as people realize that with the Internet revolutionizing our world you don’t need to have a publishing deal to write for money. All you need is a computer and a bit of savvy. If you can build websites yourself, then you can set one up to promote your eBook. If not, then you can set up a blog at any one of a number of free blogging platforms. Take a bit of time out of your day to explore the possibility – it could well turn into a very lucrative sideline for you.

Can’t Afford To Buy Physical Real Estate? Buy Internet Real Estate!

How To Buy Internet Real Estate

First Published: ADawnJournal.com Published Date : May 6, 2009

During a recession, property values tend to decrease, and those who can afford it don’t hesitate to grab the opportunity to acquire some nice properties at unbeatable costs. However, buying physical assets may not be a viable option for everyone due to the heavy upfront expenses you need to go through. But how about buying Internet real estate? Is it still possible to grab opportunities that exist due to economic turmoil and buy assets online with very little money and still flourish in the future?

The answer is:  absolutely yes. You see, domains are like virtual real estate that exists only on the web. There are many similarities between domain names and real estate properties: both of them aren’t increasing in quantity any more, we are dealing with the same quantity today as we were twenty or thirty years ago, and due to limited supply, the price has to go up one day. You just need to buy those that will be in demand in the future.

In order to buy domains, you need to know a few things I discussed in this article – How to Make Money from Domain Names. I believe financial crisis opens up opportunities to buy domains which wouldn’t be available otherwise. In a financial meltdown, businesses close down and people lose jobs. As a result, lots of good domains drop out as businesses don’t need them anymore or people just can’t afford to maintain their domain portfolios.

Opportunistic entrepreneurs grab this opportunity to increase their domain buildups. I purchased most of my high-potential domains in the past few months. Also, I hired many programmers to develop a few new web sites. I can do it now because of low hiring costs available due to the current economic crisis. Entrepreneurs should be always on the lookout to use negative circumstances to their advantage and turn them into positive circumstances.

We all hate economic crises like the one we are going through today. The difference between a successful and a failed entrepreneur can be determined by how well you can use this crisis to build a better future. Yes, opportunities even exist in the midst of a crisis.