Help a newbie blogger out MAR 07 2005
A few days ago, I got a letter from a reader named Randy:
I am father to a 2 1/2 yr old girl with her second cancer who is going for a bone marrow transplant in late March. I have just started to think about fundraising when I was forwarded your interview in Wired and it got me thinking that perhaps I could use the same approach to raise money for Julia.
I have been keeping a blog since she was diagnosed the 2nd time on 12/30/04. Although I am a web architect, I know next to nothing about blogs and am spending all my time researching cancer. Thus, the format, graphics, and look and feel have been completely neglected -- the main focus has been the content in order to -- keep a record for family, journal for Julia for when she is older, help me philosophize about life and put her illness into perspective, etc.
I was hoping you could give me some tips on getting started -- some questions that come to mind:
- Finding an ISP that allows you access to the servers (I am currently hosted at Geocities and would have to upgrade just to get PHP and MySQL).
- How to set up processing for micropayments? (We have a fundraising idea around Julia's treatment and progress which would require periodic debit from an account.)
- Tips for building traffic.
- Links to 1) sites that help a blogger, 2) sites to blogs you would consider top-notch, anything else you feel is useful
I know I could find this stuff myself, but I was hoping that you could jump me up the learning curve so that I could get Jules' site up and running.
I emailed him some recommendations but I figured you folks would have some good advice as well. Are there alternatives to PayPal for donations? Tips and sites for beginning bloggers would be helpful as well...Google was only moderately helpful and most links I found skew towards business uses of blogs. Try and keep the duplicate information to a minimum and when in doubt, be more verbose rather than less..."Bitpass is good for micropayments because..." rather than "Try Bitpass". Alright, go.