A blog can be created by either using blogging platforms like Google Blogger, Wordpress, Live Journal, Typepad, etc. With these blogging platforms, it is easy for someone, even one not familiar with HTML and other technical stuff, to easily start a blogs, often within minutes. This is especially true of Google Blogger which is one of the easiest blogging platform to use, especially with the switch from the old classic Blogger to the New Blogger which offers a ADD A PAGE ELEMENT (widget) and a drag-and-drop LAYOUT and a which will enable a blogger with absolutely no knowledge of HTML to customize the blog without having to edit the template.
Another way to create a blog is to use Content Management Systems if you want a full blown suite of web applications. There are a few popular Content Manage Systems, one of the more popular one is the free, open source Joomla. If you opt to use Content Management Systems like Joomla, be prepared for a steeper learning curve plus a need to pick up maintenance and design skills, and preferably knowledge of PHP and SQL too. However, that is what you will need if you want more than what the other blogging platforms like Google Blogger have to offer.
Google Blogger has made their blogs search engine friendly, but you will still need to so some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to get free organic traffic from search engines. For blogs using Joomla Content Management System, Joomla SEO will be able to help in this aspect. They offer a free version available from September 1st to December 31st, 2007, but I am unable to find how to download and install it. All I can find is an SerrbizSEF installation guide. It offers less features, but you can upgrade for just $24.95 to get more features.
They even have case studies of companies that have successfully done search engine marketing (SEM) with their software and you are even allowed to contact their clients for reference checks.