A CBSNews.com article on the basics of blogging is an interesting read --especially for someone brand new to blogging. The article suggests using Blogger to get started in the world of blogging. "If you're new to blogging, my advice is to sign up for a free blog just to test the waters. You can do that by visiting www.blogspot.com."
The article is somewhat misleading to new bloggers by saying that Blogger has extra services that are required for popular blogs that cost $50 per year. This leaves the impression that at some point you need to pay. I'm not sure if they are referring to the old Blogger Pro paid service that no longer requires payment or to the Blog*Spot Plus services. The article should have mentioned that you can also use Blogger on your own server or host.
It's understandable that everyone seems confused about what is offered and the cost. Blogger's own knowledgebase says: Can I order Blogger Pro or Blog*Spot Plus? We've stopped taking orders for these products as we are retooling our product offering. The features of these products are still completely supported and we are providing priority support to Pro and Plus users.