Inserting data into a simple transaction

Hi all,
I am just starting to learn the complex world of Ethereum. My first need is to register a transaction holding a string, such as for instance the OP_RETURN Bitcoin transaction. This string should be seen in the Blockchain as "payload".
Some suggestions on how to register such transaction, in the simplest possible way, and on how to pay the miners to get it registered?
TIA

Piero
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