As I often share information about using blogs these days Iâ€™ve been asked several times, how do you go about it? So, for the benefit of those who wish to learn, and donâ€™t yet fully understand, here are the steps:
1. Go to www.blogger.com and create a username and password if you donâ€™t already have an account (if you are reading this at blogger then print it off, follow the steps and click on the blogger logo at the top left-hand of the screen).
2. Next choose a name for your blog â€“ try to choose something that is meaningful to what your blog will be about (assuming, of course, you already know why youâ€™re starting a blog).
3. Enter the blog address that will relate to the blog title â€“ makes it easier for people to remember. However, if you have purchased a domain with the intention of forwarding it to that blog it probably wonâ€™t matter a great deal.
4. Choose a template â€“ there are about a dozen to choose from â€“ you can find other blog templates later on but for now choose one of these.
Your blog is now being created and it only takes a minute or two!
Click on start posting and youâ€™ll be taken to the control panel for your blog. Spend time having a look around and familiarise yourself with the new tools at hand. There are four tabs: Posting, Settings, Template and View Blog. The first one allows you to create new posts for your blog, to edit existing posts, to moderate any comments left on your blog and lets you know the status of your blog.
Under Settings there are several more options: you can enter the title of your blog (which you can change anytime), add a description of what the blog is about , and choose the timestamp for posts (I choose the date rather than time), you want to add your blog to listings (choose yes) so that others can see your blog when surfing through blogger blogs. Under Publishing make sure you change Notify Weblogs to â€˜yesâ€™ so your blog is regularly pinged for listing with search engines and directories, the last, Formatting is fairly self-explanatory. Under Comments make sure you select Enable Comment Moderation so you are notified of any comments left by visitors for viewing before agreeing it goes public. Under Email you can elect to set an email address so you can email articles to your blog, instead of logging in â€“ if you wish. Under members you can add other people to become article posters for your blog â€“ itâ€™s up to you whether you give them access to setting changes or whether you just want them to be able to post articles.
Under Template I would leave everything as is until you get familiar with how everything else works, but if you do have some knowledge of html coding (even minimal is fine) you can search for the word Google in the template and change the links in that section to website links that are meaningful to you. I donâ€™t believe thereâ€™s any limit to how many sites you have linked there â€“ when you view your blog you will see how they show in the template.
View Blog means exactly that – it opens your blog in another browser window.
Make sure you save settings in each area as you make changes.
Notice in the top right-hand corner of the screen you have your dashboard â€“ that shows the list of blogs you own or participate in and you can click on settings or new post anytime. You can also edit your profile, add your photo or an image you want to represent you or what youâ€™re about and add information about yourself â€“ this will show up in the About Me section of your blog.
Now, why would you want to have a blog?
- You may have a topic you are passionate about, whether business related, hobby-related, personal or whatever. Some use it for family news, and others as a diary for their wedding plans. Still others use it as a travel log for all their family and friends to keep informed. You might want to use it for your first webpage until such time you want to develop something more advanced.
- Blogs are hosted free of charge.
- Blogs have their own software so you do not have to know html coding.
- Because they have their own software you don’t have to have it saved on your site, so can literally log in anywhere around the world and update your site.
- A new blog literally takes 5-10 minutes to get started.
- You can use FTP so the blog can be hosted on your own webspace.
- There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of free blogskins if you’re prepared to spend a little time learning about how to tweak things in html. Some are very easy to use, others a little more complicated.
- You can get a domain name pointed to your blog so could effectively use a blog for your own business website, many do.
- It’s a cost effective way to start your very own first website and you can then move onto something else once you have more understanding/confidence in how you want to develop it.
- Blogs can be managed by more than one person in different locations – you just add them as members of your blog.
- Blogs are meant to be updated regularly and you can post a new article to your site just by sending an email â€“ often websites are allowed to grow stale whereas the nature of blogs allow for regular content to be added in the form of articles or short notes without the need for a webmaster to do it for you.
- Blogs have communities and a ready-made audience of people who are happy to view your blog and make comment, give advice, etc.
- Google has a blogging community (connected to blogger.com) with experienced members there to give advice readily.
So, whatâ€™s stopping you now from starting your own blog? KMT
Addendum: Of course, this applies to only one of the blogging software programs available and there are many others too. If you’d like to discuss and learn more, why not join our discussion forum which will help further your knowledge? Or perhaps, you have knowledge you want to share with others who are learning to blog? Click here to join.