Friday, February 13, 2009

Blogging for Dummies Part 2 *How to Publish Your First Post

1. Click NEW POST along the top of your screen on your blog page. A new window will open up and you will be able to type directly into the window to create your first post if you like. I prefer writing in Microsoft word and then cutting and pasting my text into the box. This is very simple. I type my draft, hit CTRL + A which selects all and then hit CTRL + C which copies it to your computer’s clipboard. Then click inside the window of your post box on your blog and click CTRL + V and your text will be pasted within the window.

2. A few hints. You cannot use exclamation points! in your title. That’s dumb, I know and maybe it will change one day, but that’s how it is now.


3. What are labels? In the little white box at the bottom of your post box it says “LABELS FOR THIS POST” These are tags for your post and are useful because not only do they categorize all of your posts, but they are basically a search optimization tool within your blog. This means if you write a blog about “How to potty train your child with no mess” or “How to communicate with a screaming three-year old” when some stressed out person is looking for information on this topic and they type it into a search engine on the internet, your blog may come up. Yes, it may be on the 25th page of searches, but it could be there. Again, another reminder if you don’t want everyone looking at what you write, you can make your blog private.

Some people like to categorize their blogs into a few main topics and label each post to go with those topics, ie: potty training, temper tantrums, chocolate addictions, etc. Others will put many different labels on their posts to create more traffic on their blog and optimize searching. *Note, the combined length of all the labels must be at most 200 characters or it won’t let you publish!
Each blog has its own search bar at the top which you can turn on or off if you wish in the settings area of your blog. In my blog, if you type in Social Networking in the search box, it will bring up each and every post I have written on the topic of social networking. It’s an awesome feature! So the tags you use will help in searching your own blog as well.

4. In an upcoming post I will talk about www.statcounter.com and tell you how you can see exactly how someone found your blog through a keyword search. You can check it out now if the suspense is too much for ya, click here.

5. In the post window do you see that little green world with a chain-link by it? That is your hyperlink tool. You can link to any website or webpage in the world with this little tool and it’s so easy, I promise! Just type in a word that you want to link up, like, THE BEST BLOG IN THE WORLD, then using your mouse cursor, drag it over the world and highlight it.

Next click on that little world/hyperlink tool and it will open up a small window on your screen starting with http:// This is where you type in the URL or web address for the webpage you would like to link to. So with “The best blog in the world” highlighted, you could then type next to http://www.rachellewrites.blogspot.com and click OK. Voila! You are linked. A quick tip if you’re linking up lots of pages. I open those pages in another window and then go up to the address bar, click on it and the whole address turns blue and then click CTRL +C, then I return and paste that into the hyperlink box by using CTRL + V.

6. How do you send someone a link to your blog? Well, you can either send them your address and have them search for the blog or there’s an easier way. Just click on the title of any blog post and the address or URL will change to the specific location of that blog. For example, if I wanted to share my “Blogging for dummies” post I could tell people to go to www.rachellewrites.blogspot.com and then search for the post in my search box or find it in my list of tags on the sidebar—but all I really need to do is click on the title of my post, “Blogging for dummies” and then send this URL http://rachellewrites.blogspot.com/2009/02/blogging-for-dummies.html. All you have to do is cut and paste the URL into your address bar and it will take you right to that post.

7. Now you’ve written your first post, titled it, added a few labels/tags, and even linked up to another webpage. Are you ready to post it? Click on preview on the right hand side of your post box and it will bring up an idea of what your post will look like. *Note: Your post will not look exactly like this on your screen, especially if you add pictures. This is also dumb *Google-take note* but that’s how it is right now. The preview is a general idea of what it will look like, but the spacing, etc. is usually a little different.

8. Click PUBLISH POST and it will publish and then you can click VIEW BLOG and see your very first post! Congratulations! Stay tuned for more information on blogging. There are tons and tons of tools, called widgets, which you can use to build your blog and there are more basic things you can do when posting, like uploading a photo which I will cover in an upcoming blog.

*Please note that you can always go to http://www.blogger.com/features to find details on everything available from blogger. Please let me know if you have other questions, I'd love to help!
Good luck and Happy Blogging!

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