Thursday, February 5, 2009

Blogging for Dummies Part 1

Have you ever wanted to start a blog or even started one, but you’re not sure how it all works? Well, this post will contain a few tips to help you take advantage of the many wonderful aspects of blogging! Sorry just couldn’t resist on the title there!

This post will mainly be directed toward blogging with Blogger—the king of blog hosters. Blogger is awesome because it was created by Google who also created Gmail and everything Google creates totally rocks!

For those of you who are expert bloggers, you may not learn anything from this post, but I’m betting you know someone who would like to read this so send them over!

I learned almost everything about blogger through trial and error and clicking on help icons. My friends have also given me a few tips I would’ve missed out on otherwise. My point is, I’m not an expert, but I’d like to share what I’ve learned to help others get started because I LOVE BLOGGING! WELCOME TO BLOGLAND!

I have already written a post about blogging etiquette, click here to read some useful information and helpful tips.

Anyone can start a blog on whatever topic they want. So that is the first step.

  1. Decide what purpose your blog will serve. Is your blog for education, promotion, business, family, soapbox, etc. I have also posted about this topic. If your blog is for family—keep it that way—and just select private in the setup and then you will be able to setup an invite to send out to only those you want to be able to view your blog. Click here to read a little more about blogging safely

  1. Log into and select “Create Blog”

  1. Choose a Blog Title and a URL, which is the web address people will type to reach your blog. My URL is and my title is Rachelle’s Writing Spot. You can check the availability of the names you want to use and Blogger will automatically tell you if your choice is available or not. Sometimes if you modify the name slightly you can get the URL you want.

  1. For every step of the way, Blogger provided a “learn more” link, usually in blue, which you can click on to read more detailed instructions. I have found that Blogger provides many types “help” through these links and providing questions and answers that other people have submitted.

  1. You can choose from a variety of themes to give your blog the look you desire. Click on CUSTOMIZE and this is how you can change the features of your blog. Click on PICK NEW TEMPLATE to choose the background and setup of your blog. Within the themes you choose, you can alter the colors and add your own pictures to individualize your blog.

I chose the Minima template and then posted my own photo in the header. I clicked on FONTS AND COLORS and then chose my own colors for each part of my blog. You can play around with the colors until you get the perfect setup for your blog.

There area also many free templates available for your blog on the internet. Here's a couple links: to find more type in “FREE BLOG TEMPLATES” in Google Search and you’ll find gazillions. Just be careful when you’re switching around templates. Some of them erase all of your sidebar material whenever you switch templates—not fun—just look at my sidebar. Do I want to redo that every time I change my background? Nuh-uh!

  1. Now your blog is setup and you can immediately post your first blog entry if you would like, but there are many other components you can add to your blog along the way. I will cover some of the blog widgets and how to’s in another post as this is getting lengthy. My next entry in this category will give you step by step instruction on how to publish your first post.

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