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Monday, July 25, 2011

How to Create a Blog

How To Get Started

Blogger is owned by Google and has a straightforward interface to make creating your blog as quick and easy as possible.
To get started, go to the web site at www.blogger.com.
On the main page you will notice a list that constantly updates with the names of blogs that have had new 'posts', or entries, along with a Search box to search blogs from across the web.
You may want to have a look at a few blogs to get an idea of the kinds of things people write about, and how your own blog might look.
To get started making your own blog, click on the Create Your Blog Now button.

Create An Account

The first step requires you to create an account with Google, which can be used on other Google services as well as Blogger.
Fill in the boxes by entering your e-mail and choosing a password. You will also need to choose a Display name - this is the name that will appear by your blog entries.
Now type the characters you see in the image, which verifies you are a real person and not some automatic sign-up program. Check the box to accept the Terms of Service and click the Continue button.

Name Your Blog

Now you need to choose a title for your blog. Choose something that is unique and reflects the subject of your blog, rather than just 'my blog'.
Next choose the web address (URL) of your blog. You will probably want a similar phrase here as your title - type lowercase and without any spaces. Most common addresses will have already been taken by other bloggers. You can check if the address is available by clicking the Check Availability link.
The full address will look something like 'http://[yourblogname].blogspot.com'. This is the location of your blog on the World Wide Web. You can give this address to your friends who can type it into their browser address bar as with any other web site address, to go straight to your page.
The final option on this page, Advanced Blog Setup, is only for users who want to store their blog pages on another web site away from Blogger.com. Continue to the next step.

Choose A Template

To get you started as quickly as possible, Blogger offers various templates which give you a set look and layout for your blog.
Later if you wish you can choose a different template or even design your own. For now, select a template you like by clicking on it. You can get a preview of what the page will look like by clicking on the preview template link. Click Continue when you have chosen a template.
Blogger will now create your blog. You are now able to start writing entries, create your profile or customise the look of your page. Click Start Posting to begin.

Create A Post

You will see four menu tabs at the top of the page: Posting, Settings, Template and View Blog.
Under the Posting tab you can manage your blog entries. You can create a new post or make changes to existing entries.
The entry box for posts is similar to the message box you see when composing an e-mail message. You can type a title then write your post in the box, using the menu options to change font size and colours, or to add a web site link.
You can also add an image to your post. Click the Add Image icon and use the Browse box to find the picture on your computer. You can choose whether the image is to the left, center or right of your text, and the Image size. When ready, click Upload Image then Done.
When you have finished writing your first entry, click on the Publish button.
You should now see a message telling you that your blog has published successfully. Click the View Blog link to see what your blog looks like with your first post. Click the Back button of your browser to return to the Posting section.

Edit Posts

If you need to make any changes to a post, click on Edit Posts from the menu. Click the Edit button next to the post you wish to change. When you have finished making changes, you must remember to click Publish to accept them.

Settings

Click on the Settings menu tab. There are a number of options for changing how your blog looks and works. Here are a few of the options you may want to edit:
Click on the Basic option from the top menu and you can enter a description explaining what your blog is about. This will appear near the title on your page.
You can choose other options including whether you want your blog to be listed when people search Blogger.com. You can also Delete This Blog if you no longer want your blog.
Click on the Formatting option on the menu. You can choose the number of posts or how many days' worth of posts you want to show on your main page.
The more full posts your main page displays, the longer it will take to load. Any posts you choose not to display here will still exist, as each post also has its own separate page which can be accessed via a link on the main page.
You should now change the date and time options to match your country and timezone.
Click on Comments on the menu. Here you can set options affecting the comments that people may choose to leave on your page after reading your post.
The Permissions section on the menu allows you to choose who is allowed to view your blog, and whether anyone else is allowed to add posts.

Template Options

Click on the Template menu tab. Here you have the ability to click and drag page elements and rearrange the layout of your blog design. Click on Fonts and Colors to set individual colours for different areas and sections of text.
You can also Pick New Template, or if you know how to edit web page code (HTML) you can make complex changes to your existing template or even create a new one.
Remember to click Save when finished making changes to your template.

View Your Blog

Click on the View Blog menu tab at any time to view your blog. Newer posts appear at the top of the page.
The side menus on your page will usually have links to previous entries and archives of all your posts, as well as your blog description and a link to your profile.
Click the Customize link in the top-right, or the Back button of your browser to return to editing your blog.

The Dashboard

The Blogger control panel page is called the Dashboard. Click the Dashboard link in the top-right of the editing pages to access it. From here you can see a list of the blogs you have created, and create new blogs.
On the right-hand menu you can Edit or View your Profile. Here you can add a photo and let visitors see more details about yourself, such as your job or your favourite movies.
When you have finished editing your blog click the Sign Out link at the top-right of the page.

Return To Your Blog

Whenever you want to log in to your account in the future to add new posts, go to www.blogger.com and sign in at the top-right of the page. Enter your username (or e-mail address) and password to log in.

Other Blogging Information

Blogger.com is just one of many web sites allowing you to share your thoughts and ideas with others online. Some services even allow you to share photos, videos and music. Examples include Live Spaces and MySpace.
You can also create your blog by making your own web site or using software such as WordPress.
There are other types of blogs becoming more popular such as vlogs (video blogs) and photoblogs.
To find blogs you can use search engines such as Technorati and Blogdigger.
Many blog users also use RSS feeds to get the latest posts delivered to their PCs rather than having to visit all their favourite blogs every day to check for updates.
You could register a separate domain name with a company such as 1 & 1 Internet and then have that address redirect to your blog. So instead of typing in 'http://[yourblogname].blogspot.com', users could just type 'www.[yourblogname].com'.
As your blog grows you may find the features in Blogger too limited for your needs, and eventually decide to create your own web site.

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