Nine steps to a successful blog with blogger.com

Breeze through these settings, to set up your blog

Why create a blog? Don't you have a lot to say? Perhaps you want to write about alternative medical practices that otherwise have a hard time seeing the light of day. For those not yet "in the know," a blog is a website that allows you to post content in chronological order. The word "blog" comes from the words "Web Log."

I previously wrote about "Blogs and Wikis" for the May 2004 issue of Townsend Letter. There are many different possible blog services. I'm choosing one--blogger.com--for this column to give you sufficient detail that will enable you to get up-and-running.

Until last year, Blogger was a less-than-satisfactory blogging service, but it's matured tremendously and joined the world of the wonderful. It's super-easy, powerful, and also owned by Google, which will likely ensure that your content gets seen. (Of course, the better your blog's content, the more successful it will be.) Please share your blog with me, and I'll cover the ones I like in a future column.

Step 1: Take the tour:

http://www.blogger.com/tour_start.g

Step 2: Think about these questions. Don't worry if you don't have answers to all of them, but they will be a helpful guide.

A. What web address (URL) would you like, in this format:

http://______.blogspot.com

Second, third, and fourth choices if these aren't available?

http://______.blogspot.com

http://______.blogspot.com

http://______.blogspot.com

B. Do you want to enable public comments?

C. Do you want to moderate comments? (Most people like to see their comments land on thepage right away, so I recommend not, to start with. You can always delete ones you don't like, without turning moderation on.)

D. Do you want to display post categories on your site? If so, think about what categories ("labels") you may use.

E. Do you want a "Blogroll" (a collection of links to other blogs)? If so, prepare a list of websites and their URLs.

F. Do you have a small picture of yourself or the director of your organization to include in the blog profile?

G. Do you want to be able to post to the blog via email?

H. Do you want to be able to post to the blog via the Google toolbar?

I. Do you want to be able to send a picture via your cell phone?

J. Will you want to enable audio blogging (up to five minutes of audio, prepared from a cell phone)?

Step 3: Click on "Create Your Blog Now" at https://www.blogger.com/start

If you don't already have one, your first step will be to create a Google Account.

Step 4: Configure your blog, paying attention to these notable Installation Settings:

Settings > Basic > Title

Settings > Basic > Description

Settings > Basic > Show Email Post Links

Settings > Formatting

Setting > Comments > Enable comment moderation? (Recommendation: "No")

Settings > Site Feed > Feed Item Footer

Settings > Email > Mail-to-Blogger Address

DashBoard > Edit Profile > Photograph

DashBoard > Edit Profile > Show my email address

DashBoard > Edit Profile > Wishlist URL

DashBoard > Edit Profile > Interests

Step 5. Post to your blog.

Posting Methods

Blogger.com (most common)

Google Toolbar

Email

Cell phone

Keyboard shortcuts for Posting

Control + b = Bold

Control + i = Italic

Control + l = Blockquote (when in HTML-mode only)

Control + z = Undo

Control + y = Redo

Control + Shift + a = Link

Control + Shift + p = Preview

Control + d = Save as Draft

Control + p = Publish Post

Control + s = Autosave and keep editing

Step 6. You may install an alternative template (appearance) if you want your blog to look different from the others.

Do a web search for Blogger template for many possibilities.

Step 7. Bookmark these resources:

http://www.blogger.com

http://help.blogger.com

http://buzz.blogger.com

http://status.blogger.com/

http://blogsearch.google.com

http://www.technorati.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blogger.com

Step 8. Keep a "cheat sheet."

Fill in the blanks as a helpful reference.

Blog Service: Blogger.com

Blog URL: http://______.blogspot.com

Login: ______

Password: ______

Email address to post to blog, via email: ______

Email address to send a picture from the phone: go@Blogger.com followed by visiting: http://go.blogger.com/

Blog Feed URL (to allow you to "syndicate" content to other websites):

http://______.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Feed for a particular label:

http://______.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/-/labelname

Step 9. Post often. Consider keeping a calendar by your desk.

Get in the habit of posting--frequent updates are expected in a good blog. You might use a website such as http://www.myfreecalendarmaker.com/ to post a calendar near your desk. Circle each date you expect to post, and "X" each date you actually do.

Best of luck, and I look forward to seeing your content. By the way, it may be best to send me your blog a few months after you've started it. A blog with just a few posts may not be ready for the world to see. But if you're dedicated and you write well and have interesting ideas, your blog will earn a following.

Marjorie Roswell is a Web Developer at Community IT Innovators (http://www.citidc.com).

Marjorie Roswell
3443 Guilford Terrace
Baltimore, Maryland 21218
410-467-3727
mroswell@gmail.com

A column devoted to informative integrative health resources on the Internet

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published this page in Web Page Potpourri 2012-01-10 13:27:00 -0500
Margie Roswell
Websites. Mapping. Music. Nutrition. Global Health.