Monday, June 3, 2013

How to Blog - Session #1 How to Start

If you've ever said to yourself, "I don't know anything about blogging," then you would have a lot in common with the large number of people that I have spoken with in the past few days. That same phrase keeps coming different different different times. So I decided to series of  posts to help those people takes their first steps into the blogging world.

DISCLAIMER: I am by NO means an expert in blogging, computers, or really anything (except maybe eating chocolate - I am a MASTER at that). I have only been blogging for a year. To be honest, a year ago I didn't even know there was an entire blog-o-sphere out there! Now, a year later, I have learned so many things - about blogging, and about myself. A blog is a tremendously powerful reflection tool, and that reflection can help others at times. That's my hope of this post.

So...I want to make a blog...What do I need to do to start?
1. Choose a blogging platform. I choose So if you want to use another blogging site, stop reading now. I don't know anything about those. :)
2. Get a Google Account. If you have GMail, you'll use that account. If you don't, it takes about 6 seconds to create a Google account which gives you access to many different apps, including Blogger. Go to Google and click "Sign Up" in the upper right hand corner.

How do you make a new blog?
3. Go to and sign in. You'll be taken to your dashboard page where you'll see a link for a "New Blog" in the upper left. Click that!
4. A pop up will appear asking you for the name of your blog, the url, and to choose a design. The name can be whatever you want - this is what will appear at the top of your blog - pick anything that you want.. The url is the beginning of the address that people will use to find your blog.  Choose carefully as this is much harder to change. If you want to use your blog title for this too, go right ahead. Blogger will tell you if your choice is available or not.  For the design, choose "Picture Window". You'll find out why later on.
5. You should now be redirected to your dashboard where your shiny new blog is sitting waiting for you to play with it! Click on the name of your blog to continue on...

Ok, so now I have this blog, what are the parts that I need to know about first?
6. Once you've created your blog, and clicked on it, you'll be taken to the main page for your blog. You will see several different links down the side:

  • Overview: gives you exactly overview of what's happening with your blog. The graph shows the number of page views for the last few days, while the "Updates" box tells you what's been happening lately with your posts, comments, and page views. All of the links in this "Overview" section will take you to a page where you can learn more about how your page is being used and seen by other people. 
  • Posts: This will show you a list of all of your posts, and allow you to add new ones. Posts are added to the main Home page of your blog. Think of it like a newspaper, except that every time a new story come out, it always goes on the front page. As views scroll down through your home page they will be going backwards through the posts that you have written. 
  • Pages: This will show you a list of all of the pages that you have created. Pages contain information that, for whatever reason, you did not want to include on your home page as a post. Examples would be a "Resources" page where you have links to helpful websites related to your blog's content. Another example might be videos or pictures related to your content. You can organize these pages to be shown as tabs at the top of your Home page or as links along the side. 

Now all you have left to do, is create a new post! Click on the "Post" link, select "New Post" and start typing! Click here for Session #2 - Design: Adding Blogger Background

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