Start blogging using Blogger.com!

By | March 1, 2015

Blogger.com is a popular blogging platform by Google. Anyone with a Google account can start a blog here for free. In this article I’ll show how to create a blog, and how to write and publish your first blog post.

Creating a blog at Blogger.com

Go to blogger.com, and sign in with your Google account

Blogger-sign-in-Google

If you don’t have a Google+ profile, you’ll be given the choice to make one, or continue and only use a Blogger profile. In this article I won’t go into making a Google+ profile. However, using A Google+ profile will make it easier to share your posts on Google+, which will result in more visits to your blog.

Once you’ve picked a profile, you’ll continue to Blogger.com/home.

If you already have a blog, or blogs, you’ll see your current blogs here. If you’re new, this is where you can create your first blog. Click ‘New blog’:

Blogger-com-create-new-blog

Once you’ve clicked ‘New Blog’, a screen will pop up. Here you’ll have to enter information about your new blog.

Title: The title of your blog. This will appear in the header of your blog, and on the tab of your browser.

Address: Enter a webaddress for your blog. Your blog will be a subdomain of blogspot.com

Template: Here you can choose a template (theme) for your blog.  Select one, and click ‘Create blog’ to get started. You can change this later.

Blogger-com-create-new-blog-title-address-template2

Writing a blogpost

Once your blog is created, it’s added to your blogs at blogger.com/home. To write a blog post at your newly created blog, click the orange button with the pencil, to create a blog post.

Blogger-com-create-new-blog-new-post

You’ll be taken to the blog post editor.

Writing and editing text

The blog editor looks like this:

Blogger-Blog-text-editor

Add a blog title

You can add the title to your blog post in this text bar:

Blogger-Blog-add-a-title

Blog content

Blogger-Blog-text-editor-2

By default, you’re editing your blog post in a WYSIWYG editor; what would be called the ‘Visual’ editor in WordPress. This is the ‘Compose’ tab in blogger. You can also switch to HTML by clicking ‘HTML’.

Blogger-Blog-text-editor-Compose-vs-html

Visual editor (compose) vs HTML

Visual editor toolbar

Blogger-Blog-compose-editor-toolbar

On the visual editor, you’ll find a lot of buttons to edit your text that you’re probably familiar with, from programs like Microsoft Word.

From left to right:

  • Undo and Redo. The ‘Undo’ button takes away your latest blog edit, and the ‘Redo’ button puts your undone action back.
  • Fonts. To change the font, select text in your blog post, and click on the dropdown menu to select another font. You can choose from 7 different fonts.
  • Font size. Here you can select 5 different font sizes: smallest (xx-small in HTML), small (x-small), normal, large (large), and largest (x-large).
  • Headings. This is important! Headings are often overlooked in blog posts. Using headers that contain your keywords improves SEO. You can use ‘normal’ (paragraph), Heading (h2 in HTML), Subheading (h3), and Minor heading (h4).
  • Bold, Italics, and Underline, and strikethrough.
  • Text color. Click the dropdown menu and select a color. This is a bit limited, as it doesn’t allow you to choose any color, but a couple of presets. However you can use the HTML editor to pick any color.
  • Text background color, or highlight. This sets the background color for text. You can choose from the same preset colors as the text color.
  • Link. To make a URL in your blog text a link, select it, and press ‘Link’. To make a link from scratch, don’t select any text, and click ‘Link’. A popup box titled ‘Edit Link’ will appear:
    Blogger-make-a-link
    Text to display: Here, enter the text to display (also known as ‘Anchor text’).
    Link to: here you can select to link to a Web address or an Email address.
    Open in new tab: ‘Open this link in a new window‘. This actually means the link opens in a new tab, not in a new window. Check the box to make sure the link does this.
    Nofollow: ‘Add ‘rel=nofollow’ attribute’. Check the box to make the link a no-follow link.
    When you’re done, click ‘OK’, and the link is created.
  • Insert image. You can add an image to your blog by uploading one from six different sources. Select your picture, and click ‘add selected’ to insert your picture to your blog.
  • Insert a video. You can add a video from five different sources. Pick a video and click ‘Select’ to add it to your blog.
  • Insert jump break. When you insert a jump break, the blog post won’t appear in full text on your main blog post. Rather, it’ll only show the part up until the jump break. To read the full post, the visitor will have to click ‘Read more’. Example:
    Blogger-jump-break-Read-more

    Blog post with a jump break.

  • Alignment. Here you can choose alignment for your text. Select text, click on the alignment icon, and select an alignment for your text. You choose from Left alignment (default), Align center, Align right, and Justified.
  • Numbered list. Click this button to start a numbered list. Click the button again to stop the numbered list.
  • Bullet list. Click this button to start a bullet list. Click the button again to stop the bullet list.
  • Quote. Select text that is a quote, and press quote. This will indent the selected text to make it stand out.
  • Remove formatting. Select previously formatted text, and press this button to remove any formatting to this text.
  • Check spelling. Click this button to check spelling in your blog post. Any misspellings will be highlighted in yellow.

Post settings

Labels

Labels on blogger.com can be compared to categories or tags in WordPress. When you add a label to your post, this is added to the bottom of your blog post in your blog:

Blogger-labels-test

This allows a blog visitor to click on the label, which brings the visitor to a page that displays all your blog-posts with that label:

To add a label, click on ‘Labels’ in the right sidebar, and add a label in the text box. Click ‘Done’ to add the label. If you have previously used labels, they are displayed below the text box. You can add those labels by clicking on them.

Blogger-labels-test-3

Adding labels to your blogs is recommended to make for a better user experience. Generally, it’ll also make visitors to read more pages on your blog, because it’s easier to find more blogs that the visitor is interested in.

Scheduling posts

By default, this is set to ‘Automatic’, which means the blog will publish immediately once you press ‘Publish’. Select ‘Set date and time’ to schedule your post. Click on a date in the calendar, select a time, and click ‘done’. Note that you still have to press ‘Publish’ to have your scheduled post published at your scheduled time.

Blogger-labels-test-3

Permalink

By default, the link to your blog has the year and month in the URL, followed by the the blog title. For instance:

http://bloggercomdemo.blogspot.com/2015/03/first-blogpost.html

You can change the last part of this link by selecting ‘Custom Permalink’, and adding an alternative link text here. Click ‘Done’ when you’re done adding a link text.

Blogger-Custom-Permalink

Location

This allows you to set a location for your blog. Click ‘Location’ in the right sidebar. You can use the search bar to search a location on the map. Click a location on the map to select it. Alternatively, type a location name in the text bar below ‘Location name’. When you have added your location, click ‘Done’.

Blogger-add-location-to-post

When you have a location added to your post, it shows up as a link at the end of your blog post. When a visitor clicks on the link, it’ll open up Google Maps at this location.

Publishing a post

The last few important buttons on the post editing page are ‘Publish’, ‘Save’, ‘Preview’ and ‘Close’.

Blogger-publish

Click the orange button that says ‘Publish’ to publish your post. Your blog post is now public, and everyone worldwide!

To save your blog posts as a draft, and continue working on it later, click ‘Save’.

Click ‘Preview’ to see what your blog post will look like once published.

Click ‘Close’ to close the editor. Your blog post won’t be saved!

Links

Blogger.com
Looking to start a free website instead? See setting up a free WordPress website using Site Rubix.

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