Blogger, a part of Google, is a free hosted blogging service which lets you post and manage your weblog from within your web browser. It is probably the simplest way to get started in blogging, yet still allows room for moving on to a more sophisticated self-hosted blogging system, as we will describe later.
Blogger provides a choice of a number of templates upon which to build your blog, and these can be edited by someone with a little HTML knowledge to personalise the features to their own liking.
- The first step in using Blogger is to set up a Google account, if you don’t already have one. You will already have a Google account if you use one of Google’s other services such as Gmail, Google Groups, Adsense, Google Analytics, etc.Â Otherwise, go to Blogger homepage, and click the “Create Your Blog Now” button. You will beÂ prompted to create a Google Account, or sign in with your existing account.
- Then you choose a display name and accept Blogger’s Terms of Service.
- Next, you will be taken to your Dashboard, where you will mange your blog. Click on Create a Blog. Enter a title for your blog, and select the address you want as a subdomain of blogspot.com. This will become the URL (Internet address) of your blog – e.g. myblog.blogspot.com.
- You are now ready to make your first post. In the Dashboard, under the entry for your blog, you will find + New Post. Click this and you will be taken to the Create New Post page. This is a WYSIWYG (What Yoe See Is What You Get) editor where you can type your post and give it a title.
- Once you have typed in your post you can Preview it to see if you are happy with it, or you can Save as Draft if you want to finish it later.
- If you are happy with the post then click on Publish Post. This will send the post to your blog to appear on the web. If you now point your browser to the URL of the blog setup in point 4, you will be able to see it. You can also click on View Blog in the Dashboard.
In the Dashboard you can also manage and edit your posts, by clicking on Posts, and change Settings such as the blog’s description, formatting, how comments are handled, who can write to it, and much more. You can also click on Template to change or edit the template which gives your blog its appearance on the web. Don’t be afraid to explore these features. We will discuss them further in future posts.