Learning new things can be scary. Learning to blog, like anything else, has a learning curve. My best recommendation is to take is slow. Take baby steps. And know…You will NOT blow up the Internet if you click on the wrong thing. I have not heard of a single case where this happened, but if you become the first, please let me know. ;0)
Why am I posting about newbie bloggers? Well, last night my writing group hosted a class to help newbies get started. We had five wonderful ladies come, laptops in tow. We started off by asking them some questions. (Paraphrased answers below)
What do you already know about blogging?
- It’s like journaling.
- It is a form of publishing with a wide audience.
- There are different blog themes (writing, cooking, mothering, etc.).
Why do you want to blog?
- I want to be published.
- I want to use blogging to organize myself (my photos, my mothering atedotes, my scrapbooking)
- I want to share how God has worked in my life.
- I want to minister to other grieving widows.
What do you want to learn how to do?
- How to set up a blog?
- How do I post?
- How do I find photos for my blog? What about copyright?
Then, we walked them through setting up blogs through Blogger.
- Go to Blogger.com. Follow Blogger’s step-by-step instructions on how to create Google account and Blogger blog.
- Choose your blog title and blog web address. What is your blog going to be about? Carol wanted hers to be about God. The address she wanted, “forhisglory”, was taken, so she choose a similar one, “hisgloryshines”, instead. Note: You can change your blog web address in the future, but it is best to do so soon because once you start getting followers, that complicates things. Also, if you are a writer, many sites suggest that you use your name as the Blog title and address (example janedoe.blogspot.com). I know some that do and some that don’t. It’s up to you.
- Choose your template and layout. How do you want your blog to look? What background do you want? There are tons of pictures in Blogger to choose from. What font to you want? Tip: Use a white or cream background for your actual posts and use a dark font color (white with black font is always easy to read.). Do you want a sidebar (for followers, for search box, for photo of you, etc.)?
- Practice clicking on everything. Slowly. Find out what everything does.
- When you are somewhat happy with how things look, try doing a post. Give your post a title and then write your post. On right hand side is “Label” – this is also know as “tag” and it is used to give labels to your posts so search engines can help people find it. For example, if your post is about mountain biking trails, you might give it labels like: “mountain biking, bicycling, trails in Pennsylvania state parks”. You might also want to use “Schedule” – this allows you to set date and time for post to schedule. Click “Publish” to publish your post. Click “View” to see your published post.
We are going to have a follow up session for our newbie bloggers. What are some suggestions or tips that we could share with them?