Saturday, March 21, 2009

Get Blogging NZ - Create a Free Blog

Got something you want to get off your chest? Or are you an expert in some little known field? Or maybe you just want to let friends and family know all about your activities. Why not give blogging a try and connect to others who share your passion and your interests? At blogger.com blogging has never been easier and its absolutely free. Blogger is a powerful, fully featured online blogging platform with a user friendly interface. If you would like to give it a try this tutorial will get you started right away. You can have your blog up and running in under half an hour. Start building your blog today and you will be pleased you made the effort.

Create a Free Blog with Blogger.com

What is a Blog?
A blog which is short for weblog is an online diary where you can regularly post commentaries, tell stories, describe events and happenings, give advice, rant and rave to your heart's content. You can use the medium of text, pictures and video to inform and entertain. This site is an example of a blog. My object is to inform, comment and share knowledge and insights on the NZ lifestyle. It is open to anyone who visits. Your blog may be specifically for invited guests only or open it to the whole world. It's up to you.

Some of the Main Features of Blogger.com
Simple user-friendly interface
No restrictions on bandwidth
Unlimited video storage using YouTube
Photo storage using Picasa Web Album (1 GB)
Support for Mobile blogging


How Do I Get an Account at Blogger.com?
Anyone can sign up at Blogger.com. If you already have a Google account (eg gmail email address) you will find the process of signing up to Blogger.com very easy since Google owns the Blogger platform. The advantage of using your existing Google account is that you can gain instant access to other Google Services such as Picasa Web Albums and Google Reader. If you don't have a Google Account it is easy to apply for one during the sign up process to Blogger.com.

Once you have a Google account you are ready to sign on at Blogger.com. Simply direct your browser to Blogger.com and click on the "Create an Account" button.

Setting Up an Account at Blogger.com
Setting up your blog is a 3 step process: creating an account, naming your blog and choosing a template. You will be prompted for a name which you will use to sign all of your blog posts. As you will see your email address becomes your account name. Once you have created an account you will be free to create as many blogs as you wish using the one account.

Create an Account
Naming your blog requires some thought. Choose a name that is short, memorable and is associated with your blog theme. Long names are difficult to remember and are therefore best avoided.

The next choice you will be asked to make is to select a template. This can be changed at a later date so don't worry if you are uncertain about your choice at this stage. Choose the template that most closely resembles the look and feel of the site you wish to create. There are hundreds of free Blogger templates available like the one I am using so don't worry too much at this stage about the look as it can easily be changed.

Configuring Blogger.com Settings

Basic Settings
Before launching into your first post you will need to set up a few blog settings. From the "Settings" tab click on the "Basic" link and enter the blog title you wish to use and a short description of your site on the page which appears. Make sure you select no to the questions let search engines find your blog and list your blog in blogger if you want your blog to be private. Otherwise leave the default as yes. Save these settings by clicking on the button at the bottom of the page.

Formatting
Under the "Formatting" link you will need to adjust the date format and time for your blog according to your geographical location. Assuming you are resident in New Zealand you would set it to Pacific Time: Auckland. Don't forget to save these changes.

Commenting
In the "Comments" section you can control how people can comment on your blog. If you want your blog to be private then set comments to members only otherwise set to Anyone. Set the Moderate Comments option to always if you are allowing your blog to be viewed by everyone otherwise you will receive unwelcome spam.

Comment Moderation

Permissions
You can choose to keep your blog private, invite readers to visit your blog or open your blog up to anyone and everyone.

Once these basic settings are configured you will be in a position to start making posts to your blog. Use the preview button often to help you confirm your changes are successful.

For more information on customising your blog refer to Blog Know How

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