Monday, 5 January 2015

Starting a Blog

A couple of people have asked me about setting up a blog. So if you have ever thought that you want to do the same, now is a good time to start. It can be on anything that you are passionate about, an interest, a hobby or work related.

  • Subject: Decide what you want to blog about
  • Decide on a name. When you sign up, you will be asked for a name of your site which may form part of the URL, so it pays to think about this carefully. The main header of your blog usually relates to this naming convention as well. It needs to be ambiguous so that you are not locked into one subject. Mine wasn't at first so now I have moved all my Kenya safari posts into Travel Bug.
  • Who to use? Most people seem to use Wordpress or Blogger. Have a look at both and decide which is right for you. Blogger is part of the G+ (google) which means everything is related, sign up for a google account and you have access to email, calendar, cloud drive, a place to upload your photos, a web site, a blogger site, My Maps and somewhere where people can see what you are up to (a bit like facebook) etc - a free one stop shop.

  • Customise: Once you have created an account, click on Template to choose the overall look of your page - there are seven choices. Click "preview" to see if you like the look. If you ever want to change it, go back into Template and click on another template and "apply to blog" underneath. You can customise it to change the background, the widths and the layout. The layout is how the header, footer and columns are laid out. The widths are the width of your columns. I chose a left hand column for gadget and a right hand column for content, I then reduced the size of the left hand column and increased the right hand column. Advanced allows you to change font and font colour etc.
  • To set up what goes where, you need to click on the layout button. Click the add a gadget to get various widgets such as blog archive, follow by email, profile etc
  • Write: Time to start your first blog, click on the orange pencil and start writing. Add a photo, a video or an external link. If you want to write your blog offline in a word document first, after you copy paste it into the blog you will need to select all the text and click the icon two in from the right to remove formatting from the other program.
  • A word on Photos: the photos that you put in the blog will be uploaded to your G+ photos in the cloud and stay linked. So if you delete a photo from there, it will be deleted from your blog. If you plan to add more photos to that album, it is better to create an album in G+ first, add all the photos, then add insert them into your blog. On the other hand, leave all your blog photos in one place and create a separate album for your other photos, your choice.

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