Quick and Easy Blogs by John Williams - HTML preview

PLEASE NOTE: This is an HTML preview only and some elements such as links or page numbers may be incorrect.
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If your hosting service provided you with a specific FTP path to the folder

where Blogger must put the files which make up your blog, copy that path

into that field. Most people can leave it blank because most hosting services

use the most common path.

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The Blog Filename field is for the front page of your blog.

The Blog URL is the address on the Internet where people and search

engines can find your blog.

If your blog is the main part of your site, the address could be

http://www.example.com/ and the Blog Filename would be index.html If your blog is not the main part of your site and you want it installed in a

subfolder called blog on your web site, the Blog URL would be

http://www.example.com/blog/. The Blog Filename would still be index.html.

The sub-folder (blog in my example) must be created on your web site before

you come to blogger.com to set up your blog.

As soon as you complete the set-up steps on these pages, Blogger will create

the necessary files and then try to transfer them to the sub-folder on your

web site. If there I anything wrong with the FTP information which you

provided or if the sub-folder does not exist (or the name is even slightly

different), the process will fail and you will have to correct the errors and try

the process again.

If you see that everything is correct, you just need to type in the characters

to match those of the Word Verification showing on the page and left-click

on the “Continue” button.

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Select the Design for Your Blogger Blog

The next step is very enjoyable - you choose one of Blogger’s professionally

prepared designs to use for your new blog. Blogger adds new templates from

time to time. The quality is good and the variety of styles make it almost

certain that you will find something suitable for your blog.

The best part is that it will cost you nothing to use so long as you keep using

the blogger system to maintain your blog.

Now, you can select one of Blogger’s templates to use for your blog. Check

any template which you think might be appropriate by left-clicking on the

“Preview this Template” box under your chosen template. The preview will

open in a new window in your web browser.

Select your template by clicking on the thumbnail preview picture for that

particular template.

When you have the blog on your own web site, you should consider whether

the color scheme and general design of that particular template will fit in with

the other pages on your web site.

Apart from that fundamental point, you do not need to waste too much time

making your selection from the available templates because you can change

to any of the other templates simply and quickly at any time.

Now, left-click on the last space "Continue" button and Blogger will prepare your new blog for you.

When it is ready in just a few seconds, you will see a link which you can click

on and then start to type the first message (called a "post") into your new blog!

The last step before your new blog is created by Blogger and transferred to

your web site requires you to left-click on the link Blogger provides for you to

create your first post.

When you publish that post, Blogger will transfer the files for your blog to the

address on your web site which you specified.

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Blogger will need your username and password to be able to put the files into

your site.

You can let Blogger remember your FTP Transfer settings or leave that option

unchecked. The security risk with a reputable site like blogger.com is slight

but the choice is yours.

If you choose not to let Blogger keep those settings, you will be prompted to

enter them each time you create or edit any part of your blog in Blogger and

publish the changes and additions to your web site.

Blogger will allow you to move your blog to your own web site if you want to

do that after you have set it up to be hosted on blogspot.com. You just need

to login to your Blogger account and change the options from Hosting on

blogspot.com to FTP.

Then, you just fill in the information as I explained in the earlier section.

You Save your Settings and then you must republish your blog with the new

settings.

Now, you can open a fresh browser window and type in the address of your

blog in its new home on your own web site. If everything shows up as you

can confidently expect, fine.

If not, go back to the browser window showing your Blogger account and

carefully recheck the information which you entered.

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Posting to Your Blogger Blog

Whether you let Blogger host your blog or put it on your own web site, you

need to go to your Blogger Account and manage your Blog.

Most Blogger users also do that to creating new posts on their blog, but

Blogger has already added new features which let you post to your Blogger

blog from your mobile phone or by email.

Using the editor in your Blogger account is probably easier and gives you

more flexibility, but having these extra options makes everything a bit more

interesting and convenient.

Login to your Blogger Account and select the correct blog if you have set up

more than one.

Just click the NEW POST button. When the “Create New Post” window

opens, you can put a Title for your Post and then enter the main text in the

larger box.

You don’t have to give every Post a Title but it’s worthwhile to do so. Visitors

to your blog will often just skim the titles to see if any of your topics have

particular interest for them, just as most people skim the headlines in the

newspaper and only read those stories with a headline that attracts their

interest.

Left-click the Preview button and carefully check what you wrote. You may

not worry about spelling errors too much, but you must make sure that

readers will understand what you mean.

Sending Posts to Your Blogger Blog by Email

How do I post via email?

You can set up the option to post to your Blog through your email account.

Login to your Blogger account.

Select the Settings tab.

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Now, left-click on the Email Tab.

Type a word (it can be a real word or a made-up one) which is relevant to

your blog into the box where I’ve put secretword.

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Make it something which is hard to guess because this becomes part of the

email address which you use to email your posts to your Blog. Anyone that

finds out that address could send posts to your blog!

Now, you select whether the posts which you email are to be published

immediately they get to your Blogger account or to be saved as Drafts.

If you just send them as Drafts, you must login to your Blogger account and

review them, then Publish them while you are logged in.

Save your new Settings.

Now, you are set up to email posts to your blog.

Blogger will use the email’s subject as the title for your Post.

The text in the email will become the main text of your Post.

Put #end at the end of the text you want published to prevent any other

material, including advertising messages that some email service providers

add to their client’s emails, being published as part of your Post on your Blog.

If you want a picture to be part of the post, just attach it to the email. You

should check your blog to ensure that the picture is properly set up within

the post. You may need to login to Blogger and make adjustments.

If you know how to use HTML to add bolding and color to your post, you

can use the HTML option, if it is available with your email program, to set

that up for your post.

Otherwise, your post will just have the text of your email exactly as you

wrote it. But, you can login to your Blogger account and edit your post later.

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Set up Your Blogger Mobile Blog

Another innovative, free service from Blogger lets you set up a blog which

you feed posts, including pictures to, from any device that you own which

has a capability to send text messages and for which you have a text

messaging plan through your service provider.

Blogger’s service is free but your carrier will charge you their usual rate for

usage of the service including receiving and sending pictures and text.

To start setting up your new mobile blog, just send a message to

go@blogger.com.

Blogger will set up the blog and publish the message to it. Then, they will

send a message to your device.

That message will have:

9 The address of your new Blog so you can review it, and

9 A token which you need to claim your blog and be able to add it to

your Blogger account.

You can login to go.blogger.com and use the token Blogger sent to you to

claim it.

Then, you can make changes to the settings of your new mobile blog.

You can also set it up so that your future posts from your device will be

added to your current Blogger blog. If your blog is not hosted at

blogspot.com, the post(s) you’ve already made to your mobile blog are not

moved automatically when you make this adjustment.

You can post Mobile Messaging Service messages and emails from that

device to your blog. But, email messages from your phone or other system

which go through a webmail service will not work with Blogger Mobile.

Blogger have a set limit of 250Kilobytes for photos and anything larger will

be bounced. You will get a bounce message so you can send a smaller

picture if you want to.

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Your mobile service provider will probably charge you for everything you

send (including any bounced pictures) and they will also have their own limits

on the size of pictures which you can send.

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Enhancing Your Blog Posts

I suggest that you make a couple of posts which are just text before you

start using these options to add more “eye-candy” to your posts. That will

ensure that you have the basic steps right.

You can always edit those early posts and add more design features when

you are more confident about the basic process of posting new material to

your blog.

Add a Picture to Your Post

It is simple to put a picture into your post.

Blogger lets you select the picture from your computer or from a web site.

But, you should make sure that you only ever use a picture which you have

permission from the copyright holder to use. It could be an embarrassing and

expensive mistake to use a picture which you do not have permission for.

I know a couple of people who have had to pay up to $1,000 to avoid the

possibility of ending up in court because they used a picture which they did

not have permission from the actual rights holder to use. The copyright

owner had an invisible mark inserted into their pictures on the Internet which

they used to locate misuse of their pictures and prove their ownership.

Each of those people had bought a collection of pictures from someone else

who told them they had the right to use them on their web sites!

To transfer your picture, just left-click on the Image Icon in the Post Editor

Toolbar.

When the new window appears, just navigate (browse) to your picture file on

your computer, or enter the URL of your picture on the Internet.

Then, you can arrange how you want your picture to be displayed in your

post.

Adjust its position in relation to your words, using the 'Left', 'Center', and

'Right' options.

Use the 'Image size' option to set the size of the picture in your post.

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Then, left-click on the UPLOAD IMAGES button to transfer a copy of your

picture to your blog.

Then, just click DONE after you see the message that your image has been

added.

Blogger will reopen the post editor where your image is showing and can be

published to your blog.

Other options for adding pictures on your blog include using your a mobile

device, Google's Picasa (free photo-editing software) or a third-party service like flickr.

Adding a Video to Your Blog Post

It’s almost as easy to put your video in to your blog post.

Just left-click the film-strip icon that you see in the toolbar above the box

where you write your blog text.

When the “Add a video to your blog post” window opens, just click on

Browse.

Then, navigate to where the video is stored on your computer.

You can put video files in AVI, MPEG, QuickTime, Real or Windows Media

format that are up to 100MB in size.

Put a title into the “Video Title” box and click that you agree to the Terms

and Conditions before you start to transfer your video.

Then, just left-click the box to transfer a copy of your video to your blog.

Accepting the Terms and Conditions for using this option will mean that

acceptance applies to any other video uploads which you make with this

account. So, you won’t have to click to accept the terms each time that you

transfer more videos but you will still be bound by them.

While your video uploads, Blogger shows a marker (placeholder) showing

where your video will appear in the post.

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Blogger also shows a message about the progress of the transfer just below

the post editor.

The time your video transfer will take depends on the size of your video and

the connection speed of your Internet connection.

You will see your video in the editor window when it has been transferred

successfully.

Personalizing Your Blog’s Layout

You are now going to learn the biggest secret of Web Page Design. If you

don’t need real fancy features, it can be fairly simple to do. This section won’t

make you an expert but may inspire you to try making your own web site

sometime if you don’t already have one.

You chose a template from those offered by Blogger for your use with your

Blogger blog.

That’s just the start.

Blogger will give you a very simple way to customize the template you are

using if you have the blog hosted on blogspot.com or have the domain you

registered for your blog pointed to your blog on blogspot.com.

They provide their “intuitive drag-and-drop interface”. This is usually called a

WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web editor.

If your blog is on your own web site, you cannot (currently) use that tool.

But, you can edit the template using the HTML box. This is more risky if you

do not know much about editing web pages.

But, it gives experienced HTML users very good control.

You can also add slideshows, user polls, or even AdSense ads or easily alter

the fonts and colors on your blog.

Using the LayOut Editor on Your Blogspot Hosted Blog

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Using the Blogger Layout editor to edit your blog, when it is hosted on

Blogspot, is about as easy as it gets.

Just left-click on the Layout option in your dashboard below the blog you

want to edit.

Left-click “Edit” in the “Page Elements” section to change gadgets you are

already using.

The “Add a Gadget” button is for adding more of them to your Blog. You just

have to left-click the + sign beside the Gadget you want to use. Browse

Gadgets by category or use the search option in the pop-up window to find

exactly what you want.

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Make Your Blog a Community

RSS Feed

You can also offer an RSS Feed through which readers can subscribe to get

additions to your blog sent to the Feed Reader program.

Feedburner was bought up by Google, so it must be pretty good.

The Feed Service at Feedburner has a free version for blogs created with Blogger.

Get the Site Feed URL (location) for your blog by logging into your Blogger

account.

Click Settings/Site Feed. Check or set Allow Blog Feed to either Full or short.

Go to the feedburner.com website and check their current instructions for setting up your Feedburner account and feeder. It’s now owned by Google,

who own Blogger, so you can expect good results!

Comments

When you enable Blogger’s Comments feature, visitors to your Blog can

comment about your post which they have just read.

You have ways to control these comments before they appear which I’ll

explain further along.

Their comments will be published under your post

Let Visitors Comment about Your Blog

Login to your Blogger account and left-click on the Settings tab in your

dashboard.

Then, choose the Comments tab.

Click the Show button and then click Save Settings.

Now, you must set up these other settings.

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Who Can Comment? There are three options in this setting.

1) Only Registered Users: Visitors will need to have a Blogger account

or set a new one up before they can post a comment.

2) Anyone: This is open slather – anyone can post a comment. Of

course, the comments will still need to be moderated by you before

they appear if you have already set up a Moderation option.

3) Only Members of this Blog: This is for a Blog where you have a

Team of contributors. Only they can leave comments.

Default for Posts If you want comments which are a good way to increase

interest and traffic for your blog, you should choose New Posts Have

Comments:

If you select New Posts Do Not Have Comments: only those Posts where

you specifically enable them will let visitors make comments.

Comments Timestamp Format: You can choose the way that the date and

time the comments were made (not moderated) will be shown.

Show Comments in a Popup Window? I suggest that you click No for this

option because a lot of web surfers use software which will block pop-ups.

They do not like them.

The No: option will have the comments and a form for the visitor to put in

their own comment to appear in their current browser window.

Show Profile Images on Comments? The Yes: option will display a

Blogger user’s public profile image (if they have one) in the posting form.

They won’t show in the actual blog.

The No: option will not allow the display of a Blogger user’s public profile

image.

Comment Notification Address: You can put your email address here to

have all new comments emailed to you.

Now, you just have to check that all the settings are the way you want them

and then left-click on Save Settings.

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You must now republish your blog to have the new settings activate.

Blogger’s templates have the correct template tags for comments but some

other templates may not work properly.

All comments appear in the order that they were posted by the visitors.

Older posts that were published before you enabled Comments will not have

them enabled.

Keep Comments Relevant - Moderation?

You do not want to let people put comments on your blog which are

commercial messages [spam], irrelevant, nasty or offensive.

Left click on the settings tab in your blog dashboard and then look for

Comment Moderation.

Your options are to:

1) Moderate every comment by selecting "Always".

2) Not to moderate any comments by selecting the "Never".

3) Moderate comments that have been on the blog for a certain number

of days by setting the number of days in the "only on posts older than"

option.

If you chose either of the first two options, Blogger will open an e-mail form

to give you an optional alternative to moderate comments by e-mail. You

can, if you wish, set up in your e-mail service a separate e-mail address just

for Blogger to use for comments.

This becomes an option for those times when you choose to moderate by

email instead of your usual way through the Blogger Dashboard on your blog.

When you get your next comment, you can moderate it by logging in and

clicking on the Posting and then the Moderate Comments tabs.

Blogger will show all the comments which you have not approved or deleted

in the order that they were created. You also have the option to sort them

under the name of the Post which they were made about.

Just left-click on the "Post Name" option.

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You will see the first few words of the comment along with name of the

person that made the comment and the time they posted it.

Left-click on the triangle to see all of the comments.

Then click on either the "Publish" or "Reject" link for that comment.

Blogger gives you check boxes and buttons which you can use to accept or

reject several comments together.

If you put in an email address when you were setting up your moderation

options, Blogger will send you an email notification about each comment.

This will have links for publishing or rejecting the post. There will also be a

link which will let you login to the page on your Dashboard where you can

moderate all the comments you have not already dealt with.

You will have to login to your Blogger account to make the links work.

When you publish or delete (Reject) a comment, it will disappear from the list

of comments to be moderated.

Those comments which you approved can still be deleted through your

Dashboard.

How to Remove Comments

Although you can’t usually delete a comment you make on someone else’s

blog, Blogger blogs are different. If you are signed into your Google or

Blogger account when you make the comment, you will probably be able to

delete your own comment from the other Blogger user’s blog.

You can moderate and delete any comments which are submitted to your

blog or one which you have Administration access to, whether or not it is a

Blogger blog.

To delete a comment which has been published on a Blogger blog that you

own or have Administration access to, login to the Blogger account for that

blog.

Then go to the page where the comment is listed and click the trash can

beside it.

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A confirmation page will appear which shows the comment for you to review.

If you are sure that the comment should be deleted, left-click on the

confirmation button.

You cannot get back any comments or posts which have been deleted.

Neither can you edit comments, even your own.

You can replace your comment with a different version but the time shown

beside it will be the time of the new comment and it will be shown in time-

stamp order, not where the original comment was.

How Blogger Reduces Comment Spam

Blogger gives you some help within their software to reduce comment from

people that try to promote non-related products and sites and other spam.

Blogger limits HMTL tags in comments to some that are considered safe.

People that leave comments in the hope of getting a boost to their PageRank

will be disappointed – that is blocked by Blogger automatically applying the

rel="nofollow" tag.

Email notifications of comments (if you have chosen to get them) can help

you to remove unwanted comments in a shorter time.

Using the word verification test where people must write in the letters shown in it before their comment is accepted will stop spam by many

automatic systems.

And you also have the option of comment moderation, so you can check every comment before it is displayed on your blog.

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Your Profile is About You

Your Profile is the equivalent of the “About Us” page which you will see on

many web sites.

This is how you tell your visitors about your reason for creating the Blog,

your experience (particularly that related to the subject of your Blog) your

background and other interests. These other topics can help you to link up

with other people that share the same interests.

You can even include your photo. I believe that can be very helpful to

increasing the level of trust you obtain from casual visitors to your blog or

web site. But, don’t try the old trick of using someone else’s picture on your

blog.

How to Add Your Photo to Your Profile.

Choose a picture, no more than 50 kilobytes (kb) in size and in standard web

picture format (either .jpg or .gif), from your computer.

Login to your Blogger Account and left-click the Edit Profile button on your

Dashboard.

Click "Browse" and locate the right picture on your computer. If your picture is on the Internet, just type in the web address (URL) which should be

something like http://www.example.com/mypicture.jpg.

When the picture has been transferred to your Blogger Profile, you just need

to save your profile.

Sometimes, the Blogger system will not save your photo. The usual reason is

that the address you gave them to get the photo from was not correct.

Check that the web address or location on your computer of your picture is

correct by typing the web address into a fresh window on your web browser

or looking through your computer and confirming the actual location and the

name of the file.

Web links must start with http:

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If you had already posted the photo on Blogger, you would have got two web

addresses; one with an <a> tag for the full size picture which you posted and

one with an <img> tag for a thumbnail (small copy). You can’t put the full-

size picture directly into your Profile. You must use the URL for the small

copy with the <img> tag.

Your Privacy

You can keep your real name and your email address private if you want to -

you can even hide your whole profile. It’s your decision what information you

are happy to share with your visitors.

Editing Your Profile

To change your profile information, go to your Dashboard and left-click on

the Edit Profile to make any changes or additions that you want.

Using Different Display Names and Profiles

You can only use one profile in a Blogger account.

If you want to have different blogs with different profiles (perhaps so they

can be more relevant to the topic of the individual blogs), the best way is to

create more than one Blogger account.

If you just want something to be different on a blog (display name or other

information), then you could type that change onto the template and not

bother creating a different account and separate profile page.

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PART 2: Starting to Blog with WordPress

Making your blog with the WordPress system does mean that you have to

learn to do many of the administrative tasks and modifications to your blog

yourself which Blogger does for you fast and for free.

But, the potential gain can be worthwhile as you have complete control of

your blog and no risk of losing it because the hosting site (blogger.com)

changes its policies.

It all starts when you type http://www.wordpress.org into your browser: You can set up a free blog at Wordpress.com or set up your WordPress-based blog on your own web site.

To get a free Wordpress.com blog, just left-click on the “get a free blog at WordPress.com” link on that page.

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Making a WordPress Blog on Your Own Web Site

There are two ways to set up a business or personal blog with WordPress on

your own web site.

You can “do-it-yourself":

1) Set up a MySQL database and a User for the Database on your web

site.

2) Download the current version of Wordpress from wordpress.org.

3) Modify a few files.

4) Transfer the WordPress files to your web site.

5) Run the install program.

OR

You can let Fantastico do all the hard work for you – for free!

Fantastico is a part of the CPanel (Control Panel), which many hosting

services provide for their clients.