Daily Archives: March 12, 2010

How to

How to set up a blog with Blogger

OK, I know, it seems a bit odd doesn’t? We’re talking here about setting up a blog on a website other than WebEden! But thanks to some domain trickery, its possible to link a blogger blog with your WebEden website.

So its time for another guest blog from Alison Cross from AlisonCross4Webs.co.uk.

Blogs are not new, but they should not be overlooked as a powerful weapon in your armoury to keep people interested in your goods or services.  These days, you can even use your blog to earn you some cash!

Webeden does have a blog page option in the software.  However, no disrespect to the designers but * whispers  * it’s not very exciting nor very flexible.

There are many blogging tools available – wordpress and blogger being two of the most popular free options.  Note of caution – if you’re new to blogs and not confident with coding, make sure that you visit wordpress.com, not wordpress.org.  The former has easy to use templates whereas the latter is more complicated.

What do you want a Blog for?

As with any social networking tool, it’s good to have your blogging goals clarified before you press fingers to keyboard. Of course, if it’s just for the simple joy of sharing common interests just get cracking on the creative stuff below.  However, if it’s for your business or club – it should have a defined purpose.   Remember, they say that if you can’t jot down your idea on the back of a business card, you need to give your concept a bit more thought.

Having a goal will stop you from rambling off topic into areas that, while interesting to you, could result in a drop in your readership numbers.  Don’t forget that there are millions of blogs out there and people need to be selective about what they read – so make your blog content rich and aimed at your target reader every time.

So – no chatting about your dog on your photography equipment blog – unless you are talking about how to photograph dogs and any special kit you might require.

Keep it up!

Speaking of dogs, you should think of your blog as something that’s for life, not just for Christmas – like the dog charity advert warns.  A blog needs to be looked after, just like a puppy. If you can’t commit to making regular postings on your blog, maybe you need to reconsider whether having one is a good idea.  A stagnant, lifeless blog is worse than having no blog at all.

This is going to be a 2-parter blog entry for Webeden.  This initial posting will show you how to get your blog up and running and the second part will focus on the technical part of placing it on a subdomain of your Webeden site.

Get a Blogger account

First of all, you’ll need a blogger account.  As seems to be the case with with most things on the internet, it is owned by Google, so if you already have a google acount, you’re good to go.

To set up an account from scratch is easy – you need a username and password. To get started, go to https://www.blogger.com/start.

Now that your account is created, click on the ‘create a blog’ button and off you go!

Choose a name

You’ll need a name for it; and an url.  If the url that you are after is taken, Blogger will let you know.  Remember, don’t make it too long, complicated (ie hyphens) or have odd combinations of numbers; these just increase the chances of things going wrong when people try to find you.  You will, in the second part of this blog, have an opportunity to assign your blog to a subdomain on your website.  I appreciate that some of you reading this won’t want that hassle, so it’s worth choosing a blogger url that’s easy to use.

URL settled, you need to type in a word to show that you are not a spambot, and then you are on to the next section – choose a template!

Choosing a Template

Don’t worry about them being a bit boring-looking – there are pages and pages of free blogger templates out there for you to experiment with later.  Just pick one of the standard templates just now.

And that is your basic blog!

The next screen that appears invites you to post something, but instead, I’d like you to look at the tabs along the top – postings, layout, settings and monetize.

Pick the layout tab – this is where you will add and arrange widgets on your page.


Blogger creates the page with some widgets already inserted into your page – navbar, header, followers, blog archive and About Me.

All these widgets can be edited and dragged around the page. In the layout shown here, you can drag items above and below the blog posts or display down the left hand side.

Note that you can also change the fonts and colours used – see the tab next to ‘Page Elements’.  You can upload a banner heading image to further personalise your blog and so extend your website ‘brand’ to your blog.

If you are confident with HTML you can even edit the code directly in the next tab. But that’s not a topic for today’s blog!

If you click on Add a Gadget, you will enter the world of Blogger widgets.  Helpfully laid out in Basics, Featured, Popular etc, you can even upload your own!  You can make widgets with an outfit like www.widgetbox.com

One of the most recently added widgets is Pages which allows you to have stand alone pages on your blog.  For example, your weekly blogs could be on photography equipment, your additional pages could be examples of how you used them?

Making money from your blogger site

Importantly you can monetize your site by using Google Adsense [like WebEden!] or Amazon Associates.  Adsense is a free service allows Google to put targeted advertising on your site and when people click on the adverts, you earn money!  The Amazon service allows you to choose Amazon items to display on your website.

You can preview your blog – with all associated widgets – prior to making live.  Remember and ‘save’ if you like it!

Reskin it!

If you find the blogger skins boring, you can find other skins at many places, including http://freeskins.blogspot.com.  You download the skin and then upload the HTML on the layout>edit HTML tab.

That’s it so far

Next time I’ll show you how to integrate your WebEden website with your blogger blog!

If anyone has any difficulties setting up their blog or finds something I’ve written impenetrable (or simply wrong!) please don’t hesitate to post here on the webeden blog and I promise to deal with your query as quickly and efficiently as I can.

About Alison

Alison Cross is a self-confessed Twitter addict who occasionally tears herself away from the world of social-networking to build or revamp websites, to design logos and website banners, to blog shamelessly about the joys of the intertubes and who sometimes even manages to factor in some light housework. She also runs alisoncross4webs.co.uk

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