This post is something that I've wanted to put together for a really long time. It's just taken me a REALLY long time to get done! Learning the tricks of blogging can take a long time. I've only been blogging since February 2012 and already it's late August of 2013! It's been a good learning experience & I think I've come a long way in the blogging world, but what's important to me are the relationships I've built with my readers & the friends I've made throughout the journey.
If you're a brand new blogger, or someone who is considering blogging you may not know where to begin or what to do. There are so many things you CAN do that it makes a first time blogger very nervous! I've learned a lot in the year+ that I've been blogging and now I want to take that and put it down into something that would hopefully help a newcomer to the blogging world.
- Create your Google Account. If you don't have one already this is the best place to start. You just fill out the sign up from and you're good to go! Log out of the account once you've made it. Make sure to write down your login email & password because you'll need this later.
- Go to blogger.com. You will then see a screen that says create your free blog. On the right will be the Google sign in. Fill this in with your new account info that you created just above. (Email & password.)
- Create the New Blog. Now on this new screen you will have a button near the top left which says "New Blog". Click that. Fill in the two blanks: Blog Name, and Blog URL. The name should be something that can stay with your blog as it grows. The URL should be something easily identifiable to your blog name if you cant have the exact blog name as the URL. (Sometimes other blogs have already been created with the name you want to use so you'll have to get even more creative!) Before moving on you will need to pick a Template. I usually use Awesome, Inc. Templates because they're easy to work with AND awesome!
- Know where everything is. Click on the name of your blog which will automatically appear at draft.blogger.com once you've created a blog. Here's a quick look at what each of the things on the left sidebar:
~Overview: This is where you can see a quick look at the page views your blog has received, and know when/if you have comments needing moderation. You can also see an overview of how many comments have been published on your blog, how many page views you received today, the number of posts sitting in draft/schedule or published on your blog, and the amount of followers via GFC.
~Posts: Keep track of the posts you've written, posts you have in draft, and post you have scheduled. At first you may only see "All" and that's okay. Once you start writing you'll see the other tabs pop up.
~Pages: This is where you can rearrange, edit & add pages to your blog.
~Comments: You can view comments by ones that have been published, ones that are waiting for moderation, and ones that are marked as spam. To help avoid spam comments you might not want to allow annonymous comments OR always moderate the comments posted on your blog so you view them before anyone else...more on this later.
~Google+: Now I haven't exactly used this because I don't have a Google+ account. It says that you can "connect your blog to Google+ to reach more readers in new ways". I'm not sure how anything here works.
~Stats: As a new blogger you really SHOULDN'T pay too much attention to the stats of your blog. Later on you may use it as a way to track where your page views come from or what posts are the most popular, etc. It will also show you traffic sources, page views on posts & on blog pages, an your audience around the world.
~Earnings: Again, this isn't something that I've done so I don't know anything about this tab or how it works. I would suggest finding a blogger who has ad's on their blog and asking them about it for more info.
~Layout: This is a fun tab! You can add or remove a LOT of different things to your blog all by using this tab. You can also make changes to your blog header and how many posts are displayed on your blog's homepage here.
~Template: Remember when you picked a template for your blog? Well, this is where you go to make changes to it or edit other things which have to do with your blog's appearance. You'll want to click "Customize" NOT "Edit HTML" unless you know HTML.
~Settings: Everything from changing the name of your blog, the URL of your blog, adding/removing contributors to the blog, editing details about comments (who can comment, etc.), posting using a mobile device, changing the time, and whether your blog will show up in search engines can be found here. Take some time to look around and see what all the options are.
- The Basics of Pages. Some of the most common pages added to a blog are "About Me", "Connect" or "Contact", "Link Parties", "My Wedding", "Recipes", "Crafts"...there are limitless options! Just decide what things you want to write about on your blog (topics you are most familiar with are best!) and start there. I'd for sure put an "About Me" and "Contact" for a new blog. Everything else is extra & can always be added later.
~Create A New Page: On the Pages tab you will see the button "New Page". Click that. Add a title for your new page and begin writing on the blank space below.
~"About Me" Pages: This is a page where most people will go to get to know you better. Share a few highlights of your life, things you want to blog about, things you want to do, places you've been, any other random thing you might want to add. Most importantly INCLUDE YOUR NAME! If you don't want everyone knowing your real name create a code name for yourself and use that on your blog and to leave comments with. I would also suggest adding a photo of yourself, but again that's totally up to you.
~"Contact" Page: on your contact page you might want to share your email or an email you've created specifically for blogging & chatting with other bloggers. Blogging is a very social event, but it's difficult to be social if people can't get a hold of you! Other things you might want to add are links to social media sites you use such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Polyvore, etc. You chose what you want to share.
- What & When to Write. Sometimes new bloggers feel pressured to write a lot and they'll easily burn out and never write on their blog again. I suggest taking it slow! Start with an introduction post or a post about your plans for your blog. Write lots of draft posts that don't necessarily get published right away. Take photos of craft projects or recipe's as you're working on them so you can blog about them later. Blogging is not hard! It should be fun. You should enjoy what you write about. If you don't know about a subject DON'T WRITE ABOUT IT! Simple as that! The biggest thing I learned was this: I have to write for me. If I came across my blog and had never seen it before, would I want to stay and read any of the posts? If your answer is no then maybe you should reevaluate the topics you're writing about. If it's yes, then good for you!
- Helpful Resources on BEBBlog. I wanted to share a few tips with you that I've written on my blog over the past year+. These are things that I've learned & dediced to blog to help other bloggers. If you have questions about something or have a comment to share with new bloggers please leave them below & we'll talk!
~The "Follow Me Back" Curse. As a new blogger you may be tempted to follow other bloggers so that they'll 'follow you back'. If you want to do that, go ahead...the only thing I'd like to say on this is NEVER say "follow me back" or "follow me I've followed you" or "stop by my blog if you can" or anything even close to that! It's rude to ask for visitors to your blog, and in many cases this is one sure way to make sure the blogger whose blog you commented on WONT ever visit your blog! Read more about that here.
~Give Credit Where It's Due. One thing you may start to join in are the link parties & blog hops which are all over the blogging world. I attend many of them myself and enjoy visiting new bloggers this way. If you are going to link up with a blog hop/party, make sure to follow the rules of the hop & add the button to your blog (adding them to a specific page is always a good idea and keeps your blog's homepage from looking too messy). If you link specific posts to link parties go back to that post and add a text link which will take the reader back to the party where you linked up at.Not only is it courteous to do this, but it'll help you remember which posts you linked up at which parties so that you don't link them multiple times! Read more about this here.
~How To Find Your RSS Feed. If you decide to add custom social media buttons to your blog you may be wondering how to find your RSS feed since this is something that a lot of readers use to follow your blog. I've written out details for you here.
~Blogger Photo Limit. Another important thing you'll want to start doing when you first begin blogging is to make sure your photos are sized 800x600 (600x800) or smaller! If your photos are larger than this they will take up space in your Picasa album (which is provided via Google and works with Blogger) and you'll run out of space and either have to buy more space to store images or go back and resize all the ones that are too big. Read more about that here.
~Create A Blog Button. If you plan to advertise (and there's plenty of opportunites to advertise without paying a dime! Plus the whole button swap thing where you host another bloggers button on your sidebar and they host yours is free too!) you'll probably want to create a blog button. You'll have to mess with a little HTML, but I've written out directions which most people don't find too confusing so feel free to check that out and make your blog a new button! I'd suggest using a photo editing program like Picmonkey.com (which is free) to get going. Make sure to save as .png if you use solid colors instead of an image so that it won't go pixily. Read about creating a button here.
~Schedule Posts to Publish Automatically. Do you wonder how bloggers have the time to write so many posts and publish them throughout the week/month? Let me tell you a little secret, we use the Schedule feature A LOT! (Or at least I do!) This gives me the freedom to write tons of posts in advance and then line them all up on the day and at the time I want them to go live on my blog. Read how to do that here.
~Add The "Pin It" Button. If you plan to use Pinterest to promote your blog (or if you want to share your blog posts on Pinterest) I'd suggest you add a "Pin It" button to your posts. This makes for easy sharing of your blog posts for you and for your readers. Learn how to add the button here.
~Posting A Comment. Now that you're a blogger you have no excuse to post comments as annonymous. Make sure your family members (who might read your blog) know how they can leave comments too! Read the post here.
~All About Favicons. This is the little image that pop's up on the open tab along the top of your browser. If you wondered how bloggers got a unique image to pop-up instead of the Blogger logo...wonder no more!
~How To Center Buttons. When you start adding buttons to your sidebar you'll probably notice that they end up all over the place. That's because the HTML code for each one is unique (even if you make them yourself!). Learn how to center buttons here.
~What Is Picket Fence Blogs? It's a place where your readers can vote for your blog and as your blog is voted on it will rise in the ranks of different categories. This isn't something for everyone, and as a new blogger you might want to wait on this until you're estabilshed (aka you have your blog layout set up, your pages finished, and a few posts under your belt). Learn how to set up an account & profile here.
~Custom Clickable Buttons. As you become more familiar with HTML code and how to use it you may decide you want to create a few of your own custom clickable buttons. I know this is TONS of fun and something I use a LOT on my blog. Read the tutorial here.
~More Blogging Tips. I wrote 3 collaberation posts which share several different tips for blogging. Some I've already mentioned above, but a few I haven't. Check those here: Top 5 Blogging Tips #1, Top 5 Blogging Tips #2, Top 5 Blogging Tips #3.
I hope you're not too overwhelmed at this point. If you are just take a deep breath, walk away from the computer for a bit and come back to this later. You can always copy this post into a word document if you want to use it as a checklist. Then you can just remove the parts you've completed until you get it all done... Do what works best for you. It's your blog and blogging is all about being unique!
Repin this post on Pinterest here!