Blogspot or Google Blogger is a free tool to create and promote your blog posts for newbies. Blogs can be professional or personal. To create a new blog post add a title and address. The address by default will be with the extension blogspot.com. Gmail account is mandatory. The platform provides a setup to start configuring your new blog without much technical knowledge. With a single account, you can create multiple blogs. The tool provides you a set of templates for use. The build-in tool dashboard allows for customization of templates, background color, layout, adjustment of blog widths, etc. Create and Include pages to your blog such as contact, about, privacy, etc. Add a logo to your blog and add or remove gadgets. Monetize your blog by displaying ads using Google Adsense. Get paid by Google every time your visitor views and clicks on the ads.
Many platforms both free and paid are available for blogging. Some common ones are WordPress, Tumblr, Drupal, Joomla, Medium, Weebly, Typepad, etc. Go through the glossary of blogging by visiting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_blogging.
Getting Started with Google Blogger
Visit https://www.blogger.com and on the display page click the tab ‘CREATE YOUR BLOG’. If you have a Gmail account log in with your user name and password else, create a new Gmail ID if you do not have one.
Confirm your Profile
Enter your Display Name. Next click on ‘Continue to Blogger’.
Create a New Blog
In the New blog display page click on ‘Create New Blog’.
In the Popup Page ‘Create a new blog’ enter Title and Address fig3. Select a Theme now or later and click Create blog. [Alternatively, you may opt for the purchase of a domain name here.]
The Blogger Dashboard consists of the drop-down arrow showing the current blogs. The New Post tab along with other settings are located to the right. The Navigation menu is to the left. The different settings on the right can be changed. All your blog posts will be listed here.
View blog shows you the blog post live and any changes applied to the theme or layout is visible here.
Click on a new post and give a title for your post. Create content for your blog post and find different options for your text. The options are similar to those found in a word processor application.
After you are done hit the publish tab. Prior to publishing, you can preview text by clicking the preview tab. After you click the close tab you will find a display showing the list of your blog posts fig4. Find alongside each post the date it was published, view count and the number of comments.
If you save your post it will remain here in draft mode for further edit and then you can either publish or delete.
Choose an image for your post by clicking on the ‘image icon’. Upload an image or choose the same from your blog. Apply options to the image as per the settings fig6.
To link any text in your post highlight that text and click the Link icon. In the ‘Edit Link’, display box enter the URL of the link in the Web address box. Check both the box which says ‘Open this link in a new window’ and Add ‘rel=nofollow’ attribute. Next, click the ‘OK’ tab.
- Labels – Enter tags for your post separated by commas.
- Schedule – Publish the post immediately or schedule to enter a date and time for publishing your post.
- Permalink – Access the link to your post by choosing automatic or custom permalinks.
- Location – Choose a location on the map by entering your place in search.
- Options – Indicate whether readers can leave comments.
Publishing Your Blog Post
To publish your post click on the Publish tab fig7.
The Stats view shows the statistics for your website. Under the Stats in the left menu bar the drop-down display shows – Overview, Posts, Traffic sources, and Audience.
Select the preset date ranges. ‘Now’ indicates data for the past two hours. ‘Day’ will display data for the past 24 hrs. Week shows data for the past 24 hrs. ‘Week’ and ‘Month’ provides data for the last seven days and the past month.
The ‘Post’ tab shows you the entry of posts and pages in your blog with the number of pageviews against each entry. The ‘Traffic Sources’ tab provides a report for the referring URLs, referring sites and search keywords. They show the locations from where visitors have landed on your blog. The URLs show the websites that have generated traffic to your blog. The ‘Audience’ tab provides reports showing the top countries, browsers and operating systems that lead to those page views.
View comments published, comments under moderation, and comments marked as spam. Moderation stops comments from coming into view on your blog without your approval. Comments can be deleted by using the Delete tab. All comments from visitors appear here in fig12.
To get AdSense approval, your blog age should be six months. Accelerate Adsense approval for Google Blogger by opting for a personal domain, hosting, and have quality content. Read more about Adsense by clicking on Google AdSense and AdSense Auto Ads. In fig13 go through the Google documentation for ‘How to Qualify for Adsense’ and find the eligibility criteria for displaying Ads on your blog.
To add a new page to your blog, click on ‘New page’ or ‘Create a new page’ fig14.
Upload a favicon to your blog by selecting a square image of size 16*16 or 32*32 with a file size not exceeding 100KB fig16.
Blogger provides a selection of gadgets such as Blog Search, Featured Post, Popular Posts, Adsense, etc fig 17. Add, remove, edit gadgets or rearrange and change the layout for your blog.
Add text to the footer gadget and click save fig18.
View the current theme on desktop and mobile fig19. Scroll to the bottom and if required you can change the template for your blog from the many theme options that are available here.
Customize the theme background, adjust widths, layout, text fonts & color, etc. When you are ready click ‘Apply to Blog’. The Advanced settings have a lot of other options eg changing the header background etc. The ‘edit HTML’ will allow editing the HTML of your blog.
From the dashboard go to the settings tab and open the display of each of the dropdown list items fig. Here you can customize the number of posts that appear on your blog at a time, edit the title and address of the blog, change permission settings and more.
- Title – edit the title of your blog or change it.
- Description – 500 characters Max. Include keywords.
- Privacy – Add your blog to our listings? – If Yes by default a navbar gets added to your blog. Let search engines find your blog? – If Yes search engines are able to crawl your blog.
- Publishing – view the free Blogspot address. eg: – sapaccessories.blogspot.com
- HTTPS – If HTTPS redirect is set to yes, the blog will go to – eg: https://sapaccessories.blogspot.com. If you have a domain or want to buy one then you have the option to set it here fig22.
- Permission – Add people as author or admin to your blog. If you invite someone as an author then an invitation letter is sent and if accepted they get listed as an author to your blog. The Blog Readers Section can be set to public, private (only blog authors) or private (only readers you choose will have to log in.)
Posts, comments, and sharing
Set up comments by going to the blogger dashboard left-hand menu bar. Click on the settings tab to get the dropdown display and choose the posts and comments option available. From the display, change the comment settings according to your preference.
The comment location can be embedded within the page, displayed as a separate page or shown as a pop-up window or hide. Further choose who would be allowed to comment on the blog from the options – Anyone, User with Google Accounts or only members of this blog. But choose Anyone to target a wider audience. Comment moderation is required to control the quality of the comments. Word verification is important and with CAPTCHA installed on your blog, there are fewer chances of spam. Save settings to apply changes to your blog.
Under eMail settings, you can post to Blogger from your eMail account. To post using eMail enter a secret word in the Address box fig 24. Select from options – publish eMail immediately, Save eMail as a draft post or Disabled. From your eMail send messages to Blogger firstname.lastname@example.org and invite others to post on your blog. Keep the option to save as draft before publishing so that you can approve the posts. In the Comment Notification Email enter the eMail addresses to get a notification when someone comments on your blog. Under eMail, posts enter eMail addresses to get a notification when a new post is published.
Language and formatting
Select the correct language for your blog fig25. Enabling translation for your blog will convert the selected language eg English (United States) words to the language enabled eg Hindi. Under Formatting set the Time Zone for your location and the Date Header Format. Next set the timestamp Format for your blog and a Comment Timestamp Format for blog comments.
In search preferences, type the meta description for your blog. You can also set up a custom message for pages not found. For non-existence pages, add a custom message that includes a link to your home page using the anchor tag. Next comes the Custom Redirect where you can set a link to this blog. Other SEO advanced options not for beginners are Google search console, custom robots.txt file, and custom robots header tags.
Import content if you have a backup for your blog fig27. Backup your content by clicking on backup content and save it on your computer. Delete your blog by clicking the delete tab.
Use the Feed Gadget to add content from an RSS or Atom feed to your blog. Enable feeds for your blog to allow some widgets to work properly. Under Site Feed Settings, the allow blog feed has options such as Full, Until Jump, Short, None, and Custom. The Post Feed Redirect URL directs your blog feed to other services. Keep it blank if you have no redirection. In the Post Feed Footer add messages, social media buttons, etc that become visible at the end of your blog feed. The Enable Title Links and Enclosure Links can be set to Yes/ No. If Yes link your post title to a specific URL. Enclosure Links are used for audios and videos.
Setting Adult Content to Yes means users will see a warning message confirming whether they want to proceed to view further.
Add your Google Analytics ID for your blog.
In the user settings, edit your user profile which is an overview of the blogger dashboard.
Under the Reading List follow or add a Blog fig29. Click the pencil icon to manage the blogs you follow. Next, click the Add button and type the URL of the blog you choose to follow. Then click Next and select options – publicly or anonymously and click follow.
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