The funny thing about this particular topic is that most of my friends are also at least somewhat “tech minded” so it’s hard for me to believe that there are people in the world that do not know anything about blogging! Yet, I have people asking me all the time “How do you start a blog?” So here’s some tips for starting a blog…
First you will need to decide what kind of blog you want to write. If you are only going to write a personal blog to upload pictures of your family and update friends and family on your life then www.blogger.comis the place for you to start. Here you can very easily create your own blog. It is free, and easy to use and figure out. The downfall is that there aren’t a lot of things you can do to it (you can change the layout and design though). If you ever plan on going “pro” with your website and decide to switch to the more robust WordPress platform, it will be a bit of a pain, so make sure you know for sure you only want a personal blog.
Once you hit the blogger website there is a large button that makes it super easy to start a blog. Click the “Create a Blog” button. The next screen will make you create a Google account. You may already have a Google account if you have a gmail address or use iGoogle. If you already have an account click on the “sign in” text near the top.
Next you are going to name your blog. There are MANY MANY blogs out there, so you may have to get creative with your blog name. Since Kimmel is fairly popular (what with Jimmy Kimmel running around out there) I ended up with the domain name kimmelhome.net instead of just kimmel. You may not even want to use your last name (I’ll get into internet security in a whole ‘nother post). Good ways to come up with obscure names would be maybe nicknames you have given your kids, or even nicknames for each other. You could even use a phrase that you say a lot or a family inside joke (Brazilian Parrot anyone?)
Once you’ve decided upon, and found a name that was available, your next step will be to choose a blog template. You can pick a basic one for now, and just know that you can change it later (again a whole ‘nother post). Now that your blog is active, it’s time to write a post!
From your dashboard it is easy to click “new post”. Once there you will see a screen similar to this screenshot. You should recognize some of the icons. They are similar to the formatting buttons in Word or other document processing programs. To insert an image click on the icon of a picture. To insert a video click on the picture of the filmstrip. You will most likely stay in this view and format. If you are comfortable inserting code (such as embed code from YouTube, then you can click the “edit html” button on the top right. Paste in the code and then you can switch back to the compose view.
Give your post a title, type up the post, and then click “publish post”. Now send an email to all of your friends about your brand new blog! For an easy way to get the address of the blog to paste into an email to all of your friends, or to post it in your Facebook status simply click “View Blog” on the top of your Blogger dashboard. Once you are viewing your blog click up in the address bar, highlight the address and then right click the highlighted text and select “copy”. Now you can paste it into any program you want!
Have fun and happy blogging!
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com