Sabbatical Blog

...chronicling some of my projects and learnings during this time apart from parish ministry

Monday, June 12, 2006

How To Blog

A couple of people have asked me lately how to get started in blogging. It's really pretty easy.

Go to www.blogger.com and follow the directions to get an account etc. (Blogger is affiliated with Google, so don't be afraid to give your real name)

Pick out a template.

Write a trial post and click on "view blog" to see how it looks!

Most templates have an "about me" section. Click on that, and you'll see the "edit" button. You can decide what you want to share about yourself, and there are instructions as to how to upload a photo. Most people don't use photos, rather they use symbols or icons of some kind. Your photo will not only appear on your blog, it will appear when you leave comments on other blogger blogs. If you want a real photo, it has to be small, because only a certain file size is allowed.

Now check out your settings by returning to the page that has the "posting" "settings" etc. tabs. Click on settings.

Add a few lines of description to your title. I suggest you click on "yes" for public...that way all kinds of folks will visit your blog. If you click no, then only people who type in your address can find your blog. Under Formatting can determine how dates and such look and set the time. Leave everything else for now. Under comments, if you want others to comment, change the setting to anyone, and put your email address at the bottom; that way you'll be notified by email whenever anyone comments on your blog.

Most bloggers just start blogging, but if you want to do a couple of more things, you'll personalize your blog. Go back to the screen that shows the posting, setting tabs and click on template. These are the instructions that make your blog look and act like it does. Every change you make can be tested by clicking on "preview" at the bottom. If you don't like what you see, click on clear edits and you're safe.

BLogger templates all have a section in the right column called "links", and you'll either want to eliminate that category or add some links that you like...to the church website, for instance. If you click on the word, "Edit Me", you'll find instructions as to how to do this. If you don't want to add links, you can eliminate the entire section.

As to how to give your blog a subscription service, so people can get it by email, for that you go to feedblitz.com, create an account, then click on "Syndicate a new feed for others to receive by email." When it asks for the url, you get it at settings/site feed. Copy the blue URL and paste it in the Feedblitz form.

Now, Feedblitz will tell you to copy about 5 lines of HTML Code and paste it into your template. I suggest you put it in the right hand column, right under your profile.

Go back to your blog template, go to the bottom and start to scroll up. YOu are looking for a line that says, among other things, 'End Profile'
Paste your Feedblitz code on the next line.
Press "preview" to see what you did. If you like it, press save. If you don't, move it around.

The Blogger Help files will talk you through the rest. Have fun!

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