Most bloggers use either WordPress or Blogger.
I use Blogger mainly because it was the first one I came across and it seemed pretty easy to navigate.
To use blogger first you will need to create a google mail (gmail) account, once you have this you can then log in on bloggers homepage and click create blog. You will need to choose an url for your blog. For example my blog url is www.mummysdiary.com be careful when choosing though as there are a few things to take into consideration, it is not to be chosen light heartedly! You want something that grabs your readers attention before they even open your blogs homepage, it needs to be catchy and memorable.
If you have a niche use that in your url address, it is a big advantage in the blogging world if you have a niche market, for example IVF, Gardening, any health issues (cancer, thyroid related for example my second blog is www.hypothyroidmum.co.uk The same goes for your Blog Title. Mine is Two Under Two, you might think yea its catchy and memorable, but there is also an issue with my own url and Title, I picked it without thinking long term, can my blog possibly have a long life once my children are no longer under two? Will people still be interested in reading it if there not? Would it be deemed as misleading?
There are many design templates on blogger that you can use and you’re sure to find at least one you like. So that is the next step. Customizing your web page and don’t forget to add your own personal information and a photo of yourself (readers and brands like to see who they’re communicating with), your name etc.
After I had been blogging for around a year, I decided that my blog needed a revamp, I wanted it to stand out from the crowd and be personal to me so I used a blog designer. My blog designer basically designed my blogs layout to my liking such as colour scheme, images etc. I am not very tech savvy so needed to do this, however you might be able to do it yourself but if you can’t you can just use a search engine to find one, there are quite a few around and quite reasonably priced.
Your blogger dashboard is easy to navigate. You have all your options to choose from in a handy list on the side of the screen. From here you can add pages, view your statistics, see how many people have viewed your blog and even from what countries, you can see if you have any comments waiting to be published on any of your blog posts and you can access your settings menu.
When writing a new post, blogger gives you a good word processing menu where you can edit fonts, text size, add links and photos etc easily. If you are embedding a video into your blog post you simply choose the html format and you can copy and paste the code in at the end of the page. You can choose to publish your post now or you can save it as a draft and come back to work on it later. Blogger gives you the opportunity to schedule your posts to publish automatically to your blog, on the right hand side of the screen. You can also add labels (key words, search words) onto each of your blog posts. There is also a rather handy ‘link’ tab so if you are referring to another website you can add their link into your blog post as a ‘click here’ text, for example which would then be linked to the chosen website.
To enhance your blog further Blogger offers the options of adding Gadgets to your blog. If you enter the menu and click on layout, you will see boxes with add gadget written on them. Position these carefully on your blog.
Most bloggers will have all their gadgets on one side of their blog all together to prevent it looking spammy. Gadgets include; adding your social media icons, search boxes, subscribe by email box, add image, etc.
WordPress I have never used, so I cannot give my personal opinion on it. I can offer a quick guide and comparison to blogger. From what I have gathered WordPress seems to be the most favourable platform as it is the largest resource site for beginners.
Blogger is owned by Google whereas WordPress is a hosting provider meaning you own your own site.
You can own your own site using blogger, however it is a little complicated you need to buy a domain name from somebody like GoDaddy and go through the settings in blogger to redirect your blogspot url to your own .com or . co . uk for example.
WordPress has more plugins which allow you to extend your site by adding new features.
Blogger has a limited number of templates where WordPress has thousands of themes.
With WordPress you are responsible for your sites own security and back up where as with blogger you don’t need to worry about this as it has its own secure server.
If you need support it is limited on blogger apart from the user guide and a forum, where as WordPress has a very active online community as well as supporting documents.
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