Friday, August 02, 2013

So you want to start a blog . . . {part 2}

2 weeks ago, I wrote this post about how to start a blog.  Then, I left those of you eager and excited to go on vacation (sorry, about that!).  But, now I am back and ready to help out.

By now, you have probably done some great research on the different blog hosts out there.  I hope you picked on.  I use blogger, so I will be using that as a reference, because that's where most of my knowledge lies.  If you've picked your host out, I hope that you've been playing around with it and getting used to your hosts options.

1.  Set up an account.  At this point, you will have to hand over your email address, make a username, password, and create your domain (that's your web address. . . where people find you). Also, make sure you enable your mobile device. . . it will turn your blog site into mobile device friendly site.  Super nice, for those readers who sometimes read on their phone.

2.  Play.  I highly recommend playing with it and getting used to your hosts program.  There are a lot of options out there.  I learn best from playing with things, and I confess, I rarely read the directions when using a program.  Playing with the functions of your blog is the best way to find out and be comfortable with your host.

3.  Create a design.  At this point, you probably aren't going to get all creative and create one on your own (I will get to that another time).  I recommend these free sites:

Cutest Blog on the Block gives you a great selection of free templates, backgrounds, banners, etc.  to decorate your blog.  It also has really good tutorials to tell you how to use them within blogger and WordPress.

Lee-Lou Blogs has some really good free resources for your blog including templates.  She also has some easy to understand tutorials.  There aren't as many templates for free compared to Cutest Blog on the Block, but it's a really good source.

Shabby Blogs has a good selection of free templates and backgrounds.  I haven't used this one primarily as it's not really my style, but it seems to be pretty popular.

And, depending on your host, you probably have a number of templates that they provide for you.  It is completely up to you.

4.  Arrange the Layout of your blog.  Are you going to have 2 or 3 columns?  One column is always your blog content, the other is all the other random stuff you put on your side bar.  If you are using blogger, that would be under Layout, when you on your dashboard.  You can download some gadgets.  Really, the key is to explore and play and figure things out so that you are comfortable with it.  Whatever you pick now does not mean you are stuck.  You can always go give your blog a face lift at anytime.  I do!

I am going to leave this blog post for now at this point in blog creating.  It can be a bit overwhelming to some, and to others you are going to have so much fun playing that you will realize you should have been in bed hours ago.  Trust me. . . it happens.  Let me know if you have any questions. . . there is NEVER a stupid question.


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