I highly doubt you are hearing the word “Blogging” for the first time. The good news about it must have been preached by your friends, whether directly or indirectly, or by any random person, anywhere.
Your heart must have also melted like ice and your eyes wet with desire for this blogging adventure. Pretty sure you are really looking for a way to exploit the blogging market and explore as much as your tenacity can carry you.
It is my privilege to write you this great article explaining the nitty-gritty of how you can get set and then set up your own blog using Blogger, and perhaps start earning.
In order to give this topic a lovely treat, I have subdivided all you need to know prior to setting up your blog into ten bullet points:
- What blogging is all about
- The things involved in blogging
- Why you must be a blogger
- All about content management systems (CMS)
- The different content management systems
- Guide to choosing a CMS
- Introduction to Blogger
- Setting up your blog on Blogger
- Managing your blog on Blogger
Now, let us go through the above list together, discussing and absorbing each with utmost keenness and to the best our abilities.
WHAT IS BLOGGING?
To answer this question, one must, first of all, understand what a blog is. Actually the word “Blog” came from the phrase “Weblog”.
This weblog, now called a blog is a web page written by either one person or a group of persons usually talking about a particular topic.
These topics now discussed or transformed into posts are dated, with the earliest posts appearing first while older posts go below.
It is the unique feature of blogs to contain dates and other information about the writer(s). The act of writing these posts in a blog is termed “Blogging.”
When the act blogging was still young, only those who knew how to design websites could blog. Then blogs were written using HTML codes and other necessary languages.
Now, with the introduction of content management systems, any reasonable person can blog without any prior knowledge on website designing. This has led to the total exploitation of web wealth.
What Can You Post On Your Blog?
Literarily anything can be posted on a blog. It is even an opportunity for you to put yourself out there for people to see what you’re made of.
Most times, blogs contain personal views on trending topics or issues. Blogs can also be used to serve well-articulated articles to hungry readers.
So, you can blog about just anything you know you can easily produce with consistency. Your uniqueness is your selling point here.
WHAT ARE THE THINGS INVOLVED IN BLOGGING?
An adage says that it is easy to force a horse to the stream but forcing it to have a drink is serious trouble. Setting up a blog may not be a big deal, but how to stay in business is a bone to pick.
Hence the need to know what is involved in blogging before you begin your journey of getting your own blog running.
First, I do not mean to scare you when I say that blogging is not easy. As simple as it may sound, it is a business of those who can be focused and have the burning desire to make positive impacts through quality content.
Here below are the few things you should bear in mind as an up and coming blogger:
- Patience must be a part of you
- Creativity and innovation will swoon you through most easily
- Networking with people is an integral part of blogging
- Consistency is what will make you remain within the sight of the audience
- Being YOU will strike out fakeness and present the best of you to the audience
- Be current by not being stubborn in adopting new technologies
- Fear nothing but only things that will destroy your reputation as a blogger
Well, the list could continue. Whereas some people blog not to make money, many people do make ends meet. On whichever side you belong, I fear you aren’t left out for these above needs to apply to you. Except you want to fail, which I don’t expect your dream.
In the same vein, before you fully become a blogger you must also consider
- Choosing a blogging niche is first. It simply is choosing the area of life you want to blog about. It should flow from within and not be prompted by such distraction as to make money.
- Another is getting a custom domain name if you can afford it. Else you could use the free hosted ones like Blogger (which is explained below) or wordpress.com. Your domain name should simply portray your niche. It should be simple to remember.
- You have to host your blog if you are choosing the custom domain option. You could want to know the five best hosting companies in Nigeria.
- Customize your blog and set it up ready for posts.
- Write blogs. The best advice here is that you should write original content, free from plagiarism. Write quality content that solves problems.
- The next in line is to promote your blog. There are many ways you can do that. Build your audience and make sure it is a credible audience.
- Set achievable goals and be optimistic.
WHY YOU MUST BE A BLOGGER
Another striking question comes when doubt begins to surge around your mind. Do I really have to be a blogger?
No. Not everyone can be a blogger. I am sorry to disappoint you if that is not the answer you expected. I wish I can shy away from reality. But on the other hand, before you say ‘NO’ to yourself if you’ve thought about being a blogger, consider these things that you will gain as a blogger:
- Blogging will open your mind to new ideas developments.
- By building an online audience through blogging, you stand to gain authority over that audience and also build trust between you and them.
- Blogging will also put some key technical skills about the internet at your fingertips.
- You can also get to express yourself and share knowledge with people.
- With the need to produce good content, blogging will make you get better as a writer.
- You will also get to build a professional and trusted network over time.
- You can also establish your business and earn money as a blogger.
- By blogging, you would be selling yourself. Thus giving you a good chance for job opportunities.
WHAT IS A CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?
To be a blogger, you need a content management system. You could avert it you want to go through the difficulties involved in building a site from scratch.
So I feel it is important you understand what you need to get started with as a blogger, of which content management system is one.
From the name, one can simply speculate that it is a system for managing content. The answer could be that simple but it involves things deeper than that.
Content Management System simply abbreviated as CMSs, is, therefore, a software application or set of programs written to help you create, modify and manage digital content.
As I earlier pointed out, it is content management systems that have brought the flexibility we have today in blogging and web content management generally.
Without going through the rigors of complex coding, CMSs will handle the creation of the systems with which you can store web pages, images and perform other functions.
CMSs are used for both Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Web Content Management (WCM). With ECM multiple users can be brought in a collaborative environment, with integrated document management, digital asset management, and record retention. On the other hand, a WCM supports a collaborative authoring for websites.
Basically, CMSs are made up of two parts:
- Content Management Application (CMA)
- Content Delivery Application (CDA)
The content management application serves the front-end use. It provides an interface with which a user can create and modify the content with ease.
The other part, the content delivery application does the ‘behind the scene’ work. It takes the contents you input through the CMA and stores them. It then delivers your contents to your website or blog visitors.
There are still other ways in which content management systems are used. They could be used as:
- A digital asset management system that is used to manage contents that have defined owners or creators. These contents could be books, music, movies or even scientific data.
- Component content management system (CCMS): This content management system is used mostly by sound content engineers and technical communicators. It provides them an environment to plan, track, reuse, publish or even translate their contents.
THE DIFFERENT CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AVAILABLE
There are many content management system software vendors available today. Some offer free CMSs software, while some are subscription-based content management systems. Some of the common CMSs among bloggers are:
- Google Sites
The list continues.
GUIDE TO CHOOSING A CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.
When you have a long list of items to choose from, your head pops because making some decisions quickly is pretty a difficult thing. Which is the best which I can go for?
The choice of which CMSs’ vendor to use is basically governed by what you want and what you intend to achieve with your blog or website.
Hence I cannot categorically tell you which of those CMSs is best. Meanwhile, there must be existing somewhere the reason why WordPress has strong dominance in the CMS market.
Based on what I think and from what others are saying, these things below should be considered before even making the step forward:
- The friendliness of the user interface and usage flexibility.
- The smartness of the CMS search capabilities.
- The type of services the CMS vendor offer.
- The level of control the blog administrator(s) and other users will have under the CMS, should be put under consideration.
INTRODUCTION TO BLOGGER
It has really been a long talk dear. Now, I suggest you get your head close to a pillow and relax it so that this particular aspect of the project will sink more easily.
The time has come when I get you going into how you can set up your blog on Blogger. Before we embark on that interesting adventure, I want to take your permission to briefly explain what Blogger is.
What Is Blogger?
Blogger was built by Evan Williams of Pyra Labs and was launched on the 23rd of August 1999. In 2003 Blogger was acquired by Google.
I must state that Blogger is not a content management system, although, it has some features that may confuse it as a CMS.
Blogger is a blog-publishing service that allows multiple-user blogs with dated posts. Blogger offers the same service offered by either WordPress.com (NOT WordPress.org) and Tumblr.
These blogs published using Blogger is hosted on Google and could be accessed by attaching the subdomain blogspot.com to the domain name of the publisher.
A custom domain name can also be acquired by a publisher depending on his wants. Blogger is bundled alongside Google accounts. In essence, for one to use Blogger the person will have a Google account.
Why You Should Go For Blogger
Blogger is free when you are running your blog on the free subdomain, blogspot.com. You would also get tools like SSL certificates for free.
It is simple to use Blogger. You do not have to make another sign up when you are already a user of Google products like YouTube, Gmail, etc.
Just go to Blogger.com and sign in using your Google account details. A single can register upto 100 blogs. Still, on the simplicity of Blogger, every technicality regards the speed of your blog, security and other necessary things will be handled by Google.
SETTING UP YOUR BLOG ON BLOGGER
To get your blog running on Blogger to follow these simple steps to get started:
- Open www.blogger.com on your browser.
- You will have to create a Google Account if you do not already have one. This must be done before you continue.
- If you have Google account already you’ll have to sign in to blogger using your Google account details.
- When you’re signed in, click on the App Icon > more > Blogger
- Select the New Blog button to start a new blog.
- Enter the name you want your blog to bear in the Title field and then the URL of the blog in the other field eg (example.blogspot.com).
- Choose the Template of your choice for your blog.
- Finally, click the Create Blog! bitton below.
Now that your blog has been set up, it is time to start posting. Just below on your Dashboard page click the Start Posting button.
To Create New Posts:
- Click on the New Post button.
- At the top of your new post is the Title Bar. Enter the name of the post you want to make. Be creative enough with it so as to capture attention at a glance.
- Looking at the right corner of the dashboard, you will see a list.
Use the Labels to add tags to your posts
Use the Schedule to stipulate the posting time
Use the Permalink to add internal links to your blogs
You can use the location to tag the location from where you’re making the post.
- When you are done formatting the post, hit Publish the button. But you could want to preview before you make the post public. With the Preview button you’ll be able to see what the post looks like before other eyes see it.
- After publishing you would be taken to the page on which you can edit, delete or view your post.
Adding a Page to Your Blog:
With pages you can organize your blog into sections like’ About me’ or ‘About us’, ‘Contact me’ and so on.
To add a new page:
On your dashboard click the Page icon and then New Page to create a new page.
In order to show the pages as tabs…
- Click on Layout > Cross-column Pages > click the Edit link.
- Under the Pages to show, check the checkbox next to the page you want to show as tab.
- Under the List Order, drag and drop any page to where you want it to be.
- Click the Save button??
- Finally, click the Save Arrangement button to effect the change.
Customize Your Header
You definitely will give a name to your blog and you want this name to appear where people can see it when they visit your blog. At this point, it is the Custom Name that will aid you.
To customize your Header, follow the steps
- Click on Layout
- Select the Header option by clicking on the pen tool which is by the right-hand side. A new page opens on your browser where you edit your header name, blog description, and blog logo.
- After the changes click the Save button.
To wrap up this journey we have started dear friends, I’ll point out a few disadvantages you will face using Blogger. These limitations are not too much, but they are its limitations after all.
- Blog description does not exceed 500 characters.
- You can only have 100 blogs per Google account.
- You will only have options for only 5000 unique labels for one blog.
- The size of a web page cannot exceed 1 MB.
- When you violate the Blogger terms and conditions, your account could be disabled without prior notice.
- Blogger will not offer you the plethora of features CMSs like WordPress will offer you. As a blogger who is hoping to grow, Blogger is a good place to start, but Blogger isn’t a good place to grow. If you only want to write and just write, Blogger could be your heaven.