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Starting a Blog on Blogger for Cardmakers Using Facebook | Tips | How To
So You've Been Asked to Start a Blog...
You've really never got the blog fever yet it was easy peasy to join Facebook and show your cardmaking skills on it. But as you want to reach a wider audience you want to create or have been asked to create a blog. This tutorial is for the blogger platform (WordPress, Tumblr and other blog solutions are very similar to blogger).
Blogger/Blogspot is Owned by Google
First thing first Blogger (or Blogspot as it also known since the address you get has that name on it) is owned by Google (yep the search engine). So although you don't strictly need a Gmail email (another service with free emails again owned by Google), you will be given a username that is actually a gmail email but you don't need to use it as an email as it's just to log in blogger so you can post on your very own blog.
Difference between Domain Name and Permalink
Now I'm going to start with a quick explanation of what is a domain name and a permalink. The reason being is that most paper crafters / card makers want to join blog hops or other fun challenge and always the mention of a permalink that leaves many baffled. It also will make you understand what's the difference and where you posts 'disappear' on your main page.
What's a Domain Name ?
A domain name is the name given to a website: www.facebook.com, www.google.com, www.bbc.co.uk are all domain names.
Usually it starts with a www then in the middle you have the name chosen by the company or individual and finally the ending can be .com, co.uk, .net , etc... sometimes the ending will give you an idea which country that domain name has been registered in or the target demographic for a particular country. For example .CA is Canada, .CO.UK is for United Kingdom.
It doesn't mean however that the company is actually in the United Kingdom/Canada or that they are a British or Canadian company/individual as almost anyone bar a few exception can buy domain names.
Poll Time !
Blogs Have Always Been a Mystery to Me because ...
Domain Name and Sub Domain
Blogger has this domain name www.blogspot.com but use something called a SUB-Domain system to give you, your very own blog. That means when you create your first blog (you can have many) make sure you pick a good name (if it hasn't already been taken) and use a 'keyword' in the name.
So, say you want to call your blog Bernice Creations when you register you can put that in and you'll end up with your blog having this address bernicecreations.blogspot.com ! Have you spotted how your blog name is part of the domain name now of blogspot but with a DOT before it ? That's a SUB-domain.
Pick Your Sub Domain Name Carefully
On the actual page people will see when they land on your blog you can have something different or you can expand on your actual subdomain you could have on that page Bernice's Creations and Jewelry as you can change it at any time BUT your subdomain once set CANNOT be changed unless you create a new blog.
When I was mentioning earlier that you might want a 'keyword' that's a word that people might search blogs such as ours, cardmakers. Personally when I started to search for blogs I use to put in Google search blogs about cardmaking.
Now, if Bernice wanted to be found easier in searches then she would create her sub-domain as bernicecreationscardmaking.blogspot.com. See how the keyword cardmaking has been added so that Bernice has more chances to be found as a cardmakers. This is totally optional as it makes your sub-domain a bit longer so bernicecreations.blogspot.com is good too !
What's a Permalink
Let's move to the permalink explanation which seems to scare everyone in the corner. It's honestly not that difficult to understand. Each pages on website have their own addresses and blogs are no exception.
The main page of a website is usually the domain name such as www.google.com which leads you to their main clean search page but say if I click on the Images search, you won't notice but if you look in the address bar (the place where you put website addresses/domain name) you'll see that it will have changed to https://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en&tab=wi so if you were to type this address in your browser you would go straight to the Google Image Search...that's a permalink as it takes you straight to the page. For a blog it's actually the same.
Challenges and Blog Hops Need Permalinks
On the main page you'll have several of your posts showing after a while each with their own permalink. You just need to click on the title of your post or the date to get to the post and SEE the permalink address in the address bar.
That's the permalink, challenges and blog hops need/want when you participate.
In the case of Bernice Creations blog say she has a post about a butterfly card it will show up on the main page with the other posts at http://bernicecreations.blogspot.com but I want the address for the Butterfly card post so I click on the title/or date and suddenly I will see on the address bar http://bernicecreations.blogspot.com/butterflycard.html ...hurray that's the permalink I need.
Let's Create Our First Blog !
You've probably also spotted these letters before the address HTTP:// that tells the browser to look on the web for the page. Some browsers are really clever and will add it automatically but for some forms on the web they will ask you for it or not depending. So all three of these are ok : http://bernicecreations.blogspot.com ; bernicecreations.blogspot.com ; www.bernicecreations.blogspot.com
Ok let's go and create our first blog on blogger !
Make sure you use something that you will remember for your username which will look like this 'whatever you firstname.lastname@example.org I know it looks like an email address and yes you'll end up with an email account with google but you don't have to use it unless you want to. Just make sure that you fill the space where it says 'your current email address' and make it your default in your google account profile. Incidentally if you want to use the google email account called gmail then to login into it you need to go to www.gmail.com
So you have an Google Account now, once it's all confirmed etc.. just log in at http://www.blogger.com (good idea to save this address in your bookmarks) and follow the instructions on this page 'Create a Blog' Remember what I told you earlier the Title you can change at anytime but whatever you put BEFORE in Address .blogspot.com you CANNOT change later so choose wisely.
Pick a template, I would suggest to pick the 'simple' one as it's easier to customise once you get more confident.
Similar to Facebook but Slightly Different All the Same
So Blogger like Facebook has a Username (your gmail address you'd created) and password. It has Wall/Timeline with all your posts, your main blog page but unlike Facebook it's open to everyone to see, it's public.
Each posts you create are in chronological order and again a bit like Facebook to see more of your post people have to scroll down, it's automatic on FB but on blogger there's a link once you've reached the bottom of the page that says 'older posts' so you can see the rest of them.
Now, try to create your first blog and make a few posts just follow the video below that explains the process in details (I couldn't do it any better)
If you have any troubles getting started or have other tips, please share them in the comment box below, I'd love to hear how you got on and I'm very happy to fix, amend part of this article to make it easier.
I will also reply to your comments so we can help each others. Bookmark this easy guide made by Google on how to get started with using Blogger.