Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Getting Started Blogging

Today our training session covered blogging tools and tips.

I suggested, of course, that people getting started blogging use, a super simple tool that just about anyone can figure out. We demonstrated simple stuff, like starting a new blog, uploading a photo, embedding a link, adding a blogroll and other widgets. Here's the basics:

To start a blog just go to, sign up, answer a couple of basic questions, pick a template, and you're done. Seriously. It's that simple.

Okay, so now you're in. How do you start blogging? If you look to the upper right side of your screen, you should see a link to Dashboard. Click Dashboard. When you get to the Dashboard, click New Post.

A new screen will come up, asking you for a headline (title) and giving you a space where you can type a blog post. Create your headline and text. Click the BLUE Save Now button every once in a while to avoid losing your content.

If you're blogging you should link to all the stuff online that you mention. Here's how you do that:

1. Highlight the text you want to link.
2. Click the symbol at the upper left of your screen (below the Title) that looks like a chain link on a globe.
3. A new box will pop up, asking you for the page that you want to link to. Paste the url in the space provided.
4. Click Okay.

Okay, so, how do you upload a photo? Simple.
1. Look up at the toolbar where you found the Link icon. You can see there that you can also bold text, Italicize text, spell check -- and right next to that spell check check mark, you'll see an icon of a photo. CLICK the photo icon.
2. A new box will pop up. CLICK browse.
3. Another box will come up asking you which photo on your computer you want to add to your blog. Select the photo. Click whether you want to center, flush right or left your photo. Select whether you want small, medium or large. Click Ok.
4. What the heck??? For some reason, Blogger puts your photo code at the top of your blog post! If you want to put that photo somewhere else, go to the top of your blog post, cut that code and paste it where you want the photo to go.
QUESTION: What if the photo I want to post isn't on my computer? How do I add it?
ANSWER: Go get it, put it on your computer. If it isn't yours and you don't have the right (from the owner) to publish it, don't take it and use it. That would be stealing.


Want to see how your post is looking so far? Look to the upper right of the place where you're typing your blog post. See the link to PREVIEW? Click it. This will show you how the post is looking. Get back to the posting interface by clicking Hide Preview.

Okay, that's enough to get you started. To change fonts, colors and other stuff like that, click on Settings and Layout in the upper left of your screen. There are lots of options to explore -- take your time learning your way around.

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