May 8 2008 0 Comments

How to Make Your Own Blog

Creating your own blog is fun and easy. I’ll show you a few basics so you can set up your own blog today.

I’ll show you the easiest service to use (Blogger/Blogspot by Google) and step-by-step instructions on setting up your blog.

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I’m going to start off by going over some basics information about blogs. If you just want to get started making your blog, skip down to the heading below called “Setting up your Blogger Account and Making Your First Post”.

Ok, so first off, what is a blog? “Blog” is short for “web log” and in simple terms, it’s a website that the average person can set up and update without really know anything about building websites.

Some people have personal blogs where they can keep all their friends and family (and the rest of the world) up to date with what’s going on in their life. They can post stories, pictures, etc.

Others use blogs for business purposes, either to make money directly or to provide news and information for their customers. Search engines tend to love blogs, so it makes sense for businesses to have blogs.

So, depending on the purpose of your blog, you might approach it in a slightly different way, but the basic concepts are the same.

A blog is a website, so it has to be hosted somewhere. The good news is there are many services that will host your blog for free. Services such as Blogger host your blog on their server. However, there are options for installing blog software on your own server if you want to. This can sometimes give you more control over it, but what route you choose to go depends on your situation.

One of the quickest, easiest ways to start blogging is to sign up at Blogger.com. Blogger is now owned by Google, which has some nice advantages.

Some other options are Blog.com, BlogHarbor, WordPress, TypePad, and there are tons of others. I haven’t tried a lot of different services, but I have tried BlogHarbor and I don’t really like them. I found it difficult to modify your blog, plus you have to pay to use it and there are so many free options out there that I wouldn’t waste my time there.

I’ve also used WordPress and use it on one of my websites, but I’m using the version that is installed on my website itself, so I haven’t tried the version that’s hosted on WordPress’s website.

Since Blogger is so easy to use and free, I’ll show you how to set up a blog there.

Setting up your Blogger Account and Making Your First Post

  1. Go to Blogger.com
  2. If you already have a Google account such a Gmail e-mail account, log in and it’ll walk you through the process of tying a Blogger account into that account so you can get to everything with one login. If you don’t already have some type of Google account, Click “Create Your Blog Now” (they may change their site over time, but it should say something like that).
  3. The sign-up process is easy. It’ll just ask you for a few pieces of information and ask you to agree to their terms, so follow the instructions to create your account
  4. Once you’ve created your account, you’ll end up at your Dashboard. From here you can create a new post, edit your profile, etc. You’re probably anxious to start posting, so toward the top of the page it should say something like “Your Name’s Blog” and under that it should say “New Post”. Click that.
  5. Now you should see a box at the top asking you for the title. That’s where you put the title of the blog post you’re about to type. For instance, the title of the post I’m typing now is “How to Make Your Own Blog”.
  6. Now click into the big box below. This is where you type the blog post itself. Just type whatever you want to talk about. There are some buttons above the box that will allow you to make your text bold, italics, a link, etc. You can insert pictures or video as well.
  7. When you’re done typing your post, you can enter “labels” which are basically keywords that people could search for to find your blog post. So if you enter something here, keep it simple and make sure it’s about your article. For instance, if you post an article about how to teach your dog to sit, you might enter something like: “dog training tips, teach your dog to sit”. Separate the keywords and phrases with commas.
  8. When you’re done, click “Publish Post”
  9. Now you’re ready to view your blog. You should see a link at the top called “View Blog”. That will take you to your blog, live on the Internet for the world to see.
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If you post something and decide later you want to change it or remove it altogether, it’s not a problem. You can log in to Blogger and edit your post. If you’re on the Dashboard page of Blogger, you’ll see “Manage:” and one of the options is “Posts”. Click that and it’ll let you pick the post you want to edit. If you’re on another page inside Blogger, click the Posting tab, then “Edit Posts”.

Of course, you will probably want to customize the look of your blog. You can click on the Template tab to choose a different template. If you know HTML, you can customize it even farther by clicking the Edit HTML link. But if you don’t know HTML, you can still pick from the pre-made templates available and do a lot of customization.

By default, Blogger will post your blog to a page on their site, at something like yourname.blogspot.com. If you’d rather have this set up on your own web site, with your own domain name, you can do this but still use Blogger to post and edit your blog.

To do that, you’ll need a domain name. You can get one cheap at BestSiteNow.com. Usually you can get a .com domain name for under $10/year.

You’ll also need hosting. You can also get that at BestSiteNow.com, usually for under $5/month.

When you set up the hosting, you’ll need to make note of the FTP login information – the server name, user name, and password. Once you have those, you can go into the Settings section in Blogger and enter them and Blogger will post your website to your own domain name.


For personal use, you may want to just keep the default address of yourname.blogspot.com. Of course, you may want to put your blog at YourName.com if it’s available. That’s what I’ve done. So I can just say, go to ToddHeitner.com to see my blog. Or for business use, you’d most likely want to put it on your own website. If you want to put it on an existing domain name but don’t want it to be your home page, you could put your blog at something like YourDomainName.com/blog.

One final note on using Blogger. Since it’s owned by Google, there are two really nice things built in. One is that it’s easy to add Google Adsense ads to your blog (you’ll see an Adsense link under the Template tab). Also, Google will add your blog to its database of blogs so if users go to blogsearch.google.com and do a search for a particular topic, if your blog matches, it’ll be in the results and people can find your blog.

Well, we’ve covered a lot of information here, but at the same time I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface. However, this will give you a great start on making your own blog and starting your first post today!

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