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Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Beginning Blogging 12. Social Blogging.

I think that one of the most enjoyable sides to Blogging, unless you happen to keep your blog private of course, is the socialising side of it. I have found that when compared to forming online friendships via other social network methods such as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter, blogging is the only way that you can feel confident that you know the person concerned and can decide whether you feel comfortable in forming an online friendship with them. Because of the more detailed information contained inside their blog posts, its easier to feel as if you actually know that person even if they live at the other side of the world from you and you will probably never meet each other in person. It would be very difficult to do this from the limited insight you can gain from a short sentence or a 140 letter comment!  So how do you find other peoples blog posts to read them and then form any online friendships on Blogger or Wordpress?

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Beginning Blogging 11. Slideshow’s and Galleries.

If you have a photo portfolio type blog, or if you simply want to include some photos for the readers of your blog perhaps to illustrate its contents, then its a good idea to familiarise yourself with using the Gallery and Slideshow features which are available to you on These two features become available once you have uploaded some photos or pictures to your Media Library on Wordpress. Let’s take a look shall we?

First of all you need to upload some photos from your computer so go to your Wordpress blog, click on  My Dashboard and then select Media from the left hand sidebar. If you have already included any photos in any of your blog posts, they will now be shown listed under your Media Library on the right. We could add some of the photos already there, but for this demo let’s upload some new one’s. Click on Add New either from the sidebar or from the top of the Media Library page.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Beginning Blogging 10. Menu’s Pages and Tabs, oh my!

Most themes on Wordpress allow you to add a Custom Menu to your blog page, where you can provide ‘click through’ tabs for your readers to access other areas. These can be either pages, such as About Me, or alternatively other blogs or websites. So let’s set up our Custom Menu. We’ll begin by creating a page about ourselves, and we’ll include a sort of résumé and a photo so that our viewers can find out more about the author of this blog.

Go to your Wordpress Dashboard. Down the left hand sidebar, you will see Pages listed between Links and Comments. Click on Pages and note that there is already one available titled About. Click on Edit. You will now be in the Edit Page with the online editor available. Simply write something about yourself here. You can include a photo of yourself by clicking on the small image icon at the top of the online editor window next to Get Shortlink. When you are happy with your About page, click on Update.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Beginning Blogging 9. Keeping up Appearances.

Next let’s work through choosing another Theme for your blog, giving it a header of your choice and also choosing a new background. Some of the newer themes allow you to add a new header and background to them. So let’s choose one shall we? From your Wordpress dashboard, click on Appearance from the left hand sidebar. You will be presented with all the themes that are currently available on Wordpress. We need to narrow our search for a new theme down to background and header customisation.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Beginning Blogging 8. the Wordpress Dashboard.

Just as with the Blogger Dashboard, the Wordpress Dashboard is where you have total control over all the settings for your blog. At first glance it can appear quite daunting to a newbie because their appears to be a lot going on on the one page, but just take your time to familiarise yourself with the layout (which can be altered by the way) Because these posts are for anyone new to blogging, I intend to only concentrate on those areas that someone new needs to familiarise themselves with, so let’s take a look shall we?

Friday, 16 July 2010

Beginning Blogging 7 Joining

Now let’s take a look at setting up a blog on Wordpress. Recently the Wordpress team (known as the Theme Team) have been giving users a multitude of new themes to choose from, most of which contain some really useful customisation features. Just as with Blogger, Wordpress is very simple and easy to set up for even a complete novice to begin blogging. Not only that, it has one of the most easy to use user Dashboards for controlling everything about your blog that I have ever used.  So, let’s get started shall we?

To begin, go to and click on the orange ‘Sign up Now’ tab under Express yourself. Start a blog on the top right hand side of the home page.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Beginning Blogging 6. The Template Designer.

In this post, I am going to completely alter my Template with the aid of Bloggers template designer. The main post  area (blog) will be made full width so that means that the sidebar will have to disappear. Any Gadgets  I already have included will therefore have to move either to the bottom Gadget area or the top area. I will also add a background  to my blog using the template designer. Fonts and colours will also be changed. So let’s work our way through using the Template Designer.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Beginning Blogging 5. Adding Pages.

In this post I am going to show you how to add some pages to Blogger. This ability to add some pages to your blogger Template is a recent addition but a welcome one. What are pages? Well, they can be anything you like but are usually used for giving your readers more information about yourself such as an About Me page, so the Page tabs that are usually used by others Bloggers tend to take you to more information, other blogs, other sites etc.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Beginning Blogging 4. The Design tab.

Next we move on to the Design and layout of your chosen Template. From the Blogger dashboard, click on the Design tab. You will then be in the ‘layout’ area (referred to on Blogger as Page Elements) of your chosen Template showing all of the separate areas that you can edit or add Gadgets to such as the sidebar.  The bottom area is called Attribution and you can use this area to include a copyright name to your blog if you so wish. You do not have to add any Gadgets in the top area or the lower areas if you don’t want to use those areas, you can use just the sidebar for your gadgets if you prefer. If you do not add any Gadgets to those areas, they will simply be invisible on your blog page.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Beginning Blogging 3. set up those settings.

This post is entirely dedicated to setting up your settings for your blog on Blogger. As these are fairly comprehensive I will try to be as detailed as I possibly can.

Firstly access your blogger dashboard and then click on Settings, where you will find several different tabs running across the top of the page consisting of the following, Basic, Publishing, Formatting, Comments, Archiving , Site Feed, Email & Mobile,Open ID and Permissions. Let’s work our way through the most important of these tabs.

Beginning Blogging. 2. Setting up your Blogger Profile.

For these next posts,  I plan to work my way through using the Blogger Dashboard. This is your ‘control centre’ for your blog, and its fairly comprehensive in content. Because it can be quite complicated to understand and set up for anyone who is new to Blogger, I intend to tackle this area in separate posts because I want to be as detailed as possible. If you have already set up all of your Dashboard to your satisfaction, then you can simply wait until I tackle those areas where you might need more information and guidance.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Beginning Blogging. 1. Let’s make a start on Blogger.

Lot’s of my friends who have blogged for years on Windows Live Spaces are leaving for pastures new. Some are already on Blogger and some have migrated over to Wordpress. To help them get the hang of both of these blogging sites, I intend to do some of my ‘how-to’s in order to help them either make up their minds which platform to choose, or alternatively to guide them through each stage of setting up their blog on either one or the other.

I intend to begin with Blogger not because its the easiest to use although many consider it so, but it does tend to be the first port of call for any newbie's to blogging. So take your time, work your way through my hopefully helpful posts on how to set up a blog on Blogger, choose your own template from the huge choice one can attain by doing a search online for blogger templates,  or alternatively create your own ‘look’ by making use of the new Blogger template designer. I’ll try and take you through all those new terms on Blogger as well and all those wonderful gadgets that work with Blogger.

Beginning Blogging. Intro, what is a blog?

Most people tend to think that a blog (or weblog to give it its full name) is someone’s online diary of their lives. Users writing about their personal experiences and incidents that occur to them. It isn’t! Most blogs these days contain various content,some news or some technical information for example, and often fulfil various functions. If you surf the web fairly often you can guarantee that the majority of WebPages that you look at are in fact blogs of some description.  Applying some fairly loose criteria describing  what is a weblog and what isn’t, here are a few to consider.