Step-By-Step Blogging Guide

Not everyone has the time or inclination to learn and search for everything you need to start a blog. So here are some the practical steps to get started with Blogspot (Google's Blogger).

Some Clicks and Some Text

Starting a blog is ridiculously simple. The hardest part is giving yourself permission to create something. Let me know if you need help with that part, but otherwise skim over this and choose your platform (Blogger or Wordpress are good places to start, I've used both).

Go to http://blogger.com.
Create a new blog.

Pick an address and a template.


Write something and click publish.
You're likely pressed for time, see below on  how to make a post template and even blog from email. Your mobile device may even have an app or mobile version for your blogging platform. I use iPhone's Blogger app, but only for quick updates since it currently lacks strong rich text support. I like to add (semantic) meaning to my posts.

No Time? Add a Template

Add a "Post Template" under Settings > Posts and comments
Enter html here.
For example I use the following. Note the built-in structure that follows a typical term paper: "Hook. Thesis. 1-2-3. Done." The <!--more--> inserts a page break if your template allows it.

hook
thesis?
<h2>one</h2>
<p>something</p>
<h2>two</h2>
<p>
<h3>Video</h3>
<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
<iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ej04Y0VYBJc?rel=0" width="480"></iframe>
</div>
</p>
<h2>three</h2>
<p>something
<pre class="prettyprint lang-html">
some code
</pre>
</p>
<br/>
after the break...
<!--more-->
broke!


Creative laziness in action. I add basic markup here...

And get the semantic structure I want here.

So I can focus on the message, not the formatting.
Even less time? Post by email.

Enter a secret phrase and set whether you want to save draft or post right away.
If you need time to perfect and revise your message, it's better to save emails to draft.
You're ready to make your first (or next) post. Read on for samples and "the worksheet."

Samples and Examples

Topics

Use fascination triggers for impact in your topic selection or title. If not sure, write your content first, then revisit the message.
  • Top 5 Things To Know Before Purchasing a CMS
  • Why Web 3.0 Doesn’t Apply Anymore
  • Your Career Path
  • What I Love About The Next Version of Our Software
  • The 5 Worse Things to Say in an Interview for …
  • The Difference between Enterprise and Shrinkwrap
  • Why the Company Culture Persists… What’s in a Name
  • Preparation Checklist, Don’t Ignore It!
  • PRINCE2 vs PMBOK for Your Next Implementation
  • How to Increase Visibility for your Open Source Project
  • The Best Demo Ever
  • The Worst Demo Ever

Resources

For maximum reach, first create quality content over time. You don't have to post frequently, but consider how old you want your last time stamp to be. Maybe a "lesson learned" or "my recent project" type posts could be once a quarter or once a month.

If you do all your online work in a different medium (StackOverflow, Linked In, an Open Source project, or some forum), then maybe occasionally highlight some good work with a post.

Syndicate (via RSS feed) and/or tweet to engage your community. For me that's #SDLTridion and a few others under Nivlong.
  • Blog platforms
    • http://wordpress.org
    • http://www.blogger.com
  • Syntax "prettify" for good-looking code
  • Microblog to extend your reach
    • http://twitter.com
    • http://www.tweetdeck.com (schedule tweets!)
  • Use royalty-free images to avoid copyright issues
    http://www.sxc.hu
  • Capture your examples in video
  • Analytics or Adsense
    • http://www.google.com/analytics
    • https://www.google.com/adsense

The Worksheet

This is literally the hardest part. Technology, code, APIs, and even SDL Tridion is simple compared to creating something. It's on the order of the difference between making a baby and having a baby (did you see that coming? vice!).

Take your time and come back when ready. It's literally 5 minutes to create your blog, but it make take days, months, or (hopefully not) years for you to get to that moment.

Set up Your Blog

Either just follow the prompts in your blogging software or take a few minutes to write down the following…
  1. What would you name your blog (title)
  2. Pick a “handle.” Could be real name.
  3. What’s your unique perspective? This will take time and should evolve as you write.
  4. What’s your url (fragment)?

Your First Post

  1. What did you recently learn?
  2. What do you want to share?
  3. What do you want to learn?
  4. Post Title
  5. Any tags or keywords?
Don't forget to publish.

There you go, everything I know about starting a blog. Hopefully I didn't kill the mystery. The specific steps may change over time, but since Web 2.0 and the democratization of content the tools will only get easier. View the now classic "The Web is Us/ing Us" video for a little inspiration.



What's the second hardest part? Coming back for your next post.

1 comment :

  1. Good for new and upcoming bloggers who wish to focus on using Blogger rather than Wordpress.

    Cheers mate!

    ReplyDelete

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