Hello. Now where was I, oh yes. Have you figured out how to get your blog up and running? Have you written a post yet? You might want to start adding photo's, this is easy as long as you have them stored on your computer. Click on the little picture icon on the top of the new page, it will open a new box telling you to choose the pictures you want. Get the folder with your pictures in on the screen and choose which ones you want to upload. Upload singly or hold Ctrl while you highlight up to five. This may take a couple of minutes, I usually do something else while I am waiting. I upload all my pictures first before I write anything. I position them in the centre of the page, and leave a space between each one. Then I resize to large, and add the words in between them.
Best to use your own photo's if you can, if you use any others from the internet be careful of copyright. Don't steal photo's from other people's blogs, that's naughty, ask permission first and accredit the owner. There are some sites which have free picture sharing, include a link to where you got them.
If you post a lot of photo's you will eventually reach your storage limit. The photo's are stored on Picasa, a picture hosting site, you don't see them go there first, blogger do it automatically. I reached my limit at around the two year mark. From then on you have two options, you can pay Google if you want to continue using the same system, or you can open an account (free), with another picture hosting site like Photobucket. If you go with an external site you have to copy and paste the links across, too much faff for me. I have stuck with Picasa and Google, the current price is $6 a year, hardly a spit in the ocean. Beware though if you don't want to pay, and go into Picasa and delete some photo's to free up storage space, they will also be deleted from your blog.
You blog content should be all your own work, unless you accept guest posts. Do not copy and paste words from elsewhere unless you have the owners permission. If you suspect something you are reading has been published elsewhere, you can check by inserting a couple of lines from the text into a Plagiarism Checker. Be aware that there are a lot of people out there who start a blog with the sole intention of making money. These are not genuine bloggers. They will take bits from here and there and cobble together their content from other sources.
When you are feeling confident about your blogging skills you can add extra stand alone pages. If you want to group topics together so they are easily found you can open a new page and put it all there, and put a link at the top of your home page. Always go to your dashboard and it will show you how to do it. You can also add elements to your sidebar, move elements around and change the order that they appear.
It's very easy to deceive on the internet as you will already know, I hope no one has transferred sums of money to an African bank account, on the promise that thousands more will arrive from cloud cuckoo land. I think we all know that scam. Use your gut instinct to tell you what you think is genuine and what you think is not. Bloggers usually follow a pattern. When I read them I recognize a certain style of writing, I pick up on certain phrases they use, and detect mood changes. Over a period of time a picture emerges. It may be anything between a true picture, or pure fantasy, or anything in between. Fact peppered with fiction or fiction peppered with fact. Inconsistencies alert me, don't be taken in by them, and be consistent yourself.
The question most people ask is how do I get people to read my blog. The easiest way is to read other people's blogs and make comments there. That will leave your footprint for others to click on if they so wish. It depends on how desperate you are to increase your readership. If you want to promote your blog you could join other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and plug yourself there. There is also something called Search Engine Optimization, SEO. To get search engines to find your site and to push it towards the top of the page, you need to include a lot of buzz words relevant to your content. For instance my buzz words would be frugal, thrifty, penny pinching, cheap, bargain, money saving, scrimping, tight, etc. They do crop up in my blog, when they fit the piece I am writing.
Another question is how often should I post? Well, as often as you like, there are no rules. It depends on how much time you want to give to it. I missed yesterday because I was busy with other things, and didn't have much to talk about. This morning I am getting on with this post because I want to finish framing the picture and start organizing a holiday. What I would say is, if you start blogging and then decide it isn't for you, don't just abandon it and stop. People will wonder what has happened to you. Best to say on your last post that you are giving it up. No need for an explanation.
On the previous post about blogging there was a comment from someone who was put off by the possibility of attracting trolls. That's a shame, but I can understand that some people would not want to put themselves in that position. I don't know how many troll comments other bloggers get, maybe someone can enlighten me. I only have the one, but I am strong and can handle it, water off a ducks back. Sticks and stones will break my bones but calling words won't hurt me. What you have to remember is that the troll has the problem not you. By the way, a troll is normally someone who does not know the person they are trolling. They do it out of devilment, to cause upset and anguish. My troll is someone known to me, and is therefore a bully. I am waiting for their comment on this post to come into my 'Awaiting Moderation', box. In all cases stick two fingers up at them and hit the delete button.
Any more questions on blogging, just ask. I don't know all the answers though, especially the technical ones. There is a Help button on the dashboard which will take you to a bloggers forum, where you can put your questions there. It's quite busy so you won't have to wait long. In fact it's interesting to just read the forum to pick up some useful tips.
Any new bloggers tempted to give it a go?
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