Ever wanted to write a story? Or maybe just put your thoughts and feelings into words somewhere. Diaries and notebooks used to be the way to do this, but in this electronic age we have moved forward and now everyone ‘blogs’ instead. Sound interesting? But where and how, and who would read it? Read on…
your blog your story
There are various blog sites. But the original and still the most popular site for many is Blogger.com, as they have blogs covering everything you can possibly imagine. Nothing is too big or to small as far as they are concerned and they make starting your blog very simple.

The first thing you will need to get a blogger account is a Google email address. You may already have one, especially if you are using a tablet or android device but if not making one is easy. Go to Blogger.com and once you have made a Google address or signed in you will be transported to your blog page, where you can make or read blogs from.

When you click on ‘New blog’ a pop up box will appear asking for the title of your blog, if you want others to read this then choose something catchy and intriguing to make people come view your page, and include a word in the title that is likely to pop your blog up in a search for that subject. For instance If I search for blogs about dieting then the blog ‘Debbies Diet’ is going to appear higher in my search than one called ‘Debbies Journey’.

The next part asks you for a link address. This is basically an address you make up that will link to your blog, they all end with .blogspot.com, so Debbiesdiet.blogspot.com for example.

The final option in this pop up box is to choose a template from the ones shown. They are basic templates that can also be altered via edit buttons further in.

Once complete this will then take you to your blog overview page, where there are numerous settings I will run through here quickly, but all pretty self explanatory.

POSTS and COMMENTS can be viewed via these links, or edited, pictures added, shared and deleted. New blog entries can be made on the PAGES link, you can then save that page to draft or choose to publish from there also.

On the GOOGLE+ link you can choose to expand the audience for your blog in a variety of ways.

The STATS page shows statistics of traffic flow and views for your blog. Its a great way to understand your audience and adjust your blog to reach others if you are not drawing in the right or enough people. One of the ways you can do this is to advertise your blog, which you can do via the CAMPAIGN link. You can also feature others adverts on your blog if you want and earn money from clicks using the EARNINGS section.

The LAYOUT and TEMPLATE links are to customise the look of your blog, you can change backround, colours and text fonts within these pages. You can even design your own personal template to use in a blog, which has as many gadgets added as you like. A gadget is a button that links you to something else such as different blogs, a profile page, or it can count visitors, play a slideshow or show a poll. There are lots of different ones available that will appear when you click the ‘Add gadget’ link on the template page. You can choose to make these edits on the main blog site, on the mobile version or both as required.

The last of these links is SETTINGS where you can adjust the name and address of your blog, update your description, set languages and other details. Here you can also alter who sees your blog and whether it is published publicly or privately, whether it appears in searches and how you search yourself among many others.

On the right hand side of your overview page you will also find  a blogger guide, that will steer you in the right direction if it’s not covered it here.

Back at the top of your overview page there is an orange button that says simply ‘New page’. Clicking this will take you to a writing page not unlike a word document, where you can write your first entry. The blog will automatically date and timestamp your blog accordingly, but you can also change how this appears if required.

Also at the top of the page you can click ‘View blog’ which will show you your finished blog how others see it, there are also little symbols which allow you to edit parts of that page as well. On this page there is a link that says main profile, which once clicked takes you to a profile page you can edit and add a picture to to make your blog more personal. Of course if you wish to remain anonymous then that is fine too.

So all you need now is a subject and you are ready to start blogging. Over the years I have read many emotive blogs, and learned a lot about certain issues and illnesses knew existed, been drawn into stories of miracles and madness, success and sadness. Whichever subject you chose and whether you write to educate or just get it all off your chest, there will be someone somewhere that will benefit from knowing what you know.

Guest post by Connie Cook

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