Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Little Blogging Tips Series: Blogging Basics


Hey lovelies, this post is the start of my new weekly series LITTLE BLOGGING TIPS! If you've followed me for a while you'll know I'm a bit of a blogging nerd so I'm very excited to do this post. In this one I'm going to talk you through some of the basics of blogging, perfect for anyone new to Blogger or starting a blog. This is a pretty long post, because I really wanted to cover the basics in detail. A lot of this is obvious, but I wanted to go through it because especially when you start a blog, there are some things you don't work out for a while!



CHOOSING A NAME

Choosing a blog name can be so stressful. You come up with the perfect name, then find it's taken or you just can't think of a name you actually love. The first thing you want to think about is choosing something memorable. Avoid random numbers or a name that is too long, as it will make it much harder for people to remember your blog name and re-visit your site. If it's a beauty blog, you don't have to have the word 'beauty' in it, in fact it's better to be a bit creative so your blog name is unique and sticks in your visitor's mind. 

Try juxtaposing two words, like Style Lobster. Humorous names are very memorable and make you stand out. If you get really stuck, pick out blog names that you love, and work out why.

One option is to use your own name, that's what I did, except I decided to use a nickname (VV) instead of Victoria to make the name a little cuter. Some people go with their first name, for example Little Miss Katy. 

MAKING A POST



There are two ways to view your posts when creating them, either as how they will appear on your blog or as HTML script. If you have no clue about HTML, you can go ahead and ignore that button. 

The two arrows are 'undo' and 'redo' buttons, perfect to use if you accidentally delete text when you didn't mean to. The buttons next to that can change font, text size, to a heading, bold, italic, underlined and strike through text. You can also change the colour and highlight your text. 

The Link button is a button you definitely need to be aware of, it allows you to make clickable links like this one without having to worry about doing the html yourself. Make sure to tick the 'Open this link in a new window' if you don't want the link to direct people away from your blog. 

The button next to the link one, is the picture button. Use this to upload your images. You may find you have issues with Blogger's sizing - they allow you to choose from Small, Medium, Large, X-Large and Original Size but this can be quite limiting. If you find your pictures are coming out too small, then that might be because they are too large for blogger. Photos directly from a camera are massive, so you may want to re-size them so you can choose exactly how big you want them on your blog. You don't need any fancy software to do this, you can use Picmonkey to resize and edit your photos, which is free and requires no registration! 

The movie button allows you to put videos in to your post, you can even search youtube directly and choose a video. If you don't like how this embeds in your posts, you can do it yourself. Just go to the youtube video, click on the share button, then embed and copy the code there. You then just have to switch to HTML (rather than compose) and paste this code in. Switch back to Compose, and you should see the video in the post. 

The button next to the movie one that looks like a ripped piece of paper is another important button. You use this to create a 'read more' link on your posts, that people click on your homepage in order to read the whole post. This is great to use if you tend to do picture heavy or long posts, as it will make your blog much easier to load on the homepage. 

Next up is the text align button, use this to change the way your text is displayed. Personally I'm a fan of the last setting, as I think it makes thing look a lot neater but you can also choose to align your text to the right, left or centre. 

Up next is two buttons that allow you to create lists, the first is a numbered list and the second is bullet points. 

  1. example
  2. example
  • example
  • example

The next button is one that I hardly ever use, I assume it's meant to be for quotes but what it does is creates a body of text that looks separate from the rest. 

THIS IS AN EXAMPLE. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE.
The button with a T and a cross allows you to select text and take it back to how it originally was. For example if you find text is underlined and you can't change it back for some reason, then you can use this button to make it simple text again. 

Finally, the last button is a perfect editing tool. Use this and it will highlight your spelling mistakes, and when you hover over them it will give you spelling suggestions. Perfect if you have trouble with spelling or are prone to typos. 


The sidebar is often a little neglected when making posts, but it is actually really useful. Adding labels allows you to tag your posts with key words, especially useful if you want to have pages on your blog for 'beauty' or 'fashion' posts. Using key words for these means that you can create pages that will show any post that has been tagged under a certain label - which is a perfect little way of organising your blog. See below, if you want to find out to do this! 

Schedule is perfect if you want to post at a certain time when you're not near your computer, simply set the date and time you want it to be published. 

Permalink is a very useful button, this allows you to create custom permalinks. Blogger will otherwise create one for you from the title of your post, but choosing to create a permalink means you can choose what words appear in your blog link. 

Location allows you to say exactly where your post was created by using google maps, not the best thing to do if you're concerned about privacy! 

In Options, you're given a set of options - surprising right? You can do things like choose to allow backlinks and reader's comments here. 

Once your posts are up on your blog, you can always change the number that are shown on your home page, simply go to Settings > Post and Comments > Show at Most and select the number you want on your home page. Don't go too crazy, it's best not to have more than about 4/5 on your home page as it can be a bit of a nightmare to load your blog otherwise. 

PAGES

Blogger allows you to display blog pages in two ways when you use their widget, as a list in your sidebar or at the top of your blog under your header as tabs. Creating pages is simple, just like making a post.  When you have the widget installed, all you need to do is make sure all the pages you want are showing up, if they're not just edit the widget to display the pages you want. 

If you want to create a 'tag' page for your blog, you can do this by going to your pages and clicking add external link. By using a label in posts e.g 'beauty' for all your beauty posts, you can make a page that compiles all your posts together under one topic. Then all you need to do is make an external page link, like this one I use for my fashion posts: 

http://yourblog.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/fashion 

Simply replace the blog address with your own, and 'fashion' with whatever label you want to link to, and make this your external page link. 

Hope you enjoyed this post lovelies, let me know if you have any thoughts on what you want to see next week's little blogging tips about! I hope someone found this helpful, let me know if you did!

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26 comments

  1. This is great, will be so useful for new bloggers, and I didn't really pay much attention to the permalinks before!! Abi :)
    MyW0rldMyView

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  2. Really great post that will definitely help new bloggers. I will definitely have a look at the more advanced stuff later on cause I am constantly tweaking my blog. :) I knew a lot of the basics from experience. I didn't know how to schedule properly for ages though. :)

    Ellen
    http://fishnetsxd.blogspot.ie

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    1. Yeah hopefully some new bloggers see it :)

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  3. Great post, I would have loved to see something like this when I first started :) I look forward to the next posts in the series!
    Sam xx
    Knockoutcouture.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks, it should be up next Wednesday! :)

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  4. What a lovely post! This sounds really helpful, especially for newbies ♥
    Amy xx

    Perfect Imperfections

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  5. this is a really useful post, i'm just starting out and have bookmarked this page to come back too! Style Lobster - love that. I really found choosing a name hard and thats what took me so long to star blogging, in the end I did just go with my name however I think later on I will change it!

    www.luciaflorence.com

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    1. Yeah, coming up with a name can be SO hard, but it does take a while to find one you really love!

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  6. I barely knew what half of those buttons when writing up your blog posts were - thanks for this! Great and informative post :)

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    1. Haha me neither until I looked it up!

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  7. Awesome newbie tips! Love blogging help posts.
    Tegan xx - Permanent Procrastination

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  8. Nice post, useful for new bloggers :D
    New post in my blog dear :)
    Kisses

    xx Lisbeth
    novedadesatualcance.blogspot.com.es

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  9. Great post!!! :) Love blogging help posts :)

    New post on my blog :)

    Kisses. Andrea

    http://esmiesconditefavorito.blogspot.com.es/

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  10. Great tips, thanks for sharing!! <3

    I have a new post up on the blog, would love to know your thoughts:

    * Electric Sunrise - Fashion and Lifestyle Blog *

    x

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  11. What a helpful little guide! I never new about that read more button, I think I may try it out on my blog. Looking forward to the next posts in this series!

    The Velvet Black // UK Style & Beauty Blog

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    1. Ah well I'm glad I taught you about something :)

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  12. this is great


    check out my newest post
    xx
    Tyana
    theluxedition.blogspot.com

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  13. What a great post, Vicky and such a informative one for new bloggers!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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Thanks for your comments, I love reading them and will be sure to visit your blog soon :) have a lovely day!

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