I've been asked by a few people on the internet how to publish to a blog. Personally, I use a program called Windows Live Writer, so I can write my posts offline and then upload them later. For those of you who don't want to learn that just yet, I figured a walk-thru was in order for how to publish using the standard blogger tools. (If you're interested in learning how to publish using Windows Live Writer, please see this post)
If the blog you're writing to doesn't belong to you, then you got invited by someone else. First you have to accept the invitation from them to begin posting on their blog.
Accepting the Invite to Author a Blog
You will get an email like the one below from Google, inviting you to become a contributor to the blog. You'll have to click the link to accept the invitation.
Getting Signed In
Once you've clicked the link, you'll be carried to a page similar to this one. I invited myself to author my own blog for the purposes of the demonstration. You can see below that it tells you who invited you (T-T-Tommy), and to what blog you've been invited to author. In this case, this is an invitation to be an author on http://roanokeislandbaptistchurch.blogspot.com
Since I already have an account on google.com, I can enter my google name and password and be carried straight to the "Dashboard." Assuming you might not already have an account, you would have to press the "Create your account now" link. (see next instruction)
Create a Google Account
Creating an account on google is fairly straightforward. Enter your email address, password, and other information it asks for, and simply complete the signup process. I'm not going into further detail because this part should be self explanatory.
I have my account, now how do I write posts?
Congratulations, the hard part is done. Assuming you aren't already logged into google, you will see a screen similar to the one below. It doesn't matter what blog you're on when you sign into google. The placement of the login link always be the same. In the picture below, you will see in the very upper right of the web page two links. One is called "Create Blog" and one is called "Sign In."
You would press the "sign-in" link to be carried to blogger's main login screen
If you are already signed in to Blogger (ignore if you're not signed in yet)
If, on the other hand you are already signed in, you'll instead see the screen below. Remember, you will either see the links shown above, or the links shown below, not both. Don't let it be confusing. It's really easy. If you are on any blog that YOU are an author for, AND you are signed into google, you'll always see these links below called "New post, Customize, or Signout"
What they do in brief:
New post: This takes you to the screen where you can make a new post to the blog.
Customize: This takes you straight to your blog options, where you can change colors, settings, members, edit posts, and make wide-ranging changes to your blog.
Sign-Out: This logs you out of blogger and returns you to visitor status on the blogger.com network. You will need to sign in again to take advantage of any member features. Personally, i just always stay signed in all the time. It's easier that way to manage the 10 or so blogs I post on.
Signing In to Blogger
Once you have clicked on the Sign-In link from the previous post, you will be taken to the blogger dashboard. Enter your google username and password you registered for above and press Sign In. If you want to always stay signed in, you can choose to click the "remember me" box and it won't ask you to login every single time you visit the site.
Accessing your Blog Settings
Now that you're signed in, you will be greeted with the dashboard that shows all the blogs you are a member or author of. Below you see only one of mine. You can see how easy it is to use here. It's not difficult at all.
Simply choose "New Post" to start writing a new blog post using the blogger editor. If you want to change any blog settings, you can do that using the links on the right; Posts, Settings, and Layout options are provided to allow you to make quick changes to your entire blog.
I'm going to click "Posts" on the right and make my first post to the blog. You can do it easier by just clicking new post, but maybe you want to see some other posts first or make changes. Again, very easy to do.
Making your first Blog Post
When I clicked "Posts" it brought me to a screen where I can view, edit, delete, and otherwise moderate all my posts on this blog. As you can see, there are only four posts here at the moment. Clicking Edit, View, or Delete will perform the obvious associated function. Instead, let's assume I'm satisfied and I'll press "New Post"
Oh Look. My first post!
Making the post is as simple as it looks. I simply type the Title of my post. This post you are reading now is titled "How to post to Blogger", which is why you see that at the top of your screen.
If you are writing a post about a web site or a subject that has a link, you might want to put a URL in the link field. For example, I'm writing about the cool new thing the Red Cross is doing, so I would type http://www.redcross.org in the Link field. Then when people clicked my Title, they would be carried to the Red Cross homepage.
As you can see below, entering your message is easy. Type your message just as you would an email. Remember, you are an author here, so you can always change a post later if you decide you don't like something or if you want to make a correction.
I would firmly suggest playing with all the buttons a few time to get used to them. You can make text bold, colored, Italics, etc.
- You can make lists
- and more lists.
And you can even insert pictures from your computer by clicking the little "picture" logo on the editor.
Using Labels in your Posts
Looking at the bottom of the post below you will see an option for Labels. Labels are an easy way to categorize your posts. If you're familiar with my blogs you'll notice you can click on the labels to go to all associated posts related to that topic. In this case, we're looking at a church blog, so maybe we would want to make a label saying "Prayer Request" or "Bible Study Notes" or whatever you'd find particularly relevant to your situation. I use labels called Humor, Photos, Personal, Rants and Raves, Africa Stories, etc in my blog. There's no rule saying what you can and can't use as a label. You can edit labels later if you'd like to from within your dashboard.
When you are done with your post you have two options. You can publish the post now by pressing Publish or you can decide to come back later and finish it later by pressing "Save Now." This will save a Draft of your post that you can get to by clicking the "Manage Posts" option anywhere on your dashboard.
When you're done, go view your blog, and your new post.
I hope you've found this useful. While this is co-posted on a few blogs who were asking me for some instruction, the main post will always be available at http://carolinaregion.blogspot.com for your review, comments, or questions.