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Blogger Secrets: Things You Probably Didn’t Know

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Blogging is a pretty popular activity online these days. It’s a great way to connect with your audience on the Web and create a sense of community.

There are many ways to start your own weblog but one of the easiest is with a free service called “Blogger.” Owned by Google, it’s a feature-rich service that makes it simple to start a blog of your own.

If you think blogging is just about typing text, think again. There are many fun things you can do once you’re up and running withyour very own blog.

1) Photo Blogging: Post photos to your weblog with this free software called “Hello.” Get it at http://hello.com. It makes it easy to upload photos to your blog.

2) Audio Blogging: Post to your blog by phone. Once registered, you’ll receive a special number. Call it, leave a message and it’s immediately posted to your website as an MP3 audio file. To sign up, go to http://www.AudioBlogger.com

3) Email Posting: Post to your blog by sending an email from any email application. To set it up, you’ll need to log into your blogger account and go to “settings” then “email.” You must specify if you want your posts to publish automatically or saved as drafts for later publishing. The subject of your email will be the title of your blog post, with the email body making up the rest of it.

4) Team Blogs: This allows groups of people to contribute to one blog. One person must create the blog, then invite others to join in.

5) Templates: Blogger has over 30 templates to choose from. Make sure you back up your blog before attempting any changes. There are also third party template providers you can choose designs from. See:

http://BlogSkins.com
http://BlogDesigns.com

6) Blogger Toolbars: Google has one built into its toolbar that makes it a snap to post to your site while visiting any webpage you might want to comment on. Firefox also has a toolbar of its own with blogging components. See it at http://FireFoxToolbar.com/blogger or Google’s at http://toolbar.google.com/

7) Feeds: Blogger users can syndicate their content via an Atom Feed. Former Blogger Pro suscribers can choose between Atom and RSS formats. You can find this feature in your Blogging account under “settings,” then “site feed.” If you’d rather syndicate in RSS, your only choice is to use an outside service like http://FeedBurner.com

8) Comments: If you’d like your readers to participate on your Blog, you’ll want to turn on “comments.” Found under “settings,” you can choose from preferences like allowing anyone to post a comment, allowing only regular users to post comments, or allowing only members of the blog to post (if it’s a team blog).

9) TagBoards: Different from comments, TagBoards also allow your blog readers to post comments. These act more like a discussion board or chat room for your blog. However, they’re not aimed at individual posts but attached to your entire site. You’ll find free providers of this service at:

http://Tag-Board.com
http://ChatterBox.com

This is a great way to add a feeling of community.

10) PhotoBlogs: If you’d like to share a lot of photos with your readers on a regular basis you may want to add a “photo album.” You’ll find many sites that offer this free service such as:

http://Shutterfly.com
http://Ofoto.com
http://DotPhoto.com

11) Polls: Do you know what your readers think? Running polls on your site is a great way to get inside your readers minds and get them involved with your blog. A few free poll service providers are:

http://FreePolls.com
http://PollHost.com
http://BraveNet.com
http://WebPollCentral.com

12) Advertising: If you’d like to run ads on your blog and get paid per click, you’ll want to look at Google Adsense. Since Google owns Blogger too, they make it simple to add their advertising to your site. See, http://tinyurl.com/3j3k8

13) Camera Phones: If you have a SrintPCS cell phone with a built in camera you can send your pictures directly to Blogger. You’ll need to set up an “email address” to post to. For instructions, see Blogger’s Help section on “posting via email.” On your phone it works like this: you snap a picture, select “share,” pick your specific blogging email address, then ok. Your picture is uploaded.

14) Keyboard Shortcuts: Blogger has many different keyboard shortcuts you can use while making a post.

cntrl + B= Bold cntrl + I= Italics cntrl + shift + A= Link cntrl + d= Save as draft cntrl + s= Publish Post cntrl + shift + P = Preview

15) FTP: You can host your blog on Blogger’s server, or host it on your own via FTP access. You’ll find this option under “settings” then “publishing.”

16) Email Posts to a Friend: If you’d like to allow your visitors to email your interesting posts to their friends you can enable this feature under “settings,” basic tab, then where it says “show email post links?” say yes.

If you’d like to watch some free tutorials on “Learning Blogger,” see these by Molly Holzschlng at http://movielibrary.lynda.com/html/modPage.asp?ID=113

So what are you waiting for? Now that you know all of the really cool things you can do with Blogger, why not experiment. Who knows, maybe there’s been a “born Blogger” hiding inside of you all along. Blog away my friend; the world is waiting.

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