This tutorial is aimed at brand new bloggers using Blogger templates. This edition is exclusively about what to include in your Settings if you want your new blog to set its best foot forward. Some things are vital additions to your blog if you want it found by others and/or listed by search engines. Other blogger tutorials are here.
Go to your Blogger dashboard and choose Setting. We'll work from the left to the right of your screen.
Please don't forget to click on the orange button at the end of each page you change in order to save your settings.
Very simply put, the basic screen asks you for the name of your blog. This is not the url, it's the name you want your blog to be known as.
Spend time writing a description of your blog next. This helps visitors to find your page while surfing but most importantly, it helps search engines to trawl your blog and 'decide' what it's about. You have 500 characters so make the best possible use of them.
Choose yes when asked if you want your blog to be included in the listings. Anyone can turn up on your blog simply by clicking on the 'next' button from their very own navbar. Not opting to include your blog in the listing results in no one knowing it exists.
Quick editing is ideal, but it doesn't work on all blogs. Choosing yes means that you can edit your blog simply by clicking on the pencil icon which appears at the bottom of your blog posts (if your particular template supports this feature). I've found it extremely useful.
I'm assuming your blog does not have adult content. If it does, you need to say yes to this question otherwise you run the risk of children (and people who've chosen not to see adult sites) stumbling across it.
Blog spot address asks you for the url of your blog. You can choose anything you want, but ideally, you should go with something that pertains to the genre and description of your blog. This helps tremendously with search engine traffic and people looking for your particular product. Blogger will indicate whether or not your choice is available for use. If it's not, they will kindly suggest other pertinent options.
The first one is up to you. The number you put in will determine how many posts appear on the front page before being classed as 'older posts.' My suggestion is, you should choose a higher number of blog posts (7-9) for your front page if you have lots of ads and gadgets in your side panels.
This evens up posts and gadgets and does not present your first-time reader with unsightly empty space where posts should be. If you haven't got lots of gadgets in your side panels, then 5 may be a good number to use.
The other options are all personal preferences, just make sure you choose your correct time zone from the list.
The very last option, 'Post Template' can be very useful to a new blogger. This panel allows you to put a template or message that will appear at the bottom of all your subsequent posts. Many people use it for signatures or a simple 'share this' button. Incidentally, I use it for the latter, but I allow my button to float to the top of my posts instead. I'd rather use this panel than edit my entire blog's html code. Here's a definitive article to view if you wish to use the 'share this' button on your blog.
Click 'show.' Visitors will be more willing to invest time with you and your work if they know they can leave you comments and interact with you. People who visit your site generally want you to know they were there so that you can visit them too. Allowing them to leave comments is one of the best ways to do this.
Next, I use 'anyone can comment' on all of my blogs. This has worked for me over the years.
The following one is a matter of choice. However, I find that having a pop-up window for comments works better because it seems to make things flow smoother, and is more attractive.
Further down the comments page, there is a box called, 'comment form message.' Many people leave this blank, but it's nice for your readers to see that you've taken a minute to personalise your space. Leave a short comment expressing your thanks for their time, and please don't get bossy or rude. Your readers who've bothered to comment on your blog will see this note at the top of the comment box. Think of something nice to say.
Comment moderation is a really important issue. Most people I know moderate all their comments to avoid spam. When someone has moderated their comments, you're told that 'your comments will be visible after the blog owner's approval.' You can choose to always moderate your comments, never do so, or only do so on posts older than a set amount of days. I use the last one. I don't like moderating all my comments because it means more work for me and I quite like the idea of my readers being able to see their comments posted straight away. Having said that, I found I got more spam comments when I didn't moderate my comments at all.
Nowadays I choose to moderate comments only on posts older than 5 days. You're allowed to choose your own number. This gives me a happy medium. My readers can see their comments straight away and I get to hold off most of the spam. Spammers tend to post their comments on older posts so I catch them before they go out in public. Of course I still get a few spam comments on newer articles, but on the whole it's manageable.
Word verification I hate having to do it so I never enable this on my blog. My supporters can log in and easily leave me comments without having to type in captha phrases. Of course this is a personal choice. You don't have to do this.
Enable your commentators' profile pictures on your blog. It's one way of saying thanks to them.
Choose your frequency in the first question. As for enabling post pages, it's very important to do so. How else could you submit your individual pages to search engines and social networking sites. Each page has a unique heading and is separate from the rest of the blog. This simply means more exposure for all the posts you write.
We'll deal with this in a separate tutorial when we talk about feeds.
Email and Mobile
This feature enables you to post to your blog from your mobile phone. I haven't used this option.
This lets you allow other people to post material on your blog. This is useful if your blog belongs not just to you, but to a group of people accessing it from other computers in different places. You're allowed to have up to 100 authors on your blog, so if this is your pleasure, you can 'add people' from this page.
Stay tuned for more blogger tutorials on our 'How Do I Blog' page, and subscribe to this blog so you can be updated when new ones are posted.