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How to start a blog for free?

Are you planning to put blogger shoes on but you don't know how to start a blog?  Then, you must read this post as I'll be discussing how to start a blog for "free". Yes,  you don't need to spend any money on hosting service and buying domain name for your blog.

The free blogging platform I choose is "Blogger". It is a free blogging platform owned by Google. If you have a Google account, you can login to blogger using your Google credentials at If you don't have one, sign up for blogger account. It is absolutely free.

Once you have your account set up with blogger, login to your blogger account and follow the following steps:

  1. Logging into your blogger account for the first time, you'll see the following screen.

    Blogger profile options - the web stop

    The blogger welcome screen gives you two options to make a profile at blogger. If you want to create a new blogger profile using a Google+  profile, you can choose the option 1 and if you don't want to connect to Google+ for your blog, go ahead with option 2. Also, you can also choose the language option as highlighted in option 3. After choosing the desired options on this screen, continue to the next screen.
  2. On the next screen, you'll be given a text box to enter your display name for Blogger profile. It can be anything you want either related to your blog or not. In case, you want more than one blog under your blogger profile, your display name will be same for all as it is common for all of the blogs. Please note that this is your display name for blogger profile and not your blog name so choose it appropriately. Hit the "Continue to Blogger" button once you have entered the appropriate display name.

    Blogger profile display options - the web stop

  3. Blogger then presents the dashboard screen but it does not have the blog settings for you to start writing your first post yet. Hit the "CREATE NEW BLOG" button to start your first blog. You can alternatively select the "New Blog" dropdown on the top-left corner of dashboard.

    Blogger Welcome options - the web stop
  4. There will be a pop-up screen which asks for a suitable title, address and a template for your new blog.

    Blogger title and address options - the web stop

    The Title of the blog should be relevant to your blog category. Although it is not mandatory to follow strict guidelines while choosing a title, it is a good practice and makes it easier for you to distinguish between your blogs if you have more than one blog.

    The Address of the blog should be in the format of as it is given in the input box placeholder. It should also be unique. If the blog address you are choosing is already taken by someone, it will prompt a warning message - "The blog address is invalid or not supported." and if it is unique, it will be displayed as "available".

    The Template option lets you choose the style of the blog i.e., how your blog will look like. Blogger offers 7 different styles of templates which you can choose from. These style templates are - Simple, Dynamic Views, Picture Window, Awesome Inc., Watermark, Ethereal and Travel. By default, Blogger has "Simple" template selected. You can always choose the third party templates from vendors which offer great styling and customization options.

    Once you've chosen a suitable title, address and a template, hit "Create Blog!".
  5. Since we have created our first blog now with a title and an address, we now can see a full dashboard with all the available options for the blog. The display name you chose in step 2 is displayed at top-centre of the dashboard. The left hand side of the dashboard represents all the settings and options available for the customization and monetization of the blog. Hit "New Post" button on the top-centre of dashboard to write your first post of your blog.

    Blogger welcome screen options - the web stop

  6. You'll see the following screen after hitting "New Post" button. It has a similar view of a basic word processing tool.

    Blogger create post options - the web stop

    Let's have a look at each of the buttons and links on this post creation view.
    1. Post: It represents the title of your blog post. For example, the title of my blog post you are currently reading is "How to start a blog for free?"
    2. Compose: This option is selected by default. It means you can write your blog in a word processing format with all the tools available in the toolbar. It will be automatically formatted for the web as you type.
    3. HTML: You can toggle to HTML view for HTML formatting options and can have better control of your text, images and any element you want to insert in your post.
    4. Text Area: Just like any word processing tool, you'll be typing your text and inserting any image, quote, video etc. here.
    5. Close: This button closes your window. If you have unsaved work, make sure that it is saved.
    6. Preview: This option lets you view how your blog post will display on web. You can edit your work based on any discrepancy you see in the preview.
    7. Save: As it is apparent from the name, it saves your post.
    8. Publish: Hitting this button will publish your post and make it public. It is recommended that you proof read your post before hitting this button. Although you can edit your work even after publishing, it is not one of the good practices to keep editing your post once it is published.
    9. Labels: Labels are basically "tags". These are the keywords with which a reader can search for your post. You can set multiple keywords separated by commas.
    10. Schedule: You can use this option if you want to publish your post on a particular date and time. You can choose 'Set date and time' and it will be published automatically. You don't need to login to your blogger and hit 'Publish' button manually. By default, it is set to 'Automatic' which means you need to hit the 'Publish' button manually to publish your post.
    11. Permalink: This option lets you choose the link URL for your post. It is set to 'Automatic Permalink' by default. If you want to customize it, choose 'Custom Permalink'.
    12. Location: You can select your location if you want your readers to know where you are located.
    13. Options: These are some setting options which you can set for each individual post. You can customize settings for reader comments, compose mode and line breaks in this 'Options' tab.
Once you hit the "Publish" button, you have successfully published your first blog post!!!

Blog Settings

The settings on the left of the dashboard will let you customize your blog settings in general.

Blogger dashboard options - the web stop
  1. Posts: It shows all the posts you have written so far with the options to edit, preview and delete them. It also gives the snippet of number of comments, views and date of publishing.
  2. Stats: The Stats link shows the statistics of pageviews your posts have. You can view which post is doing better in terms of drawing traffic, which sources are bringing traffic to your blog and in which part of the world your posts are viewed the most.
  3. Comments: You can view all the comments readers have left on your posts. You can delete or mark them spam.
  4. Earnings: If you have Google Adsense account set up for your blog post, you can view your earnings in this tab.
  5. Campaigns: If you have Google Adwords account set up for your blog, you can view the statistics and performance of your ads in this tab.
  6. Pages: You can create more pages in your blog using this tab.
  7. Layout: You can view the layout of your blog using this tab. It is customizable and you can add more gadgets based on your preferences and delete the unwanted ones if your template permits it. Preview the arrangement before saving.
  8. Template: If you want to make any changes in the blog style (in terms of background, layout, colors, fonts etc.) by editing the HTML version of the blog, hit EDIT HTML button in the Template. You can alternatively click Customize to make changes in view mode. Template settings also lets you view your blog in Desktop and mobile version. You can choose mobile template or desktop template for mobile devices.
  9. Settings: The Settings tab lets you set all the major options for your blog. You can edit the Title, Description, Privacy settings and Blog address for your blog. You can also set permissions for other people to write posts on your blog. Other settings like number of posts to be shown on the main page, comments settings, language settings, Google Analytics settings and user settings - can all be done from this tab.
  10. Reading List: You can add your favourite blogs from other bloggers to your Reading List whose posts will be shown in your Reading List. You can read your favourite posts and write your posts all at one place - Blogger.
  11. Help: As the name suggests, it offers help regarding various blogger and blog queries. You can also visit Help Forum where you can share your queries and help other bloggers who have similar questions and interests.

1 comment:

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