May 6, 2015

Why it is important to manage the basics of your blog


A lot of the ideas for posts on this website spontaneously present themselves while working with clients. It's funny to notice that in a short period of time I can get the same question on blogging from several different clients. And while the answer to such a question can be an easy one, it makes me realize that not every blogger is on the same level of know how when it comes to managing their own blog.

While you can hire a designer to make your blog look beautiful you should be able to do the basic stuff on your blog yourself. A designer cannot be around forever to help you out, at least not if you don't want to spend a fortune on hourly wages ;-) But saving money isn't the only reason why it's important to manage the basic stuff on your blog.

What if you want to make some small changes? Maybe add or remove a page on the menubar? Or add a new gadget to your sidebar? Change your own photo in the sidebar? Add a little piece of welcome text in the sidebar... This shouldn't be actions for which you need to hire someone! It's just a part of knowing and managing your own precious blog!

The reason I felt like sharing this message is that I recently had some questions from clients that indicated that they didn't have the slightest idea about how a blog on Blogger works. And that's okay. There's nothing wrong with that. I started out like that myself once. It only becomes a problem when you order a premade or custom made design from a designer and know nothing at all about the platform itself. A design is what it is: a design. It's the layout of your blog, it's a beautifully styled framework. But no more than that. It doesn't all of a sudden magically create all the posts, links, pages and connections you want to appear on your blog. It still needs to be managed by someone. And that someone is you! It's YOUR blog, YOUR business site, YOUR personal corner of the web. That's why it's so important that you learn how to love it and take care of it.

It's totally understandable that when that idea starts to form in your head of having your own blog you get all excited about the way it should look and the stories you want to share on there. You've seen all these beautiful blogs on the web and they have been the spark that set you on this journey to find the layout that suits you and your stories. Meanwhile, while thinking about a layout, you should also learn how to navigate the blog platform you want your blog to be on, whether that is Blogger, Wordpress or any other platform.


WHY IT IS IMPORTANT YOU KNOW HOW TO NAVIGATE/MANAGE YOUR BLOG
* while finding out the possibilities of a blog and blog platform you also find out if this is the platform for you. Not all platforms offer the same services and possibilities to bloggers and it's disappointing when you find out after you've bought a pricey layout that the platform is just not what you were looking for. And the layout isn't going to change any of this!
* when you are thinking of ordering a premade or custom made layout from a designer you know what features to look for in a design. An example of this is the so-called drop-down menubar. A lot of bloggers love such a menubar (I've got one on this blog), but it's not a very easy to manage part on Blogger. Blogger doesn't offer a simple standard drop-down menubar like Wordpress does for instance. So in order to create one you have to work with a lot of coding. If the blogger isn't that into HTML-coding it's not a good idea to choose a layout with a drop-down menubar.
* when new ideas for your blog bubble up in your head, you will be able to create small changes yourself instead of having to pay for someone else to do it and running the risk of having to wait a while before a designer has room in their schedule to help you out


WHAT YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO YOURSELF ON BLOGGER
Personally, from my perspective as a designer and a blogger on the Blogger platform, I think a beginning blogger should definitely learn how to do the following themselves before thinking about buying a premade of custom made design:

* learn how to create a new post and how to add images and links to a post
* learn how to add some labels (keywords) to a post
* learn how to create a new page
* learn how add that new page to the menubar
* learn how to add or remove a gadget on the sidebar
* learn how to add an image to the sidebar

Knowing these things will be a good starting point to figure out what you want from a design, and more important: it will give you the freedom you need to make the best out of your blog!


WHERE TO LEARN THE SKILLS
To learn how to manage the basics of your Blogger blog you can:

* play around with your Blogger account and just try out stuff by yourself, don't be afraid, this is the way I learned the basics myself
* visit my Blogger tutorials on this website
* check out Google's Blogger Support site

While all the techie stuff might seem overwhelming and maybe even a bit dull (after all, you just want to start writing that first post, don't you?), it will give you so much freedom as a blogger when you tackle those basics. So give it your best, your blog deserves it!
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2 comments

  1. Hello Daphne! Thanks for you beautifully written post. I'll agree, and I'll say that I'm 60 and created my own blog on Blogger, with pages, side bars, etc. I just want to say that if I managed, everyone can!!
    By the way, I love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mary, nice to hear that my posts are actually helpful for people ;-) And it's great to see that the older generation is blogging as well! We can all learn so much from one another!

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