Wilkie Martin - Surviving Publication

Author of the unhuman series of addictive comedy cozy mysteries set in the Cotswolds. This documents my encounters with publishing and includes things I hope will be useful later. It also covers some local writing competitions and reviews some writing events.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Creating a Blog

I'm new to blogging and still a bit nervous about the process. However, we have taken the plunge, published a blog and made a few posts. We used the following settings in my blog. If you are new to blogging too and don't know where to start, you could try the steps we took.. There are other ways of blogging and many other settings. We don't say this is the best way to do it - it is just one way to do it.

Good luck.

Start a Blog

  • 1. Go to http://www.blogger.com/ and tick 'Create a blog'.

  • 2. Fill in the 'create account' details. You will need to have an email account. Complete the password, display name and verification details. Read and accept the terms and conditions.

  • 3. Enter the name of the blog you want to create. Mine is 'Preparing my novel for publication' as the posts I'm making are all related to this area and reflect the processes I'm going through and steps I'm taking in trying to get my novel into print. Choose a title suitable for your blog area.

  • 4. Choose a template (you can change this later - see below).

Change Settings

These are the settings I'm using

  • 1. Go to http://www.blogger.com/ and logon to your account.

  • 2. Choose 'Layout'

  • 3. Choose 'Chose new template' .
    Tick 'Scribe'
    Save template

  • 4. Choose 'Page elements' on 'Navbar'
    Select 'Edit',
    Select 'Tan' (to match the scribe template which is brownish)

  • 5. Select 'Edit' in the next box down enter the title of your blog
    Enter the description of your blog (this appears above every post).
    I don't have an image selected for this area so I have ticked 'From my computer' and left the address blankthe placement is set to 'behind title and description'.

  • 6. In the left bar area
    select 'Edit' against all the entries and remove them all.

  • 7. Select 'Add a gadget'
    Choose 'Basics'
    Choose 'Labels'
    Title = Search Strings
    Show = all labels
    Sorting = Alphabetically
    Display = ListSave

  • 8. Select 'Add a gadget'
    Choose 'Basics'
    Choose 'Blog archive'
    Title = Blog Archive
    Style = Drop down menu
    Options = Show Post Titles
    Archive Frequency = Monthly
    Date Format = as wanted

  • 9. Select 'Add a gadget'
    Choose 'Basics'
    Choose 'Profile'
    Title = About Me
    Share my profile = ticked
    About me = Ticked
    Name = completed
    Description = completed
    Location = not ticked

  • 10. Select 'Add a gadget'
    Choose 'Basics'
    Choose 'Picture'
    Title = blank
    Caption = completed
    Link = not completed
    From your computer = ticked
    Shrink to fit = ticked

  • 11. In the middle box the 'edit' will bring up the posts. Complete your entry.

  • 12. At the bottom of the screen the 'add a gadget' will add gadgets to the bottom of the posts.I have a 'headline' gadget, which I'll come back to below.

  • 13. At the top select 'Edit HTML' Find (about 8 lines down)
    <head> <b:include data='blog' name='all-head-content'/>
    after this add
    <meta content='xxxxxxxxxxx' name='description'/>
    <meta content='yyyyyyyyyyy' name='keywords'/>
    <meta content='zzzzzzzzzzz' name='author'/>
    set xxxxxxxxxxx to the name of your blogset yyyyyyyyyyy to the keywords for your blog, seperated by commasset zzzzzzzzzzz to the your name
    the above lines should come before
  • 14. At the top select 'Settings'

  • 15. Choose 'Basic' in 'settings'
    Title = completed
    Description = completed
    Add your blog to our listing = yes
    Let search engines find your blog = yes
    Show quick editing on your blog = yes
    Show email post links= yes
    Adult content = no
    Select post editor = old
    Enable transliteration = no

  • 16. Choose 'Formatting' in 'settings'
    Show = 1 posts on main page
    Date Header Format = as wanted
    Archive Index date Format = as wanted
    Timestamp format = as wanted
    Time Zone = as wanted
    Language = as wanted
    Convert Line Breaks = Yes
    Show Title Field = Yes
    Show link Fields = Yes
    Enable Float Alignment = Yes
    Post Template = I left his blank

  • 17. Choose 'Comments' in 'Settings'
    Comments = Show
    Who can comment = anyone
    Comment form placement = Embedded below post
    Comments Default for posts = New posts have comments
    Backlinks = hide
    Backlinks default for posts = new posts have backlinks
    Comments timestamp format = as wanted
    Comment Form Message = I left this blank
    Comment moderation = Only on posts older than 10 days
    Show word verification = yes
    Show profile image on comments = yes
    Comment notification email = completed

  • 18. Choose 'Archiving' in 'Settings'
    Archive frequency = monthly

  • 19. Choose 'Site feed' in 'Settings'
    I'll come back to this.

  • 20. In 'Publishing', 'email and mobile', 'OpenId' in 'Settings'
    I didn't change any settings.

  • 21. Choose 'Permissions' in 'Settings'
    Blog authors - add any other authors on blogger.com you want to amend your blogs
    Blog readers = set to 'only blog authors' until you are happy with the look of the blog then set to 'anybody' when you want others to see it.

  • 22. Choose 'Postings' and 'New posting' or 'Edit posting' and enter your blog(s).
    On the 'post options' at the bottom of the compose area, enter the 'labels' seperated by commas that you want associated with the blog. These appear as the 'Subjects' for 7 above.


When you post is published (point 20 above), then you can create a feedburner for it.

  • 1. Go to http://www.feedburner.com/

  • 2. Logon with your name and password (or create an account, use the same id as for blogger).

  • 3. Enter your blog name into 'Burn a feed right this instant'

  • 4. 'Select 'atom' feed

  • 5. On the next screen select the statistics you want

  • 6. continue with next until the feedburner is created

  • 7. Go back to your http://www.blogger.com/ account
    Choose 'Settings' and 'Site feed'
    blog posts feed = fullblog
    comments feed = none
    per posts comments feed = none
    post feed redirect url = http://feeds.feedburner.com/yourfeednameandblognameeneredinfeedburner
    post feed footer = I left this blankSave

  • 8. This completes point 19 above

Headline Animator

Now add the headliner to the bottom of the blog. This scrolls through the titles of the last 5 blog entries.

  • 1. Logon to http://www.feedburner.com/

  • 2. Click on your blog name

  • 3. Under 'Publicize'
    Select 'Headline animator'
    Select 'create new'
    enter the url http://feeds.feedburner.com/yourfeednameandblognameeneredinfeedburner
    I have theme 468x60 white
    Title = unticked
    Wrap long headlines = unticked
    Dates = ticked
    Format = as wanted
    Width / font/ colour I used the defaults

  • 4. Under 'Publicize'
    Select 'Headline animator'
    Select '468x60 white'
    For 'add to MySpace, TypePad etc'
    select 'Other just gimme the code'
    Select 'next'
    When the screen opens, copy 'ctrl+c' on all the code given

  • 5. Logon to http://www.blogger.com/
    Go to 'Layout'
    Select 'Add a gadget' at the bottom of the screen
    Select 'basics'and add 'html/java script'
    Title = 5 latest blog entries
    entries 'ctrl+v' to paste the code copies above

  • 6. This completes point 12 above


This should produce a blog similar to mine. Good luck, and let me know how you get on.


Wilkie Martin said...

I have been through all my blog posts and changed the blog headings and search strings so they are in mixed case so they are easier to read.

Wilkie Martin said...

The blog serach gadget now works so I have added this:
in layout
- add gadget
- select search box (powered by google search)
- untick Linked from here and The Web
- save, and position where wanted.

Wilkie Martin said...

We've created a new gadget at the bottom of the blog that links to facebook using the code from facebook Profile->Edit my profile->Contact information->Website, Create a facebook badge for your website (edit the badge, and using the +blogger option to add the code to the blog and then moving the gadget created).

Wilkie Martin said...

In the Profile->Description it is possible to add a hyperlink to another website by adding <a href="x">and </a> either side of the text you want the link on, with x being the full address.

Wilkie Martin said...

The headline animator has been changed to use the 'classic' form instead of 468x60 white, and the title is now shown and long titles are wrapped.

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