Start Your Blog Simple, Learn As You Go

Every now and then, we run into new blog owners, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, who are very ambitious - and who put a lot of effort designing a shiny template with lots of features - but have no content.

Eventually, they will add content. Later, they may discover an unpleasant reality.
This looks like crap!
Different blogs, with differing content, may look better using different templates.

A properly designed template lets you publish any content, whenever convenient - but you need to start with actual content.

Developing a blog is so simple - when you learn as you go. Make the template fit the content.

  1. Start with a subject, an available URL, and a standard Blogger template.
  2. Publish content.
  3. Publicise your content.
  4. Get reputation.
  5. Customise your blog.
  6. Add dynamic accessories.
  7. Upgrade the template, when convenient.

Start with a subject, an available URL, and a standard Blogger template.

Start with "Create a blog", where you choose an available URL, and a template. The URL choice generally starts from a chosen subject.

A standard Blogger template is quick and easy to install. Just go to the dashboard Template page, choose one, and "Apply to Blog". You're done.

Here's just a sample of what's available, from the dashboard Template page.

If you decide that you would like a different template, you can change just as easily - as long as you apply template tweaks properly.

Just setup your new blog, pick a template, and move forward.

Publish content.

Start publishing your blog - today - add posts (and pages), to inform and to interest your readers.

What you publish today will be readable, tomorrow. Publish today, revise and add content, tomorrow.

And what you publish today will be readable, today.

Publicise your content.

Once you have quality content, work on publiciseing the content. That will get you more readers, and encourage you to publish more content.

Get reputation.

Readers get you reputation - and reputation gets you more readers. And knowing about your readers will encourage you to publish more.

This is a circular process. Content ---> Publicity ---> Reputation ---> Readers ---> Content.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Or eat, sleep, rave, repeat.

Customise your blog.

It's your blog - and as you develop content and readers, you'll learn what accessories will look good, work reliably, and produce results.

Your readers will be happier when they can read your blog.

Add dynamic accessories.

Dynamic accessories help your readers enjoy your blog, as you publish more content. With ten post or a thousand posts, properly designed dynamic accessories will work equally well. You don't waste time on repetitive maintenance, as your blog gets bigger - so you spend more time publishing content.

Upgrade the template, when convenient.

Properly designed blogs display a good mixture of pages and posts. A blog uses the post template to display the dynamic and static pages.

You can re publish your blog, using any properly written template, whenever it's convenient. You can use any properly chosen third party template - or choose to develop your own, properly tested, as you wish.

Once you have readers, and a reputation, you'll have a better idea what type of template will serve you best. And since blogs are free, you can use a test blog to develop a shiny new template, as you publish your live blog and keep your readers happy.

And you do publish your blog, for your readers, right?

What's your preference?

Which types of blogs would you read, regularly?

  1. An ugly blog, with well written content.
  2. A pretty blog, with no content.
  3. An ugly, shiny blog, with no content.

And yes, I know that most of us really prefer a better choice.

  1. A pretty blog, easy to read, with well written content.

Hope for #4, settle for #1.


Can I have another choice, please? A pretty blog, easy to read, with good content?!?!

I have seen many blog where the owner has thrown every gadget available onto the blog, and gone with awful typefaces and hard-to-read color combinations, added a busy background, and called it good. I can't even stay to read the content when it's that ugly.
Chuck Croll said…
Hi Penni,

Thanks for the observation.

That is the final choice, for most of us. It's what many blog owners are constantly trying to get to - and only getting, occasionally.

MHO though is that properly chosen dynamic accessories - and intelligent design choices - will leave you with more time to work on making the blog pretty, easy to read, and with good content,
Very true! And you are very helpful in getting the "bone structure" of a blog chosen properly, and in improving the blog from there.