Sunday, April 29, 2007

Internet: Blogging Basics from a Beginner

I promised in my last post that this post would be about technology and I was having trouble picking a topic so I finally decided to blog about blogging. I am fairly new to blogging and really haven't found a niche yet. I really don't have any readership yet, the formatting on my blog has changed at least twice a day since its launch, and I haven't gained any pattern to my posts yet. So, I've decided to talk a little about my experience getting started in the world of blogging.

First off, I knew I was going to use Google AdSense. I was surprised how easy it was to get going with the service. I think my experience was so simple partially because of the simple yet powerful tools that Blogger has built in. Personally I think the ads do not detract from the look and formatting because I was able to customize them to match the colors I have selected for the blog. The powerful tools that blogger offers allowed me to use a drag and drop interface to make a personalized looking blog while using standard tools.

The next thing that I knew I wanted to include in my blog was some way to track how many people are actually visiting my blog. At first I looked at using StatCounter to track the visits before continued my research. It was not that StatCounter did not appear to be a good service, it was simply that I found a better alternative. Eventually I found Google Analytics and thought it would be a good choice for my little blog. The features are full featured enough for a large website. Actually, many of the features are simply useless because I do not have enough hits. Many of the breakdowns are so detailed even with a reasonable number of hits for a brand new blog, the breakdowns are simply useless. I'm not going to post an example, but I have a feeling I will spend too much time analyzing statistics from the service.

Lastly, I wanted to help promote my blog. Obviously there are a multitude of ways of promoting a blog but I quickly turned to Technorati. I subscribed to the service and quickly noticed how low my rank was. It has since moved up in the world since Cassie's Corner has linked to my blog. Technorati also provides other useful features such as the search box for my blog which is located in the right navigation bar. There are also some other features such as the Technorati rank which can be found somewhere on my blog. I have a tendency to move it around because I haven't found a place where I think it looks good. It has been floating around the bottom of the page.

I have a good question that I have yet to answer: Why did I start blogging? Well, I have an admission. I actually posted a note about my upgrading from Windows Vista on my Facebook Notes. I spent probably an hour formatting it and working on it making it look really great. Afterward, I had this little voice in my head saying that I should start blogging. Well, I ended up listening to that voice and a few days later I subscribed to blogger. Actually, I still import my blog entries into Facebook using their built in import feature. I have considered turning it off but for the mean time I will leave it on.

I still have some things that I want to add to my blog and change that I have yet to figure out. First off, I am not a big fan of Blogger's built in list of tags. Technorati has a tag cloud feature that I have considered using but in the mean time I will just keep things the way they are. The other thing that I am not a big fan of is the way the archive currently looks. I have it set to the the drop down setting which I think is too big. I do like the way that it looks when it is a flat list. I might add a recent posts drop down and change the archive to the flat list. I have a feeling that I am going to work on that as soon as I click the publish button. Which will be right about now.

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