Today I have a guest post for you from someone who knows more about Blogger than I do. I hope you will find what she has to say helpful. -- Courtney Make no mistake, I'm a Wordpress Girl at heart and I know very little beyond the basics of using Blogger as a platform for your message by virtue of having had a couple of blogging misfires over the past few years and having ghostwritten a book on Blogger. I never did figure out why anyone would be recommending blogger even then, but I did the research and now it resides in my head. So when Courtney was looking for experts on Blogger, I put my hat into the ring. I'm not an expert, but beyond the technical details which are easy enough to learn. The first thing you'll want to think about with your blog, especially if you plan to monetize your blogging experience, is customize the look of the basic blog. This process of finding and refining a skin is not difficult, though it can be time consuming only in the process of looking for the right template for you. The process of switching out the template is very easy.
The simplicity of blogger that frustrates so many is exactly what endears the platform the average audience user and audience. While it can be used to reach a wide audience, most users are not looking for that kind of impact and reach. Blogger was designed for traditional blogging for the average user. When it came along, blogging could be a rather complicated affair that only truly appealed to geeks and aficionados.
It's simple but it works for most pure blogging purposes. There are certain things you can't do with Blogger, but you can certainly build a healthy Ad-sense income with the right message in the right markets.
When choosing your look keep your purpose and message in mind. As is always the case in design, form follows function. You need to know what you want your blog to do before you can settle on it's final look.
You can find the whole process of switching out your default template outlined on this video from IceMarketing:
One thing I must caution against here is analysis paralysis. Don't get so caught up in choosing your design that you forget about the ultimate purpose of this exercise, which is to start blogging and carving out your corner of the internet universe. Remember that skins are easily changed. Resist changing too often or you risk jarring your readership, but do keep up with the times as far as technology goes.
Once you've chosen your look, your next step is ensuring you have your own domain. This is easy enough to do via the Google Dashboard and involves a minimal investment of around $10. This will help brand your blog and make it easier to share offline than the standard blogspot address. Choose your name wisely and be prepared for some serious brainstorming if the name you have in mind has already been snapped up.
With your look established and your domain purchased and set up, the next things to tackle will be your content and monetization, but I think just getting a template chosen and a domain secured are big enough jobs for the initial stage.
Patrysha Korchinski teaches marketing witchcraft and provides a range of services for small businesses serving a local marketplace. Her work has crossed a range of creative marketing platforms and has won awards at various levels. You can learn more about her and the fundamentally frugal techniques she relies on to spread her knowledge online and off at PK Marketing Solutions (http://pkmarketingsolutions.com)