• Make money through AdSense
• Custom domain name option
• Group blog feature
• Simple to use
• Fewer templates to choose from
• Some features are complicated to set up
Blogger is a solid, reliable blogging service for all kinds of bloggers – those that want to share their opinions with the world and those that communicate with friends and family only.
Blogger was set up in 1999 so the service has many years of solid experience behind it. Blogger offers a quality free service for your professional and personal blogs with a variety of built-in features. We’ve looked closely at the Blogger offering to see what kind of service this site offers you.
The Blogger service is free so once you’ve completed the sign up procedure you’re at liberty to share your thoughts with the world without sharing any credit card details. The Blogger set up process has a few steps to get through. First, create an account with Google. Then choose a URL and set up your blog by using one of the Blogger templates. After you’ve set up you can post as many times as you want.
The Blogger service offers you the chance to customize your template design up to a certain point. If you want to stick with easy-to-use templates you can. Otherwise, choose your own colors, layout, background and fonts once you’ve selected a template. And if you want to go further in your customization you can add custom CSS and use advanced design features and HTML. Blogger doesn’t have as many templates to choose from as other blogging services. However, if you put in the effort you can create a site that looks uniquely yours.
Does Blogger allow you control over who sees your blog and who can comment on it? Yes – like other blogging services, Blogger gives you control over how public your thoughts are and you can delete comments if you don’t like them. There’s no poll function in Blogger but readers can let you know if they liked a post with a single click. Blogger allows you to set up a group blog, where multiple people can post in the same blog – great for families or for small companies. You can control who has administrative authorities and who can simply post stories.
Once you’ve created your blog you can attract followers and develop a community by adding the Followers widget to your blog, meaning readers can link to your blog as a “fan” and know when you’ve written new content. You can also automatically email posts to selected email addresses.
One of the things to consider when setting up your blog is the site’s image capability. Blogger allows you to add photos and video to your posts. These are then kept in a linked Picasa Web Album and a Google Video account – you can’t choose where you have your photos hosted.
Your Blogger site has a custom domain name feature where you can remove the blogspot.com address and create a name of your own. You can do the registering yourself or buy your domain name through Blogger. If you go for the first route you gain choice but by paying Blogger you have the convenience of all your settings being handled for you. You can make your blog look more like a website by adding new pages, for example “Contact Me” or “About Us”, as tabs at the start of your blog.
Advanced features include making money from your blog online. Blogger lets you use AdSense to place ads on your blog that generate revenue whenever anyone clicks on them. You can also link to Blogger’s Amazon Associates program and earn commission through Amazon.com.
Ease of use
The basic posting system on your Blogger blog is simple to use. The post creator saves your work automatically so you don’t have to worry about losing copy. You can easily change the font and the text alignment and there is a more complicated HTML editor for those with an interest or expertise in coding. You can blog in any one of 41 languages, whichever is easier for you. Setting up some of the features on your blog is slightly more difficult and requires a small amount of coding, and copy-and-pasting elements into your template. However, the process of setting up a feature such as AdSense on the sidebar looks more complicated than it actually is. Adding and rearranging posts, profiles or archives is a matter of dragging and dropping the elements into the page. As Blogger is aligned with Google you have one user name across Gmail, iGoogle, orkut and more. Whether this is a good or bad point depends on how you like to organize your own Internet presence.
Help & support
Get help at the Blogger Help Center or post a question to the Help Forum. If you have a problem that needs a more individual answer you can email the support team. Help and support from Blogger is functional rather than personal, as you would expect from a major Internet service provider.
Blogger has less style and personality than Wordpress, and doesn’t offer as many built-in features, but it offers a firm concrete platform from which you can build your blog. When you put in your own effort, Blogger supports you all the way. And it’s free.
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