Blogging Ministry-*Updates

Check out the Main Site for updates and recent articles on using a blog for ministry.

-New Blogger Template Designer

Blogger has offered the same old Templates for years, even after the Google takeover. While custom templates have always been available, the offering from the official Blogger site has always been extremely limited especially when it’s compared to TypePad or WordPress.

Now there’s a new template designer tool from Blogger which offers a far greater variety and makes a way for greater creativity and uniqueness—take a look:

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Book Review: “Google Blogger for Dummies”

By Susan Gunelius (Hoboken,NJ: Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2009, 362 pages)

The coming of this book is long overdue—a definitive manual on using Blogger. This is bound to become the essential book for those using the Blogger program whether one is starting out in the blogosphere or has been around a while. There is something for everyone in this volume—if you now use Blogger or intend to in the future.
<Read my complete review>

How to Set Up a Blogger Blog

Blogger (service)

Image via Wikipedia

Melanie Nelson @ Blogging Basics 101 has a screencast tutorial on “How to Set Up a Blogger Blog

Real helpful—she walks you through all the steps and makes helpful suggestions in setting up a new Blogger blog.

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Book Review: "Clear Blogging:"

“How People Blogging Are Changing the World and How You Can Join Them”

By Bob Walsh (Berkeley, CA: Apress, 2007, 351 pages)

image An excellent book on why one should blog and how to get started. Bob gives suggestions about getting started publishing a blog with Blogger, Windows Live, and TypePad and evaluates which blogging platform might be best for you considering your goals and what type of blog you wish to publish. <Read the rest of the review>

Book Review: "Publishing a Blog with Blogger"

By Elizabeth Castro (Berkeley,CA: Peachpit Press, Visual QuickProject Guide, 2005, 127 pgs.)

This is the most complete guide on Blogger that I have found so far. It starts at the beginning and takes you through how to start a blog, how to write a post, how to use the editor, post pictures and format a new Blogger blog.

It is written in an easy and interesting style. Visual examples are given on each page to help explain every exercise.

Then the book covers more advanced tasks of publishing through email, audioblogging, and customizing and personalizing your site. Followed by chapters on setting up and editing a profile page, the comments settings, and formatting a team blog.

There is a whole chapter on how to move your site and host it on your own domain. The author closes out the book with suggestions on how to publicize your blog. Then there is a valuable appendix at the end that lists all the template tags used by the Blogger program. This makes it possible for the more advanced blogger to further customize the template and blog.

A Valuable book that everyone using the Blogger program should have. List price is only $12.99. *Top

**Back to the main The Blogging Ministry site.

Book Review: "Teach Yourself: Blogging"

By Nat McBride and Jamie Cason (London UK: Hodder Education, 2006, 198 pgs.)

Great book for helping one to get started with Blogger. Read the review posted on my BOOK Reviews site. The book has detailed instructions on how to sign up with Blogger, how to set up a blog, how to post, and how to improve. Well worth the small price of the book. *Top

**Back to the Main The Blogging Ministry Site

"The Everything Blogging Book" -Chapter 10: Starting with Blogger

By Aliza Sherman Risdahl (Avon, MA: Adams Media/F+W Pub. Co., 2006, 305 pages)

See: my complete review of this fine book on blogging at my main site.

In chapter 9 the author evaluates various hosts and blogging programs including Blogger, LiveJournal, and TypePad. A very helpful chapter in comparing the different and similar features that all the hosts and blogging programs offer.

In Chapter 10, pages 124-129 it takes you though the specifics of signing up and setting up a new blog at Blogger. Very helpful info. as a guideline and easier to access than constantly clicking on the Blogger help button.

I would recommend using this book and the "Blogging for Dummies"book to help in setting up and getting started with Blogger. *Top

**Back to the main The Blogging Ministry site

"Blogging For Dummies" -Chapter 6: Blogger

by Brad Hill (Indianapolis, Indiana: Wiley Publishing. Inc., 2006, 368 pgs.)

There is a complete chapter (Chapter 6 pg. 85-112) is this book about getting started with Blogger. The info. represents the 'old' program but most all of it is still valid and helpful for the current 'New' Blogger.

Hill goes through how to set up your site and explores the editor settings for posting an article. Then he talks about templates and how to change the look of your Blogger site. It is much easier to use this book than clicking back and forth for info. on the help site.

Later in the chapter he writes about how to add photos and audio to your blog. he concludes with how to publish articles through E-mail.

It is well worth getting for this chapter alone. However, the book is full of essential information about blogging in general and particularly helpful for anyone starting out. Even those who have been around a while may find some things here that they never knew.

See my complete review of this book at my main The Blogging ministry blog.

Getting Started with Blogger -An Evaluation

There are a number of very good reasons to use Blogger.

1. The Cost: 0, zip, nada.

2. It is fast and easy. Using the basic default settings you can get started in less than 30 minutes. Even if you are particular like me and you want to view a bunch of template possibilities, it should only take an hour or so. It took me less than an hour to set up this site the way that it is. *note: This info. & site features the 'New' Blogger program.

I tried to simulate what it would be like if I knew nothing at all and kept referring to the Blogger Help site . Then it could take up 1 1/2 hrs. -2 hrs. tops.

3. It has most of the important features that the pay sites have. *Note: The 'New' Blogger program includes an optional links list or blogroll. The older program lacked this basic tool.

4. Public or Private blog? You can choose to publish a public site which can and will be viewed internationally. Or you can produce a site that is Private -accessible only by those you choose--or maybe a small group ( like: Church staff, Bible Study, Youth Group, Missionary Org. & etc.).

5. Posting to the site is easy and the editor is loaded with all the features that the big boys (blog programs) have. It even has a spell check built in which the more sophisticated Word Press that I use on my other sites doesn't give you to start.

5. Blogger is part of Google so there is almost no possibility that this host will quit or go out of business. Also the tech. support is built in and you can easily monetize it with only a click or two.

6. If you want to use your own domain you can and that is a good idea.

Here are a couple of not so good points:

1. If you use the built in “” address then Blogger/Google owns the domain you are publishing on so you are always somewhat limited in what you can do with the site. You can however get your own domain address and point it at your Blogger address to give yourself and your users an easier to remember URL (domain address).

2. If you use a “” domain and decide to move your blog to another host, you will lose your blog address, links, and much of your traffic. You can move your files to another address and republish, but you will need to maintain your old Blogger site in order to direct visitors to your new location and maintain the links to all your old posts.

3. No 'static' pages. Only small permanent messages my be placed on Blogger. Large articles or organizational documents have to be hosted elsewhere and linked to. You can however now place Blogger on your own church or organization website in a subdomain or link to your Blogger blog from a permanent web page.

Nevertheless, Blogger is a really good starting platform and could be utilized by a large variety of different groups, ministries, and churches. Plus you can't beat the price. You can even sign up for AdSense and make a couple of $ for your organization or church.

*Back to the main The Blogging Ministry site.