blog > How to set up a free blog in 10 easy steps

by Holly Russo

Coming soon:
-->Adding a statistics counter to your blog


How to set up a free blog in 10 easy steps

using Google's

Do you like to write? Do you know how to send email? 
If so, you have almost all the tools you need to get started. Operating a blog takes very little technical knowledge. 

The instructions below are to give you a feel for what to expect as you're signing up. Feel free to print and share in your classroom or senior center.

What is a blog?

A blog is like an online diary. There is usually a single page of entries that comprise the main page. Although older posts are archived, it's different than a regular web site because of the frequent updates, personal tone, and chronological archiving. The main page of a blog tends to be its most popular. Most recent posts are listed first, at the top of the page. Blogs can be used for any purpose -- as a fashion diary, a daily rant, a picture-of-the day (which tend to be popular if the photos are interesting), or even as a personal archive that you might wish to access from any computer, such as a list of good crockpot recipes.

Examples of Blogs that launched their starters into fame, recognition, or writing careers. Also includes some video blogs.

Programs to create blogs:

There are many programs you can use to create your blog. Among them: (which is discussed below)
Movable Type

How long does it take to set up a blog?

Not long, maybe 5-10 minutes. You could spend more time deciding on a name for your blog than on actually setting it up from scratch. (Which is one of the reasons why there's a Quick Start Planning Guide to get you thinking about your blog.

Getting Started:

Figure out what you will call your blog and how you want the address to read. Try to avoid numbers,
hyphens, underscores or names that are too long -- usability studies show those tend to be
difficult for people to remember.

Quick Start Planning Guide:

What do you want to call your blog?


What description would you like to appear at the top?


What do you want your URL to be? You'll have to check availability, but have several ideas ready. Your URL (with the free blogger tool) will be something like: where "yourpage" is the name of your choice.


Note that there can't be any spaces in between words -- they have to be separated by a hyphen or underscore. Usability studies show that characters in a name are hard to remember so if you can avoid URLs with too many syllables, that would be best.

For example:
INCORRECT:: http://this is a page about
EVEN BETTER: (no hyphens and easier to remember)

1. Visit

2. Click on "create your blog now"

3. You'll need an email address to create a Google account, if you don't have one.
Any email address will do. If you already have a gmail address, then you already have a Google account and can just sign in.)

4. Name your blog:

name your blog

5. Choose a template -- scroll down to see all the examples:

choose a template

6. Your blog has been created! You can start posting right away.

7. POSTING: The posting screen has options to add pictures, video, links, change text color & font. If you publish the post,
it will go live right away. If you're not ready, you can save it for later (it will not go live until you click the "publish" button).

edit posts

8. ADJUST BLOG SETTINGS: You'll want to adjust your settings for the blog right away so you specify how comments are handled, pages archived, etc.

The default for most items is ok, EXCEPT for the "comments" tab -- choose the option to have comments moderated. This means no comment can appear live without your approval first. I recommend this because some unethical companies have robots that troll the web looking for vulnerable blogs to post to and you don't need your blog littered with comments consisting only of porn links.

It's good to go through each item and make sure it's set the way you want. At the bottom of each page, you'll have to click on "accept changes" before moving on to the next tab.

edit settings

9. You can also edit the template, either now or later or as many times as you'd like:

edit template

10. View your new blog!


Examples of blogs:

Some of these people launched writing careers using their blogs as a starting place; some have published books or have been approached by publishers.

bullet Amalah (
Amy Storch's incredibly funny blog on motherhood.

bullet Behind the Counter (
The daily grind at Wal-Mart, from an anonymous clerk's eye.

bullet Cute Overload (
Photos of animals so adorable you might implode.

bullet The Sneeze (
Started with Steve's chronicles of weird things he's eaten, complete with pictures and commentary, morphed into a
side-splitting log of everyday life.

bullet Kyle Cassidy (
Author of the bestselling photography book Armed America. Kyle's online blog includes photos from his
latest project and also lots of pictures of his beautiful cat Rozwell peering into delectable vegetarian dishes.

bullet The Dark Net (
From science writer James Riordon. Started out as a blog, morphed into an incredibly engaging and captivating book.

Blogs can also be boring...

bullet The dullest blog in the world (

There are blogs about blogging:

Want to learn more about how to blog? These two blogs are among the top-rated sites out there for information on blogging.

bullet Blogging Basics 101 (

bullet Lorelle on WordPress (

You can also search for blogs:

bullet Blogger's Choice Awards (
View blogs that received acclaim for their ingenuity, style, character, or content.

bullet Bloglines (
A search engine for blogs only.

bullet Google's Blog Search (

Video Blogs

YouTube is the king of video blogs (or "vlogs"). Here are some examples of vlog personalities:

bullet Ana Free, a Portugese college student, sings a
beautiful rendition of "Here is Gone" by the Goo Goo Dolls

bullet Natalie's hilarious take on what people think a video blog is.

bullet Kev Jumba: A 16-year-old's take on what it's like to be taught to drive a stick-shift.

bullet Disneykid1 on what if whole conversations consisted of nothing but internet slang?

bullet SupRicky06's rant on airports.

Thank you for stopping by...
Good luck with your new blog!

© Copyright Holly Russo