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Saturday, 11 November 2017

How to Create, Publish and Schedule a Post in Blogger

Blogging, at the basic sense, is all about creating and publishing posts (or articles) to communicate an idea, a discovery, a feeling or thought. Though these can be communicated via other means like audio or video formats, using textual posts (content-based) remain the most preferred means. Most blogs are composed of articles spiced with pictures or images to sustain readability and improve readers' understanding. Even if you're are posting videos, there is always the need to transcribe such videos into textual formats to enhance accessibility. Doing so requires creating and publishing written posts.

Having hosted your blog and have done the basics, the next thing is creating a piece of writing and hitting the publish button to get started. While some of us are conversant with the process and features for doing this, others, especially newbies might not fully know how to perform this important aspect. Blogger provides a rich post editing interface for formatting your write-up. Its simplicity is such that beginners can walkthrough without further assistance. However, some things are worth knowing to enhance productivity and ensure efficiency. Also, for newbies, it might somehow be challenging to do a walkthrough of the interface.  So, this posts will help to make you familiar with Blogger's post writing tool.

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I believe you are reading this because you have a blog or intend to create one and you desire to know how to go through post creation and publishing. Or you're a seasoned user of Google Blogger, but want to refreshen your knowledge or get acquainted with the features blogger provides for creating and publishing your posts. In the next couple of minutes, I will explain, step-by-step, how to create, publish and schedule your posts using the interface provided.

Creating a Post

To create a post, you have to first login to your blogger account. You can login here. Then select the right blog (in case you have more than a blog attached to your account).
By default, the page containing all your posts - published, scheduled or draft copy - will be displayed when you access your account.

Now, at the top, click New Post to access the post editing interface. The next will be to type your post title and contents. Enter the contents of your post in the larger text field provided. Whatever you enter here will make up the contents that will be displayed when the post is published.


Post Editing Interface


I earlier mentioned that Google integrated a simple, easy-to-use and productive editing interface into blogger. This allows bloggers to create (in this context, those who use Google Blogger to create and share information) and edit posts adding several formatting features such as font type, font size, colour, headings, paragraphs, boldness, etc.

Let's got through these features and see how they can help you to create your posts easily.

Formatting Features

These features enable you to change the appearance of the text in your post. Such changes will reflect on the final copy of the posts and will be viewed by those who visit the page to read your post. These features are given below:


  • Bold: With the bold feature, you can change a word, sentence, or paragraph to bold. This increases the thickness of the letters highlighted.  On the keyboard, Ctrl+B activates this feature.
  • Italicise: This feature will make letters to be slanting or tilted upwards towards the right. Just as in customary word processors, you can change any highlighted text. Blogger equally offers a keyboard shortcut - Ctrl+I.
  • Underline: As you would have known too well, underline will put a horizontal line beneath a text. This feature is denoted by the letter U with a line beneath it. Similarly, Ctrl+U activates this feature.
  • Styles: The styles feature will enable you to allocate different styles to a word or text. In blogger, there are four (4) styling formats. Heading, Subheading, Minor heading, and Normal. Every text you enter without selecting a style assumes the Normal style format. The other three - Heading, subheading, and Minor heading - are used for determining the superiority of headings used in markups. These styles equally affect the display (size, colour, some other appearance features depending on the CSS styles). In terms of size, Heading will display the largest, followed by Subheading, and finally Minor heading.
  • Font Size: This feature allows you to set how big or small a text should be. The major options are Small, Normal, Large, and Largest. By default, the text will be at the Normal size when you create a post without changing the size. As the names of the sizes imply, Largest to small will determine the size respectively.
  • Font Type: There are several font types such as Arial, Trebuchet, Arial Black, Monospace, and many others. This feature will enable you to select the type of font to use or apply on some of the texts.
  • Strikethrough: when this feature is activated, a horizontal line will be displayed over the selected text(s). This is denoted by ABC. This is mostly used to denote a cancel word or expression, especially on online stores for displaying the differences between the marked and discount prices.
  • Text Colour: As you would have well decoded, Text Colour changes or determines the type of colour a particular text will be displayed with. 
  • Text Background Colour: This feature changes the background colour of a text without affecting the text's colour. By default, the background colour is usually white.

Writing the Post

Jump Break
The Jump Break feature inserts a section break at the point where the typing cursor is. Every post you create must have a Jump Break. On the editing interface, a horizontal line will be drawn across once you insert Jump Break. On the users' end, this does not display but performs the function of limiting the display of the post's contents on the main general post page up to that point. Though you can override this with JavaScript to determine where the display should stop.

Inserting Special Characters
Special characters are small objects or vector diagrams that symbolise information or represent commonly used signs. For instance, arrow down, dollar sign, checked symbol, and many others make up special characters. This is denoted by a circle with supposed eyes and mouth representing the cartoon head of a human being. When you click this symbol, several characters with options for viewing much more will be displayed.

Inserting Links
Links are used for directing users to another web page, or an online resource. This is denoted by an enclosed single chain. When you click this symbol, a small window will be displayed where you can enter the text for the link and the linking address - e.g. www.google.com. You can equally decide to make the link open in another window or leave it to open in the same window. Pressing Ctrl+K activates the same feature while on the editor.

Inserting Pictures
The interface equally provides means of adding pictures which are first uploaded to a separate photo server - formerly Picasa but now Google Photos. Pictures can also be linked from another web page or website using the URL. 

Inserting a Video
With this, you can equally insert videos into your post. The source of the video can be from your computer, a YooTube channel, or your own YouTube account. The last two sources utilise the URL of the video, while the first source simply demands that you upload the video from the local disk of your computer.

Bullet/Numbered List
Sometimes you might want to write out a list of items in your post. The listing can be numbered or bulleted, depending on your choice. Both are located beside each other. The numbered list is denoted by three horizontal bars with numbers 1, 2, 3, while the bulleted list has dark dots instead of numbers.

Inserting Quote
The insert quotation feature is denoted by an open double quotation mark. The frontend display of this feature will be dependent on the styling of the theme or template in use. Mostly, the quoted texts will appear as blockquotes rather than inline quotes.

Removing Formatting
This feature offers you the opportunity to clear all the formattings you have used in a particular text. No matter the number of formatting, activating this feature will, at once, clear every bit of it. This is denoted by the uppercase of letter T with a subscript of X in red.

Checking Spellings
As a blogger, it is advisable to write good posts void of grammatical errors, especially spellings. Wrong spellings can be confusing and can present a different information from the intended. Though this feature is not a rounded tool for proofreading your post, it can help you to remove easily overlooked spelling errors.
Alignment
You can also align your text with the preferred positions. If you have ever used a word processor or some text editing software, you'll be aware of how text is aligned. Blogger provides four aligning options - Left, Center, Right, and Justify. By default, the texts are aligned to the left. 

Text Direction
This feature allows you to set the preferred direction for your texts. Blogger supports both Left-to-right and Right-to-left directions but opens with the former as the default setting. The Right-to-left direction is mostly used for creating posts in Arabic and other Asian languages.

View


This feature allows you to view your post in two formats. The first is the compose view, while HTML view is the second.

The Compose view is usually the default view when you want to create a post. This displays the texts and objects you have added to the posts the way they will be seen by readers when the post is published. This is sometimes called Front-End editing. It's easier and recommended for bloggers who do not have coding knowledge. You'll focus on the contents and not be bothered with the coding aspect.

HTML view is the exact opposite of the Compose view. This view type does not display the objects they way they will appear, instead, it displays the HTML codes. These codes are basically texts but are the syntax that browsers will interpret to render a human-accessible format. Using this view type requires an understanding web design knowledge, even the very basic.


Post Settings


There are some basic settings you will have to carry out on your post before publishing it. Labels and Links are the most important settings you had like to perform.

Labels will attach a tag or tags to the post. To enter a label, on the right side click the Labels icon. This will open an input field for you to enter the label. You can enter more than a label, To do so, separate the labels with a comma and when you are through, click Done. If you have published a post before with a label, the label(s) will be displayed beneath the input field.

Links, on the other hand, will enable you to add slugs or custom post URL that can be easily referenced. To add custom links to your post, click Links and then Custom links. Enter your preferred link in the input field provided without any space and separating words with a hyphen. E..g. create-publish-schedule-blogger-post 

Click Done to finish this up.



Previewing a Post

Before publishing your post you may want to see how visitors will see it in their browsers and not from the editing panel. This will help you to review and make relevant changes to whatever errors you discover.

To preview your post, click the Preview button at the top right corner of the window.  This will open the preview in a new tab.

Publishing the Post

Having written and proofread your post, it is time to either publish your post or schedule the publishing date and time. To immediately publish the post, click on the Publish button at the top right corner of the window. This button can easily be identified as it is conspicuously styled with an orange background colour.

Scheduling 

Sometimes you might want to publish your post on a later date and not immediately, but you're afraid you would be busy or have no internet access to do so. The simplest to this is to schedule the post after you have drafted and proofread it. To do this, click on the Schedule link by the right. It is denoted by a small clock. Clicking this will display two options - Automatic and Set date and time. Click Set date and time to display the input fields for date and time. Once you're through click the Done button on the calendar.



Final Word!

I believe this article has been contributing in familiarising you with Blogger's editing interface for creating and publishing your posts. Though this interface is not to be compared with typical word processors, it, however, gives you all you need to create a post that meets web accessibility standards.
Apply the features and functions to speed up things and format your objects to taste.
If this has also been helping, don't forget to share with others. Hit the share button to help others actualize their goals in a faster and easy way.

Nice time reading this!

Happy Blogging!

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