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Friday, March 9, 2007

A Prettier Blog

A FEW DAYS AGO I explained how to get a basic blog quickly using Blogger. Now let's talk about how you can make that blog prettier to look at.

When you log in to the account you've created in Blogger, you should find yourself at a page they call the "dashboard." This will show you all the blogs you've created and, next to each blog's name, various options. What we're most interested in today is the section that says "manage: posts, settings, layout."

It's a good idea to click on both "manage posts" and "manage settings" and then look at all the options that are offered to you. Blogger gives you lots of ways to set up your blog; here's your chance to customize it to suit yourself.

The option that has the greatest impact on how your blog will look, however, is the "layout" option. Click on that and you'll find yourself on a page called "Page Elements." The tab next to it is called "Fonts and Colors." Next to that is "Edit HTML," which you don't need to worry about right now. And after that is "Pick New Template," which you can use if you're not happy with the template you chose when you started this blog.

I suggest you start by looking at the "Pick New Template" options. I'm not sure about this, but I think you get more choices here than they offer you when you are first starting your blog. You might find something you like better; try to choose something you're going to be able to live with for a while.

Next I'd go to "Fonts and Colors." This one is a ton of fun: Click on buttons to change the color and type style of various sections of your blog--and in the window below, watch your blog change instantly to reflect the changes you've made! If you think the template you chose would look better with a pink title and purple type, try it out. When you have colors and fonts you like, be sure to save them before you leave this page.

Finally, there's the "page elements" section. Go ahead and play around with it. I'll be back with some tips tomorrow.

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