Should you be blogging with Blogger? My answer to that question is a resounding “yes!” I know, I know, the current advice from pro bloggers is that Blogger.com (or Blogspot.com as it’s also called) is to be avoided as a hosting platform.
It’s certainly good advice and I even follow that here on Work In Mama. But… yeah, there a big “but coming”. That free blogging platform from our friend Google has lots of benefits to consider if you’re just starting out.
- It’s free. Really! And there’s nothing wrong at all about free, especially if you’re pinching pennies at the beginning of your blogging career.
- The site is simple to use and usually never has problems. Remember, Google is its daddy and they make sure this platform runs well.
- It’s has a lot of free templates to use. But, you can also find themes to purchase, usually for under $20. Some of these designers also create high-priced WordPress and Genesis child themes and those ideas/looks are incorporated into the Blogger themes.
- You can buy custom domain names right through Blogger and your own dashboard for $10.00.
- When–or and if–you are ready to migrate to another host, it’s doable.
- The Adsense ad network integrates easily so bloggers can potentially earn a profit from their blogs (of course, that’s run by Google, too, so easy is what you would expect).
Blogger just makes a lot of sense (and cents) for new bloggers. There are lots of other blogging platforms to consider, such as BlueHost and HostGator, and good reasons to use them. But for ease of use and no cost, Blogger is hard to beat. As I said, Work In Mama is on a paid-for host, but I also have a few gift sites that reside on the free host. They all have custom domain names and don’t seem to suffer in any way.
So What’s the Downside of Blogger You Ask?
There have been a few horror stories of sites being shut down on Blogger. You already know–or should–that Google doesn’t like scammy sites. You know, the kind of sites the stuff a gazillion keywords into a post or uses fake testimonials.
That doesn’t mean they don’t like e-commerce or affiliate-type sites. My gift websites are perfect examples of co-existing well with Google and company. Along with specific gift ideas, I also have lots of content.
That’s why’s it’s important to read and understand the Terms of Service (TOS) for Blogger. They are strict and liable to change, but you would expect that, right? The TOS explains the services offered, description of the proper use of the services, privacy policies, an explanation of intellectual property rights, cause for termination and information regarding the legal jurisdiction of the website.
My best advice is to carefully review the policies before becoming a member and to be sure they understand and agree to all of these terms. Pay particular attention to the section of the TOS causes that can terminate a member’s account. If you are unsure about the meaning of one or more of the terms, contact Blogger to seek clarification.
How Do You Start and Use Blogger
It easy, I promise.
- Log into Blogger at http://www.blogger.com/home. Sign in with a Gmail ID and password. If you don’t already have a Gmail account or want a new one just for this blog, ist easy to create by clicking on the “sign up” button.
- Click on the “New Blog” button in the upper left corner (under your profile) if this is your first blog. If you already have a blogger blog (or blogs), use the down arrow and click on “New Blog.”
- Add a blog title and then fill in the URL address you would like. Blogger will give you some choices, all with the dot blogspot ending. You’ll be able to check for an available address. This is probably the hardest part because so many addressed names are already taken. Once you have the blogger blog created you can add a custom domain name.
- Pick a theme. I like to keep it simple, with the “Simple” theme to start. You can always change it later.
- Click on “Create a Blog” in the lower right hand of the window.
- A new window will pop up asking if you want to create your custom domain name here. You can either do that now or later if you like in the “Settings” options.
- You’ll find yourself in a new window and can either immediately start posting or use the “Layout” and “Settings” options (on the left sidebar) to adjust your theme layout.
See, it really is as easy as that. Now you can refine the look of your new blog with a custom theme. You can find some really cute Blogger theme on Etsy.
If you are just starting out as a new blogger and want to keep the price down, Blogger is definitely a hosting platform to consider.