How to Publish Your Blog Post with Blogger

When you're satisfied with your blog post, you can publish it so that the world can admire your erudition. Publishing a post isn't hard: Click the orange Publish button at the top of the page. Your post appears on your blog, making it available for others to read.

Before you publish, you can take advantage of three areas of the Blogger Publish page that is very helpful: previewing, saving as a draft, and selecting post options.

How to preview your blog post

Before you publish, you can preview what you've created by clicking the Preview button (found at the top-right of the browser window). This preview is WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), which means that it shows you the post exactly as you formatted it, including links, text colors, embedded images, and so on. The Preview is shown in a new browser window.

Think of the preview as a last chance to catch grammar problems or even to think twice about what you're posting if it's controversial. Of course, you can also see how the text and content flow around any images that you've added.

If you see changes that you want to make, simply switch back to the editing screen, make your changes, and click the Preview button again.

How to configure blog post settings

To the right of your blog post, you see the post settings links. These let you decide on a number of important ways your post is handled by Blogger, from when the post is published to whether you allow comments.

How to schedule your post

Many bloggers like to create posts in advance of when they plan to publish them. For example, if you're planning a vacation, you can write several posts before you leave. When you put them into Blogger, click the Schedule link to the right of the post box before you publish your post.

Set the date and time you want your post to go live, click Done, and when you click Publish, Blogger will hold your post until that point.

By default, Blogger sets the publication date and time of the entry to the date and time that you began writing that entry. You might choose to change the date or time for a number of reasons:

  • Social or professional reasons:

    • Create a blog post for a friend's birthday and make the date match the time your friend was born.

    • If you're blogging at work, you might want to set your date and time to a period when you weren't supposed to also be at your desk (ahem) working.

  • To work around your schedule:

    • If you take a long time to write a post, by the time you're ready to publish it, you might need to put a more realistic time on the entry.

    • If you save your post as a draft and publish it later, you can update the date and time to accurately reflect the real publication date.

How to select whether allow comments on your post

You can choose whether you want readers to be able to comment on your blog post by selecting the Options link under Post settings. There are three options: Allow; Don't Allow, Show Existing; and Don't Allow, Hide Existing. Don't Allow, Show Existing keeps already-posted comments visible, even though no one can add new comments.

You can make the decision to turn off comments at any time, so if you decide later that you don't want to receive further comments, you can always edit the entry and turn off this option then.

Most of the time, you want to allow comments; after all, part of what makes a blog exciting to read is the opportunity to interact with the blogger. Sometimes, though, you might write an entry that you don't want to read discussion about, perhaps because you don't want to start a long argument or because the entry has become a target of spammers.

How to launch your blog post

After you have the text and photos laid out nicely and you've chosen your settings, it's time to publish! This is pretty hard, so get ready:

  1. Click the Publish button at the top of your blog post.

  2. Ha ha, just kidding. There is no Step 2! Your post is on your blog. Go take a look.

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Like Jason from Pistol Packin’ Dad, Amy from Selfish Mom (www.selfishmom.com) makes it clear to her readers that their comments are welcome but she maintains the final say regarding what remains posted on her site. As she states in her policy, “Play nice, or else.” You can read her entire comment policy at http://selfishmom.com/full-disclosure/.

How to edit blog comments

Sometimes, a reader posts a legitimate comment that you need to alter in some way. For example, you might prefer to remove profanity from otherwise legitimate comments or edit a long web link that's breaking a page layout. Whatever the situation, edit a reader's comments delicately.

Your blog is your domain, your kingdom, and your place in the world, so your word is final.

Of course, when you choose to edit a comment, you might want to alert readers that you have done so and why, as has been done in comment #7 on Buzz Marketing with Blogs,. You may also want to lay out in your blog comment policy circumstances in which you'll edit comments. Both these techniques can head off accusations of censorship.

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How to delete blog comments

Unfortunately, not all the comments on your blog are fun to read or even should stay on your blog. When it comes right down to it, you control which comments appear on your blog, whether you moderate them ahead of time or afterward.

You need to moderate comments because quite a few of your blog's comments probably come from spammers and add nothing to the conversation. But sometimes you may need to delete comments from real people that are even on topic. Despite potential criticism from readers, every blogger has to make a choice about what kinds of comments to delete.

Bloggers choose to delete comments for several reasons:

  • Comments are off-topic for the post to which they're attached (a common issue with spam comments).

  • Comments make personal attacks on the blogger or other readers. For example, many bloggers draw the line at comments that contain racial slurs, name-calling, hate language, or speculation about things such as sexual orientation. People who leave these types of comments are often called trolls.

  • Comments left anonymously or by using a fake name and e-mail address.

  • Comments feature a URL apparently included for marketing purposes.

  • Comments are libelous.

  • Comments are obscene.

  • Comments contain private information (which you don't want to make public).

  • Comments contain plagiarized material.

In blogging terms, a troll is an individual who posts irrelevant and often inflammatory things in blog comments. Trolls try to get an emotional response out of people and can be quite disruptive. Most blogs won't see any troll activity, but if you become popular, they will make an appearance from time to time.

How to moderate blog comments

The single best solution for keeping spam off your blog is to read each and every comment left on your blog individually, removing the comments that are spam or inappropriate. Sifting through your blog's comments is called moderating. Moderating your blog comments can add overhead to your blogging time, but if you're dedicated to making your blog successful and useful to your readers, it's time well spent.

You have several options for how you manage the time that you spend looking through comment lists, but the method you choose as your primary line of defense depends on how your community grows.

You, your community, your software, or a combination of all three can moderate your blog. Some bloggers have strong preferences at the outset, but you can experiment with the best setup for your blog and readers.

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