What Is Blogger?

A getting-started guide for new bloggers

The Blogger homepage.

Blogger.com

What is Blogger? Blogger is Google’s free tool for creating blogs. Previous versions of Blogger were heavily branded with the Blogger logo, but the latest version is flexible and unbranded, so you can use it to create and promote your blogs without having to make a big investment. 

Get Started With Blogger

Although there are more complex blogging tools available, the combination of cost (free) and flexibility makes Blogger an attractive option, whether you’re updating friends and family about your life, hosting your own advice column, or discussing your political views. Your blog can have multiple contributors or you only. You can even use Blogger to make podcast feeds.

Google hasn’t put as much effort into maintaining Blogger as they have into building new services, so it’s possible Blogger could end at some point. Historically Google provided processes to port content to other platforms, so chances are good that if Google ends Blogger, you could migrate to WordPress or another reliable platform. 

Setting up a Blogger account is easy. First, you create an account. Then you choose a name and a template for your blog. You can create multiple blogs under one account to separate your professional blog about your business from your personal one about cats, for example.

New blog interface on Blogger

Once your blog is set up, Blogger offers a basic What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) editor. Or, if you prefer, toggle to plain HTML. Most media types can be embedded in posts, but, as with most blog platforms, JavaScript is restricted. If you need more formatting options, use Google Docs to post to your Blogger blog.  

New post on Blogger

Maintain Your Blog

Blogger hosts your blog on blogspot.com and includes analytics that shows how people use your blog. Use a default Blogger URL, your existing domain, or a domain you buy through Google Domains as you set up your blog. The advantage of using Google's free hosting service is that it scales well, so you don't have to worry about your blog crashing if it becomes popular. 

Google Domains interface on Blogger

To easily post to your blog, configure Blogger with a secret email address to email your posts to your blog. With email posting, you can use your mobile device to post to your blog. Use Blogger Mobile (a service related to Blogger), to post pictures directly from your mobile device.

Google does not currently offer a way to make voice posts directly to Blogger from mobile devices.

Change Your Blog’s Appearance

Blogger offers several default templates and you can switch to a new template at any time. The template controls the look and feel of your blog. You can also customize and create a template, although doing so requires advanced knowledge of CSS and web design. Alternatively, many sites and individuals offer Blogger templates free for personal use.

Within Blogger, the arrangement of most template elements can be changed by dragging and dropping. Adding new elements is easy, and Google provides a good selection, such as link lists, titles, banners, and AdSense ads. Add and manipulate gadgets, like photo albums or games, to further customize your blog. 

Layout view in Blogger including Gadgets

Blogger offers drag-and-drop functionality to upload pictures from your desktop to your blog. You can also use Google Photos to embed pictures, or YouTube to embed videos.

Manage Your Blog

If you want to use your blog as a private journal, make your posts private.

You can only set the privacy setting for the entire blog, not individual posts.

If you want to make your blog accessible to certain people, make your posts restricted to approved readers. If you use this setting, each person you approve must be logged into a Google account to read your blog.

If you want to share your blog with as many people as possible, Blogger makes it easy to share. It’s compatible with most social sharing sites, such as Facebook and Pinterest.

To stay organized, and help readers find posts on specific topics, add labels to each post. This way, all your posts about quick dinner recipes, cooking for kids, or healthy snack ideas are properly identified.

You can make money directly from your blog by using AdSense to automatically place ads on your blog page. The amount you earn depends on your subject matter and the popularity of your blog. If you don't use AdSense, no ads appear on your blog unless you put them there.

Bottom Line

Start your blogging efforts with Blogger to find out whether you’re able to keep up with regular postings and attract a regular audience. If you later get serious about blogging for profit, invest in your own web space and use a more sophisticated blogging tool that has more customization options and tracking information. Until then, for the price, Blogger is a well-rounded blogging tool and an excellent place to start.