Once you've decided to use Blogger to make your blog, there are some basic issues that you need to consider as soon as possible.
1 Understand the basic concepts
Every computer tool has its own way of organising things. When you think about how to write your blog, it's helpful if you start with an understanding of Blogger, blogs and bloggers, Posts, Pages and screens.
2 Decide which account to use
If you are writing a personal diary, travel-blog or similar, it's fine to use your personal Google account.
But if you are creating a blog for a club, or organsation or business (even your own small business that you might want to sell one day), or a blog that you might want to hand over to someone else one day, then you should think very carefully about what Google account to use. In fact, I recommend creating a separate account (done by setting up a Gmail account) just for the blog.
If you're not convinced, read this article about transferring blog ownership, especially the parts that cannot be transferred as yet.
3 Control who can see the blog
Most blogs are open so that anyone can find them, and read them.
But if you want to stop a blog being found by search engines, or by random people looking at Google's list of blogs, then the best time to set this up is before you've written any posts. You set it up in the Settings tab inside Blogger.
For even more control, you can make the blog Private, and choose to only invite specific people to read it. Do this in the Settings tab, too. But note that:
- You can only send 100 invitations, ever; they may change this in the future, but that's the limit for now.
- There are some cases when restricting your blog's readership may not be as secure as you'd expect.
4 Decide whether to help the search engines
There are lots of books, articles and websites about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - and plenty of people who will tell you that it's the most important thing you can do, ever.
Now, if you want search-engines (Google etc) to bring readers to your blog, then you may want to investigate some of these later on. But in the meantime Google have published a general "getting started with SEO guide" - and I've explained how Blogger users can put their suggestions into practise.
But you also want to think about the reasons why SEO may be irrelevant for your blog, too.
5 Get a template to match your blog
Each Blogger blog has a formatting-template that controls how it looks.
After you have written 2-3 posts, try using a changing to use a different template so that your blog's design matches your goals.
To change the template go to Dashboard > Template and choose one.
You could spend a long time "tweaking" your template to make the blog look "just right". If this is important to you, then do it! But most readers are more interested in the content, so you need decide how much time to spend doing this vs writing new posts.
There's no "right way" to use Blogger or make a blog: the next steps are up to you.
Look around. Experiment.
Keep an eye on Blogger Buzz (where Google announce new features), and on the Blogger product forums (where you can ask for help when you get stuck).
Getting started with SEO for blogger users
Assessing an idea for a new Blog
Changing colours in your Blog
Linking your Blog to the Social Networks
Restricting your blog's readership may not be as secure as you'd expect.