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  • Build Your Own Blog
    You used to keep your diary under lock and key (and would go nuts if your brother tried to sneak a peek), but now you have opinions and thoughts worth sharing in public. A Web log, or "blog" for short, can be your place to rant, rave, or just express your opinion on your coffee shop's latest choco-mocha-latte-espresso.

    Creating a blog should be simple, fun, and allow you to personalize the page on a whim. With that in mind, EarthLink has provided several ready-made, customizable, blog templates for you to choose from. Combine this with your free 10MB of webspace, and you'll be publishing your thoughts, for free, in minutes.

    Creating your blog
    Before you can begin making entries to your blog (also called "posting" to it), you'll need to set up the page just the way you want it. Of course, you can easily change it later, so you're not tied to the choices you make today.

    1. Sign in to EarthLink Site Builder with your EarthLink email address and password. Be sure to have a look at the list of Web browsers that the Site Builder supports. If your browser isn't listed there, you may not be able to use Site Builder. (Mac OS X users: Apple no longer supports the Mac versions of Internet Explorer, so if you have trouble with IE, try using Safari.)

    2. Click Choose the Weblog template to continue, then fill in the blanks the way you want them. (If you make a mistake, you can always fix it later.)

    3. When you reach the Choose a Web site design page, you can either go with the default design as shown (click Continue), or check out all the ready-made templates to choose from.
    Perfecting the design
    Once you've chosen your design, you'll see what will soon be your blog covered with a bunch of little yellow Edit buttons. Each Edit button corresponds to the text that it's next to. Click the button to bring up that text in its own Edit box.

    To change the color, font, size, or more, highlight a word and click the appropriate button above. When you've got the text the way you want it, click the Done button.

    Add pictures, or change the look of the page by clicking the icons at the bottom of the screen and following the on-screen instructions. Click the Preview Site icon to see the page exactly as it will look when it's published.

    Don't be afraid to play around with the buttons to see what they do! You can't break anything, and nothing will be published until you're ready.

    Extra pages
    Right at the top of your blog, you'll see the word Home� followed by three links to other pages. Those pages are yours as well, so don't forget to edit them just the way you want them. (If you don't want those extra pages, you can delete them. Click the Site Organizer icon to do so.)

    Writing and publishing your first post
    So far, we've only been talking about the text that describes or introduces your blog. When you're ready to actually post your thoughts, click the Post to Blog button. This is the button you'll come back to again and again to update your blog.

    When you post, you'll get the edit box, just like before, with one main difference: along with the Done button, is a button called Done and publish. Click that button to publish the whole blog, new post and all. (You can also publish your blog without posting, by clicking the Publish to Web icon at the bottom of the main page.)

    Regular posting to your blog
    Once you've published your blog, you'll want to keep it updated regularly. Some bloggers post every single day. Others prefer to post a little less often.

    To post to your blog:
    1. Sign in to the EarthLink Site Builder with the same email address and password you used to create your blog.
    2. Click Post to blog. (If you want to edit the page, rather than write a post, click the name of the blog.)
    3. Write your post and click Post and publish.
    For lots of good tips about blogging, including examples of good blogs already on the Web, visit EarthLink's Blogging channel. You can also get there by clicking the Blogging link on your Personal Start Page. And don't miss the article on blogging in our eLink archive.

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