One of the best ways to share your stories is to start a blog.

A blog is an excellent way to stay in touch with friends and family who live at a distance.

It’s also a great way to promote your small business or share your ideas with the world.

If you’ve never blogged before, or started one but let it slide, then this series of seven posts will tell you everything you need to know to get started, even if you’re a complete newbie.

If you already have a Google account and know what a RSS feed is and how to use Google Reader then congratulations! You can skip the rest of this post.

The rest of you need to read on.

Open a Google Account

The very first thing you should do before creating a blog is to open a Google account if you don’t have one already.

Click here to do this. It will only take a minute.

This will give you access to all of Google’s wonderful free programs, several of which you will use as a blogger.

This also gives you a gmail address but you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to, although I highly recommend it as an email program.

Google Reader and RSS Feeds

The first Google program you need to become familiar with is Google Reader.

As one who wants to start a blog someday, you should start reading other people’s blogs.

By far the easiest way to keep track of all the blogs you want to read is to use Google Reader.

Each blog has a RSS feed. When you subscribe to this feed, each new post will appear in your Google Reader.

Google Reader is like the inbox for all your favorite blog posts.

When you want to read your favorite blogs, you simply open your Google Reader and read through the new posts. You don’t have to manually visit each blog or keep track of bookmarks anymore.

How to Subscribe to a RSS Feed

There are two ways to subscribe to a RSS feed.

1. Click on the orange RSS feed icon on the blog. It looks something like this:

Most blogs will have RSS buttons throughout the site, often in the upper right section of the blog. Or you might see, as in the case of my own blog, a “subscribe” button with the RSS feed image on it.

When you click on it, it will open a window that will give you the option to add the blog to your Google Reader.

2. If the RSS feed button on a blog isn’t working properly, simply copy and paste the blog URL directly into the “add a subscription” field in the top left section of your Google Reader.

For example, if you were adding my blog into Google Reader this way you would copy “http://kitchentablewisdom.net” into Google Reader.

Your assignment for today is to open a Google account and get familiar with Google Reader. Subscribe to the blogs you already read (if any).

Next time I’ll talk more about how to find more blogs to subscribe to.

The more blogs you read the more you’ll learn about how blogging works and the more comfortable you will feel as a blogger. It will also make it easier for you to develop a following when it comes time to start your own blog.

If you have any questions please leave a comment and I will answer it there. Or visit the contact page at the top of my blog to send me an email.

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