This post is squeezed into this thin column and this will seem like an EXTREMELY long post if you read it that way. Better for you if you right click the link below and download the .PDF (Adobe Acrobat) formatted copy I put on my other site ( www.thaipulse.com) so it will print out nicely and be much easier to read.
If you are interested in Advertising in Thailand on your current site or blog just scroll to the very bottom of this post and you will see links to 1 download and 2 Google Advertising programs that are exceptional and will get you started. Make sure you get those 3 and then you can go to: Advertising in Thailand
I started blogging recently here at http://Thaipulse.blogspot.com and I wanted to help others that want to get started but don’t feel like they have all the information they need in ONE PLACE. That was how I felt when I started and I already had years of background with internet marketing and web site e-commerce projects under my belt. Hopefully this is written in an easy format so you can go step-by-step and learn it as you go. If not, and if for any reason you need to email me to ask a question about a detail or if you’re having trouble seeing the “big picture” about some topic or subtopic, just write me and I’ll try to help. I wish I had someone telling me the step by step process to go through as it would have made life easier. But, now that I have it – I’d better share it.
These are the steps you could follow to start your own free blog in Thailand at Google-owned “Blogger.com“. I chose Blogger because I believe it’s the easiest way for people to get started blogging. It’s fast. It’s intuitive. It’s filled with great features. It’s rarely off the air. They’ve integrated EVERYTHING you could possibly need into their system so it is the natural choice to get started in blogging. Otherwise you are putting together a system by yourself and the interaction between parts may not work smoothly and will cause endless frustration. Just do everything with Google and you’ll be happier, I promise.
If you have a knack for writing or photography or videography or making cartoons or making people laugh, or even if you want to blog about new gadgets that are coming to the market in Thailand you can use a blog to do that.
A blog is short for “web log”. They started out as online journals. Some posted personal journals and other people started posting about topics that were interesting to them. Some people make money with their blogs and some make nothing. Some want to make money and some don’t care. I will add what you know in order to make money, but if you don’t care just skip those parts.
1st step: Choosing a topic to blog about
Decide what you will blog about. If it’s a personal blog or journal this part will be easy – just include whatever you want about yourself. Know this, most people will not read your personal journal unless they are family, friends, or you are writing about yourself that reminds them of themselves or you are in a position that they wish to be and they want to find out about your life and who you are and what you’re doing. If you’re a very interesting person you might have a lot of readers. There are teenagers blogging about being teenagers that have a 100,000 visitors per day reading their blog about teenage life. Even if you are a VERY interesting or inspiring person – it will take months and likely years to build up a good base of readers. But, if you’re in it for the long-term – you can set that as a goal. Maybe not 100,000 readers a day, but something realistic that will make you happy.
If you write your blog as a personal journal you will likely not make much money, again, unless you have flocks of readers coming daily.
If you want to blog for income you can choose a topic that people are searching on the internet for – which translates into topics that people have interest in.
Some TOP blogs focus on politics. Some on new products or reviews of products. Some top blogs focus on how to make money with your blog or optimize your blog for greater readership or readability. Some good blogs focus on a favorite sports team. A guy’s blog was recently bought by Sports Illustrated… he focused his blog on NBA (National Basketball Association” teams and players and is reaping major income from that deal. Blogs can be bought by interested parties and more recently this is happening more.
Perhaps the BEST way to decide what to blog about is to assess what you are interested in, or knowledgeable about. Perhaps you know English teaching in Thailand – how to teach Thais’ English. Your blog can be about that. You may know digital cameras or photography. You can blog about that. You may know Thai politics or have opinions about things going on and you could probably have a successful blog about that.
The key is, you had better LIKE what you’re blogging about because you’ll need to do it EVERY SINGLE DAY if you want to make any money from it.
The main search engine on the internet is Google. That’s no secret. If you make Google happy with your blog – and focus your blog on a narrow topic similar to those that I mentioned, you could eventually see some success. There are many things Google needs to see at your blog before it showers you with Google’s good and gracious gifts…
Things that make Google happy:
1. A daily blog post of 300 words or more focused on the topic of your blog. If your blog is about Basketball you can focus on ANYTHING related to basketball in your individual posts. Variety is good. Variety under the main topic of Basketball. You might choose to blog about where the rubber comes from that they use in NBA basketballs. The next day you might choose to blog about a specific team. The next day a specific player. The next day the way the process goes for semifinals and finals. The next day, how much money players on team B make per year, per game.
Everyday you should have a post about something related to your blog’s topic. Multiple posts per day are good for Google, but you need to balance that with how many posts your readers are going to read everyday. For my ThaiPulse! blog I am writing large articles as often as I can, and posting notecards and photos and videos often. It is too much information for people to take it all in, but I’m not concerned with that too much right now. If I have daily readers that keep coming back, that is a bonus to me right now. It isn’t my focus. My focus right now is to bang out 200 or 300 articles that are great for Google. Once Google starts sending the masses then I’ll start writing posts that people like to read everyday – short and sweet and filled with information that’s bulleted or filled with links to help those coming to my site see more of what is good in Thailand.
IF you are posting more than once per day, you do not need to follow the 300+ word rule for every post. You might post a photo by itself with a Title and nothing else. You might add one paragraph to it or 3, but you don’t NEED to make it 300 words or more. But, once per day you really need to. Other posts are up to you, and actually variety is good. You could post a photo or a “Top 10” list of something or anything in a different format than your usual 300+ word posts that you do daily and Google will love you a little more for it.
2. A photo or photos or sound clip or video along with your written blog post. Google loves multimedia. If you can, you should add at least a photo to all blog posts. It will be seen as more informative, and have greater value in Google’s eyes.
3. If you post a photo – you should “optimize” it for Google. Meaning, you should learn about “ALT=” and “TITLE=” tags that go in the HTML code behind the scenes. Read up on this, it is not difficult and, Google’s blogger.com allows you to edit the code in your post to add these two tags. These should not be missed as you will improve your post but also make your photo available in Google’s “Image search” feature of the search engine. Your photo could come up which might lead visitors to see your web site. (More about how to make your photos available in Google Image Search later).
4. When you name your photo before you upload it to blogger.com you need to name it with some keywords that you think people might search under to arrive at that blog post or at that photo. Your keywords in the name of your image file should describe the image too. If you have a photo of a monkey in the zoo in Thailand you might name your file ” monkey-zoo-thailand.jpg” before you upload it to Blogger.com. Avoid using short filler words in your image title, you would not want to use “monkey-in-big-zoo-thailand.jpg”. Separate words in your image title with dashes (-), not underscores (_).
5. Google likes to see a heirarchy of information. If the main topic of your blog is Traveling in Thailand. Then you should have a group of posts that relate to a subcategory under that main topic… maybe a group of blog posts about “traveling in Isaan” or “traveling in boats”. It’s no coincidence that DMOZ.org is arranged in a very neat heirarchy that separates levels of topics nicely. Dmoz is Google’s directory of web sites. You might draw out an outline for your blog heirarchy like this:
6. In the TITLE of your blog post you need to use keywords that describe the information you’re presenting. For example. The name of this blog post is “Steps to Starting a Blog on Blogger.com in Thailand”. I have put the major keywords in the title. Google pays a LOT of attention to the title. If your title does not match the information in your blog post then you will likely not rate high in Google search results for that blog post – ever. When you use the keywords that you think accurately describe the blog post in your title, you should REPEAT those keywords and keyword phrases (groups of 2-5 words that go together) in the body of your blog post.
7. Once you know the keywords that describe your blog post you and you use them in your title and body, you must realize that you’ll need to use them MORE for longer blog posts than you would need to use them for a shorter blog post of just 300 words. Meaning… Google looks for a certain “keyword density” in the blog post when deciding to rank your page in the results of a search someone is doing at Google.com. If you use your keywords 3-5 times in a post of 300 words then that is probably plenty enough that Google will consider you highly for those keywords. If you post a 3000 word article (like this one will be I’m sure), you’d need to use the keywords a LOT MORE to keep up the keyword density level. I might have to use my main keywords 20 times so Google will think the entire article is focused on those keywords. Otherwise, it wouldn’t think so. You can’t trick Google really, it was created by some of the most brilliant minds on the planet, don’t even TRY to trick it and risk getting Google Hate in the form of dropping your whole blog or web site from being indexed with them.
8. Keywords in Large or BOLD text within your blog post. I don’t use this much, as it’s not naturally my writing style – but you can, and it will probably help you if you can find a way to bold or make your keywords larger in your post without detracting from the style or message of the post. Don’t just bold words irregularly because it’s a keyword. But, if you can see a reason for bolding it once or twice then go ahead if you like.
9. Repeating keywords toward the end of a blog post. I think this is still valid as a technique, but if you review the topic of your post at the end of your post – in a summary type statement then that has made Google smile in the past.
10. HUGE HOW TO articles do well. They are referred to as “Pillar articles” and these are what Google would love to have more of. I am attempting to make THIS blog post into just what Google wants to see.
11. Google doesn’t pay much attention to the Keywords or Description Meta tags that were so important in the past. The TITLE is the most important and Blogger.com takes care of putting that into the TITLE tag for you if you enter it on the TITLE line as you edit your blog post before publishing. The titles are dynamic in Blogger, meaning they grab the title from your POST, not the title of your web site. In that way, when Google looks at the blog post – it gets a more relevant or truthful idea what the post is specifically about. It’s worth mentioning that if you have another web site in which you’ve created your titles to be the name of your site for all the pages – it will not do well in Google. Change them all to be relevant to the page info, not the title of your site!
12. I’ll say it once more… consistency. If you post consistently every day you will do better more quickly than if you post once every other day. 5 times per week or 6 times per week. If you can post 14 times per week, it is all the better. If you can post 60 times per week then you might be on the way to superstardom if you follow these guidelines.
So, now you know some essentials about what Google likes.
You have an idea what to blog about.
Step 2: Researching top keyword areas that others are interested in so you can focus your blog on the right topic
Google Adsense is an advertising program that helps people with something to sell – to put advertisements on websites. If you have a Blogger.com blog you can add others’ advertisements on your pages quite easily by adding this program to your blog. You would be called a “PUBLISHER” of the ads when they show up on your site.
Google has a wonderful tool that you can use to find out what the top keywords and keyword phrases are that people use Google.com to search on. The reason this is important for you is because if you do not focus on keywords that everyone is searching on – you will never have decent traffic come from Google’s search engine results – and it can be MAJOR traffic for some topics.
URL for Google Adsense Tool >
You will see: Results are tailored to English, United States Edit
You can click “Edit” to change where the results are pulled from. I typically choose worldwide English because blogs in Thailand are found from all over the world really, I’m not only concerned with the USA results.
Next look at the box below it that says, “Enter one keyword or phrase per line” where you are to type keywords about the topic you are thinking about focusing your blog on. you can enter as many as you like, but if at first you just choose one or two keywords or phrases then you’ll be better off.
For myself, when I created the ThaiPulse! blog I used only “thailand” at first – just to see the top keywords that people around the world are using in Google.com to search for things.
Leave the rest of the settings at their default setting. The drop down menu should say “Keyword Search Volume”.
Click the “Get more keywords” button.
This tool will spit back a list of keywords related to the one(s) you entered and tell you a little bit about how many people are searching on the term and what the advertiser competition is for each term. You can ignore the advertiser competition graph, but pay close attention to the first column of graphs. The graphs have a blue bar that move from left to right to indicate how many searches were done on that keyword phrase. If there is just a tiny amount of blue, and much more white – few searches have been done. If there is a LOT of blue versus white -then many searches were done.
You can order the column by clicking the top of it. Mine says “February search volume”
You’ll then see the top terms arranged in order from most searched upon down the line to least searched upon keywords (terms).
This is the way you will go about choosing the exact topic area you want to blog about. If you are interested in Thailand travel you would go down through the list and look at how much interest there is in that topic – and any keywords that might relate to Thailand travel. “Koh Samui, Thailand railway system” and many other terms relate to it. If you can find a LOT – then better for you.
It’s very hard for me to explain to you how to pick a winning topic for a blog. Really you should go with your own interests, query them with this tool to see if others are interested too – and then decide on the topic for your blog.
You should query many different keywords and try to see where the most interest falls. Of course the most searches are done on the most general terms. Thailand as a term would have a LOT of searches. Should you focus your whole blog on Thailand? Maybe, but probably a subcategory of a major area is better… Thailand travel is a good one.
You can also consider how much has been written about your chosen area already. There are MILLIONS of things written about Thailand. There are hundreds of thousands and probably millions of things written about Thailand travel. But, one of the keys to blogging and what makes it successful is that eventually – in a year, you will have over 360 posts that are all CATERED to what Google loves and craves in one site. That jumble of information will be seen as a pot of GOLD in Google’s eyes as it can feel confident sending visitors there to see an abundance of varied information about your topic. When you have a large collection of articles around Thailand travel you will only be competing with other bloggers that have also chosen that same topic. Bloggers beat all other sites in the search engine rankings because GOOGLE LOVES TEXT. The point behind 300+ words per day is that GOOGLE CRAVES TEXT and blogs give it text. A large travel site like American Express might have a million pages of web site. They’ve spent gadzillions of dollars to create and manage it.
YOUR SITE might have more relevant, varied, and valuable information presented in a way that Google loves MORE than AE’s whole site. Your page rank will never be what theirs is – page rank is a measure of how many other sites related to your topic are linked (have links to) your site. Google uses this as a barometer of quality among sites as well as good quality posts. It IS possible that your site has a pagerank of 3-5 and yet you are beating American Express (page rank 9 I would guess) in the search engines on many keyword terms after 1 year of blogging about many subjects.
Yes, you can do this at another site too – with your own URL, but since Google owns Blogger.com – you won’t do better than what you can do there!
Step 3: Download Mozilla FIREFOX browser
Use it everytime you want to login to Blogger.com (go to bottom of this blog and you will see a button for downloading FireFox browser. It’s time to give up Internet Explorer as it does not work well with Google’s Blogger.com or some other advertising tools. Firefox is much more consistent, has fewer security problems, and is Easier (faster) to use than IE. I was amazed when I switched and now I feel like a cheerleader for getting people to switch…)
I will forewarn you that in an almost unimagineable twist of things… Google does NOT work well with Internet Explorer. If your browser is IE you should seriously consider changing to FIREFOX browser since you will connect MORE often and with MUCH greater ease than you will using IE. I tried for 2 weeks to get IE to work well with Blogger.com. I wrote to Google and I posted on Google Groups questions about how to make IE work with Blogger.com. You know what? IT DOESN’T WORK. I was so frustrated when the tech support told me by email that I should try FireFox browser that I almost popped a vein. How could they recommmend that I change my WHOLE BROWSER SYSTEM?
That was months ago and the transition was almost effortless. Mozilla’s FireFox browser is SOOOO nice compared to IE that I’ve regretted the couple years I stuck with IE as the rest of the world changed for the better. IE is SO slow to go back and forward – and it used to pizz me off to no end. Only after installing FireFox did I realize that not all browsers were as mind-numbingly SLOW as IE is.
Firefox has a lot of customization options that are really nice to use, but that’s not the focus of this post.
Do yourself the greatest favor and download and install Mozilla’s Firefox Browser as soon as you can and don’t ever look back at Internet Explorer again. I have put a button at the bottom of this site (scroll the WHOLE way down) where you can download and install FireFox. Don’t worry, you will still have IE installed if you want, but my guess is that you’ll soon be uninstalling it.
Step 4: Sign up at Blogger.com for a new Blogger account
Go to Http://www.blogger.com/start and sign up for a new account.
Step 5: Choose your domain name
Choose “Create a Blog” once you’ve logged in at Blogger. Your name should be short, have the major topic of your blog in the name if possible or you should create a unique name that you will brand over time so everyone knows who you are. I chose to create “ThaiPulse!” as a unique name that has “Thai” in it – and that will hopefully rank well over time and become branded as a site and group of sites that expats and visitors to Thailand know. When I first did a Google search on the term “thaipulse” there were about 9 results to pop up. JUST 9! It was definitely a unique term that I could brand for later. Now if you do a Google search you will get a couple of hundred or maybe 2000 results. All of those results were created by me making web pages or others that are talking about the ThaiPulse! sites.
Every blog name you create has “.blogspot.com” attached to the end of it since you’re actually publishing your site on Blogspot.com‘s site as a sub-domain.
At one of my other blogs I created the name “ko-samui-thailand.blogspot.com” since I wanted to use those keywords in the blog title and I wanted to have people understand exactly what the blog was about.
Those keywords have a decent level of searches for them daily.
Try to use keywords that have a lot of searches and you’ll be better off. Unless you know you can brand a whole site over time and make the name more important than the search engine boost you might get if you had named it something with just keywords.
Kowl jai mai? (Do you understand?)
If not, email me!
Step 6: Choose a template
A template dictates the style that your site will take on. The colors can USUALLY be changed, though not always. You’ll need to experiment with different templates to see which on you like. I like the minima black or white and also some of the Rounders and MOTO templates.
You can always go back to the TEMPLATE tab and choose the subtab or link called “Pick New Template” to change them around. Keep in mind if you change the template after you have many posts and some customization of your template colors and fonts and Adsense ads and other things – a new template may distort or erase some of that formatting.
Step 7: Create your 1st Blog Entry…
Choose “Create post” while logged in at the DASHBOARD.
Title your post, “What is (name of your blog) all about?”
Enter in the body of the post everything that your blog is about. You might describe who you are, why you started the blog, what you hope it covers, where you hope it goes, questions it may answer and why you think people should come and read it.
At the bottom right you can create a label to associate with that post. A label is more like a category. You should think about the categories you want to have in your blog. 20 total categories might be about right. Don’t have 100 and don’t have only 2. If you scroll back up and look at the notecard in which I told you about the heirarchy of subjects to write about – you can use the subtopics as your labels. You should probably associate just ONE label with each post. Resist the inclination to label your post with EVERY category that it falls into since your readers will tire of that quickly if they find one post in multiple categories… they then have to waste time skimming over that post multiple times as they read the different categories. Pick the best label that fits the post. (I use 2 labels sometimes but as an exception and not the usual practice!)
You can then choose Publish or Save as Draft depending on your needs. You can find the drafts in the “POSTS” category or EDIT POSTS category anytime you want to go back and change or add something.
Step 8: Familiarize yourself with the options at Blogger
Now you’re blogging. You know how to create and publish a new post.
You can click the photo button and add photos to your blog. They are added to Blogger’s servers so you don’t need to worry. I think you can upload 100MB of files total, and up to 100KB of photos for each post. I am not sure about this – I’ll re-read the FAQ. You should read it too!
Go over everything possible and test it out. You can delete bad posts at the EDIT POSTS control panel so – test things.
Blogger has many help links on the DASHBOARD page. Look at the right side column and there are numerous help links. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for more helpful links too. There are help links on nearly every page you’ll find yourself on in Blogger too.
Step 9: Choose Settings for your Blogger.com Blog
In the DASHBOARD, Click your blog’s “SETTINGS” link. This will take you to a series of tabs (Basic – Publishing – Formatting – Comments – Archiving – Site Feed Email – Permissions) that you’ll need to setup.
On the Basic Tab you’ll fill in a TITLE for your site – use the best descriptive words you can use with high search traffic as you found with the Adsense keyword tool earlier. Your title should be less than 9 words. Be careful for TITLES as you don’t ever want to have 2 spaces next to each other in your titles. In the past Google used to penalize for that. Better not to do it now either.
Description: You can max this one out – it shows up under your title and is visible on every page of your blog – like the TITLE is. Use keywords and combinations of keywords as you write. If your site is about Thailand travel, use Thai, Thailand, Bangkok, travel, travelling, tourism, tourists… as many words as possible that describes your site – but you must do it in paragraph form. It should be fluid an make sense.
Here is my description for “ThaiPulse!”:
Thailand “Thai” people stories and articles about culture, bargirls, girls, ladyboys, katoeys (katoys), tourists visiting Thailand and Thailand’s expat community. Things to do, travel, attractions, Blog filled with: Videos, photos, stories, notecards. Expect humor (humour), sarcasm, and occasionally a bizarre rant.
Add your blog to our listings? YES! Choose NO! if you have an adult site or a site that has very disturbing content (gross or sexual in nature) Your site won’t show up on blogger but will still be indexed in Google (they say).
Show quick editing on your blog? YES!
Show email post links? YES
Global Settings – these affect all blogs you create under that login that you registered with Blogger.com
Show compose mode for all your blogs? YES!
Show transliteration button for your posts? NO –
Then hit – SAVE SETTINGS Orange button.
CHoose the next tab, “Publishing”.
Blog*spot Address – this will already be filled in and you can change it anytime,but it’s NOT recommended as anyone who linked to you will have a broken link once you change this address. Pick one domain name and stick with it!
Send Pings? YES! Pings are used to let blog directories know when you update your site. It’s automatic. You should also register your site with www.pingoat.com because they ping a long list of directories that will all index your site when they get pinged by pingoat. (You must check off the whole first section of directories in Pingoat to notify them all).
Choose SAVE SETTINGS orange button.
Choose “Formatting” tab at the top of the page.
Show I use 8 posts on the main page. My posts are so diverse that I want to give anyone that comes to the home page a good dose of the variety of stuff that is on the blog. So, everyone will see the last 8 posts I’ve made. It may take a LONG time for it to load, but my research has shown that 85% of my visitors all have fast connections to the internet so I don’t mind. At times I play with this – to see if there’s effects on my pageviews statistics (more about that later). Today I’ll turn it to 2 days of posts to see what happens with stats. I love to experiment.
Date Header Format Format all of these to your liking – up to you.
Archive Index Date Format
Language ( I chose English USA)
Convert line breaks YES!
If Yes is selected, single hard-returns entered in the Post Editor will be replaced with single <br /> tags in your blog, and two hard-returns will be replaced with two tags (<br /><br />). This also applies to the comment-posting form.
Show Title field? YES
Show Link Field? YES
Enable float alignment? NO! I’ve not used it – but it refers to how you can position text on your page – and maybe photos and things. You should experiment.
Post Template: You can add things here later as you get more advanced.
Hit “Save Settings” orange button
Choose “COMMENTS” tab at top of page
Who can comment? ANYONE
Comments default – New posts have comments!
Backlinks default? New posts have backlinks!
Comments Timestamp format – choose
Show comments in pop-up window? NO!
Enable Comment Moderation? YES! You’ll want to moderate comments since there are programs and people that post spam to your site and you can’t remove it easily.
Enter your email address to notify you of a comment. You should approve comments QUICKLY and respond to them with your own comment too as soon as you can.
Show word verification? NO!
Show profile images on comments? NO! I don’t, but no matter. I think you’ll get more spam though.
Comment notification address: enter yours for notifcation of all comments.
Hit “Save Settings” orange button
Choose “ARCHIVING” tab at top of page.
Archive frequency? MONTHLY!
Enable post Pages? YES!
Hit “Save Settings” orange button
Choose “SITE FEED” tab at top of page
Blog posts feed? FULL!
Blog comment Feed? FULL!
Per post comment feeds? FULL
Feed Item Footer – ignore for now. This will add text or code after every feed. You can update anytime. It is not such a good idea to fill your feed with ads or pictures or other things.
Hit “Save Settings” orange button.
Choose “EMAIL” tab at top of page
Blogsend Address? Enter an email to have your blog emailed to you after you hit the publish button – so you know it went through successfully.
Mail to Blogger Address firstname.lastname@example.org This is really cool. You can post to your blog by sending an email to this email address that you create – and only you (or your friends that post to your blog) know. Choose something you’ll remember.
Click the PUBLISH box if you want the post to be published without having to login and publish it. If you don’t check the box here it’s saved as a draft when you send the email to this address.
Hit “Save Settings” orange button
Choose “PERMISSIONS” tab at top of page
You can add AUTHORS to your blog – if you want others to post here and be able to login to your account.
You can choose to display your blog to ANYBODY, only people you choose, or Only your blog authors. UP TO YOU! I choose “Anybody” because I want everyone to see the blog, not just people I choose.
Now if you click TEMPLATE tab at top of page you’ll see more things you can change.
Under Page Elements tab you can drag and drop the rectangular pieces of your site and create new pieces to plug in. If you click Add a Page Element you can add photos or text, links, etc. You must wait for the code to load completely in the box that pops up before you click something else or errors will result. Just go slow and it goes well. When you add a page element the default place it goes is at the top of the column so you’ll need to drag and drop to arrange the new element in the right spot.
It is in this section that you can add Google Adsense ads to your blog. You’ll be guided through the process after clicking “Add a page Element” and then “ADSENSE” Add to blog button. They’ll set you up with an account that is linked to your blog. You do not need to give credit card information.
When you make changes to the Page Elements page you’ll need to click the orange SAVE button at the top right if you don’t see it greyed out (you’ll understand when you see it greyed out).
Under Fonts and Colors you can go crazy formatting… If you want a whole new group of colors to be chosen FOR you you can try the link for “Shuffle blog colors” which is to the right of the color pallette. Warning – it will shuffle all colors – so be sure you don’t save changes if you’re just playing around.
Under EDIT HTML – don’t do it unless you have GREAT instructions for changing something. Leave it as it is or let a professional change it only.
Under Pick New Template – it’s good to take a look at all the options before you customize your blog much with adding page elements and things. Experiment early on and see which template appeals most to you.
I use one of the ROUNDERS series. The MOTO also looked cool, but I think I’m happy with Rounders for now.
Note – at any time you can right click “VIEW BLOG” link that is next to the main tabs at the top and choose “open link in new tab (if you’re using FIREFOX browser)
MOBILE BLOGGING FROM YOUR PHONE
At the DASHBOARD screen you’ll want to choose the link for “Learn how to start mobile blogging” on the right side in the middle vertically. What happens is this… Once you have a blog setup with Blogger you can then take photos with your mobile phone’s camera and send them to ” GO@BLOGGER.COM” using an MMS message.
If you’re lucky Blogger will then send you back an MMS or SMS message that tells you a “Claim Token”. Write this down. You then go to: http://www2.blogger.com/mobile-start.g and enter your claim token that was given to you over the phone (hopefully).
If you do this – you may be asked to login to your blogger account. DO SO! Then you can associate which blog your photos taken from your phone and sent by MMS – go to automatically.
Here, read the Blogger Mobile FAQ and see what you make of it…
I could not get this to work with AIS Thailand’s service, but no matter because what I did was set up my mobile phone’s account with GMAIL.com’s pop3 service. I can receive and send email by my gmail account on the phone. So, I can send email with a photo attached to GO@BLOGGER.COM and they post it to ThaiPulse! automatically.
Since I could not get the Claim Token sent to my phone I just did it from a computer the first time. I sent an email to “GO@blogger.com” from my gmail account on my computer – that had a photo and title and some text. Blogger sent back to my gmail account the claim token. I logged into blogger.com and clicked the mobile blogging link that I showed you above and I entered my claim token and linked my email to my blog – now I’m all set to go. I can blog from the phone for photos or text using my gmail account and sending to Go@blogger.com.
Remember earlier when I told you to add a “Mail to Blogger” email address to your account – that looked like: email@example.com ???? Well, you can send email to this address also, but there is a CATCH… it will not publish photos that you attach to the email – but the firstname.lastname@example.org email system WILL. So, if you just have text – use either one. If you want a photo attached to the top of your post then use the Go@blogger.com email address and attach the photo in the email.
MOBILE VIDEO BLOGGING FROM YOUR PHONE
Yes, this is possible, though it’s not a great system yet. NOKIA offers a free blog for owners of their N-Series phones. You take a video and send it to their blog site and they upload it for you and give you a URL to access it. You can have hundreds of videos online in a short time because you don’t have to do ANYTHING but shoot the video and upload it. The rest is done for you.
Unfortunately you have to use Nokia’s go.vox.com site for your blog video. If video is your thing you might want to just host a blog there. I am not familiar with their blogs and I doubt you’ll have 1/10th of the goodstuff that Blogger.com offers, but if your goal is just an easy blog site to shoot video and photos up to, then Nokia has a solution.
Here is Nokia’s free Blog site for owners of N-Series phones. I have an E-Series phone which isn’t on the list of supported phones.
YOUTUBE offers a service where you can upload videos from your phone to their site. They have a fast conversion and the video is up on the site quickly if you use a 320×240 (or similar) resolution and not too small or too large a resolution. MP4 format works the quickest it appears. Once you email or send a MMS message with your video to the YouTube site they will convert it if necessary and post it up at your channel for you (some small configuration in “my account” necessary first so they can give you an email address that looks like email@example.com to send your video to.). You will then need to create a blog post and use the link that Youtube created for your video to enable readers of your blog to see it.
Google Video is supposed to work hand in hand with Blogger and some other blog sites and they are supposed to link the video into my blogger.com site – but they only accept certain file types and MP4 is not one of them. I just tried it from my Nokia phone and it didn’t work. If you’re lucky enough to have a mobile phone that shoots AVI, MPEG, Quicktime, Real, or Windows Media type videos then you should look into Google Video at http://video.google.com.
WAYS TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET IN THAILAND
1. One of the best ways – and perhaps the simplist solution is to buy a phone with a Class 10 modem or EDGE capability. EDGE service is a faster internet service that will give you acceptible speeds to login to Blogger and to upload video and photo files. EDGE is available so far in: Surat Thani town, Koh Samui, Bangkok, Pattaya, Khon Kaen, and possibly Chiang Mai – though I haven’t confirmed this. Internet service through your phone is available through at least 3 of the major mobile phone connection services: AIS (1-2 call); Orange (True); and DTAC. I have AIS and the connection is quite good almost anywhere in Thailand. You can use your mobile phone as a modem to connect your notebook or desktop computer by connecting it through the USB port usually. It’s a fairly detailed process but Nokia’s PC Suite software makes it a breeze to connect to the internet using their phones as a modem. Though I can’t see why you’d prefer to, you COULD connect your blue tooth enabled phone wirelessly to your notebook or desktop computer to use it as a modem as well. The speeds might not be as great – though I think the difference in speeds of cable versus bluetooth connection are negligible.
There are many price packages for internet service. At AIS the EDGE service is not differentiated from the regular internet connection (GPRS) connection so when you purchase a special data package from the TELEWIZ store (which serves as AIS customer service) you’ll get access to EDGE if your city has it – at no extra cost. I use AIS and my 100 hours of internet cost 350 baht or 50 hours for 214 baht I think is the figure (3/2007). There is an unlimited service for 990 baht per month, so you can keep your push email service on all the time and receive beeps that you have new email in your gmail, yahoo, msn or other pop3 enabled account if you require it. (Your phone needs to have this service as part of it’s features too. E-Series Nokias have it built in).
2. You can purchase a phone dial up card from 7-11 or your favorite newspaper stand. I used CSLOXinfo 12 hour card for 199 baht I think. You’d connect your notebook or desktop computer using a phone line to the wall and your computer. Then configure an internet connection to use dial-up over the phone line. The connection can be OK, but usually only as fast as using your phone as a modem through AIS or DTAC and more expensive this way. You may be charged a small fee each time you dial out on that home or business phone line too.
3. TOT or TT&T ADSL service at your home or business. I tried this service and found it very frustrating. I paid for 1mb of bandwidth which was 1000 baht per month – this translates into 120kB per second downloads – which I never saw. For the first 10 days I saw speeds of 100 kB and I was quite happy at that time. Then it slid downhill as many expats have related theirs did as well a short time after installation. For the 4 months after that I received an average speed of 7 kB per second – totally unacceptable and equal to a dial up phone line using CSLOXinfo. I cancelled the service and had been complaining steadily for the 4 months so they didn’t charge me anything for the internet service for those months. Upload speeds were faster, at 25 kB per second – and almost acceptable, but still overall a bad experience. Some expats report good speeds all the time and they’re happy with TOT or TT&T. Your mileage may vary.
4. Satellite dish service. I know nothing about this except it’s expensive. I believe it works fairly well in some places and horribly in other places in Thailand.
5. Internet cafes – go in and see if they have a free RJ-45 internet cable free that you can hook into your notebook computer. Or, they might have WIFI – wireless LAN connection you can use if your computer supports WIFI ( 802.11 a/b/g).
6. Your phone may support WIFI – mine does. It makes the uploads of video and photos MUCH quicker to be connected by WIFI. Some Starbucks and Black Canyon coffee places have WIFI connections you can use for a fee. You can ask the employees and they will set you up with a user name and password you can use to login so your WIFI will work in the store.
Some apartment buildings and hotels offer WIFI connections gratis (free) if you stay with them. Stickmanbangkok.com has a WIFI listing at:
Once you’ve signed up for Blogger.com and have your own blog you will want to scroll down to the bottom of this page and sign up for their Adwords and Adsense programs. These programs will allow you to post ads on your blog – from other publishers and make money from them. They will also allow you to buy some advertisng space for your own ad that is placed on other web sites and blogs in Thailand or anywhere in the world if you choose. These programs cannot be beat when you are starting out – and will give you the background information for understanding more about how internet advertising works so you can expand into other programs later as you feel comfortable.
This has been a detailed post about how to start and run a blog for income in Thailand. If you would like to know more about Advertising in Thailand please click this link to see another page we’ve devoted to that subject.
Or, if you still haven’t created your blog with Blogger and you want to get started now then scroll down to the bottom of this blog page where we have 3 of the most important tools to help you get started: FireFox Browser (a must); Google Adsense; Google Adwords. Once those are setup you can go to www.blogger.com to start your blog by following the instructions above.
Again, if you’d like to download the PDF file – go to: Blogging in Thailand (PDF)
If you have any questions about anything that we’ve covered in this How to Article about Blogging or, if you have questions about Advertising in Thailand please write email to: T~h~a~i~Pfirstname.lastname@example.org and remove the “~” sign from that address.
Oh, here is a link to my Blog Simply site where I take you step-by-step through the blogging process.