The new Blogger Beta is a great free tool for an amateur or aspiring writer. Because it uses your Google account to maintain a login it is conveniently available whenever you are online. Generally, I usually write short articles, but the methodology I’ve described below is also useful for larger works.
Simply adjust my advice to apply to larger chunks of work such as chapters.
Create A Private BlogIt is very easy to create a private blog. After creating a new blog use the settings tab to access the blog’s permission details. Select the option that makes your new blog visible only to blog authors. Voila! You now have a private blog available only to yourself. You may now consider your entire blog a scratch pad for draft writings.
Use Labels To Track Relevant DetailsWhen you start a new writing project, whether it is an article for submission to directories or another type of work, simply create one or more blog entries for that project. You can start simply by writing a single sentence describing what you intend to write about. Then, apply your labels. Personally I like to use Work In Progress (WIP) as a label so that I can view all work in progress at a single click. I also like to add project subject labels as well as various other categorizations.This strategy allows me to quickly get a list of all my articles, all of my historic work on a certain subject matter, or all of my completed work – assuming I change the work in progress label to another suitable value upon publishing. The power of simple lists for organization and productivity cannot be overstated!
Write Draft Material And Edit Anytime With One ClickOf course you are now reading the published version of this article, but for quite a while it was residing in my private blog. I’d write some content, publish it for my own review, and then make changes as I saw fit. When the article was nearing completion I simply left it alone for a while, to get a fresh viewpoint, and then read the article again looking for errors and sections that could be improved.How convenient! If I spot a mistake or think of an enhancement I simply click on the pencil icon and I’m in the editor fixing up my work. After making that one simple change I save my efforts and then continue on about my day. Personally, I like to pace, or otherwise keep busy, while I think and then put small amounts of time into making a change or addition when inspiration strikes. Generally, I think most creatively while I’m not writing.
When Complete Then Publish And TrackObviously, when your work is finalized, you will publish it somewhere. You can simply open up the blogger editor and copy entire documents to any other location you like. At this point you should change the WIP label to something more appropriate instead. Once your article is published I would also suggest no longer making changes to it. Create a new project and copy the original document when starting a derivative effort.After publication, use the comment feature to keep track of any issues that arise. You can also track the places that you’ve submitted the article for publication. This will help you avoid sending it to the same place more than once in the event you are later able to reuse the article. Also, add a comment if you use the article in some way as the basis for another piece of work. When adding comments be sure to link to the locations, sites or projects you are discussing.
Security And BackupsNo computer system should be relied upon for any serious project without considering both security and data backup. While the odds are very good that Blogger will do a better job at protecting your data than you, on your own home computer, don’t rely on it completely. I would suggest either downloading or emailing yourself your own articles from time to time. Preferably to a location that is not also managed by Google.With respect to security, you must realize that convenience and security are competing ideas. If you do not sign out, staying perpetually logged in, to maintain access to your blogger account, then anyone using your computer will be able to act as you and view or edit your work. If this is not appropriate then you must remember to sign out after each work session. Personally, my home computer is used only by myself, so I love the convenience of never having to log in.
SummaryUsing Blogger as a free writing tool makes a lot of sense. You can quickly and easily view or edit an entire catalog of work from any Internet accessible computer. Your data is professionally managed and relatively secure. Flexible tagging features allow you to organize large and small projects with ease. Comments can be used to store project related issues and to track actions taken after project completion. In short, if you haven’t tried the new Blogger Beta yet then you are missing out.
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