Doll Blogging Part 3: HTML

Written on March 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
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Whichever host you decided to use during Part 2 of Doll Blogging: Names & Hosts, you should learn some basics in HTML!

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language and it is what is used online for writing coding. While I won’t be going everything there is to know about coding, I feel that most bloggers should know the basics for it. Even if you feel as if you can rely on text editors all the time, it’s still a good idea to know the basics and to understand how to write your own basic coding for your blog entries. I’m splitting up this article into a few different sections: text, images and links.


To make your text bold:

<strong>text to make bold here</strong>

To make your text italicized:

<em>text to make italicized here</em>

To make your text crossed out:

<span style=”text-decoration: line-through;”>text to make crossed out here</span>

To make your text underlined:

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>text to make underlined here</span>

To make your text smaller:

<small>text to make small here</small>


Let’s take this image for example (

In order for any image to show up on your blog, you need this code:

<img src=”URL” />

To make the image above show up, the coding looked like this:

<img src=”” />


Linking text to a website address:

<a href=”URL”>text to show up here</a>

If you wanted to link to’s URL ( the coding would look like this:

<a href=””></a>

Linking text to an email address:

<a href=”mailto:emailaddress”>text to show up here</a>

If you wanted to link to BlytheLife’s email address (, the coding would look like this:

<a href=””>email</a>

Linking an image to a website address:

<a href=”URL”><img src=”IMAGE URL” /></a>

If you wanted to link to an image (eg. blythe.jpg) and link it to, the coding would look like this:

<a href=””><img src=”blythe.jpg” /></a>

If you haven’t already, be sure to read part one (The Introduction) and part two (Names & Hosts). In two weeks, on March 21, 2011, Part 4 (Themes, Templates & Designs) will be posted.

Doll Blogging Part 2: Names & Hosts

Written on February 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
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What’s in a name?

For most of the visitors to your website, it will probably be the first thing that they notice as it’ll be part of the blog’s URL. It will also be what they associate with you and they need to be remember it. Let’s take for example the two following names:

  • b1yt43gir1_9
  • blythegirl

Which one are you more likely to recall and remember how to properly spell again? Probably the second one.

In this day and age, most one-word domain names have been registered (some are even worth a lot of money!). A lot of two-word domain names are also taken, but not all of them ( is a two-word domain and was registered in June 2010). If you need to go up to three words, that’s okay – as long as all the words are relevant. The shorter the words, the better – it’ll be easier for people to remember your blog address.

Getting a domain name is like you putting a label on yourself. You don’t need to have paid hosting for a domain name and it’s always a wise investment to buy one if you foresee yourself potentially moving onto paid hosting or if you just want to prevent people from snatching it (and posing as you or just having others thinking that the .com website is also yours!) and a lot of free webhosts will allow you to use a domain name with your free blogging space.

It’s highly suggested to get a .com name as that’s the one that most people think of when typing it into the address bar of their web browsers. A .com domain name goes for under $10 for one calendar year and there are a lot of different domain registars online where you can purchase a domain. is registered with, which is a simple to use domain registrar (it includes 1 year of WhoIs protection with every new registration or transfer). There are a lot of other registrars out there, but I find NameCheap to be the simplest to use.

If you don’t think that you’ll be moving onto a paid host or that you’ll be using your blog for business (perhaps you start blogging about crafting and then move onto selling those crafts, a .com name looks more professional than being hosted by Blogger or WordPress), you can completely disregard what I said about buying a domain. But the name of your blog should still be relatively short and easy to remember!

So to recap what you should consider when choosing a name:

  • It should be easy to spell and to remember
  • It should be two to three words, maximum
  • It’s suggested to register for a .com domain name if you can afford it

But that’s great, you’ve come up with a kickass name that isn’t too long and you can spell it (and perhaps you’ve gotten the corresponding domain name as well…). Now what to do?

Pick a host!

While I do love having paid hosting, I know that not everyone can afford it. There are some inexpensive paid hosts available – is hosted at Surpass Hosting (at $6/month). So if you can afford it, it is a nice option to have as you have complete control over your hosting as well as more space and can keep track of how many visitors you get and easily find out what days and times are the most popular for people to visit you and also how many countries that you reach!

But I know not everyone is interested in handling that (and if you’re just beginning, it’s probably not a great idea if you’re not sure how long you’ll stick with blogging – I still believe that buying your blog’s .com domain is a good idea though!). So I’m going to talk about 2 free (!!!) blog hosts that I’d like to suggest to you:

One of the most popular blogging platforms is WordPress, it’s very easy to install and to use (the user interface is pleasant – I’m not just saying that because I’m using a WordPress-powered blog right now, I really feel that way!) and there’s a lot of plugins that you can use (if you have a self-hosted WordPress blog).

WordPress is free to download off of their website and you can install it to your hosting (provided you already have hosting or you’ve found someone to host you on their hosting space for free, what a generous person you’ve found!). Or, alternatively, you can have your WordPress blog hosted for free on the website. The pros to this is that it’s all free. The cons is that you are limited to what kind of things you can have on your blog (I’m mostly talking about the plugins and other fun pieces of coding that makes blogging easier, not the content itself – you’ll need to read the Terms and Conditions to find out more about what they will and will not allow on their website).

Owned by Google, Blogger is a great website. It boasts a straightforward user interface, which includes easy to follow tabs to get you where you want to go. It’s also linked to other Google applications, like Picasa for easy photo-sharing. Google has also made it possible for you to work on blog posts in Microsoft Word and then you can save that word document directly to Blogger – which is pretty nifty.

Blogger is free to use, of course, and you can customize your URL with a domain name if you happen to have one. All Blogger accounts are set, by default, as subdomains of the domain name. One thing to keep in mind, because I’ve come across this on several Blogger blogs, is that some people set their comments preferences to not include people manually inputting names and URLs and instead require them to be logged into something – I would suggest allowing people to manually input their own data as it makes it easier on visitors (and will more than likely increase the amount of comments that you get).

Which blogging website you use is really up to you. Both of them have good pros and cons and you can find help for both websites available online (just use your search engine of choice!).

Nifty Note: For both Blogger and WordPress, you can export your blog posts if you choose to move from Blogger to WordPress (or the other way as well) or if you choose to move to a free host. When exporting your blog posts, it will save as a .xml file.

If you haven’t already, be sure to read part one (The Introduction). In two weeks, on March 7, 2011, Part 3 (HTML) will be posted.

  • Part 1: The Introduction
  • Part 2: Names & Hosts
  • Part 3: HTML (March 7, 2011)
  • Part 4: Themes, Templates & Design (March 21, 2011)
  • Part 5: Promoting Your Site (April 4, 2011)

Doll Blogging Part 1: The Introduction

Written on February 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
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Been busy like a bee!

Doll Blogging is a new mini series for with a new installment going up every other week on Mondays (alternating with the Question of the Week) that will go through the process of planning, creating and publishing your new doll blog.

The internet is a huge part of the Blythe community. It’s how many of us first discovered Blythe, it’s how we learned what a good deal on that EBL was, it’s how we learn about new releases or new crafters in the dolly world that we’re all a part of it. The internet is a marvelous way for us to keep on contact with one another (via email, Twitter or instant messaging) and blogs are another platform that we can use to share our thoughts and pictures.

Back in October 2010, there was an article for Blythe On A Budget that went over a few free blog hosts. The Doll Blogging mini-series will go over a few more things starting with things to consider in a blog name and what kind of hosts you should consider (and that I recommend!). Then there’s a crash course in the basics of coding with HTML, thoughts on themes, templates and design and on site promotion. There’ s a lot of things to consider when putting together a website, a lot more than I realized when I first started blogging (back in 2003 or so!) and now I’ve compiled my thoughts and ideas with some tips and tricks for you to put together your doll blog!

It’ll be a five part mini-series (including this post…) so if you’re interested in learning how to put together a blog and how to promote it, be sure to continue checking out the series! The mini series will be as follows:

  • Part 1: The Introduction
  • Part 2: Names & Hosts
  • Part 3: HTML (March 7, 2011)
  • Part 4: Themes, Templates & Design (March 21, 2011)
  • Part 5: Promoting Your Site (April 4, 2011)
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