Tag Archives: Blogger for club websites

Using a Blogger Blog for your Club Newsletter

glamaramaWe like Blogger.com as a free place to make a website.  We teach Blogger to travelers as an easy way to keep a travel journal, but we also recommend Blogger to clubs and small businesses who need a  website.  We’ve written about this before:  Use a Blogger Blog for a Club Website

We’re excited to see that the next rally we’re going to is using Blogger for their rally website.  Check it out at http://glamaramarally.blogspot.com/.  You’ll notice that there are several pages listed in the right sidebar, including a link to their newsletter, and links to forms to submit for registration.  They are using Dropbox.com to store their linked documents.  A great system, and super simple.  Here’s how it’s done:

Using Dropbox

  • Sign up for a free Dropbox account.  This will set up a dropbox folder on your computer.
  • Create your newsletter and save as a .pdf file in your dropbox folder.  Dropbox will automatically make a copy of that file online in your dropbox.com account.
  • Locate that file and right-click on it and choose “Share Dropbox Link.”  You have just copied a link that will take anyone to the online copy of the .pdf file

Using Blogger

  • With the link from Dropbox freshly copied, and a Blogger blog already open and logged in as an administrator
  • To add a link on an existing post or page: Just type “Here is our current newsletter.”  Select the words, “Current Newsletter” then click the tool for Link, paste in the dropbox link and click OK.
  • To create a ‘Page’ that goes to the newsletter: From you Blogger dashboard, use the dropdown list and select the option for Layout, then Add a Gadget in the location you want it to appear (tabs under header or list of links in sidebar) choose the “Pages” gadget, then “Add External Link” and fill in the field like the image below.
    pages
  • page link

Show the Newsletter on a Blog Post or Page.

If you wanted to embed the actual newsletter, you could use Google Drive to store the .pdf file.  Then open that .pdf in Google Drive Viewer.  Now you have a menu including “File.”  On the file menu is “Embed this .PDF File.”  If you choose that, you will see a box with the code you need:
image

Copy that code and use Blogger’s HTML view to paste it into the post or page where you want it to appear.  You will probably need to adjust the height and width settings in the code snippet.  You can see an example of this on a sample page I made using the Fulltime RVers newsletter as a sample.

If you are a Geeks on Tour member, you can check out the Blogger Videos to learn the basics.  If you are interested in viewing tutorial videos specifically on how to do what is in this article, please comment below.  If I get enough comments, I’ll do the videos.

Use a Blogger Blog for a Club Website

We spend a lot of time teaching people how to use Blogger.com to keep a Blog. We define a Blog as a website with dated entries displayed in reverse chronological order. They are usually used as a journal. We keep a log of our travels on our Blog, as do many other RV travelers.

The reason blogs are so easy is because you use a web-based program like Blogger.com to make them. These are completely free.

What I want you to think about now is using the blogging software to create a club website. I know lots of clubs, RV parks, FMCA chapters, or Good Sam groups that want to have a website of their own. Most of them tap the skills of a member who knows how to create regular old websites. That means than nothing gets added or changed on the website except what that one person will do. If the club loses that one person, they lose the website.

Have Lots of Clubs?  Make Lots of Blogs

Several years ago, we stayed at Palm Creek RV in Casa Grande, Arizona. We got involved with many of the activities and clubs there, and set them up with a blog for several of the clubs. It has a main page, with links to all the different clubs:

Palm Creek Blog

Each link is to a separate blog – to be maintained by the folks active in each given club.  Five years later, I’m happy to see that many of these club blogs are being kept up regularly – without needing any help from us! If the time comes that someone doesn’t want to do it anymore, it’s pretty easy to show someone else how. And notice the Calendar, and Photos links. These are the free tools of Google Calendar and Google (Picasa) Web Albums. You can click on the image above to visit the real pages if you like.

Blogger Can Create Pages Like a Real Website – Not Just Blog Posts

Another example of a club blog using Blogger is Frustrated Maestros.  This site makes good use of Blogger’s ‘Pages’ and tabbed menu items.  You’ll also see lots of pictures and even videos.   For an example of a business blog using blogger, check out TechnoRV’s blog.

maestros

 

Blog Comments

Also, Blogs allow for comments, so it can become a 2 way conversation. A wonderful feature for a club website.  To see the options for allowing comments in Blogger, find Settings->Posts and Comments.  You can allow anyone to comment, or only members of the blog.

Learning Blogger is Easy

Check out the Tutorial Videos on our Geeks on Tour Learning Library.  Anyone can watch the first 3, only members can watch from #4 on.  You will learn how to make a blog in video #3!

We would love to hear from any of you who have a club blog.

Please leave a comment here.