Getting Started with Posterous

There’s a lot of places online where you can blog, update your status, post your pics, and take whatever’s on your mind and translate it into something that can be seen online. Posterous is a service that can give you the capability of doing all these things through email. If you’re looking to start your first website, or a seasoned social media pro who’s looking to simplify, it might be the tool that serves your needs. In this video, I’ll be going through the basics of how to use Posterous.

So, first things first, how do we sign up for an account? Here on posterous.com, you can see that there is no setup or signup, you just need to start sending emails. This is, unfortunately, not really true. The setup process for Posterous is pretty unwieldy, so I’ll guide you through it step-by-step. You’ll still need to setup your account, but not until we send that email.

OK, I’ve got my email up, and I’m going to send it to post@posterous.com. I’m going to name my first post “Hello World!” and in text of it I’ll just say that it’s my first post. I’ll hit send and I should almost instantaneously get a reply back telling me my email has been posted.

So lets go to where it says “Your new post” and have a look at it.

And here it is, my very own blog. Not very exciting right now, but as we make changes and add content, that’ll all change. I’m going to click on “Claim this site” to start the setup process.

On this next page, I can define the URL for the blog, and set the password. Posterous already picked a URL I like, so I’ll just go ahead and accept it.

The next two pages will allow me to fill in my profile info and connect with any friends I might have on Posterous.

And here it is, my Manage screen. There’s one final step to getting my Posterous site set up correctly, and that’s to confirm my email address. That will appear in a second email, that by now, should have already appeared. All I have to do is click on the link to confirm. [click link]

That will take me to a page where I can also add other email addresses and a phone number if I want to post via SMS.

Creating a post via email

At long last, the registration is complete. Now, I can start posting to my blog by emailing post@posterous.com. Here, I’ve got three pictures attached. You can send posterous a pretty wide variety of files that include images, audio files, powerpoint presentations, and videos. Now, I also want to embed my latest video from Youtube, so I’ll just paste the link right here.

And here it is. As you can see, it’s automatically taken the Youtube link and embedded the video. All the attachments are here underneath, and they’ve been organized into this smart little gallery. If I had attached an audio or video file, Posterous would place them into a player that would be embedded in the page.

Creating a post via the web

But what if I want my attachments to sit above my Youtube video? How can I get greater control? The answer is through editing or posting via the Manage tool. Here, I’ll start a new post by clicking Post by Web.

This will bring up an editor where I can create my post. This left hand column is for editing, while the right hand column gives me the ability to upload media and change different options for this post. Here, I’ll upload those three photos, which will turn into a thumbnail of the gallery in the post editor on the left, which I can move around as I please. I can also click on it and make changes to the gallery. I wanted the Youtube video underneath my gallery, so I’ll add the link underneath it here. When I’m done, I’ll click Post to see the final product.

Creating a page

Posts are things that I will be constantly updating, but what if I want content that my readers will be able to easily access? From the Manage tool, I can add a Page that readers can get to from the top of my blog. I’ll go to the Page tab, and click the Create a new Page button. As you can see, it’s pretty much exactly like the Post editor. But when I click Save, I can see that the Navigation now includes a link to Home and About Me, the Page I created. When I look at the top of my blog, there’s now a link to the About Me page.

Changing the theme

If I want to really change the look of my blog, I can change the theme. By clicking Theme my Site here at the bottom of the Manage tool, I can choose from a variety of different pre-built Themes, and change several of my blog settings. Once you’ve got a theme picked out, press the Save button.

Using Autopost

One of Posterous’ most useful tools is the ability to Autopost to other social services. This way, you can do all your posting through email. Different services handle things differently, so you should definitely read the documentation on how your posts will appear in each service. In this example, I’ll link my Twitter account to Autopost from Posterous. I’ll click on Add Service and select Twitter. This will open up Twitter, and I’ll have to allow Posterous to link with it.

I’ll test out Autopost, by sending another email to post@posterous.com. Now, if I wanted it to send this just to Twitter, I would send it to twitter@posterous.com. But I want to send it everywhere, so I’ll just leave it as post. Now when I setup Autopost, I saw that when posting to Twitter, the content of the Tweet will be the subject up to 130 characters, plus a link to my post. I just want to send a message without the link, so I’ll just type it in the subject line.

Looking at my blog, I can see the subject line posted as the title of my blog. When I look at Twitter, I can see that it also posted there as well.

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2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by William Chinda, William Chinda. William Chinda said: New thoughtshots video tutorial on using Posterous, a service that lets you blog and post to social sites with email. http://bit.ly/cgIuz8 [...]

  2. By How to use Tumblr on September 13, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    [...] Tumblr vs. Posterous – This article by Chris Foresman of Ars Technica provides a thorough comparison of Tumblr and its foremost competitor in the simple blogging platform space. For a tutorial on how to use Posterous, you can have a look at my Posterous tutorial video that I put out last month. [...]

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