Tutorials, tips and tricks about Blogger

start-a-blog-blogger

Every time you’re told about the advantages of a blog it is always mentioned the ease of creating one. And even thou this is true, after starting the blog the path is not so clear and now it’s time to have our say about the 10 things to do after starting a blog on Blogger.

1. Write a description for the blog.

Go to the Settings tab and in the "Basic" option you will find the text field in which you can put the description. This is useful for newcomers and it might be helpful for search engines too.

Dashboard → Settings → Basic

2. Get a nice template.

There are many websites with Blogger Templates (as a matter of fact this is one) in which you can find a great variety of designs.

Do not base your decision only on the graphic side (headers, buttons, icons, etc) but also in the structure (number of columns, accessibility, etc) and remember always to read the instructions for each template because usually they are important in order to get the right visualization of it.

3. Buy a domain and use it with your blog.

I’ve always said that a domain has to be the blogger’s first investment and by less than 10 dollars you can have a proper name with a lot of advantages, this is heavily advisable. Have a look on adding your own domain on Blogger.

Dashboard → Settings → Publishing

4. Change your blog’s feed for a Feedburner one.

Feedburner is a Google service that allows you to have stats of how many people read you via this method. From the Blogger’s Control Panel it is possible to add feedburner to your blog.

Dashboard → Settings → Site Feed

Post-Feed-Redirect-URL

5. Correct the comment link.

A little detail that improves your blog’s accessibility. To correct the comment check it has to be done by hand.

6. Change the images of your template to a new host.

Many templates have their images hosted on free services which limit the traffic to them (bandwidth) which makes it possible to sometimes none of the images load properly. Hosting them on Blogger seems like the best option.

7. Add the basic gadgets on your sidebar.

In the "Layout" tab select "Page elements" it is possible to add gadgets. the most basic of them are: Labels, Blog Archive (list mode) and Subscription Links.

8. Embed the comment form in the entries’ individual page.

As this feature is still on test phase it is necessary to do it by hand in customized templates or automatically in Blogger’s default templates.

Dashboard → Settings → Comments

Comment-Form-Placement

9. Add your stats-tracking code.

It doesn’t matter if you use whether Google Analytics, SiteMeter or any other stats system, the important thing is to add their tracking code before the </body> that is in the "Layout" tab, "Edit HTML" option, almost at the end of the code.

Dashboard → Layout → Edit HTML

10. Add Google Tools to your blog.

The Google Tools allow you to keep track of your search stats and errors related to your site. Its use is really intuitive and free.

After doing all this your blog will be a more effective tool, you’ll have more control about your stats, it’ll look better, it will have better negotiations with the search engines but on top of that, it will be a better space for your visitors.

iphone-blogger

There are many apps available to update your blog on Blogger from the iPhone, however, there wasn’t any apps completely focused on Blogger like BlogPress Lite does, which due to Blogger’s 10th anniversary releases a focused and free version.

According to Blogger Buzz, the app will have everything necessary to keep your blog updated, a WYSIWYG post editor, image uploader, tag and label management, options and settings, autosave, among many other features.

The App is available free on the iTunes App Store.

google-blogger-for-dummies 

Books for beginners, or "dummies", are really popular in almost every branch to describe a topic from the very start, giving context and provide a balanced perspective on that topic. That is the case of Google Blogger for Dummies, a book by Susan Gunelius who was really kind to send us a copy in which she gives a thorough analysis to Google’s blog platform.

The book is available at Amazon for $16.49 to get it printed or $13.19 for the Kindle version.

Quick Review

The book starts with a brief explanation on what’s Blogger and it’s evolution through these 10 years of existence and in a very accurate way continues on an explanation of blogging basics, all those terms we find strange when we start from the very beginning: Backlinks, feed, links and the elements present in a layout.

In the second part of the book is when we really get on business, with a step by step guide on how to create an account, choosing a domain name and setting up the blog. It’s a page by page tour of Blogger’s Control Panel, in which every option and feature is explained and with practical recommendations to fill them properly.

Then we go on the publish process, the different post type there are, management, the way to categorize them and even some SEO tips. Then we get an explanation on Blogger templates, mostly the hardest or most complex area on Blogger, as expected we don’t get much of an explanation here, but, for the people starting up, no much more info is needed.

The third part of the book is about one of the hardest objectives on a blog: Monetize it. It is a complex topic which would require another book to explain it in full detail, however there is a good summary of the common options available: Adsense, Link Sell, sponsored posts and referers system.

Fourth and fifth part are meant to explain another of the hardest objectives to accomplish on a blog: Growing your reader’s list. Techniques, tools and attitudes proven of having a positive effect on traffic rise, premises which you can read almost everywhere, but here we recognize Susan’s labor on ranking everyone of them for you to choose your own strategy.

Extras

The book has some interesting extras: A section of 10 tools, 10 common issues resolved, 10 websites to download Blogger Templates, a cheat sheet of useful links and a 25$ coupon for AdWords.

Conclusion

This book is a very good option for blog beginners. In a quick way you can learn concepts that figuring out only by yourself would take a lot more time. Me myself read a little while ago Photoshop for dummies, it is really good to have a thorough explanation of each concept, no matter how obvious it is; and if you add tips and the author’s experience on the matter you have a really good approach on the topic.

From those "earn $5000 a week" fraud books to a book with real-life vision and at this low price, you shouldn’t think twice to buy it.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and the Amazon link is not referred. Maybe in the future we can make a contest or something for anyone who wants the book.

23 great and free icons about Blogger for you. :)

Blogger Icons RAINBOW - Download icons (7 icons)

blogger-08-rainbow

Blogger Xmas - Download Icons (6 icons)

blogger-01-blogger-xmas

Web Service Lemoned - Download Icons (1 icon)

blogger-10-lemoned

Impulse blogger - Download Icons (1 icon)

blogger-09-impulse-blogger

Google Icons - Download icons (1 icon)

blogger-02-google-icons

Dockstar Google - Download Icon (1 icon)

blogger-03-dockstar-google

Social me -Download icons (1 icon)

blogger-04-social-me

Aquaticus.SocialDownload icons (1 icon)

blogger-05-aquaticussocial

Vista FoldersDownload icons (1 icon)

blogger-06-vista-folders

Blog Websites v2.1Download icons (1 icon)

blogger-07-blog-websites

webtoolkit4.me icon setDownload icons (1 icon)

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via: Iconos Blogger (Blogspot)

One of the most recurrent issues with blogger templates is when images fail to load and/or instead we get non-nice messages. Trouble is because in most of the situations the images of those templates are hosted on free services (like: imageshack, photobucket, googlepages, etc.) which sometimes have a bandwidth limit.

That’s why we need to host them somewhere else. And "where?" you ask. The answer: Blogger itself! it has no limit (or a really high one) in terms of bandwidth for each image. To get the images related to your template you can do this:

  1. Go to "Layout" tab and then go to "Edit HTML".
  2. Do a search for all the image URLs, which will be like this example:
    http://service.com/etc/image-name.jpg

    They will all end in .jpg, .png, .gif or any other image format. Surely you’ll find them inside code like "…url(image-url-here)…", so you have to be careful and do a thorough scan. It is possible that after having the image url inside the code some of them will be already hosted on Blogger, in which case you don’t have to do nothing.

  3. Go to each and every URL and save the images in a folder with your template’s name.

Now, to upload these images to Blogger and use them in your templates you can follow these easy steps.

  1. Go the normal route you follow to write a New Post (Posting -> New Post).
  2. Click on the "Add Image" icon and upload all the images related to your template.
  3. Once you finish uploading them, go back to the editor, the resulting code should be something like this:
    <a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Zuzii37VUO4/SMM5YTgm0DI/AAAAAAAAC8s/AMBnCJkCENw/s1600-h/footerpg5.jpg"><img style="cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Zuzii37VUO4/SMM5YTgm0DI/AAAAAAAAC8s/AMBnCJkCENw/s400/footerpg5.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5243097480906068018" /></a>

    As you can see, the code has two URLs that apparently are images, however, none of them can be used on the template, so:

  4. Copy the first image URL and open it on a new tab or window of your browser.
  5. Once you see the image, right-click it and select "Copy image’s URL" (on Firefox).
  6. This URL can be used on Blogger templates, the next step will be replacing the old URL of that particular image for this new one. You can do that by going to Layout -> Edit HTML and replacing the code.
  7. Repeat steps 4, 5 and 6 for all the images you uploaded.

This process can be very tedious, but we need to think that you’re actually going to do this once and you’ll be more confident on your template’s images. This same applies if you’re a template creator, doing this can save you from future headaches.

Tutorials, tips and tricks about Blogger