Vital Settings For Your Blogger Blog - The Newbie's Guide


This tutorial is aimed at brand new bloggers using Blogger templates. This edition is exclusively about what to include in your Settings if you want your new blog to set its best foot forward. Some things are vital additions to your blog if you want it found by others and/or listed by search engines. Other blogger tutorials are here.

Go to your Blogger dashboard and choose Setting. We'll work from the left to the right of your screen. 
Please don't forget to click on the orange button at the end of each page you change in order to save your settings.

Basic

Very simply put, the basic screen asks you for the name of your blog. This is not the url, it's the name you want your blog to be known as. 
Spend time writing a description of your blog next. This helps visitors to find your page while surfing but most importantly, it helps search engines to trawl your blog and 'decide' what it's about. You have 500 characters so make the best possible use of them.

Choose yes when asked if you want your blog to be included in the listings. Anyone can turn up on your blog simply by clicking on the 'next' button from their very own navbar. Not opting to include your blog in the listing results in no one knowing it exists.
- Choose yes to let search engines find your blog.

Top Books on Amazon This Week

I've been keeping an eye on the hot books on Amazon, just to see what the readers are buying at the moment. I noticed that the following four books are set aside as 'Best Selling Products' (books) of the week. Naturally, I wanted to find out why. See the list at the end of the article for some more book sales on the Internet.


(Each book is linked to their individual page on Amazon).


1.  A Passion Most Pure (Daughters of Boston, Book 1)   by Julie Lessman.


A Passion Most Pure (Daughters of Boston, Book 1)

This is part of the product description on Amazon:

Refusing to settle for anything less than a romantic relationship that pleases God, Faith O'Connor steels her heart against her desire for the roguish Collin McGuire. But when Collin tries to win her sister Charity's hand, Faith isn't sure she can handle the jealousy she feels. To further complicate matters, Faith finds herself the object of Collin's affections, even as he is courting her sister. The Great War is raging overseas, and a smaller war is brewing in the O'Connor household.
  • 70 percent of the reviewers have given this book a 5 star rating. 
  • 93 customer reviews
  • An average of 4.5 star rating
  • Number 86 in Romance, Religious books
Romance is obviously not dead. The reader reviews make it absolutely clear that many people, including men, still tuck themselves up in the evenings with a great romance book. Even though historical books haven't been wildly waved about in the shelves of Waterstones, we see that the real customers are finding their niche on the Internet. 

E-Books And Kindles: The Best Ones For Me

Most writers I know have got an e-Book or two out. Battles between supporters of e-Books and those of physical ones have been fought in the public arena of the Internet. Opponents have been dragged through the virtual mud. Web spit has been flicked back and forth. Yet, latest news would indicate that none of these wars have dampened the growing popularity of e-Books. 


While we dither, frothing in the 'against' or 'for' queue, kindle (electronic reading devices) are becoming more and more widespread. For one, you need no storage whatsoever to access a bookcase worth of books. They're thin and lighter than an average paperback. A small kindle holds about 1,500 books (depending on unit, but most hold thousands of books) and most importantly, they're wireless and read like the real thing. I was surprised that just a light touch of the screen 'turned' pages like a real book (complete with a page-turning sound). The lighting is perfect and very easy on the eyes.


Surprisingly, there is none of the glare you encounter reading your e-Book or PDF material off a computer/laptop. Because of this real 'book-like' look of the reading screen - using low battery life - most kindles allow up to a week's worth of reading with just one charge.
Most kindles come with hundreds of free (out of copyright) books already loaded. They also allow you to read the papers from wherever you are. 
Kindles are beginning to sound like the best (or only) gift to get for someone who loves reading and books. 


So, if you've already downloaded a set of e-Books (including mine) but are finding reading from your computer difficult, a kindle would certainly be a better experience for you. And I know just where to get some great ones. At the moment the best selling Kindles on Amazon are:
Kindle Wireless Reading device 6" display.

Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, Global Wireless, Latest Generation)

There is a fabulous demonstration of how this one works on the link above. 

The second best selling reading device is the Kindle DX

Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device (9.7" Display, Global Wireless, Latest Generation)
 
This one is super light and supports images and characters alike. It's as thin as a magazine and you can receive any book you download in less than 60 seconds. It holds more than 3,000 books, which I find simply amazing.

There are also kindles for PCs and blackberries so don't feel left out as you can get good deals with these options too. 

How To Add A 'Share This' Button To Your New Blog





I have been running regular Blogger Tutorials for Newbie Bloggers. Click on 'Blogger Tutorials' link in my link bar above to see the other lessons. 


We cannot reach everyone on the Internet no matter how many hours we spend on social networking sites. This is why it's vital to provide an easy way for the people we can reach, to give us exposure by inviting their friends over for a look. Soon friends of their friends will start coming round to see what's on offer. The only way to structure this domino-visit blog traffic is by enabling the visitors to easily share our work/site. This is where a 'share this' button becomes essential.


Adding a 'share this' button is not only easy, it works to benefit you by encouraging those that quickly visit your site to share what they've read with the rest of the world. Keep in mind that most people who visit your blog do it on a 'fly-by' trip to other interesting places on the net. Give them a reason to come back, but most importantly, give them a reason to get their friends to come too. 


Here is how you add a 'share this' button to your new blog.
  1. Log into your blogger dashboard. Work from the blog you want to add the 'share this' button to.
  2. Choose 'settings.'
  3. Choose 'formatting.' Leave this page open for now. 
  4. Open a new browser window and go to the 'Add This Site'
  5. The first section says, 'Select your service.' Select 'Blogger.'
  6. The second section simply asks you to select your choice of button. Do this.
  7. For simplicity sake, in the third section, choose, 'Just give me the button.' We will deal with analytics later on.
  8. Click on 'get your button.'
  9. Towards the end of the page you will see a command which says, 'copy code.'
  10. This tells you to copy and paste the code into your Blogger template. This involves editing your blog's html. If you're not comfortable with doing this, (I was a blogger for nearly 2 years before I even attempted to touch my html page) there is a simpler, fool-proof way of getting your 'share this' button at the end of every post. I do not recommend messing with your blog template unless you're totally confident in doing so.
  11. After you've copied the code, go back to the open, Blogger 'formatting' page you found earlier. 
  12. Go to the bottom of the page where you will see an empty panel beside the words, 'post template.' Paste the code you copied into this panel.
  13. Don't forget to click on 'save settings' which is the orange button at the very end of this page.
  14. This 'add this' button will appear at the bottom of every post you make from now on. 
For a range of other  'share this' buttons, you can go to this page. You're required to sign up for an account, but it does give you more options. 



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My Follow Friday - Year Zero Writers



I follow Year Zero Writers because there is simply no other site on the Internet where one could read such fascinating, rich, professional, free and well-written pieces. Year Zero showcases work from some of the most talented, contemporary writers around (and I'm not just saying this because I'm part of Year Zero). 


Year Zero is different from most writing blogs on the web because it collectively supports the writing voices and unique approaches of several different writers. This means that readers are enriched by having the privilege of reading diverse points of view, and sample divine work from a variety of artists, many of whom at at the top of their field. 


In addition to the short fiction available on this blog, many Year Zero writers offer their larger works for free. Readers are given the option of downloading several of the members' work (e-Books) for no charge. Year Zero Writers' blog does not have a 'follow' panel. However just adding the site to your blog list will enable you to see when new posts are made.

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How To Customise Feedjit Widget On Your Blog

A feedjit wiget looks like this.

A feedjit widget is a simple addition on your blog that shows you, in real time, the visitors to your blog page. Among other things, it shows you how long your visitors stayed, where they went when they left, and where they came from. This is extremely useful in planning your posts, gauging your visitor's trends and showing you what sources work best for your blog. (This means that if you can tell where your blog traffic is coming from, you can direct your energies into promoting your blog in that arena).


First of all, for those who find it a bit difficult to insert a Feedjit widget into your blog, I will describe briefly what to do. The following link will take you to the Free Feedjit widget site. 
There are different ways of getting this widget on your blog but I found this one an easy option.
  • Choose the one you like. I recommend 'Live Traffic Feed' which is the first one on the list. 
  • Copy the code in the box. It begins something like this: script type="text/javascript"... 
  • Go to your blog's dashboard.
  • Click on 'Layout.'
  • From your layout page, choose, 'Add a gadget.' The page that comes up looks like this:

  • Choose the 4th one down (on Blogger). It says, 'HTML/JavaScript.' 
  • Once this gadget is open, paste the code you copied from the Feedjit website into the space. In the heading you could write something like, 'Feedjit.' This is only to help you identify which widget is which, when you're tidying up your blog's layout.
  • Hover your cursor over the HTML panel and drag and drop it where you want it to be positioned on your blog. 
  • Save your work. 
  • Give it some time to start recording your visitors. 
Of course you can implement Google Analytics on your blog as this measures much more data for you. However if you're a new blogger, Feedjit may be the best way to start finding your way around. After Feedjit starts recording your traffic, feel free to click on any of the sites to see where your visitors are coming from and why.
Now let's get back to customising Feedjit on your blog.We're using the same web page as above. 
  • Under the heading, 'Live Traffic Feed' choose 'click here to customise it.'
  • There are a range of colours, grouped under different themes. Click on the one you want.
  • As long as you have the combination you want, you can change the intensity of any of your chosen colours. Do this by clicking on the corresponding square, then toggle the 'plus' sign that appears on each colour panel you click on. 
  • Adjust the width of your widget.
  • Now copy and paste the script into your blog (as described above) and you're done.
Update: To insert your image into Feedjit, go to the page linked above and create a Feedjit ID. It's easy, quick and totally free. Once you've done this, upload an image and choose to link it to your twitter or facebook profile page.  

If you want your image linked to your own website or blog, it costs about $5.00 per month. If this is useful for you, it's best to buy a year's subscription because this is by far the better deal. You will need to upgrade your ID to do this. This is done with the click of a button. 
See our How Do I Blog page for more helpful Blogging tutorials.

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Read An E-Book Week



I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who's shown an interest in my book, 'A Model's Guide to Losing Weight Without Dieting.' Thank you also for your support and feedback. Your input means a lot to me. 

As some of you may know, March 7-13 is Read an e-Book Week on Smashwords. To celebrate this, authors all around the world have been invited to sell their books at a discount or completely free! I'm participating in this event and have cut the price of this book by 25% (details below). 
To read more about 'Read an e-Book Week, take part in competitions, or snap up free e-Books and guides, go to their official site where there's a wealth of information, interviews and articles. 

To buy 'A Model's Guide to Losing Weight Without Dieting' for $3.99, please go to my Smashwords profile. Don't forget that this book is also now available in hard copy at lulu. Thanks again to all who've read and enjoyed this work.

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My Follow Friday - Dragos Roua - Brilliantly Better





This is the first time I'm featuring a non-writing blog on my follow Friday. However, it has more than earned its place here because it showcases some seriously useful blogging tutorials even though the focus is on self-improvement and personal development. 


I've listed Dragos Roua - Brilliantly Better on my relationship blog list because the posts are similar to my particular niche there. 
Dragos Roua is not just for writers, even though we can benefit tremendously from his informative articles (have a look at his 'top posts' list, accessible from the header panel on the home page). This blog is also for serious bloggers needing inspiration to make a living online. It also caters for people of diverse walks of life who look to the Internet to find creativity for their own space in the world. 


I recommend Dragos Roua as a blog to follow if you need motivation for your online business, and to find joy in the life you live in the 'real world.'


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Whinging Wednesday - OMG, LOL, ROTFLMAO


I've reached a point in my social networking life where my brain involuntarily sets fire to my eyes when I see OMG and LOL.

whinge-image


Does anyone write messages these days without including one or the other? At first when they arrived on the web scene (when I still had to figure out what they meant) they were sort of cute and entertaining. Months later I was still ignorantly, blissfully convinced LOL meant 'lots of love.' After all, nothing about what was said preceding the LOLs was remotely funny. It's no wonder I didn't catch on. 

Anne's a published author, freelance writer and experienced editor. She's just signed her second publishing contract this year with 2 separate publishing houses. You can hire her or see her available books in the side panel on the right.
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