Wednesday, 6 April 2011
Eight Steps to a Better Blogger Blog
I love reading blog posts about blogging, and I am always striving to make my blog better. Along the way I've picked up a mountain of tips and tricks so I thought I'd share a few of the things I've used over the (nearly three!) years I've been writing Where is Harriet. I don't think they are necessary for a good blog, but they are all things I wish I'd known how to do sooner than I did!
I've read quite a few posts recently about how great Wordpress is, and I don't doubt that Wordpress blogs are pretty lovely, but good old Blogger is still my prefered platform, it's just so easy to use, and I've never had any major problems with it.
I'd love to know what your best blogging tip is, Blogger related or otherwise. I'm always looking for more ways to improve my site, so please do share if you've got any good ones! These are mine:
1. Get a Favicon. See the little image next to the URL in the browser bar when you type it in? That's a Favicon. I used Favicon.cc to make the little star you see next to mine (unless you're reading this on Bloglovin!) and I much prefer it to the old blogger 'B' that comes as standard.
2. Get your own domain. I moved from whereisharriet.blogspot.com to www.whereisharriet.net just before Christmas and I haven't looked back since! It doesn't cost much, I think mine was about £15 a year, and blogger makes it really easy to redirect your blog there. There's an option under Settings > Publishing to buy a domain through them, or if you buy from someone else they normally have fairly easy instructions to follow.
3. Make you blog wider. I used to get really irritated with how narrow the standard 'minima' template is in blogger. I have a wide screen laptop. and before that a pretty massive desktop screen, so it seemed silly that my blog took up so little space in the middle of the screen. If you're interested in making your blog wider too then this is a great guide to changing the width of your blog.
4. Get rid of the blogger nav bar. I personally never really used or liked the Blogger Navbar being at the top of my blog so I got rid of it pretty easily using this guide to getting rid of the Blogger Nav Bar.
5. Loose the border. Another thing I'm not a massive fan of is the border that blogger automatically puts around photos. It's just personal taste really, but this is a good guide to getting rid of the border around photos in blogger.
6. Use Link Within. This is how you get the 'posts you may also like' boxes at the bottom of each post. It's great for new blog readers, as it's a good way to persuade them to explore your blog a little more.
7. Google Analytics is free and I personally really like keeping up to date with where my traffic is coming from, and what posts are most popular, along with hundreds of other useful and not so useful stats about your site. Checking your statistics can get very addictive though!
8. Remove comment verification. I comment on a lot of blogs, and after a while comment verification (where you fill in the annoying gobbledegook letters and numbers in order to post a comment) gets old. And really annoying. I got rid of mine a while ago and I really haven't had any issues - the blogger spam catcher is pretty good at stopping spam anyway. To get rid of comment verification in blogger go to Settings > Comments and it's the tenth option down. You can always turn it back on if you have spam issues after all.
So there you go, my top eight tips! What are yours?