Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Commenting: Verification or Moderation, but not both!


We all want them but we want good comments, not spam or obscenities or links to porn sites. Blogger has two good ways of helping us make sure the bad stuff doesn't get through.

Comment Moderation

You get to this option by clicking Layout, then Settings, then Posts and Comments.

Comment Moderation has 3 options:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How To Be a GREAT Guest Blogger

Guest blogging is one of the best ways to boost your online presence and increase your community. Whether you've invited someone to post or you're the guest, there are some basic guidelines that will help both of you.

Send A Finished, Formatted Post

I can't tell you the number of hours I've spent formatting posts. I've had people send their text in a variety of ways, all of which left me deleting spaces and various other junky hidden characters. Then I've had to insert images, add links and write bios, all of which are time-consuming tasks.

NO MORE. There's a much better way. In fact, I've seen several sites request posts in this format, and it's easy to understand why.

1. Format your post ON YOUR OWN BLOG. 

Create a draft and write your entire post, then add the images you want, insert the links where appropriate, and add your bio at the end. (Make your bio short, but include links to your blog and your Twitter account. This is mine:

Preview it, make whatever adjustments are necessary, and save (don't schedule) the post.

2. Send your host blogger the HTML code for your post. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A More Interesting Blog Post in 4 Easy Steps

I read a LOT of blogs. I have lots of blogger buddies, I participate in several link-ups each week, and I visit everyone who comments on my posts. I'm amazed at the great content, but discouraged by the lack of format.

And that's too bad. Poor formatting can drive traffic from your site. But with a little thought and planning, you can transform your post from flat to fabulous!

4 Easy Steps To A Better Blog Post

1. Break up long blocks of text. Visually, it's boring. It works for novels, but not for online readers. Think shorter paragraphs with good transitions.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Add "Click To Tweet" to Your Posts

Have you noticed how many people are adding "Click to Tweet" in their posts? Pretty jazzy, huh? It's also pretty easy when you know what you're doing. It's a great way to increase your visibility on Twitter and can also drive traffic to your site!

Adding "Click To Tweet"

You need to open 3 tabs (or windows).
1. Sign on to Twitter, and leave that window open while you work.This will let you preview your tweet.
2. Start your new blog post. Give it a title, then click Save. This will create your permalink.
3. Go to www.clicktotweet.com

Compose Your Tweet

The box for your tweet allows 140 characters, but be as brief as possible! Write tight and be sure to include your Twitter handle.

For example, with this post I'd like my readers to tweet -->

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Encourage Community -- Respond to Comments

Good bloggers always focus on creating good content, but many ignore an equally important aspect of blogging: creating a community.

Comment Etiquette 

Treat your commenters as guests, because they ARE.

You'd never invite someone into your home and then leave them standing alone in the foyer. Don't do that with your commenters, either. Take a fresh look at your site:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Increase Blog Traffic with Link Ups

Want to increase traffic to your blog? Many sites host a "blog carnival," also called a "link up." It's a great way to share your post and meet other bloggers.

Link Up Basics

The Host

Somebody "hosts" the link up by adding a special "link generator code" (also called a "linky"). It's basically a list of links with images. The linky allows their readers to post a thumbnail photo (referred to as a meme) that links to a post on their blog. Click on the meme, and you're sent to the post!

Here's how it works:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

MUST-HAVES For Your Blog

~ Please permit me a mini-rant this month. ~

First of all let me say that I LOVE blogging and I LOVE reading blogs and encouraging other writers/bloggers. I'm serious y'all - I LOVE IT. But I'm growing increasingly frustrated because so many people lack of a couple of critical blog elements.


I'm constantly amazed at how many bloggers DON'T have their name anywhere on their home page! I can't tell you how many "site safaris" I've gone on in search of a name!

Your name should be visible somewhere near the top of your sidebar or

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tips on using Google Reader -- Oops, now suggesting Feedly!

Google discontinued Reader, so I now recommend Feedly! This post still has good general information, so please scan it. If you've used Reader in the past, Feedly has a quick and easy carry-over utility. You won't miss a beat, and I predict you'll like it better than Reader!

Do you have a hard time keeping up with your blog-reading? Do you ever forget to check a friend's site to see if they've posted?

I personally think every blogger should have an option to Subscribe, and it's easy to do. (Check out my Let Your Friends Subscribe post from Oct 2011) But not every blogger gives us that option, so we're left to randomly check.

Or NOT. Enter Google Reader!

What on earth is Google Reader?

Reader is a news aggregator, which is a fancy term that means "internet broom." It sweeps all the places you send it and puts any newly published dust bunnies into the Reader dustpan.

It's not just for blogs, but since this is an instructional blog site, I'm sticking to that. If you've never been to the Reader page, here's the quickest way to get there:

Pull up your Gmail account, then click on More to drop down the menu.

Click Reader, and you'll see something like this:

If you've ever subscribed to a blog using your Gmail address, or clicked the "Join this site with Google Friend Connect" gadget, you'll find those blogs listed here. Scroll down and see what you find.

Pretty cool, huh? 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Design Tips - Photo Backgrounds

Would you like to use a photo as a background for your blog? It's simple once you learn a couple of things.

Blogger has a bunch of different images you can use as a background. From your Blogger interface, click Template to see what's "Live" on your blog, then click Customize.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Share This - adding social networking buttons

Have you noticed the buttons at the end of my posts?

They are easy to add with this cool utility, Share This.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Feedburner and your subscribers

Since I posted last week on the Blogger Statistics and you're already in that mindset, I thought I'd continue this week with a post on Feedburner.

If you don't have any subscribers, this post won't make any sense. But you NEED subscribers, so hurry up and add the "Follow By Email" gadget! If you'd like a step-by-step how-to, check out my post Let Your Friends Subscribe.

Let me just say that I find Feedburner confusing and a bit cumbersome, so this post will be fairly short and sweet. Welcome to the wonderful world of Feedburner.

Go to www.feedburner.com and sign in just as you would with Blogger. (Feedburner is a Google product.) Click on your blog title and the Analyze page will come up.

This shows stats for a certain date, and shows the number of subscribers you currently have.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Who are you reaching?

Ever wonder who is reading your blog? And how they're finding you? Blogger has some statistical information available, so let's take a look!

If you're like me, when it's time to post something, you sign on and go immediately to your New Post screen. You might see this info, but it's more annoying than anything else, so you breeze past it on your way to the really important stuff: What You Have To Say.

But let's take a closer look at this screen:

This is on your overview page, and actually has some interesting info.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jump Breaks

Have you ever pulled up somebody's blog and seen snippets or teasers of their posts, followed by Read more?

I understand it can be aggravating. You have to click on Read more... and go to a different page, which takes time. Why would the author do that? Why not just leave the whole post up there? There are a couple of reasons.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Posting Options

Let's look at configuring your blog posts. 

Go to your Layout page, and click Edit in the lower right corner of the Blog Posts box.

Lots of cool stuff to look at here, so think the look you want and play with some of these options:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Would you like to include a signature at the end of your blog? There are several ways to do it, but for the sake of ease I'm going to give you a quick and dirty version.

Well, fairly quick at least. We're going to create text in a word processing program, copy it into a post, copy it's HTML (hyper text markup language - geeky tech stuff that you don' t HAVE to learn and don't really wanna know) and copy that into your template.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Favorite Posts

After you've been blogging a while, you'll have some posts that capture your flair. Blogger has a couple of good ways to do that.

One is a gadget called Popular Posts that lets you post links to your posts that had the most visitors. New visitors can get a feel for what your readers enjoy.

Another is Link List, which I've covered briefly in another context. This is where you link to some of your personal favorites, so you can direct your readers to some things you think are important.

From this point forward, all references will be to the new Blogger interface.

Pull up the Layout page, then click Add a Gadget.
Choose Popular Posts.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


This week we're creating Favicons.

Favicon is short for "favorite icon" and is the little photo/logo that appears on the tab when your website opens in the browser window. When you pull up Blogmama, you see a little photo of me:

I'm not on an ego trip, but I thought that tiny picture would be better than a "BM" or "BS." Just sayin'

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Introducing - the NEW Blogger Interface

Have you switched to the new Blogger interface yet? If you're using this menu -

you're not. But never fear - the new one is easy once you walk through the features! Just above the Language icon, click Try the updated Blogger interface.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Design Tips - Fonts

Now that your header is complete, let's consider the overall look of your blog. Particularly FONTS.

Something to keep in mind with this: less is more.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More Header Design Tips

Last week I posted some general tips for changing the basic look of your blog header. We tiptoed into Template Designer and tweaked a couple of things. Do you want to do something jazzier? Like have a photograph with some text?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Header Design tips

Let's dress up your header!

Go to Layout. If you don't have a header gadget, click Add a Gadget, scroll and add Page Header.

We're not going to upload a custom background in this example. We'll just use place text on the existing template.

Enter the Title of your blog and a Description (optional), then Save.

Next, click Template in your left sidebar.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Would you like music to play on your blog? You can create a list of your favorite songs to play when people visit your site. This can be a very effective feature that adds interest to your blog. You can also have fun with it if you periodically change your background and want to have scene-specific music (like holidays, seasons, etc).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blog List & Link List - share your interests!

Hopefully you've made friends with some other bloggers, so here's your chance to create a community!

If people enjoy your blog, they'll probably have some of the same interests and want to know some of the blogs you follow and some of the sites you like.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Embedding Videos

You may want to have a video in your post, and it's an easy thing to do!

There are a couple of ways to do that. You can upload the file by clicking the icon on the posting task bar. That can take some time, and Blogger has certain size limitations. But there is a better way: you can embed a video from another site such as Youtube.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sending your blog posts to Facebook

Networked Blogs is the application that lets Blogger talk to Facebook. There are several steps to connect everything, but once it's set up you won't have to bother with it again.

Sign in to Facebook.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Adding Facebook and Twitter Buttons to your blog

Now that your blog is up and running, you'll want your friends to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter. These buttons are easily added and best located in a sidebar.

For Facebook:
Sign in to Facebook, then click here: Facebook Badges
Click on Profile Badges

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Design & Posting Considerations

Everyone wants traffic on their blog. What are some things to think about for your followers?

Visual appeal is important for bloggers. "Busy" templates and gadget placement might be something you enjoy seeing, but your viewers can get bogged down by too much material.

Ask some of your friends for their opinions, especially fellow bloggers and friends who follow blogs. Stalk some other blog sites and think about what you like about it, but also what you don't like.

Can you find the author without scrolling to the bottom of the page? Are their pages descriptive and easy to navigate? Are the fonts easy to read? Is there a lot of extraneous stuff cluttering up the sidebar?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How To Include A Link In Your Post

Sometimes we find something online we think our readers would enjoy and want them to be able to click-and-go. It's a simple concept and is easy to do once you get the hang of it. You just need to tell your blog where to go!

BEFORE YOU BEGIN - Decide where you're sending the reader 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Adding Pages to your blog

Right now your blog just has a main (home) page, and that's really all you need. But many of you have hobbies and bios you might want to share, and pages are the best places to showcase those.

Go to Layout, then click Add a Gadget at the top.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Comments and Notifications settings

Now that you have subscribers reading your blog, they're likely to make comments on your posts. Unless you want to perch on your blog and watch it round the clock, you'll want to be notified when someone makes a comment.

From Overview, click on Settings, and then Basic. Let's look at your options.