Catch-as-Catch-Can is canceled again this week. Why? I don’t think a hostess can have a party while there are guests waiting to be served from her previous party!
The Bold and the Beautiful (Your Blog Reviewed) was a HUGE success! MeganDVD and I were both pleasantly surprised with the turn out and the mingling that took place. Thank you so much for linking and visiting your fellow bloggers and being so helpful with your advice. I saw that a lot of you made some new friends!
I still have a few blogs to visit. I haven’t forgotten you, I promise. When I visit a blog, I land on the page that was linked, I look around, then I refresh the home page so that I can see how everything looks when a visitor walks in the door. All of that takes time. My only regret is that I couldn’t “follow” every one of you. I already follow a record number of blogs, and my reader has suffered this week.
If you’ve left a comment through MeganDVD’s giveaway post, she will choose a winner via random.org. The winner will be announced on Saturday.
This post is mostly going to be about blog tips. There are new bloggers hitting the web every single day. This first section will be for those of you who are thinking about starting a blog.
Before you hit that GET STARTED button, here are some things I think you should know.
- Blog about what you love, not to make money
- Think about your blog name, once you hit that “get started” button and create your url, you’re stuck with it. (unless you later purchase a domain name)
- Consider getting an email @yahoo or @gmail to match your blog name and url. When you set up your profile make sure that you CHECK that little box that says “SHOW EMAIL ADDRESS” If you do NOT do this you are a NO-REPLY BLOGGER which means that if you leave a comment on my page, I cannot reach you via email.
- Start writing your posts with good content and nice pictures (we all love pictures)
- Set up your gadgets keeping it simple until you are sure of what you like. I suggest that you have an “about me” near the top along with your followers section. Also, consider a “categories” or “label” gadget
- Turn OFF Word Verification, and Music!
- Please allow at least 5 posts per page
- Find some link parties that fall into your niche and link up (see tips below)
- Visit blogs and leave lots of genuine comments
- Subscribe to your own comments (via email) (SETTINGS,COMMENTS, COMMENT NOTIFICATION EMAIL)
- Subscribe to your own blog via a reader, so that you will see how others see your blog in their reader
- Blog Roll-Of course I would love to be on your blog roll, but I will give you my honest opinion here. Find some smaller blog friends and put THEM on your blog roll. The larger blogs do not need you to have them on your blog roll. This is the time that you can help build traffic and followers for other bloggers that are new and trying to be seen and heard.
- Starting your own link party-This is hard for me to say, and it might be hard for you to hear, and I am only one person. However it is my opinion that you should not try to start your own link party until you have a substantial following. I have a weekly party that I started when I had well over 1000 followers. Sometimes I only get about 30 linkups. I started my party because my party is different than a lot of other bloggers. I have no rules. You do NOT have to be a follower, nor do you have to display my button (It makes me happy though). When I started Catch-as-Catch-Can there were no other link parties of that sort. They all had too many rules. Visit the one above and below your link etc. So, long story short, unless you have a new and unique idea, there are too many link parties already out there. Are ya mad at me? I hope not.
While I’m talking about Link Parties I want to touch on the proper way to link up. Open the post that you want to link to the party and copy and paste that address into the link tools box. Sometimes bloggers accidently paste their MAIN URL address, but a lot of new bloggers get a little confused about this step. Our “The Bold and the Beautiful” Blog Hop had a lot of bloggers link up their MAIN URL instead of their post dedicated to the blog hop. I went in an manually changed those MAIN URL addresses to the URL of the post they wrote about the blog hop.
Some bloggers will delete your link if you link to your main URL. This is why: Those links are around forever. If you show a picture of a Valentine project, but actually LINK to your main URL-months from now when someone is on that link party, they will click on THAT thumbnail thinking they are going to see a cute VT project only to see your summer vacation pictures because it landed them on your blog HOMEPAGE instead.
If you participated in The Bold and the Beautiful and you got tips from your visitors, here are some things to know:
Before you make any changes to your blog, download your template. To do this you will need to follow these steps.
- Edit HTML
- Download Full Template
- Choose your location (rename it if you want)
That saves your template to your computer. That way if you get in the code and mess something up, your template is NOT lost. I lost mine this time last year and it took me FOREVER to get it back to the way it was.
Now, if you mess up your template and you want to get your old template back, follow these steps.
You should be good to go and try again. (See image above)
If you are just tweaking a button or some HTML code you can open a Code Tester.
This is a great way to test your code to see if the link or button works. You write the code or paste it into the code tester, then click “Test The Code”. If your code works, it will open in a new window allowing you to see what will happen when the link or button is clicked on while on your page.
Anyone who has a blog can imagine how devastating it would be if you woke up one morning and your blog was G-O-N-E. You can and should backup your blog to your hard drive.
- Blog Tools
- Export Blog
- Download Blog
- SAVE (choose your location)
Be VERY careful here! Do you see how close Import –Export- Delete are? Do NOT accidently hit DELETE. After you hit save for the second time, it could take a minute or so to complete the download.
I am not generally a lazy person, however I do tend to seek easy solutions. When you blog in blogger, this is what you see:
This is how your post looks in Windows Live Writer. It takes up your entire computer screen, and is much like working on a document. You are able to easily cut and paste pictures and or text. In WLR you can upload MANY pictures at one time having them sized, centered, and watermarked in a matter of a minute. You can also crop them, and add borders etc.
Almost everyone I critiqued I recommended that they have their links open in a new window.
This is how easy it is in WLR. I typed My Repurposed Life, clicked the Hyperlink icon. This window pops up. You copy and paste the URL address, but look closely, do you see that little box that says OPEN LINK IN NEW WINDOW? yep, click that and it automatically adds your target=blank to the link.
This post has mostly been for newbies. If you already knew everything I covered today, check out one of these posts:
- Windows Live Writer
- Google Reader
- Blog Swapping
- Navigating Link Parties Quickly
- No-Reply Blogger
- how to open a gmail Account
- Google Search made easy
- Pages for your navigation bar
- making sure someone isn’t copying your blog (harvesting)
- CTRL buttons and how they work
- How to change “I was featured” buttons to land on the page you were featured on, instead of the blogger’s home page
All of that to say that the Bold and the Beautiful (Your Blog Reviewed) was a successful blog hop. MeganDVD and I both had tons of positive comments and emails from the participants!
I appreciate you reading my blog in your reader and/or via email.
You can reach me at gail@MyRepurposedLife.net