Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Adding Adsense To Blogger

This post will cover how to add Google Adsense to your blog. Why Adsense? It lets visitors who don't find what they were looking for on your blog find what they are looking for and you get awarded monetarily as a result! Not a bad setup.

To get it set up go to Layout --> Monetize

I recommend leaving the 1st option for side panels and under posts to show Adsense. Click Next.

If you have an existing account already select the option like in the picture. Insert your e-mail address you use for your Adsense account, your zip code and last 5 digits of your phone number you have on file. Click Next. Your done. View your blog.

If you don't have an Adsense account keep the 1st option click Next fill out the information needed -- pretty straight forward, but if you need help you can get Adsense help with signing up here.

Alternatively you can click Add Gadget within Layout and select the Adsense Gadget. Here you will have more control on what type of Adsense layout you want.

Click the plus sign this will come up:

The easiest method here is just to try different types of Adsense sizes and colors and see what you like and what looks good on you blog.

You can also edit the post and select ads to be shown between posts and after how many posts as well (1 post, 2 posts, etc).

I find the blend template typically works best for all situations. I think vertical wide banners look good on the side panels or standard or large rectangles. I think towards the top of the blog 5 link horizontal rows looks good, and banners look good under posts.

On this blog thus far I've used the 5 link horizontal row on top and banners between posts for Adsense.

Hint: To get the 5 link horizontal row up top I 1st selected Adsense Gadget for the side panel and then moved it above the posts. I then went back in and changed it to 5 link horizontal row and blend template.

Add Blogger Subscrption Links

Subscription links are a relatively new gadget added by google to blogger. To get there go to layout and add a gadget. On this blog I've added it to the bottom of the layout/page.

Once the various gadgets are pulled up, scroll until you find this one and click to open like shown in the picture.

Once you click the plus sign this screen will show and you can whatever text you want to display to get visitors to subscribe.

Click Save and check you blog. That's it!

Here's what it looks like on this blog:

Remove Blog Title From Post Title

When you create a post, it creates a separate page based on the date and title you gave your post. However, by default blogger will shot the title of your blog 1st before it shows the title of your post. So it's in the form of Blog Title : Post Title.

When search engines are trying to index your site they give you extra brownie points by what is written in the title. So if someone was searching for "brown puppies" and your title or your post was "brown puppies", then this would make your post seem more relevant than a post titled "big cars". Now the problem is if your blog title was "Favorite Stuff" then your post on brown puppies would read "Favorite Stuff: Brown Puppies" to the search engines. Obviously this is degrading the value of the title by keeping the blog title in place. So, we want to get rid of it. How do we do it?

  1. Log into the Dashboard and select the appropriate blog.

  2. Goto Layout

  3. Edit HTML

  4. You should backup your template although there should not be a problem.

    Save to your computer. It's an XML file you can always upload it again if you need to.

  5. Find the following code:


  6. (tip Go to Edit on your browser and Select --> Find and Paste code at the bottom of browser find input box)

  7. Replace this tag with the following:

    <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;index&quot;'>





  8. So just highlight the previous code and copy this code in it's place.

  9. Save The Template

That's it. Now try clicking on a post and notice how it now only shows the post title in the top part of the browser.

Here's an example.



Monday, March 2, 2009

Add Blog To Blog Directories

Blog directories are an excellent place to submit your blog to. Most of the time they are free, and on this post we will just mention the free ones, and they will not only give you a lot of extra free traffic and exposure, but will also give you a inbound link, which is good for search engines when they decide how much value your blog is worth. This in turn will make the likelihood of your submitted content to be indexed by a search engine, which in turn will give you even more traffic! So, in short blog directories are great for more traffic and SEO purposes.

I will show you how to sign up for 1 blog directory. All the others are similar. They may even ask that you sign up for an account. Signing up for account with them is no different than on my previous posts where you sign up for an account with anyone else. The benefit of those that have you sign up for an account is that once you have an account with them you can log in and see at once all the blogs that you have submitted, submit more blogs, and make adjustments.

Before you do anything, I recommend you create a notepad entry with all the information that any blog directory will ask for. Name it the name of your blog plus info. So I named mine "mybloggerexperienceinfo". I added the following information to mine:

blog, blogger, blogging, blogger help, blogger tips, blogger resources, blogger tutorial, blogger tutorials, blogger instructions, blogger by example, blogger step by step
http://mybloggerexperience.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default http://mybloggerexperience.blogspot.com My Blogger Experience

My blogger experience will show you a step-by-step visual evolution on how to go from a beginner at signup with a Minima template to more advanced blogger by adding various beginner to advanced blogger features and tricks.


Notice I have the keywords related to the blog site, then I have my rss feed URL -- Your's is the same just replace my .com address with yours and keep the /feeds/posts/default portion. Next I have the blog URL by itself, and then the name of the blog and blog description- notice I just used the description I have on my blog(copy and paste), and e-mail address. Save it. I recommend doing this for all your blogs.

OK, now I will show you a quick blog directory you can submit to. 1st go to Blogsubmit. Appropriate enough name for a blog submission directory don't you think? The link I gave you takes your right to the blog submission page. The top portion where you start adding information looks like this:

1st off like shown in the picture click the "Regular link with reciprocal". The reason why this is better than just the regular link is because it's natural for your site to have outgoing links anyway, especially as far as the search engines are concerned, and it will increase the likelihood that your blog will be added and much quicker if it was going to be in the 1st place.

Ok now as far as entries the blog title, URL, Description will now just be copy and paste. Copy your keywords into the "Meta Keywords" field and you most likely can just copy the same description again into the "Meta Description". Mine was a little long so I just took off the 1st part before the "step-by-step" and it worked. Scroll down some more and you will see:

On "Your name" you can just enter a nickname like you used on blogger, enter your e-mail-- again copy and paste off your text file. Scroll to find the appropriate blog category, copy your URL again for the reciprocal link URL. Enter the word verification at the bottom. Now before you click continue, copy the the 2nd text box of information and open up the layout. Add a widget and select HTML/Javascript and paste the information you copied into the content section like the following picture shows:

Now alternatively if you have done what was shown in the post for signing up for technorati already, you can just add this below the technorati embed code. This is what I have done on this blog. Any future directories can just be copied and pasted in the same manner.

Ok now back to bloglistings.com you can hit continue. They will send you an email. The e-mail states that if you reply that your chances of getting indexed faster increase. That combined with choosing the reciprocal link option makes you ahead of the game. To take things a step further I've added this in my reply to the e-mail which you might want to do as well:


As requested I am replying to this e-mail to increase the chances of my blog being listed faster. I have also already added a reciprocal link to the blog site found on the main page right side panel. Looks like a great blog directory you have there, and I hope to be added to the site soon! Thanks,


That's all you need to do for this directory.

Here are some other directories that I like that you can sign up to.





http://www.blogcatalog.com/ -- This is my favorite and google seems to love it.

I will add more in the future to the blog. Just check the side panel and click and you can sign up from there.

Here's what this blog currently looks like with the newest additions:

As you can see quite the difference already.

Advanced Star Rating For Blogger

In this post I will show you a more advanced star rating that I'm using on this blog. Unlike the previous post where you use blogger's star rating, this is a little harder to implement. You may not need to worry about it if all you want is something a user can rate a post by and that's it. But, this 3rd party star rating system by outbrain not only looks better in my opinion than blogger's own, but it allows you to choose options such as showing your top popular posts by rating, and seeing where people are coming from that are voting on your page. I think it's worth the small amount of extra effort.

To get started look at below my posts and you will see:

Click on the question mark as shown in the picture and this will pop up:

Click the outbrain link and it will take you to it's main page:

From Here's it's pretty easy. But, just a quick rundown-- on the left hand side click on the blogger icon box as shown in the picture which will take you to the signup page:

I'd recommend registering for an account.

Click the box as shown in the picture and fill out common account information and click register. Before you go onto step 2 in the picture go to your e-mail you provided and find the email they sent you from outbrain and click the confirmation link. Click Get Widet Now in Step 2. This screen will show,

and another screen will show where you accept outbrain to install their widget on your blog. Make sure the right blog is selected and allow. Click Manage Blogs as it shows in the picture.

Click Check now to claim the blog.

Everything should go smoothe since you already agreen yes on outbrain to install the widget on your blog.

Next, click settings.

This will take you to this screen:

I'd recommend choosing "Limited Recommendations" since it will just show recommended posts on your blog as opposed to anywhere on the web- But if you like that idea leave their option on "Best Recommendations".

I'd choose no on the 2nd option, because you may want to provide your own ads in the future and this charity setting will only distract. Leave the option set to bottom of the post. I think that's the best place for the rating since the visitor just finished reading your post. The final option I would definitely set to "Enabled". This is a cool feature that will show the most popular(3 I believe) posts based on top star rating. Here's an example currently on this blog:

Click submit and that's it. You can add more blogs to outbrain if you want, but were done for 1.

Add Star Rating The Blogger Way

In this post I will show you how to create a star rating for visitors to rate your blog post's. This is not the way I have currently on my blog, but this is the easiest way and might be good enough for you needs. With this method you use blogger's own star rating. To get to it, you need to get to blogger in draft-- draft.blogger.com -- or simply replace the "www" portion of the URL, if your currently logged into blogger, and replace it with "draft".

Click Enter or whatever you do to go from site to site after your type the URL ordinarily.

While in draft go to layout and click to edit the post section:

This will pull up this screen:

Click where I clicked in the picture to choose "Show Star Ratings".

Believe it or not, that's it. You now have your own star ratings that will show below posts. Next time I show you star ratings, I will show you a more advanced 3rd part method that in my opinion looks nicer and gives you stats on where someone is clicking from, and other cool extras. But, if you're not worried about the extras, this will be good enough.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Understanding Blogger Comment Options

In this post we will discuss all the different comment options that blogger provides. To get to the comment options click up top on the Setting tab as shown in this pic.

Once you click that tab you will come to this screen:

Click the comment section as shown in the picture and you will get to this screen:

Starting from the top if you want to hide your comments click hide otherwise leave this alone.

Below this it has who you willow to comment. By default it should be registered users. But, you can change this to anyone, those with google accounts, or only members of your own blog. I would recommend if you want the most comments to choose "anyone" here.

With the next option, if it isn't already selected, I would choose "embed below post". This will make it more apparent for visitors that they can comment. *Note that with this option you will only see the comments below post if your post is opened on it's own page, but not on the main page. The other 2 options will either pop up a window where users can comment or just load a new screen. I'd recommend under the post.

Next, we have new post have comments. This is what you want. Leave it alone. Otherwise there will be no comments.

On the next option I'd just leave it alone to unless you want to show links back to whoever posted on your blog. For SEO purposes this is not too good, because you will have alot of outgoing links or once you get the reputation alot of spammers trying to get inbound links for their sites.

Scroll down a little bit more and you will see:

I'd just leave it with "New Posts have backlinks" on the 1st option.

Next you can decide how you want your date on your blog post to appear. I'd keep that the same too.

Next, if you have a message you want to post on your comment form you can put 1 in the box, but I'd just leave that alone too.

On comment moderation, I'd change it to "Always", just to prevent spammers, and if you want to receive e-mail notification when someone leaves a comment so that you can moderate you can place the desired e-mail address in that field. You might want to place a e-mail here that way you can check the comments asap.

Scroll down a little more and you will see this screen:

By default it will show word verification when someone tries to post-- to prevent bots, etc. But, I hate those things. So will your readers. If you got comment moderation turned to Always then you can see who's posting what before it goes live anyway. So, I'd just get rid of that. There also seems to be an issue on some blogs where word verification doesn't seem to work and nobody can even comment at all! So I'd change that to "no".

Next, I'd leave the profile images on -- they're always nice when someone posts.

Finally, on comment notification e-mail I'd leave this blank. Especially if you already put an e-mail for comment moderation since you would already know someone commented if you need to moderate a comment.

That's it. Click save. That's all there is with comments on blogger.

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