Sunday, December 5, 2010

Perk up your blog and increase readers, Part 1

So, you've got a blog. You've emailed all your friends about it, and they've dutifully made an account so they can be your follower. You've even made your blog public in the hopes that some lost soul traipsing about the big wide internet will come and read it. I know, it's a scary thought.

But now you're over the thrilling brand-new-blog scent (I know, isn't it lovely?) and you want some readers. So where do you get them?

I have two answers to this: number one is to perk up your blog so that it will catch people's eyes; and number two networking.

How To Perk Up Your Blog: (I always forget, is "to" capitalized if you put it in a title?) I like to start with a single widget: the hit counter. This is probably the most basic widget out there. All it does is every time someone new comes to your blog, it adds another number to the little list next to your post. Of course, there are tons of different counters out there, and tons of ways to customize them.

You can either copy and paste the html text below into a gadget (see the HTML gadget post) or get your own counter. I like

From that website, you'll have to answer these questions:
Page Counter Will Be Placed On: paste in the link to your blog. You don't need to put in a "www" before it.
Number of digits to show: (Adds Leading Zeros) exactly what it sounds like. I recombined the 5 digit option, in case you ever hit the featured list on Blogger. (when you do, don't forget to tell everyone how you got started on Blogger! :)
Do You Want To Count: Unique visitors counts each computer that visits your blog as a separate person. Pageviews will tell you how many times people have looked at your blog. Unique visitors is recommended. (Yes, you can add a Blogger-provided gadget for this and see it all on the stats page, but the feature where your pageviews aren't tracked is broken again. Plus you don't have an option for unique visitors on Blogger.)
The last two questions you can answer based on your own knowledge of your blog, hopefully. Now scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the "GET COUNTER CODE!" button.

Copy the text and paste it into your "HTML" gadget back on your "Design" page. If you don't know how to do this, see the "HTML widget" post over HERE.

Here's a simple counter code if you don't want to find your own right now.
<!-- Counter Code START --><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="HTML Hit Counter" border="0" ></a><br><a href="" title="HTML Hit Counter" target="_blank" style="font-family: Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px; color: #000000; text-decoration: none;">HTML Hit Counter</a><!-- Counter Code END -->

Click Save.
Congratulations! You just finished Step One of How To Perk Up Your Blog. Now go over to "New Post" and write about it! Don't forget to link back to me... :)

Part 2, which just might feature a cool background, will be out as soon as I finish an essay.
Be back soon!

Create an HTML gadget

Start at your blogger dashboard. Find the name of the blog you want to add a gadget to, then click Design.

Settings page: Basic settings

This post covers everything in the Basic part of your settings page. 
If you can't read the text on the images, click the picture to get a bigger version.