Blogging 101: Quick Tips for New (and not so new) Bloggers
Tip 1: How to have a catchy title in Blogger and still receive google love!
Other blogging platforms allow you to create your own url using “keywords” which are what
Google uses to find blog posts relevant to the keywords someone might type to search for a specific thing. For example, if I want to learn how to put up beadboard. I might use the keywords: how to beadboard OR putting up beadboard, OR beadboard kitchen, etc. If I want someone to be able to find MY beadboard project so they can see the wonderful tutorial I created on beadboarding I would want my title to have the words: beadboard, than maybe how to, or project, or kitchen, or maybe a combination: beadboard, kitchen, project.
I know I promised a post this week on Photography Tips but as you can see from my last post on our it’s been kinda crazy around our home. We are in the midst of our DIY kitchen remodel which means my entire kitchen and eating area is now located in my great room…this includes an 8 foot Ikea farm table! Would anyone like to come buy it from me? I’ll give ya a great deal (shipping not included though.) grin.
On top of the remodel, I have also had a persistent cold for over a week with a horrible hacking keep you up all night cough. I finally relented and took the advise of one of our Facebook friends and bought some Vicks Vapor Rub. It works people, it really works! I was able to get two decent if not great nights sleep and am finally feeling slightly human again…oh and my dryer is making a horrible clanking sound, so we’ve been without a dryer for a few weeks because no one could seem to remember to call a repairman….so I am sitting here typing this waiting for him to show up. Vicks Vapor Rub and the dryer repairman have become Heather’s two newest best friends!
So, today’s Blogging 101 post is going to be a two quick tips that I hope will help you. These are tips that primarily apply to Blogger. I was a Typepad girl before Vanessa and I combined blogs, so learning Blogger was an adjustment for me. I’ve had lots of trial and error, so I hope I can pass on some of the tips I’ve learned to newer bloggers, or even those of you who are seasoned bloggers but just had never figured some of these little quirks out. We’ll call this entry in the Blogging 101 Series: Quick Tips for New (and not so new) Bloggers
But maybe I want to make my actual title clever and catchy like: “How I Learned to Use Power Tools” or “Putting Up Beadboard Can Be a Great Date!” Both of these are eye catching but goggle doesn’t care about witty and clever just keywords. Here’s a trick to bypass blogger.
When you are writing your post, put a few key words in the title box. When I created this post I put in the key words: Blogging 101, Blogger, Tips, Title, Google Then I wrote my post and saved it. When I got ready to publish it I hit publish post and then quickly went into edit, changed my title to the one you see above and re-published. You have to be quick if you don’t want your “keyword title” to show up in blog rolls. You might want to make sure your “keywords” you use at least make sense in case they show up somewhere.
So now you can see that my url for this post is: http://www.atthepicketfence.com/2011/03/blogging-101-tips-blogger-google-title.html
But the post title is: Blogging 101: Quick Tips on Titles, Google Love and Sidebar Links
This method allows you to create key words for your title, which helps with your blog ranking, but also to have an eye catching title which causes people to actually want to read your post. Why is this important you ask? Well, it may not be if you are not worried about anyone finding your blog through keyword searches. BUT, say you’ve written this awesome post on how to put up beadboard, or how to paint your kitchen cabinets, or how to say…write a post with quick tips for new bloggers, you should want other people to find your wonderful post and learn from you. That’s why we write “how to” posts. The only way someone is going to stumble upon your great post is when they type in the keywords in a Google search, and your blog pops up near the top. The only way it will show up on one of the first few pages of a Google search is if Google “sees” those key words somewhere in your blog near the top of your post but even more likely in your title. As far as I know for now this is the only option offered to us by Blogger for now, to create our own url. Hopefully they will catch on soon and allow us to create our own post urls.
A little disclaimer: Never create a url or put in keywords in a title that is NOT related to the content in your post. You will not only lose integrity with readers, but Google will “ding” you for it. Every webpage or blog has a page ranking with Goggle…did you know that? Well they will lower your page ranking if you try and “trick” the system. Just make your keywords relevant to your post and you’ll be fine.
Tip 2: How to link pictures in your sidebar to categories or pages on your blog
I was talking (typing) with another blogger this past week who is launching an new blog design…she shall remain nameless until she launchs..;) Anyway, I suggested she link or the technical term is “hyper-link” some photos in her sidebar to categories related to that picture. For example, in our sidebar if you click on “At The Kid’s Table” it will take you to a page of all of our At The Kid’s Table posts. Same for A Labor of The Heart. We will (when I seem to find the time) also create the same thing for this Blogging 101 Series. You can do this for any of your categories,”labels” or pages. Let’s use our At The Kid’s Table label as an example.
First you will need to create a picture or graphic that will represent your category. We have our Kid’s Table graphic that I used. You will need to resize this to fit appropriately in your sidebar. Our graphic and pictures are resized to: 150X150. You can choose any size as long as it is not wider than your sidebar. Otherwise it will flow over your sidebar into your main column. This is a sure sign of not knowing how to size your pictures correctly. You can do all of this in Picasa. If you don’t know Picasa is where all of your pictures are stored when you upload them to your blog. You can find the link to your Picasa web album on your blog dashboard all the way at the bottom. If you’ve never seen this…surprise! Welcome to your free photo editing software…grin!
Once you have your picture sized correctly using some type of photo editing. You will need to make sure you’ve uploaded it to Picasa. Than you need to pull up that image so it is the only one showing.
Next, you need to open up your blog and decide which page or label you want to connect to this image. Every label you give a post has it’s own page. Click on one of your labels and you’ll see how this works. This is why it’s important to not have a million labels. But that’s for another post…;)
Here’s the label page for At The Kid’s Table:
This is the url that I want to associate with my At The Kid’s Table image in my sidebar. Every time I create a new post and label it At The Kid’s Table it will be automatically added to this “label page”
You should now have a window pulled up with your Picasa album opened to your image and a window open up to your label page with the label page url in your browser window. Now, open up one other page…I know, I know but trust me this will be come a piece of cake once you get the steps down. In this page you need to go to your Dashboard and than to Design/Add and Arrange Page Elements. Select: Add a Gadget. In the past, if you have placed pictures in your sidebar you have probably just selected: Add a Picture, but you can’t link the pictures when you do this. Instead you are now going to select: HTML/Java Script. And you are going to put this code in:
Except, you are going to replace the first area in red with your label page url (if you look at mine you will see this is the same url as I showed you above for the At The Kid’s Table label page.) And you are going to replace the second area in red with the url of the image you want to represent this category. The one you see above is the url of our image in Picasa…(in layman terms it’s the address where this image resides)
So how do you get these two urls?
First copy the code above right out of this post.
Paste it in the open gadget window that you opened up in Add/Arrange Page elements.
Delete OUR label page url (make sure you do not delete the quotations marks only what is between them.)
Than go to your label page you have open in a separate window. Copy and paste the label page url between the set quotation marks.
Next, delete out our image url (image urls almost always in in .jpg or .png) again making sure to not delete the quotation marks or any other coding.
Now go over to Picasa and right click on your image. Select “copy image url” and than locate your cursor between the the set of quotation marks and paste your image url.
Last step: Drag your new gadget where you want it in your sidebar. You can also give this gadget a title or not depending on the look you want. You’ll see ours do have titles. Than before you save your new layout, preview it and make sure you like where it’s located. Unfortunately you cannot test the link in Preview. So you will have to Save the layout and than view your blog. Make sure your link’s are working. If you mess the steps up for some reason. Just delete the gadget and start over. Also make sure you do not delete or cut out ANY other coding, except the remove our urls and repace them with yours. If the link doesn’t work there is a good chance you deleted another part of the code on accident.
You can create as many of these as you have labels, but I just having a few main categories. You might want to have one that is all tutorials, or all recipes, etc.
Yikes! Okay, I always get nervous writing out tutorials. I hope these weren’t too confusing. I will get on often throughout the day and check to see if you have any questions for me. I’d love you to ask them in the comment section and I will answer them here so others can see the answers as well. BUT, if you get really confused feel free to email me and I’ll try and help you directly. I hope these two little tips help enhance your blog in someway. And, I promise next week the photography post will be up! In the meantime as always….
Thanks for joining me at the fence!