Blogging: Level 2

Make it real (and useful)

while it’s all very well having a blog you’re perhaps going to want to make it a bit more exciting and interactive.

– personal brand

http://cpd23.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/thing-3-consider-your-personal-brand.html
– time and tone (for blogs written by team for a library or organisation)
– widgets, rss, twitter, email alerts

gadgets in blogger, widgets in wordpress – things to make your blog more interesting

adding widgets to your blog can make it look more interesting and also allow the content to look fresh if you haven’t added a new post lately.
If you have photos on flickr, you can add thumbnails of these. If you tweet, you can add your twitter stream. If you follow other blogs, you can list them to give your readers an idea of the scope of your interests, and it will give you a quick list of favourites.
How? here’s some widgets you might want to add: http://mashable.com/2009/01/26/blogger-widgets/
and some instructions for blogger:

– “add this”

word of mouth is a great way to increase traffic on your blog – so make it easy for people to share your blog post with others by putting an “add this” plugin on your site:http://www.addthis.com/

– analytics

what can you find out about who’s reading your blog? use the analytics feature.

– push the content

rss feeds, feedburner
Setting up an email subscription form with FeedBurner
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds are the industry standard for XML based web feeds. There isn’t a blog in Alexa’s top 1 million that does not have an RSS feed. If you are using WordPress, Blogger, TypePad or pretty much any other blogging platform — you will most likely have an RSS feed built-in to your blog.
To create a subscription form (like the one on this blog), follow these simple steps:

  1. Create a FeedBurner account with Google.
  2. In your FeedBurner account’s frontpage, enter your blog’s feed address in the field for “burning” feeds.
  3. At this point it may be wise to redirect the current feed address on your blog to your new FeedBurner URL. You can do this with a simple 301 redirect (in that care, you will need to modify your .htacess file) or by installing a plugin. This blog (powered by WordPress) uses the FD FeedBurner plugin. With the FD FeedBurner plugin, you only need to enter the URL of the new feed address (the FeedBurner address provided by Google) into a specified field within the plugin settings (under the plugins tab). Once that is completed, any browser or feed reader that tries to detect a feed on your blog will automatically detect your new FeedBurner feed rather than the old feed that was built-in to your site.
  4. Now it’s time to get the code for your email subscription form. After clicking on your feed in your FeedBurner account page, you will see a page that has 5 tabs: Analyze, Optimize, Publicize, Monetize and Troubleshootize. Click on the Publicize tab and then click on Email Subscriptions in the left-hand sidebar. You will need to click ‘activate’ near the bottom and then you will be given a code for your email subscription form. FeedBurner has an option to retrieve code for WordPress, TypePad or Blogger. You can also customize your form and choose to display a feed count.
  5. Placing the code for your subscription form is as simple as pie if you are using WordPress. Just copy and past the code into a plain HTML widget (Appearance –> Widgets) and then drag and drop the widget into the appropriate sidebar. You may need to edit a few styles in your style.css (for WordPress) if your form does not appear correctly or how you want it to.

from:
http://www.blogtap.net/setting-up-an-email-subscription-form-with-google-feedburner-for-your-site-or-blog/

– increasing google visibility

Register your blog with Google

To register your blog with Google, we’ll use a site Google provides for webmasters (yes that’s you) called Google Webmaster Tools.  Just login using your Google account (if you don’t have one, create one) and you’ll be presented with the main home page.  Follow these steps to add your site:

  1. Click the Add a Site… button
  2. Enter the URL of your site and press Continue.  One note here, it’s very important that you use the right URL.  If your site is set-up to be preceeded by www, than enter the www, otherwise leave it off.  If you aren’t sure how your site is set-up, login to your hosting account and see how you set it up.  Most sites have the www.
  3. Now we’ll have to verify your site.  I recommend using Google’s recommended method which involves downloading an HTML file and uploading it to your server.  Just follow the instructions Google provides.
  4. Once your HTML file is uploaded, click the verify button.
  5. That’s it, your site is now registered with Google.

Submit a Sitemap

Next you’ll want to submit a sitemap so that Google can easily find and index all that great content you’ve been writing.  A sitemap is a special file that is placed on your website that contains a listing of all the URLs to each of your websites pages.  So instead of Google having to find your content, the sitemap actually maps out all of your content for Google so that it can easily find it. The easiest way to do this is to install the Google XML Sitemaps plugin.  Once installed and activated, head over to the settings page (Settings>>XML-Sitemap).  At the top will be text that says “The sitemap wasn’t built yet. Click here to build it the first time.”  Click the “Click here” link to generate your sitemap for the first time.  From that point on, the plugin will automatically update your sitemap and notify Google of your new content.
Now that we have a sitemap, we need to return to Google Webmaster tools and tell it about your new sitemap.  To do this, do the following:

  1. Login to Google Webmaster Tools
  2. From the home page, select your site.  You’ll be presented with the Dashboard for your site.
  3. Open the Site configuration menu to left by clicking on the + sign.  Select Sitemaps.
  4. Click on Submit a Sitemap.  When prompted for the location, your domain name will already be populated.  All you have to type is: sitmap.xml.
  5. Click on Submit Sitemap.

Crank it up

– “add this”

word of mouth is a great way to increase traffic on your blog – so make it easy for people to share your blog post with others by putting an “add this” plugin on your site:http://www.addthis.com/  

– analytics

what can you find out about who’s reading your blog? use the analytics feature.

– push the content

rss feeds, feedburner
Setting up an email subscription form with FeedBurner
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds are the industry standard for XML based web feeds. There isn’t a blog in Alexa’s top 1 million that does not have an RSS feed. If you are using WordPress, Blogger, TypePad or pretty much any other blogging platform — you will most likely have an RSS feed built-in to your blog.
To create a subscription form (like the one on this blog), follow these simple steps:

  1. Create a FeedBurner account with Google.
  2. In your FeedBurner account’s frontpage, enter your blog’s feed address in the field for “burning” feeds.
  3. At this point it may be wise to redirect the current feed address on your blog to your new FeedBurner URL. You can do this with a simple 301 redirect (in that care, you will need to modify your .htacess file) or by installing a plugin. This blog (powered by WordPress) uses theFD FeedBurner plugin. With the FD FeedBurner plugin, you only need to enter the URL of the new feed address (the FeedBurner address provided by Google) into a specified field within the plugin settings (under the plugins tab). Once that is completed, any browser or feed reader that tries to detect a feed on your blog will automatically detect your new FeedBurner feed rather than the old feed that was built-in to your site.
  4. Now it’s time to get the code for your email subscription form. After clicking on your feed in your FeedBurner account page, you will see a page that has 5 tabs: Analyze, Optimize, Publicize, Monetize and Troubleshootize. Click on the Publicize tab and then click on Email Subscriptions in the left-hand sidebar. You will need to click ‘activate’ near the bottom and then you will be given a code for your email subscription form. FeedBurner has an option to retrieve code for WordPress, TypePad or Blogger. You can also customize your form and choose to display a feed count.
  5. Placing the code for your subscription form is as simple as pie if you are using WordPress. Just copy and past the code into a plain HTML widget (Appearance –> Widgets) and then drag and drop the widget into the appropriate sidebar. You may need to edit a few styles in your style.css (for WordPress) if your form does not appear correctly or how you want it to.

from:
http://www.blogtap.net/setting-up-an-email-subscription-form-with-google-feedburner-for-your-site-or-blog/

– increasing google visibility

Register your blog with Google

To register your blog with Google, we’ll use a site Google provides for webmasters (yes that’s you) calledGoogle Webmaster Tools.  Just login using your Google account (if you don’t have one, create one) and you’ll be presented with the main home page.  Follow these steps to add your site:

  1. Click the Add a Site… button
  2. Enter the URL of your site and press Continue.  One note here, it’s very important that you use the right URL.  If your site is set-up to be preceeded by www, than enter the www, otherwise leave it off.  If you aren’t sure how your site is set-up, login to your hosting account and see how you set it up.  Most sites have the www.
  3. Now we’ll have to verify your site.  I recommend using Google’s recommended method which involves downloading an HTML file and uploading it to your server.  Just follow the instructions Google provides.
  4. Once your HTML file is uploaded, click the verify button.
  5. That’s it, your site is now registered with Google.

Submit a Sitemap

Next you’ll want to submit a sitemap so that Google can easily find and index all that great content you’ve been writing.  A sitemap is a special file that is placed on your website that contains a listing of all the URLs to each of your websites pages.  So instead of Google having to find your content, the sitemap actually maps out all of your content for Google so that it can easily find it. The easiest way to do this is to install theGoogle XML Sitemaps plugin.  Once installed and activated, head over to the settings page (Settings>>XML-Sitemap).  At the top will be text that says “The sitemap wasn’t built yet. Click here to build it the first time.”  Click the “Click here” link to generate your sitemap for the first time.  From that point on, the plugin will automatically update your sitemap and notify Google of your new content.
Now that we have a sitemap, we need to return to Google Webmaster tools and tell it about your new sitemap.  To do this, do the following:

  1. Login toGoogle Webmaster Tools
  2. From the home page, select your site.  You’ll be presented with the Dashboard for your site.
  3. Open the Site configuration menu to left by clicking on the + sign.  Select Sitemaps.
  4. Click on Submit a Sitemap.  When prompted for the location, your domain name will already be populated.  All you have to type is: sitmap.xml.
  5. Click on Submit Sitemap.
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