Blogger 101 Welcome all bloggers! <![CDATA[ Stay Connected To Your Blog Members With Newsletters]]>
Here's how it works:


You sign in to Google Friend Connect 

Select "Newsletters" from the left side of your screen

You should see a list of your blogs on the left - select "Compose A Newsletter" and choose your blog from the list; if it's not there, you can add it.

Type in your Newsletter Title and the Sender Name as you want it to appear in the "From Address"

As you compose your newsletter, be creative; add future highlights of your blog that you want your members to be aware of, insert images and just have fun with it. There's also an option below where you can choose to include recent members and activities in your Newsletter.  Make your Newsletter exciting and unique enough that your Members will look forward to the next one!
You have the option to save your draft so you can complete it later.

Scroll down so you can choose your recipients:  if you want all of your blog Members to receive your newsletter you would choose that option.  There is also an option to choose Members with certain criteria.  You'll see the total amount of recipients that will be receiving your newsletter in this section.

Below this is where you can preview your newsletter, make changes, edit, and send to your members when you're ready.


Select "Newsletter Gadget" - this will let you format your widget's size, colors and text.

When you've completed this, click on "Create The HTML Code" - the code will appear; select all and copy, sign into your blog and select Design>Page Elements>Add A Gadget - choose the HTML option and paste your code.  If you want the gadget to be centered nicely in your sidebar simply add <center> before the code and </center> after the code.  Preview then save.  You may need to play around with the width size of the gadget as the default size was a little too wide for my sidebar; change the width in the code itself or just redo your gadget on Google Friend Connect; whichever is simpler to you.

This gadget allows visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, but they must be a Member and sign in.  When a Member chooses to follow you, an option will show up giving them the opportunity to sign up for your newsletter.  

Once your gadget is installed, send out your newsletter. 

Your Newsletters are auto saved and can be viewed by clicking on "Newsletter History"

I believe a Newsletter could be really beneficial for most blogs.  Since I run a blog that has freebie downloads of kits for scrappers, it would benefit the Members to receive a newsletter because they will be the first to know about up-coming freebies and specials before a non-member would.  I receive newsletters from online scrapping stores that I buy from, and I like knowing about specials, sales, freebies, etc. beforehand as opposed to just visiting the store and maybe missing out on something good!

Whatever kind of blog you have, whatever the material is on your blog, sending out an occasional newsletter to your Members may be something that can benefit you and your followers.]]> Mon, 7 Nov 2011 03:58:39 +0000
<![CDATA[ Add your own personal touch to the end of each of your posts automatically]]>
It is very simple to do.  Let's say you want a particular graphic.  Upload your graphic to a program like Photobucket or TinyPic (I found Photobucket is much simpler and faster) and copy the html code provided in that program.
Now go to your blog under SETTINGS, choose FORMATTING, and paste the html code in the box toward the bottom of the page entitled POST TEMPLATE.  After pasting the code, place <a before the code, then </a> at the end of the code.  Click SAVE and viola!!  Your graphic will appear after each post you write automatically.  If you just wish to use your name or words, type this in instead of a graphic code, again placing the <a and </a> and you're all set.

Be aware that whenever you write a new post, your siggie will appear in the post box so you will need to press ENTER to make it go further down the page to have room for your post itself.  If you want it centered make sure you do that in the post box, or else it will be on the left side below your post (unless you want it placed there).

Hope you have fun personalizing your blog posts with your own original siggie!!]]> Mon, 23 May 2011 16:01:04 +0000
<![CDATA[Blogger Quick Tip by Count_Orlok_22]]> Tue, 12 Apr 2011 22:35:54 +0000 <![CDATA[Video Blogger Template Quick Tip by Butterfly1961]]>
The template is black with red accents and looks clean, simple and fantastic. See my new video blog HERE - I have only put music videos on so far (Michael Jackson of course) but will be loading a bunch more of different topics later.  Find the template and instructions at  and if you visit my video blog, Follow Me!!]]> Fri, 24 Sep 2010 07:50:48 +0000
<![CDATA[ Is it worth it to use a Blogger template that has been converted from a WordPress theme?]]> - and I was tickled to see great looking themes that had been converted to Blogger templates.  Here was my experience after spending hours (literally) trying to get the damned things to work on my Blogger.

I opened a new blog specifically for the use of a Design Gallery and I wanted a magazine type template that had lots of nice columns, added features such as integrated feeds and Twitter icons.  I also wanted one that had a nice clean look so as not to distract viewers from the actual designs I was posting, but without looking boring.  I was attracted to templates that have a slide at the top of the page, and with Homepage posts that only displayed a little information so you can click "Read More" and go with a new page that shows only that post.  Something about a template that has lots of partial posts on the Homepage appealed to me.  Now here was my God-awful experience.

The templates I chose to download to try out usually had directions included that explained how to edit the HTML section to make the template's features work.  The directions seemed clear enough, and I am no dummy to HTML, so I thought "What the heck, let's do it!" - it would be worth the time and effort to have a great looking magazine gallery blog.  To make a novel into a short story, editing the HTML was not as easy as it appeared to be.  For instance, in order to integrate my feed counter into the template, I just had to place the code in a particular place - sounds easy right?  Wrong!! The Feedburner counter code was simple to get from Feedburner, but the code had extra symbols and text that did not work in the template html.  So after thinking it was simple to add the link into HTML in the correct space, I click on Preview to make sure it works.  It says it is not well formed and let me tell you, I did this so many times, I was getting sick of seeing the big red letters that tell you that a mistake has been made.  I tinkered around with the link and codes until I finally got it right.  By this time I had already smoked a pack of cigarettes - I'm gonna get cancer from a Blogger template. Also what was difficult was getting the direct links to images from Photobucket, getting the text added in order for the viewer to identify the image and all the information needed to place in the HTML for the slide.  It was easy  to place the direct image link in; the rest was a pain in the patooty.  It was well formed after previewing before I saved, but the final product on the blog looked like crap.  Image slides are fixed width, with your pics being longer than higher, and my wonderful designs looked distorted.

Not to mention that the text in my posts were bunched together and made it appear as though I don't know how to type and add spaces.  I tried my favorite widget Link Within, which shows 3 images side by side below each post, and they were all messed up. According to the Design portion of my editing page, the gadgets looked all in place - until I saw it on the blog.  The right sidebar had nothing except empty space, and all my labels/categories were at the bottom - nothing like the Page Element showed.  Who wants to look at a blog where it's empty on the whole right side, and you have to go to the bottom of the page to see your Categories?  I was furious at this.  Not only did it look unprofessional, distorted and just plain dumb, I decided to just upload another template. But alas, it would not let me go back to edit anything!  There was an error so I could not even delete the template and download another.  (Please keep in mind this was after the SECOND template I attempted) so I had to start another blog, export my original blog (I was able to get on Settings to do this) and import that into the new one I just started, delete the first one and start a new feed for the new one.  Whew!!  After attempting 2 times with 2 wonderful looking templates, I finally just picked out a great regular Blogger template and with no problem whatsoever; even editing HTML is simpler with an original Blogger template, even with extra added features.

Would I recommend using a more complex theme converted from WP?  Only if you want to waste hours of your life getting frustrated and belligerent.  Nope, I'm not getting near a converted template again - I'll just stick to the many beautiful Blogger themes available!

 ]]> Wed, 22 Sep 2010 20:55:11 +0000
<![CDATA[ META TAGS - AN ABSOLUTE MUST FOR SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION]]> - but I will show you my meta tags that are in one of my own blogs and how you can apply your own tags to your blog.

What exactly is a Meta Tag?  Meta Tags tell Search Engines what your blog is all about. You know how when you Google a subject and you end up with a long list of blogs and posts concerning that subject?  You found what you were looking for because these blogs used Meta Tags.  What is even better, in addition to your blog's homepage Meta Tags, is adding these tags to individual post entries so that Search Engines will crawl and find your blog and subject matter even quicker.

Believe me, this works.  I have my main blog which is for digital scrappers, and there are several other blogs that automatically "search" for freebie downloads in order to list these freebies so that others may find what I have to offer; I get major traffic in this way. I have a second blog (I know it, I'm addicted) that has not been opened for very long, which also offers different freebies plus scrap kits for purchase.  My traffic was not so great, so I added Meta Tags, plus a few post entry Meta tags, and I swear to you that the blogs with auto search engines found me in less than 5 hours - major traffic now to my new second blog!

Your Meta Tags go in the html section of your blog template.  If you don't know anything about HTML, it's OK; it's actually rather simple and just a matter of copying and pasting a few codes in the HTML section.

First, when you go to your blog dashboard, go to Design.  Click on Edit HTML.  There is a little box above your template that says "Expand Widget Template" - you can click on this as it makes your HTML a little better formed so you can find codes quicker.

Second, find this code just a few lines down:

<b:include data='blog' name='all-head-content'/>

Directly below that code, you will now paste the following code:

<b:if cond='data:blog.url == "http://REPLACE WITH YOUR BLOG ADDRESS/"'>
<meta content='Digital scrap designs and kits offered for free downloads' name='description'/>

<meta content='scrap kits,designs,tags,stationery,journaling,frames,overlays,quick pages,freebie downloads' name='keywords'/> </b:if>

You will replace your own text where the bold text is; this code is from my own blog so you can see what it will look like.  You will not only have a description of your site, but also keywords for SEO.

Please note that when you are listing your keywords, you must not repeat one word more than 3 times or Google will disregard it.  Do not space after the commas in your keyword list either.

Also, remember to NOT delete ANY of the symbols such as ("), ('), (/), (>) or any others as your code will not work at all.  Only replace what is written in bold!  You also do not want to substitute the word "and" for the symbol (&); I learned the hard way this will not be well formed either and it won't work!

Now you have your blog Meta Tags in place for your Blogger homepage.  Click on "Preview" to make sure it will work; if it is not well formed, it won't save and it will tell you so.  In that case, you will want to click on "Clear Edits" to erase what you just did and start over.  If it works, click "Save Template" (I like to save as I go; it saves lots of time if I make a mistake after my first edit!)

Now let's put in your code so you can place Meta Tags for individual posts!

Copy and paste the following code AFTER the above code you just completed

<b:if cond='data:blog.url == "http://REPLACE THIS AREA WITH YOUR POST ADDRESS"'>
<meta content='Autumn scrap kits available for free download' name='description'/>

<meta content='freebies,Autumn,kits,frames,quick pages' name='keywords'/> </b:if>

Again, you will replace your own text with what is written in bold.  The link to your POST ADDRESS will look something like this:  http://your blog 
address/2010/09/autumn-freebie-kits.html - putting in my actual code did not work in this review as it only showed part of it since it was an actual link!  Just bring your individual post up and see the address in your browser.  You will see your post title's words are separated with a dash, following your blog's address and post date.  By listing your description and keywords of the post entry the search engines will pick these up quickly.  

Click on "Preview" to make sure it is well formed, then click "Save Template" and that's it!

To save time, when I place a new post Meta Tag, I just copy and paste the previous tag code and replace the text as needed; it does not take that much time and it is well worth it!

If you decide to ever change your template, you may lose all of your Meta Tags.  Before uploading a new template, just copy your Meta codes and paste on NotePad and save - then when your new template is done, you can paste all your Meta content right back in your HTML!

Now you are done!  It can be a little time consuming to put Meta Tags for every post you write but you don't have to.  Use your own judgement as to what entries will be the most beneficial to you for search engines to find; after all, once a visitor comes to your site to view one entry, they will see everything else you have to offer on your blog; this is just another good reason to place a Recent Posts widget in your sidebar - you will find this in your blog widget section when you click on your "Add A Gadget" box in your layout.  Another widget to use to optimize your traffic's attention is the Link Within gadget.  This is explained in my list of Must Have Widgets if you are not familiar with this handy little gadget.  Once your Meta Tags attract more visitors, it is up to you to keep their attention!

HINT:  Even if you are the type of person who does not like lots of widgets on your blog, it is vital for you to keep track of how many visitors you have by using one of the many visitor count widgets; this not only impresses your visitors, but you will be amazed at how much more traffic you will see after applying Meta Tags!

ANOTHER HINT:  Being a member of Twitter and Facebook is a wonderful idea as you can easily integrate all of your blog posts to automatically post on these sites.  Also have a Follow Me Twitter and Facebook button on your blog; I have really increased friends and followers by doing this, and the buttons don't take up much room on your blog if you want minimal widgets.


]]> Tue, 21 Sep 2010 00:25:13 +0000
<![CDATA[Blogger Widgets and Gadgets]]>
If there are any on this list you are not familiar with, you can check them out in action on my main blog]]> Sun, 19 Sep 2010 18:42:47 +0000
What does it do?  It keeps track of all your blog visitors; it will show where your visitor came from, what country, state, etc. and also if they visited your blog by clicking on another blog or site's link.  It also shows how they left your site.  For example, I have 2 blogs that offer download links for scrap freebies; if that visitor clicks on the download link, it shows on Feedjit.  This widget is a wonderful addition to any blog, and it's attractive.

If you go to you will first see options to take advantage of the Feedjit Pro and Advanced Versions.  If you want a free version, simply click at the top where it says "Plans and Pricing."  Under Feedjit Pro you will see small text that says "You can get free live traffic feed on this page" - click this link for your free version.  This will take you to the page where you can then customize your colors to match your blog and then you can automatically have it installed on your blog.

After viewing it on your blog, you will see on the widget "Put your face here" - click that and you will be directed to Feedjit where you can sign in either to Twitter to get more followers, to Facebook, or to your blog where you will get more traffic. Two of my blogs are linked to Twitter (and I have more followers because of it) and my newest blog is linked to that blog so I can get more traffic.  You can upload a picture that will appear not only on your own Feedjit widget, but to any blog you visit that has Feedjit installed. When you visit another's blog, your picture and identity will appear with a direct link to your own blog or website.  This naturally makes others, seeing as how you visited their blog, want to visit yours, therefore giving you more traffic.

I have clicked on many of my visitor's links to view their blog or to leave a thank you for visiting mine.  Some people however, do not wish to have a picture installed, so you will be provided with only the place they came from.  It is much better to have your profile already installed through Feedjit, so that your direct link will show.  

I love being able to see right away the visitors, traffic and links, and besides that, it looks good!

This is a must-have widget!! 

If you would like to see my Feedjit, please go to]]> Sat, 18 Sep 2010 19:38:05 +0000
<![CDATA[How To Center Your Banner Ads In Your Side Boxes Quick Tip by Butterfly1961]]>
However, a list of blinkies does not look so attractive when they are off center. Centering the banners is actually quite simple.  Most blog owners who design have animated gif banners, but even they are not animated, I download everyone of the link banners and save them to my Photobucket account, or TinyPic, whichever you prefer.  I then copy the html link and paste on my Blogger design Layout page by selecting "Add A Widget", then choosing "Add HTML Code".

To link these banners though, you must change the address of the html link so when someone clicks on it, it won't go to your Photobucket account.  Simply delete the Photobucket html within the " ", leaving the http:// (this will be in the beginning of the html code,) then type in the address of the blog you wish the banner to link to. Just make sure that your banner link is within the quotes or else it won't work!  When I add a new banner, I just click "Edit" and add the new code at the top of the list.

To center it, at the very beginning of the code type in <center>  and at the very end of the code type in </center>

If you have lots of banners, your html codes will be rather long in your list; but you will be able to tell which is which by seeing the <center> text at the beginning of each.  I leave no spaces after each banner link as they will automatically go in the right spot after you have saved.]]> Sun, 11 Jul 2010 07:35:14 +0000
<![CDATA[Blogger Headers Quick Tip by Butterfly1961]]>
If you wish to have more information, or have any questions, please visit any one of my blogs below and leave a message in the ShoutBox with your email or blog site URL, and I will contact you ASAP!

PSP Designs and Tuts

Scrapping Treasure Trove]]> Sun, 11 Jul 2010 07:11:42 +0000
<![CDATA[ Running 2 blogs, this Link Within Widget has been truly productive]]>
Going through a blog with so many items to look at can take time, and some people may not have the time to go through the 100 or so freebies I offer, so I installed the Link Within Blogger Widget and what a huge difference!

It works very simply; under each of your posts, it will automatically display 3 thumbnails and titles of similar posts.  For example, if my post is about a freebie, the 3 thumbnails under that post will be about other freebies, and so on.  The reader will notice, and click on it and automatically be taken to that particular post.  The other cool thing is that each time you get on the blog, or go to an older post, all of the Links Within thumbnails change so your reader will not be looking at the same additions all the time.

Just in the past week, when I installed it, I have had many, many clicks on Link Within, and it's so easy to install.

Go to and follow the extremely simple instructions; all you need to do then is to paste the code (or it will put it on your blog automatically) and just move that widget under "Your Posts" on your display page.  So simple, and it hasn't let me down yet.

I would recommend this little widget to anyone who wants to make sure their readers can get all the info you want them to see just by looking at your most current posts.

If you are interested in seeing this feature in action, please take a peek at my blogs:

Brenda's PSP Designs & Tuts

Scrapping Treasure Trove]]> Sun, 11 Jul 2010 06:38:56 +0000
<![CDATA[ A little late, and it still needs some work.]]>
There are a couple of drawbacks to the Pages feature though. 

No announcement - Sometimes I feel like the Blogger team completely forgets to tell the millions of writers that are still loyal to their platform of new features that might make their experience better. Or at least calm the urge to pick up their blog and move somewhere else. I learned about the Pages feature from a project manager at South by Southwest who was showing demos on Blogger back in March. Up to a month after its release, I told him I had no idea it was available. =(

Can't link to other sites - While it's exciting to think about what kind of pages I would put up on my blog, some of them include pages off my site, such as my Twitter or Flickr accounts. You can't do this. Right now, you can only add links to other static pages on your site. You can't even put up a link to a certain blog post or tag that lives within your site which I think is pretty limiting. 

Can't customize static pages - Once you create a new static page, all you get is a text window. The same text window you get when you create a new post. This also is pretty frustrating. It limits what your static pages can look like other than just another blog post. It'd be nice to be able to change the layout and maybe even template of static pages, or give more edit options when changing up pages that aren't the blog posts themselves. 

Lots of work to do for Pages, Blogger team. It's a little late, but it's almost there. Overall, this still doesn't add that much ability to put more information on my blog. ]]> Thu, 6 May 2010 17:59:51 +0000
<![CDATA[Blogger Template Creator Quick Tip by RyanWeiss]]> Wed, 5 May 2010 17:39:15 +0000 <![CDATA[ A HUGE step for the Blogger platform]]>
See, Blogger? All we needed was a little bit of love.

If you haven't seen the new Blogger Template Creator, then these pictures will make you literally jump out of your seat! I've noticed that Blogger is a bit slow in announcing their newest features, so if you're finding this out only now for the first time, I suggest subscribing to their blog or switching to Blogger Draft as your normal dashboard. This way, you'll see what's coming down the pipeline and what you'll soon be able to look forward to! 

Some pictures of the new template creator: 

Now pick your own background design images! 

The new platform merges layout and colors in the same editor. Sweet. 

Each theme has a subset of themes that range in color. More possibilities!

Best feature of all - the easy to use layout selection. No more weird code formatting!

]]> Wed, 21 Apr 2010 17:54:04 +0000