Tips for Advanced Blogging

Importing and Labeling on Your Blog

I’ve discovered some valuable Blogger features that you may want to try out on your own blog, so periodically, I’m posting a few blog tutorials. I’m showcasing two easy features this week. First, I found out how easy it is to import older posts from other blogs. Let’s say you started a free Blogger blog but later you changed the name and layout and you started a brand new blog. You can easily export the old blog to your computer and then import that same file. Options are flexible as you can publish all old entries at once, or choose one at a time for publishing. I’ve now merged an older blog with Faith, Creativity, Life and I can delete the old one. Here’s how I did it:

  1. Log into the dashboard of your old blog.
  2. Click “settings” and then click on “export blog”
  3. Click on “download blog” and save it to a location on your computer.
  4. Now, log into the dashboard of your new blog.
  5. Click “settings” and then click on “import blog”
  6. Click on “browse” and then locate the file that you saved on your computer.
  7. If you’d like all the posts automatically posted right away. Otherwise leave that box unchecked and click “import blog”.
  8. Once the blog is imported, you can select which posts you’d like to publish if you didn’t do them all automatically upon importing.

You’ve now merged 2 blogs.

The second feature I discovered is labeling of posts. At the bottom of each new entry, you can enter labels for a post. Why is this helpful? Let’s imagine you want your readers to find your posts based on topic, not on date or month. By choosing a consistent system of labeling each post and by adding a labeling gadget to your layout, your readers will quickly navigate through your topics. Here’s a quick labeling tutorial:

  1. Log into your Blogger dashboard.
  2. Click on “layout”
  3. Click on “add a gadget” and then scroll down to the “labels” gadget.
  4. Click the plus sign next to the gadget.
  5. Now you can edit the gadget before you add it. It will say “labels” by default in the title, but you can name it anything you’d like. Try “Topical Index” or “Browse by Subject” or another name you prefer.
  6. Now, save the gadget and the program takes you back to the layout part of the dashboard. You can drag elements or gadgets around on the layout to reorder and put them wherever you’d like. By default, it adds the newest one to the top.

That’s all there is to it! Next time you post an entry, you can add a label, or even add a couple of labels to the post to increase cross-referencing on your blog. For an example of how the labeling works, see my brand new site. I’m also going back and adding some labels to old posts on Faith Creativity Life very soon!

Happy blogging!

Finding Your Way as a Blog Reader

I’ve been thinking about some things that I take for granted. One is how to click my way through a blog page or website. It’s something that is as comfortable for me as switching on a light or opening the fridge to get a glass of milk. But for some, this foreign world of cyberspace is overwhelming. So today, I decided to give a little tutorial on how to leave comments on a blog. Many use this same process, but some might have a few different steps. Here’s a step by step for you to print and save near your computer if needed.

  1. Click on the word “comments” below a post. Sometimes it says “0 Comments” or it will say “2 Comments”. Then a box opens for typing your comments. Go ahead and type away!
  2. The next step is identifying your post as yours. You can post as anonymous, but many bloggers have drawings and contests, so you’ll want some name that identifies you. It doesn’t have to be your full name if you don’t want to share it. In Blogger, there is a drop-down menu by the words “Comment as:” and a box that says “select profile”. The menu gives options if you already have an account with Google, LiveJournal, WordPress, TypePad, AIM, etc. But you’ll notice another option: “Name/URL.” Selecting this will give you a box to simply type your name, no account needed! For example, I might type Michelle R, or M Rayburn, or Michelle Rayburn in the box. You may leave the URL box blank if you don’t have a website. Then click “continue”.
  3. Now, when you click “Preview” you’ll see how your comments will look. It might look like this: “Michelle R. said…” followed by your comments. Good! You’re almost there.
  4. Lastly, you need to type the word verification in the box before you click to post or publish your comment. What’s this box for? The word verification is to prove that an actual person is sitting at a keyboard typing as opposed to a computer hacking into a system and leaving random comments. It’s a security measure.
  5. Now click “Publish”.
  6. There! You did it! It seems like a lot of steps but once you do it a few times, it will be easy for you.
  7. In some cases, your comment doesn’t show up immediately. Sometimes the blog owner moderates all comments which means he or she has to approve them before they post. That’s another security measure for some bloggers.

Now that you know how to post, why not comment on something right here on FaithCreativityLife. You’ll be entered in the drawing this month if you do. It’s the only way to get your name in there for a free book.