Posts Tagged ‘Blogger’
You have started a blog, you have started to get some readers…but how many? Some people are interested in how many people are looking at their blog and how they are finding it, and if you want to attract PR companies in order to do reviews, then it is useful to find out what your ‘stats’ are.
Blogger has a free statistics tool that you can use if you have a blogger blog. It is really useful in checking out the basic information you need to know- like the amount of visitors and the amount of page views.
Just go to your main blog dashboard and click stats…
The tool is really easy to use, and has more than enough information. It is measured in real time, meaning you can see exactly what is sending you traffic and when.
The next tool worth mentioning is probably the most famous- Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a powerful, free tool that helps you monitor a huge amount of information about you site and it can be used on any blog platform.
To sign up you will need a google account which is quick and easy to set up. If you then go to www.google.com/analytics you will be able to sign up for a analytics account. Once you have done this it will ask you for a little detail about the blog you want to track and then it will take you through to a page which looks something like this.
You will need to paste the above code into your website just above the
</head> tag. If you get stuck then just ask us as it is really easy to do.
Once that is done you are ready to use Analytics! You can track your visitors, traffic sources, keywords and it really gives an insight into who is visiting your site.
Another great free site is Stat Counter and that is the one I use for my personal blog. It works very much in the same way as Google Analytics but I just find it a bit more visually easy to use. It is free, straight forward to use and does the same things as Google’s Analytics tool.
You can see how people are finding you through search engines and break it down either by year, month, week or day…
Here is an example of how people have found my blog via search engines this morning.
You will see that they are really quite random! But they can be a lot worse than that- I have had literally the most crazy keywords! If you click on the magnifying glass it gives you some more details about the search, including how long they stayed on the site and what google ranking result you were.
You can also see links of where your traffic is coming from- this is the part I use the most as it shows you how people are finding you- it is always useful as sometimes you won’t even realise that someone has linked to you.
You can do so much but another thing I like is that you can see what each visitor is doing on your site and what links they are using to exit and what posts they are looking at. For example this one….
You can see how often they have visited the site and what they did on their last visit.
It is certainly worth checking this tool out because you can do so much more than what I have mentioned, it is just to give you an idea.
Finally the last statistics tool which I think is worth a mention is Hit Sniffer. This site is similar to the others, but it just again looks different. It is another quite visual tool and uses a lot of graphs to show you where your traffic is coming from. You do have to pay for it but depending on your traffic, it can work out as just a couple of pounds a month. You can also have a 7 day trial to see whether you like it enough to pay the monthly fee.
It does all the same things that the other tools I have discussed but one thing that it does too which is totally crazy is that you can see how many people are visiting and actually live chat with the visitors that are on your site. I would never ever do this because can you imagine how freaked out you would be if you were the visitor, but I still find it a really clever tool!
So there we have it- our top stat tools for your blog. All the tools I have mentioned here I have tried at one point and I can recommend them all. I nowadays just use Stat Counter as it does all that I want it too, but it is worth having a further look into them to see which one suits you best. They all basically do the same thing, it just depends on the feel you get for them as to which one you prefer. Some people may get on ok with just the basic Blogger stats but some people may want a little bit more information.
The main thing to remember is that whatever your stats are, unless you are blogging for business or to make an income, blogging is just a bit of fun and therefore you shouldn’t get too hung up on checking them too often. However when you do want to check, these tools certainly are a great way of seeing who is looking at your site.
Have you ever seen those buttons on the side of some blogs and wondered what they are? Well those are grab badges. A grab badge is basically a way of publicising your blog- if people like what they read they may put your button on the side of their blog with your link- it is a way of increasing your readers and opening you up to new people you might not necessarily find.
The first thing to do is make a grab badge- over the coming months we will be design ideas. If you have an elaborate design in mind then it may be worth asking a designer to do it for you, (cheeky plug, my hubby and I do blog design at Pink Egg!) however it is really easy to whip up a simple photo grab badge yourself using any number of editing packages we have been showcasing over the last few weeks. I am going to use PicMonkey. Here is a step by step guide to making a super simple badge.
1. Open up PicMonkey and upload the photo you want to use.
2. The first thing you need to do is crop your image so it resembles something of a square. Don’t worry about resizing properly as we will do this later. Just click on crop and then drag the free box around until it resembles a square- it doesn’t have to be exact but get as near to a square as you can.
3. You may want to add some effects to make the photo look a bit more interesting. On PicMonkey just go to the second icon down which looks like a test tube type thing and you will find loads of great effects. Pick one that will make your badge stand out- after all you want people to be drawn to it enough to click to have a look.
4. Now it’s time to add the text. Just click the fourth icon down on the left hand menu which resembles a ‘P’ Here you are greeted with a load of fonts, have a play around with it and add your text on. Remember you can also change the colour and size of the font- it is worth having a few attempts to see which you like best.
5. Finally the last thing to do is resize your photo- if you go on to the first icon- basic edits and right down at the bottom there is resize. It is totally up to you to decide what size you want your badge to be, but around 200 x 200 is a good size- if your photo isn’t exactly a square just make sure you untick ‘keep proportions.’
6. Finally save and voila your new grab badge is ready! This is just a really simple way of getting a badge- but do have a play around because you will be able to make some really nice ones that really sum up what your blog is about- especially put some thought into your photo- you want one that reflects your blog.
Once you have made your badge you now need to create an html code for your image so you can place it on your blog. The best place to do this is using an online photo saving site like photobucket. Below are some step by step instructions- it is really simple.
1. Upload your image to Photobucket.
2. Go to the album which you have placed the photo in, hover your cursor over the photo and you will find a box comes up that has a number of links. Copy the html link which will look something like this.
<a href=”http://s1056.photobucket.com/albums/t372/mummydaddyme/?action=view&current=grab.jpg” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i1056.photobucket.com/albums/t372/mummydaddyme/grab.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”Photobucket”></a>
5. You need to add your blog url into the html code so it knows to link back to you. All you need to do is substitute your blog name after the first a ref section.
<a href=”http://www.mummydaddyandmemakesthree.co.uk” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i1056.photobucket.com/albums/t372/mummydaddyme/grab.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”Photobucket”></a>
6. You then need to add it into an widget/gadget or html box on your sidebar. This obviously fully depends what package you are using. For example on blogger you would ‘Add a Gadget’ and then choose html
7. Add the following code into your site. Make sure you change the bits in other colours to your own details.
<a href=”IMAGE LOCATION HTML CODE“ target=”_blank”></a><a href=”YOUR BLOG URL“><img src=”IMAGE LOCATION HTML CODE“></a></a>
<textarea id=”code-source” rows=”3″ cols=”13″ name=”code-source”><a href=“YOUR BLOG URL“><img src=“IMAGE LOCATION HTML CODE“ border”0″ alt=“TITLE OF IMAGE“ /></a></center></textarea>
The image location html code is the code from Photobucket.
Therefore say for example for my old blogger blog it would be something like this-
<a href=”http://s1056.photobucket.com/albums/t372/mummydaddyme/?action=view&current=grab.jpg” target=”_blank”></a><a href=”http://www.mummydaddyandmemakesthree.blogspot.co.uk”><img src=”http://i1056.photobucket.com/albums/t372/mummydaddyme/grab.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”Photobucket”></a></a>
<textarea id=”code-source” rows=”3″ cols=”13″ name=”code-source”><a href=”http://www.mummydaddyandmemakesthree.blogspot.com”><img src=”http://i1056.photobucket.com/albums/t372/mummydaddyme/grab.jpg” border”0″ alt=”mummydaddyandme” /></a></center></textarea>
8. Once you have done that you should have made your very own grab badge.
9. That’s it! It is that simple. Now be sure to spread the word and get adding other badges- networking is what will make your blog get more hits.
You may have been reading blogs for years, may have stumbled across one and liked the look of it, or may never have read a blog in your life. But now you want to start your own but have no idea where to start. Read on to find out more….
The first thing you will need to think about is which blogging platform to use. There are a few different ones out there and below we shall detail the main ones.
You can’t think of blogging without thinking of blogging without thinking of blogger- an extremely popular, free web based blogging service owned by the small and retiring Google! One fab thing about blogger is that you can sign up and get your blog out on to the world wide web in literally a few minutes. It is easy to pick up , has lots of different saved templates, and is straight forward to get up and running. People often think that it is not as customisable as other types of platform- but in actual fact blogger is easy to customise if you know how. And that is what i heart snapping is here for! Over the coming months we will show you how to fully customise your blogger blog. Blogger is a great platform to get started on, as it doesn’t involve a lot of time in order to make a great return. Most blogger blogs come with a .blogspot.com or .blogspot.co.uk domain name, however you can purchase your own domain in order to cut that out. There are some really fabulous blogs out there on blogger which are completely customisable such as Dear Beautiful Boy, Mummy Loves and Love From Mummy. These just go and show you how unique you can make blogger blogs.
WordPress is the platform to use if you want to try something a little different, although for the most parts blogger will do all the things you need. There are two wordpress avenue’s you can go down- wordpress.com or wordpress.org. Wordpress.com is a free software that will give you access to a url such as iheartsnapping.wordpress.com. Wordpress.com has a selection of free themes, but you cannot edit html, php or content of a theme. You can purchase paid upgrades but if you are willing to invest in these you may as well go for wordpress.org. Wordpress.org is a powerful tool that offers you complete control and flexibility on your blog. You can install and customise themes, as well as add plugin’s and modify CSS and PHP. Some of the most powerful and popular bloggers use wordpress.org but you will need to have wordpress hosted on a web server to continue. There are lots out there, we use bluehost, but it is worth researching into different prices. If you go down the self hosted route you will be able to monetize your blog through advertisements etc. It has a massive following and therefore there are always new themes, plugin’s and gadgets being created. It will take more time and effort to set up than blogger, but if you are interested in playing around with your blog- then maybe WordPress is the answer. Some examples that we love of WordPress blogs are Innocent Charms Chats and Mummy and The Beastie.
Tumblr is a mixture of a blog and a social media feed- in fact it is known as a micro-blogging site. With Tumblr you can make some really creative, visual blogs that normally contain images or video and lots of short, frequent posts that are not as formal as a blog post but that are longer than a twitter page. Tumblr is pretty easy to set up and is a good alternative for people who would like to blog but maybe don’t have as much time. An example of a fab tumblr page that I have seen recently is for Beyonce’s new website- who would have thought that it was powered by tumblr? Go and have a look at the Tumblr page if you want to know more about it.
As far as choosing which one is best, it really is down to personal choice and what you want from a blog. My husband and I do some blog design and I must admit to liking blogger- I find it really fun to use, and you can create some great customisable templates. I think it is user friendly and for personal blogs it looks great. However there is no denying the power of wordpress and what it can do for your blog- if you are serious about blogging and want to learn more then it definitely is the way forward.
Whatever you decide, it is important to remember that blogging is fun. So grab a drink, sit back and enjoy. Over the next coming months, we will be telling you everything you ever needed to know about blogging and blog design.