Archive for the 'Facebook, Twitter and Social Media' Category
Today I gave my Blogger blog a makeover. I changed the template, background and header for my Blogger blog. This was how I did it. Firstly, this was how my blog looked liked before the makeover. I got bored with purple and wanted to give it a more minimalist look. I was using the Blogger “Travel” Template. I switched to the Blogger “Simple” Template. Then I changed the background. I used the background by latex which I found under the “transparent” category for Blogger’s Background Image list. You can find many free background images provided by Blogger. I also played around with the colors of the fonts for links and headings etc. You can read how to change the Background from Google support on Blogger Template Designer.
After changing the background, my blog looked too plain so I headed over here to look for a new free header for my blog. I found my Free Blogger Header from Vintage Made For You. There are many free Blogger backgrounds and headers to choose from there. There are also tutorials to help you. I used the tutorial on How To Adjust The Width Of Your Blogger Blog to help me adjust the header so it sits in the middle.
Then I headed to Pic Monkey (an excellent online photo editor) to add in my blog Title, tagline (which I created) and description so this frees up some space on the top of my blog. This is How To Add A Header Image To Your Blogger Blog. To my horror, I found that my pinterest and Facebook Like button had disappeared after the changes I made because I customized my template previously by changing the html code to add in those buttons. Nevermind, I shall improve on it.
So I headed over here to learn How To Create A Floating Vertical Share Button For Blogger. The instructions are really easy to follow. I had to adjust the positioning a little bit. I also added my pinterest button code in there. All I had to do was generate my own Pinterest button, then copy and paste it over a button I didn’t want. The instructions to replace have all been provided.
Head over here to Generate Your Pin It Button. I replaced the button with the pinterest button by copying and pasting two codes in there one after another. One for “any image” and another for “Image Hover”. The “Any Image” one allows a reader to hit the Pin It button and choose to pin any image they like while the “Image Hover” one allows the reader to see a Pin It Button on any image they happen to hover over. That makes it a lot easier for your readers to pin.
You can head over to my Parenting Times blog to test it out for yourself. Finally, this is how my blog looks like after the changes. Updated: I didn’t like how serious the blog looked after the changes. My blogger blog is a parenting blog filled with crafts and printables for kids so I wanted it to reflect that so off I went searching again for a nice new blog header. I finally found my new free blog header for Blogger at Blog Designs by Dani. As before I used Pic Monkey to add in my blog title and tagline. I also had to adjust the Blogger header size to 900×470 pixels in order to fit in just right. However you do not have to do that. All you need to do is go to Blogger Template Designer and adjust width by dragging the size to the right fit. Refer to the How To Adjust The Width Of Your Blogger Blog link above.
After some tweaking with the colors of my links, headings, tabs etc to match the new heading in the advanced editing mode in Blogger Customize Template (Go to Template-Customize-Advance to do that) finally, here is my newest look. The best part of doing these things yourself is it is free and you can change at your own whim and fancy whenever you like.
However, there was something wrong with my header. It appeared to be slightly different color then the one I wanted. It appears to be greyed out instead of white. Finally, I saved my header image again into a png file instead of jpg and that did it. The colors were right at last and I love my new blog look. Even better, was the feeling of having done it all by myself without a designer. Yay!
Share this post on pinterest if you found this useful.
This post isn’t a technical post about the how tos of blogging including SEO and all those technical jargon. Instead, it is a personal post written from the heart and from the experience of a blogger who has been blogging for 10 years.
I have been blogging since 2004. At the moment I write and maintain 5 blogs regularly. They include this blog which focus on me and the things I like to do including online writing, a parenting blog, a blog just for mothers, a health blog and a quotes blog. After writing for some years, I find that I basically write 5 different kinds of blogs. They are:
1. A Personal Blog Post
This was the first type of blog post I started writing. If you are writing a personal blog post, you can write things which are a little bit more personal. You can limit your readers to only those close to you if you like or just yourself. It depends on the individual. Some like to post lots of photographs which is really a nice thing if you don’t mind sharing. Readers love photos. However, I like my anonymity.
Can you remain anonymous and still write a personal post? Yes, you can. I have been doing it for 10 years. I write posts that are personal yet not too revealing. It is okay to be personal without being too personal on your blog posts. You will still get your readers and followers if you remain true to yourself and keep your writing voice genuine. Instead of using personal photos, you can still include photos to make your posts interesting. Post photos of objects and scenes instead.
2. Instructional Blog Posts Or How Tos
I enjoy making crafts with my children. So I find writing how tos or instructional blog posts a natural progression from my personal yet not too personal blog posts. They are a nice way to record and keep our crafting moments in a digital format for keepsakes.
When you write these types of blog posts, you must remember to include lots of photos and step by step instructions to make it easier for your readers. I have written many instructional blog posts like this and this.
After blogging for some time, I started writing curations. Whenever I write a curated blog post, I always put myself in the shoes of the person searching for information. What is this person looking for and how can my blog post make a difference. Then I try to include everything that will help this person who is doing an online search find all the things that they want to know about that subject on a single page. This is the most important factor of all. You have to be an expert curator in order to write such a post so that your post makes a difference to that person instead of being a mere copy of a search engine.
When writing this type of blog post, remember to include relevant links, videos, photos and always seek permission for use of photos. Here is an example of one of my top posts on my parenting blog. It is a curated post of Homemade Teacher’s Day Gift Ideas. Some of the ideas are my own while some others are from my FB friends. I sought the permission from all of them to post their ideas on this post.
4. Reviews Or “Selling” Posts
At one time, paid posts were very popular and many companies looked for bloggers to link to their products, services and websites. It is not so popular now but this is just another way of writing. Sometimes, you may write a paid or sponsored posts while at other times, you may write to sell, for example if you are an affiliate marketer.
For example, I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program. So from time to time, I do write posts to “sell”. This is an example of my review type or marketing oriented post: 10 Cute Dollhouses For Girls. In a way, this is a curation type of post too.
Photos and descriptions are very important. However, do note that the behavior of someone who is searching the internet for information is different from someone who is searching the internet to buy something online. The person searching to buy something may be more interested in photos of the product and will not have time to read lengthy reviews so keep it short while providing the necessary information they need. Photos and videos are helpful. Just put yourself in the shoes of the person searching for information and think of what YOU would like to see and read in the blog post. That is the best SEO advice anyone can get. You don’t need to know what SEO is or how to do it if you just prefer to write. You will get your traffic just by putting yourself in the shoes of the person searching for information.
Finally, you can write articles of any subject you feel you have the confidence to share in. I like to write a lot of parenting articles that change over time. I used to write breastfeeding articles, now I write about kids education in grade school. You can write about your gardening projects or your pets, it is up to you or something more technical.
I consider this post an article type of post. Articles MUST be genuine and not copied from somewhere else. Do not copy and paste or spin articles from somewhere else on the web.
Extra Tips On Writing Blog Posts That Get Read
- Keep your blog content fresh, relevant and up to date
- After writing your post, create a “cover” for your blog post, then pin your image to invite people to come to read it. Writing blog posts isn’t only about writing. Think of it as creating a magazine with a nice layout that calls out to the reader to read.
- Share your blog posts on social media, FB, Google Plus, Twitter etc.
I like the fact that you can customize the countdown clock according to your liking. There are a few images you can choose from. I usually like those cute cartoon or clipart type not the scary kind since they are for my parenting blog.
You can further customize it by choosing the color, typing your own words and finally adding in the dates. After you’re done, all you need to do is to copy the code and paste it in your blog post or sidebar whichever you prefer.
Apart from Halloween, you can get other Countdown clocks from this site including Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter or more personal dates like weddings, birthdays, pregnancy and graduation. Looks like I’m going to be bookmarking this one.
So here it is, my countdown clock for this Halloween 2014. Do you like it?
I am an online writer. I also admin a parenting group on FB with over 6,700 members. This means that I frequently need to be able to get documents from page to web easily and quickly. That is why I was really happy to find a camera scanner app to help me take a photo and turn it into a pdf document that you can edit. There are many apps that can help you do this but I would like to talk about just one of them. That is the CamScanner photo to pdf scanner.
The CamScanner phone pdf creator or PDF document scanner is simply awesome. I was really impressed with it the first time I used it. This is what it will do or how you do it.
- First you take a photo of your document either with your iPhone, iPad or Android devices mobile or tablet.
- Next you click “Done” and the app will automatically adjust your document for you. By this, I mean it does not matter how you took your photo. Your document can be at an angle, you can have other things near it. The app is smart enough to find and highlight your document for you for cropping. I love that. If you are not happy with how it has highlighted the document, you can click and drag till you are satisfied before cropping.
- Then you click on “Next” and the app crops your document for you.
- After cropping, you can adjust the brightness or colors.
- Finally, you click “Save”.
- Your photo is now a pdf document which you can work on and send as a file to others. You can scribble on it with the pen tool, add text with the text tool box, add post it notes or search your document using OCR technology. OCR is Optical Character Recognition.
A very amazing and cool app indeed. Here is where you can get your download links for iOS as well as Android devices for both mobile phone as well as tablet pc.
Have you ever been in a Facebook discussion thread only to see a lot of Fs in it? So, what does it mean when someone types F in a Facebook group? It merely means they want to remain notified for further posts in a particular thread or they want to follow the discussion by members on a particular topic.
Some members type F or f or follow or following to be kept in the loop for the discussion. However, this practice is rather distracting and annoying to other members who are following the discussion especially if one is following the discussion on their mobiles. Imagine your phone beeping every few moments, you check your notification only to be greeted by a string of Fs.
Some suggest typing “Thank you” or “Thanks” but there really isn’t a need to do so, not when there is an easy way to turn notifications on or off for a discussion or for the group as a whole.
Here is how to get notified of discussion in a Facebook group setting.
Option 1. To turn on notification for the group as a whole
You can choose to be notified of “All Posts” or just “Friends’ Post”. Once a group is over 250 members notification is automatically set for “Friends’ Post” only, so you will have to edit your notification settings if you want to see more.
You can read the following from Facebook Help page for the steps.
How Do I Edit My Notification Settings For A Group (Using Desktop PC)
How Do I Edit My Notification Settings For A Group (Using iPhone or iPad App, Android App or smartphone or tablet via browser)
Option 2. To turn on notifications for a specific discussion or thread within a group
Click on the arrow next to the discussion and turn notification on. This will keep you in the loop for discussion on that particular thread. There is no need to type F, or f or follow or following or whatever in order to follow that thread. The above is what you see in a browser on a desktop pc.
Read the following Facebook Help for instructions. What Does It Mean To Turn Notifications On Or Off In A Group
The above images are from accessing FB from a desktop PC. Please read the following extra notes if you are using a mobile smartphone or tablet.
How To Turn On Notifications For Individual FB Post In A Group Using Mobile Devices
How To Turn On Notifications If You Are Accessing FB On A Mobile Or Smartphone Using The FB App
Since the screen is smaller, to do Option 1 i.e. to edit notification for the whole group, first click on the right arrow at the bottom of the FB Group Cover, this takes you to the About page of the group. You will then be able to “Edit Notification Settings”.
The picture below shows you the steps required to edit notification for a FB group while using the FB app on mobile phones and smartphones.
Option 2 to turn notification on or off for individual post is the same. Click on the little down arrow next to the post. you may have to click on the arrow beside the post twice, the first time takes you to the individual post if you are not already on it and the second time to turn notifications on or off.
The image below shows the location of the arrow (1). You may have to click on this two times. Then you will see the screen to Get or Stop Notifications.
How To Turn On Notifications If you Are Accessing FB On A Mobile Or Smartphone FromA Browser Like Safari
Option 1 is the same as described for editing notifications using FB mobile app. In option 2, you will have to click on the individual post first before you can click on “Get Notifications” for that post. In order to go to the individual post, click on the timestamp or date right below the post. The picture below show the extra steps for getting notifications when you are viewing FB on a browser using your mobile phone. First you have to click on the Time as shown on arrow 1 to go to the individual post. Then, when you are on the individual post view, you can toggle between “Get Notifications” or “Stop Notifications” as shown on arrow 2.
How To Turn On Notifications If You Are Accessing FB On A Tablet Computer From A Browser Like Safari.
Option 1 and 2 is the same as for Desktop PC.
Typing F may be an easy way for you to follow just one post instead of all posts but it is not very nice for the rest of the members following the same thread. So please follow the steps above. That, I think is a basic FB etiquette. Please be nice to other members when you are in a group.
Do you know that some FB groups actually ban the use of Fs?
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