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Blogger

Book Description

Customize and promote your blog with original templates, analytics, advertising, and SEO

  • Customize your Blogger templates

  • Grow your blog into a professional, feature-rich site

  • Add social bookmarks to your blog

  • Optimize your blog with SEO

  • Integrate analytics and advertising with your Blogger blog

  • Concise, clear, and easy to follow; rich with examples

In Detail

Blogger is a blog publishing system from Google with a friendly interface specifically designed for creating and maintaining weblogs.

It allows users to easily create dynamic blogs with great content and many outstanding features including RSS feeds, link-backs, photo slideshows, and integration with popular Google applications like Picasa. Its versatility and ease of use has attracted a large, enthusiastic, and helpful community of users.

If you want to create powerful, fully-featured blogs in no time, this book is for you. This book will focus on transforming a typical blog into something fresh and professional that stands out from the crowd. It starts with an introduction to an example blog, discussing what it is lacking, and then adding all the features of Blogger to make it successful. This book will tell you how to transform a slow-paced typical business blog into an attractive and interactive profit-making blog with measurable results. It has a very user-friendly approach and shares tips, tricks, and resources to continue to grow your blog.

Table of Contents

  1. Blogger
  2. Credits
  3. About the Author
  4. About the Reviewer
  5. Preface
    1. What This Book Covers
    2. Who is This Book for
    3. Conventions
    4. Reader Feedback
    5. Customer Support
      1. Downloading the Example Code for the Book
      2. Errata
      3. Questions
  6. 1. All Blogs Are Not Equal
    1. Meet Georgia Peach, Fanatical Fruitier
      1. The Way She Blogs Now
      2. What's Out There
        1. Cooking with Amy
        2. Meeblog
        3. BoingBoing
        4. Innocent Drinks
      3. What They Share
      4. Time to Plan
      5. Defining Goals
        1. Attract More Readers
          1. Bringing Them In
            1. Facebook
            2. Reddit
            3. Digg
        2. Reinforce her Brand, Build a Community
        3. Sell More Fruits, Explore New Revenue Opportunities
        4. Measure and Improve
    2. Summary
  7. 2. Customize and Create Templates
    1. Choosing a Theme
      1. Presentation—It's About the Visual Things
    2. Changing Blogger Templates without Code
      1. Use the Test Blog
      2. Customizing Page Elements
        1. Managing Page Elements
          1. Time for Action!—Editing the Navbar Page Element
          2. What Just Happened?
        2. Editing the Header Page Element, Title, and Description
          1. Time for Action!—Changing the Header Text
          2. What Just Happened?
        3. Replacing the Header Image
          1. Time for Action!—Adding an Image to the Header
          2. What Just Happened?
        4. Changing Blog Templates
          1. Time for Action!—Picking a Customizable Blog Template
          2. What Just Happened?
        5. Changing the Fonts and Colors
          1. Time for Action!—Picking Colors with the Fonts and Colors Editor
          2. What Just Happened?
        6. Choosing High Contrast Text Colors
          1. Time for Action!—Changing the Text Color Using Hexadecimal Code
          2. What Just Happened?
        7. Matching the Font to the Blog
          1. Time for Action!—Changing Template Fonts with the Fonts and Colors Editor
          2. What Just Happened?
    3. Choosing an Effective Layout
      1. The Usual Suspects
          1. Time for Action!—Making Sample Sketches
          2. What Just Happened?
    4. Pruning the Template Code
      1. Designing the Visual Look
        1. Preparing to Style the Post Content Block
        2. Adding a Custom Variable Tag to the Template
          1. Time for Action!—Darken the Post Date
          2. What Just Happened?
        3. Displaying an Image Next to the Title of Each Post
          1. Time for Action!—Adding an Image to the Post Title
          2. What Just Happened?
        4. Adding Background Images to Post Text Blocks
          1. Time for Action!—Editing Post Text Styles
          2. What Just Happened?
        5. Spicing up the Sidebar
          1. Time for Action!—Editing the Sidebar Styles
          2. What Just Happened?
        6. Styling the Footer Section
          1. Time for Action!—Editing the Footer Styles
          2. What Just Happened?
        7. Styling the Header Section of the Template
          1. Time for Action!—Editing the Header Styles
          2. What Just Happened?
      2. Adding Polish to the Template with Style(s)
        1. Creating Visual Interest with Backgrounds and Borders
          1. Time for Action!—Adding Backgrounds and Borders
          2. What Just Happened?
      3. Creating a Three-column Template
        1. Preparing to Modify Your Current Template
          1. Time for Action!—Building a Three-column Template
          2. What Just Happened?
        2. Tweaking Template Images
          1. Time for Action!—Editing the Header Image Width
          2. What Just Happened?
    5. Summary
  8. 3. Social Bookmarking
    1. How Social Bookmarking Works
      1. Submitting Posts without Bookmarks
          1. Time for Action!—Become a "Bookmarker"
          2. What Just Happened?
      2. Sharing Posts by Email
          1. Time for Action!—Turn On Email Posting
          2. What Just Happened?
    2. Adding Bookmarks to Blogs
      1. Choosing the Right Bookmarks for Your Blog
        1. Deciding Which Bookmark Services to Use
      2. Using Simple Text Link Bookmarks
          1. Time for Action!—Adding Bookmarks as Text Links
          2. What Just Happened?
          3. Take it Further—Bookmark Link Scavenger Hunt
      3. Adding Social Bookmark Buttons
          1. Time for Action!—Adding Bookmark Buttons to Posts
          2. What Just Happened?
        1. Offering Multiple Bookmarks with One Button
          1. Time for Action!—Offering Multiple Bookmarks with AddThis
          2. What Just Happened?
      4. Adding Dynamic Counters to Bookmark Links
          1. Time for Action!—Adding Dynamic Links with Counters to Posts
          2. What Just Happened?
        1. Adding Multiple Counter Scripts Simultaneously
          1. Time for Action—Add Multiple Counter Scripts with Feedburner Flare
          2. What Just Happened?
    3. Attracting Readers with Links
      1. What People are Tagging
        1. Planning an Article
          1. Time for Action!—Create a Killer Article
          2. What Just Happened?
      2. Building an Audience with Regular Posts
          1. Time for Action!—Develop a Post Schedule
          2. What Just Happened?
    4. Summary
  9. 4. Joining the Blogosphere
    1. Backlinks, Trackbacks, & Pingbacks
      1. Configuring Backlinks
          1. Time for Action!—Activating the Backlinks Service
            1. What Just Happened?
      2. Why You Need Backlinks
        1. Trackbacks Added Automatically
        2. Viewing Multiple Backlinks
      3. Being a Backlinker
        1. Maintaining Backlinks
          1. Time for Action!—Backlinking to a Blogger Blog
          2. What Just Happened?
        2. Using a Trackback Service
          1. Time for Action!—Adding the Haloscan Trackback Service
          2. What Just Happened?
        3. Trackbacking Non-Blogger Blogs
          1. Time for Action!—Trackbacking with Haloscan
          2. What Just Happened?
    2. Blogrolls
      1. Setting up Blogrolls
          1. Time for Action!—Adding a Blogroll Widget
          2. What Just Happened?
      2. Caring for Blogrolls
    3. Linkbaiting Bloggers
      1. Attract Attention
        1. Find a Unique Story Angle
        2. Create Controversy
          1. Provide Richer and Deeper Content
          2. Writing about Complex Topics
          3. Creating Serial Articles
    4. Technorati and Other Blog Networks
      1. How Blog Networks Work
          1. Time for Action!—Exploring Technorati
          2. What Just Happened?
    5. Summary
  10. 5. Using Widgets
    1. Adding a Blogger Page Element Widget
          1. Time for Action!—Add a Photo Slideshow Widget
          2. What Just Happened?
    2. Widgets Your Readers Want
      1. Adding a Custom Third-party Widget
          1. Time for Action!—Add a Twitter Badge
          2. What Just Happened?
      2. Adding Interactive Third-Party Widgets
        1. Interacting with Visitors Using Chat
          1. Time for Action!—Installing a MeeboMe Chat Widget
          2. What Just Happened?
      3. Social Network Badges
          1. Time for Action!—Mimicking a Blogger Profile with a Facebook Badge
          2. What Just Happened?
      4. E-commerce with Blogger
        1. Using Product Sales Widgets
        2. Offering Products as an Amazon Affiliate
          1. Time for Action!—Add an Amazon Affiliate Widget
          2. What Just Happened?
      5. Providing PayPal Service on Your Blog
          1. Time for Action!—Create a PayPal Storefront Widget
          2. What Just Happened?
    3. Blogger and Third-Party Widgets
    4. Crafting Custom Blogger Widgets
          1. Time for Action!—Create an Add Recipes Widget
          2. What Just Happened?
      1. Anatomy of a Widget
    5. Choose Your Widgets Wisely
      1. Picking the Right Widgets
        1. Widget Matching Matrix
        2. Ways to Pick Widgets
    6. Planning for Future Widgets
      1. Using Experimental Widgets
          1. Time for Action!—Adding a Google Gadget to draft.blogger.com
          2. What Just Happened?
    7. Summary
  11. 6. RSS and Atom Syndication
    1. How Site Feeds Work in Blogger
      1. Choosing a Feed Protocol for Your Blog
        1. Multiple Feed Protocol Icons Confuse Visitors
        2. Discovering the Post URL of Your Blogger Blog
          1. Time for Action!—Grabbing a Feed Post URL
          2. What Just Happened?
        3. Grabbing Feeds with Safari
    2. Managing Blogger Feeds
      1. Basic Feed Settings
          1. Time for Action!—Managing Basic Site Feed Settings
          2. What Just Happened?
      2. Advanced Feed Settings
          1. Time for Action!—Configuring Advanced Feed Settings
          2. What Just Happened?
        1. Redirecting Feeds
          1. Time for Action!—Configuring Feed Redirects
          2. What Just Happened?
        2. Promoting Your Blog with Feed Chicklets
          1. Time for Action!—Adding FeedBurner Chicklets
          2. What Just Happened?
        3. More Ways to Publicize Your Feed with FeedBurner
          1. Time for Action!—Adding Headline Animator
        4. Updating Google Sitemaps for Redirected Feeds
        5. Give Visitors the Feed They Need with SmartFeed
        6. Notifying Services with PingShot
      3. Label Specific Feeds
        1. Offering Feeds by Label
          1. Time for Action!—Specifying Feeds by Label
          2. What Just Happened?
    3. Measuring Feed Success
      1. Showing Your Success with FeedCount
      2. Using FeedBurner Stats
    4. Adding Outside Feeds to Your Blog
          1. Time for Action!—Adding a Feed Using Blogger Page Elements
          2. What Just Happened?
    5. Test Driving Blogger Subscription Links
      1. Making it Easy for Visitors to Add Your Feeds
          1. Time for Action!—Using the Subscription Links Widget
          2. What Just Happened?
        1. Subscription Links versus FeedBurner Redirect
    6. Summary
  12. 7. Making Money with Ads
    1. Eating a Google AdSense and Blogger Sandwich
    2. Setting up Google AdSense for Your Blog
      1. Creating AdSense Ads with Blogger Page Elements
          1. Time for Action!—Using the AdSense Page Element
          2. What Just Happened?
      2. Using Custom AdSense Ads
        1. Considering Your AdSense Options
        2. Designing Your AdSense Ads
          1. Time for Action!—Creating a Custom AdSense Ad Block
          2. What Just Happened?
      3. Putting YouTube Videos to Work with Video Units
        1. Before You Begin
          1. Time for Action!—Adding Video Units
          2. What Just Happened?
        2. Managing Video Unit Players
      4. AdSense for Search
        1. Adding a Custom AdSense for Search to Your Blog
          1. Time for Action!—Setting up AdSense for Search
          2. What Just Happened?
      5. Setting up Referral Ad Units
          1. Time for Action!—Adding a Referral Ad Unit
          2. What Just Happened?
      6. Why Not to Use Referrals
    3. Getting the Most Out of AdSense Ads
      1. Managing Ads in AdSense
      2. Using Advanced Reports
        1. Generating Reports
        2. Viewing Reports
          1. Time for Action!—Scheduling an Automatic Custom Report
          2. What Just Happened?
      3. Using AdSense Filters
          1. Time for Action!—Blocking Competitive Ads with Filters
          2. What Just Happened?
    4. Monetizing Blog Feeds with FeedBurner
      1. Ways to Monetize
        1. FeedBurner Ad Network (FAN)
        2. Displaying AdSense Ads with FeedFlare
          1. Time for Action!—Setting up AdSense Content for Feeds
          2. What Just Happened?
        3. Managing AdSense Content Ad Units in FeedBurner
    5. Discovering Other Advertising Programs
      1. Amazon Affiliate Ads
          1. Time for Action!—Adding a Customized Recommended Product Ad
          2. What Just Happened?
      2. Project Wonderful
      3. BlogAds
    6. Summary
  13. 8. Measuring Site Performance with Google Analytics
    1. Setting up Analytics
    2. Time for Action!—Activating Google Analytics
          1. What Just Happened?
      1. Adding Tracking Code without Editing Your Template
    3. Administrating Google Analytics
      1. Managing Website Profiles
        1. Adding Additional Profiles
          1. Time for Action!—Adding a New Profile
          2. What Just Happened?
      2. Managing Users with Access Manager
        1. Preparing to Add a User
          1. Time for Action!—Granting Access to Users
          2. What Just Happened?
        2. Editing Existing Users
          1. Time for action!—Changing Access for Current Users
          2. What Just Happened?
        3. Deleting Users
      3. Controlling Data with Filters
        1. Setting up Filters
          1. Time for Action!—Adding a Predefined Filter
          2. What Just Happened?
        2. Understanding Regular Expressions
        3. Processing Data Using Custom Filters
          1. Time for Action!—Creating a Custom Filter
          2. What Just Happened?
        4. Types of Custom Filters
    4. Managing Ad Campaign Metrics
      1. Tracking Campaigns
        1. Tagging Campaign Items
        2. Experiencing URL Builder
          1. Time for Action!—Creating Links with URL Builder
          2. What Just Happened?
        3. Identifying Campaign Tags
    5. AdWords Integration
          1. Time for Action!—Integrating Google AdWords
          2. What Just Happened?
      1. Analyzing Keyword Effectiveness
    6. Driving the Reports Dashboard
      1. Navigating the Dashboard
        1. Using the Left Menu of the Dashboard
        2. Exploring the Main Dashboard Overview Section
        3. Customizing the Dashboard Overview
          1. Time for Action!—Adding a Report to the Dashboard Overview
          2. What Just Happened?
      2. Viewing Reports
          1. Time for Action!—Viewing Multiple Metrics on a Graph
          2. What Just Happened?
      3. Analyzing Reports
          1. Time for Action!—Understanding the Content by Title Report
          2. What Just Happened?
      4. Emailing Reports
          1. Time for Action!—Sending Reports by Email
          2. What Just Happened?
    7. Evaluating Performance with Goals
      1. Tracking Performance with Goals
          1. Time for Action!—Setting up a Goal
          2. What Just Happened?
        1. Editing Goals
          1. Time for Action!—Changing a Current Goal
          2. What Just Happened?
    8. Improving Your Blog with Google Analytics
      1. Analyzing Navigation
        1. Exploring the Navigation Summary
        2. Entrance Paths
      2. Optimizing your Landing Page
        1. Examining Entrance Sources
        2. Discovering Entrance Keywords
      3. Interpreting Click Patterns
        1. Understanding Site Overlay
    9. Summary
  14. 9. Search Engine Optimization
    1. Seeing a Blog through Search Engine Goggles
      1. Performing a Search—Which Blogs Rank High
        1. What High Ranking Blogs Do Right
      2. Using Tools to Evaluate a Blog
          1. Time for Action!—Using a Toolbar to Check Site Rank
          2. What Just Happened?
        1. Using the Google PageRank Button
        2. Discovering Search Engine Reach Using Tools
          1. Time for Action!—Checking Search Engine Reach with NetConcepts URL Checker
          2. What Just Happened?
        3. Improving Search Engine Rank with Web Standards
        4. Validating Your Blog Template
          1. Time for Action!—Validating Your Site with W3C
          2. What Just Happened?
        5. Blog SEO Checklist
    2. Planning Improvements
      1. Creating a List of Improvements
        1. Ten Ways to Optimize a Blog for Search Engines
        2. Wearing a White Hat
      2. Developing Improvement Strategies
      3. Prioritizing Improvements
    3. Optimizing Your Blog for Search Engines
      1. Optimizing On-site
        1. Seeding the Blog Title & Description with Keywords
          1. Time for Action!—Updating the Blog Title and Description
          2. What Just Happened?
        2. Allowing Search Engines to Find Your Blog
          1. Time for Action!—Activating Blogsearch and Ping Access
          2. What Just Happened?
        3. Fertilizing Content with Keywords
        4. Optimizing Image and Video Posts for Current Searches
          1. Time for Action!—Getting Descriptive with Image Posts
          2. What Just Happened?
        5. Submitting Rich Media Content for Indexing
        6. Improving Template Validation
          1. Time for Action!—Editing the Template Doctype
          2. What Just Happened?
      2. Optimizing with Off-Site Techniques
        1. Adding a Blog to Google Webmaster Tools
          1. Time for Action!—Verifying Your Blogger Blog Using a Meta tag
          2. What Just Happened?
        2. Adding a Sitemap using Google Webmaster Tools
          1. Time for Action!—Adding a Sitemap
          2. What Just Happened?
        3. Communicating with Search Engine Spiders
          1. Time for Action!—Viewing Robots.txt
          2. What Just Happened?
        4. Understanding User-Agent Behavior in Robots.txt
    4. Measuring Optimization Success
      1. Evaluating the Impact of Improvements
    5. Tools and Resources
    6. Maintaining Your SEO Status
      1. Controlling the Destiny of Your Blog
        1. The Secret to Search Engine Attraction
      2. Search Engines Crave Rich Media Content
        1. Why Search Engines Care about Rich Media Content
    7. Summary
  15. 10. Website Integration
    1. Adding Website Navigation
      1. Preparing to Add Navigation
          1. Time for Action!—Adding CSS Text Menus to a Blog
          2. What Just Happened?
        1. Creating a Multi-Level Menu for a Blog
          1. Time for Action!—Adding a Drop-Down Menu to a Blog
          2. What Just Happened?
    2. Using Widgets on Your Site to Share Your Blog
      1. Publicizing Blog Articles with Headline Animator
          1. Time for Action!—Installing Headline Animator on Your Site
          2. What Just Happened?
      2. Publicizing Your Blog with SpringWidgets
          1. Time for Action!—Displaying Blog Previews with SpringWidgets
          2. What Just Happened?
      3. Adding Twitter Updates to Your Website
          1. Time for Action!—Creating and Installing a Twitter HTML Badge
          2. What Just Happened?
    3. Integrating the Look of Your Blog & Website
      1. Using the Same Fonts
          1. Time for Action!—Transferring Fonts from a Website
          2. What Just Happened?
      2. Choosing the Same Colors
          1. Time for Action!—Transferring Colors from a Website
          2. What Just Happened?
    4. Using Blogger with a Custom Domain
      1. Deciding How to Publish Your Blog
      2. Publishing to a Current Domain Using FTP
          1. Time for Action!—Setting up FTP for a Current Domain
          2. What Just Happened?
        1. FTP Errors and Solutions
      3. Using a New Custom Domain
        1. Purchasing a New Custom Domain
          1. Time for Action!—Publishing with a New Custom Domain
          2. What Just Happened?
    5. Summary