Tuesday, April 6, 2010

About Blogging: Blogger Gadgets (Part 5)

Blogger Gadgets are those additional information you can place on your blog sidebar or below your blog posts.  You can add these by going to the Layout in your Dashboard and on that page you can click on Add a Gadget.  A new window will open then you can click to choose the gadget you wish to add.  You can drag and drop the gadgets to rearrange them the way you want it to appear on your blog. 


In my humble opinion, these are just a few of the gadgets I believe are essential and have found helpful in my blogging.

Profile - This gadget functions in the same way as the About pages in other websites that we see.  It is where you can say things and information about yourself or your business or anything you would want your readers to know.  Here I also get to display links to my other blogger blogs. 


Labels - This is also like tagging or categorizing your blog posts.  It's another way of organizing the information from posts you have in your blog.  For example, if you a series of posts about Health, you can put Health on Labels and if you have Labels enabled in your sidebar, you will find a Health link there that leads to all your Health blog posts.  You can rename this as Post Topics, Categories, Tags or whatever is appropriate.

Subscription Link to Feeds / Email - If you are posting very good content, your readers may want to continue to read your future posts.  They can do so by subscribing to your blog feeds.  You can simply add the Subscription Links Gadget.  But if you want to add email subscription to your blog (a way by which readers can subscribe to your blog posts and receive it in their email), you can use the free services of Feedburner.  Just follow the steps there and you will have your Feedburner services set up in no time at all.  By the way, one added feature I like about Feedburner is that I can socialize my feed with Twitter.  This simply means Feedburner posts my blog updates to Twitter automatically every time I add a new post.

Link Within - If you've been posting for quite a while, you would wish that your blog visitors will not just read your most recent posts but also dig into your older quality posts.  One way to encourage this is to use LinkWithin.  Link Within shows related stories under each post by displaying a thumbnail or a link.  This is a good free tool that suggests other reading topics that your visitors may find interesting and click to read.  I have kept visitors staying longer in my blog with the help of Link Within.

Followers by Google Friend Connect - One of the good things about blogging is making friends who become followers of your blog.  So if you're not adding this gadget, you're missing a lot.  When visitors become followers of your blog, they are automatically informed of your new posts via feeds in their Google Feeds Reader or in their Blogger dashboard.  I, myself, check the new posts of the bloggers I follow and click to their post if it catches my interest.  Many repeat visitors to my blog also come by this way.


Blog List - This is my way of showing link love to my blogger friends.  I have renamed this as Blogs I Follow.  Every time the blogs I follow make a new post, their blog name with their recent post title shows up on my side bar.  Then, not only I can go check it out, but also my blog visitors can visit their blog if they find the post title interesting.

Traffic Stats - If you want to know how many visitors have been to your site, where they are coming from, what pages they're looking at and other traffic statistics, you can add these free tools like Feejit, Histats and Google Analytics to your blog.  With the statistics that these tools provide, you can study how to improve your blog in terms of keywords, traffic efforts and eventually the monetization of your blog (if you're planning to do that).

There are a lot more gadgets available which you can add to your blog, But unlike the Profile, Followers and Blog List which you can easily put by clicking Add a Gadget and click on their icons, these other Gadgets like the LinkWithin, Traffic Stats Widget, etc, you need to know a little about HTML.

Let me briefly explain how to add these.  When you go to LinkWithin, for example, you will input some information like your Blog URL and then they will give you an HTML code.  You need to copy this. Then go to your Blogger Layout, click Add a Gadget then choose HTML.  On the new window that will appear, paste the HTML code that you got from Link Within then click save (You can add a title if you want to).  You can just drag and drop that gadget where you want it to appear in your blog.  In case of Link Within, it should be below your blog post.

I think, this blog post has been long enough.  I hope you learned something from it.  Happy Blogging!

By the way, do add your favorite blog widget or gadget ideas in the comment section.  Thanks!

1 comment:

teecup said...

Mine are:

1. Comment Luv through IntenseDebate
2. Link Within
3. Popular Posts
4. Google Search
5. Subscription Links