Sunday, 30 September 2012

Did you know there were photo limits on Blogger? I didn't until I read this!

A big thank you to the Blue Eyed Beauty Blog for posting on the issue of photo limits on Blogger.  I am certainly going to take her advice about the size of the photos I use from now on!  Click here to see her post.

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Saturday, 29 September 2012

How to kill the "prove you are not a robot stuff" on Blogger!

For anyone that would like to make it easier for readers to comment on your blog.  This is how you get rid of word verification stuff on Blogger.

You need to go to the old Blogger interface - on your dashboard look up to top right, click the little wheel and it will give you the old interface as an option. Click that. You will see a big blue button - don't click that - click the one 3 along to the right - settings.

Then click the comments tab - scroll down to the question "Show word verification for comments?" and click no.

That will sort it. But you do have to click the yellow save settings button at the bottom.

To go back to the new interface just click the blue " try the updated blogger interface" at the top next to your email address.

PS  I hope this is helpful.  Feel free to copy and use the picture.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Would you like to create something like this?

To create your own word picture like this - just go to  It is free and simple.  You just paste any text you want to use as the base for the picture into the box - or - as I did for this one - put in the url of this blog (or a post) - and then you can just push randomize or other settings buttons til you find a layout that you like.  You can even right click over a word and it will give you the option to take out that word.

One thing though - you will need to have Oracle's Java installed to do this.

The other thing is that I couldn't find an easy way to save it onto my computer.  I did a screenshot and then used Paint to do it.  Click here for the post about doing screenshots.

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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Keyboard shortcut for the day – Control + C and Control +V

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I thought I would share with you another keyboard shortcut I use constantly which is a good time saver. Many of you will already use keyboard shortcuts so just skip over this post if you know it all.

This shortcut works in a Word Document (which is where I draft almost all my posts) and also within the Blogger Compose window if you are drafting your Post directly in there

If you highlight/select the words or paragraphs you want to copy and then push Control and then c (while still holding down Control) your text will be copied. You can then paste it to wherever you want them by just pushing Control and then V. This is how I move my posts from my Word document into Blogger.

If I wasn't a bit of a careful sort, I could just cut the post and then paste it– but I prefer to leave it in the draft document just in case something goes wrong. (The keyboard shortcut for cut is Control+ X)

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Do you find it harder to comment using your iPad?

I don't know about you guys, but I find it much slower to make comments when I am on the iPad rather than my pc.  The little virtual keyboard just doesn't do it for me  - I can't touch type on it.

I have found one thing that helps me if I need to comment by iPad - my preference is still to do comments on the proper keyboard.

Since this might help others, the tip is to use the Keyboard shortcuts on your iPad.  You set them up by going into Settings  - the icon for this looks like this:

In the left hand list you need to be on General

Then scroll down til you find a heading Keyboard (it's between Date & Time and International) - touch that line  and you will see the heading Shortcuts.  And a line "Add New shortcut".

If you push that you can put in a phrase that you commonly use when commenting - like say - have a great day!  And then you put a shortcut for that in - like hag.  And then push the blue Save button

Then every time you type hag the phrase Have a great day!  will pop up and you just confirm it by pressing return on the keyboard.

One warning - don't make your shortcut a word that you will use in other contexts!   If you do, you will soon find out that your phrase pops up when you don't want it!

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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Unfollowing a blog using the new Blogger Interface

I have only just  found out how to unfollow a blog in the new Blogger Interface.  Up til now, when I found I had mistakenly followed a blog and wanted to take it off my reading list, I was  going back into the Old Blogger Interface to do it - or doing it on the blog itself by signing in and then going to Site Settings.

But wouldn't you know it, the answer is right there - look at your Dashboard - on the other side from where you see the heading Reading List there is a little wheel thing.  If you click it, it takes you to a window where you can manage your reading list.  It even says that when you mouse over the wheel.  So I should have figured this out much earlier!

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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Keyboard shortcut for the day – Control + B

I thought I would share with you a keyboard shortcut I use constantly which is a good time saver.  Many of you will already use keyboard shortcuts so just skip over this post if you know it all.

This shortcut works in a Word Document (which is where I draft almost all my posts) and also within the Blogger Compose window if you are drafting your Post directly in there.

If you highlight/select the words you want to be in bold and then push Control and then B (while still holding down Control) your words will be bolded – and if you do it again they will go back to the way they were.

If you don't use the Control key a lot, you can find it on most keyboards right at the bottom left labeled "Ctrl"– there are actually 2 of them – the other one is about 3/4 to the right of the space-bar on the same row.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Blogger following limits

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Did you know that Google won't let you follow more than 300 blogs?  Well, they try to stop you, anyway.  If you have been in the habit of signing up to follow blogs by using the Add button under Reading List on your Dashboard - like I was - you will find that once you are following 300 blogs it won't let you add more this way.

But there is a way around it - and I wish I had known about it a long time ago - I would then have only used the "add" button for non-GFC sites and life would have been smooth sailing.  All you do to get around it is to follow new sites by clicking the Google Friend Connect "Join this Site" - most blogs have it and Google will just keep adding the sites merrily into your reading list even if you have more than 300.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Get more pageviews with charts

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If you want to have posts that keep on getting page views for a very long time, try putting in a chart!  I posted a chart on types of clouds some time ago and it is the gift that keeps on giving.  The viewers come in via Google search.  This post is now my all time No4 on the Popular Posts lists.

Happy blogging!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Would you like a custom signature for each post?

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If you would like to create a custom signature for each post, then head over to A Little Unhinged who has done a useful post on how you go about it.  This is the link.  Thanks for the permission to refer to this, Gwen.

I haven't done this myself yet - I'm not sure yet if I want to.  As you know, I am a bit minimalist about my blog design.  It is all about the content, after all, isn't it??

PS  Another little tip - did you notice that the Pin it button is underneath the first image?  If you don't put the image first you will find that your post shows up in your followers' dashboards with only the Pin it button as the image - which isn't very attractive.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Pre-scheduling posts in Blogger for when you are busy

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Now, everyone might already do this but I have noticed occasions where posts are apologising for being late with regular events like linky parties.  You can avoid this by pre-scheduling your post ahead of time so that it will turn up at exactly the time you wanted.

When you are writing a post you will see the Post Settings sidebar at the right.  If you click on Schedule 2 options will come up.  Automatic and Set Date and Time.  If you click the button Set Date and Time you will be given a calendar to click for the date you want - and to change the time just click in that box and scroll to what you want - or type it in.  Don't forget to click done when you are finished.

And then you still have to click the big orange button at the top which will say Publish or Schedule!  Thanks to Kristina who pointed this out - easy to miss the last but most crucial step!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Adding "you might also like" at the end of your posts

I must be one of the last Bloggers out there to get onto this... sigh.  But just in case there are some more people out there, here is a post about how to get that neat little thing at the end of each post which says - You might also like and then puts 3 thumbnails of earlier posts there to entice your readers to click through to them.

For months I put manual links at the end of each post - what a palaver.  And then I noticed that many of the blogs I follow had these thumbnails at the end of each post.  I did some fossicking on Google and wasn't very successful at finding what I wanted.  So I did the obvious and asked one of  my blog friends how they did it. (As an aside, I have found everyone that I have asked a question like this - no matter how dumb - to have been very helpful - in a way that is why I am doing this little blog to pay forward all that help).

The first provider of these thumbnails that was recommended to me was Link Within - which is used by lots of people.  I went to their site and installed it but wasn't that happy with how it worked for my blog - the recommendations seemed very random.  I am sure this may not be the case for others.  It is just that I cover a number of quite different topics.  So please do give them a go.  It is free.

So I then found another provider - nrelate - which has been great.  It is also free.  It comes up with the goods for me.  One thing I did get wrong is that when I installed it I chose to have the thumbnails on my posts only and not on my home page.  That was a mistake so I had to uninstall it and reinstall it - with the right box checked this time.

Anyway, whichever provider you use, just do it.  It happens automatically for each new post.  Fantastic.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Add a Popular Posts Gadget if you don't have one yet

I do think that having the popular posts gadget in your sidebar is a good idea.  I have put it just under the search box.  It gives people visiting your site an easy snapshot of what your best ie most popular posts are about.

You add this to your blog, in Blogger,  by going to your Dashboard, clicking Layout and then clicking one of the boxes labelled add a gadget.  Blogger then comes up with some to choose from. If you scroll down you will find it is 5th on the list.  Just click the plus sign and make a couple of selections as to what you want shown in terms of time and number - I suggest thumbnails and titles and 10 posts (the maximum).  Then you just click the orange Save button and you are done.

You can drag the gadget around the Layout screen until you have it where you want it.


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Staying safe on Pinterest - link to useful article

I suggest you click through to this informative article from The Divvy Spot about protecting yourself on Pinterest - particularly from being marked as spam.  Thanks for the permission to link this up, Divvy Spot.


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

If you want to design your own blog button

If you are into buttons, I have permission to give you this link to A Little Unhinged who did a post on how to design your own blog button.  This is the link

Happy blogging!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Why using permalinks is a good idea

When you are doing a post in Blogger, there are post settings on the right.  A relatively new one is called "permalink".  You have a choice of automatic or custom permalinks.  If you go automatic the name for your post will be made up out of your title.

But I think it is better to use custom permalinks so that you have more flexibility about what you put in the title - and you can use the important keywords for the post in the custom permalink.

In a custom permalink you can't use spaces or any punctuation except a dash.

Before you get carried away, and decide to do new custom permalinks for your old posts - don't if there is any possibility that they are linked to other sites/posts - if you change to a custom permalink you will break all those links.


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Put a Pin it button in your sidebar - particularly if you are linking in to Food on Friday or Books You Loved

To make it easier for me to pin the recipes on your blog to the Food on Friday pinboards, please put a pin it button on your sidebar.  This is how you do it.  

You need to go to your Dashboard and then to Layout and add a gadget - the one you want is Configure HTML/Java Script.

This was the code I used:

<a href='javascript:void((function()%7Bvar%20e=document.createElement(&apos;script&apos;);e.setAttribute(&apos;type&apos;,&apos;text/javascript&apos;);e.setAttribute(&apos;charset&apos;,&apos;UTF-8&apos;);e.setAttribute(&apos;src&apos;,&apos;;+Math.random()*99999999);document.body.appendChild(e)%7D)());'><img alt='Pin It' onclick='doPinIt();' src='' style='margin: 0 0 0 0;'/></a>

One last point, if your post doesn't have at least one reasonably sized image, Pinterest won't let me pin it.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Search this blog box

I am quite often surprised just how many blogs don't have search boxes where their readers can search for subjects that interest them.  Or, if they do have them, they are hidden towards the bottom of the page.  If you have a search box like that I suggest you try searching for something - often the results show up right at the top of the page and then if you want to search again you have to scroll down to find the search box again.

So my suggestion is that you make sure you have a search box and that it is towards the top of one of your sidebars - probably right at the top under the header is the very best spot.

The search box is one of the basic gadgets available in Blogger - and I imagine in other blog platforms as well.  To move it around you just need to go into Layout and drap and drop it where you want it to be.

Ps having piously advised you on this, I have just realised I hadn't yet put a search box on this blog.... sigh. Will now fix that.