Just one this week, people, but I did get a lot of questions in!

Spawned from the Big Sis, Little Blog program, Book Blogging 101 was born. Do you have a question? Leave it in the google docs form and I’ll try and answer them in the order they are received.

Question #1:

How do I get people to comment on my posts?

A: This might rub a little rough, but write stuff that makes people want to comment on. My simple advice:

  • Interact with your readers, ask questions
  • Incite thoughtful responses
  • Give your opinions, see if people state theirs back

Main thing though, comment yourself. Interact in comments – comment back have fun with it. Comment on other people’s blogs, the more people get comfortable with you, the more they will comment.

Question #2:

I have the hardest time finding sidebar widgets!  I’m not necessarily looking for anything specific, but do you know of any sites that have them that you can buy or use for free that are also easy to navigate?

Side question, in Blogger, is there a way to make your actual content take up more of the window, so you don’t have all that wasted space on the right and left sides?  I’ve tried messing with the layout and sidebar sizes and I can’t seem to get the overall content to go any wider.

THANK YOU for doing these posts!  I appreciate both the techie and the bookish insight you give!

– Thinking Cat

A:  I really like blogger buster: http://www.bloggerbuster.com/, other than that, blogger has plenty, you just have to know what to search for.

Side question: That is really a CSS thing. It is in the padding attribute, it should be something like this:

padding: 10px;

Or something similar. You would have to search through your EDIT HTML and check the padding. The more padding, the more space, the smaller padding amount, the less space.

Question #3:

How do you box-shade a paragraph with/without a book cover image? ~Thank you.  – Jinky

A: I’m assuming you are referring to a blockquote. Something like this:


I lurve me some blockquotes. I use them all the time. I make them highlight my text so I can eat some lime.

Now it really doesn’t have to be as fancy as that, but you can make it look pretty nice. You are just going to have to go into your EDIT HTML.

This is fun and easy in the new BLOGGER template designer. GO to Design > Template Designer > Advanced and then scroll down to Add CSS

You can use this to start:

blockquote {
    font-family: Georgia, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif;
    font-size: 15px;
    line-height: 25px;
    color: #FFF;
    padding: 25px;
    background-color: #000;
    border: 1px solid #333;
    margin-bottom: 15px;

Copy and paste it into that white box. Follow the clues in the code. They tell you what they do.

    font-family: Georgia, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif;

That is what font is going to show up. I like to make it a different font than what I use in my post.

   font-size: 15px;

 This is your font size. I also like my font to be bigger than my post font.

    line-height: 25px;

This is the space between your lines of text. Experiment, make it smaller, make it larger. See what you like.

    color: #FFF;

This is the color of the text. It is set to white.

    padding: 25px;

This is how inset your text is from the border. Experiment make it smaller, make it larger. See what you like.

    background-color: #000;

This is your background color. It is set to black right now.

    border: 1px solid #333;

This is the border. First part 1px tells it how big the border is. Solid tells it what kind of border, there are a few options that you have for this one. I keep it solid, but you can use dotted, or inset or a few others. Third part is the color of the border. It is set to a gray color.

    margin-bottom: 15px;

This is giving a bit of space between the block quote and your next paragraph, you can experiment with the pixel size on this one also. 

Now whenever you want to have it styled this way you just hit the BLOCKQUOTE feature on your blogger editor…and you are good to go.

That is it folks. There were a few more questions…but I think they need to have their own posts because they were intense.

Ask your BB101 Questions here…