Blogger Spring Cleaning

Blogger Spring Cleaning

Welcome to Spring! You shouldn’t just clean your house this spring, you should also give your blog a clean-up.

Blogger Spring Cleaning

Tips & Tricks – Clean up your blog

 

Clean your blog

 

  • Remove unused widgets, if they are installed on your blog they are eating up space.
  • Remove unused plugins, these too suck away your bandwidth and your storage space
  • Do a broken image search
  • While you’re at it, check for broken links –> Try this!

CLean up your blog

  • Take it off your sidebar, if it is not essential it needs to go away
  • If no one is using your “share” plugin, ditch it
  • If you have a meme that you participate in, but gets no comments or pageviews, time to think up a new strategy
  • Blogger shout-outs but no reciprocal link? Support someone else that supports you!

Clean up your blog

Spring Cleaning isn’t just about what your readers see…

  • Clean up your tags, do you use reviews and review? Change it to just review. Consolidate your tags and streamline them for easy user searching.
  • How many drafts do you have? Go through your old drafts, write and schedule them or ditch them.
  • Ditch themes that you haven’t used and don’t plan on using.

Clean up your blog

  • Check your pages – all of them. About, Contact, Review policy. Change dates from 2014 to 2015, delete unnecessary content, update rules and regulations.
  • Check your posts, if you have old posts that are still getting traffic, refresh the content.
  • Revise your policy pages
  • Check your navigation system

 

Enjoy your happy refreshed blog. Next week we’ll do a bit of “revamping” on the blog.

clean up your blog

How to Set Up Social Icons on Your Blog

How to Set Up Social Icons on Your Blog

Social Icons are very important on your blog. You can set up gadgets and widgets galore, but users look for those happy social icons. It’s a typical blogger user interface. If you don’t have them you become harder to reach and you want to be able to be reached. As an example, each week Alison and I set up the #FF post. Each week Alison or I if she’s busy, look for bloggers to feature. This past week it was my turn and I went to five blogs before I actually found a blog with contact information that I could locate easily. All of these bloggers are relatively new bloggers – so there is a learning curve, but really the fact that five blogs had no contact info is crazy. What if an author wants to get in touch with you? Or your reader, or a blogger that wants to give you free publicity. Common sense, you would think.

This is where I come in, to teach you how to set up social icons on your blog.

Today we will be using these icons for our tutorial. Download them here.

socials

Setting up Your Social Icons

1. Host your images on a free image sharing platform, I recommend Flickr, but any platform is essentially the same. The point is to turn your image into a URL

2. Once you host your images, get their URL. Easy way to get a URL, right-click on the image and scroll to Copy Image Url

Free Social Icons

3. An easy way to keep it in order is by copy and pasting the URLs into a word doc, this way I keep them all together

Untitled_2

4. Now it’s time to get your HTML ready, the HTML you will need is a simple link and IMG code, you will have one code string per image and link, the code looks like this:

 


<a href="http://www.twitter.com/parajunkee" target="_blank"  ><img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8661/16676294140_719e3bf489_o.png" alt="Twitter" title="Twitter" border="0" /></a>

5. The above code shown is for just one image with one link. The HTML code that you will have to change is highlighted in yellow. Add your image URL you collected to the second highlighted area, insert your twitter username in the first highlighted snippet.

6. One of the challenges of this code can be the alignment, you have to copy this code over and over again for each image and link. Sometimes this results in uneven images, or weird alignments. I wrap the code with a DIV. A DIV is basically a box or a boundary. This is the same code with a div wrapped around it, new code is highlighted in yellow:

 


<div style="float:left;" text-align: center;">
<a href="http://www.twitter.com/parajunkee" target="_blank" ><img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8661/16676294140_719e3bf489_o.png" alt="Twitter" title="Twitter" border="0" /></a></div>

7. Now all you need to do is repeat this code, insert your URL, the full URL (don’t forget the http://) and change the image URL, Title and Alt tag if you want to keep things organized. See the full code snippet with items you should change in yellow:


<div style="float:left;" text-align: center;">
<a href="http://www.twitter.com/parajunkee" target="_blank" ><img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8661/16676294140_719e3bf489_o.png" alt="Twitter" title="Twitter" border="0" /></a></div>


<div style="float:left;" text-align: center;">
<a href="http://www.parajunkee.com/feed" target="_blank" ><img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8661/16676294140_719e3bf489_o.png" alt="RSS" title="RSS" border="0" /></a></div>

<div style="float:left;" text-align: center;">
<a href="http://www.Facebook.com" target="_blank" ><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7600/16837809756_7e982b674c_o.png" alt="Facebook" title="Facebook" border="0" /></a></div>

<div style="float:left;" text-align: center;">
<a href="http://www.Bloglovin.com" target="_blank" ><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7639/16862652701_5a691bc1f1_o.png" alt="Bloglovin" title="Bloglovin" border="0" /></a></div>

<div style="float:left;" text-align: center;">
<a href="http://www.Goodreads.com" target="_blank" ><img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8582/16862652681_e363da25ec_o.png" alt="Goodreads" title="Goodreads" border="0" /></a></div>

8. Finally, copy and paste your code into a Text Widget in your sidebar. This is what the above code will look like:

Twitter
RSS
Facebook
Bloglovin
Goodreads

Things to keep in mind when creating your code:

  • Paste within ” ” quotes – this can drive you crazy if you forget one “
  • You can have as many social icons as you want, but if they are bigger than your sidebar they will automatically flow to the next line
  • You can use this code with any social icon images, just have the URLs of the images
  • If you want your social images to float right, change the float:left; to float:right;

Good luck and let me know if there are icons to are integral to book bloggers that I didn’t include!

Social Media Day 2 Day #BB101 & Infographic

Social Media Day 2 Day #BB101 & Infographic

Social Media is integral to blogging. You gotta do it, you gotta do it right to make an impact. You ready? Here is a day to day script pattern to be a social media guru.

tweet

 

Twitter To-Dos

  • Share your post
  • Retweet three great posts
  • Respond to your @s
  • Tweet out a fun comment
  • Follow someone who retweeted you
  • Tweet out an popular archive post
  • Ask a question

like

 

Facebook To-Dos

  • Reply to comments
  • Respond to DMs
  • Share your post
  • Like comments
  • Engage in groups
  • Schedule a post
  • Comment on another page

share

 

Google+ To-Dos

  • Share your post
  • Share a great post
  • + Great content

Pinterest To-Dos

  • Pin your homepage
  • Pin a friends blog
  • Pin an archive post

Instagram To-Dos

  • Daily “life” shot
  • Daily “inspiration” shot
  • Daily #amreading shot
  • Book Haul shot

follow

  • Check & Respond to your emails
  • Find a funny picture to share on social media (share it cross outlet)
  • Search the blogosphere for inspiration for blog posts
  • Check niche news outlets for hot new topics
  • Find new blogs to follow
  • Use an image to add a visual to your tweets & posts
  • Share useful information (cross outlet)
  • Engage in conversations
  • Tweet or Post something nice about another blogger/follower

 

connect

 

 

 

  • Comment on five blogs
  • Share a great blog post on social
  • Save a blog post to share for later

popular

 

 

  • Check your stats for your most popular posts
  • Share your popular posts on social
  • Expand on your popular posts in a future post

Now that you are all revved up to be a social media guru – go out there, Share, Like and ReBlog. Do a girl a favor and start with this one:

Social Media Infographic

 

Whoops! Your Indie is Showing.

Whoops! Your Indie is Showing.

11How to Judge and Indie Book

Let’s face it, a lot of self-published books are obviously self-published. DIY meets SMH. The book is reminiscent of a fourth-grade project I did on Ben Franklin. His head fell off, the lightening bolt looked like a bent spoon and I spelled bifocal wrong. I did not get an A for effort and neither should half-assed self-published books. If you want my cash, you better make an effort. And the fact that these books are published in this fashion make the self-published authors that REALLY go the extra mile to tighten up their book, look bad also. The general stereotype of self-published automatically grouping them with these DIY hot messes. So, to separate the Hot Mess from the Awesome I have a few ways to judge a book…and I will not read it if it is an obvious self-pub hot mess. This is how I can tell…

Seven Ways to Tell a Book is Self-Published

1. Your Cover Looks Like Your Graphic Designer is Color-Blind and Half-Mad

Really Bad Cover

 

No, just no. My seven-year-old could design a cover better than some self-published covers I’ve seen. The above one looks like they actually used a professional designer, but there was too much client input. Waaay too much client input and didn’t know how to say “it might be a bit too busy if I add that speed boat.” Stop chanting “don’t judge a book by its cover” because WE ALL do it. The book cover is the first thing we see. We judge. We judge a lot!

2. Your Blurb Reads Like A Monkey Wrote It

Felicity Smolty is kind of a broken person. She has promised to never lose her virginity because ofa promoise she made with her father on his death bed. Can the really super hot fireman Joe break her promise? Or will he go down in flames?

Don’t laugh. You know how many blurbs I get like this, everyday?! And you wonder why my faith in the human race is at an all time low?

3. THERE IS A FRACKING SPELLING ERROR IN YOUR FIRST SENTENCE

You doubt me? It’s happened. Get an editor. Get spell check. Get something.

4. No One is Buying Your Stuff So You Are Giving it Away For Free

All  of your books are free. Why is that?? I understand the first one in a series. But all of them? What is the point?

5. All Five of Your Reviews are 5-Stars and Two-Sentences

That screams “I asked my buddies to go on Amazon and write something nice about my book. All five of my buddies. Oh one is my mom.” I know why they are only two sentences also – because even your mom didn’t read your book.

A_Trip_to_Areté_-_Kindle_edition_by_Jane_Dawson__Politics___Social_Sciences_Kindle_eBooks___Amazon_com_

 6. There are Ten Other Books with Your Same Title

This isn’t just a self-published thang, I’ll admit it. How many times have you tried to search for a book on Goodreads and there is a TON of books with that same name? Search your book title on Goodreads or Amazon before you publish. Please!?

7. Your Author Bio Pic is a Stock Photography Image

That ain’t you. We are not stupid. Nope.

Amazon_com__Sienna_Valentine__Books__Biography__Blog__Audiobooks__Kindle

 

I do love reading indie, you can find some gems in the self-published market, but you can also find some really bad books. It’s like that terrible singer that auditions for American Idol and thinks they were awesome. Why hasn’t their mamma told them they suck? Well, for all the bad self-published books out there, your mamma might not have read your book…so we, the book bloggers of the world, don’t mind telling you.

The Ultimate Book Blogger Resource List

The Ultimate Book Blogger Resource List

Helpful links for book bloggers

Hi there book bloggers! This little niche in the blogosphere has changed a lot in the -err- almost six years that I’ve been doing this, but one thing always stays the same — there are tons of resources for book bloggers if you know where to look for them. Some sites you might have “been there and done that” and others might be a slap-in-the-face of “how did I not know about this?” I just hope that this list helps. It’s not easy being a book blogger and sometimes the rewards are few and far between, depending on the day of the week, so anything to make it a bit easier.

freebooks

Get Review Titles & ARCs for Review

Social Networks & Forums for Book Bloggers & Readers

Facebook Groups:

Book Tour Sites for Book Bloggers

These are just a few – I couldn’t list all of them!

 Book Blogger Info & Lists

Infographics for Book Bloggers

Monetize & Info

Great Sites for Tutorials & Events for Book Bloggers:

Shifter Wars! A Dishing Junk Crazy Shifter Special

Shifter Wars! A Dishing Junk Crazy Shifter Special

Are you ready for it??

The world has exploded into chaos as SHIFTERS are revealed as real.
The chance of a lifetime is here as hot shifter boys and girls are everywhere and you get to choose…

Would you rather:

Hump a Humpback or Pork a Pufferfish?

Humpback Shifter Shifter Wars Porker fish

 

Boobie Prize Winner

For use of Most Prolific Stock Guy of Awesome and ‘Shopping off his legs.

Vote it up!

 

Parajunkee's View

Forget the water-logged wankers and make it back to land…

Snog a Snake or Ogle an Ogre?

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Shifter Wars

bc3822dd7b5b04f7dc6de81e412a22e6

Vote it up!

 

Parajunkee's View

Shuck the scales and let’s find some fur and feathers…

Would you rather?

Become a Bear’s Bride or Get Engaged to an Eagle?

e93fd28e9da9df8854d7ef4ac3f7c070

 

Shifter Wars

fc3087647f442500cce75a5a4f92b755

 

Vote it up!

 

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