Showing posts from 2014

Internal linking for SEO and better content discovery

If you ask me what is the Search Engine Optimization (=SEO) best practice that you can follow without much effort and with great impact, I will say, on your new posts, give links to top posts from the past.  This is called internal linking . It is a good practice to do internal linking for SEO, but it is also good for content discovery on the website/ blog. Linking to other posts leads to deeper visitor engagement on your blog/ website, especially when visitors find high-quality content on other webpages. This results in higher positioning of your web site on search engines, higher traffic , higher visitor satisfaction, chance of making money and so on.    Internal linking looks routine SEO and is often ignored. But it is one of the easiest ways to offer more content to visitors without your having to create it again.  You can give links to other posts in many ways such as - Links within the body of the blog/ website, referring to specific resources Links given in widgets such

Blogger features: search, language, feed and contact form

This is the last post in this series on Blogger's great features. The complete list of these posts is given at the end of this post. This has been updated in Feb 2016. Create a customized search engine for your website Have you seen a simple search box in the right column of ? You can easily put similar or a more complex search gadget (=widget) on your Blogger blog. In addition, you can customi z e this gadget to search only your website, linked sites or the entire www. You can make the search gadget here . You can put this gadget on any website or blog if that platform allows you to place an html gadget on the blog. Want to have blogging tools and tips in your own language? On the top right hand of your Blogger dashboard, there is an option to change language from the standard English. If you change that to Arabic, Bangla, Hindi or Russian, you will then get tools, tips etc in the language that you selected. However, if you want to write post

Want to advertise your blog on Google network?: Blogger has inbuilt provision for it

This is the seventh post in the series on Blogger's features. Blogger is a wonderful blogging platform with many lesser-known but fantastic features, and bloggers on this platform should make use of them on their blogs for better looks and functionality. Blogger offers bloggers a way to easily advertise their blogs on the web, using its own  AdWords advertising platform.  A non-Blogger can use    AdWords and its associated tools, for blog SEO. Though AdWords is primarily for advertising on Google, it has many tools that can be accessed by bloggers to improve their blog's popularity and to optimise it for making money. We'd discuss these sometime later and not in the present series. In this post, let's just remind our blogger friends that they can use AdWords for advertising their blogs, especially if they are on the Blogger platform. For starting an ad campaign, go to the main dashboard of your blog and click on 'Campaigns'. You are taken step by step to

How to put SEO-friendly URL and description on Blogger posts

updated: November 2020 Relevant URL is important for blog SEO Do you know that though  Blogger assigns a URL to each blog post based on the first words on the post, it   lets you change to an SEO-friendly URL?  First, if you are a very new blogger, let me show you how URLs work. I hope you know that URL is the unique web address of any webpage - a blog's homepage, blog posts, pages etc. Blogger has a typical structure for giving URLs to blog posts:  https://www. In this structure, all is fixed except the last part, called slug . If you don't bother about it, Google automatically assigns the slug based on the first few words of the post. Suppose you have a blog on cooking ( ) and your latest post is titled ' The right way of mashing potatoes for burger '. Blogger would automatically give the post a URL something like this:  Https:// the-right-way-of Now, if someone searches for &#

Blog's html and money making: Blogger's great free features

This is the fifth post in the series on Blogger's great features. The complete list of these posts is given at the end of this post. Unlike blogs, Blogger ( blogs give the blogger the option to make html changes and to put advertisements for making money. These functions remain intact even when the blog has been given a new URL (detailed posts on this aspect are linked below). Making html changes You can make changes to the blog's html directly in two ways: On the blog's template, widgets etc. What it means is that you can change everything - almost everything - on the blog's looks and functionality if you know the underlying computer languages, mostly .html . You need to use this option for putting tags, tracking scripts from affiliates etc on the blog. For doing so, you need to got to 'Template' menu and then click on 'Edit HTML'.  On posts. For this, you have to check the 'HTML' option next to 'Comp

Back up, restore blog content and theme

Blogger is a wonderful blogging platform with many lesser-known but fantastic features, and bloggers on this platform should make use of them on their blogs for better looks and functionality - and keeping their work safe. In this post, we'll talk about exporting a blog, importing another blog's content into one's blog, backing up the blog and restoring a deleted blog. How do I import or export a blog's content? Go to 'Settings' on the blog dashboard. Scroll down the settings and you will find a 'Manage Blog' section. Under this, you will see the options to back up and import your blog's main content and manage videos. You back up  the blog so that you can keep it safe. You can import the backed up file into another blog on Blogger or other blogging platform. On other platforms, you might have to do some tweaking to adjust the imported content according to the new blog's settings. You can import contents of an existing blog

How blogging scores over social networking

Blogs show passion while social networks boost their own revenue! Did it ever come to your mind that blogs are much more independent than your accounts / pages on Facebook and Twitter? Read on... When you post something on your blog, it is there till you take it down or hide it. If a good number of people comment on it and share it on their blogs / sites, that post is also likely to come high on search pages when people search that type of content on Google etc. On the other hand, social network sites play with the content and upgrade or downgrade it based on its commercial value. For example, on your Facebook newsfeed, you will find that all your friends' streams are not shown. On the other hand, you might find an advertisement as if you had followed that and wanted it to show up on the newsfeed. The new technology allows the big daddies of social media to push their advertisements based on what you searched or browsed recently.  And you can put on your blog  all

Great features of Blogger blogging platform

If you have come here to know the latest features of blogging platform 'Blogger ', please go to the latest post linked here.  We are not removing the present post as it reminds of the features that Blogger used to have in 2014.   Long ago, I ran a series on the less known but useful features of Blogger, one of the most popular blogging platforms. In the meantime, Blogger has changed a lot. I find that many blogger friends on this platform have not explored all the features of this excellent blogging platform or have not kept pace with its upgrades. So this post. Before focusing on some superb features, two things: One, do not blindly apply all types of features only because they look fancy. Use them after analysing their value to your blog and ensuring that these won't hurt your blog's design, navigation, readability and reputation. For example, fancy fonts do not go well with a serious blog. Two, before coming to special features (which I'd discuss in subseq

Text in images: how much is too much?

Bloggers many times put text inside images with different things in mind. At times it works to their advantage while many times it makes the blog look childish. Take the example of small sayings superimposed tastefully on images. In such cases, the entire piece looks like a piece of art and gives the text an iconic identity. You can see some examples of this in these two posts: 1 , 2 . But this, like a special effect, should not be overdone in blog posts. Text works fine as an image or inside an image, when put as the title of the blog. It helps in recall of the blog’s identity. Poet bloggers often use a background image to enhance intensity of their poems. Some blogs excel in beautifully composing their small posts of quotations etc with appropriate images. This all is fine but only if the basics of readability, design etc are kept in mind. We have earlier dealt with this and other related aspects at this link on placing images on blogs . We have seen a good number of blog

Why your blog is not a trash can. It's not Facebook timeline too

Most of us bloggers open our blogs 'on the spur of the moment' and keep posting on it whatever comes to our mind. In the Directory of Best Indian Blogs , you will find more than a hundred such blogs under 'personal' category. We are not saying that there is something intrinsically wrong with posting personal matter on the blog. In fact, blogs (originally called web logs or web diaries) were/are primarily meant to do that. In fact, the blogs selected by us in the 'personal' category of the Directory are indeed very good blogs. So, what's the issue? The issue is lazy blogging; maintaining the blog like a Facebook timeline (or worse, like a Twitter account) just because  we have not thought of making the blog something better. This also explains why a large number of bloggers have left blogging or reduced it in favour of Facebook or other networking sites: they have found new platforms better than the blog for their personal chatter or comment on what

Blogging from passion to making money: Where do you stand?

Most bloggers the world over just blog. Their love for writing and/or clicking photos and sharing them on the blog keeps them going. They write about any topic that stokes their imagination - from spiritual and emotional matters to mundane daily life. They post photos, audio clips and videos of whatever they feel is worth sharing. They engage with other like-minded bloggers. Blogging is their love.  Such bloggers make the bulk of the blogosphere. The common bloggers often open a blog to satisfy the itch to share something more serious and permanent than posts on their Facebook or other social networking accounts. They feel they can write better than many others. They feel they have some special viewpoint on life-matters. They want to have a place where they can put their poems written over years or to share their views with the world whenever they are agitated with their government's  actions or something bad happening in the society. They keep the blogging scene buzzing, aliv

Avoid these 9 inadvertent blogging mistakes

Some people take wrong actions deliberately; they are crooks and criminals. But some do wrong things inadvertently; they are innocent but are not so in the eyes of the society and the law. This post is to caution such innocent bloggers who inadvertently  break a law, offend people, hurt the blog’s reputation.  Do not copy. Do not copy others’ content be it text or graphic or a/v content. In case you must copy, attribute the source but in many cases this will not be enough, e.g. copying a song or photograph or a research document available only to members. Do not use untested widgets and codes. Putting such matter on the blog could harm the blog in many ways: spurious activity such as stealing private information, key-logging, annoying visitors by forcing them to commercial sites, linking to bad sites, etc. In any case, put only such widgets that will add value to the blog. Do not give personal information about others. Unless it serves a special purpose and the information give

Why should businesses blog?

It is often seen that businesses are guided by their IT advisers to go for large portals and have their presence on social networking sites [right now, very fashionable]. Anything that is more sensible but not ‘in vogue’ soon loses importance in the eyes of such star-grazers. Blogs fall in this category. Yet research by international social-media sites as well as marketers themselves have shown that blogs give lots of value to the blog, which websites and social networking presence do not give.   Blog content is more permanent than that on social networking messages. Social networking sites, especially Facebook and Twitter, create content so fast that unless you are always creating content or are repeating your content again and again (and this could be irritating), your content will be swamped by content that is constantly posted by others.  Blogs have more authority and higher credibility than other platforms. Research shows that a significant number of online purchasers or s

A simple way to share maps on your blog

This post tells you how to put maps on your blog and also how to share maps elsewhere to help people [e.g. visitors] relate to a location. Thanks to Google Maps, you can easily put your own markings to Google maps and share these with your blog viewers by following the steps given below. But before going to the steps, let’s set your imagination on a roll about the ways in which maps can be used on blogs and elsewhere. The possibilities are many. Some could be like these: This map was made in Google 'mapsengine' and its screenshot pasted here. Did not remove edit/delete guides just to show how it looks on mapsengine. You may want your invitees to know the driving route to your wedding or your daughter’s birthday function or a seminar in which you are to speak. You may want to guide a visitor to a city, giving him routes and glimpses of what to see. You might want to tell your visitor how to plan his trip to your area, depending upon the likely traffic. You

Most useful widgets for blogs

Long ago, we published a post on using widgets / gadgets on blogs , and it is one of the most popular posts on ITB. To supplement that, we give here some ideas about which widgets go with which types of blogs. The following widgets look fine on most types of blogs, if used imaginatively and without cluttering the blog with too many and too gaudy ones: blogroll of blogs / websites that have related content; social media sharing buttons / stats; archives; label list; best content on the blog [e.g. most popular posts]; pages [to be displayed in a menu bar or as a sidebar widget]; profile; search box; contact / subscription form [if in simple design] In addition, different types of blogs can benefit from relevant widgets as suggested below: Blogs on political and social happenings [current affairs]: news feed; latest comments; poll Travel blogs: currency converter; distance measurement; map; weather; slideshow; world time; translation  Blogs on photography, history, culture, fash

How do you make money from a food blog? This is what food bloggers say.

Updated in 2020 with fresh insights ITB sent a detailed questionnaire to a dozen food bloggers whose food blogs have found place in the Directory of Best Indian Blogs and also to a couple of foreign food bloggers. Some kindly responded, three gave some information in confidence, one wanted only an audio session, two promised but failed to reply to specific questions and some ignored us.  The present post is based on our research of the web on food blogging and the responses we received. We tried to find how food bloggers make blogs, how much money they make from the blog, and what good practices they adopt. We’ve also tried to assess whether globally food bloggers have as many avenues to make money as their US / European counterparts.   Responses on "How to start a food blog and maintain it?" A few bloggers on and do have well maintained blogs, but their growth seems to have remained subdued due to constraints of free blogging.  Well-known f