Month: October 2008

Setup your RSS reader – Google reader

RSS is Really Simple Syndication, or should I call the vital part of the blog, the content. As a blogger, you must like to read lots of blogs daily, in average 10-20 blogs. Reading lots of blogs in different topics is a great quality of a successful blogger. But if you try to browse 10 different blogs, it will be very hard for you to search every blog, load every page to find out the new updates. A feed reader is a great solution for getting new contents from you favorite blog.

There are lots of RSS feed readers available on the internet but I prefer Google Reader. Just go to Reader.google.com and sign in with your google account. Now add your favorite blogs as your subscription. To add a blog, click on ‘Add subscription‘ on the center left of the page. Now put your favorite blog url like, ‘blogkori.com‘ and click ‘Add‘ -your reader will get all of the articles of the blog.

Now scroll down and you can be able to read all of the articles of the blog, even the older ones too. This way you will be able to read all of the contents in one page and you don’t have to visit the blog either.

Once you read all of the articles, you can now go and do your other works or could add more blogs in your list. Each time a new article has been puyblished on the blog, it will appear on your feed reader and you can check the blogs with new updates just like your email account.

You can get lots of other informations from Google reader and can share your feed items. You can also subscribe to an RSS feed by clicking on the Reader icon in different blogs.

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Optimize your blog’s RSS feed for maximum results Part 2

This is the second part of the series, if you missed the previous part then you can sure read it here: Optimize your blog’s RSS feed for maximum results Part 1

To optimize your RSS feeds to the next level, you have to add some services from feedburner and have to turn some options on. Read this article if you need to know how to setup a feedburner account and burn your RSS feeds.

Go to FeedBurner.com and ‘login’ to your account. You will see your feeds in ‘my feeds’ menu. Select your feed and you will be directed to your feed ‘analyze’ tab. You will see your feed status and total subscribers count(if you have already some readers) This is my blog, tamalanwar.com’s feed history,

You can also see further details about your daily feed subscribers,

Who are the daily RSS readers?
Your daily RSS readers/subscribers are the total amount of readers who have read your feed yesterday. I mean the total number of visitors who got your blog articles via feed/ RSS reader/ email yesterday.

Now add turn on these services from feedburner,

Go to ‘publicize’ -tab

Chicklet chooser

Start getting new RSS subscribers by adding the RSS icon on your blog. Click on the ‘chicklet chooser’ from the center left from the window and select an RSS icon.

You can choose a verity of icons from the list or you could also upload your own image with the link pointed to your feed(feeds.feedburner.com/blogkori) Place the icon on the top of your blog, so that readers will find it and then your visitors will subscribe.

Email subscriptions

Email delivery is a great option from feedburner to give your reders another way to get your blog articles. When your readers will subscribe via email, they will recieve updates in the email whenever your blog gets updated. Most of the people who don’t like to read RSS from feed readers choose this option. Click on the ’email subscriptions’ -button and ‘Activate’ this service.

Get the email subscription form and add it to your blog. Adding an email subscription form will attract more email subscribers. You can also choose other options from this menu.

Feed Count

Feed counter is the social way to attract more subscribers for your blog. Go to ‘feed count’ and ‘activate’ this service.

You can choose different colors to create your own RSS feed counter. You can show of on your blog, how many daily RSS readers you have. Please note that, if you add a counter with having a low number like, 7, 10, 15 etc, this will make your readers unsubscribe from your blog because people like to follow a crowd. Add your counter to your blog when it reaches at least 50.

Buzz boost

This is another service which allows you to republish your feed in HTML. Activate this service and create a buzz boost.

Set your options like the headlines and other options. With this service you can create a link list of your latest articles like you see on BlogKori’s ‘What’s new’ tab. You can add up to 25 latest articles with this service but keep it simple by limiting it to 5, 8 or 10 latest articles.

Ping shot

Ping shot is a great service which will allow you to ping different search engines when you update your blog.

You can manually ping with Ping-o-matic when you update your blog but in case you forgot, activate this service. Select all of the services like, technorati, my yahoo, newsgator, blog lines and 5 more services.

Go to ‘optimize’ -tab

Feed flare

This is the cool way where you can use your readers to promote your blog articles. Activate this service and click on the feed flares you want to use.

Add the ‘comments’ flare to show the total comments on the feed item. If you use digg and stumble for your blog, add those buttons too! You can add more services but make sure to add only the services you and your readers use to promote the content.

Additional services

You can choose other services to further optimize your RSS feeds like, Browser friendly, Smart feed, Headline animator, Spring widgets skin and many more.

What do you say?

  • Was this article helpful?
  • Will it help you to get more RSS subscribers?
  • Did you liked it? or
  • Did I missed anything?

I would really like to get feedback from you and to know how you feel about this topic.

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Low numbers and lots of widgets can put a negative effect on your blog

As a blogger you must make your blog and its design as simple and helpful as you can. The reason you need a simple design with less widgets because you have to make your blog loads faster. People will avoid your blog if it takes much more time to load, so cutting down some widgets can help you to make your blog load faster.

There are some set of social tools which will show up some numbers. Showing up some numbers are great but if it shows low numbers, then your readers will go away. Here are some examples,

Social votes

Some of the sites like Digg, Sphin, Mixx and Yahoo Buzz have a button which you can add to your blog. These buttons will show the votes you got for that article on that site. Its a nice way to show your article’s importance in that site but if it shows low numbers, your reader will not be interested to read it. If your Digg button says 1 or 2 diggs, then don’t add it to your blog. Add the button when the digg counter is around 50 or more.

RSS feed counter

Many of the bloggers like to show off their daily RSS readers. I showed up my RSS counter too, but it was only 5 RSS readers. If you show up such a small number on your blog, your readers will lose their interest and un-subscribe from your blog. This is because people loves to follow a crowd. They will follow your blog when they will see hundreds of people are subscribed. So my idea is to show up the counter when it reaches 50 or more subscribers.

Hit counter

Yes, this is one favorite tool for many webmasters. You should not show up a hit counter to count your visitors. There are other ways to count them like google analytics. If you show up your counter, your readers will know how much traffic you are getting. If its a low number, many readers will go away from your blog.

RSS buttons

I have seen this in many blogs. You can add all of the RSS buttons to promote your RSS feeds. But doing this will make your blog messy. I call this, ‘Chewing gum wrappers.’ People will be demotivated if they see a long list of RSS buttons and will not subscribe. Your readers are not dummies and they know how to subscribe, just put one RSS button and the interested people will sure subscribe. Adding all of them will make your blog loading slower.

Live traffic feed

I like this widget from Feedjit. It shows the live traffic feed from different countries and sites. It will impress your readers if you have regular visitors coming to your site. You should remove this widget because your readers can access the live traffic feed dashboard by clicking ‘Show in real time’ You should not allow your readers to access your blog’s traffic data.

Clock widget

I don’t like it because it takes more space in your blog and it takes more time to load. The clock will always show the local time so when your reader will come to your site, they will know the time and they will think about other things to do. Its a common theory, when you will know the time, you will remember about things to do. Your blog should be the place where people will stay for hours. A clock widget will simply make your readers go away.

What do you think?

You are the blogger and you know what is better for your blog. You know what to add and what to remove. But be practical, your blog is not your personal page where you can put all of the things together. Add the things which are required for your readers and will make your blog slim.

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Optimize your blog’s RSS feed for maximum results Part 1

If you are still trying to figure out about RSS(Really Simple Syndication) -then this article is specially for you and how you can get maximum results from it.

Every blog has its own RSS feed/XML feed. There are many platforms to burn your RSS feed and one of the popular service is called google’s FeedBurner.

The reason to choose feedburner is because its fast, easy and has lots of features. Now let me explain the RSS feed to you. Take a look at the picture,

The top page is your blog with having title, blog post, ads, links, widgets and lots of things which you have in your blog. When you will burn your blog RSS feed, it will look like the second window with having only the blog post/content. And it will have no other links, widgets, ads and no other things. Because RSS feeds only have the content, these loads faster on the browser and this is why most of the people likes to read blogs in their RSS readers.

When you will burn your feed from feedburner, you will get your feed address which will look like this, feeds.feedburner.com/blogkori. You have to set it up with your blogger account.

Go to your ‘blogger dashboard’ > ‘settings’ > ‘site feed’

Now select ‘full’ -as ‘allow blog feeds’

Now add your feed address(eg: feeds.feedburner.com/blogkori) on ‘Post feed redirect url’ -so that every feed on your blog will redirect to your feedburner RSS feed.

This means your readers can read the full article on their RSS reader. If you select ‘short’ -then they will be able to read few lines in the RSS feed and then they have to come to your blog to read the rest of the article. If you want to build up a strong readership, you will have to provide ‘Full RSS feeds’ because professional bloggers offer full RSS feeds.

Why should I provide Full RSS feeds?

  • To keep your subscribers connected to your blog
  • To make it simple for your readers to get the updates
  • A big readership is far more better than having lots of visitors
  • To turn your visitor into a regular reader
  • More readership means more blog status
  • RSS readers will promote your blog
  • To make your reader remember your blog

I hope after reading the above article you now know,

  • What is RSS and how does it work?
  • Why it is important for a blog?
  • How to set it up with feedburner?
  • Why should you provide Full RSS feeds?
  • How RSS helps you to get regular readers?

If you still having any question regarding with Feeds and RSS, then you could ask me anytime. This article has been continued with more advanced tips on the next part.

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Removing the blogger navigation bar from a template

There are only few built in templates in blogger platform and one reason I don’t like them becasue of the top blogger navigation bar on every template. There are other cool templates can be found on the internet and but many of them have the same un-professional nav bar. If you could remove the nav bar from the template, the template will look great and professional.

Actually every blogger template could be customized as a great looking template but before we went to that part, lets remove the boring nav bar from blogger.

Go to your blogger dashboard> layout> edit HTML. Search this code,

]]></b:skin>

Now add this code above the code,

#navbar-iframe {height:0px;visibility:hidden;display:none}

It will look like this, and save the template

#navbar-iframe {height:0px;visibility:hidden;display:none}
]]></b:skin>

With this trick, you can remove the navbar from any blogger template.

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Expandable ‘Read more’ posts in blogger

All of you people who have seen this upgrade in wordpress blogs, I’m talking about the ‘Read more’ button and when you click on it, you will be redirected to another page to read the entire article. This is a cool hack because in this process, you will be able to show up maximum articles in your home page. Your readers will have more choice browsing your blog.

This is a cool hack of blogger, not the traditional ‘Read more’ one, its even better. When you will click on the ‘Read more’ button, you will see the rest of the post on the same page -how cool is that?

To do this trick, you have to mess with some HTML codes.

Step 1

(a) Go to your blogger dashboard and go to Settings > Edit HTML.

Now if you made a mistake, you will have to change your template again. So ‘Download full template’ and have the backup in your pc.

Click on the ‘Expand widgets templates.’

Now search this HEAD code,

</head>

Add this code on this page before the HEAD(not after)

(b) Now look at this code on this page. You just have to add those extra codes marked in RED on your template. (Please do it carefully)

Click on ‘Save template’

Step 2

Now everytime you create a new article, you have to add some codes to enable this hack. To make a shortcut to this code, go to blogger dashboard > Settings > Formatting.

Scroll down and you will see a box named ‘Post template.’ Add this code on the box and click ‘Save settings’

<span id="fullpost">

</span>

Now every time you create a new blog post, you will see these codes on the HTML view.

Write your blog article summery and the rest of the post on those codes shown below and ‘Publish’

[Please note]

  • This hack will only show on the home page and archived pages.
  • You have to manually add the codes on every post to enable this hack
  • When you will upload photos, the codes will duplicate with the same codes in the image so the hack might not work. So you have to delete extra span codes and put them all together in the correct order.

If you run into any trouble, then please ask for my help.

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How to Brand Your Blog – A Complete Guide

Blogging is not about setting up a blog, write some articles, promote and make some money, its all about the brand and the main profit will come in the long run.

Before you read more from this article, please answer this question:

Do you just want to check out blogging and want to do it as a hobby?

or

Do you want to make a profitable business for the long run?

If you choose the second option, that means you want to build a better blog and to have benefits for the long run, this article is for you. One of the strong things about any industry is the brand. You can make a great and better blog just by branding it.

problogger is a blog brand

Branding a blog is the thing that makes people never forget about it. People will always come to read more from it and they link out and write about it. Read this guide on how you can brand your blog, [Continue reading…]

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How to make a person follow your blog forever?

Now this is not a post about how to get more traffic, how to get more RSS readers or about how to make others join your blog’s community. Making a person follow your blog is something different than making some people subscribe to your blog.

What is my identity on the internet?

Before you try to bring some people to your blog and let them read from you, first you will have to introduce yourself. Creating an ‘about page’ or at least a contact page on your blog will help you to bring yourself in front of the audience.

Your readers are people and they will want to know about yourself, where you from and what you do. As the author you will have the chance to keep your privacy as you want but the best way to make your readers attracted to your blog is to add your bio in your blog.

You can post your own picture and a little about yourself on the blog to highlight yourself. Using the real name is the best option and this way you can easily brand your name too. Now you have to provide some ways to connect with you. The best way to do this is to add your social profiles on your blog like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.

As a blogger you have joined social platforms to promote your blog or started to blog after building a social profile. If you connect your blog with your social platform, this will help you to make your blog more personalized and interactive.

Who are my readers and what they want from me?

Your blog visitors are people, not computers. If you want to make them as your regular readers, you will have to communicate with them with your blog and have to solve their problems. People likes to read a blog because he likes the person behind this blog.

You have to put things and tools to communicate with others in your blog. Use email addresses, chat box, comments options and other ways where people can communicate with you. The more readers who will interact with your blog, the more active your blog will be and the more success you will have.

The most important thing which makes a visitor comes back to your website is because he is treated well in your blog. If you reply to the comments, help the person and answer his question, if you mention him and his work in your blog post, that person will like to comeback again and again in your blog.

They will follow you because you are their leader

Every blogger follows another blogger and this is the way the blogsphere works. Small blogs follow big blogs and new blogs follow small blogs. New people in blogging follows the new blogs and this is how it goes on. The person starts to follow your blog because you are something different to him. At the same way you are following another blogger too.

Most of the bloggers like to follow a small blog or the blog which is near to him because he might get ignored if he would follow a huge blog. If you want more followers and want them to bring new ones, then you have to focus on your followers.

Making your followers stick to your blog is not a big deal. You have to response to them, have to connect with your readers, have to reply their comments and have to help them with new articles.

Avoid being self centered

Most of the blogs lose their originality because of being too much self centered. If you become personal in your blog, that’s fine like you can post about your achievements on the internet or about the latest page rank update but if you only focus on you, your readers will go away.

Your readers are looking for help and the way they can have new informations. But most of the time bloggers forget about their readers once they succeed to get 20-30 thousands RSS readers or making $20,000 per month. JohnChow is one example where he is now writing ‘what he is doing today, where he had his lunch, how he went to the blog expo’ etc. These posts don’t help your readers and makes them go away.

Your readers can get mad of you if you only post about these things, ‘Wow I received $50, I got my check, I paid my bills’ and many others like, ‘I commented on a Page Rank 3 blog, I got alexa rank of …, My RSS readers reached 100’ etc

Just ask your readers

The reason your readers are not connecting with your blog is because you never asked them to connect with you. Ask a lot of questions and let them know that you are just like them and don’t know everything. Your readers will enjoy helping you with new informations.

Ask them to subscribe to your blog RSS and tell them why it is important to them and to you. Ask them to leave a comment on each of your blog post. Not just comments, ask them to post a question or give an answer. If he posted a comment, make it a two way discussion and reply to it. Ask them to link your blog and link their blog too.

Whenever someone connects with you via social networks, don’t forget to communicate with him. If someone new votes for you on social sites, then add him as friend and thank him for that. If you liked one of your readers, connect with him with other networks, read his blog and subscribe.

Do you think this will work?

What do you think about this article? As a blogger, should you focus on only subscribers or your true followers? Do you think true followers are better than regular ones? How do you make people follow your blog?

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The Yahoo! way of getting tons of traffic for your blog

Traffic is the only way to get endless popularity, success fame and money from the internet. Most of the bloggers are depended on Google and google based services to get traffic for their blogs and everytime yahoo is being ignorred in this rush. But you have to face the fact that yahoo is a great part of the internet and has unlimited opportunities for bloggers and webmasters. Just because yahoo search is giving less traffic to our blogs, we are just ignoring the endless opportunities.

The best thing about yahoo is, you just need a yahoo account(yourname@yahoo.com) to access almost every service. So there is no hassle to create new accounts. Now lets see how you can get tons of traffic with the Yahoo way!

Site explorer

Yahoo site explorer is a service for webmasters and bloggers. You can easily optimize your site and rankings here by using different tools. If your blog is new, you can add your url to the yahoo directory. Click here to go to the page and submit your blog’s address and wait for yahoo to index your page.

Yahoo ranks web pages with the number of incoming links(backlinks) pointing to them. By adding a link counter widget, you can see and show your readers how many backlinks you have. This will also help yahoo to track your blog, pages and will get better ranks. Click here to get the yahoo widget.

My yahoo

My yahoo is actually a RSS feed reader but you can use this service for your own benefit. Sign in to my yahoo and click ‘Add content.’ Click ‘Add RSS feed’ and submit your blog’s RSS feed address. Your blog’s RSS feed and the latest articles will be placed on your my yahoo page.

This is a cool trick which will help yahoo to index your blog faster and off course the more pages indexed, the more chance you will get to show up in the search page.

Social platforms

There are many social platforms of yahoo where you can get traffic, build backlinks for search optimization and make new friends and readers. Here are some of the top rated ones,

Yahoo buzz

Yahoo buzz is the latest addition in the yahoo family. You can add you blog articles in buzz and can get lots of traffic from there. The popularity of an article depends on total Buzz up!(vote) for an articles. You can ask your friends to vote your content.

A large amount of votes will take your article into the front page and give you tons of traffic, there is also a chance to get featured into the yahoo home page -which means more expossure. Every time you submit a new article in buzz means another backlink from yahoo, so everything is a benefit.

MyBlogLog

My blog log is a blogger’s community and there are lots of blogs and bloggers there. You can add friends, communicate, submit and create your blog’s community page. Friends will join your blog’s community, you can create a cool widget and can track blog traffic statistics. If you become a regular user of the community, you will get lots of expossure for your blog.

Delicious

Delicious is a mega social bookmarking site. Lots of people use delicious for bookmarking websites and articles. This site works just like yahoo buzz but the exposure level is really big. You can use this site to find new readers and for building backlinks.

Each article gets one more vote everytime it is being added by anoher user. Most of the popular contents on delicious are web design, HTML, tips, and technology based.

Flickr

Flickr is a photo sharing community. Lots of people share their photos, comment, message and create groups. If you have some interesting photos, share them on flickr and and build a buzz. Make new friends and call them to visit your site.

You can upload your blog images on flickr and this will give you an extra data space online. Flickr images are better indexed in yahoo image search and that’s another way to get better search results from yahoo search.

Answers

Yahoo answers is a killer way to get lots of traffic in no time. Its just like a forum, but the system is all about question & answers. People post lots of questions related to everything. Now you have the chance to bring them to your site. Search on the topic you blog or you have such expertise on it. Now look at the questions and answer them.

Now don’t try to put your blog address on every answer! Give good and helpful answers and build a nice profile. Participate in the community actively. When someone will ask a question, which you have written about in a blog post, give the link. Give short and good answers and and provide your url for reffernce. This way you can get lots of backlinks from yahoo and off course, new readers.

Groups

Yahoo groups is also a big community of lots of people. You can join and create groups. Share topics, provide answers, links, photos, videos and lots of things. You can join and make new friends. Create a group about a topic or join one which is about the topic you blog and be active on the community. This will just work like the yahoo answers but you will have more options to spread you knowledge and network.

Mail related services,

Yahoo mail

You can use this tip with any email services. Add a signature text on your every outgoing mail and add the links to your blog an the signature. Everytime you will send an email to someone, he will see the link and may visit your blog. I send lots of mails to my friends, readers and others and this way I receive lots of visits from the emails.

Yahoo chat

Yahoo messenger is a free service to chat with people around the world. When there is a person, there is a chance to transform him into your reader. Communicate with lots of people and talk with people with related interests. Send your link to your friends and ask them for a visit. Please don’t be a spammer and don’t spam the community!

What more?

Do you know any other yahoo services which will help us to get more traffic and backlinks? What do you think about the Yahoo way and this article?

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10 Tips to Engage Your Blog Readers for Longer

Blogging is not just about write, publish, promote and forget. Blogging is all about creating a community and to make your blog a place where people like to come back again and again. To build a better blog you need to make it an exciting place to be.

You may have read a lot of posts about how to get traffic and now you know quite well how to bring some visitors to your blog. In the end of the day, if all of your visitors go away then what is the point? Don’t just check how many people visit your blog focus on how many people are staying on your blog for a long time.

Also read: How to track your blog visitors with Clicky

If generating traffic is the first step, engaging your readers would be the second step. This will help you to build up a solid blog.

Now here are 10 tips that will guide you to engage your readers on your blog for longer, [Continue reading…]

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