Thursday, December 16, 2010

Does Your Blog Roll?

What I'm reading: Straight From the Hip, by Susan Mallery.

I recently hooked up with a group of authors working on promotion/visibility, and (as I am wont to do) assumed that if I knew how to do something, especially something technical, everyone else would. However, a lot of these authors are from the world of print, and slipping into the digital realm is new to them. Since I got a late start into writing, and I've written for several e-publishers, I've been learning this from the get-go.

Sharing sites and posts is a great way for readers to find you, and the sidebar options on Blogger allow lots of options (which they refer to as "Gadgets")

Since blogging has become almost a requirement of any publishing endeavor, and thinking that maybe there are a few of you out there who haven't played with all the features of blogging, I'm using today's post to show a step by step of how to create a Blog Roll if you're using Blogger/Blogspot as your site.

1. Log into your account and go to your Dashboard (where you'd go to add a new post.)

2. Click on "Design"

3. Depending on how your blog is laid out, you should see a column with a blue "Add Gadget" at the top. On my layout, it's on the far right. Click it.

4. Scroll down to the choice called "Blog List". Click it. It'll open a small window.

5. In the window, title your Blog Roll. I have two at the moment: Five Star Authors and Backlist Ebook Authors. (Take a minute to slide over to my sidebar, scroll down, and see what is displayed.)

6. Choose sort - I chose alphabetically, but you're free to do whatever you like.

7. Show "all blogs" so your whole list will be displayed.

8. Check the boxes you want to show. I have icon, title, and date of last update which gives enough info without taking up too much space.

9. Click where it says "Add a blog to your list." You'll get another popup window.

10. Enter the URL for the blog (make sure it's the complete URL starting with http://)

Note: easiest way to make sure you have it right is to go to that particular blog and copy the URL from the top window of your browser.

11. Click ADD.

12. Repeat if you have more blogs to add. When you're done, click SAVE.

13. You should be directed to the design page, and you can then drag the blogroll down to wherever you want it. They default to the top.

14. To add more at a later date, go back to your design page and find the box with the blogroll and click the edit box.

If anyone has anything to add, or how-tos for other blog hosting sites, feel free to mention and/or link in the comments. I'm clueless about any other system.


Jemi Fraser said...

Good explanation. My biggest problem with the blog roll is that it doesn't accommodate all of the blogs I follow.

Terry Odell said...

Jemi - maybe if you break them down into groups? I think there's also a 'links' option: It doesn't have the same features, but it lets you show a lot of sites.

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Thanks, Terry! Great information

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Terry: You always have great blogs and something everyone can use. Thanks for sharing.

Terry Odell said...

Donnell, Joyce. Thanks so much. (And I have no objections if you direct others this way!)

Lou Belcher said...

Thanks for a great blog post. I've been meaning to add a blog roll for quite some time. Your post reminded me to get to it.

Sam said...

Thanks for that, Terry! I'm still learning about Blogger's features, and did not know how to use this one.

Terry Odell said...

Lou, Sam -- glad to pass on what I've learned. No need for everyone to deal with trial and error.

Hart Johnson said...

I use my blogroll to keep track of my blogs I check regularly (so have them chronologically), but I have seen then that divide authors from agents from other blogs and that is, I think useful for other people browsing your blog.

Terry Odell said...

Hart - I use my Dashboard (which has ALL the blogs I follow) to keep track for me, and figure the Blog Roll helps others see what might be of interest to them. Versatility is great.

Anonymous said...

I'm hopping over from chat - I love technical posts like this, thank you for sharing!

Terry Odell said...

Angelika - Glad you found me. Hope you'll be back.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I love blog rolls. :) When I started really getting involved in the writing community, I found a lot of great blogs by clicking on links on writers' blog rolls.

Janice Seagraves said...

I love blogger. I've had a blogger blog since 2004.


Patricia Stoltey said...

I just added a new blogroll to the Chiseled in Rock blog -- it lists blogs of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers members, at least the ones I know about so far.

On my own blog, I have several blogrolls, which need to be reorganized again. They were getting so long that I changed the option on a couple of them to only display the top 10 or top 25 most recent posts, although there's a "Show All" link at the bottom to display the whole list.

Like Elizabeth, I sometimes scroll through the blogrolls of other blogs to find new and interesting ones to follow. It's fun.