The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Better Blogspot User
I will start by saying that this is not a debate about what is the best platform out there for blogging, but rather a
little big piece of advice for blogspot users, who are serious about their blogging journey. If you are on any other platform, you might want to skip on this, although there might still be a few things here that may provide you with some tips on improving your blogging experience.
Why do you use Blogspot?
Many will disagree with this, but the one reason that I can easily come up with, is because it is free. It is also, one of the easiest platforms to use and lately, blogger has been surprisingly adding more and more features to make it better. Regardless of what your motivations are, you have to know that you might be loosing a lot, only due to the fact that your are on blogspot. Be advised that many will not even bother looking at your blog just because of this. I personally go the extra mile, if your content is really fantastic, however, trust me, many people won’t.
Why do people hate blogspot?
As I said, this is debatable. But frankly speaking, and having read the reasons why other people won’t bother looking at your blogspot blog, I have to admit that I will have to agree with them. Although this is true, there are only a few changes which you can do, to make your blogspot blog more human friendly. Not doing so, will only enhance people’s belief that you are not a serious blogger, especially if you are, the so called “newbie” in the sphere. I was a newbie once, and now, a “?” wannabe. Does that make me better than you are? Absolutely not. Thing is, I learned and most importantly, took action. Now, the question is, are you ready to take action? On with it..
Start by reading these two articles:
10 Blog Lessons I Did Not Learn From Darren Rowse – Pay attention to this one important message – The Blogger Is More Important Than The Blog (need I say more?). The other article is one that I wrote, way back, which explains why I use blogger (dot com) as a host. Don’t get me wrong here, I have other blogs running on self-hosted WP, but that is not the issue of today.
The only things you should really be concerned about
Content is a given, and SEO techniques (complicated on blogger dot com, but doable nevertheless) are standard requirements for a better blogging experience, so we’ll skip that too.
Get Your Own Domain Name
You surely heard about this already. If not, Google is there to help you. Also, reading Custom Domain Name – Do you need one, can give you an insight of why it is important to have your own Domain as early as possible.
On blogspot, you do not own the domain (URL). It is a sub-domain (yourblog.blogspot.com) that can be easily taken away from you, should Google decide that your blog is not “behaving” accordingly. Owning your own domain will give you the possibility of moving to another host whenever you feel like. Just be sure that you “backup” your data regularly to avoid any surprises. One other advantage of having your own domain is that it removes the blogspot from “yourblog.blogspot.com” to just “yourblog.com”. And yes, you can have your own domain and still host your blog on Blogger (dot com). Google allows you to do this, and you can even buy the domain directly from blogger’s dashboard. What’s holding you? Is it the money? WTF, it is less than $1 a month. Surely, if you can afford an internet connection, you should also be able to find that extra buck a month, right? Don’t think, do it.
Blogger Standard Templates/Themes
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Very true, but unfortunately, there are people who judge you blog by its cover. With the help of a massive community of bloggers, there are surprisingly many beautiful free themes out there that will replace those outdated “standard” templates from blogger (dot com). All you need to do is find what you like best and voilá, a waterfront view for your visitors. Here are some places where you can find fantastic free themes. These guys work hard to make your blog look good and why should you not help them by showing off their hard work? After all, this is the only payment they want (no affiliate nor referral links). Here are the best, in my opinion: Falconhive.com, bloggerthemes.net, dantearaujo.net, and a great compilation of themes by SpeckyBoy
If you have read Commenting 101 – The Power sometimes ignored, you will see that I have suggested to make it easy for your visitors to comment on your blog. What’s with the captcha, pop-up form, restricted accounts and that anti-span arsenal anyway? What you are doing is setting a huge barrier for people to comment on your blog. Moderate your comments and get rid of those things fast. At the least, embed the commenting form inside your blog. Other commenting systems, such as JS-Echo and Disqus are available for blogger (dot com) and all it takes are a couple of clicks to replace entirely blogspot’s commenting system, which unfortunately lags in a lot of things.
So this is what I recommend, install either one of those two commenting systems and then commentluv (give your commenters the Link Luv they deserve). You will not regret it, period. What are you waiting for, action, action, action…
Sorry for this lengthy post. But honestly, do you not agree that making these changes will enhance your seriousness and show the world that you care? It was OK then, not anymore. Take this as “words of encouragement”.