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by Melanie Nelson
Melanie answers your basic blogging questions every week day at Blogging Basics 101.
I’m sure you’ve heard me screaming it from the mountain tops because I’m so excited, but it’s possible that you have had your iPod on and missed it. If that’s the case, here’s my newsflash: I’m speaking at the BlogHer 2008 Conference in San Francisco on July 18! I am beyond excited because I love sharing information with people and I love the panel I’m on.
If you are attending BlogHer ’08 this year, I encourage you to come to my session, How We Communicate: FAQs for Beginning Bloggers. My fellow panelists are Michelle Mitchell from Scribbit, Nelly Yusupova, and Shazia Mistry. We will be answering the top five most frequently asked questions of beginning bloggers, then we’ll split up into groups (Blogger, TypePad, WordPress) and do some hands-on work, then we’ll come together for a final question and answer period. I’m telling you right now, these are some of the most knowledgeable ladies I’ve met and there will be some serious learning going on. Even if you don’t consider yourself a beginning blogger, I think you’ll find some interesting things and have the opportunity to take your blog to the next level.
For those of you not attending, I thought it might be interesting to discuss the top five most frequently asked questions on Blogging Basics 101. These aren’t necessarily the same questions we’ll be using in our panel (all the panelists are currently making their own lists and we’ll pick and choose the final five next week).
- I want to make my own banner/button. Where do I start?
This post has lots of links pointing to articles that cover all aspects of designing your own banner: using existing graphics from other sources, what is a pixel and why you need to know, how big your banner should be, how to place it on your blog, etc. This post also points you to several free graphic editing programs. It’s true that you don’t need Photoshop or even Photoshop Elements to do decent graphics for your blog. Gimp is a free program that can do wonders for your pictures.
- How do I backup/download/save/transfer my blog files?
Before you make any changes to your blog template, you must back it up or you risk losing everything. If you can avoid that trap, I highly recommend it (not that I’ve done it–cough, cough). This post walks you through how to backup your blog template regardless of what platform you use.
- You have links to kirtsy, Digg, Del.icio.us, etc. at the bottom of your posts. How do I get those?
Social media and networking are this year’s rage (last year it was search engine optimization). Helping your readers quickly submit your articles can only help you. This post explains how to add the FeedBurner footer to your posts so you can provide those links for your audience. You can also add the ShareThis button to your posts; I’ve written an article outlining that process as well.
- How do I make a scroll box for HTML?
I am surprised at how many beginning bloggers want to make an HTML scroll box for their blog sidebars. I’m sure you’ve seen these around. You may see a graphic in someone’s sidebar that has a box of HTML under it. When you highlight the HTML, you can copy it and paste it into your own sidebar and the button shows up automatically. Pretty handy.
- How do I cross out words, you know, make a line through them?
This has been my number one search term since I started Blogging Basics 101 18 months ago. The crossed out word is very popular and even easier to do.
I hope these tutorials help you as you develop your blog. If you are attending the conference in San Francisco, I can’t wait to meet you. Don’t be afraid to come introduce yourself and hand me your card. If you are not attending the conference, never fear. I will be writing up what I learn and sharing it with you all when I come back. In the mean time, if you have any questions at all, please send them to me at bloggingbasics101 at gmail dot com.
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