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Adding A Blogroll To Your Blog

Hi!  Today I’ve decided to do a “How To” article.  It’s fairly obvious, by reading the title, what I plan to show how to do today, but the reason may not be obvious.  If you’re a seasoned blogger you’re probably already pimping a blogroll on your sidebar, but since I’m fairly new to this I had to figure it out myself.  I got some help from friends who commented here when I asked about this very subject in a previous post, but before and beyond that I was on my own.  I searched thoroughly, or at least I think I did, for a blog post giving instruction on how to do this.  I may not have known where to search or how to search correctly, but I certainly didn’t find anything to help, other than the helpful friends who gave me advice on this when I asked in the earlier post.

So I figured it would be helpful for new bloggers if they new how to post a blogroll on their sidebar.  Here goes nothing:

How To Add A Blogroll To Your Blog

The first thing you have to do if you want to post a blogroll in your sidebar is, well…  you have to have a sidebar.  It took me a while to figure out why I didn’t have a sidebar, but in essence it was simply the theme WordPress had automatically started me with.  It had a place at the bottom of the page and it had left right and center settings for anything I wanted to put there, but no sidebar.  So you have to change your theme.

This may not be too difficult if you’re new to WordPress, because you can just pick one you like, making sure it has a sidebar, and then edit any colored fonts you may have used in posts.  For me it was difficult because I had almost 50 posts that I would potentially have to edit for colored fonts if I chose the wrong theme.  (There were also quite a few frilly themes that had flowers and pieces of candy and such for place markers, which being a guy I decided I didn’t need.)  I went through all the potential blog themes and decided on this nice Choco theme that sort of reminds me of a field notebook or something.  It’s manly enough to bolster my “macho-ness” and still has a bit of creative flair to it.

After you’ve decided on a theme and set up all the options you want for it you’ll be able to add a blogroll.  You’ll still have trouble if you go to your Dash Board and look for it, though.  There is no heading in the left column menu for “Blogroll”.  What you want to do first is make a list of all the people or websites you want to include in your blogroll.  Consider it your personal hall of fame.  This is where you give honor to all your blogging or webmaster heroes.  Don’t just include every website in your browser’s history.  This is a coveted place of honor that people are constantly attempting to acquire.  Be selective.  My guideline is that unless someone appears in my Top Recent Commenters section in the Stats page for my blog, they don’t get put on the blogroll.  (There may be a couple of exceptions to this, but that’s my norm.)  Most bloggers seem to use a personal rule of only including blogs in their blogroll that will inspire their readers or compliment the content of their own blog.  I think that’s a good rule too.

Once you have a list compiled with not only the URL‘s, but also the name that appears at the top of the page when you navigate there, Go to the Dash Board of your blog and click on the Links/Add New option.  It looks like this:

Add New Link (to your blogroll)

It’s going to take you to a form that you’ll have to fill out, but it’s not as complicated as it looks.   You can actually fill in everything on the form for each link you add, but at this point I’m only going to show you what you need to know to have that blogroll showing in your sidebar.

Now, The first thing you’ll want to do is add the name of the blog and then the URL goes in the next field right underneath the name.  The name should appear the same as it does on the website you’re referring the reader to, but if you want to be funny or play a practical joke or if you’re trying to help a campaign to boost search results for that website, you can change that name to whatever is appropriate for your purposes.

One last thing to do before you can add this link and move on to the next.  You need to scroll down to the Categories box and choose categories for your link.  In this case you can choose only the Blogroll category.  Add more categories if you feel they are appropriate, but Blogroll is the only one you’ll need now.

Okay, the link is ready to add to your blogroll.  Go to the top, right-hand corner of your screen and make sure the check box “Keep this link private” is not filled in and then click the “Add Link”  button.  The screen will reload and you’ll have the opportunity to add all the links in your list in one session without having to keep navigating back to the Add New Link page.  Once you’ve added all the links you want on your blogroll you can then post it so the world can see it.

Now To Post Your Blogroll

Your blogroll is a widget, so in order to post it you’ll have to go to the widgets page under Appearance on the menu to the left side of your dashboard.   Just click on the link and it will take you to a wonderful page where you can pimp your blog out really nicely.  There are widgets for calendars, images, videos and more, but today we only need one, the one titled “Links”.

Before you do anything else, look at the right side of your screen and you’ll see a layout of your sidebar.  If you already have other widgets on there, figure out where you want your blogroll to appear in the order.  Count from the top and figure out the numbered position it will have.  This matters in a minute, so remember it or write it down.

The widget we want for posting you blogroll is in the middle of the page when you first arrive there.  You don’t need to scroll down much. It simply says “Links”, which is why I had so much trouble figuring out how to do this.  (I should add that underneath it is a description, that I originally didn’t see, that tells you this is where your blogroll is going to be.) When you find that, click “Add”, which is going to open a widget configuration screen for you.

Okay, you’ll need to select Blogroll for your first field and then you can select/deselect the other options as you see fit.  The second field allows you to choose the sorting parameters for your blogroll, determining which URL appears at the top, etc…  The bottom box is for you to select how many links you want to show.  This only matters when your blogroll gets big and you don’t want to fill your sidebar with it.  Still, it’s nice to know how to decrease the size when you need to.  Once you’ve posted this widget you can always go to the widgets screen and select it from the sidebar and edit whatever settings you want.

This is below the  first box and it determines where your blogroll appears.  If you have more than one sidebar, you can decide which one to put it in.  Since I only have one, it was a no-brainer.  Once you’ve selected which sidebar you want it on, select the numbered position I told you to remember from the widget screen.  Then click on “Save Widget”  Congratulations!  You now have a widget on your sidebar!  Go to your main blog page and admire it.

I hope this helped you.  Cheers until next time!

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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Blog Management, Writer's Resources

 

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Friendly Encouragement

Ena Noel Award for Encouragement

Image via Wikipedia

I owe the inspiration for tonight’s blog post to a fellow blogger, Ellie Mack.  She gave me some encouragement do to my somewhat piteous post last night and It inspired me to write about how friends can sometimes help us to pull up our bootstraps and get back to it.

Have you ever felt like you just had so many ideas spinning through your head and yet couldn’t get them written?  That’s how I feel now.  I have three great ideas for novels that two of the three are no more than a page of notes each, right now.  I also have a lot of ideas about how I want to improve this blog by organizing it better, enhancing the EOS quality of it and writing more posts about writing and fewer posts about the random junk I originally started throwing on here in my new blogger zeal.  I also have a few ideas about writing articles for e-zines and some poems I need to write.  I love writing flash fiction too, but that’s just for fun and practice.

As if all that weren’t enough to be roiling around in my cranial cavity, I just received a shipment of 20 gallons of paint and need to paint my house.  My brother-in-law is going to be visiting with his family in two weeks and I want the place to really shine when he gets here.  (He’s a retired Colonel and my wife is always eager to bless him with good impressions of how we’re doing.)

I have a lot on my plate, but all I can think about is writing my first novel.  It’s a great idea for a novel, too.  My wife literally dreamed it up.  She does that.  She dreams full plots with a beginning, a middle and an end.  (I read somewhere that Stephen King dreamed the plots for some of his best novels.)  The only thing she doesn’t always have is a good twist at the end, but we are both very imaginative, so we can develop that as we go.  I think I have the twist I want for this one, anyway.

So I let my blog stagnate for two weeks and now I’m feeling guilty.  Here I am trying to establish an online presence so that everyone will possibly look forward to reading my work when I produce it and then I leave everyone in the lurch for two whole weeks?  Not acceptable.  But Ellie cheered me right up!  So I decided to write about the power of encouragement.

It’s not just some kind words you throw out there and forget about.  Real encouragement comes from the heart of one person and lifts up the heart of another.  There are so many things we can say to one another and yet most of us usually don’t choose encouraging words.  If you don’t agree, look at the comment section of any online news site.   You’ll most likely see that about seventy-five percent of the comments are negative.

I once heard the statement that “life is pain and anyone who tells you different is either lying or selling something.” I don’t think it has to be that way.  Our words have power and they produce results.  Just think what a different place the world would be if each of us made a choice to encourage at least one person every day.

I thank God daily for a wife who encourages me to write.  I am also thankful for the encouragement of friends like Alex and Laura.  They are friends of mine who never seem to have anything negative to say to me or about me.  Now believe me, if they wanted to find negative things to say about me they certainly could, but they don’t.  You see?  That’s what makes a difference in people’s lives.  In fact, they and my wife were the main ones encouraging me to publish The Lost Flip Flop and The Honeybee Fiasco, my two short stories, published on Amazon.com.  Another is coming soon and I feel so much better now that I’m doing something with my writing talent.

Encourage someone today and see how much better you feel too.  Trust me, you won’t be sorry you did so.

 

 

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My Blogroll

WordPressOkay I have several questions and several observations.  First of all, how come my Blogroll looks so lame?   It doesn’t have any of the people who regularly comment here listed.  I added them, but they don’t show up.  Secondly, Why is it only allowed to be at the bottom of the page?  I see other people with theirs on the sidebar, but WordPress tells me the sidebar has been discontinued?  What’s that all about?  There’s a lot of space on both sides of my posts.  It’s begging for widgets and I’m somehow not allowed to have any sidebars.  Is it just the theme I’m using?  Do you have to host your own website to be able to use sidebars, like apps?

I think the people who comment on my posts are the coolest of all my followers.  I’m glad everyone that follows my blog thought enough of it to follow it, but hey!  Let’s face it.  Unless you comment how am I really going to get to know you?

Okay, I’ve said my piece.  Someone else can have the soapbox now…

 
6 Comments

Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Blog Management, Editing, Writing

 

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Liebster Blog Award

For Excellent Blogging

Yesterday I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by the wonderful Kourtney Heintz.  I’m not sure but I think it has something to do with the German word for love – liebe, and I assume the reason she awarded me this is the Valentine’s Day theme of many of my posts this past week.  Thank you so much Kourtney!  I appreciate it!  As soon I figure out how to pass this on and to whom it should be passed on to, I will do so with honor.

Update February 8, 2012:  Okay, I have found more information on the award from Colline’s Blog

What is the Liebster Blog Award exactly? Leibster is a German word meaning dearest. However, in the context of blog writing, it can also mean favourite. The award is given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers in acknowledgement of the good articles and posts they have written. In presenting a fellow blogger with the reward, the nominee is encouraging him/her to continue creating interesting and inspiring posts.

The rules fo receiving the Liebster Blog Award are as follows:

  1. Thank the fellow blogger who nominated you. (Thank you once again Kourtney)
  2. Link back to the person who awarded you.
  3. List five blogs that have affected your writing in a positive manner.
  4. Leave comments on those blogs to let them know of the nominations.
  5. Post the award on your blog.

My Nominees for the Liebster Blog Award


Tiffany at Details in the Fabric..

Sajib at AIS Journal

Gilly Gee at Lucid Gypsy (But she already has one)

Angeline at Angelinem’s Blog

Technospunky Blah Blah Blogging Around The Internet

Laura at The Right Mood

Nick at Mad Hatter Miscellany

 
8 Comments

Posted by on February 8, 2012 in Authors, Awards, Blogs, Valentine's Day

 

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How Do You Not Respond to Comments?

I like this article. I try to respond to every comment that comes in here. It’s nice to receive your feedback. If I comment on someone else’s blog, I expect them to do the same. What do you think? If you like this article you should stop by the AIS Journal and comment there too. I’m just sayin’…:)

AIS Journal

When celebrities do this, they have a reason. When an ordinary blogger does this, it’s just not right.

This totally drives me crazy. I know and I admit that different people have different reasons to blog. But most of the bloggers out there, who post publicly and leave the comment form open, have a common goal of being read and commented on. It really feels good when you receive comments from your blog. When you get to know that someone spent time on your blog reading about your ramblings which would do no good to them, and then cared enough to leave a comment and even follow your blog for future posts, it must feel good. But then, you don’t respond to his comments. I mean, how cruel is that?

Imagine yourself being in the middle of a crowd where no one really knows anyone. You feel lonely, you’re talking…

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15 Comments

Posted by on January 31, 2012 in Authors, Blogs, Writing

 

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