Practice Blogs

I gotta be honest...when I first got started, I was very leery of playing around with the HTML of my blog. I was so intimidated. I was worried that I was going to mess something up and lose my current template. So, what I did was create a separate blog whose sole purpose is to try new things out on. I now have a safe place to play!

Here's how to create a practice (test) blog:
Go to your dashboard. Click on 'create a blog'. Personalize it to your liking. I would recommend selecting 'minima' as your template. Most of my blog tutorials are based on my experience working with a blank minima template. You'll need to select another template to begin with, but will be able to change to minima easily once the blog is created.

Wanna hide your test blog? Simply go to your dashboard, edit profile, click on choose blogs to display and uncheck the box next to your practice blog. If you really want to keep people from eyeing your practice sessions, go to settings-->permissions and change your 'blog reader' setting to "only blog authors ". You could also change your basic settings for Blogger not to list your practice blog on search engines or add it to blogger's listings. Within minutes, you will have a secret place to practice your new skills away from the eyes of your readers.

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Where Did My Sidebar Go?

Recently, one of my blogging friends contacted me with a problem. She has a three column template and her third column had dropped down below her post section. She had made no changes to her template or sidebar items. One day the column was in the right place, the next it was at the bottom of her blog. Weird! 

I tried everything to get the third column back in the right place. I reinstalled her template, installed a different template on her blog, removed her sidebar items, tinkered with the widths of her post section and sidebars......nothing worked. I was stumped! It had to be a Blogger glitch...didn't it? 

We gave it a little time and the problem did not correct itself. Finally, I started going through her posts and seeing if one of them had perhaps caused the problem. I went to the homepage of her blog and clicked on her first post title. The sidebar popped back up into the right place! Then I went back to her homepage and clicked on another title and so on and so forth until I found the post that made the column drop down again. I went in, saved the post as a draft, and the problem was solved. 

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Post Tweets on Your Blog


Got a Twitter account? This tutorial will show you how to get the nifty little gadget above for the sidebar of your blog. Click on any of the images below to enlarge and open in a new window. 

To get the Twitter gadget for your blog:

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Create a Free Header with Picasa

I am super excited to share this tip with you!

Sarah over at Clover Lane has written an awesome tutorial on how to create a beautiful (free!) photo header like the one above. Check it out!

In order to use this tip, you will need to download Picasa, a free photo editing program by Google. Many of you are probably already using Picasa to store and edit your photos. It's pretty user friendly.

What are you waiting for? Hop on over to Clover Lane and learn how to make a header collage out of your favorite photos! :)

Adding Video to Posts

Ever want to add a personal video or a funny clip from You Tube to your blog? Adding video to your posts can be intimidating if you've never done it before. Luckily it's pretty easy to do! :)

You can use Blogger's video uploading tool or an outside source (like Photobucket or YouTube) to upload video to your blog. I prefer to use Photobucket to upload my videos. Why? Because the Blogger uploading tool takes several minutes (10+) to upload a 15 second video on my computer. It may be easier, but it drives me crazy.

If you are using the new editor, you will need to switch to the old editor in order to load a video via Blogger. You can easily switch to the old editor by going to your dashboard-->settings-->basic and scrolling all the way down. Select 'old editor' and save. When you are ready to switch back, just repeat the process selecting 'updated editor' instead.

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Image Protection: Disable Right Clicking

Several people have asked me how to prevent people from stealing the photos on their blog. Unfortunately NO photo that is displayed on the internet is 100% safe from piracy. However, there are things that you can do to help slow down people who wish to steal your stuff. Disabling right-clicks is one of them.

Keep in mind that if you disable right clicks that people will NOT be able to right click on anything on your blog. If one of your readers wants to right click to open a link in a new window or to copy anything from your blog, they will not be able to do so. I experimented with this the other day and forgot to enable right clicks again, which prevented people from being able to right click and copy the codes and such in my posts.
This tip is a beginner tip. You will simply be adding a gadget on your page elements page. If you make a mistake, simply remove the gadget and begin again. Easy peasy. :)

To Disable Right-Clicking:
1. Copy the code in the big box on this post written by MaXimus over at Dynamic Drive.
2. Go to your page elements page (dashboard-->layout-->page elements)
3. Click on 'add a gadget'.
4. Select 'HTML/Javascript'.
5. Paste the code that you copied in step 1 into the box. You can change the words 'Function Disabled!' to whatever message you'd like to display when someone right clicks on your blog. Be sure to leave the quotation marks!
6. Save.

You can also do this within the HTML of your template by following the tutorial that accompanies the code from step 1 over at Dynamic Drive.

Hope this helps! :)

Like my tips? Want to share them with your readers? I would LOVE for you to do so by grabbing my button and displaying it on your blog or by writing a post about my tips. Please do not copy and paste my tips into a post on your own blog. Thanks so much for spreading the word. I REALLY appreciate it!

Help!!! Need help?

If you need help with a particular issue, please take a look through my tips to see if I have already covered it. You can search for tips through my search bars, list of all tips, tips by category, or tips by ability. Be sure to read through the comments, as I often answer questions down there. The comments section is often more helpful than my actual tips!

If you cannot find what you're looking for, simply ask your question in a comment on any of my posts. Be sure to click on the "email follow up comments" box so that you will know when I reply. If I cannot answer your question, I will try my best to point you in the right direction. If I do not respond, please submit your comment again. I get LOTS of requests for help and occasionally I will overlook one. 

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How To Make A Grab Box For Your Button - Advanced

Easy Blog Tips!

This tutorial will show you how to put your button on your blog as well as create and install an HTML scrollbox so that others can put it on their blogs. These instructions assume that you already know how to create button-sized images. There are no risks to your template, but it is a tricky tutorial. It was not written for the beginning blogger, but for those who feel comfortable working with html gadgets. 
Follow these directions exactly. The first time I did this it took me well over a frustration-filled hour and I had to take several sanity breaks. Be patient and persistent. You will get this!
I am sure there is an easier way to do this. This is what works for me:

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