Customize Your Blogger Blog: 9 Tips And Ideas To Spice Up Your BlogSpot Blog

Blogger is still one of my favorite blogging platforms, despite the limitations and lack of expandability that it has, most of us will have started with Blogger at some point.

Blogger is relatively simple to setup and use, and anyone can begin blogging straight away with this platform.  I think I’m one of the very few that would actually recommend using Blogger over WordPress as a complete newbies choice, especially if you don’t have time for all the nit gritty technicalities involved with setting up a self-hosted blog.

If you don’t yet have a Blogger powered blog you can get one right here for free >> http://www.blogger.com/

OK, In this post I’m going to share with you 9 top tips and ideas on how you can turn your Blogger blog into a real professional looking independent blog, just by making some simple changes, so let’s begin.

9 Ways to Customize Your Blogger Blog

1. Unique Domain

The first thing to do is to get rid of the free domain name extension that you’re given when you first launch your Blogger blog. It will look something like this http://yourblogtitle.blogspot.com/. So to get your own domain to look more like this http://www.yourblogtitle.com/ do the following:

1. Go to your Blogger dashboard and click on the blog you want to make changes to.

2. In the overview panel click on Settings > Basic.

3. Now click on + Add Custom Domain under Publishing, blog address.

Once you have registered your preferred domain name you’ll receive an email letting you know that you can now point your new domain to your blog. To do this is simple, go back to Overview and change the settings to point your old domain to your new one. Check out the illustration’s below.

customize your blogger blog

2. Change / Add Favicon

OK, here we’re going to look at changing your blog’s Favicon. The Favicon is the orange square Blogger icon which appears in the browser box besides your blogs domain.

Before you complete this process please ensure you backup your blogs template by hitting the download / Backup link located at the top right hand side of the page under template in the left hand menu.

OK let’s begin…

1. First you’ll need to create your new Favicon here. Save your Favicon and upload it to a photo hosting account such as PhotoBucket or Flickr.

2. Go to your Blogger dashboard and click on the blog title you want to make changes to.

3. Then click on the Template tab in the left hand side menu, and then hit Edit HTML.

4. Here you will see the full HTML contents of your blogs template. Press Ctrl and F to open the search box and enter the word ‘head’ into the search box to find the head tag in your blogs HTML. Just after the <head> paste the following code into your template as shown below.

Code

<link href=’http://www.yourimageurl.com/favicon.ico’ rel=’shortcut icon’/>
 <link href=’http://www.yourimageurl.com/favicon.ico’ rel=’icon’/>

Replace the red highlighted parts with your own Favicon URL. If you’ve hosted your icon with Flickr or PhotoBucket this is relatively easy to find to find. More than often you can right click over the image and copy image location.

Hit save template and you’re done. If you reload your blog the Favicon displayed should now be your own unique icon.

3. Upload your own Header

Now you want to upload your own header and I recommend using a software like PhotoShop. You can also use PhotoScape to design your header in, it’s a free image editing software with many features that enable you to create pretty cool things including website graphics and blog headers.

Once you’ve created your header logo do the following…

1. Click on the blog title you want to upload the header to in Blogger home page.

2. Now click on layout and find the header widget.

3. A pop-up box should appear and you can now configure settings for your header. You can upload the header from your computer, or use the image source URL from Flickr or PhotoBucket.

4. Eliminate the Top-Nav Bar

One of the things that can be quite annoying and also can make your Blogger blog look unauthentic is the dreaded Blogger top nav-bar.

So let’s remove this…

1. Select the blog you want to make changes to from the home page menu (Your list of blogs).

2. Then click on Template and Edit HTML.

3. Once again you will see the full HTML contents of your blogs template. Paste the following code right beneath the line break as shown in the illustration below.

#navbar-iframe {
 display: none !important;
 }

Hit save template and reload your blog to see the changes take effect, top nav bar no more…

To eliminate the Blogger nav bar paste the above code just after the line break…

 

5. Install Facebook Fan Page ‘Like Box’

If you have a fan page for your blog which of course you should, then a Facebook like box is on the menu. Click here to create a like box for your fan page. If you haven’t yet got a fan page for your blog you can create one through Facebook.

To install your like box on your Blogger blog, go to layout > add widget and add a text box to the sidebar, then paste your code within this text box. You may need to make slight adjustments with the width to fit in with your blog.

6. Offer Full RSS using FeedBurner

One of the best, or should I say the only way to offer your readers a subscription service is to offer full RSS on your blog. You can do this by registering your blog’s feed to FeedBurner here.

7. Create a Link Menu

You can also add links to your main categories in your blog, you can do this by clicking on layout in your dashboard and then looking for the nav tab in your widget arrangements. Configure your link list by adding links to your labels (categories). Creating a link menu gives visitors the ability to navigate through more of your popular pages or categories within your blog.

8. Install Twitter Counter

If you have a Twitter account and have an impressive number to show off then do it! Go to the Twitter Counter website and generate your Twitter button to install on your blog. Installation is done exactly the same as installing your Facebook like box as described above.

9. Install RSS counter

Only do this once you have at least 50 or more readers to your blog. To install your RSS counter you’ll need to generate your counter first through the FeedBurner website. Then install the code exactly as you installed the Facebook code in step 5.

10. Create Categories in Blogger Blog

If you want to create categories in your Blogger blog in a form of a drop down menu for example, check out the following post – Create Categories in Blogger Blog

So there you have it my friends, follow these 9 simple steps and your Blogger blog will look the business in no time at all. Any questions then please leave me a comment below as always.

  • Samantha Wright

    I love Blogger for its pure simplicity and these are some top tips Fabzy :)

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  • http://www.cgmotionbox.com CG Motionbox

    Hi Thanks for this Great Post :)

  • http://www.pcosdiaries.com Jennifer

    Yeah I really am comfortable with blogger. I find myself trying to decide which format to you between Blogger and wordpress. I think both of them are really great platforms depending on what you want to do.