Thursday, March 28, 2013

Blog Tip: Scheduling Blog Posts and More


Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming to take time out of each day to write up a blog post. Finding that balance between personal life and blogging is difficult for even the most established blog. But to take some of the obligation out of the way and create a time-saving routine of blogging, schedule your blog posts [as well as media posts] and get on with your life. Here I will show you how to schedule blog posts, Twitter updates, and Facebook posts. 

Scheduling Blog Posts

Blogger [as well as other platforms, but I am demonstrating with Blogger today] makes it very easy to schedule a post for a later date/time so that you can draft up a batch of posts and go enjoy the Spring air with the kids. When you're in the screen to create a new post and have finished drafting and previewing, head on over to the right side under 'Post Settings' and click on 'schedule' then schedule a time and date that you want that particular post to publish. 


You'll also notice the option of 'permalink' right under schedule. Click on that and copy the link. You'll need these to schedule posts for your social media sites. Once you copy the link, hit 'publish' [or schedule for other platforms] and head over to view all posts. You should see the posts you have scheduled with a display of the date/time they're to publish.


Scheduling Twitter Updates

Once your post is scheduled and you've copied the permalink, log in to TweetDeck [if you use another Twitter platform, the steps are almost the same. Basically, you want to look for a little clock] and type out your update, copying the permalink. No matter the platform, it should automatically shorten your link. If not, you can change that in your settings. Once you have your update typed out, click on that little clock next to the send button.


Next you are going to schedule the date & time of when you want the status to send. You can coordinate it with the date & time that your blog post is going to publish or schedule it for any other date & time. 


*Note: You can schedule any Twitter status, not just the links for your scheduled blog posts.

Once you have your status scheduled you can view all scheduled updates in the column labeled 'Scheduled Updates'. 


If you have your Twitter account linked to Facebook, you can skip the next part; however, it is helpful information so that if you ever need to schedule something only for Facebook, you will know how.

Scheduling Facebook Updates

When you're on your Facebook page, type up your status update including the permalink for your post, and click on the little clock below the status box. Schedule the date & time you want the update to publish. You can make it coordinate with the blog post & Twitter status date & time or any other date & time you'd like. 


Click 'schedule' and you will be all set. Now all of your posts will be scheduled at the same time and you can get on with your life!

There is a great platform that you can use which is Hootsuite. I have heard amazing things about this tool because you can schedule all of your social media updates all in one spot. Why I don't use it, I don't know. I have a hard enough time keeping things scheduled in the first place! But, I have heard great things about it so I highly suggest you check it out [as I am going to head on over there as well]. 

Do you schedule any of your blog posts or other social media updates? Does it save you time? Let us know!









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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Getting To Know You: Why Do You Blog?


We all have our reasons for wanting to blog. Some of them are a personal outlet; like an online diary. That is actually why I started blogging ten years ago! I found my hand cramped less typing up my teen sorrows than hand-writing them out plus it was a way for me to store all of my daily writings without mountains of journals being stacked up. Another reason people start to blog may be because they want to document their fashion finds. Whatever the reason, it's always a good one and we want to know why you blog. 

Leave us a comment below telling us why you blog and what got you in to blogging. Be sure to leave us your blog link so we can come check you out! If it's a more personal reason, feel free to email us a b.you.blog [at] gmail [dot] com. 

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How To: Install Social Media Icons on Blogger

A while back the lovely Torrie shared how to create social media icons... today I am going to show you how to install those social media icons on Blogger. 


Once you've followed her tutorial, you'll want to upload your images to an image hosting site. I use Flickr. To grab the link for the code, click on the image >> actions >> view all sizes. Once you're on the screen where you can select different sizes, select the size that will fit in your sidebar. You're going to right click that image and then you will have the link for your code. 


This is the code you will need for your social media icons. 

<a href="URLFORICON" target="_blank"><img src="IMAGEURL" alt="TITLE" width="165" height="55" /></a>

Change the information in red. In this tutorial I am demonstrating with our 'Twitter' social media icon so in the 'URLFORICON' section of the code I am going to put the URL for our Twitter account making sure to stay within the quotations. The image URL link you'll want to copy and paste [shown in photo above] in the 'IMAGEURL' section of the code being sure to stay within the quotations. The 'TITLE' section is just where you can put either 'Twitter' or which ever social media site this icon will be connected to. Or you could just put your blog name. Where the 'width' and 'height' numbers are in red is where you will input the image size for your sidebar. This is what your code should look like after all of the information is added:

<a href="https://twitter.com/byourownblog" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8472/8434386280_3d51d80d0d_m.jpg" alt="B.You" width="165" height="55" /></a>

Repeat these steps for all other social media icons, making sure to save the complete code in Notepad or Word. Once you have all the codes completed, head on over to Blogger and go to 'Layout'. In your sidebar select 'add gadget'.



Then choose 'HTNL/JavaScript'


Copy and paste all of your codes then select 'add'. Be sure to preview your blog before you save to make sure that it all looks right. If it does, and everything is in place, select 'save arrangement' and then head back to your blog to make sure that the links work. If they don't, be sure that you copied the codes over correctly and that you stayed within the quotations when entering your information. If everything is running smoothly then you're good to go. You'll have a pretty new addition to your sidebar that represents you and all things connected to you. 

If you have any questions about the installation process or need help at all, let us know. You can leave us a comment below or send us an email at b.you.blog [at] gmail [dot] com.
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Monday, March 25, 2013

How To: Add Post Dividers


Another way to add a bit of flair to your blog is to have a post divider image. This is a thin, horizontal graphic that separates your posts instead of just a line. It adds another level of personality to your blog, and can make your space seem more put together.

You can see what my divider graphic on Fox + Hazel looks like below:


First, you need to find or create a divider image that you like. Choose something that is noticable, but not so flashy that it distracts the readers eye.

Here are a few free resources you can use:

IROCKSOWHAT - 1 & 2 & 3

Make sure your image is the same pixels wide as your posting section of your blog. To find out how wide your post section is, go into the Template section and click on Edit Html. Search for "main-wrapper" (without the quotation marks.) This is how wide your images should be inside your post to fit. Make sure your divider is the same width. If it's too wide, it will hang over into your side bars. It's best to have an exact fit, but you can air on the side of too small to be safe. You can use Picmonkey to re-size your image if needed. You can also do this within Photobucket.

Take that image and upload it your photo hosting site of choice. I'm a Photobucket user, so mine is uploaded there.

Next, go into the layout section of your blog and click Add a Widget. Next find the Html/Javascript widget and click on it.



Copy & paste this code into that box:

<style type="text/css">.post {
background: url(YOURURLHERE) no-repeat;
background-position: bottom center;
margin:1.5em 0 1.5em;
border-bottom: none;
padding-bottom: 3.5em;}
</style>

Where it says YOURURL, paste the direct URL for your image from your hosting site. If you are using Photobucket for example, then find the direct link for your image from there and replace it.

Click Save. Your widget doesn't need to be anywhere specific in your side bar as it won't show up there because the HMTL is affecting the blog posts and nothing in your sidebar. I personally keep all my HMTL widgets on the bottom left hand side just to keep it organized.

Now view your blog and see your magical work! Amazing right? Now your blog is just a teeny bit more custom and a whole lot snazzier looking! Simple things like a post divider can help set your blog apart from all the others floating around in the blogosphere - and of course you want to be set apart, right? ;)

If you have any questions, please ask away! We'll try our best to answer them =)





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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How To: Import Blogs From Google Reader to Bloglovin'




Yesterday we shared with you some news about Google Reader and GFC going away soon and that Bloglovin' is around to help! We also mentioned that you can import your blogs from Google Reader in to Bloglovin' without having to manually enter each link. What a life saver! We had some people ask us how to do that so we are going to share the 'how to' with you today.

Step One:

Log in to your Bloglovin' account and go to settings. Scroll down to the 'Import Blogs' button and click that.


Step Two:

Select Google Reader


Step Three:

Confirm importing from Google Reader



Step Four:

Select 'allow access'




Step Five:

You will get a screen like this that shows your importing process




Once it's complete, it will take you back to your Bloglovin' home page and all of your favorite blogs will be there ready for you to read!


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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bloglovin'

In June, Google will be doing away with Google Reader and GFC. Google Reader is a very handy tool to have when you're a blogger or lover of blogs because it holds all of your blog subscriptions in one easy place to read and catch up on. But with it going away, how will you be able to keep up with all of your fave blogs all in one place? Bloglovin'!

I'm sure many of you already know what Bloglovin' is and is already signed up for an account with them. What I really love about Bloglovin' is I can have multiples blogs linked to my account so I'm not having to log in and out to check subscription status'. Genius! You can also import your reading list [a 'How to' on this tomorrow!] and categorize the blogs you follow! [ie: DIY/Craft, Sewing, Food, Fashion, etc]

We have added a little button on our sidebar that you can click on to follow us with Bloglovin', but here is one below to click on too. Thank you all for lovin' us enough to add us to your blogroll! 

If you'd like to have us follow you on Bloglovin' let us know in the comments below and we will go check you out! 

Follow on Bloglovin


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Monday, March 18, 2013

Pinterest Tip: How To Verify Your Blog

As we have mentioned before, Pinterest is a great way to gain traffic to your blog through pinning posts and social networking. You're also able to list your website on your profile page which is great to gain even more traffic. But instead of having your site represented by a cute little globe icon, you can actually get your website/blog verified which will show your whole url with a cool little check mark next to it. 
Verifying your website can be beneficial for a good amount of reasons, but the most important of them all is it provides a reliable backlink through Pinterest themselves for your blog. You can verify your blog in about 5 minutes or less. Here we will show you the steps to get your blog verified. 

Note: We will be showing you how to verify on Pinterest with Blogger only

Step One:

Head on over to your Pinterest Account Settings



Step Two:

Scroll down and find the website field. Enter your website and click 'Verify Website'


Step Three:

You will be directed to the website verification page. Scroll down to find the instructions section and be sure to click on 'Verify with a meta tag'
Underlined under the instructions box

Step Four:

A HMTL meta tag will pop up. You will need to copy this code. Once you copy the code, head on over to Blogger and in your Blogger menu click on Template then Edit Template. {Keep the Pinterest Verify Website page open}

Step Five:

Go to your browser's navigation bar and click on Edit - Find - Find and a little bar will pop up with a search window. Search for <head>.
<head> highlighted in yellow

Step Six:

Just under <head> you're going to paste the HTML meta code and click Save Template.


Step Seven:

Head back over to Pinterest's Verify Website page and click 'click here to complete process' and a status should show up saying 'We successfully verified your website! Go to your profile.' That means it all worked! 


Step Eight:

Head back to your profile and check it out. Cool little check mark next to your full URL!

We all love Pinterest and love finding new people and boards to follow. Leave us a link to your Pinterest below so we can come check you out! 

Oh! If you didn't know, there is a B.You Pinterest Board. Easy way for you to find our posts and share them with your friends! 


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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Blog Tips: Free Design Resources




Part of having your own blog is creating a space that reflects you, your interests and what your blog is all about. Everyone has their own style when it comes to clothing or home decorating and the same is true for your blog. You want it to communicate to your readers what you're all about and what your blog is going to be all about. There are a ton of free blog design resources out there that can help you achieve your ideal blog design. I'm sharing some great FREE resources that you can use on your blog! Most of these resources are directed towards using Blogger as your platform; some do have Wordpress options. I can't speak to Wordpress users because I've never used that platform so I don't know what works & doesn't.



Backgrounds

There are thousands of premade Blogger (and Wordpress!) templates that are easy to install on your blog. There are so many different styles that finding one you like shouldn't be a problem!














Social Media Buttons

There are literally thousands of different social media buttons you can find and use. These are some free ones that don't come up short on design or style.









Fonts

Fonts are handy to have to help customize your design elements from your header to your footer. Most of these are all free under a personal license.











My Fonts is a paid font website, however some fonts offer a free version. It just takes a bit of searching in the free category for one you like!
















These sites are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to elements you can use on your blog. A quick Google search yields hundreds of different sites that offer free elements for personal use.

If you are using someone else's blog element that they designed, be sure to give them where credit is due. There are designers who are literally giving away their product & time for free to create these awesome elements for us, so the least we can do is make sure we are giving them the proper credits and kudos.

If you know of any design resources that weren't mentioned here, please share in the comments below so we can all take a look!




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