This weekend’s posts are brought to you courtesy of ICON 40. I will be a panelist or moderator on several panels throughout the weekend. A couple of those panels are related to blogging and I wanted to create a quick reference post for others to use after the event.
ICON, a Mindbridge Foundation Project, is Iowa’s longest-running, fan organized science fiction and fantasy convention. Each convention features authors, artists, panels and workshops, parties, an art show, dealers room and more!
ICON 40 is being hosted at the DoubleTree Hotel and Convention Center in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This year’s guest of honor include David Gerrold, Sarah Clemens, Ann Leckie, Kalli McCandless and Jim C. Hines.
Blogging Resources | Blogging Tips & Tricks
Panelists: Terri M. and Jim C. Hines
Panel Description: An roundtable discussion about blogging; will cover a wide array of topics regarding blogging, networking and social media.
What Platform to Use
Indie-Visible did an excellent series on the major blogging platforms earlier this year. They covered Wix, Weebly, self-hosted platforms, Blogger/Blogspot and WordPress.com. I highly recommend checking out those posts.
Cool Blogger Tutorials I Found
When I started blogging, I started out over on Blogger/Blogspot. It was free and a good place for me to start because I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep up. I’m coming up on my two year blogoversary in December and remember, somewhat fondly, my days over on Blogger.
I “hacked” Blogger extensively. I know just enough HTML and CSS it be dangerous. I still have the sites I used to learn those hacks saved with the idea of doing full blown post while I was over on Blogger. I never got around to it before I moved to a self-hosted WordPress site. Since I love sharing what I’ve learned, here are some great sites to check out if you are using or considering using Blogger.
- How to Make Your Own Custom Blog Template via Blog Designs by Dani
- How to Remove or Customize Blogger Attribution Widget
- How To Provide a Direct Follow Link to Google Friend Connect via The Consumer Adviser
- How to Center a Banner Image on Blogger via Bloggerial
- Creating a Permanent Blog Post Template in Blogger via Herding Cats & Burning Soup
- How to Add a Simple Recent Post Widget to Blogger/Blogspot via Tricks for You
- Creating a Related Posts Widget (Links Only) for Blogger/Blogspot
My Favorite WordPress Plugins
I eventually moved over to a self-hosted WordPress site. My site is hosted by NameCheap and I’ve been happy with my move. I love the flexibility of WordPress and I take full advantage of the many plugins that are offered.
- TweakMe Theme by NoseGraze—Easily create your own custom theme. This plugin is worth the cash!
- Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin with various add-ons by NoseGraze—As a book blogger, I could not survive without this plugin and its assorted add-ons. Another one that it is worth paying for.
- S.O.U.P. (Show Off Up Coming Posts)—Allows you to show your visitors what posts you have coming up. Even offers a newsletter subscription link so you don’t have to have separate plugin or widget to manage subscriptions.
- Yoast SEO—The free version of this plugin helps you to improve your SEO with an easy to read guide on each post.
- Easy Content Templates—Always want certain types of posts to look the same way? Create a template, add it to your post and add you content. Such a time saver!
- AutoChimp—I use MailChimp to manage and send my newsletter out to subscribers. AutoChimp syncs the WordPress users on my site over to the designated list in MailChimp.
Other Helpful Resources
These are sites a reference or use frequently that are not platform specific.
Other Helpful Articles
- Behind the Curtain: My Blogging Routine via Second Run Reviews
- Behind the Curtain: My Blogging Routine, Part Deux via Second Run Reviews
- Behind the Curtain: Burning Feedburner and other site updates via Second Run Reviews
- How to Transfer from Blogger to WordPress.org via The Daily Egg
- Blogging Tips via Parajunkee.com
- Blogging Tips via Book Bumblings.com
- Make WordPress Your Bitch Tutorial (FREE!) via NoseGraze.com
- Your Blogging Style – Can You Change It? Should You Even Try? via Feed Your Fiction Addiction