May 27, 2016

How to Back Up Your Entire Blogspot Blog (Content, Template, Images and Widgets)

How to Back Up Your Entire Bloggger Blog
If you google “How to backup your blog” you will find 1000 tutorials.  But what I  have noticed about almost all these posts is that they are incomplete.  They either tell you how to backup your content (which is important! don’t get me wrong) or your template, but typically they don’t cover your entire blog. They don’t explain how to save a copy of ALL the stuff you want saved in case of a zombie apocalypse or nuclear war.  What would it take to rise from the ashes and build a new blog? THAT is what you are really asking when you say “How do I backup my blog?”

So today I’m going to cover all the things you can (and should) have copies off.. just in case something goes terribly wrong.

There are 4 main parts to your blogspot blog that you should be backing up: 

1.  Your content.  The HTML that makes up all of your posts and pages.

2.  Your template.  The code that packages up your content so nicely in your browser.

3.  Your images.   Contrary to popular belief, no, in fact your images are NOT backed up when you
back up your content.  Your images are actually hosted outside of your content and so if you want to make sure they are never lost, you probably want to keep a copy of each and every one of them.

4. Your HTML gadgets.  The content within your HTML gadgets (your sidebars and footers) floats in a strange “no mans land” when it comes to Blogspot.  It isn’t backed up with your template, nor is it backed up with your content.  Typically it wouldn’t be catastrophic to lose the little bit of HTML in your sidebars (usually it is images and text for things like buttons or ads or whatever you keep in your side bar). However, if you ever want to migrate to a new blog or new template, having a copy of those gadgets is a good idea.

How do you do it?  It is easier than you think.

May 19, 2016

How to Divide Your Email List and Target Your Subscribers Automatically

How to divide your email list and target audience with post labels
On my “real” blog I actually write about a LARGE variety of projects.  I am not one of those bloggers who has a very specific niche, but I cover a wide range of topics from remodeling and woodworking, to kid crafts, recipes and holidays.  Because of this, I always had a hard time retaining email subscribers and/or getting them to open my emails.

Since I wanted to make the process of sending out emails as painless as possible, I had been using RSS driven campaigns (meaning anytime I posted a new post on the blog, it would automatically detect the RSS feed and send out an email.)  The problem was that not everyone wanted to hear about every project.  (I totally get it, we are busy and you only want to read about what you are interested in.)

Then I discovered the beauty of the “LABEL DRIVEN RSS FEED”!!   Game.changer!  

Label driven feeds are the same RSS feeds that you are familar with, but instead of going out for EVERY post, it only goes out for posts with a certain label or tag. This means that I could flag posts with different labels and set up different automatic RSS emails for different target audiences.

May 12, 2016

How To Set Up Custom Blog Domain Emails To Ensure Newsletter Delivery

How to set up an email address for your custom domain in order to make sure your newsletter doesn't get caught up in the DMARC spam filters

Since Google recently announced it will be moving its Gmail platform to strict DMARC regulation this coming June, following the lead of both Yahoo and AOL a few years ago, there has been a little panic about email newsletters getting caught in spam filters or listed as “undeliverable.”

Many bloggers are using Gmail addresses for all their incoming and outgoing blog email and with these new restrictions, the chances of those emails being reliability delivered is shrinking. Additionally many bloggers are now sending out their newsletter via services like Mailchimp, MadMimi or Convert Kit.  All of these platforms use your personal specified email as the ‘from’ address.  With the new DMARC regulation, those emails we most likely be rejected or blocked.

Luckily there is a pretty simple work around, and for many bloggers it won’t cost anything! If you are currently using a custom domain (meaning your blog URL doesn’t contain the chances are pretty good that you already have a custom domain email address available.

May 6, 2016

How to Verify Your Blog in Webmaster Tools (and Set Your Preferred Domain)

Don't compete with your own site in the search rankings! Here is how you can verify your blog in Webmaster Tools and set up a preferred domain for double the google juice!
Last week I explained how to generate a sitemap and submit it to search engines in order to ensure you content was all being crawled. I mentioned that my preferred method of submitting site map was through the Webmaster Tools Sitemap tool.  After that post I had a few people ask about how to establish a Webmaster tools (which is now officially called “Google Search Console”) account for a Blogspot blog.

Because it does require inserting some code into your template, and because it turns out that you should actually be setting up accounts for multiple URLs, I thought it was worth an entire post.