Where my Blogspot fashion bloggers at!? Can I get a woop woop?
I know there are still many of us out there who use Google's blogging platform, Blogger, for their sites (myself included). It's a very user-friendly and easily-customizable platform, even if it's not quite the juggernaut that WordPress has become for the fashion blogging community.
If you're just getting started with blogging or a die-hard fan of blogger, there are some essential “gadgets” you can employ on your site to make it as user-friendly, easy-to-navigate and customizable as possible. We can't hyperlink you to the gadgets themselves, you have to have a Blogger account to access them. But if/when you do, here are the simple directions to find them:
- To add a new gadget to your Blogger site, go to the dashboard, and find the “Layout” icon on the left menu list. Here you will see how your site is laid out.
- Depending on the template you're using, either on the left or right where your side column is, you will see the “add gadget” link.
- When you click on it, a window will pop up, displaying Blogger's gadgets. You can search Basic, Popular, Featured and More Gadgets to find them.
- Once you have added a gadget, you can drag and drop it to different parts of your layout.
So you don't waste your time searching for the best ones, or accidentally add the 2nd most popular gadget, Fish, to your site, I have rounded up the 10 best Blogger gadgets for your fashion blog.
We've mentioned before that pages are essential to the navigation and site use of your blog. In Blogger, you can create and manage them with a gadget. (Depending on how you like your site organized, you might want to drag your Pages Gadget under your header, to make your navigation easy.) To find out which pages we think are essential to your fashion blog, read this.
3. Search Box
This is pretty self-explanatory, but I think it's a very necessary tool for your blog. This is how readers and new visitors can find specific content on your site. Make it easier for them by using your labels on each post. You can customize the title of this gadget as well, for example, mine says, “Looking For Something Specific?”
This is another easy-but-essential gadget for your blog. This way your readers can have a chronological search tool to find older content. You can customize the title as well as the format, whether you want a heirarchy, flat list or drop-down menu, as well as the frequency.
5. Blog List or Link List
The blogroll! I love this gadget, and I update mine constantly. I try to keep a good mix of aspirational blogs as well as new discoveries and friends in my list of links. Use this tool to direct your followers to your favorite daily reads. You can customize this gadget to be titled whatever you like, or to have no title at all, and you can also include icons and links to most recent posts (but I think that looks too busy).
6. Page Header
To add your custom header to your site, use this gadget. Once you open it you can upload an image to use, and you may have to tinker with it to get it to be the exact right size, but it's essential to add some personality and flavor to your blog.
7. Popular Posts
I mentioned in another post that the “Popular Posts” gadget is a great way to keep readers on your site, especially new visitors. It's a way to promote your highly-trafficked posts, and give readers a snapshot of what kinds of content you produce and what resonates among your other readers.
8. Video Bar
This gadget isn't necessary for everyone, but if you're a video blogger, it's a must! You can customize it to house only your specific channel's videos, without having to leave the blog.
Use this gadget to add a short note or a favorite quote, any plain-text content to the side of your site. You might use it to write a brief profile of yourself or a bio if your site is connected to your profession as well.
In the era of Twitter and Facebook, the followers gadget is not a true gauge of just how popular or highly-trafficked your blog is. Most people will follow you on their social networks and their readers and call it good. I like this gadget though because I like to have a visual of how my following is growing within the Blogger community.