Follow Us on FacebookFollow Us on TwitterRSS Subscribe Follow Us on YouTube

April 1, 2013

Unhinged Series - How to Keep Your Blog Readers and Followers with Bloglovin














I must admit....I'm a little excited about this series. I've found some really amazing alternatives to Google Reader and Google Friend Connect (GFC).

First up on our list is Bloglovin. By now, most of us have heard of this one. With the recent news of Google Reader Closing, Bloglovin has stepped up their game. They have made it really easy to import your current Google Reader subscriptions to their service. I will walk you through this later on in this post. For now, let's get your blog registered with them.

How to Register your Blog with Bloglovin


1. Go to the Bloglovin Sign Up Page. You can sign up with your Facebook log in credentials. It will ask you to sign in to Facebook and enter a little bit of information including an email address and password. It will then send a link to that email address and you will need to click on the link they emailed you to complete the registration. You also have the option to just sign up using an email address instead of linking your Facebook account. Either way, make sure you click on the link they emailed you.

2. After you have completed step one....Click on the small arrow next to your name in the top right corner. A small drop down menu will appear, click on "My Blog".




























3. A new window will appear with a blue box that says "Claim Blog", click there.





























4. A small window will pop-up where you can enter the url to your blog. You can use http:// or just www., either entry should pull up your blog info. Click on the blue "Search" button and your blog should appear like mine did below. If it shows you already have followers, don't worry, that just means someone has already added your blog to their Bloglovin reader by simply inputting your blogs url. Your blog doesn't need to be claimed for someone to follow it on Bloglovin. By you claiming your blog, you are gaining control of how your site appears in Bloglovin and you can include a description to it's listing there. You will also be able to incorporate a Bloglovin Follow button on your blog to easily gain more followers.

Another thing you need to watch for on this step, is how your blogs address appears in the search results. With mine, in the search results, only one result has appeared and the url is correct. If your results include one or more, make sure you are clicking the correct url. If it's a blogspot blog, select that entry. If you have bought a custom domain, make sure it's that url you select. If the only option you have listed is the mobile version of your website, the url will look like this http://www.alittleunhinged.com/m=1 or http://www.alittleunhinged.com/m?1. It will have some kind of "m" at the end of the address. If this is the only option you have or if you are seeing multiple addresses for your blog, use this link: Contact Bloglovin Support, and tell them what's going on, so they can correct it. They are really quick to respond and eager to help.



















5. When you see the correct listing for your blogs url, click on it. Another window will populate with a tidbit of html code that you need to highlight and copy. DO NOT click on "Claim Blog" yet.




















6. Open another browser window or tab and go to your Blogger Dashboard. You can either select a past blog post and paste the html code at the top of it or you open a new post and paste the code there. Either way, after your blog is claimed, you can go back and delete the entire new post or the code you added in an old post. After the code is pasted on your site, go back to the Bloglovin window and click on "Claim Blog". If you have any problems, please email me at bfranks@alittleunhinged.com or leave a comment below.

7. After your blog is claimed on Bloglovin, make sure you delete the code from your blog. Then go back to Bloglovin and click on the arrow by your name again and go to "My Blog". To the right of your blogs name you will see "edit blog info". Click on it and update all of your blogs information. There is also an option that says "Update Blogs Thumbnail". Make sure you select this option and click Save. It could take up to an hour for your blogs thumbnail to update.

8. Make sure you update your personal profile and notifications in the drop down menu also. Click on "Settings" to do this and click on Save when you are done.


How to add Premade Bloglovin Widgets and Icons on your Blog


Bloglovin has some really cool icons and widgets for you to choose from. You can find them here: Bloglovin Widgets

1. Once you have chosen one of their widgets they have listed, under it you will see the words "Get this Icon" under it. Click there and a window will populate with some more html code. Hightlight the code and copy it. 






2. Open another window or tab on your browser and go to your Blogger dashboard ---> On the left of your dashboard click on "Layout" ---> Choose where you want the widget to be displayed and click on "Add a gadget" 




























3. Scroll through the gadget options until you see "HTML/JavaScript" and click on the small plus sign or the HTML/JavaScript words themselves to add this gadget.























4. Paste the HTML code from Bloglovin into the box and click on Save. Then go and view your blog. 





Design your own Bloglovin Icon for your Sidebar


You can also design your own Bloglovin Icon. Just like you design your own blog button. Just design the image you want, add words or whatever you decide, then add the html code. Find the tutorial here: Design your Own Blog Button



Design your own Bloglovin Icon below each blog Post

Make sure all of your readers are aware of the new way they can follow you. You don't want to lose any of them on July 1st when Reader closes. By adding the icon below each of your blog posts, they are bound to see it.


1. Design your own image and resize it to match the size of your blog post area. By making it a different color from your background, it will stand out and be more noticeable. Once you have your image like the example below, move to next step.









2. Next, host your image on an image hosting site like Photobucket or Flickr and locate the images direct url. On your computer, locate and open a text document and paste this code in it:

<a href="WEBSITE URL" target="_blank">
<img src="IMAGE DIRECT LINK URL" /></a>


Replace 'YOUR DIRECT IMAGE URL' with the actual direct url link to your image on its hosting site. Replace 'WEBSITE URL' with the url of your blog on Bloglovin. To get this url go to Bloglovin and at the top in the search bar, type the url of your blog or the name of it. When it appears on the page, you should see a follow button under your blogs title. Copy and paste this pages url in the HTML code above. Can't find the url you need? Email me at bfranks@alittleunhinged.com or leave a comment below for assitance.

3. Backup your Blogger Template before going to next step because you will be editing your template next.

4. In your Blogger Dashboard, go to Template, Edit HTML, Proceed, click in the top left "Expand Widget Templates", then on your keyboard hit Ctrl and F at the same time to open the "Find" box in the top right of your screen. Copy and paste this:

<div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-1'>

into the "Find" box. Once you have found the above footer code in your template you take your completed Signature HTML code and paste directly above it.

5. Click Preview, and scroll to the bottom of a previous post and your signature should be there. Adding the Signature code into your template will add a signature to all previous and future post. If it is correctly showing, click save and close.

6. If you want to add your signature manually to each post, you can save the Signature code and copy and paste it to each post as you write it. Another option is to go to Settings, Posts and Comments, Post template. Then add your Signature HTML there. This will add it to all future posts but not past posts.


How to Import Blogs From Google Reader or OPML/XML


1. Click on the arrow next to your name in the top right corner. In the drop down menu select "Settings". Scroll to the bottom under the "Other" option and click "Import Blogs" or click here: Import Blogs with Bloglovin

2. Select which ever service you are importing FROM and follow the directions......easy right?

Use Bloglovin on Smartphones and Tablets

Everyone is constantly on the go these days...busy...busy....busy. Stay up to date on your favorite blogs by downloading the Bloglovin App. It's available for iOS 5.0 or later here: Bloglovin for Itunes and for Android 2.0 and up here: Bloglovin for Droids.


Are you already on Bloglovin? If so, please leave the url to follow your blog in the comments below!!!!