Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Social Media on your Blog

Free To Use... Click for the Rest of the Set
If you have a blog, social media links and some form of email subscription is a blog vital; if the header is considered water to your blog, your social media is food and your subscription is sleep. You need this stuff on your blog as much as you need to name your blog.

Now providing methods of sharing your posts is totally different than this. I'm focusing on getting people to follow your profiles on various social media platforms.

Why link to your social media? 


1. Everyone else is doing it, and this is probably one of those herding mentalities that helps the species with survival as opposed to hurts it. I understand if everyone is jumping off a bridge, would you do it? Only if the water is warm, but the point is, some people herd to bully someone. This isn't anything like it. This is more like being lost in New York City trying to get to New Jersey to travel south, and after an hour using a map driving in circles around Chinatown, you finally decide the best thing to do is follow all the cars with Jersey license plates. Yes I've done that before, and it worked beautifully.

2. So people can find you again. Just assume for one glorious minute that you are one of the best bloggers on the web. You just have yet to be discovered by EVERYONE. Because you've been working hard on improving content and providing the best you have to offer, you know that when people come across your blog, most of them (not all, that's impossible) are going to fall in love with your writing. They are going to read any one post of yours and say words like, Epic. Genius. My Kind of Crazy. They want to follow you, but now what?

No one method of following someone is guaranteed you will see all their posts. Emails sometimes go to the Spam folder or some other place in the dark, dusty corners of the web. Facebook only shows your posts to 10% of your page likes if you are lucky enough to get 90% of the people to whom it shows to like, comment, or share, which is more difficult to accomplish with blog posts than any other content. Twitter's feed is old in about 5 minutes, depending on how many people a person is following. The best way to follow someone is to follow them everywhere. You may not see all their posts, but you are bound to find them again. Nobody wants to spend 5 minutes hunting you down anywhere, whether it's your contact me page or searching your name in Facebook.

3. The numbers matter when it comes to anything money, whether it's publishing or sponsorship. They say not to buy Facebook ads because your likes probably won't engage much in the future and you want loyal readers, not robotic profiles, but you know what? The Mattress Company thinking about paying you for some advertising doesn't care. Social media numbers are a vital part of your statistics.

Where do you put social media icons?


The blog norm of social media icons is to have just the icons linking to your profile somewhere in a sidebar, or the header. The sidebar should also have a place to enter an email to subscribe to your blog. The subscription button is also good to place within each post at the bottom (like Moms Who Drink and Swear does on Chicago Now), at the footer (like I do because I'm too lazy to keep typing it at the bottom of posts), and the contact me place. That is like the thing you are allowed to over-promote because the choice to subscribe is usually an impulse decision. Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking, "I need to go find some new blogs to subscribe to. I'll do that before I do the dishes."

How to Put Social Media Icons on Your Blog


In blogger, the easiest way to do it is to add an html gadget. I'm not sure how wordpress works with it, but I'm providing html how-to for you to use anywhere html is accepted.

Ingredients: 

Graphics. The F for Facebook. The Twitter bird. The Pinterest P. And anything else you decide to add. These pictures need to be uploaded to the web somewhere. You can use Flickr or Google's Picasa. To get the address, find the image, right click, and then choose "Copy Image URL." If you don't have that option, you can attempt to click the image, and then try, or find the image elsewhere and try. There's many reasons that option might not show up. Google works better than Flickr for that.

You can also get free icons from my Doodlegraphs Blog and it includes the basics as a font you can download for free. 

Profiles. It's a personal decision on what social media to focus on. Some bloggers have a profile EVERYWHERE possible. Others focus on the basics, usually Facebook and Twitter; however, some bloggers prefer Google Plus to Facebook. You will need a link to your profile. Not a link to Twitter or Facebook in general. Your profile's address.

Process:

The HTML is simple really. First you list the link the image will take you (a href), and then you list the image source, the place the internet finds the image (img src).

Target equaling blank means it will open in a new tab. You want to do this because you don't want people leaving your blog page forever. You want them to keep that open.

Alt text is text that shows up if someone's computer can't pull the image, in theory anyway.

The width and height determines the size the image will appear. You can adjust the size to your preference.


<a href="http://www.SocialMedia.com/YourProfile" target="_blank">

<img src="http:www.IMAGElocation.png" alt="Find me on Facebook" width="50" height="50" />

</a>


1. Copy and paste that code and enter your information where you need to.

2. Repeat code for next image and social media link. Make sure to change alt text to "Find me on Twitter" or whatever matches it.

3. You probably want all the images to be the same size for purposes of professional design.


Common Social Media:

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Pinterest
RSS from Feedburner



Less Common Social Media:

Instagram
Linked In
YouTube
Tumblr
Blog Lovin



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Font by Me: Floral Flush Font

I finally finished working on my Floral Flush font of stems and flowers, so you can do that whole look they do at Walmart on the planners, notebooks, folders and journals that are now found on bags at the Family Dollar... You know, this look...


Eventually, I'll provide photoshop brushes of the grayed look.

The beautiful thing about fonts as opposed to photoshop elements is that a font can be used on any program you have, and unless you have Photoshop or something similar to it, or the experience using a program like that, you really don't have much options for pictures to use. As a font, these images can be used on any program that has text. The best thing is, because it's a font, you don't have to worry about pixelation issues when enlarging.

THIS FONT IS FREE FOR PERSONAL AND COMMERCIAL USE

Where can you find this? I have supplied it on my Google Site Attachments, and the link to that link is on my new blog called Doodlegraphs. Really check out Doodlegraphs. I'm compiling all my artwork that I'm supplying free like it's public domain. You can use the photos, fonts, and photoshop elements from Doodlegraphs for any reason, including commercial reasons. I'll be adding to Doodlegraphs periodically. I think after I finish all the little things with this font, my next project will be to play with coffee and wine because they are mommy blogger cliches.

Click to get to this Font Download on Doodlegraphs


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Twitter #blogger Guide

I sometimes hate twitter, but I'm trying to figure the ropes. The hashtag seems to be one of the most prominent features in twitter as it helps tell people what your link is about if you provide a link, but also it makes you visible to people who don't follow you but are searching for content your hashtag labels. However, outside of the trending box of hashtags, twitter doesn't provide you with much insight to what people are actively searching in the realm of hashtags. I have no idea what those hash tags are, but I will tell you the various blogger hashtags are frequently used. #bblogger and #fblogger generally show up in the trending box every day there isn't a big news event (like Paula Deen).

But the letters, like what do they mean? Nobody really tells you, but I searched them and this is what I concluded... Some are probably spot on. Others are probably close. Others, no idea... Read at your own risk from here on out. The most active ones at the time of writing this are in BOLD.

#blogger

abloggers: Artist Bloggers? Graphic Design and Illustrations
bbloggers: Beauty Bloggers
cbloggers: Crafts
dbloggers: whatever you want it to mean... Dad Bloggers. Design Bloggers. Diabetes. And many many posts at random making me think it could be Denver or Detroit... Some in French which makes me think DeFrenchWord.
ebloggers: this one had a short list, and the best I can decipher... Entertainment Blogging
fbloggers: Fashion Bloggers
gbloggers: used for giveaways, beauty and random, and gardening
hbloggers: health
ibloggers: instagram and/or Irish
jbloggers: jewelry and/or Jewish
kbloggers: Not really happening, mainly kashmire which is actually spelled cashmere with a c
lbloggers: I'm thinking London Bloggers... not sure
mbloggers: Mom bloggers, music and/or mental health
nbloggers: Fingernails and Nail Art
NZbloggers: I'm guessing New Zealand Bloggers but have no clue
obloggers: Not very popular, no real pattern
pbloggers: Pregnant / Pregnancy Bloggers
qbloggers: 2 tweets with it ever, and it's because they used the letter Q somewhere in their name
rbloggers: Review Bloggers and/or RSTATS, which seems to be mainly data and statistics
sbloggers: Social Bloggers and/or Student Bloggers.
tbloggers: Travel Bloggers
ubloggers: not used often, and no pattern
vbloggers: Video Bloggers
wbloggers: Wedding Bloggers
xbloggers: No Results
ybloggers: Very few results, all Youtube.
zbloggers: Two posts showed up, one for zoo and one for zombie apocalypse



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Facebook's New Algorithm 2014



Facebook is like that friend that drinks all your beer and eats all your food and then leaves without ever contributing to the cause. You hate that friend, but you invite him back and call him constantly because you would miss him for whatever irrational reasoning. It's like you know he's bad for you, but you love him anyway, so you get over it. Like an addiction. Yep. Facebook is that friend.

I had the Dribbles and Grits page. Some of my posts weren't going to more than 10 people of the 3500 who liked the page, so I was like "screw this." I told everyone, multiple times, if they want to see my posts, add me as a friend. I no longer post funny blips or things about my life on that page. It is only picture shares at this point. My personal profile is now set to public, the way Facebook wants it, so they beat me with that one. Well then, my blog domain got hijacked, so I was like, "I need a Facebook page," so now I have one for Crumpets and Bollocks with a whopping, steady 35 people, and it feels rather pointless to post to it.

I still have these pages, sharing pictures and videos that make me laugh in my newsfeed, and my mentality with it is, "hahahahahahaha, click share, let's see, personal profile? Crumpets and Bollocks? or Dribbles and Grits? hmmm, eenie meenie miney mo.." I truly offer nothing more than what is already out there on my pages.

When I first started with the Facebook pages, I considered it more like a radio talk show where I shared multiple things like stuff from my own head, stuff that's funny with my opinion on it, questions, polls, music, video, articles, blogs... Nobody seemed to really like all that crap. So then I stuck to what the "insights" (the fortune teller of Facebook pages) told me people liked, and basically, stupid memes and crap from my head. This decision is tough. What to post. Even the memes themselves, do you post something you've seen EVERYONE share because it's viral? Or do you post something you haven't seen around much that's hilarious because it's original? The sad fact is that people seem to prefer the stuff that's viral, like I think they like liking the same thing 50 times in a period of a week. Or maybe it's a Facebook conspiracy to pick and choose our content for us by manipulating the likes that way. Who knows?

But I think it helps page owners at this point to understand the new algorithm. It's a tough one to google because you get a lot of out-of-date stuff that was popular when it was relevant, and the stuff that's relevant isn't making the Google because it's new and hasn't been read enough yet, not enough to compete in the search results with out of date stuff.

This woman figured it out on her own, and she blogged about it, so I'm re-blogging what she blogged. You should check her out because she's funny, witty and one I enjoy reading...


From Abandoning Pretense

"When you post, Facebook sends a sample blast to a very small percentage of your followers. (I don't think anyone knows what the percentage is; it is secret info, and appears to be ever-changing.) Based on the reaction from that initial blast, the algorithm determines whether or not your post is worthy of being included in other of your followers' newsfeeds. If, based on the reaction of that initial sampling, your post is deemed worthy, it will send another blast to a few more followers. As long as people keep interacting with each subsequent blast, the algorithm will continue to keep pushing the post out. If people do not interact with your post, the algorithm will determine that your post is unworthy of people's newsfeeds. Worse? If you consistently put up posts that do not invite interaction, the algorithm will determine that your page, as in, the whole kit and caboodle, is unworthy. (See video below for more detail on how the algorithm works.) So..."

The rest of her blog post gives quality advice on page management, but the real thing to remember is now that you know how the algorithm works, now you have to get creative to come up with something that works with it.

I hope this helps you. It probably won't help me too much because I've abandoned ship with my Facebook pages. Like it's an old boat just docked somewhere. Maybe I might come back to it and fix it up and sail that ship again some day, when the ocean changes hue or something.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Featuring the Gabby Font

The name in the blog address, bellafonts, is there because I do fonts sometimes. It's a hobby. And I just made a new font from the backpack of my child. I compiled all her papers from 1st grade, stole letters here and there, cleaned them up, and created Gabby, the font of an authentic first grader.

Gabby Font


The font most people use when they want a handwritten font, or something that looks like a child wrote it, is comic sans. This man sums up the epic adventure of comic sans well...

Everyone loves to hate Comic Sans. The child-like handwriting font is so infamous, there is a movement to try to ban it. Mention its name to the common layman (aside from a preschool teacher), and you will likely get a chuckle, mention it to a trained designer, and you’ll get a look of disgust.   From kadavy

I think the "professionals" mess up when they forget a font has two purposes.

1. To be a type face in a book or article (there are no copyrights whatsoever for use of a font this way)
2. In a design (i.e. book cover, and the fonts are very copywritten in this manner)

Comic Sans was designed to be something like a typeface used in a program, and it would have looked awful had they gone that route I'm sure, but novice designers found a good use for it in design when trying to portray something handwritten because of its imperfections.

Gabby is not a font like Arial or Helvetica where the point is to use it as a typeface in a book, something uniform and very geometric with perfection in every loop and hole. Nope. It's meant to look like a first grader wrote it because a first grader did, and many times, in Graphic Design (not typefacing), you need something like that.

The problem with fonts like Comic Sans in that sense is it's not imperfect enough to look handwritten. In this day and age, everyone has a font of their own handwriting out there. Ones I particularly like (which happen to be free)...

Daniel Font


Jenna Sue Font
These are fonts that would look horrid in a book, like it would be a tough read. But they are perfect for the book cover. Gabby is a font like this. What I was aiming for at least.

Anyway, if interested in the Gabby, check her out on my fonts. If you know me personally on Facebook, message me and you get the homegirl discount of free.

The other fonts I've done thus far are dingbats...

Diaper Bag Font
Diaper Bag Font
Leprechaun Vomit Font
Leprechaun Vomit Font
And a totally free one with some stipulations on use (commercial ok)...

Cat Crypt Font
Cat Crypt



Saturday, May 31, 2014

Get Related Posts on your Blogger Blog

Related posts within a blog

I wanted "Related Posts" at the bottom of my blog posts, something that pulls up related posts based on labels.

I did attempt the whole time wasting, "copy this code" and put in template under /head and put over /postfooter stuff and then create a widget... and if it worked, at best, I got related posts at the very bottom of my blog, not at the bottom of the blog post, but the whole blog, under comments and a bunch of other stuff.

The method that was the easiest, as well as the most functioning, putting the related posts where I wanted them, is this...

Go to Link Within

And you basically do what it says...

Enter your info (email, blog site, etc.) and click get widget

If you choose the Blogger platform and get an "oops" annoying this didn't work page, start over. Do it again, but this time, instead of choosing blogger, choose OTHER for your platform. There you can get the code to put in an html widget, and put the widget at the bottom of your blog posts.

Yep, EASY BUTTON.

UPDATED NOTE: I just finally tried to add it to this blog, and I had one issue. It seems it has to be placed in a gadget right under your blog posts in layout, not under any other gadgets.




Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Links: It's called the INTERnet for a reason

SEO super loves links. The more links to your site you got floating around the interweb, the more Google thinks you are sexy. The best links are those provided in another blog post article as opposed to the comments, but I'm sure anywhere you post a link, it helps.

If someone links to you in their blog, you should be grateful for their SEO because some people are stingy with their links out. That's the other half. SEO prefers sites that aren't afraid to link to another site, especially one closely tied to your main key-words. For instance, if you blog about being a parent, links to other parenting sites rank you better in Google Search than if you don't link at all. It means you are a parenting site just like all the sites you link to. And you want to use a key-word to link to that site as opposed to "click here for..." or "read this." For instance, I can type any sentence containing the word graphic elements to link you to a blog post about graphic elements.

1. Link to Friends and their blogs or businesses. 


If you are a friend of mine, or if I read your blog enough to like you, I will link to you, frequently. Nobody really cares nor appreciates it, but someday, maybe they'll get enough traffic to their site from mine that they will, and I'll be like, "that's because I love you."

2. Link to Information. 


If I write, which I do rarely, about something factual as opposed to thoughts floating around my head, I will link to my "bibliography had this been a paper for school." This one is beyond the SEO. This one you want to do so you don't plagiarize. If any idea you use you got from somewhere else, even if just inspired, link to that source somewhere. Not only do intelligent people like to consider the source and see it for themselves, but the source deserves a little link for inspiring you. It's just a common decency. I see a lot of bloggers taking this one for granted. They feel they are "copying" by providing their source when really, not providing it is "copying." Clueless people are clueless.

Some of the main blogs I link to, whether it's on the sidebar of my blog or an example in a blog post on this blog, I link to them because their overall style inspires me. What I call the Unholy Trinity of Bloggers, Insane in the Mom Brain, Moms Who Drink and Swear, and The Bloggess, all 3 of them inspire me profusely. I read them in particular when I have writer's block. I'm forever grateful to them for making me want to write and pay attention to what I write.

3. Link to Similar Sites


Are you a mom blogger? You should be linking to sites of mom bloggers, parenting sites, baby centers, anything associated to your blog. Do you blog recipes a lot? Link to food related sites, whether it's a recipe site or a nutrition site.

Remember Google doesn't have any emotions. They don't care that you want to hoard all the internet traffic to yourself, that the main point is to get people to stay on your site as opposed to hopping somewhere else. All they know is the INTERweb is INTER-connected, and they want to keep it that way.

4. Link to Your Own Site


Anytime you can get away with linking to an old post, do it. It helps keep people engaged on your site, and it helps them navigate through your site. In addition, it's good SEO. Just don't overdo it.

If you have multiple sites, don't be afraid to link to those too. For example, Crumpets and Bollocks is my other blog and many times, I have linked to another blog within that blog for other reasons than SEO. For instance, I have a religious point I want to make, so I made it on my religious blog. When I referred to that point in my secular blog, I just linked to the religious one.

5. Link in a New Window


You want traffic to remain on your site. Linking to other sites is great, just make sure you do it in a new window keeping your site up on the to-read list.

The html for such a thing is to do the target = blank code. Here's an example from w3schools.

<a href="http://www.w3schools.com" target="_blank">Visit W3Schools</a>

In Blogger, you can link in a new window by checking the option "open in a new window," when inserting a link.

Linking to and away from your site is important SEO, and just ethical practice. They say you should have at least 2 to 3 links in every blog post. They should be spaced out. And they should use a RELEVANT key-word.

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