Friday, October 29, 2010

Where to get free blogger templates

The other day I wrote a post on ways you can make your blog stand out. I didn't mention getting a custom template or Wordpress theme on purpose. I wanted to cover it in more detail. Today I will focus on blogger templates and save Wordpress for later.

There is nothing wrong with having the default blogger templates. They look good enough. However making your blog unique from the millions of blogs out there is really important if you are serious about blogging. You definitely want to be taken seriously and not be seen as a newbie who is just getting their feet wet.

So where can you get really good free blogger templates? You will actually be surprised by what you can get if you Google 'free blogger templates'. I have however listed some five really good sites that will give excellent templates that will help you 'pimp' your blog.
  • Premium blogger templates- Gives you a great variety of templates adopted from Wordpress themes. You will be spoilt for choice as the templates here are really good. If you can edit some HTML you can make your blog look really nice with one of them.
  • 20 Premium blogger templates- Just as the name suggests you will find twenty templates you can choose for your blog. From simple to stylish templates, here you will get what you need for your blog.
  • Free blogger templates- Whether you blog about music, entertainment, the outdoors, environment, just anything, you will find a template here to suit your taste. They have one column, two column and three column templates. I recommend you choose the three column templates as you can add more gadgets. You can also get Adsense optimized templates here.
  • Btemplates- You can get templates adapted from Wordpress, Premium, Magazine, Photoblog etc.The choices here are many. You can also choose from one to four column templates depending on your choice. Just download it and use for your blog.
  • Final sense- This one got on this list because of they are very easy to install. Unlike the above mentioned where you have to download then upload, this ones you simply need to copy and paste the code when editing your HTML. Anybody who uses a computer can install templates from final sense.
With all these sites offering great looking free blogger templates, why not make your blog look better.  You don't want your blog to look like every other blog without a direction out there. At least show us you are serious about blogging. We will all follow you. After all you are making a difference.

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010


    Every blogger wants their blog to have a lasting impression on every new visitor. You want to make your blog unique and recognizable from the millions of blogs scattered out there in the world wide web. I have listed tips that can set you apart from the rest of the blogosphere.

    1. Be unique in your own way- Whether it is through your writing style or your blog design make sure your blog looks different from the others. Don't copy writing styles from other people. If you have no sense of humor you can still write great content especially if you focus on giving information. You can write for people who have no sense of humor(that field is surely lacking in great bloggers, you could be the first). Don't copy great looking logos or designs. People can tell the real thing from a copycat.
    2. Choose your own topic- Many bloggers have chosen to focus on telling other people how to make money online. I think most have the mentality that it is the only way a blogger can make money.If you have never made a nickel online read this article by John Chow before you start blogging about this. It could make you change your mind. In fact if you choose an unexplored niche you have a better chance of succeeding. Just remember not to write about your cat, unless you can make him a superhero with enough action to keep us hooked. When choosing your topic you might also want to estimate the amount of traffic you could get. There is no need to blog about a topic nobody cares to read about.
    3. Blog often- The difference between that blogger you admire and the one who you are never going to find out about is sometimes determined by how regularly they post. A newbie starts a blog, writes for several weeks then discovers writing isn't their cup of tea. So? They stop blogging or reduce the number of posts in a week. They never realize that regular posting keeps your readers hooked. The top blogs are updated everyday or even every few hours. If you have dreams of a great blog, content will take you there.
    4. Love what you do to death- If you have no passion for what you are doing, readers can smell that 100 miles away. There is one thing about blogs written with a loving touch. They leave a lasting impression. You can feel how the writer carefully chooses the words and how he articulates his ideas. On the other hand blogggers without a passion tend to write hurriedly with little to worry about the impression they leave. Trust me, you don't want to be one of them.
    5. Give useful information- You realize you don't have to be an A- class blogger to give information don't you? They say that in a land of the blind, the one-eyed-man is king. Very true. Choose people who need your help most. Especially newbie bloggers. You don't have to start big, just focus on becoming great. Get your feet wet first. You do that by helping people below you in terms of information.
    Work on the five ways and they will help you brand your blog and stand out from the crowd. It is too huge and you need some fresh air!

    Monday, October 25, 2010


    After you have been blogging for sometime, there comes a time when you simply run out of ideas. You mostly feel you have covered every single topic in your niche. Most of the ideas you could have come up with have been written and rewritten to death. So what do you do?

    You can't simply stop blogging, you have built a community around your blog and they are always looking forward to the next blog post. You love your blog, most of all you love blogging. You can do it for free, you can do it everyday. Well at least if somebody gave you some idea about a blog post. If nobody is coming up with the  ideas, here are some that will help you come up with a new blog post.

    Get Google Alerts and keep abreast on what is happening in your niche. You will be getting updates on what other people are writing about a particular topic all over the net. You will be getting ideas on what to write about, like everyday.

    You can also get ideas for blog posts from your comments feedback. Commenters may raise issues they want covered. In a way of replying you can come up with a good post that will cover a readers question. This shows your readers that you appreciate their feedback and it's one way of building a faithful blog community

    Archived posts can also be moved to the top and make a new post. You can change it to meet the changes that have taken place over time. If you have many posts nobody will notice this. You shouldn't however do this often.

    Break up large ideas in one post to smaller one idea post. For example I wrote a post on five ways you can use to promote your blog. I have written more posts on two of the methods; blog commenting and article marketing so that readers can understand them in a more detailed manner. Your readers will surely appreciate this especially if the subsequent posts follow the main one.

    Lastly, you can review a post on another blog. From time to time when reading other blogs you will come across a killer post. Write about it on your blog and link to the original post. Remember one way of blog promotion is linking out to other bloggers. You give so as to receive.

    Friday, October 22, 2010


    Many people claim Search Engine Optimization is difficult. They would rather spend lots of money paying some specialist to do it rather than learn the basics and do it themselves. Call it sophophobia (the fear of learning)or whatever you may but the term SEO will scare the hell out of many people.

    Better search engine placement is paramount for any successful blog, so the importance of search engine optimization is not debatable.

    Search engines present free and targeted traffic that we can tap into and get enormous profits out of our blogging efforts. So if Search engine optimization is not hard, how easy is it?
    To me, and to many people out there, only three things are of ultimate importance when it comes to optimizing your site for the search engines. The others are either part of the three or may not affect the end result to a large extent. In fact, instead of complicating SEO, you should focus on this three.

    • Keywords- You have to ensure the keywords you are optimizing your site for are relevant to site content. If your site is about making money blogging focus on keywords related to that.  Remember also to optimize your site for keywords that are used in searches. Ranking no.1 in Google for a keyword nobody uses is never going to help you in anyway. On the other hand a keyword that gets 100 000 monthly searches could bring you lots of traffic. Ensure the keywords you are optimizing your site for are placed in titles and beginning of posts. You can even consider having your keyword in your URL. Search engines are considering that in determining placement.
    • Backlinks-  The second Important aspect of SEO is backlinks. A dofollow link from another site constitutes a backlink. The more backlinks you have the higher your chances of appearing top in the Search Engine Results Pages. Make sure you get backlinks from sites with similar content as link relevance is an aspect of SEO too. The higher page rank a site has, the better the link. If you can get backlinks from .gov or .edu domains, then the better for you as they have more link juice. Inbound links are also very important. Sites like Wikipedia and Amazon rank very well due to their large numbers of inbound links. Though they don't do it for SEO, it still helps them get better placement.
    • Anchor text-  This is the click able part of a link.  It is the choice of words people use when linking to your site. Anchor text is considered by most Search engines when determining search engine placement. Use your keywords in your link building efforts.
    So does that sound like something you can't do? Not to me. In fact if you ask me, anybody can learn SEO and get their sites ranked well. It only needs some bit of hard work here and there.                        

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010


    The other day I wrote an article about five ways to promote your blog. Top among this was blog commenting. We all seem to love it. Come on it is easy and if it can bring traffic to my blog, why not do it?

    It is our nature as humans to choose the easiest way to get from point A to B. So if commenting is going to take me to the heights of my blogging career, why can't I do it? After all Alvin says it's one easy way to get your blog noticed. And truly if you ask me I am going to say yes! It definitely is. However the question is not about its feasibility, it's about effectiveness. Is commenting that effective?

    For a long time people have used commenting to attract people to their blogs. It is an easy way to get traffic to your blog. For every comment you leave you get a link back to your blog. As many people as started doing it, it's effectiveness has come under question. Does it really help? I am going to say no then yes.

    Come to think of it, commenting is very easy, the average Joe can do it. Just a few lines and you have a link back to your site. You can now siphon visitors to your site. Really?  Sorry to disappoint you, things are not that easy. Before any internet user click on a link, they must have a reason to do it. Come on, we don't click on links just because they appear blue, or they are underlined. We go online to look for information. If your comment is not adding value to the conversation nobody is going to click on your link.

    Trying to steal visitors from a site is another tactic that is never going to take you far. If I am selling a product at $10 please don't tell my readers they can get it from your site at half price. I am sure even themselves can smell such desperation 100 miles away. Observe netiquette when commenting. If your comment is good enough we will try to visit your site and say hi!

    Commenting can help you get traffic to your site. But it can also get you a few internet enemies or a title everyone tries to avoid, spammer. You surely want to protect your name especially if you are a newbie and are trying to build you reputation.

    Their is an inseparable relationship between quality and effort. They go together. Next time you want to comment, read the post first. Digest the information, then put your sincere thought down there. You will be making the difference and trust me you will notice that.

    Monday, October 18, 2010


    As of today, over 200 000 blogs are reportedly created every day. This figure sounds terrifying in the ears of every newbie blogger. You just created your blog, which was easy, a walk in the park only to realize blogging requires more effort than just putting up a blog and writing good content.

    I know every person who claims to have a clue to blogging success claims good content is the only way your blog will soar high. I believe that too. You need to keep writing killer content that will keep readers coming to your blog. However that is not all you need to do. Good content only gives your blogs wings, if you want to touch the sky you will have to flap them. That’s where blog promotion comes in.

    Monday, October 11, 2010


    We all have a reason why we have joined the blogosphere. There are some of us who blog for the money it brings, some are using their blogs to land a job or sell a product. Most will be those who see blogging as a hobby. Then there is the group that would fit in most of these categories, if not all of them.

    Now what makes me a happy blogger is  just watching my blog community grow. It is like bringing up your own baby and watching them grow,helping them learn, while you learn too.

    Saturday, October 9, 2010


    I am sure many of us are already familiar with this great tool from Google. Providing custom RSS feeds and many other useful tools for web publishers since 2004, today it has become a must have. If you are not using it you just don't know what you are missing or what your site is lacking. Every serious blogger out there and their grandmother have it and know its importance. But just how great is this FeedBurner?

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010


    The fight for domination of the search engine market is still on. Bing has been looking to have a slice of the big chunk Google boasts of. Lately they have been making inroads although slowly. Of late Yahoo search is powered by Bing. So what does this mean for my site and what do I need to do?


    Many bloggers out there don't have the patience needed to make money from a blog, and that is probably the reason you will find so many articles on why you can't make money blogging. Funny thing is that the same person telling you that is reaping more money than they should just because you wasted your time reading their posts and clicking on their ads eventually. I am sure if there are people who cant make money from blogs, it isn't you. That is why you are reading this post, the reason you are interested in turning your blog onto a money minting machine.

    Well it is true that many bloggers out there make just enough to feed their coffee habit,

    Saturday, October 2, 2010


    Many people have joined the blogosphere with the wrong information. Some expect to make money within the first month, others believe they should gain popularity within no time. Most of the bloggers with this attitude tend to make lots of mistakes, but anyway it is nothing to be ashamed of so long as you can learn from them.

    I have listed some of the most common blogging mistakes. Read them and find out whether you are guilty of any, and what you should do about the situation.