11 Things You Probably Don't Know About Blogger


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Many bloggers comment that Blogger's interface is too basic to do all the sophisticated things they want to achieve with their business online. At first glance, Google's free blogging platform might look kind of basic, but there's actually plenty of really advanced things we can do with it. 


1. Use free captcha to stop spammers on their tracks. 


Spam is a major issue for anyone who has posted online. It takes a considerable amount of time and resources to moderate a flood of spam comments one by one. A captcha (completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart) is one way to prevent bots from spam commenting on your blog posts. 

This is already available on Blogger, so you don't need to install any new API to use this service on your blog. Access the feature through Settings > Posts, comments and sharing > Comments on your Blogger dashboard. 

Look for the "Show word verification" element within the current view, or "Reader comment captcha" on the new Blogger, and turn the feature on. Just click on the switch next to it. By turning this feature on, your visitors would have to pass the security check before posting anything. 

In addition to having a captcha screener in place, you can also ask your readers to login with their Google account first before commenting. Make it even more secure by having the comment section open a separate page so that bots can't get to it. 


2. Google Blogger has no storage limit, so you can really save up. 


Blogger is a free blogging service from Google. Free as in we pay nothing for as long as the blog is alive, with no bandwidth or storage limit. Even with the overabundance of super cheap web hosting offering unlimited disk storage, if you decide to go with other platforms, you'll probably have to pay hefty monthly fees for additional security features. 

With Blogger, there is no extra fee for setups of upgrades because the feature is part of the experience. You get to use it along with Gmail, Drive, Form, and all other Google services. 


3. Post in HTML and modify the codes liberally.


Blogger doesn't limit the types of HTML codes that we can insert into a blog post. You're able to publish an entire post in HTML. People have been empowered to do remarkable things on their blogs by modifying these codes. 

They've been able to:

  • create responsive images gallery

  • post videos and GIFs

  • add colorful buttons in their posts

  • add table of contents

These are just some of the amazing things we can create. In addition, you also get to embed all sorts of content from the web, be it podcasts or video channels without having to upgrade your accounts first or purchase this or that package. 


4. Modify the visual layout and change the theme. 


There are various areas for personalization. From the Layout tab, you can add or remove widgets and modify elements within your blog. From Theme, you can make edits to customize the look and feel of your blog with the Blogger theme designer. Here you'd be able to do things like add background image, choose a main color for the theme, adjust the widgets of your blog content and the widths of the widget, change the fonts, even add your own custom CSS. 


5. Modify the code in templates.


And the modification does not stop there. Not only can you install wonderful, fully-responsive themes that are mobile optimized and often free, you can also modify these templates. By using the "Edit HTML" option you'd be able to make all the necessary changes to the template codes and do things like: 

  • install full-width image sliders

  • add a notification bar

  • embed social media feeds

  • collect data from visitors

  • verify your site ownership to be used with services like Pinterest, Daily Motion, and the rest

  • add pop-ups, and

  • many, many more...

What's more exciting is that this is something you'd be able to do with built-in templates from Blogger or with any designer template you've purchased online. There's a backup option that you should remember to use so that you can revert back to how it was before any edits. Remember to do this BEFORE making any changes.








6. Integrate with Facebook: add a like pop-up box, comments plug-in, page box, etc. 


If your audience mostly spends their time socializing on Facebook, you can help them find you by installing the Facebook comments plug-in and like box. Blogger makes it easy to add all sorts of widgets with the HTML/JavaScript gadget. It's an amazing widget that you can access from the layout section. 

Integrating your Facebook groups and pages with your blog becomes a lot easier, because of this widget. 

Even a simple like box for your Facebook page will increase chances of social engagement. Add all sorts of functionalities with widgets to help your audience share your posts, like your page, or join your community. 


7. Manage multiple blogs from one Google account. 


With just one account, you can build and manage multiple blogs. Create one, two, three, up to a hundred blogs with the same Google account. From your Blogger dashboard, you'll be able to view all of your blogs at once and manage all the blogs you've created. Switching between blogs is as easy as clicking on the blog tab. 

This feature will become particularly handy for you. An average person nowadays would need a second blog sooner or later, aside from their personal blog project. With the new normal setting in, and the long road to post-pandemic recovery, everyone will need a second website. Maybe you want an e-commerce site, a separate blog to grow your YouTube channel, a dissertation site, a fundraising weblog, a subdomain? 

Thanks to Blogger, you can view everything from the same page. 


8. Use your own custom domain.     


It's super easy to use your own custom domain with Blogger. Once you've set up your blog the way you want it, and everything is falling into place, you can start browsing for a domain name you like from Google Domain, or any other domain registrar. 

We use Namesilo for Inti Binti, but for geographic domain names, such as an .id domain for Indonesia or .ru for Russia, you'd have to buy from the local registrars. Once you've made your purchase, go to Settings > Basic and edit the Publishing details to point to your new domain. 


9. Integrate with a bunch of other Google Tools. 


First and foremost, because Blogger is bundled in within your Google account, you'd have direct access to apply to earn with Google AdSense, which is one way bloggers monetize their content. It's already embedded in your Blogger dashboard, so when you're ready, just look for the Earnings tab and apply. 

But that is not all there is. There's a whole host of other tools you can integrate with your blog, like Google Analytics, Google Data, and YouTube, to name a few common ones. 


10. Get more accurate analytics by telling Blogger to filter views from yourself. 


From the Stats tab, look at the Overview of your page data. What you're seeing is actually a mix of hits coming from visitors and from yourself as you modify and manage the blog. Blogger can exclude views from you so the data you have only comes from visitors. Choose "Manage tracking your own pageviews" and click on the filter that says "Don't track my views for this blog."


11. Invite authors by their email address.


Collaboration is easier with Blogger. You'll invite an author to write on your blog, or appoint them as admins from your dashboard. If your invitation is accepted, the author can access the dashboard and prepare a draft for the blog.


      


To sum up, we need to remember that Blogger is not a new kid in the block. These are just some of the advanced things most bloggers probably don't know about the Blogger we're using today.

Another thing that most people probably are not taking advantage is blogging from a cellphone or email inbox. So if you're unable to access the blogger dashboard, or you're in a place with limited reception or limited data, you can send the blog post as an email instead. Similarly, you can post via SMS if you're in a place with no internet access.

Go look into your dashboard right now and check out these features for yourself. Come back and tell us in the comments if you think it'll be useful for you. 

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In a few weeks Google will be launching the New Blogger interface, and it will be our next frontier.

So be on the lookout for more tips on the topic of blog customization, and be sure to share this post on social media to help it reach more people. We might be dropping tutorials to guide you with customization while we're at it, so be sure to leave us a comment on what you need the most help with.

Credit: cover photo Peter Olexa

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