February 03, 2008

Weekly Review #5

In the weekly reviews, I offer a round-up of this weeks' news regarding the site, Blogger and also my favorite blogging links.

This week, I want to explain about some of the changes to the site, news about upcoming templates, information about background images in Blogger templates and a great selection of articles to help inspire your blog posts!

Blogger Buster news

Ebook unleashed!

Earlier this week, I released my first eBook: the Cheats' Guide to Customizing Blogger Templates. I'm really happy with the response about this eBook so far, and am so glad that I plucked up the courage to actually write this!

If you haven't already downloaded this, you should check out the download page where you can read more about this eBook and get a free copy for yourself.

I did put a lot of effort into writing this eBook, so I'd be really grateful to all who help me spread the word by telling your blogging friends or bookmarking the eBook on any social sites.

Now Blogger Buster has a Twitter feed

I finally decided to start using Twitter, so you can all find out what I'm up to on the blogging front by following my feed or simply looking in the sidebar where my latest tweets will be posted.

Other site changes

I think it's about time I made some changes to the site to ensure it's easier to navigate and find the stuff you're all most interested in. You may have noticed a few minor changes in the sidebar, such as the popular posts banners and the Twitter feed. But I'm not quite finished yet!

Over the course of the week, I'll make a few more minor changes. And of course of there's anything particular you think I should improve (or perhaps you don't like) feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment to tell me about this.

Also, I know the contact form is behaving quite badly, so if anyone can recommend a better free service to use, I would be very grateful for this.

New templates in the pipeline

After doing some hefty research on Blogger templates, I've discovered a few new tricks to make these templates even more advanced and functional than previous designs, but at the same time, I hope to make these more "user friendly".

I'm almost finished a themed Valentine's template, and will soon begin work on a Blogger version of my Techiboo theme from my other blog. Both of these themes will be released over the next week or so, along with another great project I've been working on (which I'm sure you'll all love!)

Blogger news

Background image problems

I know many of you have had problems making your background images display in your templates. It seems that this past week, something has changed in Blogger's interface which means the shorthand statement to display a background image no longer works. So if you try to display your background image like this:

background: url(http://www.yourhost.com/yourimage.jpg) top left no-repeat;
the background may not display at all.

Unfortunately, I don't know the reason, but I do have a solution for you!

To ensure your background images display properly, you may need to use long-hand statements instead.

This means you would need to use something like the following format:

background-color: #ff0000;
background-image: url('http://www.yourhost.com/yourimage.jpg');
background-repeat: repeat;
Background position: top left;
I am going to do a full write-up about this shortly to give you the full details of long-hand statements for background images, and in the meantime, feel free to send me an email if you need some more advice about this.

This week's links

I have a great selection of articles bookmarked which will provide you with blogging inspiration and advice to help build up your blog's readership. There's also a site which I had to include here because I found it so fun to use! Read on to find out more:

  • Ten articles all bloggers should read: Here's a great resource list from Performancing.com. I really do recommend reading the articles on this list of you have the time. What I've read so far has been of excellent quality and hugely inspiring!
  • The Blog Experiment: this is a forum and community resource for bloggers, which seems really helpful. You can get advice about all aspects of blogging from friendly, like-minded members (and will probably find me hanging around there from now on!).
  • Top bloggers reveal their traffic secrets: Here's a great article by Jonathan Fields in which he features interviews with top bloggers discussing the ways they build traffic "off-blog" without spending a dime!
  • From 0 to 2000+ Subscribers in 90 days: here's a guest post by Tina of Think Simple Now at Problogger discussing how she acquired over 2000 subscribers in less than three months of blogging!

    I love Tina's honesty and genuine enthusiasm as she discusses her blog and would strongly recommend this post to anyone interested in promoting their blog.
  • 101 great posting ideas which will make your blog sizzle: A great post from ihelpyoublog featuring 101 post ideas for inspirational content. Well worth a read on those days when you just can't think what to write about!
  • Typeorganism: I just love this site! While not strictly related to blogging, this free service is loads of fun! By uploading any 60x50px image, you can create a "typed" version like the one you see on the right. Can you guess who this is...?

I hope you've enjoyed this week's review. Feel free to email me if you have any suggestions for next week.

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Browse through the Archives

All existing posts are still available to view while I'm working on the site, albeit seen in a much simpler interface. Feel free to browse through the archives to find tutorials, templates and articles to help you build a better blog:

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