Blogging Secrets…Shhhh

Update:  This post was written in 2009 when I was still blogging on Blogger.  Much of the information below is still timely/helpful, but some things will have changed and will no longer be relevant.

Don’t tell anyone, but today I’m sharing some of my blogging secrets with you…but only you. We can’t let everyone know, because then their blogs might be as fancy as ours.  So this is just between you and me…got it? Ok, here goes…hope you enjoy this post and hopefully it will answer some of the questions you’ve been asking.

Blogger has a brand new Post Editor…it is similar to Live Writer…read all about it HERE. If you would like to switch and start using the new post editor, go to your Dashboard, Click on “Settings” and under “Basic Settings” just scroll down until you see the option “Updated Editor.” It sounds much more user friendly!

How to create a link in your post that will take your readers to another blog, website or maybe to an older post of yours when they click on a single word or phrase:

Example: To see more great tablescapes, visit Between Naps on the Porch. If you wanted to make the words, Between Naps on the Porch, in the above sentence act as a link, so when someone clicked on it they would be taken to the BNOTP blog, here’s how to do it:

While creating your post in the “compose” screen, highlight the word or words that you want to act as the link…in the above case it’s “Between Naps on the Porch.” Once the words are highlighted, click on the icon that looks like a world…or some folks would say it looks like a frog’s face. A box will pop up. Erase the writing that is in the box and copy and paste the URL or web address for the site or post you are linking to….in this case, it would be the blog address for Between Naps on the Porch.

Then click “ok” and you should have your link. If it’s one of your older posts you are linking to, you just bring that post up in a separate screen and copy and paste the address that’s visible in the address bar into the box that popped up. Once you have the address copied and pasted into the box that popped up, click on “ok” and you should have your link.
How to participate in a blog party (like Metamorphosis Monday or Tablescape Thursday) that is using Mr. Linky:

It’s super easy to sign up via InLinkz by following these simple steps:

After you have “published” your MM or TT post to your blog, stop by BNOTP blog and scroll down to the end of my MM or TT post where you’ll find InLinkz awaiting your link. Just follow the directions that will pop up as you enter your information. Please be sure to put your PERMALINK in the sign up box and not your general blog address.

What’s a permalink? A permlink is the direct link to your post, as opposed to your general blog address. It’s important to always add your permalink to InLinkz when signing up to participate in a blog party. Why? Because if someone visits BNOTP days later and clicks on your link, they will be taken directly to your MM or TT post instead of having to search back through all your posts in search of your MM or TT post.

There are two ways to get your permalink. One way is to click on the title of your MM or TT post, then copy and paste the URL address showing in the address field at the top, into the InLinkz box when it asked for your link.
Click on “Enter” and you are all done!

The second way to get your Permalink is to right click on the title of your MM or TT post, select “copy shortcut” and then paste this link into the URL box on the Mr. Linky sign-up. These two methods for getting your Permalink will work for any blog party you are participating in across Blogland.

To add an object or picture to your sidebar:

First go your Dashboard, Click on “Layout,” Click on “Add a Gadget” and then select the item or “gadget” you wish to add from the long list that pops up.

How to add a button or logo like the Tablescape Thursday or Metamorphosis Monday button, to your sidebar:

The easiest way to add the TT or MM button to your sidebar, is to add it as a “Gadget,” using the HTML code I have under the category header, “Join a Blog Party.”  Just go to your Dashboard, Click on “Layout,” Click on “Add a Gadget” and then select “HTML/Javascript” from the list. A box will pop up and you just copy and paste the code you will see on my sidebar under the MM or TT button…into the box, then click “save.” You should see the MM or TT button on your sidebar and when you click on it, it will take you right to BNOTP.


The program I use to create a collage or mosaic:

I use Pic Monkey. It’s super easy and you’ll find it here: PicMonkey

Fastest, easiest way to access your Google Blogger Dashboard from any blog:

Click on the orange “B” in the upper left corner of any blog.

The camera I use…and a few tips from an amateur (that being me) on how to take pics for blog posts:

First let me say, I am not a professional photographer. The tips I am about to share with you are what I find works for me. I hope you will find them helpful, but you may not. Just take what you can use and discard the rest.

I am frequently asked what camera I use to take the pics you see posted at BNOTP. I used to use an older Olympus camera up until a couple of months ago. Recently I have been using a newer camera, a Nikon D40.  Update: As of December 2011, I’m shooting with a Nikon D7000.

1. The most important tip I can share for taking pics: NEVER, EVER USE A FLASH, NO MATTER WHAT. Let me repeat that, NEVER, EVER USE A FLASH, NO MATTER WHAT. Flashes suck the life right out of a pic…it makes them feel cold and flat.

Raise the blinds, throw back the curtains, open the shutters, turn on ALL the lamps in the room, bring in lamps from other rooms, turn on the lights in the adjacent rooms, light lots of candles on your tablescape…do whatever you need to do to create a lot of natural or indirect lighting in the room where you are taking your pictures. Just don’t use the flash. Basically, forget your camera has a flash…no kidding.

The flash on my camera will automatically pop up if I don’t have it on the correct setting, so get out your manual and it will tell you where to turn the knob so you disable the flash.

2. Invest in the best digital camera you can afford and handle. The better cameras will take pretty decent pics in low lighting. Also, I was pleasantly surprised at how much more of the room you can capture when taking pics with the nicer cameras. The good news is, you can get a great quality digital camera for not a lot of money these days. The Nikon D40 that I have is an SLR, which is supposed to be a good thing. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t have what they call, “Live View.”

They now have SLR cameras on the market that do have “Live View.” Don’t want to get too technical here, but read up on SLR cameras and Live View before you go camera shopping.

3. Take A LOT of pics. When you are taking pics and not using a flash, some will be good and many will be bad/blurry. I take lots of pics, download them to my computer and then delete the blurry or bad ones. I may take a 100 pics to get 20-25 I like. Yep, I really do.

4. Use a tripod when you can. When you are taking pics in low lighting and without a flash, the shutter speed is much slower and any movement at all will cause the pic to be blurry. Some folks use a tripod. I’ve never used one, but I am thinking of buying one. A tripod may not be practical to use if you are taking pics at unusual angles, (like tablescapes) but it would be good for when you are photographing a room or an object.

Since I rarely use a tripod at present, I sometimes brace my arm or hand on chair backs or on any available, stable surface…this help steady my hand and the camera. If you can’t brace your arm/hand on a chair back or some other object, try standing with your feet slightly apart and tuck your elbows down into your body for more stability.

I also find it helpful to breathe slowly out through my mouth when taking pics. If I don’t consciously remember to breathe out slowly, I find myself holding my breath, which seems to make my hands shake a little.

5. Give your audience some close-ups…we love it! For tablescape posts, it makes us feel like we are sitting right there at the table with you, admiring the beautiful china and crystal.

Turn Off Word Verification to Encourage Readers to Leave a Comment

A while back, I had a poll running on my blog for several weeks. It asked my readers if they found having to type in a “word verification” a deterrent to leaving comments. The overwhelming results of the poll indicated this was a definite deterrent. Unfortunately, many bloggers do not realize their blog is set up to require a word verification for comments because I think it may be the “default” setting in Blogger.

If you have your settings that way on purpose…that’s fine…no need to change it. But if you don’t have it set that way intentionally and would like to make it easier for your readers to leave a comment, here’s how:

Go to your dashboard, click on Layout, click on Settings, then click on Comments.

Scroll down to the setting that says, “show word verification for comments.” Choose “no” and you will make a lot of your readers very happy people.

Don’t forget to hit “save.” You may still keep the “moderate comments” setting for your comments, if you are worried a spammer will try to post annoying advertisement-type comments on your blog. That will allow you to reject anything objectionable.

I’ve been blogging for a year now and haven’t had any problems with having my blog set where it doesn’t require a word verification to leave a comment. Some blogging programs/formats may require a word verification, in which case you won’t be able to turn it off. But if you can turn it off, based on the poll results, I’d do it. Again, it’s fine if you don’t want to…it really is a personal preference for every blogger.

Encourage communication with readers/visitors by having an e-mail associated with your profile:

It a great idea to list an e-mail under your “Profile.” Sometimes a reader of your blog may have a question for you that they don’t want to leave as a comment. The importance of having an e-mail contact listed, really hit home for me recently when I noticed a few bloggers had their comments settings accidentally turned off. Noone was able to leave a comment and since they didn’t show an e-mail listed in their profile, there was no way to contact the blogger to tell them what was wrong. It breaks my heart to see that because I know the blogger must be thinking that no one is visiting and reading their posts…when in fact, folks are visiting.

So, please list an e-mail in your profile, then there will be a way for your readers to contact you, if need be.  Just to be safe, I wouldn’t list a personal e-mail address that shows your last name. You can get a free e-mail account from Google (Gmail) or from Hotmail or from Yahoo Mail. I went with G-mail and so far, it’s worked great.

More Fun Things For Your Blog:

Added 02-21-10: To Add the Header Subjects (what Blogger calls “Pages”) across the top of your blog:

Go to your Dashboard
Click on Layout
Click on Add a Gadget and choose Pages from the list
Your Pages Gadget will appear on your Sidebar.
If you want it under your header pic, just click on it and drag it to that area under your header pic. The area will automatically appear when you drag it there…yes, it will…amazing.

Now you will want to create all the individual header subjects/ pages, so…
Go to Dashboard
Go to Layout
Click on Posting
Click on Edit Pages
Create your header topic…like “About Me” or “Favorite Posts” or “Contact.”

Then you may want to write “Under Construction” in the body until you have time to go back and add the information you want your readers to read when they click on that header option. Or, if you have the time, go ahead and complete the information for the page right then. I created all my headings and went back later and added in the information.

Click “Publish Page” Click “Edit Page” to continue creating new headers or pages.

Your pages will not be in the order you want them to be across the top of your blog, so you’ll want to fix that…here’s how:
Go to Dashboard Go to Layout Click on the Pages Gadget and drag the different pages you have created to place them in the order you want them to be. Don’t forget to “save” it.

To add in your information under each header: Keep going to Layout and Edit Pages and click “edit” on the page under which you want to add information. Example: If you created an “About Me” page, and just wrote, “Under Construction” there initially…now you can go back and add in the information. I’ll be adding to this post from time to time, as new questions arise…so you may want to bookmark this post. Hope you found this information helpful…and don’t forget….shhhh, it’s our little secret.

Pssst:  Looking for more Blogging Tips:

Click HERE to read about the photography equipment I currently use.
Click HERE to read about one really important thing I wish I’d had known before I began blogging
Click HERE for 9 Tips for Better Blog Photos
Click HERE to read about one really important thing I wish I’d had known before I began blogging
Click HERE for 14 Free Photo Editing Sites

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  1. wow,best post ever!!!
    I'm so new and this was so helpful,I may even get brave enough to build a button.

  2. Hi Susan,
    You are so thoughtful and generous to post all this great information! It should be required reading for anyone who wants to establish (or improve) a blog.

    Your advice has been absolutely invaluable to me as a beginning blogger. I can never thank you enough for being such a wonderful mentor! I know I'm only one of many, many people you've helped, but you have a way of making every single reader feel special and appreciated.

    It's almost Tablescape Thursday … my favorite day of every week!!! 😉

    Bye for now,

  3. Susan you are just awesome!thanks for taking the time to do this for us..muchas gracias..


  4. Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend says:

    thank you so much…so many answers that I needed…thanks for sharing

  5. Thanks so much for all the great tips, Susan! Hey, we have the same camera, but my pics still are not as great as yours. I'm actually thinking of taking some photography classes as a lot of you bloggers really take professional looking shots.

  6. Thanks for sharing all of your secrets. I can't wait to try some of them!

  7. Thank you so much. I appreciate the help. I've especially been wondering how to make a blog button. I'm going to check it out and give it a try. Thanks again!

  8. Cami @ Creating Myself says:

    What a wealth of information this post was Susan! I especially love the tip about letting your breath out while snapping pics. I try to hold my breath & couldn't understand why teh pics are often blurry…now I know!

    Am adding this post to my blogging helpers list on my sidebar…thanks!

  9. Thanks for the wealth of information that you have shared. I could have searched and searched and never found such great information in such an easy to understand format.

    Many thanks,

  10. Hi, Susan!

    What Bill said! hehehehehe
    Thanks so much! You're a sweetie!


  11. Love the Decor! says:

    Thank you so much for all the tips I am still learning about this blogging world and it is all so very helpful

  12. Embellished Bayou says:

    All great tips, thanks for sharing! You really should try Live Writer, it has made my blogging so much easier! Oh, and I bought a mini tripod at the Dollar Store, so don't spend a lot of money on one if you do purchase one!

  13. Dorothy A. says:

    Susan, You are unbelievably generous with your knowledge. No wonder your blog is as popular as it is. I am a blog reader only, and still found this information interesting and enlightening to my curiosity about blogging. I like knowing how things happen behind the scenes. You have given your fellow bloggers, and those of us who enjoy the beautiful benefits an invaluable “how to.” This had to be time consuming for you.

    Thank you.

  14. Susan, I can't thank you enough for all of the helpful information. I've had my blog for a little over a month and I had questions about pretty much everything you wrote about!! I can now spend some time tomorrow adding some buttons to my sidebar (guess who will be first!) Thanks again.

  15. Thank you very very much!!!

  16. Melissa Miller says:

    ~WOW! Thank you for putting together all of these helpful tips Susan! I had no idea about the flash. I use it every single time. Who knew?

    Blessings to you my friend,
    ~Melissa 🙂

  17. laurie @ bargain hunting says:

    Great post Susan! I've been trying to figure out how to add that code under a button. I just went to read the directions, and I'm not sure I can do it even now, but at least I can try. You did a great job of explaining everything. Thank you. laurie

  18. Tamara Jansen says:

    Thanks so much for the info! I have such a hard time with anything techy like making the pictures appear larger or adding them to the side of the blog. I'm not sure I dare to try these tips but……maybe if my kids are close by to help me out 🙂

  19. Whew- I'm going to be up all night working on this stuff. What an amazing post- thank you SO much for taking the time to share this with us Susan. I need all the help I can get. 🙂

  20. I love this! TONS of useful information here! Thanks for the help. My computer skills are so weak that my friends are actually shocked I have a blog!

  21. Dining Delight says:

    Susan,what a great teacher you are! Such easy to follow instructions on so many topics us newbie bloggers are wondering about! It is true, a tripod really does help with "flash-off" shots and the tripod doesn't have to be expensive Now if only I would commit to setting it up when I should be!

  22. Country Dreaming says:

    Great helpful hints!
    Have you ever had someone leave a comment but no profile to look at-
    I guess they don't have a blog maybe?? I would of liked to contact her though. Oh well!

  23. Great information. I've been blogging for about two years, but didn't know all that cool stuff. As for the word verification, I'm not crazy about it either, but when I turn mine off I get lots of "spam" comments. Therefore, I leave it on. Thanks again for the great post.

  24. I am not a blogger. However, I would, nonetheless, like to add my comments about blogging. If I am busy for a few days, and unable to checkout favorite blogs, I find it sooo much more convenient to catch up on YOUR blog. Reason ?? (Beside the fact that you are without a doubt my #l favorite). You give your readers the ability to scroll through several days without having to scroll through/read all the comments at the end of each day's post. Love it !! This is not to say that I don't like to read the comments, but sometimes duty (make that the washer/dryer, vacuum, etc.) calls. I can then go back later to read the comments if I wish. I find the blogs that post only one day, followed by all the comments, very frustrating. I also find it helpful that you show both your "labels" and archive on the sidebar. It makes finding an older post much faster than going back page by page to the bottom of each page…If you only knew how many times I have gone back to something you have posted, just to show someone "THIS" is what I am trying to do, trying to find, the look I like !
    Beautiful, beautiful blog.
    Long, long comment. Sorry.

  25. Thanks for all the great ideas. I'll have to come back often to set up a few of these things.

  26. FOR THE SAKE OF TIME says:

    Thank YOU! This was great. I could do the link thing but only one was was highlighted. Now I know how to do it correctly. I love the suggestions. Thanks again.


  27. One Shabby Old House says:

    I think we need to roll out some carpet and have you walk down it so that we can crown you queen of blogland. Your subjects love you dearly and find you worthy to rule over blogland forever.
    Thank you for such a helpful post.

  28. Some of these I knew & some .. I did not

    Thanks …

  29. Oh thank you so much, I need to copy this information and run it off for later reference. . .If my blog looked half as good as yours I would be thrilled! Thanks for sharing. . .

  30. Extremely generous of you to share your tips with your readers/followers/admirers!
    You have a good heart, I can see why you have so many followers.
    All the best,

  31. Mary Ellen (megardengal) says:

    Susan You are a wealth of information!! Thank you! I have been wanting a button for my lil ol blog but had no clue as to how to make one!! I am heading over there as soon as I have time and start tinkering!! You always have such great and useful blog entries- thank you for not being stingy with your plethera of wisdom!


  32. Tales From My Empty Nest says:

    What an amazing post with such a wealth of information!! I want to print it out and save it for furture reference. You are so thoughtful to share that all with us. Thanks so much!! Love & blessings from NC!

  33. Susan,

    People like you and posts like this are the reason I enjoy blogging so much! How generous you are to share your knowledge.

    Thank you for making if a little easier for the rest of us:0)


  34. OK, little lady … you are going to have to start charging for this valuable info …………

  35. Diane @ Four Paws and Co says:

    Good one Susan! I loved the section on your camera. I still want a new camera but will experiment with turning off the flash which I don't seem to have accomplished.

    The only thing you left out is what the heck do you do when you can't think of anything to blog about! :o{

  36. Thank you for all the information on blogging! I love how you write your blog. This has been a great help to me!

  37. Dearest Susan,
    A big Thank you and a God bless,

  38. Susan, thank you for your wonderful tips…I've been wondering if it's your camera, your skill, or what, that enables you to get such good pictures. I do use Live Writer, though, and can't get my pictures as big as yours, so will have to keep experimenting with it. Will try some of your suggestions. Again, thanks so much, you've made many bloggers much happier today!


  39. Susan,
    Thank you so much. That was very helpful to me in several areas.
    Mums the word.



    barbara jean

  40. Thank you for your very helpful tips. One thing I've been trying to learn how to do is how to keep the comments left by people who visit my blog visible.

  41. Susan,
    You have made my day. I am new to the blogging world and just last week made my own blog. Thank you so much for all the helpful info.


  42. Susan…Thank you…Thank you…Thank you! Now I will print this out and put it in a pretty lil notebook next to my computer 🙂 I am always asking for help and embarrassed because even after it is explained to me a few times…I still have questions…so one more time…Thank You! Rose

  43. Hi Susan

    Thank you for that great information. I have printed it off for future use and it was 9 A4 pages, it must of taken you so long to compose and for all your wonderful blogger friends, thanks. What I particularly love about your blog is that it is award and tag free, that you make use of the space to interest everyone and not brag about how good it is, although by seeing you have 1306 followers that says it all!!
    I haven't been a follower of yours for long, has it ever been blog of
    Thank you for all the advice and hopefully my blog will look all the better for it!! Jackie x

  44. The Little Red Shop says:

    What a thoughtful post!

    Thank you!

    : )

    Julie M.

  45. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!
    I Learned a lot!
    Can you explain me how to make a testblog?
    Can you copy your blog?


  46. Susan,
    Thank You, Thank You, all this information has been so helpful to me and I'm sure to others that are new at blogging.

  47. Susan,
    Thank you so much for all that information and I promise not to tell any one! Now if I could learn how to turn off the flash on my cameras I would be all set. Again, thank you so much. Your blog is wonderful. ( I did get the dishes on ebay – still looking for more).

  48. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    This is great, Susan; thank you! I did a lot of this on my blog and learned from trial and error. I'm saving this post into "Favorites" – I wish they did have a "bookmark this post" to just click on.

  49. Susan,

    Oh my goodness, I can't Thank You enough for this post. As a new blogger, you don't know how much all of this information has helped me. I have been following your blog for sometime now and your blog is one of few that inspired me to start my own. Now I need to get busy with my blog and put all of this wealth of information to good use.

    Thanks again,

  50. This was a thoughtful post for you to do. Thanks!

  51. You are a WEALTH of information and as I have said before, so generous with both your expertise and time! You have helped me and many others I am sure!!!

  52. Susan, thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial about blogging! I am still learning my way around. The information is so helpful. I will be checking out Picasa and I have already been looking at the Nikon D40, as well as some Canons. I just need to convince my husband that I need to get one!

  53. Thank you so much!! I am very very new to all this so I am going to study and try to put all this to good use..

  54. Thank you, thank you, thank you… what a great post!

  55. Hi Susan,

    Thanks for this post! I've referred several people to you in the past because your explanations are so "friendly". This post is definitely another "keeper" for tech issues.

    Thanks again and have a super Wednesday!


  56. spindlecottage says:

    Thanks so much–I need this–I will have to read and apply this!! Got to run errands, but I am coming back for this post!!! THANKS

  57. Bookmarked this so I can read it at a more leisurely pace after the double glazing man's been and the lunch dishes washed. I am such a ham when it comes to the computer.

  58. Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey says:

    Great post Susan ! I know the new ones really appreciated this too .

  59. SmilingSally says:

    Thanks for the tips. I've turned off word verification over a year ago with no ill effects. You mentioned TT and MM but forgot to mention BLUE MONDAY.

  60. Gail Griner Golden says:

    You are the answer to my prayers. I want to build my blog, but was overwhelmed at the whole idea. You are one awesome, generous woman. God bless your sweet, giving heart.

  61. thank you, dankeschoen, merci and on and on… thanks you very much!!!

  62. Behind My Picket Fence says:


  63. Comment box really hit home for me I made my changes right away! Thanks for taking the time to investigate and share with other bloggers!

  64. Cass @ That Old House says:

    Susan, this is an excellent post! So much information — I will definitely bookmark this one!

    (That little green button — the world or frog face that makes the link in a post? — I always think of that as "the booger.")

    Thank you for sharing so many blogging secrets!

  65. Susan, best post ever!!! One thing I know I need help with, is how to make a button. I would like to have a button that people can take, and place on their sidebar. Perhaps next time you include this in your tips.

    Have a wonderful day!


  66. Susan,
    Thanks so much for the awesome tips. I appreciate your willingness to tutor all of us. blessings!

  67. nannykim at spindlecottage says:

    It was helpful!!! BUT I HAVE ONE question–I can't remember how to get a large picture on the header. I have done this for some of my blogs–and would like the info for this again for future reference.

  68. Excellent. Picked up some good info. Just found your blog today and I gotta say I ADORE your porch! Makes me want to hurry up and sell my house and buy a new one and fix it up! God bless.

  69. Rebecca @ Belle Blog says:

    Hi Susan,
    This was such a valuable post. Thanks for all the really awesome tips…I promise I won't tell anyone!! One thing I've been wanting to learn is how to make a button. I see so many pretty buttons in people sidebars but just can't seem to learn how to do it.
    ♥ Rebecca

  70. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for this post. I'm technically challenged and have been wondering how to do so many of these things on my site. You have been such a huge help. I can't wait to get started and get my site looking the way I want it to look. Thanks for sharing these secrets only with me. I promise I won't tell anyone else. I enjoy so many of your posts. Beautiful pictures!

  71. Mid-Atlantic Martha says:

    Oh thanks you! You've answered some of my exact questions! Thanks you for not only providing us a lovely place to visit — but helping us to make our own spots more enjoyable as well! As always — you ARE THE BEST!

  72. Glenda/MidSouth says:

    Thank you so much!! Now I just need to take the time to do some of these things. Thank you, Thank you!

  73. Thank you so much. I wondered how you were able to get the large pictures in your posts.

  74. Very useful, and very kind of you to share. Thank you.

  75. Debbie @ says:

    Susan, thank you so much for all this help…I've sort of stumbled my way through blogging. Please post some type of button on your sidebar so we can click on this post again if we have questions! This was an excellent blog tutorial so to speak and so VERY HELPFUL! Thank you thank you thank you dearly!

  76. Susan,
    I join the others in giving you a huge thanks for all of these wonderful tips. I cannot imagine how many hours you devoted to just this one post. You are so generous to share such a wide variety of tips with us. I will use the photography tips starting today and hopefully one day I will have a blog. I am still gathering information and admiring blogs. You are such a wonderful role model. I feel so very blessed to visit your blog. Thank you so much for all you do for your faithful followers!!!!

    Katherine S.

  77. hello dear friend.yes,you've ALWAYS been there to help us others that just cannot figure it out.thank goodness.ha
    this is a great many of us still don't know alot.i'll have to start all over again.ha.
    yes,i am is definititely changing for me.lately by the day.ok—–i'll burrow as many prayers as you can ya…an

  78. Thank you so much for sharing all this info. As a new blogger sometimes I feel so completely lost.

  79. Beansieleigh says:

    Hi Susan! I really did appreciate the advice on blogging AND about cameras. I thank you most sincerely, and I promise I won't tell a soul! ~tina

  80. Christi @ A Southern Life says:

    Great tips. I use wordpress so a lot don't apply, but the idea is the same. I will be changing to a thesis theme that will allow me a lot more flexibility soon. I also recommend using your own url (rather that .blogspot or .blogger etc.). You have more control that way.

    I use Google analytics and I love it. It is almost addictive.

    The photography tips were great. I, too have had better success without a flash.

    The only other tip I might add is setting links to "target=blank" to the link opens in a new window.

    Great job!

  81. Debbie@Sitting by Northstar Lake says:


    Hands down, the best post ever! You are very supportive and generous to share the wisdom of your first year. You possess a real flare for clearly and succinctly describing the various steps to each process you describe. As always yours is a favorite blog stop….many thanks!!


  82. Hi….What a wonderful tutorial on anything you need to know about building a blog..You thought of everything….but something tells me after all the adivse and instructions I'll still have trouble with those damn links…But I'll give it a try!! Thanks Susan…..Sue.

  83. Susan, what a wonderful post. You are such a generous friend to all. I'm so very appreciative of all the help and encouragement you have sent my way to help me get started. I'm going to print out a copy of this post to keep it as a handy reference.
    Thanks again. Sarah

  84. Pansy Cottage Girl says:

    Thank you for sharing the "secrets". Youv'e been very helpful! Come on over, I'm having a giveaway. See you at the party!

  85. Thank you sooo much! Just when I think I know how to do something, and I try it, I forget where to get help! This post answers so many of my questions…and obviously so many other boggers, as well!
    Ok-now if I want to "bookmark" this-what do I do? "star" Favorites?? Thanks!

  86. Julie Bouésso says:

    I completely forgot about Picasa! Thanks for the reminder! 🙂 Cheers, Julie
    PS. Horseback riding season is almost here in Florida! 🙂

  87. Susan, you deserve such a big thank you for all you do for the blogging world! Not only is your blog so interesting but you pictures are just amazing! And you are willing to share info with those who have less experience. I'm crazy about TT and can't wait to sit in front of the computer and vicariously visit all those homes. I've gotten great ideas from others and have enjoyed seeing how creative they can be. And you made it all happen! My hats off to you. Thank you for being so open and sharing your world with all of us. Peggy from PA

  88. Hello! Just found you while blog hopping and hope you don't mind a visit! Love your tablescape and your hints! Thanks! 🙂

  89. Bless yer pea pickin' heart!!!!
    No, i don't really talk like that.
    I'm just so excited i found you.

    all i have done is read about updated editor, and change to that. It sounds wonderful!!!
    (haven't tried it yet.) =0)

    I'll be back to read more later.
    (my brain can only hold so much at at time. It is very full.)


    barbara Jean

  90. Goodwill Haunting says:

    Great post! I wish I had had this information when I first started … I'm still very new but this would have been a great help! Better than trial and error! Am bookmarking it for future use … thanks!

  91. I agree about the word verification people need to get rid of it. I went and checked my blog about the pop up window and I didn't have it, I changed it, now all good.
    I think most new bloggers don't really know what to do, I know I didn't. I would look at other blogs and either email them and ask them how they did something or try and figure it out for myself. Most just really have no idea and just leave how it's set up in the beginning. I do have the Minima Stretch template and love the bigger blog but I have had people post they can’t read some of my words on my post. I still have no idea how to fix that other than going back to the smaller blog template.
    I really do want my blog to look nice but I also don’t want to make my blog difficult for my readers, don’t’ have that many in the first place.
    Have a great week-end!!!


  92. Personalized Sketches and Sentiments says:

    Wow!!!! You are amazing!!!! So much great, great information!!!!!

    I just started blogging in June…and didnt even know what a blog was before our daughter showed us hers in April! haha

    Boy, it took me forever to "learn" some of the things (often my trial or error…or by happy accident!) that you so perfectly explained in this post!

    Thank you for sharing your "secrets" :o)

    Blessings & Aloha!

    (if you get a chance, I'f love for you to come take a peek at my place and tell me what you think) I am still learning, learning, learning!!!

  93. Dragonfly Treasure says:

    What a wealth of information!!! Thank you so much for answering SO many questions for us! Very much appreciated!

  94. The Raggedy Girl says:

    What a great post and I will be coming back to check some of these out.

    The Raggedy Girl

  95. Thank you SO MUCH for all the helpful information! I've been blogging 2 years but am still clueless on so many aspects. This was the most helpful post I've ever seen on the topic!

  96. ♥georgie♥ says:

    GREAT post!
    do you use blogger in draft? if not it rocks and it allows you to embedd comments below posts-a feature i love

    also the dreaded noreplycomment@blogger huge pet peeve of mine lol I like to respond to comments people leave via email

    something else your readers might enjoy is knowing how to add their siggy in their posts-i think it makes a post so much more personal….not tryin to overstep…i like sharing lil bits of info too

    Leigh sent me so glad she did

  97. Kevin Graves says:

    I just found your blog and I am in love with your porch!

    A tip if no one else has passed it on. Take the shade off any lamp and the threaded shaft for the finial will fit most any camera's tripod mount. So no need for a tripod unless you just want one.

    Great tip about the flash. I agree. It robs the photo of life.

  98. Your post was extremely helpful! Thanks so much for sharing all this great info!

  99. Thanks so much for your wonderful tips. I've only been blogging for a month and it is wonderful to see all the kind people out there willing to help. I've turned off the letter vertification thingy… I'm sure everyone will be much happier now.

  100. Susan, I stumbled upon your oh-so-adorable porch today and I have to say, it's the best stumble I've made in a long time! Your blog is just delightful, and thank you for posting those helpful hints! I'll be stopping by the porch on a regular basis now. Keep that creativity coming!


  101. Just came across your blog and am delighted to find this post. Maybe it'll help me next year. Thanks.

  102. Thanks for all that info! It really helped. Hope you'll stop by my blog sometime!

  103. I wish I could just come through the screen and kiss you!

  104. I am fairly new to the blogging world and happen to land on your blog. Your help is so appreciated and I plan on coming back here many more times. By the way your porch is stunning!

  105. As per usual Susan, you are the "bomb", you have helped me more than anyone I know and not just the blogging secrets, in real life too. I know that your family and friends must adore you, I do.

  106. Wonderful ideas, tricks and tips! I have a link on my sidebar with blogging tips and wondered if I could add you to my site. I have a lot of readers that use it for blogging help. Thanks for all you do.♥

  107. Thanks for these great helps! And thanks to Garden View Cottage Cara for sending me here =)

  108. Holidays Everyday says:

    Thank you for your information on getting started. It is very helpful. You have a wonderful site.

  109. tliedtke says:

    Thanks for compiling all this helpful information in one spot! I just want to add that I use a gorillapod as my tripod for quick garden shooting and I love it! It's less bothersome than my big one.

  110. very very helpful! thank you soooo much! wish i found this sooner. how do you add your different posts to each page?

  111. Wow – great read. I just forwarded to a friend. I don't "get" blogging or "tweeting" but the photos are beautiful and the online community is wonderful.

  112. Andrea (Softer Side of Me) says:

    Wow! This post was full of valuable information. I am not computer smart at all and hey, I was able to make my button! YaY! I am now starting my tabs (pages) underneath my header! I know I am not the only one you have helped to achieve their goals in their blogs but you made me feel like I was! Once again, thank you so much! Now if only I can figure out how to have a pic of a certain post, click on it and it takes me there. Phew!

  113. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Andrea, for pictures on the sidebar…like the one you clicked on of Max for the blogging tips…those are just done with the html gadget in Blogger. Hope this helps.

  114. #3: I just liked the Silhouette page and left a comment about the contest on your site.:)

  115. #3: I just liked the Silhouette page and left a comment about the contest on your site.:)

  116. Jana Miller says:

    Is it possible to upload a bunch of photos to your blogger blog and then just use part of them in a post. Will they still be there? For another post?
    xo jana

  117. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Hi Jana,
    Whenever you upload pics for a post in Blogger, the pics are automatically stored in Picasa. If later on you wish to use that pic again in another post, you can just pull up the old post like you wish to edit it, and while you have it up, click over from the "compose" view to the "html" view and just "copy" the html code for that photo. Then open up a new post and again, click over to the "html" view and right click and select "paste." You've just copied and pasted the html code for the pic to your new post. When you view your new post in the "compose" view, you should see your photo just as it was in the old post.
    If you're not comfortable doing it that way, just view the original post and right click on the picture and save it to your computer to upload again to your new post.
    Hope that helps.

  118. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Jana…one more thing. The only pics that get stored at Picasa are the ones you upload and use in a post that is published or the photos you upload and save in a draft post. That stay stored at Picasa until you delete them. I don't think they remain there if you delete them from your published post or from your draft post.

  119. New England Fine Living says:

    wow! For years, until today, actually just a few moments ago, I had word verification on my comments. Thank you so much for sharing this information. I have been soaking your site up like a sponge! I find blogging so much harder than my web site.

  120. Hi! I'm still a newbie blogger and soaking up info on how to improve on my blog. Even though I use WordPress, I found your info very helpful! Thanks so much! I'd love for you to come visit me over at!


  121. Thank you so much for all your unselfish help. I even built a grab button with your awesome instruction 🙂
    I am enjoying your blog! A newbie blogger..Cheryl

  122. I am BRAND NEW to blogging and trying to learn all I can..Thanks for the info.
    Lori @
    I LOVE your blog and have been reading it for years. You are such an inspiration.

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