How to Add Your SimpleSite Blog to Bloglovin' [Tutorial]

Add Your SimpleSite Blog to Bloglovin' (Tutorial)

I hope you've started using Bloglovin' to follow all your favorite blogs. It just makes so much sense to have Bloglovin' keep track of the posts you want to read instead of checking each of your favorite blogs manually. Bloglovin' will save you lots of time – something we all seem to need more of.

To learn about the advantages of Bloglovin' for both readers and bloggers, please take a few minutes to look at this post: Grow Your Blog Following with Bloglovin'.

But do you know you can submit your own SimpleSite blog to Bloglovin' as a way to gain followers?

Yes, once you've submitted your blog and 'claimed' it, Bloglovin' will suggest it to people who read blogs that are similar to yours.

That's a free way to get some traffic to your blog. Free traffic is always good, isn't it?

Are you ready to set up a SimpleSite blog? Just click the green button to build your FREE blog.

Build a Free Blog here!

Keep reading to find out how to complete the process of submitting and claiming your SimpleSite blog on Bloglovin'. The process may look a little daunting at first, but it's broken down into quick, easy steps.

Just follow it one step at a time.

NB! If you haven't already added the blog component to your SimpleSite yet, have a look at our mini-tutorial in the grey box at the bottom of this article.

The Process of Adding Your SimpleSite Blog to Bloglovin'

  1. Sign up for Bloglovin' here. It's free and easy.
      
  2. Sign into Bloglovin' and click in the search bar at the top.
    A list will drop down.
    Click 'Add blog' at the bottom of the list.
    Add blog on Bloglovin'
      
  3. Leave that on the screen and open a new window and go to your SimpleSite website.
    Access your blog from the menu bar.

    Copy the URL for next step.
    – The URL is the web address shown in the address bar of the browser.

    NB! Make sure that you copy the URL from the blog page and not the URL from your SimpleSite front page or one of the standard pages.
    Your blog's URL should end in a number, e.g. http://www.blogname.simplesite.com/424424296.

    Copy blog URL
      

    If you get a message saying 'No RSS Feed' you have not copied the URL of a page with a SimpleSite blog component. To add the blog component to your SimpleSite please follow the instructions in the grey box at the end of this article.
      
  4. Leave your SimpleSite blog open and return to the Bloglovin' page that you left open in step 3. Paste the URL of your blog and click 'Add blog.' You'll see a message that Bloglovin' is working.

    Add a SimpleSite blog to Bloglovin'

    Your blog should show up on the next page, but don't worry if it doesn't. It sometimes takes a day or two. And don't worry if your blog's title is 'Blog RSS Feed.' You'll be able to change it later.
      
  5. Still on Bloglovin', on the next page under your blog title and to the right, you should see 'Is this your Blog? Claim it!' Click that link to claim ownership of your blog.

    Claim SimpleSite Blog on Bloglovin'
      
  6. The next page has a blue 'Claim blog' button on the left. Click it.

    Claim blog on Bloglovin'
      
  7. Enter the URL for your blog again and click 'Search.' Click on your blog in the search results.

    Enter URL again to claim blog on Bloglovin'
      
  8. Copy the code in the box. It looks something like this:

    <a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/18232831/?claim=amd4kmvgyv3">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

    Bloglovin' code to claim blog
      
  1. Leave that on the Bloglovin' screen and return to your SimpleSite blog. Create a new blog post, insert the code you copied, and save it. The post will have only the code.

    insert bloglovin' code in SimpleSite blog post
      
  2. Return to the window that you left open on Bloglovin'. Under the code that you copied and put into a post, click the blue button 'Claim blog.'

    Claim blog on Bloglovin'
Success! Your SimpleSite blog has now been added to Bloglovin'.

Refinements

Blog settings - While logged into Bloglovin', click on your profile image and then click 'blog settings' from the drop down list.

Bloglovin' Blog settings

On the next page –
  • You can change the title of your blog from 'Blog RSS Feed' to the actual name of your blog. Just click the 'Edit blog info' link, type in the correct blog name, choose the category of your blog, and save.
  • You'll see a button to 'Invite your friends to follow.' Click on that and you'll have the chance to invite friends via their email addresses or via Facebook.
Edit blog info on Bloglovin'


Delete the code – You can now delete the code that you copied from Bloglovin' into a post on your SimpleSite blog. Just edit that post to eliminate the code and write an actual post instead. You might take this opportunity to explain how your readers can follow you on Bloglovin'.

(Did you know that you can follow SimpleSite on Bloglovin'? Just go to this page and click '+Follow')

Link to your Bloglovin' profile – While you're logged into Bloglovin', click on your profile image again and click 'profile' from the drop down list. On the next window, you'll see your blog name just under your own name. Click on the blog name and you will go to a new page with the URL of the blog in the top address bar. Copy this URL to use as a link in your blog posts and encourage readers to follow.

Bloglovin' URL

Suggested reading: Tips to Write Engaging Blog Posts

If you haven't started a blog yet, this is a great time to set up a FREE blog at SimpleSite. Just click the green button.

Build a Free Blog here!
  

How to Add a Blog to Your SimpleSite

If you haven't yet added the Blog component to your SimpleSite –
  • Log into your SimpleSite.
  • On the right side, click the option 'Add a page.'
  • Click the 'Blog' component to add the page where you will publish your blog posts.
Then to get the URL of your blog, you need to –
  • Exit the editing process and view your SimpleSite as a reader would.
  • To do this, click the link at the top of your SimpleSite screen that says 'Your website is available at: blogname.simplesite.com.'
  • When the new screen opens, you will see 'Blog' in the menu. Click it.
  • The URL in the top address bar should now look something like 'http://www.blogname.simplesite.com/430597530.' This is the URL you will need in step 3 in the tutorial above.

Author: Kate Benzin

Grow Your Blog Following with Bloglovin'

Bloglovin' for SimpleSite Bloggers

Would you like to give your readers an easy way to follow your blog so that they never miss any posts you publish?

Bloglovin' to the rescue. You may not have heard of Bloglovin' yet, but savvy blog readers have been using it for several years to receive automatic updates on their favorite blogs.

So What Is Bloglovin'?

Mattias Swenson, Bloglovin' co-founder, explained that in 2007, he and other members of his web team in Sweden were working on a site for fashion lovers. During a break, they noticed that a friend was checking each of her favorite blogs manually to see if they'd been updated since her last visit.

One of the team members recognized what a waste of time that was. The group then discussed how brilliant it would be if their friend could subscribe to a service that would give her one place to read and comment on new posts from all her favorite blogs.

The idea for Bloglovin' was born.

Mattias and his team went on to develop Bloglovin', a blog reader service that you can join to follow your favorite blogs. Whenever a new post is published on a blog that you follow, it comes up in your feed.

Within a week of launch, 1,000 blog readers had signed up, and Bloglovin' was on its way to success.

If you're interested in starting a FREE blog, click the green button to get started at SimpleSite.

Build a Free Blog here!


Bloglovin' for Readers – Get Inspired

If you have favorite blogs that you follow, you can sign up on Bloglovin' for free. You can follow any blog – even if the blogger hasn't signed up for the service. Then log in whenever it's convenient and see all the latest posts from your favorite blogs in one place.

Suggested reading: How to Start Blogging About Your Hobby

When you're checking on a blog that you follow, Bloglovin' indicates which posts were published since your last visit. You don't have to remember what you've already read by looking at the titles.
It can't get more convenient than that. There's even an app so that you can read your favorite blogs on your smartphone or tablet on the train to work or standing in line at the supermarket.

When you click on one of the posts, you read it at the actual blog site, thereby allowing you to leave comments if you like. Google Reader, defunct since 2013, wasn't set up to allow comments on posts, so this was a major improvement.

Bloglovin' also lets you explore other blogs in categories that interest you – as long as those blogs have signed up with Bloglovin'.


You can follow SimpleSite on Bloglovin' by clicking here and hitting the '+Follow' button, or fill in your email in the form below:

Follow


Bloglovin' for Bloggers – Grow Your Following

Bloglovin's visual layout, similar to Pinterest, is a significant benefit to bloggers. Everyone knows that images get more clicks than text. So if you want to grow the following on your blog, getting it seen on Bloglovin' is a free, easy way to get your blog posts in front of potential new readers.

As a blogger, when you sign up for Bloglovin'
  • Choose your blog category carefully. It needs to be relevant, but look for a category that's not overly saturated with blogs so that you can rank fairly quickly.
  • At the bottom of each of your posts, give a link to Bloglovin' and ask readers to sign up – and of course, to follow your blog when they do.
  • Make sure your images are attractive and enticing – especially the first one which is the one that Bloglovin' will likely feature.
  • You will not have to do any additional work. Your posts will automatically be published in the feeds of your followers.
Once a person signs up for Bloglovin' and follows your blog, she will see each of your new posts in her feed whenever she logs in – unlike Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, which are hit and miss. Your posts will remain in her feed until she marks them as 'read.'

To learn how you can submit your own SimpleSite blog to Bloglovin’, please read How to Add Your SimpleSite Blog to Bloglovin' [Step by Step Tutorial]

Bloglovin' tutorial for SimpleSiters
Step by Step TutorialHow to Add Your SimpleSite Blog to Bloglovin'

It's a Win-Win 

Bloglovin' does its part to help bloggers gain new followers by suggesting blogs to readers that are similar to what they're already following. For example, if a reader signs up and follows travel blogs, your posts on the topic of travel will be suggested to this reader. It's a win-win. So don't hesitate. Sign up for Bloglovin' and start growing your followers.

Ready to start a new blog? Click the green button to get started with a FREE blog at SimpleSite.

Build a Free Blog here!

Author: Kate Benzin

How to Start a Travel Blog

Start blogging about your overseas adventure

Do you love to read travel stories? Is travel one of your passions even though you can't seem to find enough time or money to visit all the destinations on your bucket list?

Here's a way to take advantage of your passion for travel. Start a travel blog.

You don't have to be a travel expert. You just have to have the right mindset and enthusiasm.

Write an article that shares your impressions of a place. Where did you find the best food? Did you like your hotel, or did you find something nicer and less expensive once you were there? Which museums are not to be missed, and which museums should your readers avoid at all costs? Where did you find the best scenes to photograph?

But you don't have to write only about places that you've already visited. Write about destinations that are still waiting to see your smiling face. Research a place you're eager to visit and share that with your readers.

Suggested reading: Tips to Write Engaging Blog Posts

It won't cost you anything but time to begin. SimpleSite offers you the opportunity to build a FREE blog. Just click the green button to get started.


Let's Get Real

First, let's get rid of the notion that becoming a travel blogger will mean that you'll soon be paid to travel the world and write about it. That kind of benefit might materialize eventually – but only after a lot of hard work.

So the first thing to accept is that you'll start blogging about travel to satisfy your own cravings – not because you're going to be giving up your day job for full-time travel any time soon.

Since that's now out of the way, let's look at the best way to start blogging about travel.

Start a travel blog

Choose a Catchy Name

I can almost hear you saying, 'That's easy.'

Unless you've already had a name in mind for a while, this could actually be the most difficult part of getting started. Choosing the right name for your blog takes some serious thought.

But at SimpleSite, you can start your free travel blog right away and change the name later.

The name you start with might not stand the test of time, so don't worry too much about that now. Don't procrastinate. Just get started.

You'll probably come up with a better name for your blog after you've published a few posts. By then, you'll have a clearer idea of your travel blog's focus.

But don't wait too long to decide on a permanent name. You won't want to change the name after your blog starts getting significant traffic. Here's some advice to help you choose your travel blog's name.

Short and memorable – If you choose a name that's too long and/or difficult to remember, readers will forget how to find you. Repeat visitors who share your posts are necessary for success.
  • Avoid hyphens and numbers – it just gets too complicated to tell someone your blog name.
  • Don't include overused words like 'wandering,' 'adventurous,' 'nomad.' Those words have been used too much at this point, so blogs with those words won't stand out.
Good for the long-term – Keep your options open. Don't choose a name that limits you. In other words –
  • Don't choose TravelingAroundChina.com if there is even the slightest chance you might eventually want to write about other countries.
  • Don't choose SoloTravelingTheWorld.com. Your focus might change if you meet the love of your life. Matthew Karsten at ExpertVagabond.com started his first blog with the name YearAroundTheWorld.com but had to change the name when he realized that he wanted to travel for longer than a year.
  • Don't choose BudgetTravelingTheWorld.com if there's a chance you might want to include higher end information later on.
These rules are not written in stone. It's fine to have a niche-specific travel blog – for example, specifically budget travel. Just remember that re-branding isn't easy.

Blog about your travels

Social Media Accounts

Hand in hand with choosing a name is securing that name at your social media accounts. You're probably not ready yet to start posting on social media, but you'll want to make sure that no one else has the name you've chosen. Check at the following social media even if you don't currently use all of them.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • Tumblr
  • Snapchat
Start sharing relevant content on social media under your blog's name as soon as you can. Get your name known. Social media activity can bring traffic to your new blog.

Suggested reading: Use Social Media to Notify Your Readers About New Blog Posts

Travel blog photos

Create and Publish Content with Images

Start by writing about destinations that you've already visited. Your posts can describe your impressions of the location but should also include information from your research. You could even use short, relevant paragraphs and quotes by others who have visited the destination.

Don't forget to include several relevant, inviting images in each post. If you don't have photos that you've taken, check out Pixabay. Images at this site won't cost you anything.

Maybe you don't want to start with posts about your previous travels. No problem. Write about your local area. People often think that their own local areas are uninteresting, but once you do a little research into what's available locally, you might find it's far more interesting than you thought.

Still not sure what to write about first? Write a post about your favorite travel books. Write about tips that you've learned over your years of traveling. Write about how to pack light.

The topics are endless. But keep in mind that to have a successful travel blog, you need to provide useful content – not just a diary of your travels. Your posts should give readers information about –
  • general travel tips
  • photography
  • where to stay
  • where to eat
  • travel tips specific to a particular destination
If you're not sure what readers are looking for, do a Google search on 'travel blogs.' Read what other travel bloggers are writing about. And don't forget to read the comments to find out how readers reacted to the post. Those comments contain valuable information for you. Plan to publish new content two to three times a week to get started.

I'll bet you're ready now to start your FREE travel blog on SimpleSite. Click the green button and get started.

Build a Free Website Here!

Author: Kate Benzin

How to Make Your Website More Attractive


Appearance matters. No doubt about that. Whether a visitor will take the time to read your content will depend to some extent on how attractive your site is. An unattractive site will often seem to be low quality even if the content is good. An attractive website is likely to positively affect the reader's opinion of the content.

That's right. Writing content that has great information is not the only requirement to have readers return to your site over and over. You need to stand out from the crowd.

Unique, attractive pages can do that.

Here are some ways that you can make your site visually attractive –
  • fonts that are easy to read
  • colors that match the audience and their needs
  • relevant photos
  • catchy headlines
  • formatting that makes the content easy to read
Suggested reading: Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

Ready to start your own website? Get one for FREE at SimpleSite – just click the green button.

Build a Free Website here!

Easy-to-Read Fonts

The purpose of a font is to be read. If your font makes reading difficult, not only will the reader not return to your site, he is likely to leave the site before he's even finished reading the page.

Two scientists conducted an experiment to determine the effect of a simple font versus a fancy one. They used two groups of people who received the instructions in either a simple font or a fancy one.

Those who read the instructions in the fancy font estimated that the task would take almost twice as long as the estimate from the group reading the simple font. So if you're writing instructions for a project, use a simple font. Readers will be more likely to think the project will be easy to accomplish.

Suggested reading: Why You Should Have a Personalized Domain Name

Appropriate Colors

When choosing colors for your website, you should first decide whether your intended audience is male or female. This information will help you choose an appropriate color scheme for your website.
  • Males generally don't like purple, orange, or brown. They like blue, green, and black.
  • Females generally don't like gray, orange, brown. They like blue, purple, and green.
In addition to choosing a color that is appropriate for the gender of your audience, you should consider the emotion that you want to elicit. Different colors are known to influence readers in different ways.

Take a look at this chart that can help you choose appropriate colors.

Colour chart

Images

People seem to become more and more visual every day. Take advantage of that. Choose photos that are relevant to the topic of your post. The right photos can keep your readers on your blog longer.

Don't choose photos just because they're beautiful. If they are not also relevant to the topic, your readers will feel cheated. They might even waste time trying to find the text that matches the photo. If that's not available, they will be annoyed and leave, probably never to return.

Suggested reading10 Great 3-Minute Ideas That Will Improve Your Website

Catchy Headlines

Catchy headlines are important visual cues that can attract people to your post if you've used your 65 characters including spaces wisely. That's how many characters will appear in search results.

People are attracted to –
  • numbers – such as '5 ways to …'
  • negative words – such as 'Do not do xyz until you read this'
  • questions – such as 'Why do you want to sell your home?'
Suggested reading: Tips to Write Engaging Blog Posts

Easy Formatting

The formatting of your pages can make your text more attractive than another one that has the same information but is done in big blocks of text.

When a person is looking at websites, those big blocks of text can send him looking for other sites that are easier to read.

Make your post look inviting by formatting it in a way that will lure people in. Since people often scan articles, putting important points into a bulleted list will make it easy for readers to focus on what they're looking for.

Another way to make your texts more "scannable" is to use the 3x3 rule:
  • 3 sentences per paragraph
  • 3 paragraphs per heading
  • 3 headings per article
Read more: 3 Questions To Ask To Make A Better Website

You can also make your texts more visually appealing by changing the design from full-width text in some areas to columns in other areas.

Perhaps you use quotes from experts in your field on occasion. Don't just put quotes in quotation marks and include it inside the paragraph. That's boring. A more interesting way is to set it apart with wide margins and to put it in italics.

Click the green button to start your own website for FREE at SimpleSite.

Build a Free Website here!

Author: Kate Benzin

Keep Track of Your Visitors from Social Media with Bit.ly

Website Statistics with Bitly

Do you have a website or a blog that has started to get some traffic, but you're not sure exactly where the traffic is coming from? Or do you ever wonder which of your blog posts get most views and clicks from social media?

Maybe you're curious or maybe you don't care.

We're all happy to know that visitors are coming to the website that we built with so much love. But knowing where your traffic is coming from will be a huge advantage to you in the long run.

Yes, statistics can be very boring. But think about this. If you don't know whether your traffic is coming from Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or another social media platform you're using, then you can't know which one to focus on to promote your website. After all, you want to put your time where it will give you the best results.

We all know how important time is. Time that is spent on a social media platform that is not driving traffic to your website is time wasted. On the other hand, time that is spent on the exact social media platforms that are sending you traffic is time very well spent.

Or think about this.

What if you could know which of your pages or blog posts get most clicks? Then you can create even more content like this and your readers will love you for it!

Suggested reading: Use Social Media to Notify Your Readers About New Blog Posts

If you don't already have a website or a blog SimpleSite offers you the opportunity to build an easy-to-edit website that will be free forever unless you decide to upgrade later.

Create a FREE Website or Blog

The Real Question

How can you track the visitors who come to your website from social media? Some people say that this is a difficult or even impossible task. Don't believe them. Tracking those visitors is just a matter of having the correct tool.

Bit.ly is the right tool for you to use.

You may already use bit.ly as a link (URL) shortener. If you only use it to shorten links, though, you're missing out on one of bit.ly's main benefits – its tracking power.

Whenever you use bit.ly to shorten a link, it counts the number of hits on that link and also shows –
  • referral sources
  • social media conversations
  • the country your visitors are from
This information can make it easy to decide which social media platforms to devote more time to and which to let slide for a while. And you can easily see which links get the most visits and thereby know which content performs best.


How to Use Bitly for Statistics

Bit.ly is easy to use and fre. So you have nothing to lose by trying it out.
  1. Sign up for a free bit.ly account – click here.
  2. Click the 'Create Bitlink' button at upper right.
  3. Choose one of your posts or pages that you want to promote. Copy the URL/link (you find it in the address bar of your browser) and paste that URL into the box, and click 'Create' at the bottom.
  4. Copy the bitlink by clicking 'Copy' at the top of the next window.
  5. Start telling the world about your post by using this link on the various social media platforms that you use.
  6. To get your tracking information, go back to bit.ly and sign in. You will see a list of your bitlinks on the left. Click on them one by one to see the statistics about that link's performance.
Suggested reading: Promote Your Blog with Google+ Circles

What is Dark Traffic?

By using the above strategy, you'll be able to know where most of your web traffic comes from. But unfortunately, there is some sharing that takes place under the radar or through secure sites which don't collect user information. This kind of traffic is called 'dark traffic' and can't be attributed to a particular source.

Dark traffic, however, will be a small part of your traffic and shouldn't stop you from tracking the traffic whose source is known. By tracking your visitors, you'll know where to concentrate your efforts, and you won't need to waste time on social media that doesn't produce for you.

So head over to bit.ly and start tracking the visitors to your website.

Are you ready to create your own free SimpleSite website or blog? You can be online just minutes from now.

Create a FREE Website or Blog

Author: Kate Benzin