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Being a blogger is a lot of fun. You get to meet new people, express yourself through your writing and share your cute little kiddos with the world. To me, though, it was kind of frustrating. I loved how everyone had their blogs set up with pretty designs. I loved the nifty little world maps. I wanted those! I just wasn't sure where to go or how to get them.

Through sheer trial and error, (and a lot of internet searches!) I was able to teach myself the tricks of the trade. Some things were easy to learn, some I still haven't gotten the hang of. The purpose of this blog is to help you manuever around the blogging world a lot easier fashion than I did. Less time to figure things out equals more time to read the comments on your blog and enter fun giveaways!

I am simply a blogger who fell in love with HTML and all it had to offer. I do not have a degree in blog design (do they even make one?) nor am I wholly computer literate. I do not claim to know it all, but what I do know I like to share with others. When I learn a new blog tip, I cannot wait to water it down into normal language and pass it on to fellow bloggers. I love a challenge and am always on the lookout for ways to make our blogs better. :)

Most of my tips fall into three basic categories: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.

If you are a brand new blogger who needs help with basic things, such as putting links in posts and maneuvering around Blogger, then you will need to stick to the beginner tips. These can be found by clicking on 'Beginner' in the "Find Tips by Ability Level" in my sidebar. Beginner tips can be done without risk of doing any damage to the template of your blog. When you are ready to move on, familiarize yourself with the parts of a blog and proceed with caution. My intermediate and advanced tips are labeled as such in the title of the post.

Intermediate tips are for those who have been blogging for awhile and are familiar with the way Blogger works. Basic knowledge of HTML is preferred when implementing these tips. Beginners (and anyone else for that matter) who wish to try these tips should do so on a practice blog first. You should also download a copy of your current template before changing the HTML of your real blog. If you get stuck on one of the tutorials, try again. You will most likely not figure them out on your first try.

Advanced tips are for those who have played around successfully with the HTML of their template and feel comfortable doing so. They are complicated and require that the user know quite a bit about HTML before attempting them. These are not for beginners. I try as hard as I can to make these tutorials easy, but there are some skills you just can't teach. You can really mess up your blog with advanced tips if you miss a step or if you go into them blindly. If and when you feel like you are ready to try an advanced tip, make sure you create a practice blog and download a copy of your template before you begin.

Make sure to follow these tips word-for-word, letter-by-letter. If you get stuck, (Ha!) when you get stuck, do not panic. Simply go back through the instructions very carefully and see what you might have missed. At the bottom of every advanced tip is a link to another site with a different set of instructions on how to do what you're trying to do. Read through them. Sometimes I find it easier to work with two sets of instructions rather than one. My advanced tips are time consuming and, for the most part, extremely frustrating the first time you try them. Click here if you get really stuck and need further assistance.

I highly suggest downloading a current copy of your blog's template before attempting to change your template in any way. Downloading the template will not save your header or items in your sidebar. You will have to back these up individually. I also recommend creating a practice blog or two in which to test out your ideas and creations before putting them on your real blog.

There you have it. Go improve your blog!

Removing the Border Around Your Header

Wow! Thank you! I'm very excited about going home tonight and fixing my header with those tips...I want it to be a bit bigger and I want to get rid of that box around mine! Thanks so much :) Sparkette

I cant wait to read the tutorial on how to remove the line around it [my header] because I can't get a color that matches my background! :( Danita

The thin little border that comes standard around a minima template header drove me crazy until I learned how to get rid of it. Luckily, it's a fairly simple process.

Here’s how to delete any border, HTML style: As always, download a copy of your current template before attempting to change it. Then, go to the portion of your code where the offending border is. Find the border code. It will look something like this:

border:1px solid $bordercolor;

Change the number of px to 0 or delete the entire line of code.

These are the steps I took to remove the standard minima template border from around my header:

I found my header section of code (near the top: /* Header).
I deleted the border code in two places (circled in red above.)

Then I previewed, liked what I saw and then saved.

It would have worked just as well if I would have changed the number before px to 0 in both places instead of removing the lines.

If working with HTML scares you a bit, you can always hide your header border by going to fonts and colors and changing the color hex code to match the same color as your background. Your border will still be there, but it will be camouflaged. This only works on solid colored backgrounds, though. Having trouble finding the exact shade of your background? Click here to download a free color picker. It will give you the six digit code for virtually any color out there.

Hiding the Border Around Your Header: Beginner

Did you know that you can hide the border around your header without having to enter the Edit HTML portion of your blog? Simply go to fonts and colors and change the border color to match the color of your background. Your border will still be there, but it will be camouflaged. Unfortunately, this trick only works on solid colored backgrounds.

You can completely remove the lines by following this tutorial:

Backing Up Your Blog

I used to have a blog that I used as a journal. It was visible only to me. I detailed my feelings, everything. It was a gem of a blog, something that I seriously thought I may make public someday to help others who needed encouragement. It was a good read, one that I worked hard on.

One day, I decided to change the labels on my posts. Not good, not good at all. I ended up accidentally deleting 75% of my blog. The only posts that remained were the ones that I wrote at the very beginning of my journey. I was crushed.

Recently, I was excited to learn that there is a very simple way to backup your blog posts on Blogger. Using this feature will backup all of your current posts and comments into a file, which you can save on your computer. If something horrible happens and you lose your posts, you can import the posts that you saved into a new blog or your existing one. How cool is that?

IMPORTANT: Be careful not to click on "Delete blog" as it is right next to the import and export links.

To backup your posts:

Go to Settings-->Export Blog-->Download Blog--> Save

To restore your posts:

Go to Settings-->Import Blog-->Find the document you exported-->Import Blog. The first time I did this, it took well over an hour. I had 190 posts and a not-fast-but-not-dial-up internet connection. I ended up just closing the application. When I opened the blog, though, all 190 posts were there. Cool. It now takes me less than five minutes to back up my blog with my faster connection.

Once the file has been exported, click on it and make sure that it contains your posts. Your photos will not visible in this file. You will need to import it to a practice blog to see if they are there.

When you export your blog, it only exports the posts that have already been written. It will not continue to save future posts. You will periodically have to do this if you want to backup your newer posts. This feature only works for posts. It will not save your design elements, your header, or template. Just your posts.

I exported my posts today. I think I'll probably do this every three weeks or so. You know, just in case. :)

Happy Blogging! Need more help importing or exporting your blog? Click here.

Related Posts:
Downloading Your Template
Create a Practice Blog

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Want to share this tip with your readers?
I would be honored for you to link back to this post!

Please do not copy and paste my words and images into your own posts.
I work hard on my tips and and wish for everything to remain on this blog. 
Thank you for your cooperation! :)

Create A Header With Scrapblog

When I first started blogging, I admired all of the pretty headers and backgrounds that people had. It didn't take me long to find a beautiful, free background. However, my header (the image at the top of a blog that displays its name) was another story. I experimented with Paint for hours trying to create the cute headers that everyone else had. I succeeded in making a few headers, but none were polished. To be honest, they looked like they had been made in Paint!

All of this changed when my blogging friend, Amanda, introduced me to Scrapblog (http://www.scrapblog.com/). Through tips from her and my other blogging friend, Elaine, I was able to make a cute, professional looking header. Scrapblog is a free (well, mostly) user friendly site that enables you to make awesome digital scrapbooking pages for free. What's great for bloggers is that the space they give you to work with is compatible with the size of a header!

Scrapblog has all sorts of stickers and backgrounds to choose from. Recently, I noticed that some of their stickers and backgrounds are no longer free and must be purchased. They still have really good free stuff to choose from and design a header with, though. I have yet to spend a dime there. It will take a few minutes to get acclimated to the site, but you will be cranking out masterpieces in no time.

Scrapblog is for personal use only. In other words, you cannot make money by creating headers for others by using Scrapblog images. It is against their terms of use to do so.

Some helpful tips for creating a header on Scrapblog:

Once you have created your header, save and publish it (circled in yellow above). You must publish it in order to view it again. It will give you the option of keeping it private or public. Once your Scrapblog has been published, go up to file and export it as a JPEG (circled in red). I like to save my headers to my desktop so they're easy to find and then I move them to another folder later.

Uploading your header to your blog is easy. Simply go to customize-->layout and click on 'edit' in your header. Select 'instead of title and description'. Browse for your new header. Once it is loaded (you will be able to see a small pic of it) click save and view your blog.

I have made headers in Scrapblog before. I didn't want mine to be so big, so what I did was leave the bottom fourth of my page blank. Then I exported the file as a JPEG and opened it in Paint. I simply cut the blank bottom portion off, saved it and POOF! my header was ready to be uploaded to my blog.

If you have a minima template, you will notice a thin border interferes with your header. To hide it, go to your fonts and colors page, click on border, and make the border color the same as your background. It will still be there, but not as noticeable. I will go into more depth on how to remove this border by tinkering with the HTML of your template later on when I do a tutorial on borders.

Have fun and enjoy your new header!

Related Post: Create a Free Header w/Picasa

Have you been helped by my tips? 
Consider grabbing my button or adding this blog to your bloglist!

Want to share this tip with your readers?
I would be honored for you to link back to this post!

Please do not copy and paste my words and images into your own posts.
I work hard on my tips and and wish for everything to remain on this blog. 
Thank you for your cooperation! :)

Putting a Link Inside A Post

A link is simply one or more words that when clicked on, takes you somewhere else. It is most often written in a different color or underlined in a post. Most blog carnivals, giveaways and memes request that you link back to the host blog when you participate. I'm going to show you how to do just that.

First you need to write your post. Highlight the words that you would like to have link to something else. Click on the 'link' button. It looks like a broken chain link. Type in the URL (web address) that you would like to link to and hit enter. Preview your post to see if your link works.

Here's an example:

In this post, I wanted to link to my current giveaway. I wrote the post. Then I copied (ctrl + c) the web address of the page I wanted to link to. In this case, it was my giveaway post.

Then I highlighted the word ‘giveaways’ (circled in red in the image above) and clicked on the link button (circled in blue). A Hyperlink box popped up. I selected "http://" from the drop down menu and then deleted the http:// that was already in the box. Then I pasted (ctrl + v) in my giveaway page's web address. I found the specific URL for my giveaway post by viewing my blog, finding my giveaway post and clicking on the title. This opened the post up by itself, making it easy to find and copy the URL (http://sneakym...) Then I previewed my post and checked my link.

Have fun! You can link to other blogs, articles that you want to share, your email address. Anything. The world is your oyster. Link away!

Parts of a Blog

orange- body

blue- outer wrapper

green- main wrapper

yellow- sidebar wrapper and new sidebar wrapper (if you have a 3 column template)

red- header