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Get Snow For Your Blog!


If you're anything like me, you're working hard to decorate your home for the holiday season. Why not add a little festive fun to your blog as well? I introduced the falling snow trick to my readers a few years ago. If you're looking to add a little snow magic to your blog, be sure to check it out! It's one of my favorite effects because it is so easy to install. Super simple...and it's FREE!

Get falling snow for your blog by clicking here!  :)

 ★
 **
 *o*
 *♥*o*
 ***o***
 **o**♥*o*
 **♥**o**o**
 **o**♥***♥*o*
 *****♥*o**o****
 **♥**o*****o**♥**
 ******o*****♥**o***
 ****o***♥**o***o***♥ *
 ____!_!____

Have you been helped by my tips? Consider sharing them with your readers by adding Sneaky Momma Blog Design to your blog list or by grabbing a button to display in your sidebar! 
 
ALL CONTENT © SNEAKY MOMMA BLOG DESIGN
Want to share this tip with others? I would be honored for you to do so by linking back to this post. Please do not copy and paste my words and images onto your blog/website. I work hard on my tips and want everything to remain here. Thank you for your cooperation! :)

Changing Your Comments Line



This tutorial will show you how to change the word "comments" below your posts to something else. It's really easy to do. You don't have to change anything within the HTML of your template. If you or someone else has given your template a makeover, this tutorial might not work for you.

1. Click on Design in the upper right corner of your blog.


2. Click on Layout (on the left).
 
3. Click on Edit in the blog posts section.



4. Under the Post Page Options heading, you will see a field that contains the word "comments". Delete it and replace it with whatever you want it to say. I changed mine to "kind thoughts".


5. Click on the orange save box at the bottom of the screen when you are finished.

 
That's all! Enjoy your new comments line! :)

Related Posts:
Cool Commenters Widget
Numbered Comments (Advanced)
Make It Easier For Readers To Communicate With You


Have you been helped by my tips? Consider sharing them with your readers by adding Sneaky Momma Blog Design to your blog list or by grabbing a button to display in your sidebar! 
 
ALL CONTENT © SNEAKY MOMMA BLOG DESIGN
Want to share this tip with others? I would be honored for you to do so by linking back to this post. Please do not copy and paste my words and images onto your blog/website. I work hard on my tips and want everything to remain here. Thank you for your cooperation! :)

Greater Than and Less Than Signs


Greater than and less than (inequality) symbols are seldom used in everyday writing, but occasionally they need to be included in a post. If you've ever tried to publish something with an alligator mouth (> <) in it, I'm sure you were surprised by the results. You probably thought you had it looking good until you previewed and noticed that a chunk of your post was missing. Ugh.

This frustrated me to no end until I finally figured out a way to outsmart the post editor. It's super simple. All you have to do is type the post the way you want it. It doesn't matter whether you are in compose or html mode. Before previewing/publishing:


Be sure to type in the characters above exactly as they are written. Do not add spaces. Once you have replaced the characters, they can be seen when previewing the post.

Give it a try and let me know how it works out! :)

Related Posts: 
 
Have you been helped by my tips? Consider sharing them with your readers by adding Sneaky Momma Blog Design to your blog list or by grabbing a button to display in your sidebar! 
 
ALL CONTENT © SNEAKY MOMMA BLOG DESIGN
Want to share this tip with others? I would be honored for you to do so by linking back to this post. Please do not copy and paste my words and images onto your blog/website. I work hard on my tips and want everything to remain here. Thank you for your cooperation! :)

How To Center Ads and Gadgets Above Your Header

Have you ever tried adding a banner advertisement above your header? On most templates, this area is left-aligned. An left aligned ad (or any gadget) that site above a centered header can be a bit of an eyesore. What's a blogger to do?????

Turns out it's not that difficult to center gadgets in that area. Here's how to do it:

1. Take a look at the html code for the gadget/ad. Add <center> to the very beginning and </center> to the very end. Add the gadget to your blog and move it above the header. Preview. If it's centered, poof! You're done! If it isn't, leave the gadget there so that you can experiment with it and proceed to step 2.

2. If you have a new Blogger template, skip this step and proceed to step 3 below. If you have an older template, click here to visit Blog Sentral. Follow the tip exactly. Hooray for a centered top gadget!

3. Click here to visit Blog Sentral. You'll need to scroll down and copy the snippet of code that will work for your blog. Which code you copy will depend upon how you installed your header. All you're doing on this site is copying the code. DO NOT OPEN YOUR TEMPLATE! Once you've copied the code, come back here and continue with step 4.

4. Go to your blog and click on Design in the upper right corner.




5. Click on Customize (on the left).


6. Click on Advanced, then scroll down and click on Add CSS.


7. Paste the code that you copied into the big white box. Preview. Hopefully, your gadget is now centered! The first time I did this, I thought that the gadget was not perfectly centered because it didn't appear to sit exactly in the middle above my header. Turned out, it was my header that wasn't perfectly centered. Click here for help with positioning your header. :)

Related Posts:
How To Center Your Header (New Templates)
How To Move Gadgets and Sidebar Items
How To Center Gadgets and Sidebar Items
 
Have you been helped by my tips? Consider sharing them with your readers by adding Sneaky Momma Blog Design to your blog list or by grabbing a button to display in your sidebar! 
 
ALL CONTENT © SNEAKY MOMMA BLOG DESIGN
Want to share this tip with others? I would be honored for you to do so by linking back to this post. Please do not copy and paste my words and images onto your blog/website. I work hard on my tips and want everything to remain here. Thank you for your cooperation! :)

How To Center Your Header (New Templates)


Last week, I showed you how to easily widen your columns on the newer Blogger templates. Making modifications to widen your template might make you want to center your header. Fortunately, the Blogger folks have made it easy to do this, too! 

How to center your header: 

1. Visit your blog. Click on design in the top right corner.


2. Click on Customize (below the picture of your blog).


3. Click on Advanced. Scroll down and click on Add CSS.


4. Copy and paste this code into the bog box. Copy it exactly. Don't forget the period at the very beginning! If you leave out a character, it will not work.

.header-outer {
margin-left:85px;
}


5. Check out the preview below the box. If the header is centered, you're done! If not, increase or decrease the number 85 until the header looks the way you want it. Lower numbers move the header to the left. Higher numbers move it to the right.When you're finished, click on Apply to Blog (orange box in top right corner).

Enjoy your beautifully centered header! :) :) :) 

Related posts: 
 
Have you been helped by my tips? Consider sharing them with your readers by adding Sneaky Momma Blog Design to your blog list or by grabbing a button to display in your sidebar! 
 
ALL CONTENT © SNEAKY MOMMA BLOG DESIGN
Want to share this tip with others? I would be honored for you to do so by linking back to this post. Please do not copy and paste my words and images onto your blog/website. I work hard on my tips and want everything to remain here. Thank you for your cooperation! :)

Adjusting Widths on Your Blog (New Templates)


Adjusting the widths on your blog used to involve quite a bit of template tweaking. Not anymore! The widths on the new templates are SO easy to adjust with easy previewing and no risk to your template. Here's how to do it:

1. Visit your blog. Click on design in the top right corner.


2. Click on Customize (below the picture of your blog).


3. Click on Adjust widths.



4. Slide the little rectangle back and forth for each section that you want to change. Keep an eye on the preview and click on Apply to Blog (orange button in top right corner) when your blog looks the way you want it to.



5. Take a look at your blog to make sure that the changes look the way you want them to. If you need to fix something, just go back and repeat the above steps. :)

Related posts:
Spacing in Sidebars
Sidebars: Align Your Buttons!
How to Install a Background (EASY!)

Have you been helped by my tips? Consider sharing them with your readers by adding Sneaky Momma Blog Design to your blog list or by grabbing a button to display in your sidebar! 
 
ALL CONTENT © SNEAKY MOMMA BLOG DESIGN
Want to share this tip with others? I would be honored for you to do so by linking back to this post. Please do not copy and paste my words and images onto your blog/website. I work hard on my tips and want everything to remain here. Thank you for your cooperation! :)

Social Media Icons Gadget



I've gotten lots of requests for a tip on how to create a social media gadget, similar to the one at the very top of my sidebar. Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are all easy avenues for you to introduce your blog to new readers. It's important to give your blog as much exposure as possible.

What I like about this gadget is that it allows for me to pack a lot of information into a small space. A cluttered sidebar takes forever to load. Bulky gadgets can cause your readers to lose interest in your sidebar before they get to the stuff that you really want them to check out.

Before you begin: 

1. This tip can be super tricky. You probably won't "get it" the first time. It requires lots of patience and persistence. Go slow. If you don't get it right the first time, walk away, then come back later and start completely from scratch.

2. Find and download a set of social media icons that include everything you're wanting for your gadget. Check out this beautiful set of icons over at Craftiments. A search for "free social media icons" will yield pretty good results, too. Look for icons with transparent backgrounds. They all need to be the same size and shape for a somewhat painless installation. My gadget was created with icons from different sets. It took quite a bit of trial and error (and hitting my head against the wall!) to make them all fit. :)

3. Make sure that the place you wish to install the gadget is wide enough to accommodate it. For example: My social icons gadget is approximately 280px wide. My sidebar is bigger than that, so I know that it will fit.

4. You'll need html codes for all of the icons. If you need html codes, you can get them from an online photo storage site, like Photobucket. Click here for help with this. For each icon, you'll want to replace the url that follows <a href="  with the url to where you want your readers to go when they click on it.

Creating the gadget: 

1. Open a new word processing document on your computer. You can use any program, such as Word, Works, or Notepad.

2. Copy and paste all of the icon codes that you wish to include in the gadget into the document, one right after the other. Put them in the order you wish for them to appear. The rightmost icon needs to be at the very bottom, the leftmost at the top. It should look like a big paragraph. Here's what the code for my social icons gadget looked like at this stage:


Installing the gadget:

1. Go to your Page Elements page and click on Add A Gadget. Select HTML/Javascript.

2. Be sure that you are in html mode. If the upper right corner of the box says Rich Text, then you are in in the right mode. If it says Edit HTML, you'll need to click on that link to be in html mode.

3. Copy the code that you created above and paste it into the gadget. Add <center> to the very beginning of the code and </center> to the very end if you want it to be centered in your sidebar. SAVE.

4. View the gadget on your blog. Then edit it and tweak it to get it to look the way you want it to. Are your icons all bunched together? Try adding a space (&nbsp;) or two between each icon. The finished code for my gadget up at the top of my sidebar looks like this:
5. Move the gadget to wherever you want it to go. Click here for help.

Troubleshooting:

Can't get this tip to work for you? Start over from scratch, taking your time to read through each step. If you miss one tiny character or if you add one tiny invisible space, the gadget will probably not work. Make sure that your sidebars are big enough to accommodate the width of all of your icons.
 
Did you install your social media icons another way? I'd love to know how you did it! :)

Related Posts:
Side-by-Side Sidebar Buttons (ads, etc.) 
Promote Your Blog With Pinterest
Spacing in Sidebars


Have you been helped by my tips? Consider sharing them with your readers by adding Sneaky Momma Blog Design to your blog list or by grabbing a button to display in your sidebar! 
 
ALL CONTENT © SNEAKY MOMMA BLOG DESIGN
Want to share this tip with others? I would be honored for you to do so by linking back to this post. Please do not copy and paste my words and images onto your blog/website. I work hard on my tips and want everything to remain here. Thank you for your cooperation! :)

Super Easy (FREE!) Watermarks

Pinterest can be a great tool for getting your blog "out there". Unfortunately, it also allows people easier access to steal your photos and claim your ideas as their own. No bueno. You could disable right-clicking on your blog, but that can be bothersome to your readers. A better idea might be to watermark your photos.


Water Marquee is a free tool that you can use to create a free, simple watermark. The directions are pretty easy to follow. Simply upload your photo (under 1MB), then decide where you'd like your watermark placed, whether you want a text or image for a watermark, what font you want to use, and what size/color you want it to be. Once your watermarked photo is finished, you can download it to your computer and upload it to your blog. From start to finish, watermarking an image on this site took me less than a couple of minutes. Couldn't be easier!

How do you watermark your photos? Do share! :)

Disclaimer: I received no compensation for writing this tip. I found it on my own and was so impressed by how easy it was I just knew I had to share it with you! :)

Related posts:
 
Have you been helped by my tips? Consider sharing them with your readers by adding Sneaky Momma Blog Design to your blog list or by grabbing a button to display in your sidebar! 
 
ALL CONTENT © SNEAKY MOMMA BLOG DESIGN
Want to share this tip with others? I would be honored for you to do so by linking back to this post. Please do not copy and paste my words and images onto your blog/website. I work hard on my tips and want everything to remain here. Thank you for your cooperation! :)

New Navigation Tips


I've made a few changes based upon feedback gathered from the survey. BIG thanks to all of you who took a minute to fill it out! The survey is still live for anyone who would like to take it (hint, hint!).

You can now find tips by:
  • Using the search bars in the top left corner of the blog and in the sidebar above the followers gadget. Use keywords for best results rather than whole questions. For example: If I wanted to know how to make a box for others to grab the code for my button, a suggested search would be "button grab box".
  • Clicking on the "All Tips" link below the header. Clicking here will take you to a post filled with a list of all of my tips listed alphabetically. This list is also located at the bottom of my sidebar. 
  • Clicking on the "Tips by Category" button below the header. This will take you to a post with a list of categories. Click on a category for a link list of all tips in that category. Each category is updated with the most recent tip on top. You can also find a link cloud of categories above the followers gadget in my sidebar. 
  • Clicking on the "Tips by Ability" button below the header. Here's where I organize tips according to how difficult they are. Beginner tips can be used without risk to your blog. Intermediate tips require some risk and close attention to detail. Advanced tips are for advanced users who are very comfortable making changes to their template and/or who are familiar with working with html. 
  • Using the blog archive gadget at the bottom of the sidebar. 
  • Looking through the comments section below a tip that is similar to what you're looking for. Since I answer questions in my comments section, there is often more information down there than in the actual content of my posts!
I will continue to answer questions through my comments section. If you cannot find what it is that you are looking for, you can leave a comment on any post and I will respond through a reply comment. Be sure to select the email follow-up comments box so that you will know when I've answered your question.

Please visit my help section for more information on how I can help you with your blog. :)

How To Put A Button In A Post


Easy Blog Tips!

Thanks to all of you who completed the survey from last week! I've enjoyed going over your responses. If you have not yet taken the survey, please take a moment to do so. It's quick and painless, I promise! Click here to take the survey. :)

I've received lots of requests lately for a tip on how to make a button show up in a post. Why would one want to do that, you ask? Well, you might want to participate in a meme or blog party that requires you to do so. You might want to put a button in a post featuring another blog. You might want to create a blog roll post that displays the buttons of many blogs. Whatever your reason, this tip will show you how to display buttons as well as other images with html codes in a post. It's a pretty easy thing to do!

1. Copy the button code. Be sure to get all of it!

Easy Blog Tips!

2. Open/create the post that you wish to put the button in. Click on the HTML box above the post section.

3. Position your cursor where you would like the button to be displayed and paste the code in.

4. Click on Preview (at the top near Publish, Save, and Close) to see the button. If the button is there, YAY! If not, you'll need to go back, delete the code, and try again. Go super slow and be sure to get the entire code from the grab box.

5. Once your button looks the way you like it, click on Compose (next to HTML) and finish the post. Of course, you do not have to click on Compose. Many people prefer to write in HTML mode.

I prefer that the buttons in my posts be centered and on their own lines (like the one at the top of this post). To get them to look like this, I put centering tags around the code while in HTML mode (if they are not already written into the code). Then I preview. If I need a space above or below the button, I go back and add a line break (underlined in blue below). Here's what the top of this post looks like in HTML mode. Click on the image to enlarge.

I like to display buttons at the top of my posts instead of in the middle or bottom. That way, I don't have to worry about messing up anything in the post. I also install my buttons before writing any text. I get the button the way I like it, then I build my content around it. :)

Related Posts:
Create A Grab Box For Your Button
How To Center Buttons And Other HTML Images
Format Buttons To Sit Side-By-Side


Have you been helped by my tips?
Consider sharing them with your readers by grabbing my button or adding my blog to your bloglist!

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

ALL CONTENT © SNEAKY MOMMA BLOG DESIGN
Please do not copy and paste my content onto your blog.
I work hard on my tips and want everything to stay here.
Thank you for your cooperation! :)

Help Me Help You!

Help me make this blog better by taking a few moments to complete the quick survey below. All questions are optional. Any feedback is most certainly appreciated!!!! :)

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey! I really appreciate it! :) :) :)

Making The Switch

Thanks to all of you who gave input on my last post regarding the new Blogger interface. You guys gave me the push I needed to make the switch! If you have not switched over yet, and are leery about doing so, take a moment and read through the comments on this post. You'll be able to read about the advantages and disadvantages of switching as well as problems that others have had since making the switch.

Before switching, I gave myself a pep talk. There's no use fighting the inevitable. Better to have an open mind and more importantly, a good attitude. I set aside an hour to play around a bit and familiarize myself with the new interface. Turns out, it isn't so bad! I love the design, which is sleek and modern. It was inconvenient to find my way around a new dashboard and post editor at first, but after a week of working with them, I'm pretty comfortable. Dare I say it...I like the changes!

I've started writing a series of beginner tips on finding one's way around the new interface. Is there anything in particular that you're having problems with or would like to see featured? If so, please let me know in a comment below! :)

Big Thanks and the New Blogger Interface

Big thanks to all of you who voted for Sneaky Momma Blog Design in the Circle of Mom's Tech Mom contest! We made the list! Wooo hooo! Couldn't have done it without you! Thank you all for your support! :) :) :) :)

I'm working on some tips for the new Blogger interface and can't wait to share them with you. I've heard that Blogger will soon "bring the advantages of Blogger’s improved interface to everyone" whether we want them or not. Have you made the switch yet? If so, what do you think? Advantages? Disadvantages? How long did it take to adjust to the new interface? Do share!

Last Time, I Promise!

Big thanks to all of you who have voted for Sneaky Momma Blog Design in the Circle of Moms Tech Moms contest! I really appreciate each and every vote!

Tomorrow is the last day for voting and it's really close. Please consider voting for my blog today (and tomorrow, too, if you're up for it!). It's super simple. You don't have to register. All you have to do is click here (or on the image above), wait a moment for the vote button to pop up, then click on it. Easy peasy!

Thank you all so much for your support! Please leave a comment if you end up voting. I'd love to thank you personally!!!!!! :)

Help This Momma Out!


Sneaky Momma Blog Design has been nominated to the 2012 Top 25 Tech Moms list on Circle of Moms! If you have twenty seconds to spare, please consider voting for my blog. All you have to do is click here, wait a second for the vote button to appear, then click on it. No registration required. Quick and painless!

Please let me know if you cast a vote in my direction. I'd like to thank you for your support! If you're inclined to do so, you can vote every day until April 10th. Thanks again! :)

Goodbye, Google Friend Connect!

Do you have a Google Friend Connect gadget on your blog? On March 1, this gadget will be retired from non-Blogger blogs.

According to the announcement, Blogger (Blogspot) blogs will not be affected. If you have a non-Blogger blog (TypePad, WordPress, etc.), I highly recommend encouraging your GFC followers to follow your blog in another way, such as:

  • in a reader via RSS feed
  • subscribe by email
  • through your facebook page
  • through a Google + page
Even if you do have a Blogger blog, it's not a bad idea to encourage your readers to subscribe to your blog in another manner. Creating more avenues for readers to stay informed of new blog posts is never a bad thing!

Do you have more information about the GFC issue? If so, please share in a comment below! :)

Related Posts:
Building a Friendly Following
Show Your Email in Your Profile
How To Block a Follower

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

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

ALL CONTENT © SNEAKY MOMMA BLOG DESIGN
Please do not copy and paste my content onto your blog.
I work hard on my tips and want everything to stay here.
Thank you for your cooperation! :)

Easy Animated Rainbow Links and Post Titles


There is a really cool gadget that you can add to your blog that makes links and post titles change colors when they are hovered over. To see an example of this effect, mouse over any link or post title on this test blog. Neat-o torpedo!

To get this effect on your blog, hop on over to Spice Up Your Blog and follow the directions on the post. The gadget is REALLY easy to install. It's easy to remove if you don't like the effect. Just delete the gadget from your page elements page.

Let me know if you try this. I'd love to see it! :)

Related Posts:
Links: Hover/Underline
Popular Posts Gadget
Falling Snow For Your Blog

How To Back Up Your Blog List

I've been working with Blogger templates for several years now. Back in the old days, I used to have to backup and reinstall every single sidebar item whenever I made big changes to a template. What a drag!

Blogger now gives us the option to keep current widgets when switching templates. This saves time (awesome), but it gives bloggers a false sense of security that everything will be the same once a new template is installed. When you opt to keep your widgets, most things will still be there, but they may be in different locations on your blog. You'll probably have to drag some things back to where they belong. No biggie.

Unfortunately, I have found out the hard way that blog lists often do not survive the switch, even when opting to keep the current widgets. If you include every blog that you follow on your blog list, replacing it is as easy as checking the box to import blogs from your Google Reader in the blog list gadget box. If you only show select blogs in your blog list, I highly recommend backing it up before making major changes to your template.

Here's an easy way to do so:
1. Go to your blog's homepage and scroll down to your blog list.

2. Right click on the topmost blog (NOT INDIVIDUAL POST) and select "Copy Link Location" or "Copy Shortcut".

3. Open up a new word processing/notepad document and paste the link into it. The only thing you need is the link/url for each blog. You do not need to save the titles.

Continue this process for all of the blogs on your list. When you're finished, you'll have a list of the urls to your favorite blogs. You may have to reinstall the blog list gadget if it accidentally gets deleted, but at least you'll have all the information you need in one place. So much better than having to visit every single blog to get the url for it. Now that would be a hassle!

Related Posts:
Backup Your Blog!
Rearrange Your Sidebar Items
Blog Archive Options

Have you been helped by my tips?
Please consider grabbing my button for your sidebar or adding my blog to your blog list!

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

ALL CONTENT © SNEAKY MOMMA BLOG DESIGN
Please do not copy and paste my content onto your blog.
I work hard on my tips and want everything to stay here.
Thank you for your cooperation! :)