2016/11/29

Beginners Guide: Introduction + Full Series


If you've just created a new blog and not sure where to take it or what to include on your blog I'm going to show you some basics widgets and pages your blog will need to start you on your blogging journey.

In this series of blog posts I'm going to show you how to:

  1. Submit a Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools
  2. Install Google Analytics to Your Blog
  3. Add Share Buttons to Your Blog Using Add to Any
  4. Add Terms and Conditions Page on Your Blog
How to Submit a Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools

Starting a blog can sometimes be rather confusing.  Never as straightforward as you think.

I'm going to show you how to simply add a sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools and show you why it's an important part of blogging.

What is Google Search Console?

It's a free tool offered by Google to help you display your blog in Google's search results.

It will help you improve the crawling rate of your blog.

Before I guide you through the verification process and submission of your blog.

You need to know ....



Website Sitemap's, What are they?

It's pretty much as it sounds, a sitemap of your website.

When new blogs are started they're usually missed out because there are only a few websites linking them at the beginning.

A sitemap can be an XML or HTML file containing all of the URLs of the pages inside your blog.

Visitor's to your blog are helped by an HTML sitemap, the same can be said of an XML sitemap.

When you submit your XML website sitemap to Google Webmasters, Google crawlers will start to index all of your blog posts and pages and add them to their database.

Depending on the size of your website and number of  URLs in your sitemap, the crawling rate will differ.

Now that you understand what a sitemap is lets get started verifying and submitting your sitemap.

How to Submit Sitemap to Google Search Console
  • Sign into Google Webmaster Account.
  • Select the blog you want to submit the sitemap for.
  • On the left hand side of the page, click on Crawl and then Sitemap.


  • Add this code:
atom.xml?redirect=false&start-index=1&max-results=500

  • Press "Submit Add/Test Sitemap" button.
  • Refresh page.
Note: The above sitemap will work for 500 blog posts only.  If your blog contains more than 500 published posts then you need to add the code below.

atom.xml?redirect=false&start-index=501&max-results=1000

How to Submit a Blogger Static Pages Sitemap to Google Search Console

The sitemap code you've inserted above isn't enough because it doesn't contain your blogs static pages, such as:
  • About
  • Start a blog
  • Resources
etc...

This time you insert one of the following:

Default Blogspot Domains:

http://YourBlog.blogspot.com/sitemap-pages.xml

Custom Domains:

http://www.YourBlog.com/sitemap-pages.xml

Replace your blog with your domain name.

Follow the steps below to submit sitemap:



Click Add/Test Sitemap.


Insert sitemap-pages.xml
Click "Submit".

Install Google Analytics to Your Blog

If you're just starting your blogging journey and everything is pretty new.  You may have heard about Google Analytics.

It's an important tool to help you keep an eye on the progress of your blog.

If you're using Blogger you will have noticed the stats section on your Blogger dashboard.  it's useful but doesn't give you the in-depth information you can get from Google Analytics.

What is Google Analytics?
  • Used by thousands of bloggers everywhere, and one of the most popular programs for checking stats.  It has many features that will give you an accurate breakdown of your blog traffic.
  • Sign in or sign up for a Google account for Google Analytics.  If you use Blogger, Gmail or YouTube then you already have one.
  • Log in to your Google Analytics account and you'll see a screen explaining Google Analytics.  Click Sign up.

  • Fill in the form.  Don't worry about the industry category.  This doesn't affect tracking and data collection, it just helps Google to adapt the service to you.

  • Click, get your Tracking ID, accept Terms and Conditions.  You'll find your Tracking ID in

Admin
Tracking Info
Tracking Code





How to Install Google Analytics to your Blogger Blog
  • If you're using Blogger you can add your Tracking ID number (UA-00000000-0).  Go to Settings > Other and enter your Tracking ID number to the last section called Analytics Web Property ID and save settings.  It will take 24 hours for your data to show on your blog stats.

Adding Google Analytics to on WordPress

If you're self-hosting WordPress, you can use a plugin to add your Tracking ID or add the Tracking Code directly to your themes header.php file.

Add Share Buttons to Your Blog Using Add to Any 

These days just writing and posting a blog post aren't enough, your content needs to be shareable.  Add "share buttons"  and let your readers share your content across social media.

You can do this with ease using Add to Any

Follow the simple guide below to add your share buttons:

  • Go to your blog layout and click on add HTML.


  • Go to Add to Any dashboard.



  • Click on Customisation.



  • Click on Floating Share Buttons.



  • You have a choice between "vertical" and "horizontal" buttons.
  • Highlight the code most suited to your blog.




Add Terms and Conditions on Your Blog

For any newbie, starting a blog can feel like crossing a mine field.  With so many things and improvements to be done.  If you're main goal is to make money from your blog, then adding a Terms and Condition page should be top priority in building your website.

Probably the least read pages of all blogs and websites.  Most websites have a Terms Conditions page, even though it's not actually a legal requirement.

Note:  You are required by law to have a Privacy Policy if you're gathering user's personal data or if you have advertising on your website.

Should you be taken to court, these pages can limit your liability and protect your rights to the content included in your website.

Key Components of Terms and Conditions

The content of your Terms and Conditions will be unique to your particular website.  You will find common themes throughout, despite your chosen category.

Copyright

This is a page you should look into especially if you're making money from your website.

Limit Liability

This is a disclaimer removing your liability from errors in web content.

If you allow visitor's to post content on your website you need language that limits your liability from any offensive postings.  A disclaimers that you don't endorse users and aren't responsible for the statements made by third parties.

Privacy Policy

If you're adding any kind of advertising to your blog (including affiliate advertising) or you're collecting information from a subscription box, you need a Privacy Policy.  This will tell the user how the information will be used or not used.

Quick Tips to Creating Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions Generators

See some options below:
Ask an Attorney

A lawyer can create or review your Terms and Conditions, making sure they cover your specific needs.

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