Saturday, 21 February 2009

Blogger: how to promote your blog; & drafts now bear correct dates when published!

It’s worth pointing out a couple of recent Blogger developments:

1. How to promote your blog - tips

Team Blogger highlighted their help page listing their accumulated wisdom on things to do to promote and publicize your blog, and how to add your blog feed to your Facebook profile.

The tips are small but perfectly formed, and many are quite general and don’t just apply to Blogger blogs – so go check ‘em out!

(I confess to violating some of their “rules” – my posts are often too long, and these days I rarely have time to reply to comments on this blog let alone comment on others’!)

If this topic interests you, you may also be interested in "Six Sayings for SEO Success".

2. Draft posts published with the correct date, at last!

One of the biggest flaws with Blogger: if you create a draft post on day 1, then tinker with it a bit over the next few days, and finally publish it on day 8 – the post will actually bear the date of day 1, i.e. the date you first created the draft post; not day 8, the date you published it, which is the date it should really bear.

That’s why I and many others resorted to Greasemonkey scripts like Keep Current Date and Time which Jasper produced and Aditya updated (and Kirk has tweaked!).

The good news? Team Blogger have finally fixed this niggle, with what they call “automatic date and time”.

However, it only works in Blogger in Draft at the moment. (How to use Blogger in Draft.)

It’s hidden there under Post Options (that’s another of my Blogger bugbears, that Post Options is no longer permanently open – in my view it should be):

Click the Post Options link to expand it and you’ll see the new feature on the right, “Automatic” is ticked by default which is fine (Blogger Scheduled posts most already know about):

In order to use this feature, these are the steps:

  1. Disable Keep Current Time if you have it (Tools, Greasemonkey, Manage User Scripts, leftclick once on “Blogger Keep Current Date” to select it, UNtick “Enabled” in the bottom left hand corner, then click Close). You won’t need it if you use Blogger in Draft, and keeping it stops the new Blogger in Draft feature working

  2. Login via Blogger in Draft (instead of via the usual Blogger site).

  3. Create your post there in the usual way.

  4. If you do any intermediate edits of your post, the best way is to do it by logging in via Blogger in Draft – not “non-draft” Blogger.

    (Note: If you login to non-draft Blogger and edit the post there while Keep Current Time is enabled, the interaction between the two seems to mess things up and then when you try to publish it, even from within Blogger in Draft, it may revert to just showing the date of creation. You have been warned! That’s why step 1 is to disable KCT. If you temporarily disable it before opening the post for editing, then save and leave the Edit post page, then re-enable KCT again, it may be OK – but the safest course is just to disable it altogether. Of course when this feature is rolled out you can permanently get rid of KCT so this will no longer be an issue.)

  5. When you’re ready to publish the post, again do not login to Blogger, make sure you sign in via Blogger in Draft, then publish it from there. Otherwise, it won’t work – the post will still bear the date of its original creation, not the date of publication.


Gorilla Bananas said...

Your profile has many blogs, most of which are empty. This is annoying, even to a mild-tempered gorilla.

Improbulus said...

Thanks Gorilla, now fixed! It seems Blogger automatically adds any new blogs you create to your profile by default, so ones I was reserving for the future (or because they were related names for this blog) were appearing. I'm sure they didn't use to do this by default, unless my memory is failing me.