Personal and niche, or topic blogging is probably the hottest new internet trend. Niche blogging helps online article writers to promote their content. Bloggers can earn ad revenue, too. Here are the best apps and gadgets for the niche blogger. I run 58 blogs to date, via Google’s Blogger and one blog via WordPress.com. I put my blog apps and gadgets throught their paces. I track them, analyze them and discard them if they don’t come up to snuff. I dont’ want a bunch of useless apps cluttering my blog and slowing down its load time. Here are the apps and gadgets the make the grade. From your Blogger blog, access these apps from ‘design’ and ‘add a gadget’.
Adsense: Get a Google Adsense (www.google.com/adsense ) account and put ads on your blog. Some more scrupulous writers have voiced concern that placing ads will detract from the true intent of the blogs, which is to help others. I say enable the ads on all your blogs. Google only allows you to place ads in three places on your blog, which is a good number of ads to attract attention without annoying the readers. You are already helping people with your content and there is nothing wrong with making ad revenue from your hard work. I recommend leaderboard, side bar and post footer ads for niche blogs.
Feedburner: www.feedburner.com. Feedburner and Blogger are both Google products and thus compatible. Feedburner apps are super easy to add to blogs. In fact, some feedburner apps are now pre-loaded on Blogger blogs. Some need only be enabled. My preferred Feedburner Apps include
From the Optimize menu, most of these require only one click to enable:
-SmartCast (if you are going to steam media or podcast)
From the Publicize Menu:
–Email subscriptions (Choose the email form rather than link; I’ve gotten close to five hundred subscribers using the email subscription form.)
–Feedcount (This is a blog traffic counter. Consider enabling this one after your blog has some steady traffic numbers to show.)
–Socialize (Currently only Twitter is supported, and this app is a little quirky as yet, but the good people of Feedburner are working on the clicks. When it works, ‘socialize’ automatically sends tweets with inline hashtags all pre-formatted. It’s the only Tweet tool I’ve found the makes hashtags.)
Search bar: From the Blogger gadgets menu, enable a search bar, but be sure to uncheck ‘search from internet’. You want searchers to pull up information from your blog and linked articles, not the entire internet.
Labels: From Blogger gadgets menu select ‘labels’ and configure your labels to ‘alphabetical’ and ‘cloud’ and uncheck ‘show number of posts per label’. Whether you choose to show all labels or select labels depends on the number of labels. Most of my blogs have so many that I pare them down.
Subscripton Links: Allow readers to choose from a menu of subscription services via this tool.
Blog List: Link your other Blogger blogs together and add links to other blogs you like. On the blog list menu, I check only the ‘Most recent blog entry’ and ‘thumbnail’. This shows very nicely in my blog list with my blog titles as a clickable link post picture attached.
There are other blog apps and gadgets, but these are must-haves for your niche blog. For more on blogging how-tos visit me at www.onlinewriterwahm.blogspot.com and www.thewritersgarden.blogspot.com.