Frustrated Musings of a Beginning Blogger
Posted by Heather
Despite the apparent popular opinion, Blogger is very customizable. You can customize your template with widgets, third-party tools, code snippets, and more.
It may be require a few more manual repairs, but it can be done and it’s not as difficult as it originally sounded, for someone who was mostly a beginner.
However, difficult or not, it’s still somewhat daunting. Also time-consuming, and frustrating. Oh, so frustrating at times.
Nevertheless, I plow through the frustration in search of widgets and tweaks to make my blog a little more like everyone else’s. Slowly but surely, it’s falling into place.
Albeit it may require lots of template editing (as opposed to just adding widgets here and there – not sure how it’s done on WordPress) but customization is possible within Blogger.
In fact, there are many sites dedicated to doing just that. There are custom Blogger template sites, Blogger widgets, tips and tricks for Blogger, and more. I’ve looked at many of them. Some of them are extremely helpful, others need a little more refining.
In addition to the numerous other things that I intend to post about, I will compile some links to some of the best (and easiest) Blogger hacks and widgets available out of everything that I’ve found.
I will say one thing though. No matter how good the code is, since Blogger requires you to edit the template for many of the customizations, your template can get pretty messy looking. Most often websites warn you to first download the full template just in case you make a mistake.
I say, forget making a mistake. That is the easy part to fix (just “preview” and “clear edits” if it didn’t work). The hard part is when you’re trying to do multiple customizations and you’ve got tons of code snippets inserted here and there.
At one point I somehow had copied the code twice. Then it wasn’t showing up. Then I couldn’t get rid of it. Argh!
At this very moment I have 4 Blogger windows open, including the one I’m typing in. Why? 3 of them are “Edit Layout”. Trying to keep track of what I’m doing, what I’m saving, what I’m not saving, preview windows, and what needs to go.
I’ve tried AddThis, ShareThis, OutBrain, LinkedWithin, as third-party widgets and then to top it off I’ve also tried several custom code that people wrote themselves? Or copied from someone, who copied it from someone, who copied it from someone…
I am not a “beginning writer” but I would say I’m a “beginning blogger“, since you can write all day long but that won’t affect your ability to post worthwhile online content.
Being in the beginner spot I can again proclaim that yes, Blogger is indeed customizable but getting those customizations in there can be a chore. That doesn’t mean I’m switching to WordPress though. I have used WordPress (the pay version) before and it is nice but also a little less user-friendly than Blogger (do you hear that? That’s the sound of me, eating my words).
I’d rather stumble my way around Blogger a bit longer.
Are you a beginner blogger too? Check out “Blogging for Beginners” to catch some of the tips and tricks that I’ve been picking up as I go along. You’ll also learn the mistakes I’ve been making and, more importantly, how to avoid them!
Misery loves company! If you are just starting out, or can remember when you were, I’d love to hear your stories. Please share your own musings in the comments.