Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Great Blogger Tutorials!

I've made a couple of small additions to The Tally Tales blog lately, and I just thought I would share the tutorials I used here, just in case anyone needs the same advice I needed. My search for tutorials also led me to find a few new blogs that offer excellent freebies and tutorials for various aspects of blogging. Even if you don't need the particular tutorials I have linked, I would recommend checking out the links. There are so many talented people out there, offering awesome resources for new bloggers!

There are two main changes I have made to the blog: I have created and added a customized blog button as well as social media icons.

  • How to Add Social Media Icons

Not only does LeeLou Blogs offer a simple, user-friendly tutorial for adding Social Media Icons, but it also offers free social media icon banners. If that style fits your blog design, you can not only download the banners for free, but you can follow the instructions to install them on your own blog.

I followed the tutorial available at LeeLou Blogs, and this is the final product for my social media icons:

There are so many amazing freebies and tutorials available at this site, so it's worth a visit!
  • How to Create Your Own Blog Button

I encountered a few problems with this function. Every tutorial I searched would provide the perfect design and coding instructions for creating a blog button, except for one problem: once I installed the button, I would see my button on my sidebar, but the code box beneath it would be completely empty. I thought I was doing something wrong, until I noticed that, according to the comments on the tutorials I was using, several other bloggers encountered the same problem. I did notice that the tutorials I used were created in 2012, but most of the users who experienced problems with those tutorials were also trying to follow them in 2013. I suppose it's possible that blogger made changes throughout the year that interfered with the coding in those tutorials. Either way, I finally found a code that worked! So I'm going to provide the tutorial I used to create my button, as well as the final code that worked for installed the "Grab my Button" feature on my blog. 

After searching through various tutorials, I finally decided to use the one available at Teacher Blogging Basics. (Click to view the link.) I preferred this one, because it provides instructions that coincide with Photobucket, which was my preferred tool for imaging. So I followed that tutorial until the end of Step 3, where the HTML code is provided. This is where I encountered a problem. 

The code just doesn't work. I don't know why. I just know it does not work. If you use it, you will end up with an empty box beneath your button. To find the correct HTML code, go to wikiHow here. This link also provides instructions for creating the button using Photobucket, but I just felt like the tutorial on Teacher Blogging Basics was a bit more user-friendly (aka: it included pictures).

My final product looks like this:

  • How to center sidebar widgets
I know this should probably be a simple task, but I could not figure out how to make individual widgets appear centered in my sidebars. SNAP! provides a tutorial that worked perfectly for me! I thought I would include this link in case you are frustrated by the simple things as well. ;)