It’s very easy to start a blog on Blogger. Blogger indexes your profile like a telephone directory. So when you drop a link by commenting on a Blogger post, the owner can ring you up, so to speak. Blogger also provides a nice link to your profile in your blog’s sidebar, part of the “About Me” gadget. But, are you really reachable or under a false sense that people can communicate with you whenever they want to by calling the orange Blogger ‘operator?’
Often we hurriedly add a profile before we publish the first blog entry and never look at it again. When you leave a comment the Blogger profile may be the only way for someone to ‘track’ you and visit your blog or contact you via email.
Personally, my pet peeve is wasting my time trying to use the Blogger profile to visit a blog or send a message to the owner. Most profiles are sparsely populated and can frustrate the reader. Some profiles don’t even list the blog and others are not even turned on for viewers. It’s like dialling the Operator and getting an unlisted phone number!
This gadget uses the information in your Blogger profile to create an “About Me” widget in the sidebar. Similar to a full page on a menu bar, the text widget is meant to give some information about you and the blog and how to contact you. It’s a perfect way to orient new visitors and keep them reading more posts.
Here’s what you can type in or select when adding the gadget:
Here’s what the widget looks like in your sidebar when you save the form. Notice the ‘view my complete profile’ link at the bottom. Given the limited space in the sidebar, many bloggers tend to leave out contact info and or rely too much on the profile link. So they may send visitors off on a wild goose chase.
Information on your Blogger Profile
If you don’t have a contact information on your blog will visitors go to your profile and see an email listed? Or do you send them right back to your contact-less blog? An endless loop!
You may want to get a special email address and put that in your profile until you get a contact form on your blog. While viewing your profile you can edit the user section to show an email address. Make sure you check off ‘show my blogs’ and select which ones you want made public — those on Blogger only. You can also show sites that you follow.
Use a contact form if you want to hide your email or avoid spammers who latch onto the ‘mail-to’ tags. With an input form you can get questions, inquires about advertising, or feedback. One of the easiest is Kontactr. Another resource is FormSmarts which allows more customization of the form.
If you feel cramped by the text in the About Me gadget then this method is what you need:
- Read this excellent article on by BloggingBasics, ‘how to write an about me page“
- Create and publish a full post with everything a real About Me page should have. You can give it a date going back to when you first published the blog. It will not appear on the home page with an early date.
- View the post and copy the page url location. Create a text gadget as a teaser for visitor to click on the link and read the full page post. You can add an icon or symbol to the text. Here’s a example where the ‘read more’ points to the post:
My goal is to provide excellent
… (read more)
How much (or little) is your profile saying about you? If you read it would you be interested in reading more? Do you need a full page About Me and a contact form for real connections?
Photo by Jeremy Brooks