Thursday, November 1, 2007
We're going to do just that today by customizing our Blogger menu links. When you first create your Blogger blog you'll most likely get a menu that looks something like this:
That's a nice menu if your blog is more of a diary than an information site, but to make money we need to simplify things for our audience. We need to create navigation that is user friendly and easily understandable. For example - if I came to my site looking for information on Google AdSense, it would do me little good to see a long list of month and day links. However, if I saw a nice link that said: What is AdSense? THAT would be much more helpful.
So let's start by logging into our Blogger accounts and going to the Layout page. Once you're there, click on Add a Page Element. Instead of the Blog Archive module, we're going to add a Link List to our layout.
Here you will see a form that allows you to enter the title, number of links, sorting, page or site URL, and the name.
Let's quickly go over some of these options in a little more detail.
Title: This will be the name of your navigation menu. Your readers will see this so make it something useful. Let's say you're going to make a list of beginner tutorials, you might name this: Getting Started.
Number of links to show in list: This will allow you to control how many links are visible to the user. Unless you're going to have 100 links in your navigation, I would recommend keeping this blank. Keeping this field blank will show all of your links.
Sorting: You can choose to sort your list alphabetically if you wish. What I like to do is order them by topic. So for example: I would have a link: “What is Google AdSense?” before How to integrate “Google AdSense on Blogger?”
New Site URL: This is going to be the direct link to the site or page you want to display. You'll simply copy the URL string at the top of your browser for this.
New Site Name: And of course the name of your link. Try to be short and descriptive as possible. Ideally you want to fit the name all on one line and not have it break to another.
Now that you have a grasp of the options go ahead and add a link. Once you fill out the fields click the ADD Link button.
You'll see a little preview of your link's name and optionally you can edit, delete, or change the position with the arrows to the left (You'll need more than one link for the arrows to show).
When you're happy with your changes - save them and you're done! Not too bad for a days work (considering our day is only 10 minutes long).
In just minutes we got rid of the hard-to-navigate menu system that Blogger gives us out of the box, and replaced it with a more intuitive menu that our readers will appreciate. By doing this we've made the overall experience better, which will lead to: more repeat visitors, happy newcomers, and more money for us!