Google Blogger is one of the easiest and most complete blogging solutions currently available on the Internet. Anyone can sign up and start blogging in a manner of minutes with the easy to navigate interface and tools it provides. But, there are a lot of things you probably don’t know about Blogger, hidden within the more advanced features of the site. These clever add-ons make it easier and more fun to post to your blog each day and can give you a slight edge over your fellow bloggers in drawing new traffic.
No Bandwidth or Storage Limits
In a world where storage has become incredibly cheap and video super sites are the norm, it makes sense that Blogger would not instill any limits on your website for storage. In addition though, Blogger makes it so you can receive as much traffic as you are capable of generating. No matter how much content you post and how many visitors you draw, Blogger remains free for the life of your blog and that’s a great deal considering how many features are built in.
Free Captcha Support for Anti-Spam
Spam is a major problem, especially for bloggers. If you talk to anyone who owns a private blog on their own server, or even those individuals with blogs on other services, you will learn that they constantly receive large quantities of spam. Blogger, by default, is built with a spam detection and blocking device that can keep your blog from getting over run by unwanted spam comments.
You can not only turn on the CAPTCHA software that requires a code to be entered whenever someone makes a comment; you can also require logins to Blogger to post comments or put commenting in a separate window so that spammers with automated software are tripped up. All of these options are available from Blogger’s settings pages.
Blog by Email and SMS
By far one of the coolest additions to blogging in recent years, Blogger allows you to post blog messages from a cell phone or email inbox. From the settings menu of Blogger, you can set a specialized email address that will post anything you email to it directly to your blog. This allows you to make blog posts from a smart phone or via a work or school computer on which Blogger might be locked. SMS features allow similar functionality, posting remotely to your blog.
Post in HTML
You can get very creative with your posts if you desire and post directly in HTML. Most people choose to use the built in text editor in Blogger, but what few people realize is that they can change almost any feature on the page by using the HTML editor. This allows you to use different colors, change font sizes, insert tables, or use a template for posts from a third party website. The possibilities are endless.
Themes and Skins
When you sign up for Blogger, you are asked to select the visual depiction of your blog using a specific template. However, you can change this template any time you want by installing a new one. Located across dozens of websites are templates that allow you to change the color, number of columns, location of posts, and any number of visual features on your blog. Do a quick search on Google for “Blogger Templates” and you will find hundreds waiting to be used.
Google Tool Integration
Google operates countless services for webmasters and that includes some of the most useful ones for bloggers. AdSense integrates directly into Blogger through a simple to select Blogger option in the Template menu. Simply click on “Add new page element” and choose AdSense and you can add your AdSense account to your page.
Other great tools offered by Google include Analytics, which allows you to track the visitors to your website, including where they came from, what keywords they searched for, what pages they viewed, and dozens of other statistic. Webmaster Tools is another essential tool that Google operates that allows you to track how your blog appears in the search engines.
Alongside all of these tools, Google will also automatically ping the major blog services such as Technorati and Ice Rocket with all new posts, allowing you to gain maximum exposure.
Enclosures and Videos
Newly added to Blogger this year is the ability to add podcasts and videos to your page. You can now choose to upload videos and audio snippets directly to Blogger and include them in your posts. The videos will be branded with the Blogger logo and you can bypass use of YouTube altogether. This a great new feature that takes advantage of the unlimited bandwidth and account size that Blogger offers.
Blogger is loaded with great features that make creating your blog quick and easy and Google is adding new features every day. Google is quickly converting a very good blog into a world class blogging platform.