Hiding the Blogger nav-bar is one of the most popular customizations for Blogger blogs. The advantage of this is that your blog design does not immediately appear to be powered by Blogger, and it is very useful for designs where the appearance of the nav-bar distracts from the overall design of the blog.
The only downside of removing the nav-bar is that the admin links for “New post”, “Customize” and “Log Out” are no longer visible. When the nav-bar is visible, blog administrators can create a new post or customize their layout with just one click; when the nav-bar is hidden, many more clicks are required to access the dashboard panel again.
In this post, I’ll explain how you can easily add a “Admin Control Panel” widget which enables one click access to the main sections of your dashboard if you have hidden the Blogger nav-bar from your layout.
First things first!
There are two things we need to do before adding the control panel to our Blogger template:
- Make a back-up of the existing template
- Find our unique Blog ID number
Let’s go through both of these in order.
Make a back-up of your Blogger template
As we are adding code directly to the Blogger template for this customization, it is omportant to make a back-up of the existing (working) template code.
Then if we do make any major errors, we can easily restore the original working template to our blog.
To make a back-up of your Blogger template, go to Layout>Edit HTML in your Blogger dashboard, and look for the “Download full template” link near the top of the page.
Clicking on this link will prompt you to save your existing template as an XML file to your computer hard drive. You can change the name of the file and choose the location to ensure it is easy to find if you need to use this later.
Locate your unique Blog ID number
To create the admin control panel, we need to use your unique Blog ID number, as this will form part of the URL required for admin links.
To find your Blog ID number, log into Blogger and ensure you have accessed the dashboard you intend to work with.
While you are logged in, access any page of your Blogger dashboard and take a look at the address bar in your browser:
Within the URL you will notice a string like this:
Where XXXXXXXXXX is the unique identifier for your blog.
You need to make a note of the BlogID number for the blog you wish to work with so we can add this in the links for your admin control panel.
Adding the control panel to your template
The Admin Control Panel will only be visible when the owner/author of the blog is logged into their relevant Blogger account. It is invisible to blog readers, similar to the “edit post” and “edit widget” links which are only visible while you are logged in and viewing your own blog.
To add the control panel to your Blogger template, go to Layout>Edit HTML and do not check the “Expand widget templates” box.
Then search for the following line of code (or similar):
<b:section class='sidebar' id='sidebar' preferred='yes'>
Immediately before this line, paste the following section of code:
<span class='item-control blog-admin'>
<h2>Admin Control Panel</h2>
<a href='http://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=BlogIdNumber'>New Post</a>
<a href='http://www.blogger.com/rearrange?blogID=BlogIdNumber'>Change Layout</a>
<a href='http://www.blogger.com/html?blogID=BlogIdNumber'>Edit HTML</a>
<a href='http://www.blogger.com/moderate-comment.g?blogID=BlogIdNumber'>Moderate Comments</a>
<a href='http://www.blogger.com/logout.g'>Sign Out</a>
Replace all instances of BlogIdNumber with your unique BlogID.
Once you have done this, preview your template. You should not see any of the code for the Admin Control Panel appear in your template during the preview! If all is well, you can then proceed to save your template.
Now take a look at your blog. While you are logged in to Blogger, you should notice your control panel appear above the widgets in your sidebar.
If you log out of Blogger and look at your blog, you will not see the control panel appear (this is also how your readers will see your blog).
<h3>How this works</h3>
The code for the control panel is wrapped in span tags with the class of “item-control blog-admin”. These CSS classes are not included in your Blogger template code, but are instead added in when your blog pages are generated by Blogger’s external scripts.
These classes also apply for your post and widget editing icons (the familiar pencil and wrench icons) which are invisible to readers of your blog.
The links will still be visible if a reader views the source code of your blog. However, these links are only accessible by the administrators of the blog. If anyone else attempts to access these pages, they will be asked to log in to their own Blogger account and would be unable to make any changes to your own blog.
How to hide the Blogger nav-bar
If you do not already hide the Blogger nav-bar in your template, you can achieve this in just a few simple steps:
- Go to Layout>Edit HTML in your Blogger dashboard.
- Locate the closing </b:skin> tag
- Just before this tag, add the following lines of code:
- Then save your template
These few lines of CSS code hide the Blogger nav-bar from the design. The code is still present in the source code, and all functions generated by the nav-bar will still work.
I hope this tutorial will be useful for those who hide the Blogger nav-bar and still require easy access to the main functions of their Blogger dashboard. Please let me know your opinions or offer suggestions for improvement by leaving your comments below.
Oh, Now I Get It! How to Explain Complex Topics to Your Audience
Technical writers have a great number of skills, but perhaps the most important is the ability to adapt your language to the level of comprehension your audience has. A highly technical and complex article can overwhelm readers or even bore them.
“But it’s impossible to delight my readers and keep them engaged when I’m talking about the
IEEE 802.11ac principle of broadband technology,” We hear you cry. And, we get it. Turning a technical article into a sexy piece of content can feel like a daunting task, but it’s not mission impossible.
Here are a few content creation tips that will help you explain complex topics to your audience in a delightful manner.
Imagine That You Are Explaining the Subject to a Non-Tech-Savvy Friend
One of the most important things when creating technical content for a more broad audience is consistency. So, as much as possible try to use the same tone, level of knowledge, complexity of vocabulary, and so on. The easiest way to calibrate your writing style is to imagine that you are writing for a friend or a relative that has nothing to do with your area of expertise.
Imagine you are trying to explain a particularly complex topic to them, in a friendly and light discussion. How would you approach the subject? What elements you think would bore or frustrate them?
What helps you in the real world is adapting your style and vocabulary to the other person’s knowledge. You know that you don’t have to explain what an Internet browser does, but you might have to tell them more about the coding behind it when discussing responsive web design, for instance. Use common words and keep them engaged with a lighter, friendly style.
Adapt Your Vocabulary and Structure
Let’s take a look at how you can flip your technical writing to be more approachable. First of all: use concepts that your audience is familiar with or at least has a general idea about them.
A good start is to check what search words visitors use when browsing your website. You will identify commonly used terms that are related to the technology that interests them. Use those keywords yourself to keep visitors on your page.
Also, be careful about the structure of the text when writing online, especially when you are trying to explain something complex. Make sure to split your text into readable chunks. You can also help the reader understand the subject better by using titles and subtitles to separate the main ideas of your article.
Build up the Knowledge of Your Audience, from General to Detailed
Once you have established a common language and vocabulary between you and your target audience, start methodically presenting your topic, from general level information to more detailed aspects. Applying this rule will help you readers understand the topic better without wasting too much time. Online readers tend to ignore content that is, irrelevant or hard to understand.
While it is important to get the basics straight before getting deeper into your subject, make sure to summarize the purpose of your article at the very beginning, as it will let your audience know what they will learn about after going through it.
Use Style Tools That Help Your Audience Relate to the Topic
The fun part of writing about technical topics for a general audience is getting creative with it. Because you can’t use the “boring,” “stiff” technical jargon, you must come up with expressive comparisons, examples, and analogies. You can even evoke anecdotal evidence to support the facts since they are highly relevant for many of the users.
Helping them relate to the topic you are writing about is the key to grabbing their attention. Use day to day examples for the systems and processes you are describing, or mention the best-known similar thing. Give them examples of possible situations when they can come across the topic you are writing about and enable them to talk about it themselves.
Ultimately, is all about correctly identifying the level of knowledge your audience has. Encourage them to comment and ask any questions and keep the conversations alive.
IT Management Solutions: What is the Key to Improving Employee Efficiency?
There are many ways you can improve your employees’ efficiency. From decluttering the workspace to encouraging a stress-free environment, there is a whole range of things you can do to make your work life run smoother. One such technique you need to adopt for your company is an IT management solution.
What Does It Do?
An IT management solution such as SysAid takes all of the day-to-day programs that a business will use and consolidates them into one easy-to-use package. Every employee should be able to log on and complete all their work without having to leave the initial program.
It can contain such subsections as project management, customer relationship management, billing and invoicing, and a whole host of other features.
Why Should Employers Implement Such a Solution?
A system such as this allows managers to have better visibility over the company as a whole. They will be able to tell if an employee is completing their daily tasks to the best of their ability and will also allow them to see where they are lacking.
The data from the completion of these daily tasks can easily be tracked and analyzed to see where employees are struggling with efficiency. With some adjustments, efficiency can then be improved in these areas.
One of the key reasons to install an IT management solution is for the project management aspects. A good project management program lets all employees know where they are with their projects at all times. Whether you are just working on the project or a project manager, you will be able to see the stage that the project is at and all the steps and processes that still need to be completed.
This collaborative nature helps improve speed and efficiency and stops the project becoming grounded in a lack of communication. If you are not yet using a project management system, you will notice that many small but important problems like misuse of resources will be greatly reduced.
Customer Relationship Management
By having your customer service staff use one portal for all their needs, you will see a great improvement in efficiency when it comes to handling customer enquiries. An IT management solution can contain a database with all your customer’s information. This means that if a case needs to be passed from one team member to another, there is little to no chance of any relevant information being lost in the transfer. Everything should be in place in the one database.
Invoicing and Billing
Keeping your various accounts and invoices in different places can lead to items being forgotten or double-charged. By using an IT management software, your managers and accountants will be able to successfully keep track of all costs and reduce unnecessary spending. This will improve efficiency as multiple enquires are not being made to complete invoices and other reports.
There are just some of the ways an IT management solution can improve your business. If you feel you need to improve your company’s efficiency, consider implementing one today.
7 Less Obvious Keyword Research and Content Analytics Tools
Digital content has several powerful benefits over print content: It’s cheaper to distribute, it’s open and global (especially when it’s in English which most of the world can understand) and it offers an unprecedented opportunity to understand your audience better.
Actually, technology and digital content do wonders: Having both you can target your customers precisely when and where they are most willing to engage.
“Content and technology are strange bed fellows. We are joined together. Sometimes we misunderstand each other. But isn’t that after all the definition of marriage?”
To get an idea of how powerful digital content metrics can be, read and bookmark these articles:
- Top 3 Metrics to Ensure Successful Content Analytics via Piktochart
- How to Use Behavioral Design to Reduce Bounce Ratevia Shout Insights
Here are a few free or cheap content analytics options any blogger can afford:
UberSuggest is a free keyword research tool that offers quite a few cool content analytics features.
This tool is a bit broad but I felt it deserved a place on the list. It works by letting you put in key phrases and then gives you data on that and alternatives, including the power of that phrase on Google. You will be getting an idea of what phrases are already being cornered by competitors, as well as which ones are easier for you to target.
I also like this one as a content planning tool as I can find ideas for content related to an idea I had. I have come away from UberSuggest with my editorial calendar full many times.
Cyfe is not just analytics tool. In fact, you can use for anything under the sun, it’s a Swiss knife of business monitoring. And it has some cool analytics integrations that will make your analytics reports much faster and easier to access.
Use Cyfe to integrate your favorite Google analytics reports, monitor your social media growth, traffic spikes and more.
Tweriod might not be quite as relevant as it once was, but it is still a useful tool if you post a lot of content on Twitter. Find out what times your followers are most active. Discover optimal posting time. See what content was most popular and when.
All of this will help you use Twitter more effectively as a content marketing platform, as well as an engagement platform for one on one and influencer marketing.
Scoop.it is pretty cool but the free plan is very limited. Basically you get a single page and up to ten “scoops” per day. Basically it is going to curate relevant content to give you insights into what is working well within your industry.
As an overall marketing tool, the professional version is a pretty cheap way to improve your ROI and get more bites when it comes to clicks. It is worth signing up for a free account and getting a taste of what they are about.
HotJar is a cool heat map generator allowing you to clearly see which parts of your content attract most attention.
Heat maps are pretty cool. They work by tracking what visitors to your site are spending the most time looking at and clicking on. Then it gives you a visual of hot and cold areas of your site, which can point to anything from design flaws to lackluster or thin content. You can try them out for free and get a more complete picture from both a website and content perspective.
Here are more options for data visualization which will help you understand your audience and analytics reports better.
6. Social Mention
Is your content being shared or talked about? Is your brand being mentioned? You can find out on Social Mention, which allows you to search for proof of that very thing and find out what people are saying about you and what you post.
It is a bit simplistic, but very helpful.
Adwords and SEO keywords are a bit part of what you and other brands on competing for, not just customers. iSpionage gives you a look at what it is that those competitors are using and how it is working for them.
It is surprisingly affordable compared to many other similar tools and has a decent features list. I would definitely give this one a try.
Are there any other affordable content analytics tools except for the most obvious ones (like Google Analytics)? Please share them in the comments!
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