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Show Date For All Posts in Blogger

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Most bloggers prefer to display the date a post was published, which is often relevant to the subject matter of the post. Indeed, most blog templates include some elements of CSS styling for the post date (or date heading as it is often known).

When using Blogger to publish your blog, the date heading is only displayed for the most recent post of any given day. This means that if you make several posts in a single day, the date heading will only display for the last post published in this day.

While readers of your blog may be able to deduce the posting date in relation to other posts, many of us would prefer to simply display the date, especially when using a calendar icon or other template styling to display the date in a particular way.

In default Blogger templates (and indeed in most third party templates) there is no option but to use the restrictive <data:post.dateHeader> tag to display the date only for one post each day.

So in this post, I’ll explain a quick and simple customization which enables you to display the date for all posts in your blog, to inform your readers of the exact date of posting and ensure any date styling in your layout is rendered correctly.

Using the “Time-stamp” tags

The only method we can use to display the date on all posts on home and archive pages with Blogger is to replace the <data:post.dateHeader> tag with that usually reserved for the timestamp (permalink).

This is because the Blogger engine will render only one date-header statement for each day of posts, whereas timestamps are generated for each and every post.

If you take a look at the Settings>Formatting page in your Blogger dashboard, you will notice there are numerous options for formatting the date style for the timestamp, many of which mimic those used for the actual date heading.

The method we need to use for this customization involves switching the date-header tags for timestamp tags, and formatting the timestamp so it appears more like a date-heading instead.

Changing the template code to accommodate the date for all posts

This is a very simple customization to make.

Simply go to Layout>Edit HTML in your Blogger dashboard and check the “Expand widget templates” box.

Then search for the following section of code (or similar):

<b:if cond=’data:post.dateHeader’>
<h2 class=’date-header’><data:post.dateHeader/></h2>
</b:if>

Be aware that in your own Blogger template, the <h2> tags may have been replaced with a DIV or H3 tags instead. However, the surrounding code should appear in the same way.

Replace this entire section of code with the following instead:

<h2 class=’date-header’><data:post.timestamp/></h2>

Then preview your blog. If you have made more than one post in a single day, you will now see that the time-stamp is displayed for all posts on this day, whereas the date-header previously used would only display once for each day.

Optional:

As you are using the timestamp for the date heading of your posts, you may prefer to remove the timestamp from the post-footer section.

If this is the case, find the following section of code in your template:

<b:if cond=’data:top.showTimestamp’>
<data:top.timestampLabel/>
<b:if cond=’data:post.url’>
<data:post.timestamp/><a class=’timestamp-link’ expr:href=’data:post.url’ title=’permanent link’>Permalink</a>
</b:if>
</b:if>

And delete this entire section of code.

Be sure to preview your template agian before saving to ensure you have not accidentally deleted (or altered) any other aspects of your layout.

Formatting your new date heading

By default, the timestamp in Blogger blogs is set to display the time of posting, rather than the date. You may prefer to change this setting to reflect the date as this is more appropriate and informative for your blog readers.

To change this format, go to Settings>Formatting in your Blogger dashboard. On this page, you will notice a drop-down menu where you can choose the format for your timestamp:

The timestamp format setting for your blog

Simply choose a setting which you feel would be more appropriate for your layout, and save this setting. Personally I prefer the full date option (ie: Tuesday, October 14 2008) though you may prefer a shorter date format instead.

Using this customization to display a calendar icon for each post

There are several Blogger customizations available which enable you to display a calendar icon to replace the date heading of your posts. It is possible to make this calendar icon display on all posts of your home and archive pages using the customization we have explored in this tutorial.

An example of a calendar icon

An example of a calendar icon

However, you should check the date format required to display your calendar icon correctly, and adjust the setting for your timestamp format accordingly.

Most calendar widgets for Blogger require the date to be formatted like this: dd-mm-yyyy. Unfortunately, this format is not available to use for timestamps. In this case, you would need to edit the JavaScript file used to parse the date in your posts, and replace this with a date-format which you can use as a timestamp (eg: dd/mm/yy).

Once you have edited the JavaScript file, upload this to your own hosting account and change the reference to this file in the <head> section of your Blogger template. You will then be able to see your calendar icon appear for all posts in your blog layout.

Here are two different calendar widgets which you could use in Blogger blogs:

I hope these tips have provided you with useful information for displaying date headings on your blogger posts. Please feel free to let me know what you think by leaving your comments and opinions below.

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Amanda is a freelance blogger and web/blog designer. She writes about Blogger at www.BloggerBuster.com and maintains several other blogs on various subjects.

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7 Habits That Can Make You a More Efficient Blogger

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Starting a blog is exciting, whether you’re using it as an extension to promote your current business or you’re just trying to maintain the blog as a personal endeavor. In any case, part of your success will depend on your ability to write new blog posts at an efficient rate; if you aren’t producing new blog posts fast enough, your audience could lose interest in your content. Similarly, if it takes you too long to write a new blog post, your profitability is going to decrease.

The solution is to focus on improving your efficiency as a blogger, so you can accomplish more in less time and end up with more raw content as a result.  

The Best Habits to Improve Your Efficiency

These are some of the best habits to improve your efficiency as a blogger:

  1. Dress professionally. If you’re working from home or blogging in your free time, you’ll be tempted to wear the most comfortable clothes and lounge in the living room while writing. But if you want to be successful and work efficiently, it’s much better to dress professionally and establish a professional work area. The idea is to treat your blog work like it’s your job. You’ll take your work more seriously, and you’ll be less inclined to follow distractions. It may also change how you think about your work and how you approach problem-solving.
  2. Practice good hygiene. While you’re at it, make sure to practice good hygiene—especially if blogging is your full-time job. The most obvious habit here is to shower regularly, but you’ll also want to keep your clothes clean, take good care of your environment, or as 14K Gold Teeth suggests, clean accessories like custom gold grillz. You’ll feel more professional in your environment and will have less clutter to distract you.
  3. Stick to a routine. Routines are vital for improving your efficiency. They help you establish consistent processes, which you can follow to save time and refine your habits. They give you something predictable to work with, so you aren’t scrambling to figure out what to work on next. They also reinforce your most productive habits, so you can continue working without thinking too much about it—in other words, they’re procrastination-busters.
  4. Set a strict schedule. While you’re developing your routine, try to create and stick to a strict schedule. For example, you might set a timer for one hour to read the latest news, a half hour designated to preparing an outline, and another hour to finish your full first draft. These temporal limitations help you avoid Parkinson’s law, which states that the amount of time it takes to do a task will swell to fill whatever amount of time is allotted to it; in other words, the tighter you set your timetables, the more efficiently you’ll be motivated to work.
  5. Keep an editorial calendar. Create a high-level editorial calendar as early as possible, and stick to it the best you can. This will help you ensure your high-level goals and priorities never fall out of your sight, and make sure you never run out of work. Set target dates for drafting and publication, so you’re always working toward something, and jot down your new topic ideas whenever you get them.
  6. Stay organized. This should go without saying, but the vast majority of new bloggers suffer from not being organized. They read new material that could serve as inspiration for a new post, but lose the original article. They set goals for themselves, but forget them or change them too frequently for them to take effect. Create a system for taking notes and keeping track of your high-level priorities, and stick to it.
  7. Keep reading on a regular basis. Reading is one of the best ways to consistently and reliably improve your writing, so make time for it in your schedule. Reading work like yours can help you generate new ideas, improve your vocabulary, and increase your fluency, so you can write faster.

Learning and Improving

It’s a good idea to track your time while working on blog-related tasks. It will allow you to gather data on your productivity habits, and ideally, see how they improve over time. If there’s a particular task that takes up a disproportionate amount of your time, you can drop it or focus specifically on improving it. If you notice a strategy is making you more efficient in one or more areas, you can use it more frequently or apply it to different areas.

In any case, the real secret to becoming a more efficient blogger is committing to improve over time. Pay attention to how your habits develop, and continually refine your approach.

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Oh, Now I Get It! How to Explain Complex Topics to Your Audience

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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.

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IT Management Solutions: What is the Key to Improving Employee Efficiency?

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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.

Project Management

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.

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