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20 Fabulous Resources for Free Blogger Templates

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Now more than ever the availability of quality Blogger templates astounds me. Talented designers and coders have turned their attentions to the vast market of those using Google Blogger as their platform of choice, resulting in a wonderful variety of templates – most of which are free to download!

From simple, elegant designs to quirky, feminine and elaborate styles there are Blogger templates to suit every taste and requirement.

Through this recent post from Blogger Buzz, the Blogger team discussed options for uploading custom templates to our Blogger blogs and hinted that a new selection of default templates will be available later this year.

In this post, I’ll highlight 20 of the best resources where you can find free Blogger templates to enhance the design and attractiveness of your Blogger blog.

1. B-Templates

btemplatesSince March 2008, B-Templates has collected the best free Blogger templates to offer an organised gallery of the most up-to-date and stylish designs around.

Organised by category with links to the most rated and downloaded templates, B-Templates is one of the most popular and respected sites to find free Blogger templates, complete with screenshots and links to the original designers’ sites.

Visit B-Templates

2. GosuBlogger

screen-shot07-jun-08The Gosu Blogger site offers a variety of excellent quality Blogger templates which have been converted from popular WordPress themes. These templates tend to be highly elaborate and very stylish (the “Wow” factor certainly springs to mind when browsing through the templates in the archives!).

On this site, you can easily locate the free Blogger templates on offer by clicking the Blogger tab in the navigation section, then search through the archives to locate the template you like.

Visit Gosu-Blogger (Templates section)

3. Falcon Hive

screen-shot08-jun-08A relative newcomer to the Blogger template scene, Alvaris Falcon has quickly established himself as one of the best designers and converters of quality Blogger templates.

Visitors to this site can nominate the templates they would like to see designed (or converted from popular WordPress themes). All templates work perfectly and offer complete instructions for installation, which is especially useful as many of these templates are “magazine style”, requiring tweaking to operate properly when uploaded to our blogs.

Visit Falcon Hive

4. Chica Blogger

screen-shot09-jun-08This Spanish-language site offers beautiful feminine Blogger template designs. Presented by Claudia Contreras, this site offers a great selection of “girly” templates for Blogger, many of which are converted from popular WordPress designs.

You can easily translate the pages of Chica Blogger to English (or your language of choice) using Google Translate to view and read about these wonderful templates with ease.

Visit Chica Blogger | Translated to English

5. Gisele Jaquenod

screen-shot10-jun-08Gisele offers beautiful unique designs (not converted from other templates), many of which include her iconic “Birdy” avatar.

These templates are mostly feminine templates, elaborately designed with attention to detail throughout. She also offers templates for WordPress and a custom blog design service on request.

Visit Gisele Jaquenod’s Free Templates Section

6. Deluxe Templates

screen-shot11-jun-08Deluxe Templates offers a wide selection of theme conversions designed by authors of the site and gathered from other sites too.

It is not so easy to navigate through categories on this site, so instead browse through the archives or look at the “favourites” located in the sidebar.

Visit Deluxe Templates

7. Blogger Templates

screen-shot12-jun-08A simple site (which has recently undergone a massive make-over), this is one of the oldest resources for Blogger templates, and also offers a selection of tools and resources to help improve your overall design.

Find a complete list of available templates in the archives section, or simply browse through the “older posts” to find more designs of interest to you.

Visit Blogger Templates


8. BlogCrowds

screen-shot13-jun-08This community-based site offers a simple and easy to use gallery of free Blogger templates. Rather than download the XML files for these templates, users are invited to “copy and paste” the template code (a practise which makes for simpler installation of new template files).

Blog Crowds offers a small but excellent quality selection of templates, plus a useful forum where you can pose your Blogger questions or troubleshoot installation of new templates.

Visit BlogCrowds (Templates section)

9. Jackbook

screen-shot14-jun-08Jackbook has been designing and converting templates for Blogger for several years now, and this site offers a wonderful variety of designs.

Although this site has drifted away from providing content exclusively for Blogger users, you can still find a huge variety of interesting designs on the site in the Blogger templates Gallery.

Visit Jackbook (Blogger Templates Gallery)

9. Theme Lib

screen-shot15-jun-08Originally based at All BlogSpot Templates, Michael Nguyen has begun a complete new site which offers conversions of other templates for those using Google Blogger.

Many magazine-style templates and colourful designs are offered on this site; it is best to locate your favourite styles by browsing through the Blogger template archives as there are no facilities for browsing by style or category.

Visit Theme Lib

10. Quite Random

screen-shot16-jun-08I’ve only recently discovered this site which offers unique designs for Blogger (not conversions) and a great variety of Blogger tutorials to boot!

Some pages are in English while others are in Spanish (though easily translated using Google Translate). The site offers easy navigation with thumbnails of popular Blogger desins on the front page.

Visit Quite Random

12. Pyzam

screen-shot17-jun-08This site offers hundreds of free Blogger templates with easy “copy and paste” installation. Most templates are based on simple layouts with altered backgrounds and headers.

Navigation is easy: simply select the style of template  you are looking for in the Blogger templates section to be presented with thumbnails matching this category.

Visit Pyzam (Blogger Templates section)

13. Zona Cerebral

screen-shot18-jun-08This Spanish Language site has always been one of my favourite haunts for free Blogger templates.

Most of these designs are converted from WordPress themes, though the choice and selection are of excellent quality and are coded very well.

You can easily translate this site using Google Translate to read about the templates and installation methods in your native language if preffered.

Visit Zona Cerebral | Translated in English

14.  Our Blogger Templates

screen-shot19-jun-08This site offers free templates which are exclusively available for Blogger.

These designs typically feature a beautiful header and simple layout (in one, two and three column versions) which are easy to use and install.

Visit Our Blogger Templates

15.  Ray Creations

screen-shot20-jun-08Ray Creations is a professional web desin company which offers a beautiful selection of unique Blogger templates for download.

A small selection is available at present, but these are of premium quality and are very well designed! Be sure to check these out if you’re looking for a beautiful style for your Blogger blog – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed at the quality of free downloads on offer.

Visit Ray Creations

16.  Final Sense

screen-shot21-jun-08Here is another site which offers simple layouts in a variety of colours and designs.

Finding your ideal template is easy since navigation in the left column enables you to seek out templates by category. Live demos are provided and installation uses the copy-and-paste method for ease of use.

Visit Final Sense

17. Ipietoon

screen-shot22-jun-08Here you can find a wide range of template styles including feminine and technological designs.

It’s easy to find templates for your particular tastes using the categories in the right column or simply by browsing through the archives.

Visit ipietoon

18. Yummy Lolly

screen-shot23-jun-08Formerly “Suck My Lolly”, this site offers a range of designs which are especially appropriate for female bloggers.

Many of Yummy Lolly’s desins are kitch or cute, and all are desined exclusively for Blogger, rather than being converted from other platforms’ templates.

Throuh the sister site, Acorn Glue, you can also order a unique template designed particularly for your blog which will not appear anywhere else.

Visit Yummy Lolly

19. Blogger Styles

screen-shot24-jun-08This is a directory of Blogger templates with a difference: templates are rated according to the quality of images, ease of use and installation and are rated from Bronze to Gold.

Readers of the site can vote for their favourite templates, and navigation is wonderfully easy with thumbnails of all templates and categorical links in the sidebar.

Visit Blogger Styles

20. Blogger Buster templates here on Blogging Tips

screen-shot25-jun-08In conjunction with my main site, Blogger Buster, we present a selection of unique Blogger templates for you to download here at Blogging Tips.

These templates offer a wide variety of designs, from simple minimalist to feminine and corporate styles. All of these designs are free to download.

View Free Blogger templates provided by Blogging Tips

I hope you will enjoy the resources discussed in this post and will find the ideal template for use in your own Blogger powered blogs! Feel free to let us know of other Blogger template providers in the comments 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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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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7 Less Obvious Keyword Research and Content Analytics Tools

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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:

Here are a few free or cheap content analytics options any blogger can afford:

1. UberSuggest

UberSuggest

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.

2. Cyfe

Cyfe web analytics

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.

3. Tweriod

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.

4. Scoop.it

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.

5. HotJar

HotJar

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.

7. iSpionage

ispionage

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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