Tricks to make Blogging….Better

I’ve been meaning to share these HTML tricks and website shout outs with you for some time:

1.  When I was with Blogger I was able to easily enter links to my sidebar with their HTML wizard.  However, when I moved to WordPress I suddenly had to use real HTML code to link up information I wanted displayed as a widget in my sidebar.  This information can be helpful in Blogger, but is essential to me in WordPress.

Say you have a giveaway coming up and you want to link to your giveaway in your sidebar.  You would like the words “Memory Mixer software and album $75” to be displayed with a link to the giveaway post when they click on the words.   Here’s how you enter the HTML in the text editor:

<a href=”http://sevenclowncircus.com/2010/02/memory-mixer-giveaway-75-00.html“> Memory Mixer software and album $75 </a>

The information in red is the URL of location of the information that  you want linked.  The information in blue is the wording you want displayed.

Make sense?

2.  Another handy dandy trick I learned is how to enter an image link that will open in a new window rather than directing away from the page the houses the link.  Here’s an example:

target=”_blank”><img

border= “0″ src=”http://sevenclowncircus.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/sevenclownbutton.jpg” alt=”Seven Clown Circus” /></a>

It’s a little more confusing than the other two samples, but it does come in handy!

3.  Here’s how to leave a link in a comment with only the highlighted text showing up, NOT the entire URL:

Use this code: <a href=”http://www.sevenclowncircus.com/“>Seven Clown Circus</a>

Look familiar?  Yep, same exact code as the first example.  You’ll want to change the URL and title to reflect the destination you want the link to go to.

4. Have you ever nested?  This kind, I mean?

If you put your HTML code in between those center brackets it’ll center your image.

<center><a href=”page you want to link to“><src=”image you want to link to “/></a></center>

5. Lastly,  a few sites and a plug in that I’m loving:

Bit.ly , ClixTrac and Pretty Link:

The sites are free and will shorten your URL and track the clicks.  ClixTrac does what Bit.ly does, but with more features.  ClixTrac offers a “free banner and link tracking service that allows you to keep track of how many times your advertisements and links are being viewed”.

I usually use Bit.ly for Twitter (I always need  to shorten my URL’s so that I can say more in my Tweet instead of having all the characters allotted in my Tweet used up in a lengthy URL) and ClixTrac for my advertising.

For example, I sell ad space on my blog.  It’s a great way for advertisers to get their name out there, and it’s a great way for me to make a few extra bucks to roll back into my blog for make-overs, giveaways, and the like.  Now I can track exactly how many clicks to an advertisers site originate from my site by using the ClixTrac code to direct viewers to the site rather than the actual URL.  And, I can group the advertisers into a “family” to easily see the combined clicks.

I’m totally excited about this plug in that I just heard about.  It’s called  Pretty Link.   “You can now shorten links using your own domain name (as opposed to using tinyurl.com, bit.ly, or any other link shrinking service)! In addition to creating clean links, Pretty Link tracks each hit on your URL and provides a full, detailed report of where the hit came from, the browser, os and host”.

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