Dear WordCount is an occasional advice column that answers your questions about freelance writing, blogging and working as a self-employed writer. During May, I’m answering questions posed by people in the 2012 WordCount Blogathon.
I signed up for the Blogathon. How do I add the badge code to my blog?
Adding the blogathon or any other badge to a blog seems more intimidating than it really is. Here’s a step-by-step explanation from Jackson Zeiner, who blogs at Word Waves, and Peggy Noonan, a freelance writer and blogger who blogs at Alternative Medicine For You. These instructions are for adding the badge code to a WordPress blog:
- Copy one of the code for the badge size you want to put on your page.
- Go to your blog’s Dashboard.
- Go to Appearance.
- Go to Widgets. Now you will see two columns. The left side lists the widgets available for your blog and the right column called Sidebars shows all the widgets you have activated on your site.
- Find the Text widget and draft it to the Sidebars column. If you want the badge code to appear at the top of the sidebar column, drop it on top of the other widgets shown in that column. If you want it to appear lower, drop it there.
- Click on that Text widget to open it.
- Paste the badge code into the blank space.
- Click Save.
- Return to the Dashboard. Click Preview to see how it looks, or open a new browser tab or window, open your blog and see how it looks. If the badge is too big, copy a smaller image code and follow the same steps to paste it into the text widget instead.
I just wanted to confirm that if I add badge to side bar of main page of blog, then I don’t need to post it on the blog posts every day.
That’s right. The badge code is a fun decoration to put on your blog, not a requirement to have on each post. In fact, you don’t even need the badge. But lots of people display them to show that they’re part of a large blog challenge community. You’re doing all the hard work, you might as well get the glory.
Quick question (and maybe a silly one, but I can’t find it anywhere) – where is the Blogathon group on Google+?
Around here, there is no such thing as a silly question. And this is a tricky one. The Blogathon group is on Google Groups, not Google+. Google Groups is an online forum that people can sign up for to talk to each other. Google+ is…. an online forum that people can sign up for to talk to each other, but with pictures, Circles and other cooler stuff. Google Groups has been around longer but doesn’t get hyped as much as Google+. But for the blogathon, we like it. Who knows, maybe by next year we’ll move the entire operation to Google+. One more thing you need to know about using the blogathon Google Group: you need a Google account to log in. If you don’t have one, you need to create one. Use this form to create a Google account.
Where will I see the topics of the day?
Some blogging challenges email you a daily writing prompt. The Blogathon isn’t one of them. Because our bloggers write about so many different subjects – gardening, parenting, gadgets, the environment, triathlons, faith, frugal living, freelance writing and a lot more – there’s no way everyone could follow a daily prompt. Instead, we encourage people to come up with their own topics. But we make it easy for them, by providing a handful of theme days during the month. The first one is May 7, when everyone is encouraged to write on the following: “5 movies that have inspired my blogging.” Here is the complete list blogathon calendar of events.