Sunday, September 30, 2012

How to add Follow by Email

Prologue: You're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it people want to read your blog... SO LET THEM!! (Daily Affirmation with Stuart Smalley - SNL) This will be a series of posts on how to pimp your blog to make blogger work better for you and your readers.

Episode II: How to add Follow by Email

I really want to read your blog, I honestly do, but I'm lazy busy, so please make it easy for me and deliver your posts to my inbox. As it stands, every few weeks months I try to catch up on your blogs, searching to see who has posted something new and maybe reading a couple of your posts and maybe commenting if you have word verification off ;) BUT for those of you that offer "Follow by Email" (Mini*Aesthetics, Tiny Fixation, Neo-Mini, Very Little Humor, Welcome Home, Little Victorian, iseecerulean, Hommemaker) I read EVERY post as you come straight to my inbox without me having to go to you. (Okay, I'm still lazy and don't always comment, but I do enjoy reading all of your posts).

To add this feature go to your dashboard > Layout > click on "Add a Gadget"

A pop-up window will open on the "Basics" options, then select "Follow by email" (there are a bunch of other fun gadgets you can add but this one is an essential in my book).

You can customize the title... "hot new posts delivered in 30 minutes" "2, 4, 6, 8 my posts are really great" or just stick with "Follow by email". Then hit orange "Save" button.

After you save, you'll be back at the layout page. The "Follow by email" gadget will be on the top of the list. You can drag it to a different position, but I think it's most noticeable for your readers when it's right on top, easily accessible for readers to sign up. Click "Save arrangement" and you are all set.

Now when you publish new blog posts, all subscribers will automatically be sent an email notification with the new content and links back to the posts on your blog.

FeedBurner allows Follow by Email to track your subscription information, with more stats than you really need, but good ones like the number of subscribers and daily/weekly/monthly views. When on your blog, click on the tools icon under the email address and submit button, then in the pop-up window, click on "View stats and learn more." Then snoop away to find out more about your readers.

You can also add the "Subscribe" gadget, which I recommend, but I've noticed a higher increase in subscribers by using the "Follow by email" gadget. Do both so people can choose which method they prefer.

Happy blogging! (see all Pimp my blog posts)

Easy Comment Moderation

Prologue: I blog, you blog, let's all blog better. This will be a series of posts on how to pimp your blog to make blogger work better for you and your readers. (If you need a laugh, please watch this: Mom my Ride "Duct tape is the perfect way to say, sorry fellas this ladys got a man.")

Episode II: Easy Comment Moderation

Many of you already use this, but if you just disabled word verification (episode I) and are switching to comment moderation here is the quick and easy way to publish approved comments and delete spam.

On your dashboard click on "Comments" in the main left column navigation options. Then under "Published" you'll see every published comment; "Awaiting moderation" comments you need to approve to be published; "Spam" comments the anti-spam blocker filters that are not published on your blog.

In the "Spam" section, I usually scan the list and look for any comments that may have been filtered that are legitimate comments. If you find one click "Not spam" to publish the comment. Then you can click the top box to the left of the "Not spam" button, and it will select all messages, then "Delete" and spam be gone.

I used to have my comment moderation settings at "Never" and mostly got spam comments on older posts. Since switching to "Sometimes" at 20 days (see last post for details), I very rarely get spam.

Under "Awaiting moderation" you can quickly surf through comments and send any to spam that may have slipped by the filter, then click the top box to the left of "Publish" button to select all and then click Publish to approve all comments at once.

If you only get a one or two comments you can approve and publish or report as spam when you receive the email notification in your inbox, but the more comments you get, the faster it is to use dashboard to publish or delete comments.

Happy blogging! (see all Pimp my blog posts)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

How to remove word verification

Prologue: I love my blog, but I hate some of the things about blogger. This will be the first of a series of posts on how to pimp your blog and make blogger work better for you and your readers. (I've been meaning to start this for awhile but Pepper's post reminded me it was time.)

Episode I: How to remove word verification (annoying captchas)

A not so long time ago, word verification on blogger was simple, easy to read words that you would type then click submit and voila your comment was posted. Easy peasy. Earlier this year blogger changed the word verification captchas to random, illegible letters and blurry pictures of numbers that leave me banging my head on my computer trying to decipher. Many people have become so discouraged that they've stopped commenting on blogs that use verification.

You may not even realize that your blog is the source of your reader's aggravation; when blogger rolled out the new word verification version, the default was for the captchas (Completely Automated Public Turing Tests to Tell Computers and Humans Apart) to be on "YES".

To show appreciation to your readers, you can disable word verification by going to

Settings > Posts and comments > Show word verification? and select No

To encourage more people to comment, make sure you have "Who can comment?" set to "Anyone - includes Anonymous Users"

What about spam? In all honesty I get only a couple of spam comments per MONTH. And most of those are automatically removed by blogger so when I go to delete them, they are already gone. I've found that most spammers seem to target older posts, so I switched to only approve comments on posts older than 20 days, and haven't been getting much spam since.

Under "Comment Moderation?" select "Sometimes" and add the number of days and email address to send requests to. If you start getting spam, change the number lower and see if that helps. I haven't figured out why yet, but if you do get a lot of spam like Shelly, change it to "Always" and you can keep tabs on all comments.

Make sure you click the orange "Save settings" button in the upper right, so your improved options will update benefitting your blog and your readers.

Happy blogging! (see all Pimp my blog posts)

Ode to toilette

J'adore this Parisian bathroom. I've had the dual vanity from Paris for far too long, but no time to properly display it until now. The wallpaper is to die for, very cool Parisian print, click here on Paris' site to check out the detail pictures of the vanity. I've always wanted a black and white bathroom and I truly wish I had a bathroom like this to escape to.

Finding time for miniatures (swaps/emails/blogs, etc.) has been difficult. How do you all do it??? I wish I could carve out more time to keep up.

My oldest just started kindergarten, so what little spare time I thought I had between taking care of the kids all day and working nights, has gotten sucked into volunteering, PTA meetings and fundraising. Gotta love California public schools... parent participation or bust. I'm really hoping some of the propositions on the ballot will pass so we'll have much needed funding for our schools.

Dual vanity with black Parisian wallpaper by PRD Miniatures, as well as framed wall art, silver mirror and toilet.
Bathtub from Minismodernas. Wood cut outs by KaiserCraft (idea from Modern MC) but I still need to paint them. Planter box by minimodernistas. Accessories: book and overhead light from Neen, ELF Miniatures, Minismodernas, rug from MoMA Modern Play House, Lil Bratz, AG Minis, Re-ment, local dollhouse shop and ebay finds.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Good Sam Show in San Jose Oct 6-7

This year the Good Sam Show has a blog featuring photos of all of the dealer's work, check it out here: Many of my faves will be there; Paris and Lisa of course of PRD Miniatures, Erik Goddard, Peter Tucker, William Maranville, Troy Schmidt and Gilbert Mena. Who's going?

2012 Good Sam Show
Largest Sales and Exhibits of Dollhouse Miniatures west of the Mississippi

October 6th & 7th, 2012
Doubletree Hotel San Jose

Sat. 10-5; Sun. 11-4

Adults $7, Seniors (62+) $5 , Children (5-12) $3

Monday, September 3, 2012

Free Samples Challenge COMING SOON

I need your help for a new "Free Samples Challenge"... For the challenge it will be any room setting that includes free samples, however you interpret it.

For the next 2 weeks, I would love any suggestions you have on where you can get free samples that work well for minis. Then I'll compile the list and start the challenge, that way there will be multiple places to hit up for freebies without inundating one company with all of us free loaders. ;)

Mad for Mod posted suggestions on where to get laminate samples: Formica, Pionite, Nevamar, and Wilsonart. I know many of you have posted great places for freebies, so please send them my way again, as it will take me forever to scour your blogs for links. Game on!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Made in The Shade (Store)

Looking for window shades in 1:1, I found The Shade Store in a google search. You can order up to 30 great 6" x 6" free samples, perfect for 1:12 scale rugs. I ordered mostly from the roller and solar shades category. Some are a little too translucent to make great rugs, but hey, they're free.

Someone must have blogged about The Shade Store before, because when I opened the website in firefox (I had been using chrome), there were 14 samples already in my cart, but I totally forgot about them. To the right are all of the drapery fabrics I ordered free samples of. They should be here next week. Woo hoo! Free is a very good price. If you blogged about The Shade Store before, please comment so I we can properly thank you. I have a feeling a bunch of you will be getting your freebies, right about... now!

Deets: rugs by The Shade Store Klein Chair, Lubi Style Daybed and microsuede cube by PRD Miniatures. Long&Low Sofa by minimodernistas. Coffee table by Neen. Country book by minismodernas, pottery from MIL, Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chaise by Reac Japan, plants and pillows by me.