This past month, I’ve been doing a little “spring cleaning” here on the blog to make things easier to find, more organized, or just plain prettier!
Social Media Buttons
I followed this wonderful tutorial from Blogger Hints-and-Tips to create the social media buttons you see on the top of my sidebar, using these adorable icons from Design Bolts. As you can see, my social media presence is limited to Facebook, Pinterest, and my RSS feed, but there are free icons of 20 popular sites to choose from, if you’re more active online than I am!
Update: I decided to design my own custom malachite icons in Photoshop Elements… I’ve always got to be creating something! Now I can add any icon my heart desires.
I recently realized that I did not have a good way for people to contact me through my blog! I signed up for a Kontactr account, which provided me with the html to create my dandy new Contact Me page. Try it out and send me a message!
Pinterest Hover Button
Have you noticed that if you mouse over photos in my blog there’s now a handy hovering Pin It button? Thanks to this awesome tutorial from Blogger Sentral which contains the html code and instructions for adding it to your blog’s template, and this lovely Pinterest icon (part of a set of social media icons) from Noisette Academy!
I feel like a total dummy for not realizing this sooner, but labels are an awesome way to organize and categorize blog posts. Previously, I thought of them as search tags or keywords – in the way that you would label a posting on eBay or Craigslist with all of the keywords that could possibly pertain to it. So if I was talking about a brass and lucite table, I would tag it lucite, acrylic, brass, gold, Hollywood Regency, table, dining table, vintage, mid century, midcentury, mid-century (3 spelling variations), etc, because that’s how I would tag it on Craigslist.
It was a very time consuming process, but I went back through all of my old posts and re-labeled them, stripping down my dozens and dozens of labels to a few key categories, which you can see on the sidebar to the right. For example, if you want to see all the posts about my vintage finds, they are now all collected under the label, Found.
Image Titles and Alt Text
I never realized that the name of an image file was important – mine were almost all called DSC[random numbers] because that’s the default file name when I import them to my computer from my camera. This awesome post from Code It Pretty about alt text and this post about search engine optimization from DIY Themes convinced me to go back and open up all my posts in html and update the image title and the alt text for each and every picture posted on my blog. It took forever, but hopefully will be worth it – it’s easier for Google to find relevant blog posts for search queries if pictures are labeled accurately and helpfully.
Recently I set up an official Feedburner blog feed, which is supposed to be the simplest way for readers to subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed. It’s really easy to set up – check it out.
Facebook Vanity URL
After setting up The Gathered Home’s Facebook page, I was trying to find a way to share a link to it (specifically for my new business cards!). Some searching led me to this helpful post about creating a vanity URL. It was a super simple process, but now it lets me send people to www.facebook.com/thegatheredhome instead of a much more complicated string of numbers at the end of the URL.
I got some adorable little Mini Moo cards (refer-a-friend link), and I love them, although I’m a little shy to hand them out… I’ve given out two so far, and one was to my mom-in-law 🙂 What do you think?
Well, that’s it. Just some easy (well, not too difficult) things I’ve been working on lately to keep the blog up to date and easy to navigate! Do you like the updates? Can I give you my business card? 🙂