Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Top 5 Blogger Widgets for Increasing Pageviews

Once again I have been playing around with my blog template! It's amazing what all you can do if you know a bit of CSS! Even though there are thousands of free blogger templates available now on the net, knowledge of CSS allows me to add literally any new feature to this classic old blogger lighthouse template. And this time, my focus for all the recent changes was to increase pageviews of my blog.


The basic idea behind getting more pages viewed by your readers is to make your content more visible. And since I don't sport any advertising here on my blog, I have all the space available for showcasing my content in various possible ways. These are the widgets that make my top 5 list for increasing pageviews on blogger.

1. Related Posts Widget

There are some third party JavaScript widgets for adding a related posts footer below each of your post -- with or without thumbnails, whatever way you prefer -- but, I have found the LinkWithin widget to work fine for me. You can check it out at the bottom of this post. It lets you configure how many related posts you want to display -- I have set it to 5 because I'm using a wide display template.

2. Summary Posts on Main Page

Up until now, I used to display full posts on my main page. The drawback was that my posts are usually quite lengthy, and it used to make for a lot of scrolling on the part of my readers. Also, even though the average time on my site was pretty decent, the bounce rate was very high. In simple words, "bounce rate" just indicates how many visitors left without clicking a second link within your blog while they were here. Having summary posts on the main page gives me the option of displaying more posts to my readers. They can scan through the excerpts and click-through to read whichever article they like. More choice for them, more page views for me.

3. Popular Posts Widget

You don't need to look for any third party widget now for adding a Popular Posts section in your blog. The widget is there in official blogger gadget list now. You can configure it to show the popular posts based on the page views of last 7 days, 30 days or all time. You can also select whether you want to show a thumbnail or a post snippet along with the post title. I have kept it as a simple link list here, as you can see in the sidebar.

4. Recent Posts Widget

It is always good to let your readers know what you have penned down recently. I find it very annoying when some bloggers don't let you see anywhere about their new posts. I do a lot of random blog surfing when I'm free. And if I see a clearly visible list in the sidebar, displaying the titles of the recent posts on that blog, chances are that I would check out another post or two. I don't have this widget here because I have set my blog archive to show post titles. Adding another Recent Posts widget would have just led to redundancy. But for bloggers who like to have a drop-down archive or monthly compressed archives, this widget is a must. This widget is also available within blogger now. Just click on "Add a Gadget" and then "Featured" on the left.

5. Random Posts Widget

Apparently, the Random Posts widget was also added by Blogger at some point of time, but it isn't showing in my "Add a Gadget" now. Maybe they have removed it. Maybe it's there in Blogger Draft. I don't really know. Anyways, I found it at Blogger Plugins -- there is a button at the end of the post that lets you "Add to Blogger". It is supposed to inherit the styles etc. from your own blog, but for some weird reason, it wouldn't pick up the styles of my blog. Also, it uses prefs for styling instead of CSS. So I couldn't change the code internally. However, I found a direct JavaScript widget at Blogger Stop, and that's the one I have used here, with some additional styling of course. You can try them both and see which one works best for you.

So friends, in my opinion, these are the top 5 Blogger Widgets for increasing pageviews by making more of your content visible to your visitors. Of course, a lot of new stuff is happening in the blog world every day, so perhaps this list might change in the future. But as of now, I'm pretty happy with whatever work I've done here. If anybody needs any help in installing these gadgets/widgets/features to their Blogspot blog, shoot me an email. All my contact options are more visible than ever before now. Oh by the way, I removed the Yahoo Chat and the Shelfari Bookshelf -- they weren't being very productive these days! :D

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6 comments:

BK Chowla, said...

I am desperate to change mine , but, I am unable to do so.

Kaddu said...

Mr. Chowla, your blog is also on blogger. Why do u say you can't change it? There are lot of nice templates around now.

Rajlakshmi said...

thats was helpful... let me add the popular post one.

Kaddu said...

@ Rajlakshmi: Thanks :) Will keep sharing as & when I try something else that's useful.

Sourav said...

Always knew and had these! :D
Btw, bloggerplugins scripts don't work on my blog.

And yeah could please let me know, what script are using for the related post widget?

PS - You have disabled URL comment posting, which is highly not recommended since people may not like signing in always while commenting and some like me, who know the worth of 'commenting with their links' might just be swayed away.

Kaddu said...

Hi Sourav,

Related Posts... I have it with the LinkWithin widget.

URL comment posting... no such option. I have 4 options in my Blogger Comment Settings: anonymous, members only, google account holders, and OpenID. I have it set to Open ID right now.

Commenting with links... I thought Blogger had only nofollow links in comments?

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