Blogging For Income

A novice blogger and his attempt at generating some income from blogging

Building This Site: Day 2 – Creating Categories, Changing The Sidebars, And Adding A Site Counter

Posted by JC on October 14, 2006

Welcome to Day 2 of “Blogging For Income”. Today I will be creating some categories in which I will place my posts in, change the way the sidebars (the areas of the page to the left and right of the main page) look, and add a SiteMeter tool (which will be used as a hit counter and will generate reports about the visitors that visit this site).

Creating Categories

Categories will be used to sort and file the different types of post I will be putting up on this blog. This will allow readers easy access to specific types of posts.

The first thing I did was I logged into WordPress, clicked on the”Manage” tab, and then clicked on “Categories”

 

cat1b

Scroll down further and you’ll see an area where you can add new categories. I added several new categories which resulted in the following:

Categories 2

Note that if you do not have any posts within a category, the category will not appear on your blog. Now save your settings.

Changing The Category Of A Post

My very first post “Day 1” is currently in the “uncategorized” category. This is not very appealing and I do not wish to have an “uncategorized” category on my blog, so let’s change the category of the first post.

Click on the Manage tab and you should see a listing of all the posts you have created.

Chng1

Click on “Edit” beside the post you wish to change. The post will be brought up and you will see a box called “Categories” on the right hand side.

Chng2

Check the appropriate category you wish this post to appear under and uncheck those you do not wish it to appear. In my case, I unchecked “Uncategorized” and I clicked on “Building This Site Day-By-Day”. Click on “Save” and you’re done!

Changing Your Sidebars

So far, this is how my blog site looks like:

Blog1

This is not how I really want it to look like. I’d like to add a “Recent Posts” section to the left sidebar and I want to remove the “Meta” and “Subscribe” sections on the right sidebar and replace them with a “Recent Comments” section.

Let’s start by clicking on the “Presentation” tab and clicking on “Sidebar Widgets”.

Wid1

You’ll notice that near the middle of the page there are several button-like rectangles that you can drag around on the screen. These are widgets. Each widget represents the information you can add to your sidebars. I’ve dragged and dropped what I want on my sidebars and they now look like this:

Wid2

Click on “Save”. This is what my blog now looks like:

Wid3

There! That’s a little better. But wait! I don’t like the way my links are showing up under “Blogroll”. Let’s go and delete these default links so that later on I can add my own.

To do this, click on the “Blogroll” tab and click on “Manage Blogroll”.

Wid4

Simply check all the checkboxes on the right and click on “Delete Checked Bookmarks”. A pop up will appear – just click OK and you’re done! The links under “Blogroll” are now gone and the “Blogroll” section has disappeared for now (at least until we add new links).

Wid5

Finally, let’s add a site counter that can provide us with daily, monthly, and yearly reports of all the visitors that come to this site!

Adding SiteMeter To Your Site

After taking a look at what’s available out there, I have decided to stick with using SiteMeter. I currently use SiteMeter for my other blogs and I find it very useful in tracking visitors to my site.

First, I went to SiteMeter’s website at: http://www.sitemeter.com

Near the bottom of the page, click on “Sign up for free”. You’ll have to read a couple of their rules so you’ll need to hit the “Next” button a few times.

You will then come to a page that will ask you to enter your website’s URL, the title of your blog, and a codename that you will use with SiteMeter. I signed up with the codename s26blogincome. Make sure you create a codename that is unique to you and something you will remember.

Once you are done, move on to the next page where you will be asked additional information including your email address and country.

On the next page, you will be asked if you wish to subscribe to several newsletters they send via email. Click “Next” if you are not interested.

That’s it! You are done! SiteMeter will then ask you to follow some detailed instructions on how to put the code on your blog site.

Please – DO NOT FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS OUTLINED BY SITEMETER!

Instead, check your email to confirm your SiteMeter account has been created along with your SiteMeter password.

What you want to do now is go back to WordPress and go click on the “Presentation” tab, then on “Sidebar Widgets”. Now look for a widget that is labelled “Text 1”. Drag and drop it on one of your sidebars. I put mine on the right sidebar.

site1

This is a Text Widget and it allows the user to display formatted text or embedded images. Notice the icon on the right side of the widget? Click on it so that we can edit and configure it.

site2
Now, what you’ll need to do is to copy and paste the following code into the Text widget configuration box.

<a href="http://sNN.sitemeter.com/stats.asp?site=sNNyourblogname"><img src="http://sNN.sitemeter.com/meter.asp?site=sNNyourblogname"></a>
The bolded parts of the above code are the things that you have to change. Change them as follows:

  • Check your codename you got from SiteMeter (check your email) to see what is starts with. If it starts with “s25”, then replace the “sNN” to “s25” in the above code
  • In the section that has “site=” replace “sNNyourblogname” with the codename you got from SiteMeter

Once you are done, click the little “x” in the top right hand corner of the Text Widget configuration box. Then click on “Save” and you are done!

Now, after adding that Text Widget, my site now looks like:

final1

We’ve done a lot today, so that should be enough for now. This concludes Day 2 of the Building This Site Day-By-Day series.

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