How to add an email subscription function to Blogger (Blogspot)

One of the features I have appreciated on WordPress is the email subscription “widget” (which you can see on the right side under the search box).  This function allows readers to subscribe to my blog and receive new posts via email.  My book review blog, which has been hosted on Blogger since 2010, has never had an email subscription option, but as I was thinking about how important this was, I decided it was time to figure out how to add it.

I figured it out, but also discovered that setting up an email subscription field in Blogger takes a little more work to set up than it did in WordPress.  If you use Blogger, though, and do not already have this set up, it may be worth the effort.  Allowing your visitors to subscribe to your blog keeps them engaged without having to come back and visit your page everyday to see if anything new has been posted.

Blogger’s version of a widget is called a “gadget.” Blogger provides instructions on how to set up an email subscription gadget here; however, I will walk you through the steps and what I learned when I set this up on my blog this week.

From within your Blogger account, click Layout in the lefthand menu.  Then click Add a Gadget. When the Add a Gadget pop up window appears, select HTML/JavaScript.

The Blogger instructions provide a code that you can copy and paste into the “Content” box of the new gadget you are setting up.  Do not enter anything into the Title box.

Before you click to save your new gadget, there are a few very important things you need to do in order for your feed to work properly:

1) Set up a feed in Feedburner.  Go to, enter your blog URL into the appropriate box and walk through the steps to set up your feed.

2) Activate the feed.  Once it is set up, click on the feed name to open the feed settings and then click the Publicize tab.  Click Email Subscriptions. At the bottom of the page, make sure the service is active (if not, click to activate it).

3) Set up the feed link in your gadget. In the Preview Subscription Link… box, there is a code that looks like this:

<a href=”;loc=en_US“>Subscribe to Read & Tell Reviews by Email</a>

Copy only the portion of that code between the quotation marks (shown in blue text above).  Keep in mind your exact link will be slightly different from mine.

Paste that link into the gadget to replace the portion of the code highlighted in blue on the Helplogger page (where you originally got the code).

4) Replace the name of the blog. Looking back at the original code you copied from Helplogger, there is one word (helplogger) in purple.  Replace this word with what you want it to say for your blog.  In my case, I replaced “helplogger” with “ReadAndTell.”

5) Save and test.  Save your gadget and then open your blog in another window.  Your new gadget should now appear on the page.  Test it by submitting your email address.  Follow the steps and then check your email.  You can make changes to the email language from within Feedburner.  You can change the location of your gadget from within Blogger.

Easy, right? Okay, it’s not that easy.  Blogger makes a lot of things easy, but this is not one of them.  Once you get through it, though, you will be offering your readers a great way to receive instant notification of your new posts.

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What does the future hold for Twitter (and Google)?

Last week Dick Costolo announced he would be stepping down as CEO of Twitter.  Costolo had held the CEO position since 2010.  Co-founder (and former CEO) Jack Dorsey will fill in as interim CEO beginning July 1st.

Interestingly, a few months ago Twitter and Google announced a new partnership that would provide Google full access to Twitter’s stream.  For Google, this partnership meant faster access to information (in the form of 9,000 tweets per second) from Twitter.  For Twitter, this partnership meant increased exposure, which would hopefully result in higher revenue on advertising since the more people that visit the site, the better the chances of engagement with the ads.

The recent announcement about Dick Costolo’s resignation has spurred speculations about Google’s plans to buy Twitter for a couple of reasons:

  1. Twitter needs Google: Although Twitter has previously turned down offers from Google and Facebook with the intention of competing with them, Twitter has failed to figure out how to effectively monetize their site.  Costolo was under some serious pressure and did not deliver.
  2. Google needs Twitter: Although there are more than 2.5 billion users on Google+ (technically making it the largest social network in the world), Google has never really quite figured out how to compete with Facebook or Twitter in terms of real engagement.  The “user” number is a little deceiving because Google requires users of any of its other products (Gmail and YouTube, for example) to register for a Google+ account.  As a result, there are many Google+ accounts out there where the “user” may never have had any intention of being an active participant on Google+. It is estimated that fewer than 10% of users on Google+ are active.

It appears that the timing may be right for both companies.  Google is tired of sitting on the bench.  They want in the game!  And Twitter has never figured out how to make money playing the game.  Could the two of them team up to effectively compete with Facebook?  We shall see..

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BOOK REVIEW: What the Plus! by Guy Kawasaki

ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):

Learn how to master Google+—the world’s fastest-growing social-media service

Attract followers. Engage enchanting people. Promote your brand. 

The former Chief Evangelist for Apple knows a superior product when he sees one, and he sees one in Google+. Hands down. In What the Plus!, Guy Kawasaki explains how to get started, create an enchanting profile, optimize for social searches, share posts and photos, conduct hangouts, and gain followers.


I have been on Google+ since 2011 but I hadn’t really understood Google+…until now.  Although I learned a lot from this book, the biggest take-away for me came down to one phrase: “Google+ = Passions.”  When I thought about that in reference to the comparisons Kawasaki presented (Twitter = Perceptions, Facebook = People and Pinterest = Pictures), it was like a lightbulb went off for me.  I thought about what I was passionate about and suddenly I understood how to post on Google+.

If you have any interest in growing your Google+ community for any reason, this book is a must-read.  Guy Kawasaki will help you see the benefits of Google+. His passion for it is infectious.  And he will walk you through every single thing you need to know about using this social media channel. This book can be read in just a couple of hours, but be prepared to take your time as you read it so you can follow Kawasaki tips as you go.

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[Series] Promoting Your Book on Google+

I recently wrote five posts related to promoting your book on Google+.  In case you missed any of them, the list below includes summaries and quick links to each of the posts:

  1. Can I Promote a Book with Google+? —  This post introduces the series and why I’m writing about promoting a book on Google+.
  2. Google+ 101 for Newbies — A few things you need to know to get started with Google+.
  3. How To Get Book Reviews Using Google+ — All you have to do is ask, but first you need to know where to ask.  This post will point you in the right direction.
  4. Connecting Your Blog with Your Google+ Account — Instructions on how to automate WordPress (and/or Blogger) to announce your new blogs posts to your Google+ community.
  5. Author Role Model – Guy Kawasaki — Learn how author Guy Kawasaki uses Google+ to promote himself and his books.

If you have other thoughts (or questions) on how to promote a book on Google+, please share them in the comment box below! 

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[Series] Promoting Your Book on Instagram

I recently wrote four posts related to promoting your book on Instagram.  In case you missed any of them, the list below includes summaries and quick links to each of the posts:

  1. Getting Started with Instagram — Becoming an Instagrammer takes only a few minutes.  In this post I walk you through those quick steps.
  2. 25 Ways to Promote Your Book on Instagram — This list is jam-packed with ideas to help you kick start your book promotion efforts on Instagram.
  3. Hashtags, Hashtags, Hashtags! #Instagram — Discover why hashtags matter on Instagram even more than they do on Twitter.
  4. Author Role Model – Jon Krakauer — See how author Jon Krakauer uses Instagram to promote himself, his brand and his books.

If you have other thoughts on how to promote a book on Instagram, please share them in the comment box below! 

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