Today I thought I'd share some tips about navigating this blog. What you can find where. I hope it's a helpful guide to make your experience here even more pleasurable! :) I gathered these tips from some of the most frequent questions I get via e-mail and comment.
First, let me define some terms:
1. Did you know that this blog is searchable?
There is a search box, powered by Google, towards the bottom of the Middle Right Column. It looks like the screenshot on the left. (Don't try typing anything in the box on the left. It's just a screenshot and not an actual search box.)
You can type anything you want into the box and as long as the button next to "balzerdesigns.typepad.com" is chosen (indicated in blue), Google will search this blog and find what you're looking for!
Truth be told, 99% of the time that somebody writes to me looking for a post I wrote or a project I made, I do a search in this box to find it. It's easy and it works really well. Give it a try and see for yourself!
2. Did you know that you can reply to comments and start a conversation?
I've set up the comment section of this blog so that you can reply to comments that other people make, just like a message board! Here's a recent example:
Simply click the "reply" link you see under the comment and your comment will be added to the conversation. This makes it super easy to join into and/or follow a conversation at any time! I encourage you to start a dialogue if you are struck by any of the comments that are left. Of course, you can still leave comments unattached to a conversation by typing a comment into the empty comment box...
3. Did you know that you can translate this blog into any language?
It's true! On the left is a screenshot (don't try to click the screenshot, it's just a picture) of the Google Translate dropdown menu. It's located at the top of the Far Right Column and you can choose any language you'd like and it will automatically translate the blog for you! Pretty cool, right?
And of course, if you subscribe through Google Reader, you can also translate the blog through Reader's built-in translator. That's what I do with the blogs I read from other countries!
And speaking of subscribing....
4. Did you know that you can get this blog delivered to your inbox in an e-mail?
In the Middle Right Column, towards the top, you'll see the "Subscribe" information. It looks just like the screenshot on the left.
If you click on the "Subscribe in a reader" link, you'll be taken to a screen where you can choose which reader to use. However, if you enter your e-mail address in the box and hit "subscribe," you will receive an e-mail in your inbox every time I post.
Actually, that's not true. If I were to post more than once a day, you'd only receive one e-mail. Feedburner consolidates everything from a twenty-four hour period into one e-mail. And you receive no e-mail if I don't post.
The e-mail has all the same images and videos and formatting that you can see by visiting the actual site, minus the information in The Header Area and the two Right Columns. It only contains the information from the post-of-the-day. Most people have told me that they get the e-mail in their inbox in the morning.
5. Did you know that this blog has a list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)?
I'm cleverly hiding it under the "About Me" link. In the Header Area...
6. Did you know that the Far Right Column is full of inspiration?
Well, I hope that it is! As you can see from the screenshot on the left, under the "view my art" title are a series of albums: Quilts, Scrapbook Pages, Non-Layout Paper Crafts, Mini Books, Art Journaling, and Wearable Art.
Click on any of the images and you'll be taken to an online album full of my art that fits in that category. I don't upload everything. But once every two or three months, I go through and add my favorite pieces and take away some of the pieces that no longer speak to me.
And at the bottom of that Far Right Column, you'll see a link to purchase the Balzer Designs for Stamping Bella stamps (as seen in the screenshot on the right). Recently, I added the link below the logos. It says: "To see all the related stamping ideas, click here." If you follow that link you'll be taken to a landing page that has a link for each of the posts I did about each stamp. Easy to find inspiration!
And when I finish all the stencil posts, I will create a similar landing page, hosted in that Far Right Column.
7. Did you know that I have an e-mail me link?
Clearly I'm not doing a good job of showing it off, as I get a lot of comments from people who say that they can't find an e-mail link. But I promise you that it's there! In the Middle Right Column, just below the Art Journal Every Day logo, and just above my Twitter feed, you can see this little airplane...
8. Did you know that I've got a link to my YouTube page?
If you didn't know that, I'm not surprised. I added the link about a month ago. It's in the Middle Right Column and looks like this:
9. Did you know that you can post a little Balzer Designs love on your blog or website?
I often get e-mails from people wondering if it's okay to link to this blog. And the answer is yes and thank you! If you want to fancy up your link, you can grab this little beauty (the logo square on the left) for your sidebar. Simply insert the following code:
<a href="http://balzerdesigns.typepad.com/"><img src="http://balzerdesigns.typepad.com/HostedPics/Button.jpg"></a>
I also get a lot of questions about the code for the "Art Journal Every Day" logo. Here's the code for that one:
<a href="http://balzerdesigns.typepad.com/balzer_designs/art-j.html"><img src="http://balzerdesigns.typepad.com/HostedPics/ArtJournalEveryDayLogo-150.jpg" width="150" height="150" alt="Art Journal Every Day"/></a>
I appreciate any and all link love. It is, after all, what makes the internet go 'round!
10. Did you know that I don't have a number ten?
Truth. But it seemed too weird to stop at nine.
- I'm guest curating at CrescendoH all this week. You can read my "Art Saves" story right here.
- I will be selling the full line of Balzer Designs/The Crafter's Workshop stencils and should open my online shop next week. Yay! In the meantime, I know that A Cherry On Top ordered the full line. I don't think they have them in stock yet, but it's a good site with good service and shipping, so I recommend them.
- If you're a retailer who will be carrying any of my stencils, let me know and I'll add a hyperlink to your shop. I'm currently getting a list together for my brand new website (eek) which is coming soon!
- As soon as the stencils are available for sale I will begin stencil-a-palooza and the videos and ideas will be forthcoming. But it seems mean to post them without your being able to buy them, doesn't it?
That's all from here! Thanks for stopping by!