Blog Tips- 5 Things EVERY Blogger NEEDS

Blogging Tips

5 Things Every Blogger Needs

So lately I’ve been working on simplifying things to make life easier!  If you’re a blogger then I’m positive you have the same love/hate relationship with your blog that I have with mine.  I LOVE Serendipity and Spice!  I LOVE my fans!  I LOVE sharing fun things with you!  I HATE the time warp that I get trapped in with so much to do and remember to optimize everything—don’t you?!

So, I have compiled a list of a few FREE things that I believe EVERY blogger needs to make their life a little easier…

every blogger needs

1.  Add a horizontal Recent Posts gadget!

add horizontal recent posts
This is so vital to making your blog “sticky”…. ya know—keeping people on your site longer than the 30 seconds it takes to read an article they clicked on from Pinterest.  I’ve gotten so many new people linking up to Manic Monday and Facebook Friday just by having these parties listed at the top!  But, for those of us on Blogger we don’t have the adorable little widget that all the WordPress blogs have. Sad smile And, for some reason, I can’t get any of the html codes to work…. so, I figured out how to add it- and I’m going to share it with you!
Ready??  There is now a Recent Posts widget in the Blogger “Add a Gadget”.  It’s called “Recent Posts” by Blogger Buster.  Once you add the widget you will need to check the box that says “Thumbnails only”.  Then you can change the title to whatever you like!  To get it horizontal all I did was move the widget to right above “Blog Post” on my template:
adding horizontal recent posts to blogger

2. Have Pin-It buttons automatically added to every photo

add pin it button to every photo automatically
What you say?  No going in and adding code to every single photo?  YES!  I finally found a fantastic tutorial that is “html-idiot” friendly (that’s me) that I had up and running in LESS THAN 5 MINUTES!  THANK YOU THANK YOU wonderful html guru from BloggerSentral!  I don’t even think about Pin-It buttons any more!  Go ahead- hover over any photo and see the beautiful BIG Pin button pop up.  BloggerSentral Man you have saved me a tremendous amount of time!

3. Respond to Reader Comments by Email

respond to comments
Okay, so I’ve been doing this since I pretty much started blogging- but the problem is that when you respond through your email your comment won’t show up in the comment thread on your blog.  So, this leads to a few issues- 1. People ask the same questions over and over because they couldn’t find your response to someone else’s same question. 2. People think you’re a rude blogger by NEVER responding to anyone’s comments because they don’t get to see your responses on the site.
But, signing in and going to the page to respond to all these comments can be VERY time consuming!  So, thanks to Disqus you can now respond through your email and the response will show up in your blog comments! YEAH!  The only catch is that you will receive emails from Blogger and Disqus with the same comment- use the Disqus email to reply and the comment will show up.  I have to figure out how to get Blogger to stop sending the email every time someone leaves a comment.  Go sign up—it’s completely free and such a time saver!

4. Add Affiliate Links Automatically

add affiliate links automatically
So one of the things I’ve read about is how you should optimize your posts by adding affiliate links for Amazon and other affiliate marketing programs throughout your post- that way you generate an income whenever someone clicks on the link.  Well, let me tell you- it takes FOREVER to make enough money on affiliate links to ever get a payout… and, quite frankly, it’s just NOT worth my time.  It would be nice if I mentioned my Keurig in a post and someone decided to buy one through a link I had and I made $1 or $2…. but I really don’t want to mess with it.
And that is where VigLink comes in!  VigLink is part of the Lijit Ad Network and they automatically check for keywords in your posts and put the affiliate links in.  Awesome right?! (well, unless you’re in North Carolina and 90% of affiliate sites won’t work with you because of the way the tax laws were just changed Sad smile)  Anyway, VigLink is connected with thousands of retailers that offer affiliate incentives- so, you’ll make it to your minimum payout faster AND you don’t have to do anything except install the VigLink script… win/win! And they’ll leave your current affiliate links in tact if you want or transfer them over to them… it’s your choice.

5. Manage Sponsor Ads Automatically

manage sponsor ads
If you have not heard of Passionfruit Ads then you need to get on it!  This company is fantastic!  I didn’t want to deal with the headache of taking individual ads and remembering how long they’re supposed to be up, or when to bill them, or really any aspect of managing them.  I also was hesitant of ad swaps for the same reasons—how long to leave them up, what if I accidentally take them down too early, it’s just too stressful.  Well, thanks to Passionfruit Ads there is no worry at all.  You just fill out what you want each ad to be.  You place a script on your sight for where you want ads to show up.  And they handle the rest!  They do billing, putting up the ad, taking down the ad, rotating ads if you only want a certain number showing at a time.  It’s effortless and they don’t charge you a ridiculous amount.  PLUS, ad swaps are completely FREE!

Check out these other Blogger Tips:

Posts may include affiliate links. Serendipity and Spice earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend at no additional cost to you.
Where I Shop- (1)
Thrive Market - It's like the Costco of organics...this is where I get all of my sugar, flour, baking supplies, kids snacks, etc.
Zaycon Foods- This is where I buy most of my meat products in bulk.  The quality is amazing and the prices just can't be beat!  I mean, $1.89 a pound for boneless all-natural chicken breasts!!  It is bulk but you can always split with a friend or make up a bunch of freezer meals like I do-- subscribe to the newletter as I'll be sharing a bunch of delicious recipes, healthy ideas, family fun, and more!
Make sure you check out the Serendipity and Spice Pinterest board for more great posts! Follow Melissa @Serendipity and Spice's board Serendipity and Spice © on Pinterest.


  1. says

    I had the recent posts gadget on my blog on the sidebar and when I moved it to above blog post it remained vertical. How do I get it horizontal? I deleted the widget and then added it back but it’s still vertical.

    All the codes I’ve tried come up the same way on my page, vertical. Suggestions?

  2. Shaffer Sisters says

    This is awesome. Thank you for posting this the automatic pinterest one is one I have wanted to know how to do for a while because it seems like blogging is eating up all my time.
    The affilate is something I had questions about and it is good to know there are valid ones out there.
    Seriously THANK YOU!

  3. kasey says

    I love this post, these are some good tips! Thank you. I am only half way done with it but I had to stop reading to tell you how much I like it. I have been struggling to figure out how to get the “Pin it” under my photos. I think I will be able to get more items pinned after reading this article. Thank you so much


    • Emily @ RemarkableHome says

      SOme people are now having trouble pinning some of my images with this button. THey are getting a 502 error message from pinterest. anyone else having this problem?

  4. Sharon from Around the Table says

    Pinned this post. Will look through it more closely soon. I’m visiting through the Pin Me Linky.

  5. Katie Goldsworthy says

    You seriously always have such good info! Sharing this one! Thanks for posting on it (I need all of these myself!)

  6. says

    Sometimes the codes don’t match perfectly.  If you press “Ctrl” “F” at the same time and just type “body” into the box it will help you find it. Yeah, I tried that but the emails are still coming so I guess I’ll just deal with it for now. 🙂 THANKS!!


  7. says

    Yeah! I’m so glad you found it useful!  I hated having to add the pin it button to every post- half the time I forgot it!  I was so happy to find this automatic program that I just had to share with you guys!! 🙂


  8. Becca says

    THANK YOU for linking to the Pin It tutorial! I am SOOO excited! I never had a Pin It button and knew there had to be an easy way to get one. You just made this blogger very happy – thank you so much!

  9. Heather Miller says

    Thanks so much for this information! I am new to this blogging thing and I appreciate all the help I can get in expanding my blog and making it more user friendly!

  10. Randomly Fascinated says

    Thank you for posting! I already hace #1 and #3, but the other 3 are new to me. Unfortunately I can’t figure out how to use the pinterest one or the affiliate ads one because I have no idea where in my html the body tag is. I have looked for it several times and can’t find it. I’m going to keep working on it though. As for the double emails in blogger if you go to settings and then mobile and email, there is a box titled comment notification email. If you remove your email from this box I think it should stop them from sending you emails when you get a comment.
    I would love it if you would share this (and anything else you have been
    working on) at my party!

  11. Etcetorize says

    This is the best bloggy tip post I’ve seen in a VERY long time! Thank you so much. I can’t wait to try all of these things out~

  12. says

    Hi Melissa,

    Thanks for this post. I have so many questions about Google+. I am preparing to launch a site in the next few months everything is still under construction. I created a new email address separate from my personal email because I wanted my email address to be consistent with the site, facebook page, twitter page, etc. When it comes to google+ should I only have one profile between the two address and make circles among friends, family, bloggers etc. Or should I make separate profiles for each account? Having two email addresses on google also means two readers, two inboxes (which is preferable), two, well, everything. How do you manage the duplicity of it all and know how to keep what where? Thanks in advance for your help.


  13. Melissa says

    Ok! This is great. Now I have a question about VigLink. I’m a food blogger, so I don’t mention a ton of other businesses/products in my posts, but it does happen occasionally. Would it still be worth it for me?

    • says

      I have to tell you that I saw a thing about VigLink a while back(maybe 4 months) and installed it.I did not understand it and forgot all about it. My blog is not very big and dose not have a ton of traffic. I bet you can guess my excitement when I got $50 from them last month! I don’t even know exactly how to use it yet!

      So I say use it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *