How to Add the Goodreads Widget to Blogger

If you love reading as much as I do, then keeping track and sharing your reading list on is a must! A great place to add your widget is to your Blogger layout.

If you haven't experienced Goodreads yet - just think of it as a social networking sites for avid readers (like myself) who want to share and rate what they've read. I find it personally much more enjoyable than Amazon reviews.

Anyway, since you landed here I assume you're trying to add the Goodreads widget to your Blogger blog. Let's look at how to do this.

Add a Blogger Html Gadget

Once you're logged into Blogger, go down and select your 'Layout' menu. It should look something like this depending on what layout you chose (posts on the left or right). Select 'Add a Gadget':

Blogger HTML Gadget

You should the standard Blogger Gadget list. Scroll down and find the HTML/Javascript Gadget - select it by pressing the blue plus sign:

How to Customize the Blogger Page Title

It's an unfortunate fact that Blogger's html page titles for posts, pages, archives and even the main page are not very SEO friendly.

Blogger Page Title CustomizationNow, Matt Cutts from Google would probably dismiss this a bit since he stresses that page titles are just a small part of your overall optimization strategy.

That said, I just have to make my Blogger blogs optimized top to bottom - it is just the way I work. In the future I'll talk more about SEO strategies.

How Blogger Post Titles Work

As you've probably noticed, Blogger by default likes to prefix all pages with your blog's main title. For example, in my case the main title is 'Blogger Tips Pro'. When I first created this site, Blogger did the following with my default post titles (If you peeked at my current page titles you'll see that they don't follow this pattern.):
  1. Main Page Title - 'Blogger Tips Pro'
  2. Post Title - 'Blogger Tips Pro: My Post Title'
  3. Page Title - 'Blogger Tips Pro: My Page Title'
  4. Search Title - 'Blogger Tips Pro: << link to search >>'
  5. Archive Title - 'Blogger Tips Pro: Feb 2012'
If you dig a bit into the top of your blog's template by pressing the 'Edit HTML' button (I'm assuming Blogger's newer templates) you'll see the following template code about 12 lines down:


This is the specific template code to display the html page title. In Google's Layout data tags definition, 'data:blog.pageTitle' means the following:

"The title of the current page. This is often the blog title, but may contain additional information on archive or post pages."

As you can see above, that 'additional information' is how they append the page and blog titles together.

Blogging Strategy Basics

I know you've probably done the very same thing that I have - seen a great looking Blogger blog out there that simply 'wows' you with its flashy design, a great color scheme, and a seemingly large set of content.

blogger strategy
If you're prone to gut reactions you may have jumped right in to build the perfect looking blog that will wow your own readers. Design will lure them in, right?

I understand that this is a very simplistic scenario but with a point - creating a blog based only visual design, gut reactions or just a passionate topic might build a readership but won't have a strategy.

What is a Strategy?

The term strategy really originated in the military as a "plan of action to achieve a specific goal". However, game theory and businesses have morphed the meaning of strategy to be more than just a plan.

Have you ever met someone who can think of amazing, creative ideas that seem so simple yet so effective but is so disorganized that even the thought of planning something is so foreign to their mindset that they don't care when an idea comes to fruition? Or, have you met someone who is so organized that they plan out every detailed step and milestrone to reach a goal?

A strategy can be thought of the intersection of the two - the best of a planner mixed with an innovator. The essential elements of strategic thinking blend these two concepts.

Probably one of the best examples of strategic thinking can be found in Steve Jobs approach to driving Apple: it wasn't just about releasing a new product, it was about creatively looking at a market to be planfully better in some dimension, then dominating it.