Rebelmouse capture

Create a Social Media Page Instead of a Widget

You see it all the time: widgets on blog sidebars asking you to connect. They litter the limited real estate with multiple boxes that constantly update, often slowing down the load time of the blog. Which is why you might just want to embed a feed for all your social media accounts onto a single page of your blog instead. Here’s how:

Set Up Rebelmouse

There’s a free tool called Rebelmouse which creates a lovely visual feed of all your social media updates and allows you to embed the final product onto your blog as a widget (if you really want) or as a standalone page, which is one way to “unclog” your sidebar (if you feel there’s too much stuff on there already).

Sign up for a free account, it takes a few seconds. Then connect all your social media accounts. Fiddle with the design to get it to look the way you want it (lots of basic themes to choose from), then you have to go to MENU > EMBED and generate the HTML code for your blog. You can fiddle with a fixed width or simply keep it on “flexible” so it adjusts to your blog’s width.

Generating the HTML code for your Rebelmouse embed
Generating the HTML code for your Rebelmouse embed.

(No, I don’t work for Rebelmouse, I just really enjoy geeking out over shiny tools.)

See an example on my Social page.

Set Up Your Blog

To get it onto your blog, create a NEW PAGE and paste the code into your page.

If you’re using WordPress.com go to TEXT view (instead of VISUAL view) and paste this code onto your blank page:

[ rebelmouse site_name="YOUR-REBELMOUSE-NAME"]

NOTE 1: Of course, use the name of your Rebelmouse site.
NOTE 2: IMPORTANT! Delete the space between the left square bracket ” [ ” and the word “rebelmouse.”

Why it’s a Good Idea to Unclutter the Sidebar

A cluttered blog sidebar takes away from the experience of enjoying the blog reading experience. I personally feel too many social accounts in the side merely add to the noise. You want the reader to focus on your content, on your posts, your unique insights. Not your social networking wit and retweets. Sure it may not make it as easy to add followers on your social channels, but that aint the main objective of the blog is it? The main thing is to get people to READ your posts. Unclutter the sidebar, then!

This tip evolved from a conversation I had today with a buddy of mine who runs Overtbrain.com, which posts about all the bizarre weird stuff he comes across on the Web. Made me realize I’ve been using a load of tools for social media and blogging — most of which have yet to be mentioned on this blog. So let me remedy that in the coming weeks. Watch for it!

Tell me in the comments if you think putting it all on one page is a good idea. Or post links to your page if you tried it!

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