Ok, I have struggled a lot while trying to use blogger effectively @ first. But now after trying way too long with it, i have found some confidence in matters of using Blogger effectively. Here are a few tips and tricks that might help the new Bloggers in using blogger and exploring it.
a) Go to Design, And click on Add a Gadget
You're done, it should now show in your blog after you save the settings.
2) Stats -
There is a Stats link on your Blogger dashboard that helps you analyze your blog trends. If you are new, your stats won't be showing on www.alexa.com or other Blog statistics sites for a while, and so this would be the perfect place for you to keep an eye on your blog and its statistics.
3) Google AdSense -
If your blog is brand new, don't bother adding an AdSense account right away, your blog is most definitely going to be rejected. Wait for a few months, let you blog create its place in the vast ocean of blogs, and then after you have a following, and a readers list, you can go ahead and try out AdSense.
4) Getting more readers/comments -
If you want to have more readership, you're first to-do should be to try and explore other like minded bloggers. Don't go on poking into every site writing useless comments. If you like a blog, and are able to relate to his posts, its very much possible that that blogger would like your posts too. So, try to visit as much blogs as possible in your areas of interest. And do follow.
5) Followers -
Easiest way to follow someone on blogger is to click the follow link that is on your "NavBar" (Top Left). Other ways is to follow using an openID (if you want to remain anonymous or don't want to use your blogger ID), or your blogger profile.
Hope, i was able to provide some insight into the world of blogger community. Will come back with some more info when i can!