A while back I gave you some tips on blogging; stay fresh, stay fabulous, etc. Well as it turns out, there are a bunch more tips I can give to help bloggers out that I hadn’t thought of! A huge part of blogging is reaching out to your readership and providing them with valuable information they will actually read and care about. As a reader of blogs, I’ve found a few hiccups among many blogs I’ve begun reading. Allow me to explicate:
When I read a blog that seems interesting and engaging a few things that annoy me above all is limited interactivity. Here are some things your blog SHOULD have, and SHOULD offer to your readers:
- Incorporate Social Media. If your blogging platform automatically integrates the ability to share to Facebook, Twitter, etc directly off the article (like WordPress.com does, which this blog is based on) DO IT. If it’s easy for your readers to share you across all their favorite social media, they can tell their friends all about you great work. This is important across the board from mom blogs to tech blogs to moms in tech, who have blogs. Nike it up, and ‘just do it!’
- Be Reachable. If you are writing about great topics and cool new stuff, (or even if you aren’t) allow your readers SOME way to contact you. Whether its your email listed or a fill-in contact form, BE REACHABLE! One turn-off with blogs today is that despite their ‘citizen journalism’ pomp and circumstance, many blogs don’t offer any way to share your two cents with the author. Though fill-in contact forms offer a safer way to deter your blog from spammers, they feel impersonal and many readers opt out of emailing the author due to a feeling of awkward distance. Typically, when I want to engage with an author, if they have a fill-in option I prefer to tweet at them rather than fill out a big honking fill-in form. This brings me to my next point.
- Tweet. Tweet out your articles, create a Twitter handle for yourself, and tweet authors that you like! Blogger communities typically read and enjoy each other’s company, so tweet at bloggers you enjoy reading and they might just tweet you back; or better, tweet your stuff to their followers!
- Allow Comments. Seems like a ‘duh’, but please please allow your readers to comment on your work (but reserve the right to approve them before they go live). If your readers feel like you’re shutting them out, they won’t read you.
- Blogroll You Buddies. If you have blogs you read often and like, then add them to a ‘blogroll’ (or hyperlinked list that will appear as a widget in ‘appearance’ when using WordPress). If you start rolling, your friends might add you to their blogroll, gaining you more viewers to enjoy your posts.
- Show Yourself. Include at least on picture of yourself, because a faceless blogger can sometimes come off as awkwardly robotic and uninteresting.
And without further ado,