In this next installment we’ll talk about how to put some finishing touches that can really enhance the effectiveness of your blog. Blogging is about content and one of the best ways you can enhance your site with content is to use someone else’s content! Whoa plagiarism is bad! Right?
The kind of plagiarism I’m talking about is perfectly fine. I’m talking about RSS feeds. You may have noticed that this blog has sidebars with all kinds of different widgets and links; one of which is an RSS feed for DealerRefresh, a great automotive resource. You also see RSS feeds for topics such as SEO, Social Media, and Online Marketing-all topics I would like this blog to eventually rank for! This adds to my good neighboring SEO strategy and enhances not only the value of the blog in the “eyes” of search engines, but adds value to you as the reader who can digg further for more info on a topic you find interesting.
There are countless other widgets you can incorporate to add value to your site. Every blog is different so think about what might be important to your visitor. Try to find a balance as well. Too many “shiny things” may simply direct the reader away from your blog and onto someone else’s!
One of the most important element’s to include in your sidebar is your social media links and widgets. Some folks are happy just to create an identifiable social media icon and link it to it’s respective medium. I prefer to use a widget box to display both how many other people are involved there with some recent updates to draw visitors in. Decide which is right for you, but you ABSOLUTELY need to have your other social activities linked here.
In addition to sidebar widgets there are other plugin options one can use both to directly and indirectly enhance their blog posts. They can be used both by you and your readers to help promote the blog itself. Some of the more important and common of them include: sociable, tweetmeme and Like.
Sociable are the small social media icons that conclude every blog post. They allow both you and the reader to submit your article to the respective social media outlets. This can allow for your content to spread virally and in some cases can lead to tremendous impact and growth for the blog depending on how many people enjoy and engage with what you post. Digg is one example of a medium that, for some, can literally lead to overnight success for the blogger. If your blog post ends up on the front page of digg you could literally see tens of thousands of visitors to your site in a matter of hours. Each time you finish a blog you should submit your content to some or all of the sociable sources. This will expose your content to more sources and potentially lead to more eyeballs finding your content as well as create links back to your content.
Tweetmeme is another very important plugin. It allows you to keep track of how many people are tweeting out your content. This, like digg, can lead to high traffic and help create a following for your blog. After each blog post you should tweet your post out… Or to be efficient, you could post it on Facebook and have your facebook page linked to your twitter account killing 2 birds with one stone. This is a case where more is better.
Lastly, the like box. This can bring virtually instant credibility to your blog post. When you “like” your article, it is posted to your facebook profile. Everyone who likes your article will automatically post that fact to their profile which will be visible to all their friends. This is another chance to get your content to go viral. Like all your stuff!
The moral of this story is to share. Share all your content in as many places as reasonably possible. The more you digg, delicious, stumble, tweet, and like your work the more potential readers will find your content and become a potential reader and ultimately, a client.
Thanks for taking the time to learn your craft. Please comment and REMEMBER: There are NO stupid Questions!