Improve the Experience of Your Blog for You and Your Readers

Some tips to use on your (wordpress) blog to help improve the look and experience of your blog for you and your readers. Pick a topic you enjoy for your blog Pick a general topic you are passionate about, and stick with that focus as you post. Near the title of your blog, identify your blog's focus so new visitors can know immediately What your blog is about and whether it aligns with their interests.

Allow Comments and Encourage Feedback Let others comment on your blog, you benefit from the feedback given from your readers.Reply to any comments posted, blogs are dialogues not monologues. If you turn commenting off, you lose out on the Web 2.0 aspects of your blog.

To encourage commenting, allow posting with out signing in.(this can be change under options discussions). Activate http://akismet.

com and this to avoid spam. Add the so users can be aware of follow-up comments. Use Feedburner RSS feed button Make it easy to subscribe to your feed by placing an orange RSS button in a highly visible location.

Route your feed through so you can keep track of your subscribers. You can also offer an e-mail subscription using FeedBurner. Use Visual Images to Break up dull text Break up your text with charts, photos, blockquotes, and videos. If you get photos from other blogs or from Flickr, include a link back to the source.

Most popular blogs are visually rich. Use Subheadings in your long posts If you do long posts, use subheadings to break up the text. Also use the "Read more" tag so users can scan down the front page without having to scroll eternally. Link with others in your posts Links increase readership and let others know you're writing about them.

Others can see incoming links in their blogs. Links also enable trackbacks and pingbacks, allowing your content to appear in the comments section of other posts. The is helpful for automating trackbacks, and you can use it to show inbound links in the sidebar of your blog. Links also boost your Google rankings, converting your blog into a powerful search engine optimization tool.

Include a List of related posts below each post When readers find your post via the search engines using keywords, why not point them to other posts on your site with similar information? Doing so can increase the page views per reader. In WordPress, you can automatically create a Related Posts section based on matching keywords with the If you want more control (with more effort), use http://da44en.wordpress.

com/2006/01/06/dlc-related/. You type keywords in the Custom Fields section of a post, and posts that match the keywords are connected as related. Let Readers Contact you offline Readers may want to contact you offline with a question or comment.You will be seen as an expert on your topic (the go-to-guy for that topic), and the user's question may not be related to the comments section of your latest posts.If you make your contact info readily apparent, users can reach you. You can use a contact form plugin (http://kzkw.

net/blog/2007/02/12/wp-contact-form-part-iii) or simply make your email address available. Have a Top Post section on your blog You can use the plugin to automate a Most Viewed posts section, or you can create your own list of classic posts. Use a site Map Index for easy browsing Much of your site's traffic comes from search engines.

Many readers are first-timers on your site. Providing an index readers can quickly scan (such as with this plugin) is an excellent way to let users skim your entire post collection. An index may increase the page views per visitor.

It also shows you just what you've written. It's like a Table of Contents for your site. Create a Community of Readers If you add the Show http://www.pfadvice.

com/wordpress-plugins/show-top-commentators plugin, you can show the people who most frequently comment on your blog. This is a simple way to create your own community of readers with similar interests. Post as often as you can but more importantly regularly Try to get into a routine of posting regularly to your blog, such as daily, every few days, or every week, this will change your experience of blogging. It will help you stay engaged with your topic. It will build a greater community of readers, who will post more comments.

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