You’ve done all the celebrating, the world is slowly getting back to normal and the Easter eggs are already crowding the shelves of the supermarket (yes, really). Many New Year’s resolutions have already been broken, slightly bent or put off till after the weekend… but there are a few easy ones that you can implement that will make your blog far more user-friendly… you could check off one per day for the next week. Once done, they take care of themselves and help readers make the most of your site.
I love the social side of the blogosphere… I love being on first-name terms with people and being able to share a few moments… except, there are a good many bloggers who give neither a name, nor any reasonable substitute. There are a good many people who choose to remain anonymous in their writings, for any number of excellent reasons… but give something that people can call you by! It feels just a tad awkward writing “Dear Ilovemypinkcaddillac…” in the comments…
The About page is a first port of call when visiting a new blog. It is a good place to tell a little about yourself…including that elusive name… so that people can know who they are speaking to when they write. If you have one already, it may have been there some time…it is worth revisiting your About page and updating it occasionally too… and I’ll cry mea culpa on this one… I have to update mine too.
Your Gravatar is the little icon that represents you when you comment on blogs. It is also a good place to address that name issue… When you like a post or leave a comment, it leaves a link to your own blog. Quite often, these lead to defunct sites and pages; if you haven’t added a link to your blog on your Gravatar page, no-one can follow the link back to your site …and if you have moved your blog or changed its address, make sure to update your Gravatar or the redirect will end on a deleted page.
4. Search facility
Honestly, if there is no search facility for readers on your blog, do consider adding one. While there is a good argument against doing so when you have a new blog with little content, established blogs really need one.
Add a range of sharing buttons to your posts so that they can be shared across social media. You can add all the ones in the WordPress armoury to which you would like to see your posts shared…or just choose a couple on which you prefer to share. Go to Admin>Sharing and follow the instructions. Don’t forget that authors can add their blog to post directly to a variety of other social media sites like Facebook, but also Goodreads and Amazon.com too.
You can add a contact page with a contact form quite simply from the ‘create pages’ menu. You do not have to give out your email address, but it is a good way to allow people to get in touch…and without one, you never know what opportunities might be missed! You can also add your social media accounts, either on the Contact or About pages, so that friends and readers can connect with you there.
Wordpress.com blogs have a little ‘follow’ button that comes up in the bottom left corner of the screen…if you scroll up slightly, the oft-disappearing button will reappear. This allows readers to follow your blog by sending posts to the Reader facility. I like to follow a lot of my favourite blogs by email too, so I do not miss a post. It is a simple addition… go to the Appearance>Widgets menu and find the one that allows people to sign up to follow by email.
Do you have any other suggestions to add to the list?