7 Must-have Features for Your Blog
Blogs are a great way to connect and build relationships with your potential clients.
Depending on what you talk about, they can help you reach a completely new audience and they give your audience a way to get to know you and your brand, and to participate in your community. All of these are important for both growing your business and growing your blog following. Often, however, even the biggest blogs make little mistakes. They forget or overlook some important features.
Here are seven features to implement on your blog:
Subscribe or RSS feed
There’s nothing more frustrating, as a visitor, than finding a blog you enjoy and not being able to subscribe to it. People are busy, too busy to remember to visit your blog on a daily or weekly basis. Cut them a break, and yourself, and offer an option to subscribe to your blog so each new post is delivered via email, sent to a reader or shows up on their iGoogle page.
Have you ever visited a blog and thought, “I wonder who this blog belongs to? Where are they? Who are they?” Trust me, readers think this and they want to know. If they can’t find out a bit about you, determine your credibility or make some sort of connection, they’ll move along. Retain your visitors by sharing a bit of information about yourself including a means by which they can contact you.
Some blogs intentionally do not allow comments and while they have their reasons, most people like to be able to leave a comment if they have something to say. If you’re considering not allowing commenting because you want to avoid spam, then check out a few of the spam blockers like Askimet, which is available for WordPress blogs. If you’re avoiding allowing comments because you don’t want to respond to them, consider outsourcing the job and having someone moderate your posts, or just set ten minutes aside at the end of each day to respond. People like the interaction and it draws more readers.
Popular posts, popular comments, tags and other associated identifiers. People search and read blogs differently. Some simply read the most recent post and move on while others search by category or tag. Some people will want to read the most popular posts and others will want to sift through your archives post by post. Provide a number of options for your visitors to search by.
One of the wonderful features about a blog is that it’s welcomed by the search engines due to frequent and easily indexed content. That being said, there are an abundance of quality search engine plug-ins, particularly for WordPress, which make optimizing your posts for the search engines quick and easy.
Social networking and bookmarking features.
With Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Reddit, and other social networking and bookmarking sites growing in popularity, it pays to include options on your blog. You can ask people to tweet your posts, post or link to them on Facebook, Digg them and so on. It’ll draw traffic and subscribers.
You want to know how many people are visiting your blog, where they’re coming from, how many posts they read and how long they stay on your site, right? Google analytics will tell you all that and more. To make good decisions about how to grow your blog, it pays to have the kind of information an analytics tool can provide.
Blogging is extremely popular and useful, and along with this popularity comes a bevy of useful tools. Take advantage of these tools and resources to grow your subscribers, profits and business.