Getting readers to engage with you by leaving comments on your blog posts is something many bloggers crave. And when those comments clearly show that your post has been read, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. Those types of comments are like finding a rainbow.
However, once you get visitors reading your posts and leaving comments, you need to do all you can to ensure they keep coming back.
Writing great quality posts is one way to keep your readers returning, but you also need to ensure they can easily find your other similarly themed posts; which are often buried deep in your blog archives.
And if you’re someone who leaves ‘likes’ or comments, you need to ensure other bloggers can find you.
Here are five blogging tools that work for me. Not only do they give my readers a way of finding more similarly themed content, but these tools have also helped bring me hundreds more readers and followers.
The Search Bar
The other day, I was writing a new blog post and wanted to include some links to some posts I had read on other blogs.
However, try as I might, I wasn’t able to find one of the posts I wanted to link to. Even worse, there was no search bar on the blog concerned.
It wasn’t long before I gave up looking for that blog post. I didn’t have the time to hunt it down.
Something all bloggers crave is that their blog posts are shared. You can make it very easy for readers to find what they are looking for by including a search bar on your blog.
Does your blog have a search bar? If not, WordPress has a ‘search’ widget. Click here to find out how to install one.
Once you’ve installed a search bar, open up one of your blog posts and check you are happy where you have placed it. Make sure it’s visible and easy for visitors to find.
Remember, too, that you can use the search bar when looking for your own posts. You can save yourself a lot of time by doing this instead of scrolling through all your blog posts on your blog’s dashboard.
The Menu Bar
Navigation is of prime importance on any blog. Make it difficult for visitors to navigate, and they’ll probably give up and never come back.
That’s why it’s essential to have a menu bar on your blog.
As I mentioned earlier, when talking about the search bar, it helps visitors find what they may be searching for rather than them spending valuable time hunting for something they’ll soon get fed up looking for.
Having a menu bar gives your readers an opportunity not only to check out what else is on your blog but also helps direct them to the parts of your blog they’d like to explore.
Many bloggers can be frightened by the thought of including a menu bar on their blog or adding items to it. However, it’s an easy and straightforward process.
Click here for details on how to set up a custom menu bar on your WordPress blog.
The ‘Contact’ Page
Just imagine another blogger, an editor of a magazine, or somebody from your local radio station wanting to contact you to invite you to write an article or appear on a show, and they can’t find a way of reaching you!
Not everyone wants to leave a comment when they want to invite you to write a guest post, be interviewed, or ask you to appear on a show. If you don’t have a ‘contact me’ page, and nobody can find a way of contacting you, then they’ll probably move on and give that opportunity to somebody else.
On my blog’s menu bar, towards the top of my blog, you’ll see a ‘Contact Hugh’ button. That’s how many people contact me via my blog.
I get lots of people contacting me every week. As a result, I’ve written guest articles, appeared on radio shows and recorded podcasts; all of which have given me the opportunity to promote me and my blog. In return, I’ve got hundreds of new readers and followers to my blog.
Make sure you’re contactable. Click here to find out how to set up a ‘contact me‘ page.
The ‘About Me’ Page
Ever since my early days of blogging, I heard it said that many new visitors to a blog will want to find out a little about the blogger behind the blog before deciding whether to follow or not.
It’s true of me. When I visit a blog for the first time, the first thing I do is look for an ‘about me’ page so I can find out more about the blogger.
If the blogger doesn’t have an ‘about me’ page, or it’s difficult to find, then I’m more likely to move on than check out the rest of their blog.
If you do have an ‘about me’ page, ensure you give new visitors an opportunity to introduce themselves by allowing them to leave a comment. And, don’t forget, a friendly reply is more likely to keep that visitor coming back to read your posts.
The image that appears next to a comment is known as a Gravatar. In fact, as soon as you leave a review or comment on the internet, a gravatar is created for you.
How many times have you clicked on the gravatar image of somebody who has left an excellent comment on a post and not been able to find their blog details? Frustrating, isn’t it, especially when you think it may be a blog you’d like to follow.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes many people make, as soon as their gravatar is created, is they forget about it. Many don’t realise they can add an image or even leave a link to their blog on their gravatar.
Yes, you can leave a link to your blog on your gravatar! Not only that, but you can also leave links to your social media accounts.
If a reader then clicks on your gravatar they’ll see the links to your blog and social media accounts and be able to visit them. That’s all it takes; just one click. That means more visitors to your blog and social media accounts which could result in more followers.
What powerful blogging tools do you use on your blog, and why do you use them? Share them with us by leaving a comment.
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