5 Powerful Blogging Tools That Will Work For You

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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

In fact, I was recently invited by the lovely people at Missinglettr to record a podcast about blogging. Click here to listen to it.

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 Gravatar

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.

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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.

Click here to follow my Blogging Tips magazine on Flipboard.

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131 thoughts on “5 Powerful Blogging Tools That Will Work For You

  1. I am always looking for ideas on how to make my blog better and attract readers. Thank you for taking the time to write this post and linking other posts you have written on the subject. I intend to check them all out.

  2. This is brilliant! Ok so one thing that I just don’t understand is this … when I want to read other peoples posts I go into WordPress and click on followed posts and they all come up. However, they also come up in my email account … plus every comment and like that I’ve gotten. Suffice to say my inbox is completely clogged up. Should I be reading everything from my inbox and working from that? I’m now worried that I may have missed any emails that have been sent to me. Does that make any sense at all? Sorry for the garbled questions … Katie

    1. I’m glad you found the post helpful. Katie.

      Regarding your question, it sounds to me as if you have email notifications switched on for all new posts of the blogs you follow. Many readers, including myself, find this helpful as it means you’ll never miss the publication of a new post from a blog you follow. However, this can mean that your email inbox becomes overwhelmed, so it’s probably best to choose how often you’d rather get notifications from the blogs you follow.

      However, in choosing which of the blogs you’d like to continue to get new post email notifications from, you’ll need to go to the list of the blogs you follow and click the ‘settings’ button next to each of the blogs. When you click on ‘settings’, you’ll be given an option of whether you want to receive new post notifications from that blog instantly, daily or weekly. I know of many bloggers who choose ‘weekly’ because they get one email a week with a link to any new posts published during the last week. From there, they can decide which ones to read and which ones to skip.

      You can also disable all WordPress email notifications by clicking on your blog’s icon (next to the bell notification button) in the top right corner of your blog, then on Notification Settings, then on Reader Subscriptions. Then tick the box that says ‘Block all email updates from blogs you’re following on WordPress.com.’ Remember to click the ‘save notification settings’ button to save the changes you’ve made.

      I hope that all helps.

      1. This is brilliant. Thank you so much for taking the trouble of explaining it all to me. I’m always so worried about pressing the wrong buttons and deleting everything that I tend to go into a state of paralysis. Thank you Hugh, I shall get onto this now. Katie

  3. Hi Hugh, It’s very nice to meet you via blogging. Such a great post. I agree with every point you have here. Sometimes I go check out the blog and I see, people don’t even bother anything like that. I mostly say hi and leave. It’s hard to hang out on those blogs. I am going to reblog this, hope you wouldn’t mind.

    1. Hi Bushra. Thank you for your comments. Please feel free to reblog and share this post with your readers.

      I don’t know why, but your comment ended up in my WordPress spam folder. Thank goodness I check it at least once a day.

      Best wishes,

      1. Hahahha, I shared it and yes, I do check my spam folder onced a day as well and find some great people sitting there. I have a question for you? I just purchased my domain from go daddy and now I am afraid of self hosting, thinking I would loose my readership with wordpress. I am a two months old blogger but my blog is doing sucha a great job. While I saw you have your website plus you were appeared in wordpress feed as weel. What’s your thoughts are on this? Stay blessed and stay connected please. Would not like t loose you as a blgger friend.

        1. My blogger isn’t self-hosted. It’s a WordPress.Com blog. I did once consider self-hosting, but I heard a few too many horror stories that had happened to bloggers when they switched to self-hosting. I think one of the big problems was the loss of followers when making the switch. However, I also know a few self-hosted bloggers who have done very well out of self-hosting their blog. I suppose it’s very much a trial and error sort of thing.
          Good luck.

    1. Thank you very much. I really appreciate your kind words and thank you for reblogging and sharing the post with your readers. It always makes me delighted to hear from readers to tell me how much my blogging tips posts help.
      Have a great week.
      Best wishes,

  4. I think most of us ignore this important tools, especially the menu and Gravatar. The menu should be designed in a way that is easy to navigate for any internet user. Thanks for the reminders.

  5. Hi Hugh,
    Did you know I was also a speaker for Missinglettr? Cool you were too.
    Congratulations, Hugh! This post won the Inspire Me Monday Linky Party. You’ll be featured on my blog tomorrow. I told you I liked it! =).

    1. No, I never knew you also did a podcast with Missinglettr, Janice. Where can I find it? I can’t find it on their Master of Letter Podcast page.

      Thrilled to hear that this post won and was the most popular at the Inspire Monday Link Party. That’s fantastic news.

      Thanks so much, Janice.

  6. Thanks, Hugh. It has taken me years to learn many of these things (some I’m not sure I’ve learned them yet) and you’re saving a lot of time to a lot of people. Thanks!

  7. Always great to read your posts about blogging, Hugh! The search feature is something I even use on my own blog when I need reference to an older post! On the contact page, I took Chris Ape’s advice and spelled out my email address to help foil the spambots.

    1. Yes, I use the search bar almost every day on my blog when searching through my own posts, Terri. It saves so much time.
      That’s a great tip about the email address. It’s something I do as well, although I don’t think I’ve ever given my own email address on a post. I tend to ask that readers contact me through my ‘contact Hugh’ page.

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