5 Powerful Blogging Tools That Will Work For You

business computer connection contemporary
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

#bloggingtips #blogging
Image credit: Pixabay

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

#bloggingtips #blogging
Image credit: Pixabay

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!

#bloggingtips #blogging
Image credit: Pixabay

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

I spoke about the importance of why every blogger should have an ‘about me’ page in my recent post, 7 Ways To Get More Readers To Your Blog.

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.

#bloggingtips #blogging
Image credit: Pixabay

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.

Click here to find out how to edit and add your blog details to your gravatar.

What powerful blogging tools do you use on your blog, and why do you use them? Share them with us by leaving a comment.

If you enjoyed reading this post, then you’ll also enjoy:

 7 Ways To Get More Readers To Your Blog

5 Ways You Can Save Time When Blogging

7 Ways You Can Promote Your Blog For Free

Click here to follow my Blogging Tips magazine on Flipboard.

Click here to join me and thousands of others on Mix, the new social media platform that has replaced StumbleUpon.

© 2018 Copyright – All rights reserved – hughsviewsandnews.com

 

131 comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. I think all of these are a must on a blog page, I’ve had them all for sometime. But it would be really interesting if there was a way we could find out which ones are use the most.

    1. It would, although my guess is that they are all used, especially the search bar. After all, we see a search bar on most of the websites we visit. SEOs are, themselves, search bars, so I think the search bar is probably the most used.

  4. Yes Hugh, these are all very important items for bloggers to have. You always make it easy to understand the reasons for your suggestions. More great advice for everyone!! Thank you once again 😊

    1. Yes, I’d recommend that, Mary. Making our blogs easy to navigate, as well making it easy for readers to find what they are looking for, will keep visitors coming back.
      Let me know if you need any help in applying them to your blog.

    1. You’re welcome, Carol. Setting up a menu bar can sound rather frightening, but the WordPress tutorial makes it very easy to do. Once it’s there, your readers can then use it when searching for particular articles or subjects. Not only will you be making it easier for your readers to find articles on your blog, but you’ll stop losing those readers who move on because they can’t find what they were looking for.

  5. 🙂 Hugh, I do have a “Contact” page and an “About” page (I view them as mandatory pages).

    Although the “Search Bar” is a really useful tool, visitors do not always find what they are looking for whenever they use it.

    If they were to enter a misspelled word or a completely incorrect phrase, they are going to come up empty.

    I have a “Category Cloud” widget on my blog; which visitors can use to come across their favourite categories of blog posts.

    And, people can also go through my “Archives” widget to find all of my blog posts.

    I believe in using a Gravatar and keeping it up-to-date date.

    People should be able to navigate blogs easily.

    My blog’s design is simple and clean-looking (And, anyone should be able to find their way around it).

    Great tips, my friend.

    And, do keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you, Renard.

      I agree if you misspell a word when using a search bar then it won’t throw everything back for you. However, the search bar is one of the most commonplace icons on the web. You’ll find one on the majority of websites. Like millions of other people, I use search bars every single day. It’s the first thing I look for if wanting to search for something on a website or a blog, just because I am so used to using one when searching for something. Let’s not forget that when using a search engine (such as Google) that it too is a search bar. I believe that the search bar has become something commonplace in the lives of millions of people.

      I’ve seen category clouds on many blogs (and have used them), but I’m not sure how many people know what they are for or how they work. You don’t see them as often as you would a search bar, but they are a great way to search for items providing posts have been categorised. And, how many blogs posts have I come across which aren’t categorised? Let’s just say lots and lots. Categorising blog posts is such an important part of the whole blogging experience.

      I, too, have the archives widget on my blog. Great to use if you want to look at every single post published in a particular month, but probably not as good to use if you’re only searching for a certain subject or item. I’m not 100% sure that widget bars are used very much, mainly because of time issues a reader may have. However, I like to have one on my own blog as I see as a way of readers being able to access even more information if they so wish. I use it to, to promote my book (and those of other authors).

  6. Guru Hugh, you have hit all the nails on the heads here with your explanations of the importance of all these valuable tools on our blogs. It’s beyond me how people don’t have a search bar on their blogs. I too have often wanted to fish around a blog when I enjoyed a particular post only to find no search bar. Heck, I use my own search bar to locate some of my own posts.
    Excellent tips again (for your new blog book) and once again, I’ll be adding this link to my recommended Writer’s Tips issue. ❤ xxxx

    1. When you think about it, a search bar is something you’ll find on most websites, Debby. It’s a commonplace item, so it only makes sense that we should also have one on our own blogs. I use them every day, especially because they save me so much time when looking for something. If I can’t find what I’m looking for quickly, then I’ll get the information somewhere else and link to that page instead.
      Like you, I use the search bar on my own blog all the time. It helps me find what I’m looking for far more quickly than using anything else.
      Thank you for the upcoming share of this post on your Writer’s Tip post. Thanks, too, for sharing the post across your social media platforms.
      xx

  7. Hi, Hugh – Once again you have offered excellent tips and reminders that all bloggers should check and double-check. Your post reminded me to ensure that my ‘Contact Me’ Page was re-connected. (I had temporarily disconnected it when sorting out my plugins.)
    I greatly appreciate your generous support of other bloggers.

    1. It’s great to hear that these posts act as reminders to us all, Donna. There’s often so much going on, we forget about the little things unless we’ve written a list.
      It’s always a pleasure to help you and my readers with these posts. I’m glad they help.

  8. Yeah, you reminded me I need to put a search widget in my blog, thanks! I’ll do that in due course…

    As for searching for your own posts, I find that using the search box on the Posts page of the old wp-admin page works for me. 🙂

    I’m not sure if always works – it used to – but you can usually access people’s blog archives simply by adding a forward slash, then the word ‘archive’, then another forward slash, after the name of their blog, in the address bar. I seem to remember it even works if they don’t use an archive widget.

  9. Hi Hugh,
    Great tips. Most of this I have on my site when I followed one of your previous posts and revamped my site. I did not have a ‘search’ and now I do. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.