5 Powerful Blogging Tools That Will Get Your Blog Noticed

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.

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 good quality posts that make your readers want to engage with you and each other 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.

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Need more readers and followers? These 5 blogging tools will help

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 many new readers and followers.

1. The Search Bar

The other day, I was writing a new blog post and wanted to include links to some posts I had read on other blogs.

However, try as I might, I couldn’t 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 find it.

You can make it 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 with its position. Ensure it’s visible and easy for visitors to find. The search bar on my blog is the first widget on my widget bar to the right of all my blog posts.

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.

2. The Menu Bar

Navigation is of prime importance on any blog. Make it difficult for visitors to navigate or find more content, and they’ll probably give up and never return.

That’s why it’s essential to have a menu bar on your blog.

A menu bar allows your readers to check out what is on your blog and helps direct them to other parts of your blog they’d like to explore.

Many bloggers can be frightened by including a menu bar on their blog or adding items. 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.

However, don’t overload the menu bar on your blog, as it can look overwhelming. And ensure you keep it updated and check that everything works on it.

3. The ‘Contact Me Page

Just imagine another blogger, a magazine editor, or somebody from your local radio station wanting to contact you to invite you to write an article or appear on a show. How exciting would that be? But they can’t find a way of reaching you privately!

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 privately, then they’ll probably move on and give that opportunity to somebody else.

On the menu bar of my blog, you’ll see a ‘Contact Hugh’ button. That’s how people can contact me privately.

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 allowed me to promote myself 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.

4. The ‘About Me’ Page

Ever since my early days of blogging, I’ve been told and know 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.

When I visit a new blog, I first look for an ‘about me’ page to find out more about the blogger.

If the blogger doesn’t have an ‘about me’ page or it’s difficult to find, 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 allow new visitors to introduce themselves by allowing them to leave a comment on it. And, don’t forget, a friendly reply is more likely to keep that visitor returning to read your posts.

Click here for details on setting up an ‘About Me’ page and what to include.

5. The Gravatar

The image that appears next to all comments is known as a Gravatar. A gravatar is created for you as soon as you leave your first review or comment on the internet.

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 bloggers make, as soon as their gravatar is created, is they forget about it. Many don’t realise they can add an image and leave links to their blog and social media accounts on their gravatar.

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 means more visitors to your blog and social media accounts which could result in more followers.

Click here to find out how to add links to your blog and social media accounts to your gravatar.

Let’s wrap it up

  • Many blogging tools can help readers notice your blog and keep them returning.
  • Make sure you have a Search Bar on your blog to help visitors find other content.
  • Ensure your blog includes a menu bar, but don’t overload it with too many items.
  • Ensure the links on your blog’s menu bar all work. Check for broken links at least once a month and fix any that have become broken.
  • Ensure your blog has a page where readers and visitors can contact you privately. Not everyone will want to leave a comment inviting you to write a guest post or to appear on a radio show or podcast.
  • Many new visitors want to know a little about the person behind the blog before deciding whether to follow or not. Tell visitors a little about yourself on an ‘about me’ page.
  • Ensure your Gravatar has links to your blog and social media accounts.

This is an updated version of a post originally published on Hugh’s Views And News in September 2018

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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57 thoughts on “5 Powerful Blogging Tools That Will Get Your Blog Noticed

    1. Yes, it does, Lisa. I had a quick look, and I see you’ve got your ‘about’ page on that menu, so that’s good. It looks great.

      BTW – Both your comments were marked as spam by WordPress and went straight to my spam folder. I’d recommend you check that other comments you’re leaving on other blogs are not being marked as spam. If they are, I’d recommend you notify WordPress it’s happening, as they can fix the problem.

  1. Hi Hugh,
    I hope I wasn’t the blogger whose Search Bar was difficult to find. On my blog, on desktop, it’s on the top right. On the smartphone, it’s all the way at the bottom.
    Congratulations! You won the Inspire Me Monday Linky Party and will be featured on my blog tomorrow.
    Janice

  2. Thank you Hugh for the advice here. You are a good Blogger and this blog is what we all Bloggers want to see happening that is getting our blogs to shine and knock them off the park🔥🔥🔥👏

  3. I imagine many bloggers have gravatars that don’t lead anywhere. One thing I will add again (mostly because I keep running into the issue), make sure your blog has a very easy to find (high up on the sidebar, if possible) way for readers to subscribe. I also think it’s important to have a fresh pair of eyes look at your blog to make sure it’s easy to navigate and all the elements are there. Sometimes when we look at our own work, we miss what others see.

    I have a question: how do you handle inquiries through your contact me page that are basically solicitations to write articles for your blog? I have always figured they are blast inquiries sent out to multiple blogs and have just ignored them.

    1. Thank you for mentioning the important fact about making it easy for readers to subscribe to a blog, Janis. I generally rely on the ‘follow’ button in the bottom right corner of a blog when scrolling, but some blogs don’t have that feature, so it’s important to make it easy for readers to subscribe. And I agree too about having a fresh pair of eyes look over our blogs. I always welcome feedback or messages from readers who spot mistakes or errors on my blog.

      Regarding your question, I’ve found that 99% of the requests I get for submitting a guest post to my blog are from spammers who want to include links in the article that lead readers elsewhere. Those requests that do not address me by my first name are instantly deleted. The same goes for those that claim they love my blog and read all my posts, yet I’ve never heard from them before by way of a comment. I hope that helps, but please feel free to ask further questions.

  4. Thanks again for the tips, Hugh! After reading this, I just moved my “Search this Website” widget to the top of my sidebar. I used to have it further down because there is a search bar on the top of my website. But I just noticed that it’s not always visible when scrolling. You rock! Thank you!

  5. I agree that all of these are important, Hugh. I think I updated my Gravatar and About Me page after reading your posts in the past. I also think it’s important to include your social media icons, and I have a floating “pin it” button that appears on my images to make it easy for people to save the post to Pinterest.

    1. Social media is another great tool that all bloggers should use, Michelle. Promoting your social media accounts is free to do on WordPress, and there are some blocks specially made for that purpose. I also like the idea of your floating Pinterest pin-it button.

  6. These are really valuable tips, Hugh- I immediately implemented a couple of them and will circle back to ensure I have all of these things in place. A wonderful, helpful post!

  7. Lately I’ve been having problems liking people’s posts – mostly people I’m not following. Generally I
    try to engage with a blogger before deciding to follow but that’s kind of hard when they don’t allow new people to like or comment.

    1. I have a few problems with the ‘like’ button on some blogs, but it tends to be the like button next to comments. However, if I click ‘like’ under the notifications icon, it seems to work immediately.

      I don’t understand why some bloggers choose not to respond or answer comments. It’s the height of rudeness. If I encounter bloggers who don’t respond, I unfollow their blog or (if I like their content) stop leaving comments.

  8. I share your frustration with blogs thst don’t have a search function. Sometimes I’ll look through their categories list as an alternative – but then get the problem that they just show posts in a month by month list. At which point I give up.

    1. It’s frustrating, isn’t it? I’ve also added ‘Blogging Tips’ to the menu bar of my blog, as those posts tend to be my most popular. So it’s another quick way for readers to find what they’re looking for.

  9. Well my previous message doesn’t appear to have posted – thank you for the masterclass 🙂 I’ve just gone through all your guidance with my blog site. I did have some things in place but I didn’t have a search bar – I do now. I’m not entirely happy with how it looks but I’ll figure out how to change it.

    I’ve also now realised how to set my Gravatar – thank you for that 😀

    Thank you Hugh.

    1. Hi Brenda,

      I moderate and approve all comments before they appear on my posts. This is why you won’t see your comment appear straight away. I have to approve it first. It helps prevent spammers and those leaving nasty comments attacking other bloggers on my posts (I’ve had a few of those in the past).

      I quickly looked at your blog and saw the search bar, so it’s in a great position.

  10. I often experienced that I wanted to know a bit about a blogger who left an interesting comment but I could not find an About page which was a bit disappointing. Also, all the other points you mentioned are important in my opinion.

    1. The ‘about me’ page is the first page I look for when visiting a blog for the first time. If the blog does not have one or I can’t find it quickly, I won’t follow it, Erika. I like to know a little about who I’m following and what I can expect to find on their blog before making up my mind. And if the page hasn’t been updated in years, I won’t follow either.

      1. Exactly, same over here. I want to find points to connect by getting to know a bit about the person. Blogging is different and the personal contact is important. A blog is work, you cannot set it up once and it just runs successfully like this for years.

  11. Couldn’t agree more with these. I hate when blogs don’t have an About page because I don’t know whether to follow it or not. It really helps tell the reader what the blog is about and that helps them decide whether they should follow or not.

    1. I agree, Pooja. It’s nice to know what people blog about before deciding whether to follow or not. I recall following a blog because they published a one-off post about writing, only to discover that the blogger mainly blogged about ladies’ shoes. Now, if she’d had an about me page that told me what she blogged about, it would have saved me some time.

  12. A top five of excellent blogging tools, Hugh! I remember “Blogging 101” that WP hosted years ago, and how it taught us the importance of these particular tools. Like Liesbet, I use my own search tool as well 🙂 I’ve lost count of the times people have contacted me through my about me page. All very useful for any blogger!

    1. I remember the Blogging 101 course well, Terri. I’m so pleased that I signed up for that course, as it got me a lot of early followers who would read and comment on each other’s posts to get everyone started. Back then, the course was a live online event. These days, you can complete it at any time you want as it’s done in modules in your own time.

      1. It was a brilliant concept for many of those reasons, Hugh. Same with Photography 101–both courses helped me be the blogger I am today 🙂 And if we can’t engage in those courses, then we read your helpful tips 🙂

  13. I remember having an issue with the link to my blog with my Gravatar profile. It was showing, but WordPress linked to an IP address which went nowhere. I spoke to the WordPress team and it turned out to be an issue with using CloudFlare. If anyone else has a similar issue, then check your DNS settings.

  14. Looks like I’m on the right track. All these are important parts on someone’s blog, Hugh. I recently wanted to write a note to someone whose blog I follow and didn’t find a “contact me” page or email address on their site. I left a comment to their “about me” page, but never heard back.

    The search bar is great. I actually use it myself on my own blog when I want to link to older posts. Another widget I have on my blog is the “translate” function, which might be helpful if you have international readers who aren’t that comfortable with English, like some of my Belgian family.

    1. How terrible that you never heard back from that blogger you left a comment for on their ‘about’ page, Liesbet. I wonder how many opportunities they have missed or readers they have lost by not having any way of contacting them or by not responding to comments?

      I also have the ‘Translate’ widget on my blog. Thank you for mentioning it as another essential tool for bloggers to have displayed on their blogs?

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