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.
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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