It really is inspiring to see so many take up the life of blogging. Blogging is not an easy task by any means as my friend Jay Ehret points out. I have outlined a few points on what makes me coming back to people’s blogs and also what makes it easier to share them.
You Take the Steps out of Subscribing via RSS
I highly recommend using Feedburner for your RSS and even for your email subscriptions. When you click on an RSS button and see an image like the one below that just means one more step for me to copy and paste the feed link into something like Google Reader. When you use Feedburner you get a clean image that automatically will give you options as to what reader you wish to use.
Nice and Clearly Defined Sharing Options
I highly recommend you spend some time reviewing what sharing plugins will work for you. I really have a hard time with the miniature ones in the top right corner of bottom of posts. To me if you really want to have people share your work, give them really defined options and think of different types of readers as well. I use a plugin on the left side called Get Social and on the bottom Shareaholic. I also have a couple on the right side of the post. I feel that this is not too overwhelming and at the same time will cover all types of sharers out there.
Your Theme Reflects Who You Are
I am super picky about my themes both from a front door and back door perspective. I spent the first couple of weeks in January trying a bunch of different themes. I converted myself from the free to the paid in order to get the SEO capabilities and to have the design aesthetics I wanted. Even at that there are still some items I want that I don’t have that prompt me to keep on the lookout. My point is don’t just settle. It is tantamount to buying leftover paint to redo your living room. It shows how much you really care about your blog.
Robust and Efficient Comment System
I use Disqus on The Training Factor Blog and for Socius. It has great ease of use and some unique features that encourage commenting. I find it frustrating when I visit blogs and there is no clear way to actually comment and when you do comment there is no notification if the writer responded or if others commented. Pay attention to this feature! You also need to make sure you get notifications the moment someone has commented. Respond while the comment is hot if at all possible to show your appreciation for an individual taking the time to contribute.
Spelling and Grammar Check is your Friend
I have a basic process. I write my post in Word, review the post for grammar and spelling, pay attention to all the squiggly lines under words or phrases and then I read the post out loud or in an undertone to make sure it sounds proper. Word has its limitations on what actually sounds proper in a sentence. After that I copy and paste into Notepad to get rid of any code issues, then paste it from Notepad into WordPress. Spelling and grammar simply cannot be overlooked. It reflects every ounce of your professionalism. So slow down a minute and be sure. I have seen and even made the mistake of not checking my title before publishing and guess what happens? Now your title tags are spelled wrong and that is a big SEO fail.
You are a Community Member
It’s not all about me and it’s not all about you. Blogging is a community event or least it should be to me. In order to sustain the amount of writing I do each week I have to read a lot of posts and conduct a fair bit of research. There are many great bloggers out there both in multifamily, which is the industry I am in and outside of my industry. I learn from both and make sure I either share their work and comment if I feel I have something valid to add or really just want to express my genuine thanks for their work. When I see others doing the same I am more likely to keep up with their posts and definitely share their hard work.
Your Sharing Plugins Actually Work
I have tried sharing some posts via a Tweet button for example and I wind up getting this as an example “http://bit.ly/ert….” So there is no title associated with the post and no person to credit which means I have to do the work to properly share a post on Twitter. It is so important to make sure your sharing plugins are set up properly. You have to test them yourself and you need to do this on a regular basis. I am having an issue with Stumbleupon right now on our corporate site. It will not submit my posts all of the sudden. I would not have known that unless I tested it though. I am still trying to find out why this is happening so if you have any tips to help me please let me know in the comment section.
I Know Who You Are
I like giving credit where credit is due. It makes it challenging when you do not have any social contact info on your page. If I share your article on Facebook I would love to associate it with a Facebook page. If you have a Twitter account, make it clear on your blog how to connect with you. When it comes to blogging I want to know who the person is behind the pen so to speak. This helps me get to know you and your business and what inspires you to write. When I have these variables it makes it even easier for me to share your hard work.
What points inspire you to share others work and keep coming back to their blogs? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. Feel free to subscribe via RSS or email in the top right corner. I am pretty sure the buttons work! Thanks for being here today.
Written by Jonathan Saar