Monday, February 02, 2009

Blog Tips

Saw this yesterday. You get to see it now.

5 Elaborate Tips To Make Your Blog Social Media Friendly

Posted: 29 Jan 2009 11:17 AM PST

BlogsRegardless of the niche your blog operates in, there is no doubt that social media plays a crucial role in its success. Social media sites like Digg, Stumbleupon, Reddit and more recently microblogging sites like Twitter have emerged as excellent sources of free traffic for blog owners. As a blogger, ignoring such sites is a big mistake.

Most new bloggers seem to be aware of the fact that luring social media visitors to their blog is a decent way to gain traction. However, they do little to make their blog look appealing to those visitors and hence only a fraction become loyal subscribers.

To help on your quest for blogging stardom, here are a few tips that may help increase the attach rate brought with using social media. When I say attach rate, I means it has the ability to captivate social media users and gives easy options to users allowing them to share and promote articles. Also, keep in mind that these are general tips and things may vary depending upon the particular social site you are targeting (Digg users are different than Reddit users, etc.).

I'm not a designer but I understand that a friendly design, social media visitor friendly to be more specific, would allow the visitor to read the content easily without annoying ads popping up in between. The design should make navigation through the site easier and ensure the lack of clutter on the site.

A good design immediately captures the attention of a social media user or any visitor for that matter and there is a good chance that he would subscribe to or bookmark the site for future reference. Hence, if you plan to include social media in your blog's marketing strategy, then the layout of the blog should be well planned too.

Speed would refer to the time it takes for a web page to load in the browser. Keep in mind that internet surfers are an impatient lot and if your blog takes too long to load, they may immediately switch to a different destination not caring about what you had in store for them.

This directly correlates with the first factor (design) which I talked about. If you clutter the page with a lot of stuff like ads, images, symbols, javascripts and links, then it would take time to load all those things.

So, make sure that you check the loading time of your blog using a service like Pingdom tools and check which part is taking the longest time to load. If it's an unnecessary third party script then go ahead and remove it. Also, research well before choosing a web host because it plays an important role in the loading speed too.

Yeah, I know; great content is the most basic rule of good blogs. Every blogger knows it, talks about it, & advises it. And really, you can't escape the fact that if you want your blog to be popular and get more traffic, then it should produce content which is good and interesting. You may not be able to produce great content every other day. However, having a thoughtful blend of great articles and mediocre ones may do enough to keep an audience engaged.

If this was 2003, I would have probably said don't worry about the content as much, but now, with millions of blogs already out there and more coming up everyday, great content is the deciding factor and when it comes to social media, there are not many instances when crap blogs attract social media attention everyday. Only blogs with great content do.

So you've got a good design, ensured that the loading speed is fine, and written great content. Now you are ready to market your product. But wait, it's not over. Are you sure you are in a position to attract the maximum attention of social media visitors ? Do you have a nice RSS button visible easily which makes it easy for them to subscribe ? Do you have a list of great posts written by you previously firmly displayed on your blog sidebar ? Have you added the social media buttons using services like AddThis or ShareThis ?

These are just a few of the things you can do to make sure that you retain the maximum of those who visit your blog from a social media site. There are many other steps you can take depending upon the niche of your blog and the social site you are likely to get traffic from.

No matter what steps you take to make your blog social media friendly, if there's a burst of social media traffic and your blog crashes then all your efforts would go down the drain. So it's important to be prepared for such occasions. If you are on a hosted platform like Blogger or then you don't need to worry. However, if you host your blog on your own, make sure your host is able to handle a sudden burst of traffic. For self-hosted Wordpress blogs, there are plugins like WP Super Cache which help in preventing the demise of a blog when there's huge load on its server.

My suggestion would be to minimize the use of plugins in your Wordpress installation. Most of the time, a plugin is responsible for your blog going down in high traffic situations and not the host. If your blog does go down when it hits the Digg front page, check your plugins and disable most of them.

Overall, just make sure that you are prepared to leverage the traffic and get maximum returns in the form of loyal visitors.



Written on 1/29/2008 by Abhijeet Mukherjee. You can catch him at Jeet Blog where he blogs about different Web 2.0 apps and online tools and how they can help you become more productive.Photo Credit:
Annie Mole

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