I’m here to give you some basic, but extremely valuable, information that you should implement on your blogs if you haven’t already.
Many of you know that I’m the editor here at Midlife Boulevard. If you don’t know that – hi, nice to meet you! I’m Andrea and I blog at Good Girl Gone Redneck. I’ve been there since 2009. My daughter was two at the time. Goodness, right? Doing that math makes me realize my baby is growing up.
But back to blogging. I’m going to offer you five pieces of applicable information and changes you need to either implement immediately, or check to confirm that you’ve already got this in place.
5 Best Practice Blogging Tips You Need Right Now
1. Your Twitter shares.
Friends, I love sharing your content. Many of you have those lovely buttons in place from Shareaholic and the like. Which is excellent. I love it. It’s important that you have those. The easier it is for your reader to share your work, the more likely they are to do it. But don’t you want to know when it’s being shared? So many of you have not changed the “@” on your Twitter shares. So, when I tweet out your post Shareaholic is getting the notification. I know. It makes no sense. But it’s the way many of you have your sites set up.
Go, right now, and start to tweet one of your own pieces directly from your website. Who does the @ go to? If it’s not your info you need to change it. I’ve got a step-by-step resource on how to Customize Your Shareaholic Tweets. If it’s already your handle? Excellent! You’re a step ahead of everyone else!
2. How do I contact you?
If you don’t have your email on the front page of your blog, your about me page, or your contact me page please add it immediately. As an editor who is always looking for new content, I want to reach out to you directly. I don’t want to do so through a contact form. If you want to keep your contact form, that’s great. Add your email to that page. Make it easy for me to contact you via email. It’s the only way I’m going to reach out. Brands aren’t going to take too many steps to try to track you down. They’re going to move on to the next blogger. Ensure that it’s there and easy to find so we can find you.
3. Social media buttons.
Give me a way to find you off of your site. Put those buttons in your sidebar so I can find them easily. People often say that Facebook is killing blogging, but really many of us use Facebook to follow our favorite bloggers and in place of an RSS feed or an email subscription. Make sure I know how to find you on social media, please. The more places people can find you the better connected you’ll become. I’ve made some of my greatest blogging connections on Instagram!
4. A picture of you.
This is optional, but something I’m going to encourage. I love seeing who you are. Gone are the days where everyone hid behind a cartoon logo. Those logos are fine. I’m not telling you to trash yours. I’m just asking you to include a photo of yourself somewhere on your site. If you don’t want it front and center, that’s fine. Drop one onto your About Me page (please have some sort of about page on your site, your readers enjoy them, but brands absolutely use them to see if you might be a good fit for their campaign or products). It doesn’t have to be fancy, it can be you by yourself, you with your spouse/partner, with your children, grandchildren, pets, anything – as long as I can see your face.
Yes. It sounds simple. Easy. Engage. I’m not asking you to go overboard. I’m not even asking you to reply to all of your comments, because depending on what you use for your site comments it might not be as easy as people think. Use social media. Pick the platform you enjoy the most and use it. It should feel like second nature. Engagement will come easily.
For me, I love them all. Yes. I know. It’s too much sometimes. And you shouldn’t feel obligated. You should enjoy what you’re doing. Twitter should feel like a conversation. Yes, quite often it feels like you’re talking to yourself, but it should be more than just link-sharing and self-promotion. Enjoy and engage.
Facebook doesn’t always cooperate with those of us who maintain pages for our blogs, so when you share your posts there you might find that nobody sees them. But when you know that they’ve been viewed and someone actually comments? Try to respond. It’s appreciated and respected. I could go on and on (and it may seem as though I already have! I’m nothing if not resourcefully wordy), but I’ll stop with those two.
So – there are a few things to get you reinvigorated when it comes to your blog, your readers and any subsequent opportunities that might come your way. Let me know how it goes – I look forward to connecting with you, on and off the virtual page!