WhiteAfrican

Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Thoughts, Tips and Tools for Bloggers

Blogging Tips, Tools and Tricks

Here are some thoughts, tips and tools that I have found useful, and thought other bloggers could benefit from as well:

Allow People to Contact You
Please, make it easy for your readers to contact you personally. They might have stories, pictures or thoughts that could help you out. I’ve seen way to many blogs with no way to contact the author, leaving it up to the reader to spam your comments section. If you don’t want to display your email address, use some type of contact form plugin on your blog.

  • Those who are using Blogger (blogspot) or WordPress.com can just activate it within the service.
  • If you’re using WordPress on your own site, consider the Enhanced WordPress contact form plugin.
  • Want to make your own contact form? I suggest setting it up through Wufoo, it’s brain dead simple and free.

Getting Readers to Come Back
Make it easy for people to follow your writing. Almost every blog has some type of RSS as part of the structure, however you can make it even more user friendly by doing the following:

  • Most people don’t know what RSS is or how to use it, so allow readers to signup for updates via email. Personally, I use Feedburner and just activate their tool. Simple and well done.
  • WordPress has an incredibly nice little plugin called Subscribe to Comments. This allows anyone who leaves a comment to get pinged with an email when another person does the same (if they so choose). I’ve seen this really reader interactions.

Useful WordPress Plugins
Be proactive and get ready for problems before they happen. Whether your site gets hacked or you’re finding that you’re being overloaded by traffic, here are a couple WordPress plugins that can help:

  • WP Cache – for when you’re getting slammed by traffic. Think KenyanPundit.com in the middle of the Kenyan election debacle, or if your story gets on a site like Digg.
  • WP Database Backup – I have this setup to auto-save and email me the file each week. This saved me when my hosting service was hacked this last summer.

Anyway, I hope some of this stuff helps, I know it’s helped me over the years.

10 Comments

  1. I think those are all very good suggestions – another two key things I’d add to the list is…

    Write interesting and write often.

    Let me explain… my thought is that it doesn’t really matter what you write as long as there is a call to action (something for the reader to do) or it is directly relevant to your audience. For example, if you write a technology based blog then they’re probably not going to be interested in a story about you cutting your toenails 🙂

    Writing often is also important and it’s quite easy to not blog because you don’t think you have anything to write about. Not true. Your own personal view on random things is what makes you, you – therefore, why not write about them.

    Of course I say this and totally fail to follow my own rules!

    Oh, and making comments on other people’s blogs that interest you is also a good way of highlighting your blog (hint)

  2. Thanks to you both for wonderful suggestions. My personal blog is absolutely cricket-worthy, Cow, because of exactly that – the thought that unless I have 500 words (or whatever – a very long entry) why bother?

    I’m contemplating doing a communal blog (partially for the friendship and enrichment of it, partially to take the onus off just me to write every day) in WordPress, so these are killer sources of information, Hash. Thank you!

  3. Nuttycow, good points.

    I’ve been asked to give talks on blogging before, and I have 3 rules for blogging:

    1) Consistency
    2) Quality (content)
    3) Commitment (over the long haul)

  4. Thanks for the tips. Took me ~30 minutes to implement … well except the consistency bit 🙂

  5. Keep it up Cerise – I’ve been blogging (badly) since about 2000 in various forms (although I’ve only been at my current address for about a year). I think it takes practice and ultimately, you’ve got to do it for *you*, not for readership. Damn, that’s very cheesy!

  6. what’s wrong with novigation?

  7. Wow, Hash and Cow, I’ve learned my LESSON(s) today! You have both gotten me all fired up about teh blog again. Thank you!

  8. Dude, I’ve officially gone wild. Thank you for a super blogging day!

  9. Thanks man. These are absolutely phenomenal tools. The only other things I would add are:
    1) Join the community to which you blog: Read and leave comments on other people’s blogs and be a member of the forums and the social bookmarking community that you service.
    2) Have a short page explaining what RSS is and how it can benefit your readers – this has had mixed results but is worth mentioning.

Comments are closed.

© 2019 WhiteAfrican

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑