Going through this 31 Day Blogging Challenge has led me to viewing a LOT of quilt blogs that I had not frequented before. Now, I am by no means the be-all and end-all of quilt bloggers, but I have been doing it for quite awhile even before I started IndieQuilter. Here are some tips I think can be useful to other bloggers out there:
Give a way for people to connect with you. In fact, give as many as you can really. Here are widgets that I think are pretty much must-haves:
Follow Via Email:
I have all of these options on my right sidebar, and all of them are used by readers. I myself, am very disappointed when a page doesn’t offer me a way to easy be notified when they update. I often times never end up back at those blogs, because I rarely if ever use my bookmarks for blog viewing.
Another very useful widget is a search box:
This allows people to search for other topics on your blog that they are interested in.
I set mine to a monthly archive list, as it feels neat and streamlined.
When you write your post (at least in WordPress), you have the option to set categories for posts. This is my current list of categories. It can be useful to your readers, if say, they are looking for just posts on “Free Motion Quilting” or “Quilt Patterns”. It’s ALWAYS better to make navigation as easy and fast as possible for readers or they will move on. We are not generally a culture of patience when it comes to reading, especially online.
While this is not a “widget” per say, it’s key to increasing the ability for new readers to find your site. This is the one that I often forget to do, and then go back and fill in after I’ve already published. It’s worth it. Sites such as Google and Technorati, index these key search words and then sort them for searchers. Technorati uses date to organize, while Google organizes based on popularity and relevance. The better and more often you use tags, the more likely you are to start showing up on search engines on those key words, which in turn means increased viewers/readers.