2) Use the free Link Within plug-in to make lovely cross-links with the photos and titles of related posts at the end of each of your posts. I hit one glitch (a link to a post I later discarded) and the Link Within help system fixed it very quickly.
3) Did you know you could run another blog in your sidebar using a plug-in that allows an RSS feed? (My plug-in came with the free WordPress site.) On my book review blog I run the newest post from my just-chatting blog, and vice-versa. At Catholics Communicate Christ you’ll see the Guild’s blog in my sidebar. On the site with my speaker information, I run both my own blogs.
Can’t hurt, might help.
4) Get a free ‘Favicon’ plug-in to make your own pic, or the header pic from your blog appear next to your address way up in browser address bars. Just fun, but it also helps readers with multiple tabs open get back to your blog. (The link here is to “All in One Favicon” ….I didn’t get it off their site, but found it from within WordPress browsing a list of plug-ins in the search results for ‘favicon’.)
5) Akismet has cut the impossible amount of spam commentary I was getting to a trickle (Michael Kors bag, or knock-off designer shoes anyone?!?!?). It’s free! I have one code that let me install it on all my blogs; without it my blogging days were over – submerged under comments like, “great blog…must buy shoes to match…keep up good work…you have writing and Louis Vuitton skills…much you say is highly valuable and Gucci also is esteemed!!”
6) Here’s a fun one: Go to Tagxedo.com and submit your blog address to get a word cloud created from all the words contained there. The words are ‘weighted’ by number of times they are used, and it’s an interesting look at what content has the most gravitas on your site. Free!
7) Do a monthly ‘smallify’ (I actually put ‘smallify’ on my calendar!) of the latest posts to make more posts show up on your main page. I click on whatever image I’ve used for each post and cut it to 60%, then interrupt my post early with a ‘read more’ inserted. Now and then I’ve done a quick bit of rewriting to make that teaser on top more interesting. The exercise shows me that my posts need to be better-written in the first place! Now, instead of a new reader landing and seeing one long post, he sees a taste of 5 or 6, with ‘read more’ just a click away.
8) Don’t forget to put the Catholic Writers Guild Shield somewhere on your blog! Right click the one here and ‘save image as’, or ‘snip’ the image from the CWG home page (My daughter discovered the ‘snipping tool’ somewhere in the Microsoft Word bag of tricks…free, of course! I use it all the time now.)
9) While you’re smallifying (yes, if I coin a word I can also run it through its changes!), check posts to see if there are any natural links to old posts you could insert in the text to lead readers deeper into the subject at hand. Or, you might have found some external links you want to include (please be sure these ‘open in new window’ so your readers will be able to get back to your post easily).
10) It will refresh your own blog to share your responses to the blogs of others! Can we each (I’m guilty of forgetting to do this!!) commit to make one post each month a nod to other bloggers?
Bonus: Do you have social media share buttons on your posts for quick clicking? Do you remember to share your own posts??? Click!
Bonus: Blog followers, don’t forget that Google Reader is going down. Just go to Feedly and let the magic begin….easy, easy transition of your whole RSS subscription list from Google Reader to Feedly, which is lots better and makes you glad GR went under!