Monday, December 23, 2013

What Are You Getting Your Blog For Christmas?

Photos Courtesy of Edie Melson
By Laurie Epps

As writers, it's easy to get caught up in the content of our blogs, and ignore our blogs curb appeal. Since my minor is in Marketing, I can say this isn't a good idea! Now whereas, I don't expect you to learn every nuance of making your blog appealing to your readers visually, there are some fundamentals every writer should know.

There are two fundamental methods for following your blog: by email and RSS Newsfeed. I just fixed this on my own blog, thanks to Edie's advice in her book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers.
Photos Courtesy of Edie Melson

The money maker once you use blog for marketing purposes, is email addresses. They are gold to the writer, and your primary audience. The second only being the RSS Feed. Now you may not know what an RSS Feed is, but what you do need to have it readily available to your visitors.

Other important features you should have on your blog include ways to follow me on:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Liking Your Fan Page (Mine's on Facebook)
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Following or liking another platform
Another thing you should be working on is the top portion of your blog. By this I mean, the top two inches of your blog should clearly indicate that it's your blog. So either this should be your name, or your blog address should include your name as mine does. To find out what I mean by this, begin to look at the cosmetics of other blogs. A great example of this is my friend, Lisa Carter's blog. To view it, click here.

When you're placing your plug-ins in your template designer, think about what you want your readers to do first. If you want them to subscribe, then make a link to make that readily available first, and so on. Put your gadgets to work for you!

Photos Courtesy of Edie Melson
Before you hang your stockings by the chimney with care, here are some ideas to keep you on track:

  • Look at some sites that you visit the most often. What do you like about them? Which plug-ins make your life easier?
  • What are your biggest pet peeves when you visit a blog? Make sure you're not guilty of the same crime.
  • Talk to other people about what frustrates them on a blog? This could be a great question for Facebook or Twitter.
So what do you like the most about your favorite blogs? What do you find annoying? Please share your thoughts with us below, and join the conversation.

From my hearth to yours, Merry Christmas.


Can't get enough social media? Check out Edie's Social Media Mondays column at:

Join us next week, where we'll talk about the difference between a Blog Follower, and Subscriber.

Laurie Epps is a senior at Anderson University majoring in Creative Writing. Already Laurie is most published as a feature article writer, essayist, and poet. A seeker of beauty and world traveler, Laurie hopes to grow into a career in travel writing illuminating the many stories that make us human despite our differences. Currently, Laurie also has a Thoughtful Thursday column dedicated to the fine art of poetry.

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