Help your readers follow your blog

This is the fifth in a series of articles in which I hope to share with you my knowledge of how and why Technology Bloggers has been so successful, so fast. Learn more about this series by reading our Technology Bloggers success article.

As many of you know I used to run a tech blog of my own – entitled Christopher Roberts Technology Blog. Now on that blog I made a key error that many bloggers still make today. I didn’t make it easy for people to ‘subscribe’ to my content.

If you have a great blog, but no really easy ways for people to subscribe, the chases are that you won’t be able to retain visitors for very long. If you have a blog with good, (not great, but good) content, but you give readers loads of ways and incentives to subscribe, then you are much more likely to get loyal readers.

So if you have good content you could have more visitors than someone with great content, simply because you make it easy for people to keep up to date with your content.

With Technology Bloggers I hope I have created a blog with great content from a load of fantastic authors, as well as multiple ways to receive that content, making it really easy to subscribe.

So how can you ‘help’ your readers to follow your blog? Everyone is different, so I find there is no ‘one way fits all’, but there are a few ways that I think cover them all.

FeedBurner

If you use FeedBurner, FeedBlitz or some other feed subscriber, you can instantly give readers tens of ways to follow your content. Check out our feed or look at the image below to see just how many ways FeedBurner lets users subscribe to your feed.

Ways to subscribe using FeedBurner

Ways in which you can subscribe to Technology Bloggers via our (FeedBurner) RSS feed

Furthermore, if you use FeedBurner, you can get your feed to link into your Twitter account. This means that every new article you publish can appear in your twitter stream just seconds after publication. This means that all those people who prefer to receive updates via social media, can do so via Twitter.

Another great feature about FeedBurner is that it lets you give readers the option to subscribe via email. On the sidebar of every page of our blog you can input your email and get updates by email. Interested in trying it out?

You can use Facebook too

Facebook also gives you the option to import a feed as notes which can appear as a status update. Import your RSS feed to Facebook page and you create yet another way for people to follow your blog and read your content. All you need to is ‘like’ Technology Bloggers and you can get our feed! The one thing I would say about Facebook is that its updates aren’t nearly as frequent as Twitters are!

Click ‘Like’ below to see what I mean.

So now you know that you need to make it easy for people to follow your blog, do you have any amendments to make to your feed or social profiles?

Useful reference: How to add an email subscription form to your blog.

How to show more screen options in WordPress

I have noticed that most of the other authors on this blog have failed to write a short excerpt for their article. It’s usually really easy and takes seconds to think of a short phrase to sum up, or entice people into reading your article.

When Marc (from the 360 Blog) wrote his most recent article, I emailed him to ask him why he never filled in the excerpt field, as he is now eligible to apply for author status, but that requires each article to have an excerpt.

Marc emailed back and told me

“You mentioned that you would like a short excerpt written, but there wasn’t a place to do that.”

Out came my thinking cap!

I then realised that when I had started Technology Bloggers, when creating a new post, the excerpt field wasn’t showing ether. The trackback field didn’t show, nor did the discussion field etc.


Do you have problems with

  • Excerpt field not showing when creating a new WordPress post
  • Trackback field not showing when creating a new WordPress post
  • Discussion field not showing when creating a new WordPress post
  • As well as other custom fields not showing

well if so I have your solution!

Screen Options.

The 'Screen Options' button in the WordPress admin consoleYou see at the top right of the admin console there is your name, log out etc. well just below that you should see a tab that says help, and next to that a tab that says ‘Screen Options’.

Click ‘Screen Options’ and it will pull the tab down to revile loads of new fields which you can choose to show or not.

The WordPress 'Screen Options' for creating a post in the admin consoleLike to work light? You may just want the publish box and the article writing area. Prefer to go into detail? Tick/check the ‘Categories’, ‘Post Tags’, ‘Custom Fields’, ‘Send Trackbacks’ etc. boxes for a more advanced view!


Under ‘Screen Options’ you also have the option or changing the screen layout. You can decide how many columns your dashboard uses, to display your selected widgets. On the homepage of the dashboard you can split it down in 1,2,3 or even 4 (if you have a very wide screen) columns. On posts pages you can choose to split the view down to two columns, or just the one.

Ever asked yourself ‘how can I show more comments in the WordPress admin console?’, if so, ‘Screen Options’ could help here too. Just click it and you can show as many or as few comments as you like. I have it set so that the WordPress comments page shows 50 comments per page, although I sometimes change it 🙂

Good luck bloggers with using WordPress the way you like it!

Are you Facebook addicted?

This article has been removed.

To find out why Andy Groaning’s article was removed, please read this warning to all writers and potential writers.

I have decided to restore the articles ‘shell’ but not the content, as there are some really valuable comments here.