If you’re running a blog for your business, it’s important to think of every page, every post you publish as an opportunity to either ramp up your business or lose ground. Every page on your site will either produce comments and other forms of interaction with your visitors, or it will fail in this regard. For this reason, it’s important to spend a minute to think about what your goal is for each page.
What do you want this page to accomplish? Not every page is going to have the same goal of course. Some posts, you’ll want to simply generate comments and interaction with your readers. Some will be focused on generating new subscriptions. Some will me meant to sell a product, etc. You get the idea. So here are a few elements I’d encourage you to include on your blog. They’ve worked well for me, so they’re at least worth a try.
- Install a share widget. I use this one. It makes it very easy for a visitor to share your content with their friends. Twitter, Facebook and a ton of the biggest social networks are all supported. The viral nature of content is one of the most powerful elements to blog marketing. Make it easy for your visitors to spread your content around any way they see fit.
- Have a contact form on every page. You’ll see a contact form in the side bar on almost every page on my site. When I installed this form, specifically for the purpose of just giving general feedback, submitting questions, etc, I found that a lot of people really do use it. Is it hard to click over to my contact page? Of course not, but having a contact form right there in front of you consistently reminds a visitor that I earnestly to want to hear from them if they have anything to share. It’s started a lot of good conversation.
- Install SEO links plugin. It’s a free piece for WordPress. You can set certain keywords within your blog to automatically link up to other pages, even outside pages to other sites. An example: I set the words “contact me” to automatically link to my contact page. This produces a number of incoming links automatically to my contact page. I don’t have to think about it or manually put the links in. Internal link structure is beneficial to a site for a number of reasons. I recommend it 🙂
- Using Aweber. I’m an affiliate for Aweber for good reason. Why? They rock. Enough said. I’ve checked out all the major email marketing solutions, and my personal opinion is that Aweber is the most powerful provider to use. They are inexpensive, give you powerful ways to measure the effectiveness of the email you send your subscribers, and they offer a ton of creative, effective opt in forms to put on your pages. An Aweber opt in form looks great, and it can be set up in mere seconds.
- Use simple graphics. I set up sites to be content-focused. This is just my personal M.O., but I honestly think visitors want content, not fancy graphics. When it comes to blogging, less is more. Keep it simple, spend time on good content, and results will follow!
- Use captions on your images. I haven’t always been big on using images in posts. I don’t personally like the use of stock images in posts, because I think it looks cheesy. However, I cannot ignore that other top bloggers swear by it. The fact is that a simple, well-placed image in your post can grab people. Some people respond strongly to visual anchors like this. I’ve found that by taking a minute and putting a caption on the image, it gives it a lot more power. Instead of just putting up a stock image, put in a caption. Your caption will give the reader a frame of reference and make it that much more powerful. Details matter.
- Link up your social networks. Are you on Twitter? Are you on LinkedIn? I encourage you to link these things up in your sidebar, so that your visitors can see you’re out there. They’ll see they can connect with you in a number of other locations, which can be of great benefit to you. You may think that you want people on your blog. Why would you encourage them to leave and hit you up on Facebook when you really want them to subscribe to your blog? The answer is that many users are simply more comfortable on Facebook. Connect with them where they’re most comfortable. By sharing your blog content on other networks, users can share your ideas just as easily from Facebook or any other place. Your blog is your hub, but you should be active in other places as well, and it all contributes to your user base. Just because a fan on Facebook doesn’t add to your Feedburner count doesn’t matter at all. Connections are what matter. Facebook counts 🙂
I think it’s important to mention that not every blog is the same of course. Just because something works really well for me doesn’t mean you’ll get the same results with your audience. However, this list should give you a few things to try. Trial and error is the key 🙂
There are many more, but these are the ones that jump out at me at the moment…do you have any additional page tweaks that have worked really well for you? I’ve love to hear what works for you!