Tags, Tags, Tags and more Tags

In a previous post I talked specifically about how and why you should use Hashtags on Twitter to raise your visibility and get discovered by others – which is especially important if you don’t have too many followers.  This isn’t restricted to Twitter and in fact it holds true for any social media and blogging platform you use that has the capability to allow you to do this.

For example let’s take WordPress – when you create a post you have the option to add Tags to it and this works along the same lines as the Hashtags in Twitter that I mentioned.  Let’s say I have a blog post that I’ve tagged photography not only will people who visit my blog be able to find all my post tagged with photography but it will also allow anyone visiting the WordPress site to click on this tag on the Popular Tags page.  This will show all posts that have been tagged with this so again someone may discover your post and your blog as a result of that giving you more visibility than you would normally have.

Similarly you can add Hashtags just as you do on Twitter in Google+ posts and people can either do a search within Google+ to find posts that have this tag or they can click on the tag from an existing post and see all other posts with that tag.  I really saw the power of hashtags over the last week on an iPhone photo sharing app that I use called Instagram where I had been posting pictures I’d taken and sometimes didn’t tag them and if I did I’d just use one tag to describe the photo. A new follower who came across a photo of mine told me to “start tagging” and when I looked at her photos I saw a lot more tags than I’d been using.  As soon as I did this the amount of new people who were now discovering my photos, leaving comments and following me increased dramatically.

So if you want to increase your visibility on blogs, social media and even apps look out for opportunities to add tags and I will leave you with the advice that I got that worked well “start tagging!”.

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Making it easy for others to share your content

Following on from my Sharing is Caring post I wanted to flip this around to talk about how you can make it easier for others to share your blog content.  I have a theory that these days we’re all suffering from short attention spans and we want to be able to do the things we want quickly and easily – or in other words we’ve all become rather lazy!  So even though it doesn’t take too much effort on people’s part to copy a link from a blog post and then share this by pasting it into a tweet or Facebook update or Google+ post people just don’t bother.  So it’s important that on your blog you include ways they can help share your content by simple click or two and blogging platforms like WordPress give you the ability to add these in very easily.

What you need to be aware of is that not all of the Blog themes you select will have this option so when you’re choosing a blog theme or thinking of changing your existing one to a new one pay close attention to this.  in WordPress look under Settings>Sharing and it will give you a whole page of options to settings and the following is what you’re looking for are the options you want to provide like this:

Once you have chosen the services you want to give to your readers to share your content you will see them displayed at the bottom of your blog posts just above where they have the opportunity to leave a comment:

The additional benefit you get also, which you can see from above, is that when anyone shares your content it using the services you get a count. So as in the above example you can see that 3 people have tweeted the blog post and this can also help encourage others to share your content if they can see this kind of information.  The key thing is that you’ve given them nice easy ways to do this and provided them with a choice of a few ways to do this so they can select the appropriate services that they want to share this with.

Go check your blog – have you provided people an easy way to share your content?  If not does your blogging platform and/or theme give you the ability to do this?  If not then I would recommend you find a way to enable this for your blog posts which may be as simple as choosing a new theme.  As always – feel free to share this blog post using the sharing buttons below!