Is your blog popular? Tell everyone about it!

This week I got a few Likes on my blog posts from Lesley Carter so I went to have a look at her blog. I enjoy travelling so the blog appealed to me and I’m so glad I checked it out because I found some impressive blog stats – almost 8,000 followers and over 290,000 hits in less than 6 months !!

One of the things that Lesley has on her blog which I recommend you also include if you’ve got a lot a good number of followers and/or get a lot of hits is to show these statistic off.  Here is how it’s displayed:

This is what is known as Social Proof.  It’s like when you go to a restaraunt and depending on how empty or full it is your decision to eat there or not is influenced.  The same goes for things in the online world where if you see these kinds of statistics you’re more likely to follow since so many other people are doing so and this has a snowball effect which is very effective. 

So my call to action to you is simple – if you have a good amount of followers and/or get a lot of hits then you should display this prominently and proudly as it will definately help influence others who visit your blog.

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Leave a comment – please please please….you know you want to!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I think it’s harder these days to get people to engage and leave comments on blog posts.  Best practice recommendations include having at the end of your blog post a call to action which may include a request to leave a comment which is fine but what if your blog post is one where you want someone to go away and do something?  And really ending all of your blog posts with a line that invites them to leave a comment is going to make your blog posts boring so you want to have the freedom to end in different ways.

The standard text that is above the comment box in WordPress simply says Leave a reply.  Not exactly inspiring is it?  Well – you can actually change this and make it a bit more exciting and compelling for people to leave comments on your blog posts.  Maybe you want to use the line that this blog post is titled “Leave a comment – please please please….you know you want to!” but I think that may sound a little desperate and other than the people who might feel sorry for you I’m not sure it’s going to work.

I’ll let you decide what works best for your blog and your audience but I just wanted to share with you the fact that you can change this if you wanted and weren’t aware of it.  So how do you do it? Well from the Dashboard select the option for Settings which will then open up a page with a lot of different things you can alter and set.  Right down at the bottom of the page there is a section titled Comment Form and there it display the current uninspiring Leave a reply which you change.

So now my call to action – I challenge you to go and change your prompt to something more interesting and compelling.  Surely you can do better than my What do you think?

Bookmark interesting posts in Google+

One of the things I find about Google+ is that since there is no 140 character restriction like there is on Twitter people post a lot of good things that take longer to read and often I don’t have the time to read those things at that time.  When I encounter this issue on Twitter wtih links to longer articles I use an app called Read It Later and there are other similar services like Instapaper and the built in service on iOS devices called Read Later which allows me to effectively bookmark things to go back and read when I have more time.

A clever way to achieve the same effect on Google+ is to create what is known as an Empty Circle – essentially a circle with nobody added into it.  You can call it whatever you want like Bookmarks or Read Later List or whatever.  Now when you come across something that you are interested in and want to save it to read later you can simply share it to that circle.  When you get some time to read you can now go and view the circle in your Stream and all of the posts you’ve shared to it will be listed.

Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you!

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!