WordPress Wednesday: Generate More Interaction on your WordPress Blog
By Marko Heijnen, 1&1 Internet, Inc.
Even with so many competitors, WordPress continues to prove itself as the most popular blogging platform internationally. Much of this success is driven by its ease of use and how quickly a user can build their own idea within the platform. Beyond the initial setup, it can be challenging for a blog to become successful. With a main goal of acquiring recurring readership, it is essential that the blog owner regularly interacts with readers to be and remain relevant. But how can you achieve this ultimate goal as a blogger?
Before you can build a relationship with your readers, they need to be able to find your website. First of all, make sure that you will post new content on a regular basis. Furthermore, always remember that the key to a successful blog is high-quality content. Your blog posts should be interesting, well-written, logical and easy to read. If possible, add images and/or videos and try to follow a well-organized format by using headlines, bullet points and paragraphs. In addition, you should share your own thoughts or stories to engage your readers from the very beginning and showcase the personality behind the blog.
Think to yourself, “why should anyone visit my website?” Your unique selling proposition is the key to a significant amount of visitors. They need to know why they should spend valuable time on your blog when there are thousands of alternatives out there. Make your message clear, attractive and visible.
Social sharing is one of the easiest ways to generate attention and become visible. Almost everyone interested in blogging is an active user on popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Take advantage of those channels and any other relevant social networks for promoting your website and blog posts. Furthermore, make sure your visitors have the same opportunity and incorporate share buttons with each post. By using a social sharing plugin like Simple Share Buttons Adder you allow visitors to help circulate your posts with just one easy click.
(Users can drag, drop and reorder the buttons they wish to include.)
(This is an example of a set of Share Buttons you can add using Simple Share Buttons Adder.)
Another way to gain the attention of potential visitors is by earning backlinks. This technique is when a third party links to one of your articles on their website, social media channels, forums or even within their own blog posts. This is a great way to show search engines like Google that your posts are relevant and favored by others. One great aspect of WordPress is that you can easily see and review every time someone links to your articles via notifications within your dashboard. After determining if a source and its content are useful, bookmark and revisit the blog. Linking back to these sources will strengthen your relationship with other authors and increase the possibility of new backlinks in the future.
WordPress is one of the most SEO-friendly content management systems available. By applying these techniques to your strategy, you will be able to generate a more valuable following as you grow your blog.
Marko Heijnen is a 1&1 (1and1.com) WordPress Specialist and contributor to the WordPress community. He has had a hand in developing seven releases since 3.0. To learn more about Marko, visit http://markoheijnen.com/ or follow him on Twitter @markoheijnen.