Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Blogging Tips - 5 Tools That Have Helped Me


I've a bit of a different post this morning, don't worry though beauty lovers, I'll have a regular post up this afternoon. This one is aimed at fellow bloggers, just starting out, to show you a couple of tools I've used over the past year to help readers and followers find their way around and for me to boost traffic and increase publicity of my little corner of the interwebz. 

I've linked below 5 tutorials and changes I've made to CherrySue that I've found have really helped and perhaps you will too. 


1. Link Within



Once you've written a couple of posts and they begin to fill up your archive, it's important not to let them be lost. Tools such as LinkWithin show several thumbnails under each post with related articles you've published before. A large percentage of my daily hits comes from people new to CherrySue, that obviously like the cut of my jib enough to read a little more. 

This tutorial will show you step by step how to install LinkWithin, help visitors navigate your site with ease and will ensure that your posts are viable long after they're published. 


2. Facebook Like/Recommend Button




The addition of a Facebook Like or Recommend button means that your readers can like and share your posts with ease. A lot of times viewers won't be logged into Google, nor will they want to and we all know it's about making life easier for your readers. 

This simple step by step will show you how to install the Facebook button of your choosing. Once the button is clicked, your post is pinned to their wall for all of their friends to see (and like too, hopefully). 


3. Pin It to Pinterest

Pinterest is the fastest growing social media site of all time and offers a wealth of new readers and visitors to your blog once you're set up. Allowing readers to pin your beautiful pictures (and posts) means that they're given a new lease of life on a completely different platform. (the posts, not the people, natch)

This handy tutorial will show you exactly how to add a Pin It button to your blog and the advantages of doing so. Take a squizz at my Pinterest account to see how I've been using it. 

4. Open Links in a New Tab


One of the most recent changes I've made to CherrySue is to add the code and make all of my links open in new tabs. This is important for two reasons: 

  1. I'm all about sharing the love so I link to other sites and blogs in almost every post
  2.  Once a reader has followed your link, mid paragraph, unless they're enthralled by your post or just not in a huge hurry, they're not going to click back to finish - boourns. 

This simple change to your HTML means that all links you use will open in a new tab, this will significantly decrease your bounce rate and ensure that your reader has to click as little as possible to get all available info. Everybody wins. 


5. Use Your Widgets Wisely


This one is not so much a tutorial as just something, readily available, that's helped me greatly. Blogger has set up all manner of widgets within your template and when you're new to the blogosphere it can all be a little confusing to know which you want clogging up your sidebar and which you don't. 

By trial and error I've found my most helpful ones for all concerned have been: 
  • The Search Bar - essential for easy navigation & quick searches
  • Follow By Email - Widen your audience hugely with this handy tool
  • Translate - A hugely helpful widget for international visitors to your site 
  • Blog List - It really is about sharing the love, Blogging is a community, I have to give props to those that inspire me daily and those I read regularly. 
These can all be added through the Design --> Add Widget process on your blog. There might even be some more in there that tickle your pickle. 


That's my round up for now, hopefully you've found it to be a little helpful. I'm still only essentially a newbie at this blogging lark too so if there's any blogging tool or tip that you use that you think I, or the other lovely CherrySue readers might find beneficial, I'd really appreciate a heads up in the comments. Ta very many, yo. 


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