Tuesday, October 19, 2010

5 Tools Your Blog NEEDS to Have

I have been a web content writer for 5 months now. In those 5 months, I have read, researched and reviewed over 100 blogs. Some blogs were done right -- and some were done poorly.

Instead of keeping my thoughts to myself, I will offer 5 tips on how to make your blog "Viewer Friendly." Please consider what I am about to say because I am probably going to be the nicest viewer your blog comes across.

For real.

I go on blogs hoping that they are good so I can write a good review, post a positive comment or even share a post with others.

But what I've been finding lately is that many blogs are lacking a few crucial tools that are necessary in the blogging world.



1) Contact Tab

This is the most obvious area to include in your blog, but you would be surprised at how many people forget about it. A contact tab, button or form is crucial to have on your blog.

What if someone wants to write a guest post? What if a business wants to advertise on your site? What if a professional was impressed with your work and wanted to get in touch with you?

You would miss out on all these opportunities because you forgot one simple step. So don't -- Email/Contact Form  

2) Tag Cloud or Category List

Bloggers make my job so much harder when I can't navigate through their content. A tag cloud is a great way to do that. In addition, a tag cloud or category list helps someone like me visually judge how much of each topic you have covered.

A tag cloud can even help you figure out what type of content you need to work on adding to. 

3) About Tab

An about tab helps me separate the phonies from the professionals. If someone takes their work seriously, they have a well-thought out profile on themselves. It's a great area to explain your education, experience and personal interests.

It can also explain what your blog is about and what you want viewers to take from it. 

4) Search Box

Like the tag cloud, a search box is a great way for viewers to navigate through your site -- but better. A search box gives viewers the power to search for exactly what they want.

For example, let's say I am a viewer on a sports blog trying to get information on stress fractures. Chances are that if the blogger wrote a post about stress fractures, he/she categorized it under the general tag 'sports injuries.'

As a result, I have to search through every post in that section hoping that the one post about stress fractures shows up sooner rather than later. But if I had a search box, my find would come a lot faster. 

5) Social Plug-Ins

What is the point of all the hard work if your viewers can't 'share it' with anyone? Don't miss out because you don't have the right tools.

I'm personally a huge fan of AddToAny which offers a variety of share buttons.


** A good place to go if you're looking to add more to your blog is All Blog Tools. This site offers templates, tricks, tools and more for Blogger users.

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