How To Create A Blog (Part IX)

It continues from How To Create A Blog (Part VIII). Now lets continue with How To Create A Blog (Part IX).

How To Create A Blog (Part IX)

17. Create button boards to share your content and follow you on social networks.

How To Create A Blog (Part IX)

Earlier we talked about how critical it is at first not to just create your content, but to actively disseminate it.

In this process, one of the most important things you will learn is that you have to assume that the Internet user is not going to do anything for you. In other words: it costs a lot to get a reader to perform an action. Even an action as simple and at no cost to him as clicking a social button.

Therefore, you have to make it as easy, comfortable and obvious as possible. This is the main mission of the social buttons. Apart from also providing an element of social proof through the counters.

There are two basic types of bars: subscription and sharing. Let’s see what you have to take into account in each case.

Subscription Buttons

The subscription bars are generally found in the blog header as in the case of this same blog. They can also be found at the end of posts. These bars are intended for the user to click to follow you on the corresponding social network.

My advice is to be very careful about the visibility of these buttons (position and colors fundamentally) and that if your topic does not have a button panel or it does not convince you to use a plugin such as, for example, Metro Style Social Widget. This plugin also has the advantage of including counters, which does not happen with the button boards included in most topics.

Buttons to share

Sharing buttons, as the name implies, are intended to give the reader “egg” social buttons to share content on their social networks.

In order for them to be as obvious as possible, it is important that they are very close to or even embedded in the content. For this I want to give you two tricks that help a lot:

Put the button at the beginning and at the end of the post, you increase your chances of clicks. For example: many people would be encouraged to share the post, even if they don’t read it until the end. If the button panel is only at the end, you lose this opportunity. A good plugin such as Flare or Simple Share Buttons Adder allows you to do this.

Write a little call to action. If you add a little text that encourages the user to share the post next to the button panel, you can raise the click rate a bit.

The problem with this is that it’s not so easy to do anymore. You need either a good theme like Genesis that gives you the right widgets or hooks to insert custom code, or a specialized plugin that allows you to add custom HTML at the end of posts, or, if you have enough knowledge, do a custom function in PHP.

How To Create A Blog (Part IX)

18. Improve your RSS feed

When you install WordPress, you will receive an RSS feed from the factory. In theory you don’t have to do anything else, except the dissemination actions already commented. So, that your readers subscribe to your feed.

However, it is advisable to use a feed service such as Feedburner or Feedblitz. This for several reasons:

  • The result of the feed is more aesthetic for the reader.
  • Frees your server.
  • This type of feeds add useful statistics and in the case of Feedblitz you can configure a series of elements such as sharing buttons that are integrated into the content of the feed.

I recommend you to use Feedblitz against Feedburner because there is still uncertainty about the future of Feedburner.

19. Create a mailing list of subscribers

When a blogger is asked the typical “What’s the thing you regret most about on your blog” question, the answer is usually “I didn’t create my mailing list first”.

This makes it clear how important the subject we are talking about is.

So don’t make the mistake of not having your list created from the first day of your blog’s launch.

Why is a good mailing list so important to win subscribers this way?

Because email is the best channel for contacting your readers and creating a relationship with them.

There are many arguments and a lot of weight in favor of a mailing list. Some of the most important are the following:

It’s a medium where you can use a more personal tone and approach. Making it easier to create a closer, higher quality relationship with your reader.

How To Create A Blog (Part IX)How To Create A Blog (Part IX)

Through email you can contact your reader proactively, you do not depend on him finding you on a Google search or come to your blog. Everyone reads his email every day, so you will see yes or yes, even if you read it logically is another matter. Here you will have to work on it so that it is so.

A person who joins your list is already showing a high interest and a loyalty higher than average in what you do. This reader profile will be much more receptive to your initiatives, including commercial ones.

You are not dependent on a third party. If you don’t have your list and Google penalizes you, what do you do? What if Twitter closes or your account falls, what do you do…? If your blog is hacked, what do you do…? We could continue with this for a while. However, if you have a mailing list is yours, you can take it wherever you want and continue operating with it, fall the services that fall. Having it will always keep open a channel of communication with your readers.

There are still many more good reasons, but I hope these are enough to understand why so many people consider their mailing list the greatest asset of their blog. In short, the readers on your list are, for the most part, of high quality. And with a mailing list you have them all within a stone’s throw to contact them whenever you want.

So how do you implement a mailing list?

First of all, I strongly recommend that you use a specialized quality service such as Mailchimp or AWeber. There are also Spanish alternatives such as Acumbamail or Mailrelay. The best thing is that all these tools, except AWeber, have a free rate up to a limit of subscribers. Mailchimp, for example, allows up to 2,000 free subscribers.

One tool that is still very recent and technically more complex but very, very interesting because it is much cheaper for large lists (>1,000 subscribers) is Sendy from Amazon. At the moment, we haven’t tried it yet, but it’s more than likely that we’ll analyze it very seriously as an option to replace our Mailchimp list.

The reason for my recommendation is that these are tools with a lot of added value for their opening statistics and clicks on emails or functions such as autoresponders that allow, for example, to automatically send a predefined sequence of emails to your new subscribers in which you present the best contents of the blog or teach a course in installments.

How To Create A Blog (Part IX)

Using such a tool also avoids the spam problems you might encounter. If you send emails from your own server using, for example, a plugin such as Knews (although the plugin itself is excellent).

The other part of the implementation is the integration into your blog. Here

I recommend that you use the Magic Action Box plugin. In their free version they have everything you need to integrate attractive subscription widgets into your blog.

And finally, think about creating a lead magnet, an effective incentive for people to subscribe.

Think of something free, but of great value and quality that meets an important need of your target audience. A PDF eBook that is the “Guide to…” or “The Mini-Course of…” are typical examples. In this same blog you can see an example with our copywriting eBook:

Using a good “lead-magnet” will significantly increase the subscription rate or what is the same: the conversion rate of the list. Remember also what we said before: you can combine this with an online ad campaign if you have a little budget.

So what I said: listen to me, if you start with a mailing list from day one you’ll leave with a lot of advantage in your blog project.

Continue reading at: How To Create A Blog (Part X)