The fact that you have a blog or are planning to install one is a step in the right direction if you have a business or project you want to promote. Blogs rock as websites and are becoming the standard for those who want to create strong relationships with their clients. However, not all blogs are alike. Some are clumsy and hard to navigate. Below are mistakes to avoid when setting up your blog.
As mentioned in previous posts always use a .com for your site. Purchase all the other extensions to protect your brand.
1. Your Opt In Box
An opt in box enables people to subscribe to your mailing list. It is a form generated from an email marketing provider such as Constant Contact or aweber. Make sure it is placed on the top right of your screen, in the sidebar and not on the left. The reason is purely psychological. People look to the right first. The top sidebar is usually visible on any size computer. I use a 10” netbook and sometimes the top and bottom of a blog is cut off when I am reading a post. If the opt in form is too high or low, someone may miss it.
Many people swear by pop up opt in boxes but personally I find them to be a turn off. Allow your prospects to read and appreciate your blog before they make the decision to opt in. Footer popups and that awful message
Are you sure you want to leave this page?
are also intrusive. They reek of hype and hard sell. It all depends on how you want others to perceive you.
2. Fancy Bookmarking Plug-ins are Pretty but Can Suck
Social Bookmarking plug-ins are wonderful for spreading the news about your newest posts to sites such as Stumbleupon, Delicious and Digg. However, there are certain plug-ins that, in my opinion, do more harm than good. Often, I will go to read a post only to find fancy icons sitting right on top of the words. The best position for social bookmarking icons is either above or below the post.
3. A Sitemap is Your Blog Directory
Install 2 types of sitemaps. Use the word press plug-in XML-Sitemap This sitemap is strictly for Google to search your site more efficiently. In addition, install a public sitemap. On Studio Press Word Press themes, such as this blog, choose the archive template when you create and publish your Sitemap page. Although nothing will show in the editor when you publish it, the Sitemap will appear when you view the page. This allows viewers to easily see a list of all your posts, pages and categories.
4. Make Sure Your Links Are Live
Do not simply type in www.clickonthissite.com. You must activate the link so that it is clickable. Use the link icon in the editor. Under target choose open in a new window or your readers will leave your blog and never come back.
5. Make Your Posts Easy to Read
If you fuse together a lengthy paragraph you will probably lose your readers. Keep paragraphs short and break them up with bold headers, numbered lists or bullet points. The eye needs to stay organized in order to remain engaged.
6. Sloooooooow Blog
Sometimes blogs get bogged down. It could be your host server, too many plug-ins, images that are too large, or any number of issues. I use the plug-ins WP Optimize, W3 Total Cache and Smush It to help my blogs run faster. The faster your blog runs, the more people will read it. Check your blogs often to make sure they are online. Gremlins may be working to sabotage them. I have found that tearing my hair out, whenever a blog gets slow, does not work very well.