I am re-posting this article from some time ago. Quick reason why: So I went to this fabulous blog party yesterday right, and there was one common thread: We couldn’t follow each other! On more than one occasion there was an issue with someone’s follow button (including mine!) and other critical buttons in its relation to networking.
If your blog was a resume, will I be able to contact you for a job?
I follow a lot of blogs through the WordPress reader that I would like to follow by way of my email because it’s easier for me to keep in touch. I manage the blogs I follow by regulating my settings. Some blogs I adjust to get emails every day and instantly. Some I have set for a few times a week, and some I purposely just follow through the reader.
I don’t consider myself an expert blogger so take this with a grain of salt (lol), but perhaps it will be beneficial to make sure your Follow This Blog button is visible. I have come to really enjoy smaller blogs. There is something genuine about a blog with fewer followers. However, I soon discover why there is not much support. I enjoy the post but I can’t find a follow button. There is also one page. It is the about page. I click on the about page. There is nothing there. I don’t know what this blog is about and I can’t follow it to receive the next post. I leave. I may never return.
I suppose we are all writing publicly for a reason. There is really no such thing as a private blog. If you really wanted to write privately you’d just buy a journal. Instead you started a blog on the World Wide Web so it means you are looking for some kind of attention. That said, the best way to meet people is when you expose things about yourself others can relate to. It can be anything from your favorite food to your humor to your family photos. The point I’m making is give us something. Give us a reason to care. If there’s not even a follow button you cannot expect people to follow you.
(Its OK to admit you want people to follow your blog. This isn’t arrogance or narcissism. You’re not saying “worship me”, you are just looking for support to help improve your writing or expose yourself as an author or whatever the reason you are blogging. We all know by now that not everyone who follows your blog is really following your blog, this is not about that. This is about helping those who do really want to support you, to do so):
- Go into your dashboard
- Go to WP Admin
- Appearance > Widgets
Here, you’ll see lots of widgets you can use to spice up your sidebar. You can place them anywhere you want on your blog.
There are two kinds of follow buttons. I use both but the one you really want to have is the one that says “Add an email follow button to allow people to follow your blog”. This is the one that will allow people to follow you through their emails. This means that every time you publish a post they will get it in their emails. This is better than if they followed the reader because even when they are not logged in they can still have access to your blog (If they get tired of your emails, they can even adjust their settings so they only get post alerts from you at certain times). This will increase visibility, likes, comments, and overall interaction with your blog. Click and drag this button to the sidebar section. Go back and view your site so you can see how it looks. Preferably you want your follow button somewhere we can see it easily. Try not to have it at the bottom of the blog because some of us are lazy and don’t want to scroll down that far. The ideal place is actually as close to the top as possible and in your sidebar. (Quick Note: Mine doesn’t say Follow This Blog. It says “Subscribe To This Blog”. Either one is fine).
Next, add some pages.
Go to Pages > Add a Page
Pages are designed to permanently store information. So a contact page or an about page is a good way to use pages. If you already have an about page, put something on it. It is also a good idea to make sure your stream of post aren’t infinite. Again, we are lazy with goldfish attention spans, don’t make it difficult.
- Go To WP Admin > Settings > Reading
- Blog Pages Show At Most (Add the number you want. Limit it to less than forever)
- For Each Article In Feed > Click Show Summary so that when people scroll through your blog they see a summary of the post without going on….you guess it, forever.
Also, decorate the place a little bit. Play with WordPress many themes and colors to fit your style and personality. Whatever you do, get creative. We may just stick around a bit longer than usual.
Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the YA, Historical Fiction author of The Stella Trilogy, Blogger, and Poet. She is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story” about a young black woman writer who dreams of taking part in The Harlem Renaissance movement and her parents struggle to accept their traumatic past in the Jim Crow south. “Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)” is due for release July 15-16 2017. For updates on this project be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.