Categories
Blogging

7 More Things You Can Do To Improve Your Blog

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Photo by Daveblog

A few months back, I’ve made a post on Gloson Blog, 7 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Blog (Most of which you haven’t done). Now, I’ve come up with 7 more things to do to make your blog better (Also most of which you haven’t done). So… here they are.

1. Frequently use pictures on your posts

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words.

Putting pictures on your blog posts, if you haven’t yet, is a big improvement you could have made. One single picture on your blog post could make a big difference.

It makes the blog posts colorful and will show up in social media sites (It might get a lot more favorites). It also stimulates the readers to read it. It might even make the readers like it more.

We, humans, like to see than read things. That’s the human instinct. So, why not put up the picture and get more views?

To find cool pictures for your posts, go to CompFight, a really cool flickr search tool.

2. Number your lists

like this. Making your list numbered helps people keep track of where they are reading and how far they are from the ending of the post. When I read unnumbered lists, somehow I feel that there is no end to this list. Does this happen to you too?

So, please make your lists numbered, especially long ones.

3. Modify your title structure

This is the default title structure of wordpress blogs: Blog Title >> Archive >> (Post Title).

Search engines has a limit for titles in their search results. So if your title is long, search engines will only show a part of the title.

To make the title: “(Post Title) | (Blog Title)”, or even just “(Post Title)” install the famous All in One SEO Pack plugin and it will automatically do everything for you. It will give you SEO and other benefits.

Oh, and blogger users, don’t worry, I have not forgotten about you. This post will teach you exactly how to modify our title structure like that.

4. Put your picture in your about page

If you haven’t put your personal picture in your blog yet, you should do it. Your readers are curious about what you look like. So put up your picture! It helps your readers get to know you and your personality better.

5. Stop using mailto links and install a contact form

Putting your email on your blog (It automatically becomes a mailto link) is one of the most common mistakes I’ve come across. It can be a target for spammers. You could put up your email address as a picture.

But still, a contact form is the best.
It conceals your email from people who will send you spam.

To install a contact form, I’d recommend Contact Form 7, a simple contact form plugin for wordpress.

For Blogger users, this post will help you.

Oh, and here are 10 Reasons to Avoid Mailto Links. 😉

6. Install the Brian’s Threaded Comments Plugin

Update 2020: WordPress has built-in this feature now so no plugins are needed for this anymore.

With threaded comments, you can directly reply to a comment and your reply will show right below the comment, making discussion easier.

Brian’s Threaded Comments wordpress plugin also automatically separates comments from trackbacks. It adds gravatars (The commentator’s picture. You can get one here.) too.

Blogger users, please don’t be sad, because I came across a post that teaches you how to enable threaded comments 😉 –> Threaded Comments in Blogger.

Your comments will be very organized.

7. Display Popular Posts

One way to show off your best content to your new visitors is to display popular posts in the sidebar. To do this install the “WordPress Popular Posts” plugin. Then, you can configure its settings. Next, go to the Widgets section and enable the Popular Posts widget.

If you don’t want to install it, you can put up some posts that you think is best 😉 .

You can also make it stand out to catch people’s attention (like what I’m doing. Check it out at the sidebar).

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There you go! 7 more things you can do to improve your blog! Be sure to check out 7 things you can do to improve your blog (Most of which you haven’t done) too.

If you haven’t done #1 and #2, do it in your next blog post.

But if you haven’t done #3, #4, #5, #6, and #7, I recommend you to do it now (or bookmark it), or not you’ll forget about it later.

It will only take at most 30 minutes (Unless if you’ve got a slow connection or if you are doing it slowly), and could be a very big improvement to your blog!

Categories
outdated

Improve Your English Using MySasas Quizzes

Update 2020: This post is now outdated and archived, but feel free to read it to remember what it was like. ?

I came across this English educational site, MySasas.com recently. It is one of the best educational sites I’ve ever seen.

I find this site really helpful for students who want to improve their English.

MySasas

MySasas means Smart and Adaptive Student Assessment System.

It has over 10,000 no ordinary English objective questions for you to answer.

You have to register in order to access the site. Don’t worry, registration is a quick process and you’ll have access to the awesome quizzes.

Categories
Blogging

7 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Blog (Most of which you haven’t done)

In this post I’m going to show you 7 things you can to improve your blog. You probably haven’t done most of them. If you do, you give a better impression of your blog and make it more reader-friendly (and friendlier to you, too).

And so, here are the 7 things you can do to make your blog better.

1. Make links titled

A link title is what you see when you hover your mouse over links. For example,

@Gloson

When you hover your mouse over that link, ‘My twitter profile.”’ will show. That is the title of the link.

I recommend that you put the title of the article you are linking to as the title of the link. You could also put a short note on the post (e.g. How To Set up a Blog – All the information you need if you are starting up a blog) in the title of the link to give it a better impression.

Usually, when you want to link some text, you highlight it and hit the ‘Link’ button, right? In the link option also lets you add the title of the link.

linktitle

Titled links give a better image of what the visitor is going to visit after they click the link, and if they are interested, they might click it.

2. Use a favicon

A favicon is the icon that you see beside address bars when you visit a site. It is also shown beside your browsers bookmarks.

Giving a favicon to your blog helps to brand it. It helps to make your blog unique (and stand out in a person’s browser bookmarks, if he bookmarked your blog).

To learn how to give your blog a favicon, read this article.

3. Enable Gravatars

In case you do not know what gravatars are, ‘gravatar’ mean Globally Recognized Avatar. And, they are the avatars (pictures) of the commentators you see on some blogs.

You can get a gravatar at www.gravatar.com. Every time you post a comment on a blog that has gravatars enabled, they can find your avatar by searching for the avatar assigned to your email address, and you would see your avatar next to your comments.

Gravatars give personality to your blog. They also help your readers recognize the people who comment. However, there are some themes that don’t have the gravatar code in their comments code.

But…you can still enable them! All you need to do is insert the code which calls for the commentators gravatar. Here’s how to enable them if you use wordpress.

4. When placing update notes in your posts, write the date

Update notes are the notes bloggers place into their posts because they’ve made a mistake, missed out something, wants to tell their readers something, etc. An example of an update note is:

Update: Oops! I’ve just found out that this plugin isn’t free anymore. Luckily, I found another similar service that is free, that you can use. Click here.

That update tells people that a certain service the blogger mentioned isn’t free anymore, and tells them to use another similar service (Of course, the link isn’t available. It was just an example).

But, wouldn’t it be better if there was a date? If you don’t write the date, your readers will never know whether that update was posted 1 second ago, or 1 year ago.

Update (3th September 2008): Oops! I’ve just found out that this plugin isn’t free anymore. Luckily, I found another similar service that is free, that you can use. Click here.

P.S. Be sure to write the month in word, not numerals. It is to avoid confusion as different countries read numbered dates differently (In Malaysia, we read 3-9-2008 as 3rd September 2008. But in some other countries, it is 9th March 2008).

5. Make an archives page

An archives page is where you can find every post in the blog, listed. You should create an archives page. You would generate more page views because your readers can find more articles to read.

To create an archives page, install an archives plugin on your blog. I recommend SPR Clean Archives (the archives plugin I’m currently using for my blog) and Snazzy Archives. This is how Snazzy Archives looks like.

6. Write in shorter paragraphs

Which do you prefer to read, a long paragraph, or short ones? People prefer the latter.

When I read long paragraphs, I find me reading the same line a number of times and having a hard time squinting at the text. But when I read small paragraphs, I find it easier to read. I can keep track of where I’m reading with ease.

So, break down the long paragraphs into shorter ones. Your readers would thank you.

7. Dress up your 404 pages

Instead of the “rude” default ‘404 error – Page not Found’ 404 page, why not edit it and make it friendlier?

When a visitor from a search engine lands on a default 404 page, they simply press the back button on their browser. Even I do that. Why? Because I simply can’t find what I’m looking for.

When writing your 404 page, be polite, but don’t write loooooong messages. The visitor won’t read it if he sees that it is long. Keep the message simple and to the point, like Digital Photography School’s 404 page.

Show a list of your latest posts on your 404 page. If your posts have a catchy title, 404 page visitors might click on the posts and even convert to loyal readers. You can also list your best posts instead of your latest posts.

Here’s how to modify your default 404 page.

If you own a wordpress blog, first, go to its administration area. Then, under ‘Design’, click Theme Editor. Now, on the right of you, there are the list of files in your theme. Click on 404.php to edit the 404 page.

Here’s how to create custom 404 pages –

WordPress tips and tricks – custom 404 (error) pages

(After you are done, you can edit it to write your very own 404 page. You need to have some HTML knowledge, though.)

For more tips on making 404 pages reader-friendly, click here.

By the way, you can have a look at Gloson Blog’s 404 page: https://www.glosonblog.com/this-is-a-404-page What do you think? 😛

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Have you done any of these 7 things? I bet your readers (and you) would love your blog more if you have done so 😉 .

Do you know anymore things to do to improve your blog that are beneficial but not many people are doing? Let us know in the comments!